Thursday, 30 December 2010

Liège-Bastogne-Liège 1991: 4 victorias para Argentin


> > > > Powered by EPO, history seems to indicate this to be true, but with a strong over riding desire to win. I wonder as we crested the wave of the drug that was 'no more dangerous than orange juice', who in the top ten was clean. Rocket fuelled or not, the racing was good which as an staunch anti doping advocate always leaves me feeling a little funny, as I enjoy watching the clips from years gone by, to the modern 'cleaner era'. > > Argentin was riding a Colnago bicycle, in the previous season he had been aboard a DeRosa titanium. Both bikes where held (& still are) as fantastic machines. Many Colnago fans site the > 1991 colour scheme to be a classic & one of their best. I'm not sure myself as I really prefer the Saroni bike of tge 80's. > > >
> > >

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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Breakfast is served

If breakfast is the point at which you stop the fast, or break the point when you last ate, well yesterday I had ridings equivalent. Not sure I can think of a clever word play on this to bring into existence a new phrase.

So after three weeks it was a welcome interlude between spending time with the family, which has been chilled. The ride itself, while nothing special from a kilometres covered point of view, came as a welcome breather and as a stern reminder that I am a man of many parts, all of which need to be exercised and fed. I hope your holiday break is as refreshing as mine, ciao.

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Monday, 27 December 2010

The Specialists

It's funny, just after I post my article on the 'End of an Era', Wiggins goes on to talk about Boasson Hagen being the future of cycling and could win anything. Wiggin's goes on to say with the interview with Susan Westemeyer of Cycling News that On the list, you can include races like Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders, stages in the Tour de France and everything else you want to win as a cyclist. It's kind of scary. He can still choose to go the way of the classics or multi-stage events, and potentially win all the races he decides. His talent is that great, but he's still continuing to develop and find out where he best fits in the sport.”  (to read the full interview click here:

Wow was my initial response as this means we have a star looming and one that's path is yet undecided. If you'd base it on current form, wins and experience, you'd have to say that the Classics are beckoning. He's possibly the only current rider who could win all of the monuments, at 1.81m tall and weighing 76kg he's in the right ball park for numbers. Apparently the big numbers that count i.e. Watts are also pretty impressive. Having watched him at the Tour of Britain over the last couple of years it bodes well. You can't expect anyone to win the Tour without winning smaller events first. An obvious tick box to complete will be Paris Nice and the the Tour de Swisse as they represent hard shorter stage racers but provide the good training for the big Grand Tours.

Could Edvald buck the current trend of specialisation (just remember for a moment that he's only 23)? I'm a little too excited to really entertain the thought properly, but for a minute I hope so. It will no doubt depend on the war on PED's, supporting the riders and maybe looking at the system as a whole. With less PED's in the peloton the riding would be far more exciting as the human stamina would come into play, all those hours of conditioning, training and hard work would pay off. I am all for technological gains over pharmaceutical advantages as rider health is paramount for me. PED's feel like cheating whereas cheating time, wind and using less energy through technology doesn't, I'm sure some can make a case for these to be banned also (some man at the UCI no doubt).

I read also today that Boom pops along to a CX race (Zolder), blows the field apart and then says "For me this is the most ideal way to prepare for the road season, but don't think I have no respect for the real cyclo-cross riders. Of course, I'm starting these races with a little bit of ambition because I don't want to come here and finish 20th," (Brecht Decaluwé Cycling News). I love the fact that alothough he has been a World Champion and multiple National Champion in CX he has aspirations to master the pave of the Northern Classics, and no doubt his goals lie further afield again.

As the road season has got longer and now runs from Jan to Oct it means that many of the riders have used the CX season less and less to maintain fitness. You can also see this in the reduction of road riders in the Six Days as this used to be a good way to keep a riders form over the WInter months plus bag some extra cash on top of their normal salary. Maybe due to the better wages (on average) many riders can pick and choose more, hence the need not to extend their seasons. I think you can see that over the past twenty years or so that the riders who raced a lot where those that loved the bike as well as the sport, Zabel springs to mind, and I'm sure there are many others that spring to mind.

Thanks again to my friend Kristof for the fantastic images which help to tell my story today. Point your browser here and you'll be able to find the medium you want to follow his wonderful work.

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The End of an Era

The for me Eighties signals the end of an era, when Cyclists in the professional peloton used to race all events. The Tour Contenders where active in races like Paris Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders, you'd also see the same at the end of the season with races like Giro di Lomardia being important.

Today's film covers the Paris Roubaix  finish in 1988 where the eventual winner would be a Dirk Demol. What is strange is that the finish is a traditional sprint finish and not in the iconic Roubaix Velodrome (the finish would return in 1989 when Jean-Marie Wampers would win).

Watchin Fignon fly over the pave is a fantastic site, his long stretched out position, compared to Kelly's more upright, and in some ways more modern, was a beautiful contrast to see, Laurent was in good form, winning the Italian Classic San Remo abour six weeks earlier. These are the types of racers that I miss, competitive from March to October, unfortunately EPO changed all that, along with the dominance of riders like Big Mig in the Tour.

We are as unlikely to see these days again as we are to see Pro's riding on Steel machines with downtube shifters. So enjoy the film, the quality is crap but soak up the atmosphere.

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Sunday, 26 December 2010

Race Moment of the Year ...

Could there be any other moment this year which over shadowed the race itself? Well it has to go to Fabian Cancellara passed Tom Boonen on the Muur. I've watched it countless times and it still leaves me stunned to see the ease in which he moves past, almost like the hill wasn't there. I'm not for a minute casting any doubts on his perfromance, no batteries required I think.

This short portion of the film captures the moment and stops before all the show boating begins. I think if there hadn't been all of that going on it would have probably won Race of the Year.

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Friday, 24 December 2010

Mad Fiber Road Wheels

Wheels have come on in leaps and bounds over the years. I remember when the Mavic Helium came out, they where light, red and (for the day) pretty light. They didn't exist long and where superseded by the now very famous Kysriums. Top end wheels come along now and again and the Madfiber ones look pretty cool.

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CHRISTmas Message

I live this final week leading up to the 25th of December, the day adopted by early Christians to avoid the persecution of the Roman rulers. I love it because people are generally much nicer to each other, spreading a bit of joy, love and peace.

For me this time of year is really special as the reason for the season is what moves me. As an adult the joy of receiving a present was replaced by the giving of them. For me this is important in my life and is something which has shaped me as a man, by following the Ultimate CHRISTmas Gift, Jesus.

So later on today I'm turning all outside communication off to spend time with my beautiful family, who over the last few months I feel I've really neglected. I am blessed to have a wonderful wife (who's my best friend), and three wonderful individual interesting boys.

The bike and I will become reacquainted and I'll find a little time to find me again. It's important for everyone to take a little time out and think about what's really important in life.

I hope that whoever reads this today has a wonderful time and enjoys this break to the full, Merry Christmas ~ Rich.

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Saturday, 18 December 2010

New Quick Step jersey

Sticking with a theme the new Quick Step jersey sticks with their current colours but adds flashes of red to the sides, reminiscent of the Cervélo Test Team.

Good news for Classic's fans everywhere that Boonen is looking well fit, check out the size of his legs! I think Tom has San Remo in his sights and if Steegmans comes back to the Team he will have a trusted lead out man to do the job.

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Paris Roubaix Sportive

TDW Sport

There has been a Sportive run over the course every two years, but unlike the Ronde van Vlaanderen it isn't run off the day before but takes place in June. So although it's been a long time in coming the ASO has finally put together a course which will take in parts of the route. At a 162 km in length and featuring 18 pave sectors it will remain a challenge for even the toughest of riders, what the French refer to as Flahutes (the Ferench version of Flandriens), the tough men who thrive in adverse conditions which usually include pave.

TDW Sport

I've just been looking at the costs and it ain't going to be a cheap weekend, unlike Flanders which can be done for not a lot of cash in the grand scheme of things. So pricing from entry open option. Increasingly ASO have made this harder and harder to do on the Tour Etape. It may solve a few issues in regards of how to deal with the start/finish scenario as the logistics can be a challenge, and frankly do you really want to have to find your way back to your hotel, then deal with cars etc, the mind boggles. As much as I would normally go 'yeah no worries' the A to B start finish option compared to the circular route of the Ronde makes it a little harder.

TDW Sport

Is this on the cards, well for various reasons I've missed the chance to do the last two versions in June (accidents, work, you know real life stuff), so the draw is pretty big. I made the decision that after this years Flanders I wouldn't be back next year. So this could be my Spring challenge.


So it's time to really think about this, and if I'm going to do it I better get some serious training in. Then there will be no doubt a lot of lammenting on bike and kit (including clothing). For more information see these sites.



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More from hell...

I love this film and don't get tired of watching it, although I think it's a shame that nobody has been able to match, never mind better it. This is a short 10 minute extract for the full version search 'A Sunday in Hell' on the site & the full movie is on there.

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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

GPS Klier

Why do they call him that, well it goes back to the early days of when he started to live in Flanders. He first went out with Peter Van Petegem on a cold wet day, he managed to hang on, respect earned he could then go out to learn from the Master. Van Petegem was known to know every stone of the pave, every wind direction, the turns, the pitch of the roads, he basically had an internal map of the West Flanders region ingrained into his very being.

He became the wheel to follow and probably should have won it more. Thankfully Andreas was a good learner and the skills that Peter had he passed on to him. This made him invaluable for Telecom/T-Mobile while there and also for the last two years at Cervelo Test Team. It's a great shame he's never won it, and in the twilight years of his career (although he's still damn fast, and probably could) he's unlikely to win it as his job is to be a road Captain, and I am sure this is a role he will take up again at the new Garmin Cervelo Team.

Now he is the man every rider wants to get behind, to catch his wheel as the peloton knows that this man from Germany knows the pave, the small beautiful lanes better than anyone else. So the question I end with is who will be the man to replace him. Of the current crop of riders my guess would fall with his Team mates. Dan Lloyd is my top tip, a super domestique and pave lover, he represents my first choice as he's as strong as a ox and people like him. Good qualities in a Road Captain. The other two are more long shots, Heinrich Haussler and Tyler Farrar. Both love Flanders, and depending on how far down the rabbit hole they go it will depend on how many stones they know by name.

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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Cav's Tour of Flanders Set Up

Short little video today, Cav being a little bit of a bike geek. This makes me like him a little bit more, and it also makes me realise that he loves riding his bike, and I think that translates well into his riding.

TDW Sport


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