Tuesday, May 31, 2011

George Mount: 1976 Olympics Road Race

"He's not expected to do much."


This is a ABC Sport video on George Mount at the Montreal 1976 Olympic road race where he finished an astounding sixth place. There is a bleary eye focus on George Mount (in the stars n' stripes) as he finds himself in the breakaway going to the top of Mount Royal. The rain begins and many riders fall, the grind continues...

Up until then, no American has finished in the top 60 since 1912, nor ever in the top 10. He won the 1978 Coors Classic then raced professionally in the US and Italy. Compatriot Mike Neel was already racing in Europe and with his urging persuaded Mount to make the big splash in European racing. Mount raced for Italian squads; San Giacomo-Benotto (1980) and Sammontana-Benotto (1981-82).

This wonderful dramatic video (more of this race here) really captures the youthful eager spirit of George Mount able to stay with the best amateurs of the world and setting America's destiny into international cycling.


...
His nickname...
Smilin George
His Italian time on the 1982 Sammontana-Benotto Team.
(photo: Jacques Burremans)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pistol Shots, Flying Frenchmen, Millar Time & 108.

Third in the TT,
a win overall!



Everyone will have to take, pardon the pun, a chill 'pill' and wait for the CAS (Court of Arbitration) decision on Alberto Contador... whenever that is decided.


Final podium
(photo: Bettini)


Originally set for early June, this delay to determine his positive test outcome looks pushed back for July. So, as we stand, Contador can possibly ride the Tour. If he is found guilty (wasn't he? read here), he will be stripped of his 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro titles which will add uglier ramifications.

Meanwhile, he wins his sixth grand tour, quite a feat, at only 28 years old. For better or for worse, he won in dominant fashion stretching his lead starting with the Stage nine win on Mount Etna. That's when it started to unfurl for the rest of his competition reduced to struggle behind him in the mountain stages. So bewildered was Michele Scarponi and Vincenzo Nibali that the fight was for second.

The French have made a come back to the Giro with extremely fine performances by John Gradet placing fourth overall and his teammate Hubert Dupont (12th). Laurent Jalabert finished fourth (1999), Charly Mottet was second (1990) & Laurent Fignon won it in 1989. I hope it's better grand tour results to come for the French riders. Long overdue.


The French are back...
Gradet impresses winning his first grand tour stage,
 Stage 11 Tortoreto Lido to Castelfidardo
(photo: EPA)

The shortened time trial stage in Milan was won by specialist David Millar. A fine win as Millar's goal was to win a stage.


Hubert Dupont 21st on Stage 15.


Now, as we wait and wait and wait for the fateful decision I'm left to wonder if Contador's dominant Giro win will be stricken from the record books.


Millar time,
 on his winning TT ride!


Forever remembering...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pedaling with Mettle

Catharine Pendrel...
racing hard for second.


One aspect of cycling that I admire are the tenacity of mountain bikers.

Your author doesn't do it because simply, I'm a roadie. But it doesn't mean that I don't love watching it. The riders are plenty tough to handle going up and down dirt tracks littered with every natural road furniture good Mother Earth can throw her way. It looks almost brutal watching them, inches, from crashing. I'll try not to think of it.


Julie Bresset...
second win with more to come!


Today was the Elite Women MTB#3 World Cup race in Offenburg, Germany. Twenty-One year old French rising star, Julie Bresset won 41 seconds over Canadian veteran Catharine Pendrel. Bresset is currently leading the World Cup and is a U23 rider. Unbelievable at a young age competing against the worlds elite women with an average age in their thirties & forties. Sabine Spitz of Germany is remarkable and going strong at 40 years old!

Pendrel loves this course and won here last year. Her second is the best placing so far this year. Compatriot, Marie-Helene Premont couldn't match the speed of Bresset and Pendrel, however she finished in a solid fourth giving the Canadian women a 2 & 4 placing.

I watched this incredibly fast and very technical race and marveled how anyone can ride so fast on this difficult terrain (entire race here). I'm looking forward to the next World Cup XC race coming this July 2-3 in Mont-Sainte Anne Quebec!

Marie-Helene Premont,
a solid fourth!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Star for Movistar

Kiryienka solo on the Finestre...



The huge climbs up the Finestre & Sestriere was no match for Vasili Kiryienka.

A classy and heroic ride was on the cards for the Belarusian as he soloed over the two climbs. The scenery stunning as huge crowds greeted all the riders. With over six hours of riding Kiryienka pointed to his jersey and raised his eyes and hands to honor Xavier Tondo as he crossed the finish line.


Mission accomplished,
For Xavier.


"This was the best way to remember a teammate that was with us only for this season, but yet seemed to have been here for so much time. We decided that the best form to pay him tribute was staying into the Giro, and I think we made a good choice because winning in such a hard mountain stage and from such a long break, it was a kind of winning that he liked so much."   Vasili Kiryienka


What an epic day it was!


Absolutely stunning scenery!

Friday, May 27, 2011

SpiderTech: Next Stop, Philadelphia

Top Spider...
Pat McCarty wins the KOM.



Steve Bauer's Team SpiderTech will be lining up and one to watch in the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship on June 5.

Coming off a successful Amgen Tour of California where Pat McCarty won the KOMs classification, the spider boys will surely be there for a victory. A fantastic win since becoming pro-continental, I'll be watching out for Keven Lacombe to be there in the final sprint.

Zach Bell, the current world cup track champion, will also be there to bolster the Canadian team.

This will be the 27th time for this one day race and promises to be very exciting. And, the City of Brotherly Love will be more like a battleground.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Giro: Stages 16 to 18

Stage 16: Garzelli...


Here's some of my favorite classy images from this Giro: stages 16 to 18. From the talented photography of steephill.tv/sirotti & Robert Bettni. These pictures are worth thousands of words!


The Gypsy: Roger DeVlaeminck returns... 
(image: Bettini)


Stage 17 Scrap, 
Visconti, Ulissi & Lastras...


Stage 16: Rujano...


Stage 18: Scenic Bergamo...


Stage 18: Pinotti leads Seeldraeyers & eventual winner Capecchi...


Stage 16: Flying Frenchman John Gradet.



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Paris Roubaix: Garmin Cervelo




My favorite classic Paris-Roubaix is over but in it's place to view is this well done video by BTP concentrating on Garmin-Cervelo and their incredible pave experience. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Gesture

A grand gesture..
Photo: Sirotti



Alberto Contador's grand gesture finger pointing upwards was a fitting tribute to his compatriot Xavier Tondo, who died tragically yesterday.


...for Xavier!
ciclonet.it

Contador looked on fire as he powered his way up to win the Nevegal mountain time trial. It was symbolic in another way, a big way as he looks unmovable in the Maglia Rosa. One of my favorites, climber Jose Rujano put in a solid ride and held it for only 10 minutes. Michele Scarponi came in 1 second faster to claim third.

Tried as he might, Nibali rode like a shark out of hell with the urging by the tifosi could manage a hard fought second place.

A dominating ride for Contador, and a special ride honoring his friend Xavier Tondo!


Rujano: climbing power!
Photo: Sirotti

Saturday, May 21, 2011

King Zoncolan

Aces high for Igor Anton.



Before todays stage up to the dreaded Zoncolan, Igor Anton stated that his goal was to win a stage in this Giro.


Millar's 36 tooth sprocket.


I admit I was disappointed that the nefarious Monte Crostis was pulled from this stage. An alluring mountain stage with a tricky descent, was pulled yet we were still left with a most dramatic finish. A shorten but steep stage awaited as most of the riders bikes were equipped with mountain bike rear derailleurs. Some, like David Millar had 36 tooth inner chain ring and 36 rear sprocket to tackle the enormous gradient of 22% of the Zoncolan.

Sheer hell awaited. Due to the narrow road, motor cars were not allowed to go up it. Only motorcycles fitted with a spare bike for each rider ...just in case.



Canada's Michael Barry (Sky) setting his sites... high!


I remember watching last years Vuelta and seeing race leader Anton crash, breaking his collarbone shredding his red jersey only to abandon. He's back and rode a very gutsy ride to beat Contador by 33 seconds and 40 seconds on Vincenzo Nibali. Anton moves to third overall just one second behind Nibali. Can a podium place be his?

We can be thankful another huge mountain stage awaits Sunday!


Zoncolan High!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jose Rujano: Up There Again

Rujano goes where few can follow.



I call pocket grimpeur Jose Rujano the comeback kid of this Giro.

After a five year struggle to find form and shuffling between teams, the Venezuelan rider is back on track in the Giro. In 2005, he was KOMs, won stage 19 to Sestriere finishing 3rd overall. He won todays stage finishing on top of Austria's very steep Grossglockner. And, although Contador gifted him the stage win, Rujano deserves it. Contador has a strangle hold on the Maglia Rosa after putting in a effortless ride on the rest of his challengers. He's three minutes up from second place Vincenzo 'The Shark' Nibali. As hopeless as it appears, the race is not over. There's critical mountain stages ahead and plenty of excitement to come.

I'm a firm believer that todays mountain stage is the start to this Giro. Tomorrows huge Zoncolan stage has changed and the climb and dangerous descent of the Monte Crostis is cancelled.

Rujano's upward athleticism has never remain a doubt since his second place on stage 9's Etna stage. Androni  Giocattoli's Gianni Savio can be the catalyst for nurturing back the twenty nine year old's long lost confidence.

It couldn't happen at a better time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Knowing the way to San Jose

Ryder knows the way to San Jose.
cyclingnews.com



Ryder Hesjedal is in good form after his attack on the hilly stage 4 of the Tour of California.

Garmin-Cervelo showed fine presence with good placings. Hesjedal finished in seventh and placed the same on GC. Unfortunately, he was up against a stronger wiry veteran Chris Horner who took the stage win at 39 years old. Horner is the new golden leader jersey holder.

Hesjedal looks confident working hard with his strong Garmin-Cervelo squad to finish with five teammates in the top 12. I understand that he will be part of the team to go to the Tour of Suisse, testing his mountain legs is good practice. His attack won him the Most Courageous Rider award.

Steve Bauer's Spidertech squad is equally aggressive & impressive, Pat McCarty took the maximum points to grab the KOM red jersey. He's the top Spider sitting nicely in 14th overall.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

From Vancouver to Manchester: Keep Pedalling!

La Piccola Wallets...


I'm very proud to announce that our fun handmade recycled inner tube Piccolo Pouch & La Piccola Wallets are now available for purchase at Keep Pedalling in Manchester UK.

If you're around there just go on in to Manchester's friendly independent bike shop and meet Shona and Rich!

http://keeppedalling.posterous.com/



Piccolo Pouches...
Elvis is there!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monte Crostis: Going Down

Safety nets & mattresses...



This Saturday may just be one of THE challenging mountainous stage in this Giro. Four passes before going up the dreaded Zoncolan a total of 210 kilometers. Organizers will introduce the Monte Crostis with a tricky descent.

Race director, Angelo Zomegnan has said the Monte Crostis descent will go as schedule despite the meeting with some of the major riders including; Contador, Nibali, Millar, Cioni & Scarponi.

Contador previewed the climb last month and grimly said, "The drops there are tremendous. All I know is that even in a car, the descent puts your hair on end. I only hope nothing unfortunate happens that day. I am glad to have seen it, just to be able to get ready for it in my mind. But if it's raining or snowing... I don't even want to think about it."

Here's a video from Podiumcafe.com that reveals a very dangerous ....hair raising ride down!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Svein Tuft: Tour of California





The  Tour of California starts, hopefully, today. The weather looks like winter and I wonder if it may be a cancel. The recent news is it's delayed and officials are monitoring the weather. If it goes a shorten stage will start at 1:15 p.m. PT.

Spidertech will race and here's an interview with Svein Tuft looking forward...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Epic Expo: A Giant

Lithium Ion 36V EnergyPak equipped Giant,
the monitor is not included just a visual aid!



It was fun to be at the huge Epic Expo held in the very green Vancouver Convention Center. A sustainable consumer show that showcases products that reflect smart, planet friendly choices that are better for our health and nicer to Mother Earth. There is a huge tidal wave of support for this, and growing. Carolle and I, armed with free tickets, went over to investigate.

We attended last years show and pleasantly discovered it was a good start in the right direction. I noticed more companies on board with products and basically beating a steady drumbeat of smart living.

I was hoping to see a energy efficient bicycle. I wasn't disappointed. Taiwan based Giant Bikes was the only bicycle company, from what I saw, presented with an electric bike called The Twist Express RS 2W. Battery assisted with a good looking aluminum frame allowing the rider to ride smoothly over hills. Tricked out with a bell, kickstand, storage case, lock, fenders it looks worthy of a future where the choice of pedaling and having a battery assist would give ALL folks a chance to ride.

I like that!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Beachcombing

I'm at Molly's Reach...


This morning, Carolle and I took a ferry over to picturesque Gibsons on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.



Gibson's Landing...


We planned a Galstudio business trip to talk to Helene and her husband Graham. It was also a chance, for both of us, to finally visit Gibsons only 40 minutes ferry ride from Vancouver. It's hard to believe I never visited this pristine and beautiful town until now. Work pressed on and before time was up we had a small amount of time for a lovely nature walk and for me to see Molly's Reach Restaurant.

Gibsons was home for a popular TV series called, The Beachcombers. Starring Canadian icon, Bruno Gerussi it ran for 19 years on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation from 1972 to 1990. I, of course, grew up watching the weekly program about the West Coast. As a boy growing up in Edmonton, I quickly grew fond of the scenic seaside village on the edge of Canada. Gerussi was the fun loving log salvage guy (Nick the Greek beachcomber) always in confrontation with his arch rival, Relic.

Molly's Reach is the restaurant where the crazy characters would meet and gossip. Although, time was up and we had to catch the ferry back, I had Graham take a picture of me in front of the famous restaurant. We plan to be back in August for a craft show to sell our handmade cycling caps and recycled inner tube products... and to stop in and have the fish n' chips at Molly's!


Helene's bumper sticker,
More relax in Gibsons


The cast of The Beachcombers...
l to r: Relic, Molly, Nick, John Constable & Jesse Jim.



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

As The Dust Settles

Strade Bianched!
Third place finisher,
Jose Serpa...



Stage 5 was an amazing test for all the riders, on my favorite strade bianche.


Italian classic...



It looked like a organized or disorganized ride with many riders suffering punctures and falls. Like last year's Montalcino stage the strade bianche figured dramatically. Watching the riders toil over the white roads was a lesson in agility for many and a case of survival for the rest.

A strong solo flyer for Martin Kohler, holding onto a five minute lead into the first section had me believing good things are coming for the BMC rider. Tried as he might, he was caught by flying Dutchman Pieter Weening & Frenchman John Gradet. I follow former cyclocross champion Gradet with interest, remember his high flying antics in the TT Plan de Corones last year?

Weening broke away and had enough in the tank to win a decisive dusty victory and to take the maglia rosa off David Millar. The Dutchman won this exciting stage eight seconds from a fast charging peloton including the talented Colombians, Fabio Duarte (second), Jose Serpa (third) & Frenchman Christophe Le Mevel in fourth.



Monday, May 9, 2011

Wouter Weylandt




It is with great sadness that I write this post on the death of Wouter Weylandt. Words are hard to gather.

I watched with stunned disbelief on Eurosport of the aftermath of his descent from the Passo del Bocco.

I went for a solemn two hour ride, in my small part, to honour the young Belgian hopeful. With his tragic death it casts a pall over what was turning into an exciting Giro. It's truly touching to read so many tributes online to him ...and he was only 26 years old.

My deep condolences to his family, friends, leopard-Trek team, Giro riders on this devastating loss.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pink Pinotti

Pinotti leading HTC over the finish line to win the Pink!



Italian TT champion, Marco Pinott takes the first Maglia Rosa.

Leading his HTC teammates over the line in his National jersey and to honor 150 years of Italian unity... symbolic for the well respected rider.

The classy Italian said, "Winning today was really important for me as an Italian as well as for the team."


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