Monday, February 28, 2011

Top Spider

David Boily
http://cyclesportmanagement.com/


Canada's David Boily of SpiderTech won the KOM's classification at the team's first European stage race, the Giro di Sardegna. The five day Italian stage race finished Saturday with Peter Sagan taking the overall.

Boily, only 20 years old, picked up enough points to challenge and come up with the goods to win SpiderTech's first international jersey. He was certainly helped by teammates, Svein Tuft and Pat McCarty.

McCarty eventually finished second in the KOM's classification and was the top Spider in 36th overall. Captain Svein Tuft (39th), Lucas Euser (59th) and Boily finished 79th overall.

SpiderTech showed that hard work paid off and success will eventually breed more success. Their early racing season showing a lot of promise!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Belgium... Blue!

The new blue Flandrian star...
Chris Sutton!




I would not have picked Chris Sutton to win today's dry Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

Other prominent riders' figured in my prediction. I even thought the mighty Flecha to win Saturday's Omloop. He, of course, finished in a heart breaking second. Nevertheless, the Arrow and Boasson Hagen forced the pace to propel Sutton for a huge win.

Yauheni Hutarovich hung in dearly to catch second right in front of Andre Greipel (third) and a fast charging Tyler Farrar (fourth).

You have to give it to the black & blues for having a very successful Belgian weekend. A perfect lead out won the race for Sky. There's no telling what else they can do for an encore!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

This Belgian Weekend...

Battle to the line,
Langeveld vs Flecha
a classic finish...



When I awoke this morning, I caught the last 8 kms of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The feed was somewhat slow constantly buffering, however it wasn't a problem at all as the race was between two riders, Juan Antonio Flecha & Sebastian Langeveld. I'm so glad that the 'bad' weather persisted making this Belgian race... a true classic.



by a tyre's width!


A classic it was, the sprint was decided at the line as Langeveld outdueled Flecha to win by a tyre width. I was reminded of that other chaotic finish in the 1990 Paris-Roubaix as Eddy Planckaert beat Steve Bauer by just a centimeter.

This Belgian weekend continues tomorrow with Kunne-Brussels-Kunne and most of the same riders will be there. It will be fascinating to see how Thor Hushovd & Tyler Farrar will ride and whether the tough Flecha can respond with another amazing ride.

One rider I'm following is Belgian veteran, Nico Eeckhout (An Post Sean Kelly) nicknamed aptly, Rambo. Tough as nails, the 40 year old Eeckhout turns it on when the weather is severe. It's looking like another great classic battle!


Planckeart vs Bauer,
1990 Paris-Roubaix...


Tomorrow, Rambo will be there!




Friday, February 25, 2011

My Newest Sponsor: BicycleGifts



One of the wonderful incentives of having my cycling blog is that I have the opportunity to associate myself with excellent sponsors. I'm proud to present my newest sponsor... BicycleGifts!

BicycleGifts is from the United States and I believe has the largest online site of bicycling gifts & merchandise. There is an amazing collect of rare vintage poster art here, that appeals to me. And, I'm sure you will find something to satisfy your 'inner cyclist' & for your friends & family.

I invite you to click on the Sponsor Link and start shopping!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cue in the Flandrians: The Lions will Roar!

Will we see the Arrow's bow, again?




The 'real' season, for your author, begins this Saturday with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Het Volk).


Time for the Lions of Flanders!


This semi-Classic has all the excitement a Belgian race can offer: long, hilly and full of lovely pave. Just over 200 kms over the Flemish Ardennes it will be nothing but exciting. The first cold view of the cyclists over the Belgium pave captures the start of the Classics. I can picture all the fans jumping out from the pubs before the riders' pass. The frites/mayonaise & beer will be popular.

Although, it's a semi-classic the true Flandrian will want to add this to his palmares. And it's a worthy race to win. There are many favorites but mine are; Thor Hushovd, Phillipe Gilbert, Juan Antonio Flecha (can he repeat?) & my darkhorse Dominique Rollin (FDJ).

Rollin will not be the only Canadian riding. Supporting riders, Michael Barry will be working for Mister Flecha and his hunt for win number 2. I'm excited that new Pro, 23 year old David Veilleux (Team Europcar) will ride his first race most likely for Sebeastien Chavanel. Good experience, getting his feet 'wet' on the pave.

With the build up towards the bigger prize of Flanders and Roubaix, the riders will want to test themselves that they're all on the right road or pave. After all, it's of prime importance, all these hardmen of cycling are true Flandrians!



Chapeau to the riders...



My darkhorse,
Dominique Rollin...


God of the rainbow stripes...



Gilbert the Flandrian

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Marinoni Update: Please Stand By



I'm reminded of that clever introduction from the Outer Limits television series...

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture...


As you all know, your author is closer to finally realizing my dream of restoring my 1987 Marinoni. Yesterday, the plan was to go pickup the complete bike from Peninsula Cycles... now with a small delay.

Simon emailed me back mentioning that, now they're waiting for a correct Campy crank tool from Marinoni. The 2011 Veloce cranks is a brand new design requiring a tool they do not have. I don't know what tool it is but it sure is of paramount importance. He sent me a 'teaser' image of my chrome fork on the headset. It looks good.

One thing I'm learning is patience, and good things come to those who wait.



The teaser.

Monday, February 21, 2011

SpiderTech at Laigueglia




Love this video of SpiderTech riders' pre-race day before the Trofeo Laigueglia. Anchored by Steve Bauer the riders look relax, fit and settling into their new European world.

Canadian, Ryan Anderson finished a strong 13th to mark SpiderTech's first European race in Italy. Tomorrow is the the six day Giro di Sardegna or Sardinia where Svein Tuft will ride his first race of the season. Excitement for Canada's first Pro Continental team is building, and with the right preparation and motivation a win can't be far off!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Marinoni Update: Happy Place

My 2011 Campagnolo Khamsin wheelset,
eye popping!



Yesterday was a particularly good day as Carolle and I drove over to see Damian & Simon of Peninsula Cycles.


Sneak Peek...
the new 2011 sleek redesigned Veloce derailleur...



I received an email that my 2011 Campy Veloce gruppo and Khamsin wheels are in. So, off we went to to Damian's shop in White Rock. The bike store always has an understated comfort, it's due to the welcoming laid back nature of the staff. On Saturday afternoon, we discover it was busy with a guy spinning on an Argon TT bike and folks waiting for repairs. Argon bikes are very nice and made in Québec. I like the bike shop, it's cozy and a beehive of activity. A good place to check out gear, chat ...and to see my gruppo. It's something about Saturdays & bike stores. A good combination. There was a huge friendly dog sitting in the back that lent a comforting feeling to it all.

Simon showed me the gruppo, all in the shipping box most still in bubble wrap. I picked up the rear derailleur, for the first time, and thought how incredibly light it is. The silver finish is beautiful and all I could think of how well it's going to look on my Marinoni. Simon said he can't wait to see it done up. Damian said it should be ready to pick up on Tuesday.

Simon asked me what color cable and tape I wanted. I just like the vintage look and will go for black cables & white bar tape.

As I was goggling over the Veloce gruppo I turned and behind me was the new 2011 Campy Khamsin wheelset. Black hubs, flat black spokes amazingly light. All I have to compare it is to my old heavy Mavic open sport rims. And soon, I will fly up the hills. I could hardly suppress my smile.

Waiting is well worth it!


that's Campagnolo's new Veloce 12-25 10 speed freewheel,
super light rims with flat black spokes...


joy inside the box...
not for long!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Season 2 Stage 1: Bikes, Books & Beers ...We're Back!





We're back! After two months off, Guy & I are back for a brand new cycling season of podcasts. We haven't lost a beat...

Guy & I sport the new Galstudio 3-panel cycling caps; Le Belge & Viva Italia. Quite frankly, the colors are eye-catching!

Attire is important, I'm wearing Zappi's new striking full zipped short sleeve jersey. Once again, I would like to thank ex-pro Flavio Zappi for sending me this beautiful jersey, cap, & musette. You can read my previous post here. I extremely grateful for his gift.

There's books to review and Guy has another interesting one sent by our friends at Velopress called, Boy Racer by the prickly sprinter, Mark Cavendish. The start of the new cycling season always brings plenty of excitement. The Classics are coming and we can't wait to talk about them and our favorite riders'.

Guy reviews a practical and very useful piece of cycling kit, the humble waterbottle ...with a new slant on it sent by our friends at Clean Bottle.

I'm happy that our Bikes, Books & Beers Podcast can also be downloaded from iTunes...

Enjoy! It's great to be back!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Made in Canada

Captain Tuft


Tomorrow starts the first European race in the infancy of Canada's first Pro Continental cycling team, SpiderTech Powered by C10.


Now's the time...
Go Boys!


Driven by Steve Bauer, led by veteran & captain, Svein Tuft. He has a tattoo down his right forearm reads: We will never be here again. Foreboding it may sound, but a unique opportunity to help guide the young team into it's first professional season and beyond.

Steve Bauer couldn't believe his good fortune when Tuft was available after Team Pegasus was denied a Professional Continental license.

"It's always been my dream. I want to grow with these guys as they make the steps. I love seeing Canadian talent doing well. It's great to be at the very top level and do your stuff, but man, it's so much more satisfying to be part of something you feel good about and you can really get behind," said the 33 year old Tuft.

The Trofeo Laiguelglia is the team's first race, and I feel a sense of pride as Canada's first Pro Continental cycling team takes it's first giant step into Pro cycling. The young team has a pretty good captain leading them!


More inspiration for the young squad...
Bauer Power!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

We Knew Then: Adidas Eddy Merckx


The Eddy Merckx by Adidas...


Back in the early eighties, my first pair of cycling shoes was the Adidas Eddy Merckx. I remember having to hammer in tiny nails to hold the cleat in position. Always a hit and a miss with this crude system. Hard to adjust, remove the tiny nails to reposition the cleat. Then they came up with the brilliant idea of hex bolts that made it very easy.

I loved how well they fit. Even with laces I had to tuck them in so that it wouldn't loosen on me. Wearing them you felt like a champion, the shoes were iconic with the strong bold 3 stripes ...so Eddy!



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cannibal Fun!

Merckx introduces his stealth bike...




The most winningest cyclist ever is Eddy Merckx. His seriousness on the road gave his adversaries fits rewarding him an untouchable record of 525 wins... 445 as a professional.

The insatiable need to win also turned him into a worrier. He would have a difficult time falling asleep. So off he'd go, in the middle of the night, to fiddle on his bike.

I discover these two fun images of a 'relaxed' Cannibal without his game face on. After seeing countless images and videos of his intensity... this is so refreshing!



Sunglasses fun...
Merckx & Jan Janssen, 1970 Tdf.
 unita.it/

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Winter Cycling Cap

Phil Anderson, 1984 Het Volk...



A soggy, cold, miserably wet day here in Vancouver spurred your author to stay indoors and think about winter cycling caps. I'm trying to find out the origin of the humble winter cycling cap. And as far as I can determine, through my research, is that it's probably from wind swept Belgium. It more than makes sense from the land of wet, rain harshness as an important way for a cyclist to stay warm in inclement conditions. Covering the head is important since 40-45% of body heat is loss from the head. Belgian cyclists can't be wrong.

Galstudio's handmade Presta Winter Cycling Cap...


It started with the basic wool brimless cap. Just put on a tuque and ride. And, most likely proceeded with a brim to guard against freezing rain and the cutting wind. Add ear flaps as a perfect, practical way to keep the back of the neck warm.

My first winter cycling cap is from the early eighties. In bright red with the bold, COLNAGO in white felt, tastefully on the brim. Well made, in wool with a inside liner, it's certainly does the trick out in the cold.

My first winter cycling cap...


Winter still has it's cold grip on us, and what better way to ward it off by keeping your head comfy warm with Galstudio's Winter Cycling Caps!


They're all on sale at a 'cool' price; $ 25.00 USD each, that's $10.00 off the regular price! An excellent time to beat off the cold with our attractive, handmade, comfy winter cycling caps. I wouldn't leave home, for a winter ride, without it!


More imaginative winter headwear....
Belgian, Ferdinand Bracke
fighting against the elements...


Balaclava in the Classics...



Merckx & his 'domestique'...


Paul Sherwen & Laurent Fignon...
on the Koppenberg, 1985...


Giovanni Battaglin...

Rik Van Looy, 1960...



Franco Bitossi...

Hinault avec balaclava...
Ti-Raleigh rider(far left) wearing a tuque, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, 1980.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Les Québecois Arrivent en France.

New Europcar signing, David Veilleux being interviewed...
Photo: Daniel Fertin



For the 2011 season, FDJ and Europcar signed two Quebécois;  Dominique Rollin and David Veilleux.

I'm excited that Canadian cycling is on a huge revolution and growing in Europe. Steve Bauer's, SpiderTech team is now based on French soil and ready to battle as a new Pro Continental team. 

Rollin, formerly of Cervelo Test Team is now on Marc Madiot's French FDJ team. A perfect transition for the rider accustomed to rough climates with dreams of pavé glory. He's ideally suited for the rough and tumble classic races; Flanders and Roubaix. Former Paris-Roubaix winner, Madiot knows a thing or two about riding on the cobbles. He's won it twice and is the dividing rod to charge Rollin to certain pave victory. Last season, he finished tantalizingly close (fifth place) in a very wet Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne.

He just finished the Tour of Qatar with a 15th overall. And, more importantly, encouraging results with a solid 4th in stage 4 & 6 and 7th in stage 2.

David Veilleux, 23 years old, joins Jean-Rene Bernadeau's Europcar Pro Continental team. You will remember the timely signing of the rental car company to replace departed BBox Telecom. Veilleux turned North American Pro with Jittery Joe's in 2007. It looks like a good move up for him to race and win in Europe. He has impressive credentials; 2010 Canadian & US Criterium Champion, stage wins in the Nature Valley & Tour of Pennsylvania stage races, a bronze medal in the Pan American U23 TT championship, four time Canadian U23 TT champion, & 10th at the 2009 Espoir TT Worlds.

Also, an added Québec angle, Louis Garneau is the official clothing & helmet supplier for the new Europcar team. The 2011 season is starting to be an exciting time ...as Québec cycling meets France!


Dominique Rollin riding in this year's 
Tour of Qatar.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Turning UP the Tempo!

De Schoenmaecker sets tempo for Tinho, 1979 Tour.



Tempo Riding: The pace you can maintain with effort. Another apt description is, 'sustainable discomfort' or the more agreeable, 'fun, fast'. It's basically the highest intensity you can maintain for a prolonged period of time, but you don't want to go so hard that you blow up. Your author will be doing plenty of it as my Marinoni is getting closer to completion. Let's say I'll be busy on building my base fitness (long rides) with tempo intensity riding.


Galstudio's handmade Tempo Cycling Cap...
perfect for your next intensity ride.



Jos De Schoenmaecker was more than capable of sustaining tempo. His role to set a torturous pace for his captain's; Eddy Merckx and Joaquim Agostinho. As a domestique ...he was capable of also winning. He was a natural climber winning stage 16 to Pra Loup in the 1980 Tour. There's a fantastic image of him maintaining tempo and bringing up his boss, Agostinho to L'Alple d'Huez victory in the 1979 Tour. 

De Schoenmaecker faithfully rode for Merckx for eight seasons on Molteni, Fiat France and C & A. He was one of the very few riders to keep up the tempo for the Cannibal and not burn out. Merckx once said that Husymans, De Schoenmaecker and Bruyere were his most solid teammates on the Tours.

Back then, there were no power meters to aid riders. No sophisticated devices needed. For Jos De Schoenmaecker, just straight forward riding ...without slowing down.


Winning in Pra Loup,
1980 Tour.

Setting tempo for Merckx...and everyone else.
1974 Giro.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New 3 Panel Cycling Cap's!

Our 3 panel cycling caps...
Viva Italia!...



Introducing new handmade cycling caps is always fun. Especially, when paired with our new 3 panel cycling cap design.

Le Belge...


As far as I can determine, Renault had a 3 panel cap introduced back in 1978. It made for a bold statement with the black stripes between white & yellow (I'm wearing it here).

Fast forward today, Carolle and I are proud to present our new 3 panel cycling caps; The Canuck, La Francaise, Viva Italia!,  Le Belge & Good Vibrations!

Carolle came up with the idea of creating a unique take from the 3 panel design. My part was to come up with the colorful look to each. One of our clients suggested a Rasta cap with iconic red, yellow & green and we responded ...big time.

It's natural to show off the strong colors of Belgium, France and Italy in the new cap design. We love the colors! And, what better way to show off your favorite cycling nation.

All five caps are now available, I invite you to check them out on our Galstudio's Etsy site!


The Canuck...

La Francaise...

Good Vibrations!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Franco Ballerini

A Poignant & classy tribute!


One year ago today, Franco Ballerini died due to injuries from a car rally crash.

He was a classics rider in the classic sense. And, with class and grit he won Paris-Roubaix twice, in 1995 & 1998. A fallen hero... I find it difficult to believe he's gone.










With Steve Bauer, 2002 Hamilton.



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