Tuesday, 31 March 2009
I can't wait to start reading it.
Discover more about The Ride Journal here.
Monday, 30 March 2009
All in all this years Track World Championships held in Pruszkow
The medal table shows a resurgent
MEDAL TABLE After 19 of 19 events
13 Netherlands 0 gold 1 silver 4 bronze
14 Malaysia 0 gold 1 silver 1 bronze
15 Argentina 0 gold 1 silver 0 bronze
16= Austria 0 gold 0 silver 1 bronze
16= Belgium 0 gold 0 silver 1 bronze
"We got used to winning a lot, and when you don't win a lot it hurts," said Brailsford. "But it's a good wake-up call. It really energises us", and he went on to say,” Brailsford said. "It's a good thing that some of the world titles are resting on other people's shoulders now and they become the hunted and we become the hunters,"
However, it wasn't all disappointment for
My three picks of non-British high achievers at the Championships go to Taylor Phinney, Simona Krupeckaite and Gregory Bauge.
At the age of only 18 Taylor Phinney is already proving to be an exceptional talent. The young man from
For the women I have to pick Simona Krupeckaite of
"A phenomenal finish," Pendleton said. "By far that must be the performance of her lifetime."
Gregory Bauge of
As for British track cycling I think the future is bright. I previously mentioned some big guns were missing
Click here for complete list of results.
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Friday, 27 March 2009
I live about 5 or 6km from London's Olympic site and have vowed to myself to be present at the velodrome for some of the track cycling that will take place there at the 2012 Olympics. Here's a digital impression of what the velodrome will look like.....
The Bordeaux Velo Club organised the inaugural event in 1891. Expecting the participants to take days to complete the race the organisers set up camp beds on route. They were very surprised to hear the winner, Briton George Pilkington Mills, managed to race through the night to win the event in little more than a day, a stunning performance considering the fastest trains of the day only took half that time to travel the same journey.
From the very first event riders were paced (allowed to slipstream) from start to finish behind tandem or conventional cycles. From 1931 motorcycles or small pedal assisted Dernys (see photo) replaced the tandem or cycle as the primary mode of pacing although there was a brief period when cars were also used to pace. From 1946 to 1985 pacers were taken on around half way through the race usually in Poitiers or Chattellerault. The speed of the race would dramatically increase with the introduction of the pacers reducing the advantage gained from staying together as a peloton and increasing the chances for riders to break away on lone strikes.
The last few miles of the race through the Chevreuse Valley were known as being extremely tough with sharp climbs and twists and turns in the roads sapping the riders strength. The final 3 editions of the event from 1986 to 1988 were ridden unpaced, oh the suffering!
If a distance of 560km wasn't enough the 1920 edition of the race was insanely run from Bordeaux-Paris-Bordeaux covering nearly 1200km in one single ride! This is generally viewed as the first edition of the Citerium des As which continued to be run until 1990.
By the 1960's organisers of Bordeaux-Paris found it more and more difficult to integrate the race into the calender without it clashing with the Vuelta or Giro. Since the event was such a specialist race requiring specific training is was getting difficult to find top riders, the winners purse was relatively small and grand tours such as the Giro held much more prestige. In 1988 the last Derby of the Road was raced consigning the event to history, although to this day there is a randonee held on the route.
Over the years many cycling greats took part and won Bordeaux-Paris including Henri Pélissier, Ferdinand Kübler, Louison Bobet, Tom Simpson, Jan Janssen and Walter Godefroot although Jacques Anquetil's double win of Dauphine Libere and Bordeaux-Paris stands out as one of the most amazing examples of sporting endurance.
1965 saw Anquetil take part in and win the one week Dauphine Libere stage race finishing at 3pm in Dauphine. At 6.30pm he boarded a specially chartered aeroplane in Nimes which took him to Bordeaux. After a little sleep and a pre-race meal Anquetil set off with his team including Briton's Vin Denson. Anquetil crossed the finish line in Paris first 57 seconds ahead of team mate Jean Stablinski who out sprinted Tom Simpson to second place.
Bordeaux-Paris was one of the ultimate one day tests and although it is now consigned to the cycling graveyard, it and the riders that made it what it was have added so much to cyclings rich history. It hasn't been forgotten.
Thursday, 26 March 2009
"In the last five years he has built up one of the most remarkable bicycle collections which stems from his interest in the bicycle as an exciting artefact of daily life, an efficient mode of transport and an individually customisable object."
I believe some of Embacher's collection is exhibited from time to time but am unsure as to whether any of the bikes are currently on public display.
For a closer look at the bikes click here. For more information about the book that has been produced documenting the collection click here.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Merckx signed for the Italian Molteni team at the end of 1970. It was also around this time that Ugo De Rosa started building bikes for Merckx although a formal relationship between De Rosa and Merckx didn't happen until around 1973 at the pinnacle of Merckx's career. Merckx stayed with the Molteni team for 6 years at the end of which the Molteni team withdrew from the pro peloton. After all, what was there after Merckx?
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Monday, 23 March 2009
Although high profile British stars Sir Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins won't be present at the Championships, others such as Mark Cavendish fresh from the biggest win of his career at Milan-San Remo and the queen of the track Victoria Pendleton will be be representing Britain as part of a squad that will start as favourites following their record breaking medal haul at the Beijing Olympics.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
This photo of Mark Cavendish (Columbia-High Road) and Erik Zabel was taken shortly after Cavendish's victory in yesterday's 100th Milan-San Remo classic.
Zabel, 4 times a winner at Milan-San Remo, had trained alot with Cavendish in the lead up to yesterdays race. Asked what Zabel said to Cavendish at the end of the race, Cavendish replied:
"Erik came up to me and said he got this [a silver bracelet] as a gift when he won his first Milano-San Remo. He gave it to me today. I can say that without his help I would not have won today. We did reconnaissance twice and I knew where I had to be at what time in the race's finale. You could see from the team's emotions that we knew it could work, and it did. It is a real special day for us both."
Cavendish will now turn his attention to the World Track Championships in Poland where he will race in both the Madison and the Scratch.
Saturday, 21 March 2009
Britain's Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad) won today's 100th Milan San-Remo in what I can only describe as an unbelievable display of power at the end of 298km.
Cavendish is only the second Britain ever to have won la classica di Primavera with Tom Simpson having previously won it way back in 1964.
Many including myself hadn't really given Cavendish much of a chance today since it is only the first time he has ever ridden this longest of one day classics. My picks for victory prior to the race were either Daniele Bennati or Filippo Pozzato. However, as the last 20km approached it became apparent that Cavendish with George Hincapie by his side was looking particularly fresh. It seems all the racing and training Cavendish has already done this season has brought him into form just at the right time.
The pair from Columbia-High Road managed to stay in touch near the head of the leading group taking the final corners very well to line themselves up for what turned out to be an incredibly exciting finale.
With a few hundred metres to go Germany's Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo TestTeam) made a surge for the line giving himself a 10 metre lead from the rest of the pack. At that point it looked like Haussler would surely take the victory but Cavendish again proved his immense sprinting capabilities by catching Haussler and pipping him to the line. Norway's Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) rounded off the podium to take third place.
Friday, 20 March 2009
I'll be heading out in the morning with a small group of friends for our usual ride through the congested streets of East London and into the relative calm of the Essex countryside to tackle its tough mountain peaks (joking, but there are some killer hills that get the lactic acid flowing) followed by an afternoon of watching the cycling. That is pretty much a perfect Saturday for me and if things couldn't get better the weather forecast predicts sunshine and around 15c. It may even be time to switch over from 3/4 length bib shorts to regular bib shorts but I'll make that call in the morning. Spring is definitely in the air!
Thursday, 19 March 2009
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Britain's Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad) won today's final 7th stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. The stage took the riders 169km in a giant loop starting and finishing in the seaside town of San Benedetto del Tronto on the Adriatic coast.
Stage 3 saw the USA's Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) beat Cavendish to the line to clinch victory, however, Cavendish took revenge today with Farrar placing second.
"The other day I thought it would be my day, but I was beaten on the line," said Cavendish. "I had a point to prove today. My team kept the break's gap small and then I had the perfect lead out."
George Hincapie led out for Cavendish. Check out the last kilometre of today's stage below.....
Italy's Michele Scarponi (Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli) (That's one hell of a sponsorship line up - you should see the jersey!) took overall victory to take the biggest win of his career.
Scarponi has been implicated in the Operación Puerto doping case on 2 previous occasions, first in 2006, then again in 2007. Lets hope his victory was a clean one.
Monday, 16 March 2009
The ultra light 7kg carbon fibre made-to-measure bike features high-tech ceramic hydraulic brakes and a hard wired system storing biometric and performance data as well as integrated GPS.
The expected retail price for such innovation will be around £20,000. I'll have 2!
Saturday, 14 March 2009
Hunger Knock, hitting the wall, bonked, call it what you will but Contador was spat out of the back door today. Watching the highlights on Eurosport this evening I could not believe what I was seeing. The greatest stage racer of today suffering so badly that at the end of the stage finish he could barely bring himself to get off his bike!
Toward the end of the stage multiple attacks wore Contador down to the point where he could react no more. Where were his team mates to protect and support him? The answer is nowhere. To be fair to Contador he can't do everything by himself. In the Tour De France we will see a much stronger Astana squad represented and situations like today will be far less likely.
With one stage to go tomorrow on the run in to Nice Contador has it all to do if he wants to take back the lead and win the race for a second time. Chapeaux Sanchez!
Friday, 13 March 2009
Thursday, 12 March 2009
This year Milan-San Remo celebrates it's 100th edition. First held in 1907 there were only 2 years when the race didn't start due to World War II, that was in 1944 and 1945. At a massive 294km this race is the longest of all classics and what a beautiful race it is. The second half of the race snakes its way along the rolling hills of the Mediterranean coastal road that starts in Voltri and ends in San Remo.I remember watching last years edition when the sun was shining bright over the venetian roof tops. On that occasion Fabian Cancellara jumped the pack in typical Cancellara style with 2km to go to produce a fantastic victory ahead of Filippo Pozzato and Philippe Gilbert.
Although Cancellara is contesting Tirreno-Adriatico this week and should be contesting Milan-San Remo, he is still not fully fit having suffered a crash in training, injuring his shoulder blade in early March.
If Cancellara doesn't manage to win again I'll stick my neck out and go for Filippo Pozzato, the 2006 winner, however (I'll hedge my bets) if it goes to a bunch sprint then either Mark Cavendish or Daniele Bennati have a great chance of taking it.
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Photo: (PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
The weather has improved here in London since this morning. Fingers crossed I'll get to ride home on dry roads this evening. As for Jeremy, I bet he's wishing he could have taken the umbrella with him!
Monday, 9 March 2009
Photo: PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images
Sunday, 8 March 2009
Although Contador had competition for the leadership role from Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Klöden in the past couple of seasons, he will be under more pressure this season to stamp his control over all the races he enters in the lead up to the Tour de France in July in an attempt to send out a strong message to Lance Armstrong as to who is the boss.
Judging by Contadors strong start to the season, he has already won the Volta ao Algarve back in February, it is difficult to see Armstrong threatening his captaincy.
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Friday, 6 March 2009
Thursday, 5 March 2009
Helmets used to be so ugly and heavy there was no way I was going to put one on my head. My increased usage of a helmet probably coincided with improvements in its weight and design.
I've picked 3 helmets here that I consider to be cool helmets from a purely aesthetic view. I'm sure they all pass certain safety tests but have absolutely no idea which ones are the safest.
I was eyeing up the Catlike Whisper Plus, as worn by the Euskaltel and Cervelo Test team, for a while until finally I took the plunge purchasing one a few weeks back. Although it's chunkier than my previous Giro Atmos the size large weight of 290grams is only a few grams heavier. UK retail price £119.95.
The Giro Ionos is Giro's latest offering and looks to me like a newer version of the classic Atmos. Having worn the Atmos for many years I can personally vouch for it by saying it's lightweight, comfortable and excellent in hot weather due its many vents. I haven't worn the Ionos but if it improves on the Atmos then it has to be one hell of a fine helmet. UK retail price £119.99.
I've picked the Specialized S-Works 2D because in some twisted way I think it actually looks pretty cool. I also know that most top end products specialized produce are of the highest quality. Also a couple of my cycling friends own this helmet and swear by it. I was very close to buying one myself before deciding to opt for the Catlike. Hey if it's good enough for Cancellara... UK retail price £109.99.
Sunday, 1 March 2009
The race started at 9.30am so at just before 7am Betty and I woke up and started the day with a light breakfast. We then cycled down the Regents Canal towpath that links up nicely with the Park. Amy and Dave joined us in the Park shortly after we arrived just after 8.30am. After a double espresso I warmed up for the next 15 minutes along with everyone else in order to be ready to go at full speed from the whistle.
The race was made up of three loops around a section of the park, parts of which were slightly up hill, for those cyclists reading this something akin to false flats.
I set out with the intention of beating my personal best time of 45 minutes and 18 seconds. Having ran an 8k training run earlier in the week at a faster pace I was confident of shaving some time off my PB. In the end I managed to complete the race with a new PB of 42 minutes and 44 seconds, some 2 minutes and 34 seconds faster than my previous PB. As you can imagine I'm extremely happy with this result.
As for the rest of the gang, Betty managed to equal her PB, Amy ran a respectable time having not run for a long time and Dave shaved a few seconds off his PB. All in all a good day at the office.
My stats for the 10k race are as follows:
184 max heart rate (100%)
175 average heart rate (96%)
03:15 mins per k max
04:08 mins per k average
As far as running races goes that's pretty much it for me this year, although I may enter another 10k in October. For sure they'll be no marathons. However, I will continue doing at least a couple of runs every week in order to maintain a certain base level.
My focus will now switch to cycling with 4 major organised rides confirmed from June to September (one per month over that period), plus a number a long training rides. Here's hoping for good spring/summer weather.
Going back to today's race I didn't manage to get any photos of me finishing but I did manage to take a couple of snaps of both Betty and Amy arriving at the finish line....