Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's 40C - No Rain In Spain & Stage 5 Aftermath

via IAM Cycling

Temperatures hit 40C today in the Vuelta. Little comfort for the riders and Fabian Cancellara wasn't shy on twitter - to speak his mind...

Teams are using up to 250 bidons per stage. That's a lot of water for drinking and dousing. What seems to be the popular choice is the new Sportsvest used by Tinkoff Saxo. In my opinion, it makes the riders look a little like commandos, but if it works...

It's only just begun.

Which begs the question, "When is it too hot to race?"

Stage 5s hectic finish...

the aftermath...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In The Fridge: Sound Advice & FRFuggitivi Huit Ponts Post Ride BBQ

In the fridge: my therapeutic elixir courtesy from Dr. FRFuggitivi
photo Cycling Art

Although I'm convalescing from my injured achilles tendon, I'm happy to have sound advice from my 'doctors' of FRFuggitivi. I was pretty gung-ho and over trained for last Sunday's Eight Bridges Ride... and I payed for it injuring myself. Two furious back to back rides of 65 kms did me in. But the comforting support was very much appreciated...

On Sunday, I missed the Eight Bridges 145km Ride but afterwards we all got together and enjoyed the post-ride BBQ chez Curtis. Guy gifted me with the proper elixir (see above) and since then I have enjoyed it and believe it's working on helping my injured tendon. I'm also taking the sound advice to heart from John (he's a ER nurse) to rest it as it may take another week or so to shrink back the tendon. That means no riding... curses. 

It was a fun BBQ as we all got to meet the spouses, enjoy therapeutic beverages and to see everyone in non-cycling attire - a rare moment. Notably, Ross' Belgian Treple (10%) quenched my taste buds. Curtis won the KOB prize of a cycling cap and inner tube wallet courtesy from Red Dots Cycling. He also won the 'cheesecake award' for having ridden over an amazing 6000 kilometers, so far, this season. 

Carolle and I had a great time and we hope it will be the start to many more FRFuggitivi BBQ's!

A wishful Brian (right) missed out on the cheesecake award...
maybe next season?
photo Cycling Art

FRFuggitivi group shot. 
Curtis (far right) proudly wearing the Nueva Vuelta cap 
by Red Dots Cycling and holding his cheesecake award.
Chapeau to all for finishing for conquering the huit ponts!
photo Cycling Art

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Happy Birthday To The Gypsy


The living icon of les paves, Roger De Vlaeminck turns 67 today! Enjoy this look back of one of the greatest classic riders of all time...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Vuelta: Contador & Stars Of Movistar

Here's a video on one of the mystery men of the Vuelta, Alberto Contador. He's back and what kind of shape is he in since his injury and abandon in the Tour? We'll find out during the next three weeks.

Stars of Movistar.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday File: Review - Vuelta a Espana - Battle Royale & Shut Up Retirement!

Looking back...
Agustin Tamames, 1975 Vuelta champion.
Here in his very cool1976 Teka national jersey. 

Just one day away from the start of la Vuelta a Espana. And, it's looking like one of the strongest GC fields this season. I for one will be cheering for our hometown guys; Ryder Hesjdal and Guillaume Boivin. This edition will be for the climbers; eight mountain finishes should satisfy these grimpeurs; Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome, Rigoberto Uran, Alberto Contador, Joaquim Rodriguez, Fabio Aru, Carlos Betancur, Jhoan Chaves,  Chris Horner, Jurgen Van Den Broeck and Thibault Pinot. Notably Cadel Evans will lead his BMC squad. He is one experienced rider that can still surprise (two stage victories and sixth at the Tour of Utah).

Peter Sagan starts off right with a good breakfast
before the Vuelta.

The Vuelta is always a grand tour of unpredictability. Just look at Chris Horner as upset winner of last season. He is given an outside chance of repeating, and is the oldest grand tour winner, aged 41.

"I'm in good form. I'm proud to be defending my Vuelta title, to battle for it as strongly as possible."

- Chris Horner.

Stepping up at the right time, Fabio Aru.

I'm casting my eyes to a very strong Garmin squad and the trio of Hesjedal, Martin and Talansky. Hesjedal is back from a solid 9th in the Giro, a 2009 Vuelta stage winner. Martin wants to redeem himself after the disaster in the Tour but finished third at the Tour de l'Ain. Talansky is a fighter; winner of the the Dauphiné and avoided elimination on stage 12 of the Tour before succumbing to back/hip injuries. The pit bull will return.

I'm anticipating a battle in Spain and for pre-race favorite Nairo Quintana ... it won't be a cakewalk!

Update: Chris Horner is out of the Vuelta due to low levels of Cortisol.

Will it be thumbs up for Quintana and Valverde?

Making history...

First African cycling team to ride the Vuelta...
via Team MTN Qhubeka

Highlights from stage 4, USA Pro Challenge...

'Shut Up Retirement!"

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