Today, Garmin-Cervelo launched their new Tour de France kit with plenty of argyll.... I'm liking it!
Jun 29, 2011
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!
John Pierce, Photosport International
The 98th Tour de France is fast approaching, and this most exciting epic race starts this Saturday.
This show is full of many possible winners and near winners ...
Alberto Contador. What can you say? Whenever the Tour is on the line he seems the one the others want to beat. He's back to do what Marco Pantani did in 1998, the Tour/Giro double. He'll stay out of trouble in the first week and then turn on when the second week starts with the mountains. His weakness if any, is that he has a week team to support him to Paris and how much fuel does he have in his tank since winning the Giro? Whether he does win or not, CAS has the final say in August.
Andy Schleck is ever closer to the big win. The last two years of being the frustrated 'second' he just needs the right cards on his side plus Lady Luck and he could top the podium. The dropped chain on Stage 15 last year was his ending and if his brother Frank can remain healthy then sibling power will do plenty of harm.
Cadel Evans is a shoo in favorite to disrupt the upcoming Contador/Schleck feud. This may be his last great chance at winning Le Grand Boucle and he's already having a very good season (winner: Tirreno-Adriatico, TdRomandie, 2nd Criterium du Dauphine)... I'm practicing my Yell for Cadel!
Bradley Wiggins: With his fantastic win in the Criterium du Dauphine makes him a dangerous favorite. Can he hold onto his good season Sky high form? By all accounts he can podium.
Sammy Sanchez: Fourth last year after crashing in the Pyrenees. He's a pure climber and will be up there for a podium finish.
Robert Gesink: Sixth last year. He's back for the Orangemen and has improved on his time trailing. Definitely a top five contender.
Canada's Weight of the Nation...
Ryder Hesjedal: aka Weight of the Nation, seventh last year. Co-leading the Garmin-Cervelo squad with Christian Vande Velde. Hesjedal looked amazing staying with Contador and Schleck up to last year's Tourmalet stage. I think he can finally win a stage to cement his talent. Your author predicts a top five finish for Ryder!
Galstudio is happy to contribute two cycling caps as part of the prize list in Tour de France Competition tdf133 from tourdecouch.blogspot.com Click here and here for more details. I encourage all to participate in the fun because it's the Tour and there's great swag to be won on Rachel's cool cycling TdF contest.
Good Luck and enjoy Le Tour!
Jun 28, 2011
Rattlesnake hill was no match for Spidertech's Svein Tuft, Will Routley and Zach Bell.
Last Saturday, during the Canadian National Road Race, SpiderTech masterly controlled the race and Svein Tuft won. Routley rolled in second with Bell in third.
This is his first Canadian road championship and eighth national title.
Steve Bauer had this to say afterwards...
"There are a lot of good riders out there... We had a strong team, with the numbers and we had to make sure it was decisive. The plan was to go from the gun, go hard, and make our counterparts work hard. Everyone tried hard, and our guys were too strong."
Other top riders could not survive the 180 km race ...and the dominance of SpiderTech. Dominique Rollin (top tube broken and forced to abandon), David Veilleux (14th) and Christian Meier (8th).
Jun 27, 2011
We're extremely happy the Canada Post mail dispute is finally over!
Mail delivery resumes today.
To celebrate the return of mail service, Galstudio has a sweet deal with Freeshipping off all orders.
For a limited time only, at the checkout use coupon code: FREESHIPPING
As a small business owner, it certainly is a challenge to cope with not having to be able to ship our handmade products to our valued customers. We're happy to, once again, ship our Galstudio products around the world.
In fact, I just returned from the post office ... Smiling!
Jun 26, 2011
Spotted one gigantic bird!
Without a doubt... yesterday's MEC Bikefest was a huge success for us.
The weather started out cold and wet and I said to Carolle to bundle up. In fact, I wore two cycling jerseys, my Castelli jacket, cycling cap, 3/4 shorts and leg warmers ...just like going out for a winter ride.
Wearing layers & ready to go!
However, by mid day the sun came out dried up the leftover rain and put a smile on everybody. Us included! Many folks showing interest in our Galstudio cycling caps and inner tube products. Our handmade cycling caps were our best sellers of the day. And we learn valuable feedback that will help to improve our products.
Special thanks go to Stephanie Ruane and her staff of MEC Bikefest for inviting us as vendors and for putting on a fun cycling family event. The Olympic Athletes Way plaza was a good location right off the False Creek bike path and I hope the MEC organizers will keep it here for next year.
Our friends showed up too, and I want to thank them for their support; Jim/Jen, Toby/Pam and Nick. And of course an extra thanks to the rest of our customers.
A fun cycling event and our first cycling show for us. We'll be back next year.
I'm satisfy to see so many cycling enthusiasts and I believe Vancouver is shaping up to become a solid biking community!
Providing customer service.
The weather did turn out for fun MEC events!
Jun 25, 2011
Queen Jeannie reigns supreme.
photos: Fabrice Lambert
Q: What becomes a legend most?
A: When it's 52 year old, legend Jeannie Longo beating riders half her age to win her fourth consecutive time trial title.
She said, "A 58th title is a figure somewhat symbolic because it (1958) is the year of my birth."
Last January she hinted about retiring. I'm glad she never did. Yet, she remains one phenomenal rider riding and winning past 50. I always thought 50 was the new 30.
And, today she almost celebrated her 59th title denied by Christel Ferrier-Bruneau in the French national road race...
There's always next year for Queen Jeannie!
Jun 24, 2011
Svein Tuft is on a tear.
Fresh from two stage victories and a third overall in the Tour de Beauce, he's the newly crowned Canadian National TT Champion. Yesterday, the SpiderTech captain took his seventh title. Teammate, Hugo Houle repeated as the U23 men's champ. A double SpiderTech victory.
The National time trial course is 21.67km taking place in Belfountain, Ontario. Tuft beat out former teammate, Christian Meier (second, United Healthcare) and David Veilliux (third, Team Europcar).
Tuft is ready to ride this Saturday's national road race as SpiderTech looks a very strong contender for another Maple Leaf Jersey!
Jun 23, 2011
Maitre Jacques rode for Helyett, 1956-'58.
With only nine days until the Tour, my mind keeps jumping to one of the greats who excelled ...in July.
The rider that comes to mind is the legendary Jacques Anquetil. Monsieur Chrono was his nickname for his virtuoso time trialing skills. He turned professional in 1953 with French team named "La Perle" (the pearl) and duly won the Grand Prix des Nations. In 1957, riding for Helyett, he conquered his first Tour de France, won the stage into his hometown, Rouen, and went on to win the race overall.
photo: Michel Déjus
In the entertaining book from Tony Hewson, In Pursuit of Stardom, the young British pro's encounter with Anquetil is a riveting description of the legend in a 1958 criterium in France...
"In the green and white jersey of Heylett Leroux, was the sleek slender figure of Jacques Anquetil. There was something feminine about Anquetil's slim physique that belied his wonderful masculine strength and courage. I ended up 7th to Anquetil's 2nd. My clearest memory is of Anquetil himself. An Apollo of the beautiful machine. With his pedaling action so rapid, precise and apparently effortless, was all minimalist elegance."
Anquetil won five Tours, the first Frenchman to do so, with his time trialing skills. He was a colossus against the clock breaking Fausto Coppi's fourteen year old 1956 world hour record and he won the Grand Prix des Nations Time Trial a record nine times.
Tony Hewson was one rider that rode against Anquetil and wrote, "As we crouched and crossed in the line out, buffeted by the wind, the flowing trick of rain and light made it hard to distinguish where the man ended and machine began. It was as if they had been forged together at birth from the same shining material."
The Apollo of the beautiful machine...
1953 Grand Prix des Nations
Jun 22, 2011
We saw our first Google Trike (like this one)
on the SFU campus!
Yesterday, was a good jolt for three reasons; a). first day of Summer b). ride up the 370 m high Burnaby Mountain with Guy and c). good espresso up there.
What a beautiful sunny and warm day to celebrate Summer solstice. Our Spring is thankfully over and hopefully the grey weather. Guy and I got back into riding and smoothly cruised up Burnaby Mountain Pkwy. I dare say we both rode with the coup de pédale ...that special feeling of 'floating'. At least that's how I felt until reaching the very top as the sweat dribbled into my eyes stinging them. I had to slow down and finally wiped my eyes to reach Guy. He sure made me work, all the while riding on a rear tyre with a slow leak.
At the top, we passed a Google trike, on the upper road of the SFU campus. Guy turned to me and said, "That's an easy job." Google street view cars are recording the roadways. Now, their trikes are recording the pedestrian walkways, parks, trails, and university campuses.
It's one of my favorite rides up to SFU. And we're already talking about the real climb up Seymour mountain ...very soon. Where I'll get a chance to test my 39X25!
between our trike ride.
Jun 21, 2011
I discovered this wonderful video of the 1960 Rome Olympics Road Race and Team time trail set in searing heat.
You can almost feel the tarmac sticking to the riders tyres as the tifosi throw their water to help ease the hot temperatures for their Italian riders.
The road race came down to two riders: Viktor Kapitonov (Soviet Union) and Livio Trape (Italy). As the race comes close to an end... was it the heat? Kapitonov surged to the line thinking that he won. He was wrong there was another lap left. But, with the final few meters left, the Soviet rider made sure and crossed the line winning the Gold medal in front of a disappointed Trape.
In the Team time trial, Livio Trape returned and got his revenge and won the Gold. Viktor Kapitonov and his Soviet team won the bronze.
The riders wore wool jerseys, rode on steel bikes and wore their cycling caps backwards... a timeless classic!
Jun 20, 2011
Svein Tuft rode to stage 6 victory on the Saint Georges circuit of Canada's top cycling stage race, the Tour de Beauce.
That's his second stage win, also winning stage 4 TT.
Most certainly his two stage wins adds a special class to the success of Team SpiderTech. A fantastic performance; Tuft on the final podium for third place, four podiums and SpiderTech winning the Team Classification.
Dominique Rollin's (Team Canada) gain to form is coming back as he finished in 13th overall.
A Tuft Move...
It was a gutsy move by Tuft on the final lap, together with 15 riders including the race leader Francisco Mancebo, as he attacked to win the stage 18 seconds from Andrew Pinfold (Unitedhealthcare). Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist) won the overall with Bernardo Colex (Amore&Vita) in second.
Svein Tuft last won Beauce in 2008 and finished second in 2007 and 2005. Although he didn't win the race he looked admiringly of his fellow spiders fine performance...
We came here at the Tour de Beauce for the Overall, but sometimes that doesn't always work out. The week was great and the team was superb. I am very proud of the guys and the way they raced this week.
Jun 19, 2011
Since February, I've had BicycleGifts.com as my sponsor.
BicycleGifts has everything for all bicycle enthusiasts from vintage posters (my favorite) to cycling jewelry.
A favorite of mine is the Paris-Brest-Paris poster (above). A fine art reproduction of an original vintage poster of the great race in 1901.
The poster is striking with the bold French tricolour depicting Maurice Garin (the 1901 winner riding for La Francaise). First run in 1891, it originally was a 1200km bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back to Paris. Garin, well known for his win in the inaugural 1903 Tour de France, was a talented rider.
He was nicknamed, The Little Chimney-sweep, and was so gifted as a rider won the 1895 Hour Record & Paris-Roubaix (1887-1898).
I want to thank BicycleGifts and ...welcome back!
Jun 18, 2011
The 98th Tour de France is 2 weeks away.
I'm looking forward to it and here's 3 of our beautiful Galstudio cycling caps to make you think of this great race.
Top to bottom: Polka Dots, 100% Cotton. Vive la France, Cotton/Polyester. La Francaise, Cotton twill/Polyester. Size: Medium. Ready to ship. Proudly handmade in our Vancouver studio!
Vive la France
All images © 2011 Cyclingart
Jun 17, 2011
Svein Tuft was the fastest man today and won stage 4 Saint-René 20km TT in the Tour de Beauce.
He beat out Aussie Michael Freiburg by six seconds. And with his win gives SpiderTech its first victory of the season. A powerful performance that pushed Captain Tuft to sixth spot of the GC. Tomorrow is the circuit race in Québec City followed by the final race Sunday in Saint Georges.
Tuft was one of the favorites to win the TT and now well placed in GC. He won this race in 2008 and looks ready to challenge again. Spaniard Francisco Mancebo holds the overall race lead.
"Today was great, getting the first win of the year is a pretty special feeling and something we plan to continue on with as the season ramps up into the 2nd half. I feel we are at a very good point in our progression as a team unit and I'm looking very forward to the next 2 stages of Tour de Beauce," said Tuft.
Confidence can be a strong motivator!
Jun 16, 2011
After watching this video on stage 3 Tour de Beauce: Saint Georges-Mont Mégantic, I felt compelled to compare it to the excellent 60 Cycles (here).
Surreally similar I find it refreshing. The 60 Cycles film had a catchy surf music soundtrack, this video has candid live audio complete with the howling wind.
Francisco Mancebo Perez won the queen stage to the top of Mont Mégantic beating out Bernardo Colex and Sebastian Salas up the steep 7.7 percent climb. Just before the video ended, Pat McCarty glided up to fourth place. Mancebo takes over the overall race lead, 22 seconds in front of Colex and Pat McCarty (31 secs. Spidertech).
The video shows Dom Rollin attacking in the early going finding form since his broken collarbone injury. Svein Tuft making sure his Spidertech team is well presented as the breakaway approached the ascent. Horns blaring, gears changing, wheels humming, the odd conversation... what a wonderful video!
Jun 15, 2011
The queen stage of the Tour de Beauce is stage 3 (Thursday) that starts in Saint Georges and finishes atop Mont Megantic.
Mont Megantic is the highest point (1102m) in the province of Québec and promises to be a key stage along with stage 4 TT the following day.
Dom Rollin & Svein Tuft.
Kiwis; Scott Lyttle (Pure Black Racing) is leading the race and his teammate, Tim Gudsell is currently in second overall.
Here's two videos; with Dom Rollin (Team Canada, 17th overall) & Francois Parisien (Spidertech, 3rd overall). 2008 winner, Svein Tuft is in 11th overall and I believe will be a threat for stage victory in Friday's 20km TT. Pat McCarty (Spidertech, 2011 KOMs TdCalifornia) will be a heavy favorite on the Megantic climb.
Good to see him back after injury.
Thor Hushovd is back.
Eight months since his last victory, the curse is finally lifted. It's difficult to pinpoint actually why it is. The weight of expectations associated with the World title has made things frustrating for Hushovd. The "God of Thunder," is back sprinting confidently to beat Peter Sagan in an exciting stage 4 at the Tour de Suisse.
Bull-y Classy victory!
His words are worthy to mention right after his return back ..
The God of Thunder said, "happy and proud" of the win, a good combination of "good legs" and "taking right decisions." Yesterday's win is "very promising" and "a sign that I am on my way, and that I am quite simply in form." And he added that "it feels good to finally win again and now relax and work towards the Tour" with a "little more composure."
Certainly the weight of the rainbow jersey is off and now he can focus onto more success in the upcoming Tour de France.
Jun 14, 2011
Watching yesterdays very dangerous descent on a narrow, technical road into Grendelwald was probably the most exciting example of poise and control I've ever seen in a bike race.
Damiano Cunego (The Piccolo Prince) rode like a banshee bordering suicidal. Equally crazed descender, Peter Sagan came back to join him and nipped him at the finish line for a fine comeback win. The real winner goes to new yellow jersey, the impressive Cunego.
The bravery award also goes to the cameraman and motorbike driver careening downward keeping balance producing fantastic images... and not falling.
At end of the harrowing roller coaster descent the Eurosport commentator said, cow bells are ringing. A perfect way to thank the riders for an exciting finish!
Jun 13, 2011
I'm ready along with our handmade Galstudio gear!
For those out there that do not know what MEC is ...
MEC is Mountain Equipment Co-op, my favorite store that sells everything for outdoor activities. This is my place to go for all bicycle things. The store is really handy for me, situated just a short walk from my studio. You never know when you need a spare tube!
MEC will host, this June 25th 10-4pm, their 2nd annual MEC Bikefest Vancouver event. A great idea bringing Vancouver's bicycle community to celebrate the wonders of cycling. Special thanks go to Stephanie Ruane (MEC Marketplace Event Coordinator) for contacting and inviting us to be a vendor at this years event. She saw our Etsy site and decided we would be a good fit. I agree.
What better way to show and talk about our handmade cycling caps and recyled inner tube accessories at this fun family cycling event! I'll also will have my Cyclingart greeting cards for sale.
Carolle and I will be there at the Southeast end of False Creek Plaza on Athletes' Way in The Village on False Creek.
We plan to have a contest to win free Galstudio swag. Keep following or Galstudio Twitter and Facebook for upcoming details.
See you there!
View Larger Map
Jun 12, 2011
Solering to victory!
Ok, I'm happy no better yet - ecstatic that Juan Mauricio Soler the Colombian climbing ace is back!
The Movistar rider solered (pardon the pun) to victory in stage 2 Crans-Montana, Tour de Suisse. I picked him to do well in this mountainous Tour de Suisse. I feel vindicated. After years of injuries and crashes, let's call it just plain bad luck, he finally turned it around and delivered a resounding stage victory and now wears the yellow leaders jersey.
His last win was four long years ago at the 2007 Vuelta a Burgos stage race in Spain. And, before that he was better known for his mountain win on stage 9 to Briancon, 2007 Tour also winning the KOMs jersey. The days of Colombian grimpeurs returned. At least so we thought. I'm a big fan for the Colombian mountain climbers especially of Lucho Herrera of the glorious eighties.
Stage 1 TT,
The Spider weaves to 28th place.
Bad luck beset Soler afterwards for four long years. In fact, I thought he was gone out of the limelight. But, I always watched from the corner of my eye of how he was doing... in between his crappy bad luck.
I'm glad to see him back and watching him on his bike as he creeps over it, in fact, his nickname is Spider.
This stage was for the climbers visiting the races highest point the Col de Nufenen at 2478 meters. Soler was position perfectly with 13 men all dangerous with five kilometers left. Di Luca, Cunego, F. Schleck & Leipheimer were big guns waiting to go off. With one km left, Soler took off and left Schleck and Cunego jostling together.
"I've done a six-week training block in Colombia and I'm in great form. It's going to be tough, but I hope to keep the jersey until the finish. I want to dedicate this win to Xavier Tondo, but also to my team who worked a lot for this to happen today," said Soler.
The Colombian grimpeur is back!
Stage 2 provided the perfect setting...
...to be back in the limelight!
(photo: Roberto Bettini)
Jun 11, 2011
Jun 10, 2011
Costa & Wiggins at the start of stage 5...
With two stages left in the Criterium du Dauphiné, an astounding French victory finally occurred today by Christophe Kern.
Today's mountain stage was the longest of the race (210 km) and while the French fans celebrated with Kern's fine stage victory Bradley Wiggins holds true to the yellow jersey. The next two stages will prove who has the climbers legs. Tomorrow will be the a huge test with six climbs ending with the steep Le Collet d'Allevard.
The Croix de Fer awaits on stage 7.
Sunday will be just as taxing going up the Col de la Croix de Fer and finishing up the La Toussuire, a grimpeurs dream and for everyone else a nightmare.
There's one grimpeur that is riding consistently well and wears the white jersey of best young rider... Rui Costa. He finished 19 seconds behind and sits in fifth overall just over two minutes behind Wiggins. He's already proven to be feisty off the bike. You may remember his famous altercation with Carlos Barredo at the finish of stage 6 at the Tour.
Bam the Biffo!
The young Portuguese won the Vuelta a Madrid in May and with two mountain stages remaining the possibility of a stage victory is (pardon the pun) ...high!
(photo: Roberto Bettini)
Jun 8, 2011
Punctures. The bane of existence for all cyclists. My luck without any, this season, changed this morning at 10:30 AM.
This morning I followed the sun and decided for a quick ride out to Burnaby mountain where Simon Fraser University is located. One of my favorite spots to ride up to. Well, when I left and motored a block away I noticed I forgot my saddle bag with tools and spare tube. I thought to myself that I don't need it. The last time I punctured was last season... I think. It's that long that I've been riding along on blind luck. I decided to go back home and get it. At least it looks like I'm equipped for the worst.
Armed with my saddle bag I reached the top of the mountain and there's a fork in the road. Left is where I usually go leading to the bus loop and rest stop. I decided to go right on a service road and ... hissssss!
My luck ran out with a front puncture. I looked at the tube and saw two holes close together (pinch flat). Two for one! Two women stopped by and asked if I needed help. Did I look like I needed it? I had it all under control while pumping up the front tyre. One woman said too bad the only bike shop left two years ago. I said to her that's odd, University students need their bikes serviced ...a bike shop would be welcome here.
This is the second time using my trusty Portland Design Poco pump. The first time I helped a commuter with her leaky tyre. It's super light and effortless to use (reviewed here).
My spare tube and tools... I now, know never to leave home without them!
Jun 7, 2011
Maitre Jacques took over the yellow jersey after
stage 1 & kept all the way to Paris. Charly Gaul (r) was third.
The famous French clothing manufacturer Le Coq Sportif scored a revolution to return as official supplier to the 2012 Tour de France.
Le Coq crows ... again!
Since 1996, Nike is the current supplier and will step down to be replaced by the popular French clothing icon.
Le Coq will crow once again celebrating it's 130th anniversary adorning the Tour's famous jerseys; Yellow, Green, Polka Dot & White.
Le Coq Sportif started in the 1951 Tour, that year, won by Hugo Koblet. Born in the late 19th century, the brand was founded by Emile Camuset passionate about sports especially track & field, football and cycling. Le Coq Sportif began in 1882.
1974 Tour leaders,
Patrick Sercu & Eddy Merckx.
Last year of the reign of Le Coq Sportif.
Jersey leaders' Pedro Delgado & Steven Rooks beside
Jun 6, 2011
Jurgen Van Den Broeck wins at the top of the French Alps
beside 3 time winner Bernard Hinault.
beside 3 time winner Bernard Hinault.
The Criterium du Dauphine is off to a fast start with some riders riding into form for the Tour.
I had a chance to watch the exciting mountain finish of stage 1: Albertville to Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto), who finished a solid fifth in the 2010 Tour, powered his way to a solo victory. The time trial specialist, nicknamed JVDB, exploded from the pack with 4 kms left. And his attack cause such an alarm, guys like Cadel Evans, Thomas Voeckler, Boasson Hagen (Eddy Boss) & Alexander Vinokourov (leader) were racing for second.
Eddy Boss chasing with fans & cow looking on!
After injury, it's good to see Eddy Boss (leading Young Rider) back and riding very well finishing in sixth and stands fifth overall. Although he's riding for Bradley Wiggins (fourth overall) there's every reason for him to gun for stage wins. Look out for him to do well in the TT Wednesday.
Another rider finding form is Nicolas Roche (AG2R) riding very well to fifth and sitting in the hunt for the GC in sixth overall.
Cadel Evans seems to be at the right place but not leading the race. A position he likes to be in. He finished in the chasing group in third and holds onto third overall. He looks quietly dangerous.
Joaquin Rodriquez tried to close the gap and refused to die, at least not yet. He chased Van Den Broeck to second finishing seven seconds behind.
It definitely was not a quiet stage to the finish of Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse. I discovered, The Grande Chartreuse, the head monastery of the Carthusian order (with a strong commitment to solitude & silence) is located in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse high in the Chartreuse Mountains. The monk's quiet lifestyle is funded by the world renowned Chartreuse liqueur made here since 1605. I mean, a monk has to have something to do in quietude.
The Grande Chartreuse (dating from the 11 Century) nestled quietly
in the French Alps also known famously for...
With so many riders capable of taking todays stage, Jurgen Van Den Broeck stole the show and put in his time trial speciality ... in the mountains!