Jun 30, 2012

Sean Kelly Le Maillot Vert & On Time Delivery

Le Maillot Vert 1982
13" X 19"

Sean Kelly is one of the best analysts of cycling, here's his thoughts on Evans, Wiggins and the other favorites...


Kelly is a former four-time Maillot Vert winner and during his time was one of the toughest in the sprint. His first Maillot Vert victory was the 1982 Tour, winning one stage and finishing 15th overall. 

Tomorrow I'll be at the Canada Day Craft Show, and Red Dots Cycling will have my Cycling Art prints for sale. The print (above) is titled, 'Le Maillot Vert 1982.' It honors Sean Kellys' tenacious riding to win his first Maillot Vert.

On Time Delivery...

Watching Fabian Cancellara's blistering ride today was like watching an accurate Swiss time piece. Since his shattered collarbone from the Tour of Flanders, his form has been questionable. Not anymore! Spartacus was 7 seconds faster than Wiggins turning a time too hard to beat. He now makes Tour history and ties Bernard Hinault as the only two riders to take the yellow jersey on five occasions. 

Full results.

Going for yellow...
On Time Delivery...

Rydering to 15th + 0:18

Jun 29, 2012

Friday File: Bear Facts, Panache, Bianchi, Some Fruit & Mavic Support.

Checking the bike before a spin!

Friday File time, let's get started...

It's not only bipeds that love the bike, the image above (from Facebook) is a famous riding quadruped mammal of the family Ursidae.

I recently posted a story about Thomas Voeckler and whether he will be ready for the Tour. Well, he will return from knee injury to lead his Europcar team... hopefully with his usual panache! See his grimace below...

Speaking of Panache...

George Hincapie, just turned 39, will make Tour history riding his 17th Grand Boucle in his 19th pro season. Cadel Evans will try to win his second Tour and he's lucky to have Big George as 'his escort.'

George's last Tour!

lucky seventeen...
His stunning birthday present!

If ever there is an unassuming hero of cycling, it has to be Ryder Hesjedal. Having won the Giro he is now catapulted to be a co-leader for Garmin Sharp Barracuda. Here's a revealing look at our laid back Canadian hero living in Girona, Spain...

I'm looking forward to the 99th Tour de France. The three week odyssey begins with Saturdays's 6.4km prologue in Liege. My prediction: World Time Trial Champion, Tony Martin will win it.

Garmin Sharp Barracuda on board...
Dan Martin (far right) starts his first Tour and look for him in the high mountains!

What's Friday without a cool bike?...

This could be the fastest and most expensive three-wheeler Bianchi around!

Unsung heroes are not only riders but support...

I'm talking about the Mavic neutral assistance! That's the yellow/black vehicles zipping in every stage providing immediate assistance to all riders.

Mavic was created by Charles Idoux and Lucien Chanel, known as Manufacture d'Articles Velocipediques Idoux et Chanel (Mavic), trademarking the brand in 1923. It was until 1973, that Mavic created the well known Service Course neutral support. It was Bruno Gormand's brilliant idea to provide support to race leaders and to serve as a liaison between the caravan vehicles and racers. In 1972, the idea came about when Gormand lent his car to a panicked team director whose own car had broken down before the start of the Dauphine Libere.

The Service Course started at the 1973 Paris-Nice. Then in the mid-80s Mavic added the famous motorcycles at the 1984 Paris-Roubaix.


... and now!

Just one more...
1984 TdF...
Fons De Wolf & Frank Hoste (points jersey winner) attack the fruit!

Jun 28, 2012

Garmin SHARP! Barracuda

Ryder Sharp!

This in ...the new Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda kit!

Electronic giant Sharp is the new co-title sponsor. I like the additional red but, when I first saw it, I asked, Why downplay the Argyle? I love the argyle.

The more I look at it, the argyle design is downplayed and looks subtly stark but ever present. That's what I get from it. I suppose they don't want to overshadow the new red sponsor. I'm starting to see it's a clever design that grows on you.

A design that I find very...sharp!

Diesel at the ready...
Johan Van Summeran

Liking the predominately black shorts avec blue banding.

wind tunnel testing for Castelli

New kit means new vehicle kit!

Love this...
Maple leaf Cervelo R5: Boy that's a slammed stem!

Jun 27, 2012

Le Tour: Shark & Rambo

Fast like Sagan!

You'd think, with Vincenzo Nibali reportedly signing for Astana (for huge Euros) would bring a little animosity to Liquigas. But it seems it's not an issue and the team will rally around the Shark and give it their all to help him win the Tour. If he does win, he'll become the first Italian since Marco Pantani (1998) to win the Tour. The Shark will want to leave on a huge winning note before wearing the reportedly new Astana jersey. It would be a huge coup for Astana. And hungry like a shark will be fitting for Nibali. He should be well rested missing the Giro, with the spotlight will be on him to win his second Grand Tour.

The Shark will be circling.

While Nibali goes for the GC, a twenty-two year old wunderkind named, Peter Sagan will undoubtedly be hard to stop in the sprints. Already scored 13 victories, the young Slovakian (aptly nicknamed; Terminator, Rambo) has no fear in mixing it up where it counts.

Besides claiming the Slovakian champion's jersey his tallies are long and impressive; five out of eight stages of the Tour of California and four stages in the Tour de Suisse. Liquigas management says it is their goal to put Sagan in the best possible position to win at least one stage. I'm leaning on two stages and how about contest for the green points classification? He is probably the most exciting sprinter around and still hard to believe he's only 22.

It may be too much for the Shark to win the overall but the team looks worthy to help him take a bite out of the Grand Boucle!

Tour line up: Ivan Basso, Federico Canuti, Kristijian Koren, Dominik Nerz, Vincenzo Nibali, Daniel Oss, Peter Sagan, Sylwester Szmyd & Alessandro Vanotti

Jun 25, 2012

Thomas Voeckler: Will We See His Panache?

Riding in the spotlight...
2011 Tour.

Will Thomas Voeckler ride the Tour?

Europcar is keeping mom on it. He did pull out of the Criterium du Dauphine with knee pain, then the following week leaving the Ruta du Sud race.

Two weeks ago, the French hero said,

I'm hopeful for the Tour. I have an inflammation of the iliotiabial tract, that is to say, the outside of the knee. I have to take a week off from cycling.

Voeckler had to miss the French national road championships. The man that is well known for his panache, he would be sorely missed for the Tour. Even if he comes back for the Tour, he may lose crucial preparation time. He was told to take a full week off the bike to rest his knee. And the question is if he would have the fitness level to compete ...like his old self.

UPDATE: Thomas Voeckler is slated to lead the Europcar men in the Tour! The Panache is back!

Jun 23, 2012

Roth the new Canadian champion

Today, Ryan Roth won the Canadian Men's National Road Race in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. He edged out Michael Barry and Marsh Cooper. 

Nice celebratory gesture by Michael Barry!

Canadian Road Championships, 180km Lac-Mégantic, QC

1. Ryan Roth (SpiderTech)
2. Michael Barry (Team Sky)
3. Marsh Cooper (Optum)

Jun 22, 2012

Friday File: Kick at the Can, Tuft Win, London Calling & MEC Bikefest with a hint of Moser

Mud & Spirit...
Francesco Moser 1985 Paris-Roubaix.

Friday File time, and lot's to talk about...

First, a kick at the can... the Montréal Canadiens can that is. Now, what does the Montréal Canadiens have to do with cycling? Well, nothing related, but for me I'm a long time fan. Ok, please don't remind me of their lousy season from hell! During hockey season, whilst the rain falls, my bike lies for a dry day and I follow the Habs. Yesterday Carolle and I was out shopping and she spotted this Canadiens can for an unbelievable price of... $2 bucks. Of course, I bought it and I'm thinking add ice and beer... the perfect beer cooler!

Add ice & beer...
Looking towards next season!

Congratulations are in order to Svein Tuft for winning his fifth consecutive Canadian National Time Trial Championship! Now, an astounding eight in total in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. Tuft ride ripping through the 39 kms course in 47:25 Orica GreenEdge teammate, Christian Meier took silver and Hugo Houle (Team SpiderTech) the bronze.

LONDON CALLING: Not only is Ryder Hesjedal the leader for Garmin Barracuda for this Tour, he is named to represent Canada for the road and TT at the London Olympics. I must admit I'm happy and a bit surprised Svein Tuft was not picked because of his superior TT strength. It seems like Hesjedal has plenty to ride with the Tour (June 30-July 22) ahead for him and little time for rest for the Olympic road race (July 28) & the time trial (Aug 1). Still, he is the 'ryder' of the moment and will be in with all guns blazing. I'm not counting him out!

Hesjedal said, "I am honoured and excited to represent Canada in the Olympic Games. It is my hope that the sport of cycling continues to grow in Canada and that the spirit of the Olympics shines an even greater spotlight on it. I am extremely proud to represent Canada."


Also, 39 year-old Clara Hughes, who won the National Time Trial Championship, is going to London to ride the road race and time trial. Joining this amazing rider who rides for Specialized Lululemon will be Joelle Numainville and Denise Ramsden. Numainville will ride the road race and Ramsden both road and time trial races. Today, Ramsden became the Women's National Road Race Champion with Hughes in second. It's looking good for the Canadian women and we certainly have a huge chance to medal in both races.

Tomorrow is the MECBikefest, and Carolle and I are ready and eagerly waiting for our first show of the season. This annual bike family fun event is a celebration of the bike and Red Dots Cycling will be there with new products! If you are around, come over and see us, it's at the Athlete's Village, Vancouver June 23rd, 10-3pm!

MUD & SPIRIT: And to close, Francesco Moser. Why? I wrote a post on his 1975 Tour (his first and only) and I want to add another fabulous photo of him in his favorite race... Paris-Roubaix!

Jun 21, 2012

Tour 1975: Coup de Grace

Merckx leads...
Thevenet waits, in front of Van Impe (KOMs)
and Moser (white jersey).

You couldn't fault Eddy Merckx for showing his powerhouse champion form winning the first two ITT stages of the 1975 Tour. He put himself in position, taking over the yellow jersey from Francesco Moser, to win a record sixth Tour. The classy Francesco Moser was riding his first Tour, won the  prologue, stage 7 wore the yellow jersey (7 days) and eventually winning the Young Riders classification. 

In the high Pyrenees, a new rival became a threat capable of pressuring Merckx... this was Bernard Thevenet. Most bizarre, Merckx climbed the Puy de Dome ...and was punched in the liver by a spectator. The next day, was the coup de grace by Thevenet sensing a wounded Merckx (perhaps still feeling the emotional and physical effects from the punch) and attacked him on the climb of Pra-Loup, passed him winning the stage and the maillot jaune. 

Thevenet rode like a hero ... as did Merckx.

Jun 20, 2012

Team SpiderTech: The World's Their Oyster

photographer Graham Watson & Steve Bauer.
Photo: Greg Erwin

Canadian cycling has never been better...

Ryder Hesjedal winning the Giro, Catherine Pendrel World XC Champion and Team SpiderTech moving forward towards their goal of a World Tour licence. The Spiders fronted by Steve Bauer successfully finished their first World Tour race, the Tour de Suisse!

Steve Bauer, 1984 Olympic Silver medalist, co-owner of Team SpiderTech said,

The team has grown significantly over the last nine days. Our riders were put to the test, riding beside all of the UCI World Tour teams, and they gained valuable experience that will help us as we continue to race around the world.

The Spiders proved worthy to belong; Ryan Anderson and Brian Vandborg were very aggressive and stayed in the hunt for the KOM classification. For their aggressive efforts, Anderson finished 6th and Vandborg in 7th in the KOM classification. Anderson won the 'most aggressive rider' award at the end of stage 2.

Anderson won the most aggressive rider award after stage 2...
Kristof Ramon

Congratulations to Team SpiderTech on their successful Tour de Suisse adding another positive to Canada's cycling success...and I believe they're closer to that World Tour license!

Team SpiderTech's Tour de Suisse results:

72. Lucas Euser (USA) Spidertech Powered By C10 +1:04:26
76. Raymond Kunzli (SWI) Spidertech Powered By C10 +1:11:04
86. Brian Vandborg (DEN) Spidertech Powered By C10 +1:23:57
87. Michael Morkov (DEN) Team Saxo Bank +1:26:48
88. Caleb Fairly (USA) Spidertech Powered By C10 +1:37:43
90. Guillaume Boivin (CAN) Spidertech Powered By C10 +1:44:55

92. Ryan Anderson (CAN) Spidertech Powered By C10 +1:48:18 

Anderson during stage 2...
Kristof Ramon

Raymond Kunzil...
Greg Erwin 

Stage 3 action...

Stage 3.
Kristof Ramon

Jun 18, 2012

Tour 1978: Tourmalet

French National Champion, Hinault leads Pollentier, Zoetemelk & Martinez up the Tourmalet.
Photo: L'Equipe.

Like a metronome, Bernard Hinault lead to the top of the Tourmalet was every bit steady and measured putting plenty of pain and time on his adversaries.

One of his opponents was Bernard Thévenet, 1975, 1977 Tour champion, struggled and abandoned the Tour. For Hinault, this is his first Tour and at the age of 23, would not win this stage 11. Mariano Martinez won the stage. Hinault moved to 1-05 behind leader Joseph Bruyères. And let it be known that he was a serious contender. This is a fantastic image of the Badger taking charge, a customary role, leading the best climbers on the Tourmalet!

Jun 17, 2012

At the Start Stage 6 Tour de Beauce

Lining up!
via Twitter: @TOURDEBEAUCE

Jersey holders lining up for this morning's final stage of the Tour de Beauce.

(l to r): Nic Hamilton (KOMs, Team Canada), Rory Sutherland (Yellow Jersey, UnitedHealthcare), Hugo Houle (Best Young Rider, TeamSpiderTech), Francisco Mancebo (Points, Competitive Cyclist).

GC at the start of Stage 6

1. Rory Sutherland   16:01:00
2. Hugo Houle                 0:19
3. Christian Meier            0:43
4. Svein Tuft                   1:06
5. Mattew Cooke            1:07

Jun 15, 2012

Friday File: Tuft Victory, Classic Racer, RadioShacked & Spice Cookies

Finding his mojo... again!

Q: Who's Canada's national TT/Road champion that won today's TT stage in the Tour de Beauce?

A: Svein Tuft!

Svein Tuft (Team Canada via Orica Greenedge Cycling) returned back into the victory column winning the 21.4 km ITT. This is his first win of the season and a claim back to form. He started the stage in 17th spot 1:44. The course and conditions was ripe for Tuft: 18C blue skies/ gentle wind, out and back course built for a power rider.
Tuft showed champion form blazing the course finishing 27:08 after turning over a 56X11 up to 80 km/h,

When I went out over the rollers I felt the power was there. It's been awhile since I've pushed that kind of power - it's satisfying.

Tuft is in fourth (1:04) on GC behind teammate Christian Meier. Both riders well placed to do something special with two stages to go ...and with confidence growing he said,

I think for a bike racing fan, there's going to be some fireworks!

German sprinters; Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel are sprinters extraordinaire winning stage 1 & 2 of the Ster ZLM Toer GP Jan van Heeswijk in the Netherlands. Mark Cavendish is still fighting to win a stage and finds himself battling two rival sprinters who will give him another battle in this year's Tour de France.

Red Dots Cycling is pleased to bring back the popular Classic Racer cycling cap! And, cool heads will prevail... we now offer this classic cap in two new sizes: Small/Medium and Medium/Large!

Classic Racer is back...
with or without black stripe!
© Red Dots Cycling

Geez, how bad can it go? As if the rumors of A & F Schleck planning to leave the troubled RadioShack ship isn't enough. RadioShack troubles just got bigger with Johan Bruyneel's part with a famous triathlete, and faces up to a lifetime ban. If his involvement is true, ASO may ban the team's invitation to the Tour.

Carolle has made, probably the most delicious spice cookies, I've never had. Problem is that, it was so good I never had the chance to take a picture of it... that means she'll have to make more!

Jun 14, 2012

Velo's OH, CANADA!

Easy Ryder... covered in pink!

Due out June 26 is Velo's July 2012 special OH, CANADA! edition celebrating Ryder Hesjedal's monumental Giro victory; first for Garmin Barracuda and Canada! 

Jun 12, 2012

Mancebo & the 'Next Merckx'

Tour de Beauce
Stage 1 goes to Mancebo, Roth in second.

Defending Tour de Beauce winner, Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist) won the opening stage in Lac-Etchemin beating out a rushing Ryan Roth (TeamSpidertech).  In the fast charging pack that followed, Christian Meier was 4th and Svein Tuft in 14th.

Stage 1 Lac-Etchemin 162 km

Full Results

Setting Sagan up...
Moreno Moser leading it out close to the finish. Afterwards, Sagan (4th in line) said,
"Moreno did a great job for me. This victory is thanks to him."

I read online that Peter Sagan has been touted as the 'next Merckx' after winning his third stage in the Tour de Suisse. They maybe some truth to the title: winning 5 stages at the ToC and 3 through 4 days of racing in TdS. Although there's some truism to this, of course it's early yet as I'm waiting of how he will do in the upcoming Tour...

I hope he has a big enough mantelpiece for all the trophies he'll be winning!

Stage 4 Aarberg-Trimbach/Olten 188.8 km

Full Results.

Jun 11, 2012

Tour de Suisse & Tour de Beauce

You can't catch me, Frank!

After watching another win by Peter Sagan, in the Tour de Suisse, I'm beginning to sense that he is the next big cycling talent. I was watching online as he made the last corner and ... the feed stopped! Leaving me pissed off missing the dramatic finish. I quickly found another feed and saw cameras focused on him after crossing the finish line. I found out, later viewing the video, that he had trouble with his pedal and re-clipped in time for his patented power finish. I don't know why organizers left the final to be so twisty potentially dangerous with the slick wet roads. I'm very glad there weren't any accidents. With Rui Costa leading the GC, after a classy win up to Verbier putting astop to Frank Schleck's keen attack. I say this race is getting very interesting. Schleck is in eighth showing good form. Now, the question is ...whether he can he take it up one notch?

Go Tuft!

The 27th Tour de Beauce starts tomorrow in Lac-Etchemin Quebec, Canada's premiere stage race. I'll be following it, unfortunately no live video, closely as last year's winner Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist Racing) will be back to defend his title. Orica-GreenEdge is lending Svein Tuft and Christian Meier, who took part in the Giro, to the Canadian national team. Toughman Tuft will try to better his last year's third overall including two stage wins. Also, joining the Canadian Team is the classy David Veilleux (Europcar) and he should add that extra firepower needed to help Tuft for the overall. Look for Tuft to win in the stage 4 ITT!

Vancouver's Sebastien Salas (Team Optum & KOMs Tour of California) will also be in the race and it will be interesting to see how he does up the famed 8km Mont-Megantic climb. I discovered this talented rider watching him fly up the mountains in the ToC and it's also extra special he's from Vancouver!

It should be a lively race in the famous maple syrup region of St. Georges de Beauce!

Vancouver's Sebastien Salas the KOMs ToC...
can he win the KOMs in the TdB?

Jun 10, 2012

My Inner Colombian

Thanks Klaus, the highly fashionable socks and Pacho Rodriguez button are fantastic!

Today was the day to try out my new Cycling Inquisition socks.

I had the chance to leave rubber innertube production, my 2 hour window, and ride with the boys of FRFuggitivi. It IS Sunday.

So, here's my review on the socks. They are comfy, well made and importantly look good. I felt a tinge of my inner Colombian stirring on the simple climb of NW Marine Drive beside Locarno Beach Park. Dylan and Guy decided to play hard to get and bolted away from us. Except, I rode away from Brian and, I would like to believe my belief in my Colombian socks, carried me up the slope to the top. Call it my divine intervention.

The inspirational Colombian stripes!

How can I not feel Colombian... at least a little?

Klaus sent me a Pacho Rodriguez button too, another great Colombian rider of the eighties.

I remember Nairo Quintana winning the famous climb up to Morzine in the Criterium du Dauphine. If that's not inspiration enough; Rigoberto Uran Uran winning the Maglia Bianca at the Giro. In fact, Rigoberto is in our fair city of Vancouver, for about a month visiting his girlfriend (who is attending school). Images of him making coffee on the Musette Caffe facebook page.

Carolle and I also bought a pair of socks for Guy, to help him achieve his inner Colombian. I'm thinking wearing the socks will give us our Colombian Mojo and help us next Sunday on our hilly ride of Liège-Anmore-Liège.

Bring on them mountains!

Rigoberto Uran Uran, the Maglia Bianca.

Jun 9, 2012

Powerful Twenty-two year olds

22 year old, Peter Sagan dynamiting the Lugano TT.

An upset?

Hmmm, have to ponder it a short while....

Just add time trialing to Peter Sagan's repertoire. He took the opening 7.3 km TT at the Tour de Suisse pushing away four time World tine trial champion Fabian Cancellara and regulating his teammate, Moreno Moser from first to third.

Sagan denied that he's a time trialist...

I'm certainly not a time trialist. But over short distances, like a prologue, I can maximize my power.

Cancellara looked like he shed the weight from his disappointing collarbone injury, taking the tight technical course looking every bit like his old time trialing monster self. In fact, it's hard not for the Swiss Bear to lose, he won this same course for the past two years.

Then a charged up Sagan finished 4 seconds ahead of Cancellara and 7 seconds from Moser to win a huge convincing victory in Lugano.

I don't believe it was an upset, it was a level playing field, a marvelous clash between two of cycling's powerhouse riders... I can't wait until the next battle between the Terminator & Spartacus.

Congratulations to Team SpiderTech making Canadian sports history by becoming the first ever Canadian-based cycling team to start a UCI World Tour race in Europe, the Tour de Suisse. Brian Vandborg was the top Spider finishing the TT in 90th at 52 seconds. Go SpiderTech!

Stage 6: Saint-Alban-Leysse -  Morzine, Critérium du Dauphiné

It's a day for twenty-two year olds, Colombian sensation Nairo Quintana stole the climber's show and duly won into Morzine. The Movistar... star said,

It was a very good moment for Colombian cycling. We have a good generation of riders so I suppose it's a bit of a renaissance.

Quintana's win just adds more to the Colombian legacy in Morzine. Lucho Herrera won in 1985, beating back the Badger, and Fabio Parra took the win in 1988. This young grimpeur will carry on in the tradition of the great Colombian climbers... an awesome moment!

22 year-old Quintana powering into Morzine with
a double-fist salute!

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