Sep 30, 2008

That Lovin' feeling.

Warm & fuzzy before the race.
Bettini and Zabel grab each other one last time

The World’s are now over. And the Italians did it and almost made it a clean sweep. Favorite Paolo ‘the Cricket’ Bettini tried to defend his rainbow jersey but ended up graciously handed it over to his teammate, the well deserved…Alessandro Ballan.

Bettini wanted to keep that rainbow jersey one more time thus becoming the 5th rider to take the coveted title three times. Instead the 34 year old bowed out and retired from racing. He finished 28th. One of my all time favorite sprinter’s, Erik Zabel(38 years), will call it a career at the end of the season. He finished 29th.

Another rider that gave his all was Canada’s Michael Barry. He looked good, unfortunately flatted yet fought his way back to finish in 33rd. Hardly the result he wanted when you are left without team support. His two teammates dropped out.
The Italian squardra showcased their deep road talent. Damiano Cunego took silver and Davide Rebellin missed out on the fun to claim a close fourth. Dane, Matti Breschel came out of nowhere to take the bronze.

Winning the World's in cycling mad Italy has plunged Alessandro Ballan an instant hero. I’m sure the party's just started!

Instant hero. Forza Italia!
Ballan in front of his adoring fans.

Sep 29, 2008

Tante Aurore's Tarte au Sucre.

Due to special request for Carolle’s Tarte au Surce recipe, may I present it for all to enjoy. It’s not a family secret but there was one condition from Carolle that her Aunt Aurore is the creator of this wonderful pie. I love this tarte either before or after a ride!

Pie Crust:

6 T. Unsalted Butter
1 C. Flour
2 t. Brown Sugar
Dash of Salt
4 T. Cold Water(more or less)

Combine all ingredients to make a dough and put in fridge for an hour.


1 T. Flour
2 Eggs
1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1 Can of Carnation Milk(Evaporated Milk)
1 t. Unsalted Butter

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix all ingredients until dissolve, about 10 minutes. Roll pie dough onto a pie dish. Put filling in and bake for 10 minutes(400 F). After 10 minutes, lower the heat to 350  F. And now bake for 25 minutes or until it is well cook. Every oven is slightly different. It could take more time.
This delicious tarte is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy with your favorite ice cream. Bon Appetit!

Sep 28, 2008

My 200th with le Grimpeur!

Guy aka. le grimpeur & moi!

What better way to launch the 200th post with my enjoyable meeting with Le Grimpeur...Guy Wilson-Roberts!

We had planned for a ride last weekend but due to the rain had to cancel. Saturday's weather thankfully cooperated and  Guy and I finally met for a morning ride and view my cycling prints. Very nice to meet the man behind the blog and off we went. With a couple of hills thrown in, Guy looked like the quintessential le grimpeur dancing on his pedals. Vancouver's Jericho Beach has it with the beautiful view along with a good, steady hill. And, Ontario street provides a shorter but steeper hill. I'm tired when I reach the top of this one. A funny incident, during a red light, a driver gave me a nice compliment on my old steel Marinoni. His eyes went straight to my steel steed and bypassed Guy's Orbea.  Some folks are just simply bike snobs! We cracked a smiled as his newer carbon racer didn't get the same attention! Stopped at a  new bike store on Union street called, 'Jet Girl Bikes.' We looked in to find a couple of nice steel frames hanging. You guessed it, a Marinoni & a Basso! Too bad they're closed on the weekends. Guy said, "Oh, I can't bring in my carbon bike." I chuckled, 'they're steel bike snobs.'
Guy mentioned that he needs to put in a good  long ride before Winter. He actually rode an eight hour ride a little while ago...alone! I insisted if we were to do it(the key word here is 'if') we would need the help of a support vehicle to provide us with plenty of coffee and pastries!

Back at my apartment, we enjoyed a coffee and I showed him my portfolio. He commented on how the colors are more vibrant than what you see on the website. There's nothing like seeing the artwork up close & personal. And, there you have it, the 200th post with le grimpeur.

A fine start to the weekend. Thank's again Guy, looking forward to the next ride!

Sep 25, 2008

Tuft going, silver turns into gold!

Today's Canadian moment...

Fantastic job, Svein!

Svein Tuft made  Canadian cycling fans  ecstatic with his 'surprise' silver medal at the World ITT! And, with his silver, Tuft is the second Canadian behind Steve Bauer to ever win a men's Worlds cycling medal. Bauer won bronze in the road race way back in 1984 in Barcelona.

Amazingly, Tuft flatted with six km's left and with a great bike change still managed second place. The 31 year old Tuft has move up that tough competitive cycling ladder and into the European ranks. He's  signed for two years with Garmin-Chipotle and better things are destined. Team manager, Jonathan Vaughters proudly said, "We signed Tuft. Before the Worlds, mind you. I've wanted Svein for two years now. He has been around for a while but has never had a chance in the big league, so we want to give him a chance."

His silver performance is looking more like a golden opportunity!

And twenty-four years ago...

Canada's first world men's cycling medal.
Steve Bauer(far right) won bronze at the 1984 Worlds from Claudio Cort(silver) & Claude Criquelion(gold).
This fantastic performance launched Bauer's European career and put Canada on the cycling map. Afterwards, he'll sign with powerhouse team, La Vie Claire!

Sep 24, 2008

I'm not Eddy!

Classy form.
Fons De Wolf escaping on his way for a huge victory at the 1981 Milan -San Remo. He'll finish splendidly alone!
From: 'the fabulous world of cycling.'

During his eleven year career, Alfons (Fons) De Wolf won two prestigious victories that in a way launched him in the eyes of Belgium fans & media, as the next... Eddy Merckx.

To close out the 1980 season, he won the Giro di Lombardia. The following year, the Primavera, Milan San-Remo was his next goal. He won with such class and panache that folks were already saying that he was the worthy successor to Merckx (since retired in 1978). Although he won Het Volk twice, De Wolf enjoyed the Italian hillier races more so than the other great classic races. Years later, he won one stage each in the 1984 Tour de France and 1985 Vuelta and soon faded.

Was this an unfair comparison? No one could win the sheer quality of races that Merckx did. The Cannibal holds the untouchable record of seven Primavera wins. Fons De Wolf never liked the pressure heaped onto him. He was an excellent rider but not another Eddy Merckx. And, with the rabid Belgian fans used to winning, the pressure expected on him was too much.

He retired in 1990 and became a funeral director in Belgium.

Panache at the 1981 Primavera.
De Wolf attacking with 200 meters before the Poggio. He was so strong no one could respond.
From: 'the fabulous world of cycling.'

Sep 21, 2008

"Be strong, ride in front, and have a little luck."

Enjoying Hell.
Moser living by his words, 'be strong, ride in front, and have a little luck.'
Wearing the Italian tricolor jersey he'll proudly win his third Paris-Roubaix and enter the history books.
From: 'The fabulous World of Cycling.'

Moser's Love for the Cobbles x 3!

Francesco Moser, 'the sheriff' had tremendous strength over the cobbles. He was built for it, muscular and almost to big for the high mountain's of the Grand Tours, he excelled in the classic arena. Moser had an impressive palmares with major victories in; 1977 Worlds, Giro d'Italia, two Tours of Lombardy, Milan San-Remo, Gent-Wevelgem, Fleche Wallonne and three wins of Paris-Roubaix. His favorite race by far.

If you ever watched him, he seemed to provoke the race by his sheer, sustained crazed rhythm dominating the cobbles. Like floating power. When I watch him on, 'A Sunday in Hell,' it's utterly amazing how much insane power he had. Most of the other riders were hard pressed just to keep up. He was the quintessential Italian rider with style; innovative equipment & clothing, quiet spoken, generous-hearted, a gentleman off the bike. When he was on it he was simply... an animal. Even the Badger treated Moser as his equal--Hinault had very few equals.

In 1974, he entered hell for the first time and enjoyed it so much he finished second. "At last. I knew it! I knew I would win it one day. It's my kind of race. I discovered that in 1974, when I first completed in Paris-Roubaix. To win here is a dream, and one that will never be repeated," he predicted. Two years later, in 1976, second again on Jorgen Leth's famous film, 'A Sunday in Hell.' This tortuous race was his calling. It suited his consistent robust style over the cobblestones. Then he did it in triumphant succession; 1978, 1979 and 1980. On all three occasions he was able to finished splendidly alone. After his second win he proudly said, "excellent for our national prestige." And proud he was as he had the gypsy, Roger De Vlaeminck to defeat. With his third win he entered as cycling demi-god tying Frenchman, Octave Lapize (1909-11) for three consecutive victories. This record still stands.

He once said about riding hell very humbly; be strong, ride in front, and have a little luck.
Nothing to it... for 'the sheriff' of Roubaix!

The Sheriff's in town.
From: 'Kings of the Road.'

Sep 19, 2008

Quebec's sweet two.

I'm going for seconds!

What does sugar pie and Marinoni bikes have in common? They’re both sweet and from Quebec. Ok, sugar pie originated from northern France, Belgium and Quebec. But, I am one lucky man to enjoy the Quebec version. It doesn’t hurt that my partner is from la belle province. And she bakes one every so often to keep my sweet tooth extremely happy. It’s also called, Tarte au sucre and is one of the top sweets from Quebec.

Now, as soon as I finish the larger slice I’m going for a ride!

Sep 18, 2008

Oh Canada!

Premont on her way to winning the 2008 World Cup X-C title!

Last weekend at Schladming, Austria was the season’s last World Cup Elite women cross country race. The two Canadians’ Marie Helene Premont and fast rising star, Catherine Pendrel placed well to earn 3rd and 8th respectively.

Premont redeemed herself from her DNF at the Beijing Olympics on the podium. But, most importantly she claimed the biggest prize of winning the World Cup title. She was well ahead of everyone with 1580 pts. The only rider even close was second place compatriot Pendrel with a well earned 1243 pts.

Although Premont planned to retire at the end of this season. She hinted that she may return next year to defend her World Cup title.

I certainly hope so!

Sep 16, 2008

Behind the scenes with Moser's Italian flare!

A domestique's job is never done!

I don't know who these two riders are but I love this image. The 1975 Tour de France was a very serious battle as Bernard Thévenet dethroned King Eddy Merckx for the overall.
With every drama there's also a moment of light heartiness.

Francesco Moser's first and last Tour:

Youthful vigor. First Tour, big hurt.
Cecco finding it hard up in the French Cols!

Francesco Moser, 'Cecco,' started the 1975 Tour de France, his first, with anticipation. Riding for the Italian Filotex team he had a good start to his third season almost winning Milan San Remo behind Eddy Merckx. He was close again finishing second behind Bernard Thévenet at the Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré. But, there was a doubt. He never rode the Tour de France and the mountains look daunting to him. He was always a strong rider on the flats but when the road rose upwards it revealed his true weakness. He was a big man with awesome strength and he knew that it was a challenge to haul his physical bulk over the mountains.

The prologue was the best stage to make his mark. It was a short TT, 6.250 km centered in Charleroi, Belgium. The twenty-four year old Trentino won beating Tour toughmen; Merckx(2nd), Van Impe(3rd) and Pollentier(4th). Winning the stage gave him the Maillot Jaune and plenty of confidence which he astoundingly kept until stage 5. And then there was a worthy opponent in Merckx to take it away from him. To say that Moser's first Tour was a success was an understatement. He proved that he could ride well enough to challenge for the points competition. He returned on stage 7, a long one of 235.5 km to win his second stage outgunning fellow sprinters' Van Linden, Godefoot and Merckx.

Then came the mountains. And in succession he met each climb, unruly as they are. He did well to limit his loses and finished relatively well in the standings. But, deep down he didn't enjoy the mountains it never suited him. Moser was suited for the sprints and did so well that he finished 3rd in the points classification. This Tour marked the introduction of the Maillot Blanc or best young rider. And there emerged the class of a talented rider for he became the first to wear and win the youth classification jersey. He finished in seventh place overall, a fantastic 24' 13" behind.

To think that Francesco Moser rode into Paris at the first ever Tour finish on the Champs-Elysées wearing the Maillot Blanc was partly anticlimatic. Sadly, the great man never returned to ride the Tour again.

Moser's claim to fame.
Riding brilliantly, he wins the Tour's first white jersey!

Coming soon: Moser's love for the cobbles.

Sep 14, 2008

My Osteopathy appointment

On Saturday morning, I made my way over to see my friend Anie, who practices Osteropathy, for a look over. I've had a numbing pain on my right hip radiating down the leg and into the foot for the past week or so. She stretched, pushed/pulled and manipulated my leg. Anie even gave me a partial 'craniosacral therapy.' It's basically cradling the back of my head for fifteen minutes or so allowing me to drift off to a happy sleep. We traced the source of the pain to when I walked into my rocking chair. My poor right foot turned black & blue and the pain started soon afterwards. The session went well and at the end Annie showed me a few stretches which will help out. I'll see how it goes, I'm feeling good about it!

A nice morning chat.

On my way to see Anie. I had a pleasant conversation with a rider as I was waiting for the light to change. We had a nice chat about my pending Osteropath visit, the beautiful weather and of course riding. He talked about getting ready for a ride to Black Tusk in Squamish just north of Vancouver. I peeled off at 29th Avenue and wished Ken a good day.

I enjoyed it!

Sep 13, 2008

Running of the Bull.

It's not Pamplona but it was close to it!

Alberto Contador won the tough uphill Stage 13 to Alto de L'Angliru in his patented fluid style of attack. I had a look on various cycling sites and caught the last 4 km's action. I was amazed at how easily he climbed up the last 2 km's. Dancing, literally, on his pedals the twenty five year old out distanced himself from rival Alejandro Valverde and the rest for the win.  He was a 'Bull of a rider' on todays stage and now has the Jersey de Oro. With a week left, Contador looks closer to becoming the fifth rider in history to win all 3 grand tours!

Like the proverbial bull running through a china shop.
Contador in first and flying up the very steep Angliru!

Sep 12, 2008

Ready or not the steep Alto de L'Angliru!

I don't see any enjoyment anywhere.

Brutal and critical are the words used for the attempt for Saturday's stage 13 killer mountain climb up the fabled Angliru. This climb, enough for the seasoned grimpeur will put their climbing legs to the ultimate test. Perhaps the toughest anywhere. The finish will be at the top of this hell.  It cranks up to a 23.5 percent with about 2 km left. I reckon some will end up walking. And most riders are set to use these gears:  34 inner teeth chainring with cogs of 28 or 29 teeth.

An added factor;  there's a forecast for rain and cold. And this gives it the fearsome reputation that I love. Cycling drama at it's best. It unfolds Saturday.

I can't help it but I'm rubbing my hands with glee!

Sep 10, 2008

Nice evening chat with Abe.

A view of Vancouver's Science World.

Last evening I was out for a short ride past Science World and as I was waiting for the light to change I heard a voice behind me. "Hey, what kind of frame is that? It sure looks fast. What's it made out of?" I turn around and looked at the portly, white bearded, older guy on a touring bike.
"Oh, it's a Marinoni racing bike made outside of Montreal. And it's Columbus SL tubing-steel that is," I answered. The conversation expanded as we began the ride up Ontario Street. "Mine is Tange and it's a Vancouver made Legge," he said proudly. I decided to slow down with him. The evening was spectacular, with a beautiful sunset and the start of dusk. We both had our lights on making our way home. His name was Abe and he was cycling home from work. He's originally from Montreal and 'around.' I added, "I'm from Edmonton moved here in the late eighties." Abe asked me what I thought of cycling in Vancouver. "I find it getting congested. Hard at times," I replied. "Funny, I don't find it that way," he said. We were beside the Anza Club(a venue for music bands) where Abe was just about to turn left. "This is my turn, nice to meet you," he said as he got ready for his turn. "Enjoyed the chat, it's a small city we're bound to bump into each other again, have a good evening," I said with a grin. Our conversation made the climb feel pleasantly shorter.

And with lights on, I thought to myself what it was a joy to ride in the evening!

Sep 9, 2008

The ageless, Malcolm Elliott!

I definitely admire his fortitude...

Britian's Malcolm Elliott, still lean & mean at 47 years old. At this week's Tour of Britain. 
He's currently in 44th spot riding for Pinarello RT-Canditv.

Malcolm Elliott is back and doing well at this week's Tour of Britain. The amazingly svelte Elliott came out of retirement back in 2003 at the young age of 42. In 2006, he became UCI road masters world champion!

What do they say? Forty seven is the NEW twenty! 

One for us old guys!

Sep 8, 2008

Milani Replica.

The Milani Replica in Blue Sky.

At this years Eurobike 2008, held in Germany, are bikes from the 'famous' Italian framebuilder... Natale Milani. Can't say you heard of the name? I must admit its the first for me. These handcrafted machines are currently built in Gallarate in northeast Italy. Milani started his frame building business in 1927 and already crafted a reputation. Two artisans that benefited from Milani are Colnago and Pegoretti! And, top riders Gianni Bugno and Felice Gimondi ridden Milani frames. Steel frames are still hand built and that's why I wanted to show this new beauty. It's called, 'the Milani Replica.' A steel lug classic with a great retro look. It comes in three colors: Blue Sky, Champagne and Ruby. As far as I know, Milani frames are only available in Europe...

Now if only these bikes were distributed on this side of the pond!

Ridin' with the Cannibal: 1989 Merckx Corsa.

This is just a teaser of what's in store.

I discovered this drop dead gorgeous Merckx Corsa... I'll let the images do the talkin'!

Note: Upon looking at the images my pulse started to race and all I could do was gasp for air!

Sep 7, 2008

Taking the Reynolds out for a ride!

My Reynolds Papel Aluminio jersey from 1984.

As I step out this morning, I put on my Reynolds Papel Aluminio jersey. And I felt a little inspired...

This is the one I bought back in Treviso, Italy back in 1984. I'm still wondering how it still fits me. I have a team issue jersey and it's made extremely well. It was starting to warm up as I went for an hour and a half spin. Out and back by the University, I ended up exhausted fighting the cross winds. I cracked a smile as I got off the highway and away from the wind.

With the jersey on, I thought back to the 1984 Tour. In particular of Reynolds classy rider Angel Arroyo. The year before, in 1983, he battled well to finish second overall. Grabbed his very first stage win, the TT up the Puy de Dome. Only Laurent Fignon stood in his way. Arroyo returned the following year and won again. This time on the grueling stage 19, La Plagne-Morzine. He went on to finish sixth overall falling short from his second place in 1983. He did challenge for the mountains classification coming in a fine 3rd. Though he did well, this was his second and last attempt at the Tour de France. A very good rider, indeed!

Reynold's Angel Arroyo on his way to winning the grueling Stage 19 to La Plagne to Morzine.
From: 'Tour 84.'

Sep 6, 2008

Paul Kimmage: Craché dans la soupe/Spat in the Soup!

Already thinking about becoming an Journalist.
Paul Kimmage in the 1989 Tour. He'll drop out on stage 12. This was his last year as a pro with French team Fagor.

I've finished reading the highly enjoyable and revealing book - Paul Kimmage's, 'Rough Ride.' A storied account of surviving as a domestique in the professional peloton. Nothing close of glamorous. The Irishman raced for only four seasons and never won any races. Thats where it's so interesting, he shows how it was for him and really for the majority of riders clawing away at the back end of the peloton. Taking care of superstars: Stephen Roche, Sean Kelly and the late Thierry Claveyrolat. He was the first to really 'tell it all' of doping practices yet not directly naming Roche or Kelly to the use of drugs. The cycling world has a phrase for it, 'Craché dans la soupe or Spat in the Soup.' Kimmage was surrounded and pressurized to dope as he felt it was necessary for survival and advancement. After the 1989 Tour, he quit disillusioned with the drug scandals and now writes for the Sunday Times of London. I found the book to be both shocking and accurate explanation of the hidden, seedy, underside world of professional cycling. Casting a light on the unsavory world of doping has since made Paul Kimmage a pariah.

His was and is a rough ride!

"He said I wasn't ruthless enough to be a pro cyclist."

-A comment by journalist, Phillipe Burnel to Kimmage during an interview for L'Equipe.

"I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out and yell, I'M MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"

-From the movie, 'Network,' TV anchor Howard Beale (actor Peter Finch) completely loses it.

Sep 3, 2008

The Italian Master!

I'm happy the 80's are back!
I wouldn't doubt that it's the first Master in the city. One alteration; Hans changed to a black Cinelli stem.
Studio shot by Hans.

I finally got the chance to see Hans and his eye popping Colnago Master X-light Saronni. And I did ride it, although in the inner courtyard where Hans has his office. It's 58 cm, one size larger than my Marinoni. Surprisingly light, almost feather light. It has that special Italian feeling to it, a strong & confident feeling. Nice tight geometry & drool worthy steel lug work appropriately classic. I'd love to climb with it. I know that it would be glorious. It's well equipped, too with the Chorus gruppo, beautiful Cinelli bar & stem, Campy Zonda rims and Vittorio Diamante tyres. This hand-made Master comes in around 20 Ibs. When Hans said that it took seven months. I lost all track of time. I even had to check my blog as to when he ordered it. He's right. As we both rode up the hill beside the University Hans looked smooth on it. Not fighting it. And thats where the Master shines. It becomes part of you. Becoming part of the rider on a climb or flat out riding.

Now Hans's Master is here. One amazing classic road bike beautifully hand made by the proud Italian Master!

The distinctive head badge.
I'm glad Hans decided on the steel fork!
Image by yours truly.

Sep 2, 2008

Those great cycling jerseys.

Cycling jerseys are amazing. Emblematic for the sponsors and fans alike. The jersey is an important representative statement. I've included a favorite from the past and present. I think of the past quite often, the cycling past that is and I enjoy cycling jerseys. Mainly made as an promotional piece for the sponsors. It's a human powered advertising billboard. I've discovered an interesting site with historical team jerseys. Candid and revealing photos on cycling heroes & non-heroes mainly relaxed before racing. Do have a look...

The French classic in action at the 1983 Giro d'Italia. 
Britian's Graham Jones on his way in his first Giro finishing a fantastic 26th overall!
From: 'Tour 83.'

The old:

Wolber was a French cycling team from 1980-83 with many fine riders such as Dominque Arnaud, Jean Rene Bernadeau, Graham Jones, Marc Gomez... Sponsored by Wolber tyres & Puma clothing and shoes, the jersey is simplicity at it's best. I love that orange with the bold black stripe and the 'Wolber' script!

The new: Colors of the Vuelta, part 2:

Now, here's three jersey's from the Vuelta. Hope I get this right. From what I can see the roja(red) is the sprinter's points jersey, the blue is the neo-pro(best young rider)? And the white is the best all-rounder. Missing is the mountain and the Jersey de Oro. 

A peek at some of the coveted jersey's at the Vuelta a España.

Sep 1, 2008

Katyusha fires a rocket launcher!

No more Stalin's organ. 
Now, Katyusha is firing boatloads of cash out to the cycling market!

Katyusha, the big money Russian cycling outfit(budget worth 30 million Euros) has fired a multiple rocket launcher of money at a few big names. It signed on notable big guys: 3 time Tour green points jersey winner, thirty-six year old veteran sprinter, Robbie McEwen and mullet man, Vladimir Karpets. You may remember back at the 2004 Tour, Karpets held on to finish a superb 13th overall and snatch the white young jersey classification. His huge win was overall at the 2007 Tour de Suisse.

McEwen seems happy!

The Russian team already has other biggies signed; Italian Filippo Pozzato, Alexandre Botcharov and fastman Gert Steegmans. Katyusha is now going after Tour winner, Carlos Sastre whose CSC contract is up at the end of this season. Why not? Big names equals big publicity for the giant Russian cycling team and that's what they want.  And, timing is next to perfect for the multi-million dollar team as many riders will be left without homes at the end of the season. Teams unable to find sponsors that will not be back are: Gerolsteiner & Credit Agricole.

Mullet man, Karpets on board for 2009.

There's a reason why I mention, 'rocket launcher.' Katyusha is a Soviet rocket launcher from World War Two. Also called Little Kate, it was a rocket launcher mounted on a heavy truck that fired volleys of up to 48 rockets  4 miles away. German troops quickly learned to fear its distinctive scream and nicknamed it, 'Stalin's Organ.'
Now, Katyusha is back this time firing huge gobs of money at new cycling targets!

But is Tour winner Carlos Sastre stepping down from CSC and moving up to Katyusha? The Russian team certainly hopes so!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...