Monday, October 20, 2014

Sylvain Chavanel: Funkengruven

The national champ motoring to victory.
via Bettini

Sylvain Chavanel was doing a number on the roads by winning and ending the Euro road season nailing the Chrono des Nations. Great win for Chava, proving that he's a TT monster, and in a way sad for us cycling fans. We'll have to wait until next season for cycling. Of interesting note is that Chavanel has ended his season and have bought a camper van and is off for holidays. Many years ago, I've enjoyed many holiday adventures with my 1972 VW camper van. I'm sure Chavanel doesn't have a VW camper van but there's something extra special cruising in a VW van. 

"I'm keen to go on holiday with my family before starting up again calmly with 2015 in view. With my newly-purchased camper van, I'm going to discover the countryside and landscape around Mont-Saint-Michel and the beaches of the Normandy landings."

- Sylvain Chavanel.

Funkengruven: The joy of driving, VW style.

photo Red Dots Cycling

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday File: 'Keep Your Eyes Out For The Little Fella', Paris-Tours: Watch It!, 2015 Giro XC: Unpaved This Way

The final world tour race of the season, Tour of Beijing, is featured on the quirky, eclectic and always entertaining Back Stage Pass. It's always interesting to discover something new and Back Stage Pass delivers. Here's their full race review with emphasis on the talented duo; neo pro sprinter Caleb Ewan and climbing sensation Esteban Chaves. 

Storm clouds: UCI president Brian Cookson decided not to continue the event and disbanded its organizer, Global Cycling Promotion. Back in 2011, this race was launched after the UCI backed Global Cycling Promotion was given WorldTour status. Suspicious times...

Back then the GCP was founded by then UCI president Pat McQuaid and former UCI president Hein Vebruggen, received preferential treatment to be fast-tracked to WorldTour status and debut.

Waving goodbye...
Philippe Gilbert (winner), Dan Martin (2nd),
Esteban Chaves (3rd, best young riders classification winner).

Paris-Tours was a raucous affair. It was long, at times with dicey slippery roads. For some riders, very nervous times just trying to stay on the bike...

Classically dangerous...

Exciting news: The 2015 Giro d'ltalia announced the Cima Coppi...

A painterly image of the monster, Colle delle Finestre...
2178m, 18kms long & look closely... unpaved!
via Giro d'Italia

From time to time, I'm more than happy to mention something non-cycling...

Last Thursday evening, Carolle and I thoroughly enjoyed the classic play, 'A toi, pour toujours, ta Marie-Lou.' Written by Quebec icon, Michel Tremblay. It's currently playing at Theatre la Seizieme in Vancouver. Performed in French but, thankfully, has English subtitles to help the French challenged audience (like myself). For me, I enjoy French plays and Studio 16 has recently included english subtitles. This is the 40th year of the Francophone Theatre la Seizieme, and if you are in the Vancouver area, please support them by enjoying their plays. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Dynamic Duo & Red Dots Cycling Today Only: FREESHIPPING

The top 3 on GC. Martin wins the stage now in second, Esteban Chaves (third),
Philippe Gilbert (leader with one stage to go).

Dynamic riding from Ryder Hesjedal to set up a rewarding finish for Dan Martin to win the Queen stage of the Tour of Beijing. Hesjedal attacked on the final climb and it was up to the rest to expend energy. With 2km remaining, Hesjedal was caught and his partner took advantage of the winning opportunity. Another win by the dynamic duo!

The Heron
photo Red Dots Cycling

Red Dots Cycling is celebrating Thanksgiving Day. For all online purchases, just use coupon code: FREESHIPPING 

Valid worldwide until the end of day.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tour of Beijing: Extreme Riding

Unsafe to ride?
Belkin Pro Cycling Team

Watching the shorten stage 2 highlights from the Tour of Beijing, the cyclists are riding a difficult race made even more difficult by breathing in the dangerous smog. Which begs the question...

When is it too unsafe to ride?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday File: The Heron Cycling Cap Soars, 1952 Alpe d'Huez, Andy Schleck & The Monument Man

Simpler times: steel lugged frames, wool jerseys...
A rare color image from the 1952 Tour. 

Perhaps one of the pinnacles of personal achievement during the Golden Age of Cycling rests on the glittering performances of Fausto Coppi. I'm referring to the 1952 Tour. It sure is rare to find a color image online, however I discovered a wonderful non-action image of the 1952 Tour (above). The 1952 Tour was evolving and growing and  Henri Desgrange and Co. included these notable firsts:

a. Three major mountain peaks were introduced; Alpe-d'Huez, Sestriere and the Puy de Dome. Fausto Coppi was utterly dominating he duly won these three mountains stages. Coppi (5 stages) was a force in himself and after the Sestriere stage led by almost twenty minutes. Organizers had to scramble and doubled the prize money for second place creating two races: the campionissimo ...and the rest.

b. For the first time tv pictures from the Tour de France...

The Heron flying to the top of the Alpe d'Huez.

Introducing the new classic: The Heron Cycling Cap
from Red Dots Cycling...

The Heron Cycling Cap,
now available here.
photo Red Dots Cycling

To coincide with it's sponsorship deal with Tuscany's famous L'Eroica, Bianchi launched a range of vintage inspired bikes. Named for the famous velodrome in Milan: The Vigorelli...

The 2010 Tour champion, Andy Schleck announces his retirement at the age of 29. I have respect for the classy rider and it's unfortunate he's forced to bow out due to his nagging injury. 

"I will not be a cyclist in 2015. It hurts."
- Andy Schleck

Monument Man...

Dan Martin winning Il Lombardia in dramatic fashion.

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