Apr 29, 2011

Omloop Redux

Love this image of the classic finish. 
I was cheering for Flecha to win again!

This has to be one of the most exciting seasons of classics and one of my favorite is the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Sebastian Langeveld was caught with 16kms to go by Juan Antonio Flecha who was going for his second victory. And the battle line was drawn between the two riders. A dramatic finish ...the classic way!

Apr 28, 2011

Columbus Day

I'm celebrating Columbus day!

To start off, I want to thank David & Carolle...

This afternoon, I rode over to see David in his studio to pick up another Columbus sticker for my seat tube. This is number two, or the second attempt at finishing off my Marinoni restoration. On the first attempt, Carolle and I and placed the sticker on crooked. No worries. I gently lifted it off with the edge of a credit card and cleaned up the messy, sticky adhesive with one of my favorite cleaners, Goo Gone.

David once again came to the rescue and had one ready to go. He mentioned that his work partner, Paul used green painters tape and a level to help apply bike stickers. Painstaking but it works for him.

After my ride to UBC, I came back refreshed and ready to tackle 'the job'. I liked the idea of the painters tape but I really had no idea of how to proceed. Carolle had an idea to construct a mini shelf made from foamcore with a cutout to fit the seat tube. She is the queen of foamcore having worked with it in the special events industry. I've given her the title of the soul seamstress of Galstudio. The mini shelf had to fit snugly on the seat tube and we had to determine the radius. She measured the circumference of the seat tube and I google how to determine the radius of a circle and found the formula online. How would I ever know that.

Carolle cut the foamcore length to fit a palm sized level to enable us to get to a near perfect registry. We leveled the Marinoni and then leveled out the foamcore piece. I cautiously rested the sticker on the shelf to guarantee a level sticker. I eyeball the dove on center and started burnishing working to the left and carefully lifting the corner making sure the sticker is on. Then slowly working to the opposite side burnishing with my fingernail or two until lifting off the transfer paper. 

Voila! It worked and now ...my Marinoni restoration is complete!

Carolle's ingenious DIY foamcore mini shelf...
I placed the sticker on top, leveled it and it looks sooo good!

Apr 27, 2011

Tuft moment & Ale Jet

The Great Escape...
Svein Tuft & Julien Fouchard

Svein Tuft made his mark in aggressive style in the closing kilometres of the stage 4 Tour of Turkey.

At the 32km mark left Tuft bounded out of the pack and chased after Julien Fouchard (Cofidis). The two stayed out in front and it looked good. It was a Tuft moment when he couldn't respond to Fouchard's burst of speed with 1km to go.

The pack had other thoughts and re-absorbed the Spidertech rider and at the last 100 metres Ale Jet Petacchi bounded past a surprised Bartosz Huzarski (Team Netapp) to win by a bike length.

Great timing by the old sprinter to finally win after losing three bunch sprints in this exciting Tour of Turkey!

Apr 25, 2011

Crevaison Masters

"Beautiful but hard"

Paris-Roubaix was another epic. What an exciting race with Johan Van Summeren taking a well deserved victory.

There's a yellow clad crew who also had a punishing time that deserves mention... Team Mavic!

The neutral support that helps out all riders with replacement wheels and even bicycles. These guys are always there to help and provide that much needed assistance when the team cars are nowhere in site. Helping out in no mans land.

I think this team deserves a special pave trophy!

Apr 24, 2011

Follow The Leader

Grin & bear it!

No stopping Philippe Gilbert. None whatsoever.

Even with the double team effort by the Schleck brothers could not, will not, topple the new king of the Classics. The action started on the Cote de Roche aux Faucons as the three looked set to battle for the podium. Kudos to  Greg Van Avermaet, who gave it his last gas in trying to stay with the trio at the end. He rode well getting to an early break and then got himself with the trio with a few kilometres to go.

The king could do no wrong, and with his Omega charges controlling any threat the race was for second. The Schlecks never had the power to attack Gilbert but all in all, a fine podium place that any rider would love to have.

A classy win for the untouchable king!

Apr 23, 2011

Columbus Dove: Flying The Chrome Fork

I like this!

Here's my new Columbus sticker I received from David, in fact, I received three.

Very easy to rub on so I placed another on the left fork just because it completes the look. The only problem, after placing the sticker on the seat tube it turned out very crooked. Was I disappointed! I had to take it out and I contacted David for another one. He mentioned that it's very difficult to register it and you have only one chance to do it. Very true.

The stickers are period correct and very well done. I'm enjoying how well it looks on both sides of the fork. Now, I'm eager for a second stab at it. Two down, one to go!

Apr 22, 2011

'Good' Friday Ride

My New Marinoni & I,
Just outside our espresso stop in Port Moody.
Courtesy from Guy

Today, Guy and I planned on a ride deciding to bypass Simon Fraser University for extra miles to Port Moody.

So good to get some miles in my lack of miles legs. We are both surprised that this is our first ride together of the season. We were both eager. The start was unusually cool (8C) and overcast and we wondered when the sun was coming back from vacation. It was good to let it rip along the stretch of Barnet Road just before Port Moody. No lights or stop signs ....just go.

My new Marinoni handles superbly, and I'm very happy to have the Veloce 10 speed gruppo. Easy to shift giving me a fine range of gears to choose from. The Khamsin wheels are a joy to ride on, too. In my world, it's a match made in heaven. I believe I'm done tweaking my seat post height and have changed my saddle from front tilting to a leveled saddle. Due to this new saddle position I raised my seat post that makes a world of difference.

As you can see by how I was fully kitted with knee warmers, gilet and my trusty, warm Road Holland jersey that the day was far from Spring like. Guy was the brave one for riding without leg warmers. In fact, I forgot to take a picture of him in his new kit. I'll do that on our next ride.

The espresso was extra good providing us the needed zing back. On our ride back on Barnet Road we passed a car on the side of the road with a mangled hood. A little ways further the cops appropriately placed a drop sheet over a fallen deer. All I saw was the poor animal's bloodied cloven hoof. Fortunately the two occupants of the car seemed ok as we passed them talking to the cops. Unfortunately, not a good Friday for man or beast.

The sun finally did come back, hopefully to stay, to brighten our ride back home.

Apr 21, 2011


1980 LBL...
The Badger claws his way to a frozen victory.

Philippe Gilbert's quest continues this Sunday looking to add Liege Bastonge Liege to his increasing palmares after his convincing wins in Amstel and Fleche Walloon.

1969 LBL...
In command: Swerts leads Merckx & 
Van Schil.

The question I ask, is if he can win the Ardennes triple? He's on such a tear that it's hard not to bet against him. The Ardennes triple is owned, so far, by Davide Rebellin in 2004.

Gilbert is so dominating the single day classic races, I like to compare him with Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault love fest or domination in the classics. The three have a collective mindset that is key: to be tenacious, aggressive and have the fortitude to put it all together and just win.

La Doyenne is the oldest monument classic (since 1892). Sometimes it's the weather that makes an unpredictable adversary. 1980 was a scene as commentators call, 'Neige-Bastogne-Neige'. A certain tenacious Bernard Hinault attacking with 80 km to go in a blizzard to win alone. Hennie Kuiper would finish just over nine minutes in second. The Badger's hands were so badly frozen that he would lose feeling in his fingertips for the rest of his life. Of the 174 starters only 21 finish this ice battle.

Eddy Merckx has the record of five victories. In 1967, he was beaten in a sprint by Walter Godefroot. Merckx was back in 1969 and wanted revenge. Merckx got it. With help from his Faema brigade, the Cannibal finished with only his teammate Van Schil to win ... 8 minutes in front of Barry Hoban!

For Sunday, Philippe Gilbert heads into the oldest monument classic with a huge chance for the Ardennes triple!

Apr 19, 2011

Tro Bro Leon: Podium for Spidertech!

1. Vincent Jerome  2. Will Routley
3. Arnold Jeannesson.

I have been following the trials and tribulations of Team Spidertech when they first landed on European shores. It started in February 19th at the Trofeo Laigueglia, Italy.

DS, Steve Bauer must be extremely proud of his young charges, many of them getting their feet wet for the first time racing in Europe. That first race was good; 13th place for Ryan Anderson was surely a sign of good things to come...

Well, that time has come! Will Routley made Spidertech history as the first podium finisher with a fantastic second in last Sunday's Tro-Bro Léon in France. Also, best Sprinter and Mountains Classification went to Lucas Euser. And Bruno Langlois finished a strong sixth.

This is a classic style race as the terrain switches to gravelled roads. It's so great to see the Maple Leaf jersey of Will Routley attacking with 5 kms left. It came down to the last kms as Vincent Jerome (Europcar) outlasted Routley to take an impressive win.

Next week, the team rides in the Tour of Turkey and following this impressive result... there's plenty of promise to come. I can see a victory is just around the corner!

Jerome outlasting Routley.

Watch the last 7 km video here.

Apr 18, 2011

Easter Free Shipping!

Shipping is on me!

Easter is soon so Carolle and I of Galstudio are happy to announce our Free Shipping On Everything in the Shop Sale! The sale is now on until the end of Sunday, April 24th so act fast!

That's right that includes our fine handmade cycling caps (winter, too), rubber inner tube products, the new Mussette bags and iPad Envelopes.

Now, it's the time to pick up 1 or more winter cycling caps (they're already on sale), regular caps for the summer season. Who says you can't wear winter caps in the summer?

I'll take care of the shipping costs and ride over to the mailbox. Shipping is on me!

Apr 16, 2011

Fritz & the gang

Beer lunch,
our steel steads against the railing. 
We were not allowed to park against the pub 
railing... Go Figure!

I received an email from David that he has the Columbus stickers. He invited me to ride with the steel bike gang at 11:00 this morning at Cafe Calabria on the Drive. A great opportunity to see David, Fritz, Hans and the gang once again for a ride.

Paul's Masi...

The last time I rode with them was two long years ago (see here) and I was anxious to see them again. A smiling Fritz was sitting outside the cafe and he greeted me with a handshake. Admiring his mid-seventies Benotto, he said that it was exactly like the team issued frame used by Francesco Moser in the 1976 Paris-Roubaix. Remember A Sunday in Hell?

Hans rolled in too with his Saronni red Colnago Master X Light, Paul had a beautiful light blue Masi, David rode a early eighties Pinarello & Brian rode in with a Gazelle. I can't remember the other fellows names but I saw a Cramerotti and Talbot.

I never knew of the Talbot so all I had to do was ask Fritz. The Talbot was a handmade racing frame made from Reynolds tubing produced from Carlton Cycles of Vancouver.

The guys had a close first look of my Marinoni. It received high praise for the paint job... Marinoni Cycles that is. I may have some knowledge of road racing history but these guys: Fritz, Paul, David and Brian definitely know bikes and parts. They're bicycle enthusiasts/collectors of the 'steel frame' kind.

Calabria is situated on Commercial Drive and has a old established Italian community. So, our Italian bikes minus the Talbot gathered plenty of attention. One Italian gentleman looked at my Marinoni and said, "Nice bicycle!" That was enough to make me smile.

All nine of us rode through Stanley Park and then for a beer lunch. A fun afternoon... thanks to the steel gang!

from my good view...

Fritz, Paul & Brian...

Fritz's mid-seventies Moser era Benotto...

Hans Colnago & David's Pinarello.

Early eighties Cramerotti.

Apr 15, 2011

SpiderTech Aggression: GP De Denain

Will Routley,
wins the Prix des Points-Sprints GP De Denain.

Aggressive tendencies was topic of the day for SpiderTech at the Grand Prix De Denain (April 14th) in France.

The young SpiderTech team is 
learning aggressively.

Canadian champion, Will Routley got himself into an early break and challenged for the intermediate sprints. Attacking solo helped secured Routley the sprints and win the Sprint Points Classification and Most Aggressive rider title.

The Spiders were all working for Zach Bell carefully placing him in position for the eventual bunch sprint. But unfortunately it never materialize as three SpiderTech riders crashed out with 15 kms left nullifying any chance for a crack at the final sprint.

For every misfortune there is fortune, Routley finished in the main bunch (71st) and secured his Prix des Points-Sprints title!

Apr 14, 2011

Ride into Stage 3

SpiderTech's Svein Tuft at the 3 days of West Flanders.

I'm happy to announce; our newest Stage 3 Bikes, Books & Beers Podcast is now available to view. Guy and I are back with a classic view on Milan-SanRemo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and more!

Follow us on our new blog!


Apr 13, 2011

David Veilleux: A trip through Hell

Veilleux driving on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix.

The young man from Cap Rouge, Québec is driving well with his new team Europcar. That's David Veilleux, who finished as top North American in last Sunday's Paris-Roubaix.

Fantastic finish for the 23 year old in his debut season riding for Pro Continental team, Europcar. Another worker riding so aggressive he put himself into the break and finished with a remarkable result.

Veilleux is showing that he is adapting well to the hardcore European racing style especially to the world's hardest one day classic race. Notably, he was third in the 2002 Canadian cyclo cross championship. Also, he is a former U23 Canadian time trial champion (2006, '07-'09) and National road race champion (2006, '08).

Jean-René Bernaudeau made, to my opinion, a very good decision to sign him. Knowing that he had success and progressing well enough for a European education. Around the time when Bernaudeau couldn't find a sponsor to replace the departing BBox out came Europcar, the car hire company. Presto! Very good karma.

Here's a candid conversation with Canadian Cycling Magazine and David Veilleux. Interesting view on his first Paris-Roubaix and his plans for the rest of the season. I know that he's one to watch in the future and good things are coming for him. His first trip through Hell was exceptional!

Apr 12, 2011

A Lack of Love?

The Tifosi is still looking for that cobbled win!

Could Francesco Moser be right when he commented on the plight of Italian riders in the cobbled Classics? He won Paris-Roubaix three times (1978-80).

Notably, the Italians haven't scored a major classic race since Damiano Cunego won the 2008 Tour of Lombardy. Hard to believe. In fact, Paris-Roubaix favorite Filippo Pozzato crashed and abandoned. Remember his memorable second in 2009? The top Italian was Allesandro Ballan finishing in a gallant sixth. Perhaps a podium placing or better yet a victory would only soothe the Tifosi and media.

The woeful Italian drought continues and you can only look back to the nineties for the last grand pavé-Roubaix victors: the late Franco Ballerini won twice (1995, '98) and Andrea Tafi (1999).

Moser said, "We've got good stage racers, sponsors are more interested in the attention they get from 3 week races rather than the big Classics." For Daniel Oss of Liquigas (who finished PR in 77th), Moser has this to say, "He's got to be given the time to develop but he's got to love the pavé too. That's the key for the Italians if they want to succeed."

Francesco Moser knows so well ... he loved the pavé!

Apr 11, 2011

Paris-Roubaix: Beating back the dust... Epically!

Johan Van Summeren,
a worker wins a workers race!

I awoke half asleep at 4:30 AM to watch Paris-Roubaix.

If I was ever going to lose some sleep, then this would have to be it. The great race occurs once a year, a long time for us fans but thankfully better for the riders. An early wake up call, it's serenely dark and still quiet outside. So, I armed myself with plenty of coffee and tuned into Eurosport catching the lead group with around 125 kms left.

Let the games begin,
Hushovd, Flecha & Cancellara

A good group too of eight notably with Canadian David Veilleux (Europcar) in his first debut of Hell. This is the former Bbox French team under the guidance of Jean-Rene Bernaudeau. Veilleux looked prominent in the lead group and strong over the pave, I'm interested to see how far he will go. 

I had a sneaking suspicion when Boonen stopped (critical juncture) with a mechanical in the Arenberg Forest that this wasn't to be his day. I wrenched when I saw Hammond and Haussler go down what appeared to be a traffic island. Hammond looked like he got the worst for wear and abandoned. But Boonen's day was over when he flipped his bike and landed hard with about 69 kms to go. No fourth win today. And, Quick Step didn't have any step when co-leader and favorite Chavanel ate the road shortly afterwards. I still shudder seeing him go down with his pain expression. Heroic when he gets back on his bike and tries to chase back, torn and bloodied.

Garmin had many aces up it's sleeve with the worker Johan Van Summeren upfront remaining unscathed among the carnage and riding particularly well. Thor Hushovd stuck like glue to Cancellara and shadowed him when the late attacks came. Sep Vanmarcke and Gabriel Rasch joined in for what would proved to be important support. 

Amazing to see Cancellara stop doing all the work with 30 kms to go. He just shook his hand (or was that a finger) at his team car and at the wheel suckers that it was enough. Carrefour de l'Arbre was his time to take off in his rocket like move and no one responded. Too late.

It wasn't the day for the World Champion, his roles reversed he played the loyal rider, and help give a chance to Van Summeren who was in the winning position. He even rode with a flat tyre with 5 kms left. A worker winning a workers race. 

As for the young Canadian hopeful, David Veilleux finished his debut in 25th place. 

I thought it was one of the most exciting PRs with plenty of exciting drama and a surprise winner. A huge win for Garmin-Cervelo and I'm sure they're feeling a sense of relief, hopefully with their problems behind them, to be back on top of the winning column.

 David Veilleux after his gutsy 25th finish.

Apr 9, 2011

Paris-Roubaix: Napoleon's Trench


Paris-Roubaix is an exquisitely ancient race. The Forest of Arenberg contain pave dating as far back as Napoleon.

Remarkable. Notorious. Historical. Real.


A huge landmark and it's closed off except for that one Sunday in April. Two point five kms long, it's narrow trench can provide the perfect escape for a single or a small group of riders. For the unlucky, too many try to fit in the small corridor where falls are inevitable amongst the deafening cauldron of noise and jagged sharp pave.

The idea is to be first in and the first out. That's easy to say. Many are propelled by the sheer speed of the rider in front. Stopping is not an option. There's a saying that Paris-Roubaix is not won in Arenberg but can easily be lost there.

If the riders survive here... there's still some 100 kms left to Roubaix.

Apr 7, 2011

Paris-Roubaix Sunday

Rough 'n' Tumble,
1979 Paris-Roubaix...

"From Compiegne to Roubaix, so many feats without consequence take place in the midst of a scrum that no one really sees and that you will never read about in a race report." L'Equipe journalist Noel Couedel.

Moser makes it twice...

Harrowing isn't it? Paris-Roubaix is anything but a regular race. 

Francesco Moser said he was destined to win it. His first attempt was 1974, falling during the latter stages of the race Roger De Vlaeminck overtook him and won. The Italian came back in 1976 finishing second again. His love for the pave was just starting.

In 1978, wearing the rainbow jersey, he scored a solo heroic victory over a muddy pave course. Then, in 1979, on dry terrain he turned the bad luck of De Vlaeminck, Demeyer, and Kuiper into fortune. The three flatted with kilometres remaining and the Italian motored to another solo win.  

He said, "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 competed in Paris-Roubaix." His 1978 & 1979 wins were far from easy beating his arch rival Mr. Roubaix himself, Roger De Vlaeminck. In 1980, he was untouchable soloing to make the triple. The Italian three-peat... done with panache.

Francesco Moser's three victories are absolutely amazing. However in todays peloton, George Hincapie is still looking for that elusive win. The veteran has finished 2nd, twice been 4th, and twice 6th. One who's mentally and physically prepared said it well, "There's not so many guys left at the end: it's a race of attrition, a kind of survival race. Everybody has just a little fuel left in the tank. That's my style."

Italian panache...

The Badger leading...

Marc Reiners with goggles.

Apr 6, 2011

Le Belge Cycling Cap in Flanders

Galstudio in Flanders!

My good friend, Steve (aka empidog) was at the Tour of Flanders. Here's some fun images of Steve and the Le Belge Cycling Cap from Galstudio. I'm so happy to see it on the Koppenberg. Thanks Steve for these wonderful images!

Do note the special 'friends' with Steve!

Hey! That's Freddy Maertens & Steve...

Le Belge at home on the Kassei...

doggy power...

Star Power...

Ex-pro, Ludo Dierckxsens & Steve

George Hincapie following the rainbow stripes.

Apr 5, 2011

Waiting for Columbus

Italian heart.

The other day, Hans informed me that he talked to David about my interest for Columbus SL stickers for my Marinoni. I looked at the sample and it is period correct.

The last time we rode was a couple of years ago with Fritz and the steel bike gang going over to see Felix and his marvelous collection (posted here). So nice that David informed me that he can supply me with the important decals. I need two: on the seat tube (above image) & a small decal on the right side chrome fork. The one I have on the fork is fading fast. And, I always love the dove design. This will complete my Marinoni restoration.

Columbus started in 1919 and was the rival to Reynolds. My Columbus Marinoni is 24 years old and I truly love riding it. I can't wait to see my bike with the iconic dove back on!

Apr 4, 2011

Flanders Fantastic!

Kings on top of the Muur-Kapelmuur...
Cancellara didn't quite have the horsepower to leave
a determined Chavanel.

Utterly amazing Tour of Flanders this past weekend. And the heavy favorite, Cancellara finished third, by no means a failure. He is by far the strongest rider and a heavy favorite for Paris-Roubaix.

A Flandrien finish...
Nuyens beats Chavanel & Cancellara for his
biggest win!

Nick Nuyens excellent comeback with kilometres remaining to win, crowns him as the new King of Flanders. I was biting my nails with the final sprint as Nuyens surged past Cancellara and in front of a gutsy ride by Sylvain Chavanel.

BMC'ers: George Hincapie (6th), Alessandro Ballan (12th), Greg Van Avermaet (22nd) were very aggressive, as also their team, reacting to bring back Chavanel and Cancellara. They were the team that worked well together brilliantly. Their smart tactical racing can only mean that a big win will come soon. This Sunday is an opportunity waiting for one of these three. Unfortunately, Karsten Kroon crashed out with a broken collarbone forcing him out of the Spring Classics.

Perhaps this wasn't quite the race for Juan Antonio Flecha as he battled to 11th. But, his teammate, Geraint Thomas was the rising classic star for Sky Procycling with an amazing ride for 10th place. A promise for better things to come? I think so. And for a hungry Flecha, Sunday is approaching.

There's one guy I'm following, and that's Dominque Rollin (FDJ) who race consistently for 15th place. The Canadian rides even better when the weather goes sideways. His 2008 rainy stage 5 win in the Tour of California is testament to his abilities. Last year, in Paris-Roubaix, Rollin finished 33rd and he dreams on winning it. I hope it's a cold and wet Paris-Roubaix... because dreams can come true!

Alessandro Ballan chasing Gilbert on the Bosberg.

Apr 2, 2011

Thinking about Flanders

Classic Flandrien star,
Hennie Kuiper wins in 1981...

Tomorrow is Flanders. The biggest race in Belgium. The winner will be crown the King of Flanders.

My Lion of Flanders & Le Belge Cycling Cap by Galstudio...

I read online that rain is in the forecast. If that's true the drama of slippery pave will be a huge factor. My prediction is Mr. Cancellara will not win as there's plenty of mavericks out there gunning for him. As much as I do respect him, there's an upset winner lurking.

Heroes of Flanders!

It's all about team work. There's pressure on Garmin-Cervelo to deliver with the three aces: Hushovd, Farrar & Haussler. Their time is now. BMC is also sending a star squad with serious intentions to win it. 2007 winner, Alessandro Ballan is riding very well especially coming off a solid 4th place in Milan-San Remo. Greg Van Avermaet is a dark horse. His 9th place and aggressive ride in Milan-San Remo proves he cannot be counted out. If there's ever a rider just itching to win is Juan Flecha. He finished 3rd in 2008. And, Team Sky is one of the strongest teams and I definitely think the Arrow will be up there.

One of my favorite riders of the eighties is Hennie Kuiper. Moving from TI-Raleigh to DAF Trucks in 1981, the Dutchman re-invented himself as a classics rider. It worked. With clever teamwork by Roger De Vlaeminck protecting his escape, Kuiper soloed to a monumental win. At 32 years old he won the Tour of Flanders, his first classic victory.

Sunday I'll be waving the Lion of Flanders!

1981 Flandriens...
log jam...

Raas leading Moser, Saronni and Kelly...

Roger De Vlaeminck protecting Kuiper's escape.

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