Crashes are pure evil in bike racing. Today's stage 4 of the Tour Down Under had a spectacularly evil one before the finish line. The terrifying scene all caught from the camera of Jeremy Roy of FDJ. Note: The IAM rider squeezing dangerously between the flying bike and the barrier with Roy following.
"Hope everyone is ok. Don't ask me how I did it!"
- Jeremy Roy on Twitter.
Recent wrenching duties were going so satisfactory that I'd like continue with another installment of Italian icons...
Campagnolo UT-BB080 Cassette Tool
photo Cycling Art
Campagnolo is one of the iconic brands of cycling. Tullio Campagnolo, the founder, invented the big arm corkscrew and the quick release skewer.
I'm now able to easily remove my Campagnolo 11-25T cassette with the Italian made UT-BB080 cassette tool. Using a 12" adjustable wrench and my modify chain whip I'm now able to remove my cassette to clean it. It also opens up new gearing options for this upcoming season of leg numbing adventures up pleasurable friends: Mt. Seymour, Whytecliff Park and, the not as steep, Burnaby mountain parkway. I'm planning to purchase either the Veloce 13-29T or Centaur 12-27T cassette (paired to my recently acquired 39/53) to finally have a less torturous hilly relationship. Ok, I'm not quite there but that's my goal for this new season.
Iconic Wine Corkscrew...
Campagnolo Big Corkscrew.
The Campagnolo cassette tool is a solid little tool, same precision and craftsmanship as their bicycle products and looks like I'll be having a good long term friendship with. I suppose I'll use it only a few times during a season changing the obvious desired cassettes. I'm really happy to have it for periodic cassette maintenance.
Lock ring removed opens up
to a very dirty cassette.
photo Cycling Art
This is the first time I've removed my 2011 Veloce cassette and noticed that it has individual sprockets with spacers. This is not like my one-piece 1980's Regina CX freewheel.The sprockets and spacers must be placed back in the same order. Mindful of this. After a thorough cleaning of each sprocket/spacer and the cassette body, the next step is to put it back on. I greased the cassette body using my old trusty Campy grease and placed the sprockets and spacers back in order remembering to line up the notches. Once my clean cassette is solidly on the last step is to grease the quick release skewer. One of the more important aspects of good maintenance is to have the correct tool(s). For me, it's now very easy and enjoyable using the Campy UT-BB080 cassette tool.
Yup, I'm back to performing my own minor wrenching and one tool that needs addressing is my new chain whip. I admit I recently purchased a Tacx chain whip albeit on the cheap side. That old saying goes, 'Buy cheap buy twice.' And add in a healthy dose of frustration...
I earlier bought a Tacx Cassette Remover tool and had to return it after it broke on my first attempt. It's a slender piece of steel with a flimsy cassette tool attached to one end. I re-ordered, this time, going for the Campagnolo UT-BB080 cassette tool and armed with my heavy duty 12" adjustable wrench, plus will power... I was ready.
The chain whip is also made of a slender piece of steel - far from hefty. An entry level KMC chain is built to not withstand the efforts of even the most season mechanic. I can understand why companies keep the cost down to meet the demands of the masses is a pre-condition, their business decision to downgrade one aspect of an otherwise decent product. On my first attempt the KMC chain broke off (see top image). So not to get too discourage, I decided to upgrade the chain whip with a spare Campagnolo Veloce chain. I made the wrapping component extra long just to make sure it won't snap in the middle of a battle between my precious knuckles and a sharp piece of steel. It worked, holding the cogs firmly whilst removing my 11-25T cassette - my patience and DIY skills payed off. And yes I'll keep my modify chain whip.
Eddy Merckx... what more can be written about the greatest cyclist ever? I say plenty.
I have already enjoyed the three unforgettable books: Half-Man, Half-Bike by William Fotheringham and Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal by Daniel Friebe. And the rare photographs, many that I've never seen before, of Merckx 525. No this isn't a book review - more so a book on my wish-list. The book is, Merckx 69 by Tonny Stroucken and Jan Maes. Why 69? Cleverly to coincide with the Cannibal turning 69 years old (June 17, 1945) and to honor his eventful 1969 campaign - his finest year... and a worthy book to add to my collection.
It's hard to believe, Cadel Evans will ride his last stage race at Sunday's Santos Tour Down Under. I wish he was racing another season. One of the great Aussie riders of all time has crafted a prolific 16 year cycling career starting out as a mountain biker. He'll quit the sport in February after his own inaugural Great Ocean Road Race in Victoria. Evans will continue in the sport and will work as a BMC ambassador to mentor young riders and help with equipment development.
“Certainly the 2009 World Championship and 2011 Tour de France wins were what really lifted my name and my recognition in the sport. They are highlights and what I’m known for in cycling. I was consistent from the start. I am the oldest post-war Tour de France winner, I’m proud of that, my longevity. I wanted to leave the sport without any regrets. I had a lot of second and fourth places over the years, I made some small training or tactical mistakes, but on the overall, I can go away on February satisfied and know I gave my sport everything.”
- Cadel Evans
I'll be yelling for Cadel! One last time.
From CityNewsToronto, the new Pan Am Games velodrome in Milton will be a game changer. Listen to Steve Bauer's comments... Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games: July 10-26.
In my opinion, Campagnolo has always crafted their products (as a standard) for all cycling aficionados. I'm one. Enjoying the iconic Italian brand since 1987. If I ever own a SuperRecord11 group set, I don't know whether to use it or just admire it... most likely - both! A blessing in disguise.
Iconic Italian race...
The 2015 Strade Bianche is March 7, including the first edition women's race. The white twisty roads through the Chianti vineyards will be extra exciting.
MTN-Qhubeka's growth is meteoric. Starting in 2013, next with recent high level signings, the first African registered team have been awarded a TdF wildcard!
Eddy Boasson Hagen is certainly capable of being the Boss in July.
Exciting entry to the Tour.
"I've told the team I want a competition jersey in one of these races, be that King of the Mountains, points or young rider - that's what we'll be going for. I think a lot of people may underestimate the African riders."