Milan San Remo: Sufferfest, Tea Time, Flandrien Week & My Puncture Test

Pre-race, Luca Paolini gets my vote for top helmet design.
via RoadBikeAction

Milan San Remo was an amazing foul weather spectacle, once again, with a surprise and worthy winner in Alexander Kristoff. The Norwegian was eighth last year and thanks his teammates especially to Luca Paolini...

Luca Paolini helped me enormously in the finale, but I really didn't think more than a top ten finish was possible.

- Alexander Kristoff

Commanding win.

It was a bitter test as many of the sprint teams started to lose their effective members due to the cold and wet conditions slogging through 299 kms. It's all about suffering. Luca Paolini had tea time and poured hot tea over his gloved hands to warm up. And, the handy ass savers was widely used by many.

Paolini Tea Time

Ass saver to the rescue

I'm looking forward to this week's return to the exciting and badass Belgium one day classics. To kick it off this week; Dwars (Wednesday), E3 (Friday) &amp and Gent Wevelgem (Sunday). Every Sunday into April I will be tuned into with fascination watching the riders battle each other over the pave.

Along with a very small trophy, Kristoff wins $ big time...
£20,000  richer!

In honor to the hardmen of the classics, Red Dots Cycling has recently issued the new Flandrien Cycling Cap in honor of the special classic riders that endures through foul conditions on the pave to be called Flandrien.

Flandrien Cycling Cap
photo Red Dots Cycling

Svein Tuft, at MSR, gets my the nod for Flandrien.
via Orica Green Edge Cycling

My own sufferfest...

On my 53km ride, my luck ran out and I rear punctured early, repaired it, and rode the majority of the ride, assuming everything was ok. It's almost two years since I rear punctured believing my luck will continue. I arrived home to do a run through of my bike and found a huge gash on the tire. I was lucky to ride on it, and thank the cycling gods, I didn't puncture again. Amazing how I ever missed it. Made even more dramatic without a spare tube, in which, I never have. And, to think of how to get home or to the nearest bike shop in the middle of nowhere - I dare and mock danger by usually riding with only one spare tube. That's my cavalier attitude.

Well, no more, I learn my lesson, I'm packing two tubes now. In fact, I bought a new tire (Continental Ultra Sport 25mm) and keeping in the family, Conti tubes. With the upcoming, April 6, Pacific Populaire 100km ride - I'll be ready.

Extremely lucky not to re-puncture.
photo Cycling Art