Mar 2, 2015

The Donkey Race & Allez Samuel Dumoulin!

Mark and his donkey.
via Graham Watson

A rousing revenge victory for Patrick Lefevere's EQS's team, namely Mark Cavendish, in Sunday's KBK. I like that cuddly donkey and did some research as to why the heck a stuffed donkey is given to the victor. I did some research and discovered the inhabitants of Kuurne are nicknamed 'ezels' or donkeys. They were farming folks who grew vegetables and used their reliable donkey-pulled carts to market. I'm glad that it's a toy donkey and not the real thing the winner receives on the podium.

Le Drome Classic...


One of the smallest riders in the pro peloton, Samuel Dumoulin (5ft3in), made a big impression and attacked on the final climb to win La Drome Classic in picturesque Livron, France. Watch as the puncheur blows by his competitors and then goes on a harrowing descent to victory - one of the best finishes I've ever seen.

Feb 28, 2015

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad: Bear-ing down for Yogi

A mighty champion Flemish ride.

When the odds were stacked against him, Ian Stannard brushed aside the advances from Tom Boonen, Stijn Vandenbergh before taking care of Niki Terpstra in the sprint. For the rider nicknamed, Yogi, he defended his OHN title with exciting panache.

Top tube love before the start...

via Castelli Cycling

via Team Lotto NL Jumbo Cycling

Feb 27, 2015

Friday File: It starts with Omloop

The Flying Milkman vs The Cannibal...
1970 Omloop Het Volk/Nieuwsblad

Friday File...

A certain Belgian 'Spring' is on it's way this weekend. Finally, the first cobbles of this new season will be fought in Flanders. Eddy Merckx wasn't the only favorite in the 1970 Omloop Het Volk/Nieuwsblad. The Belgium champion battled with Frans Verbeeck and lost. Verbeeck known as a great classic specialist was nicknamed, 'The Flying Milkman.' Earlier in his cycling career he had a tough time making a livable wage, so he returned back to his family milk delivery business. Thankfully, he returned back to cycling and became one of the few riders that could give the Cannibal a hard time in the Classics. Verbeeck took the Cannibal out to lunch and won the 1970 Omloop.

Outside favorites that could be on the inside tomorrow...

Looking for a Spring revival...

'We have a lot of different cards to play, and that's our strength. If it's not me, then it's Edvald (Boasson Hagen), or Matt (Goss), or Gerald (Ciolek). We want to win a big one this year, and it doesn't matter who it is, just so long as one of us wins."

- Tyler Farrar

Feb 25, 2015

The Belgian Classic double bill weekend

The ungodly cobbles await.

This weekend is a double bill of cobble frenzy classic racing...

Starting off with Omloop het Nieuwsblad (Saturday) and Kuurne Brussel Kuurne (Sunday). It's my favorite part of the cycling season - the one-day classics - slugfest on the cobbles. These two Belgian classics may not be in the same stratosphere as the Ronde but to win the rider is sure to be akin to Flandrian worship. Of course, add in the typical rain and cold weather for a true Belgian epic. 

The KBK poster (above) is my early hands-down favorite, and translated...

'This course has no mercy.'

My top-3s:

KBK start list. (200kms) 1. Moreno Hofland 2. Alexander Kristoff 3. Andre Greipel

OhN start list. (199kms) 1. Greg Van Avermaet 2. Edvald Boasson Hagen 3. Sep Vanmarcke 

It will be an early wake up call for me (5:30 AM), too early to enjoy frites and a Pils, at least... bring on the klasseien and hellingnen! 

Feb 23, 2015

Tour de France Legend: Keeping his captain rolling.

Ferdi Kubler (left) and his loyal domestique, Emilio Croci Torti.

Ferdi Kubler's victory in the 1950 Tour de France was the first ever by a Swiss rider. Along with his three stage wins he also had indispensable team support. Extra points go to the stressed Swiss tandem for changing a tire during very wet race conditions.

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