“Just one moment like this makes you forget it all. This is why we do this” a teary Andrew Talansky declared when he passed the finish line of the final stage up Courchevel Le Praz, and learned that he had won one of the most respected races on the calendar. That statement could also be applied to fans watching the conclusion of the same race. On a day when all eyes were on the obvious, Contador, Nibali and Froome, the teams that usually dominate somehow conspired to let Talansky get in the break, only 31 seconds down on GC. Maybe those teams are just so used to shutting everything down in the last 10km and their over confidence stopped them looking at a break that had a former Giro winner in Hesjedal pulling for a team mate who had maybe more guts and determination than all of them put together. The Garmin rider tore down the technical descent of the Côte de Montagny to set himself up for the climb to the finish with a 1:11 minute lead over a charging Contador who at this point had pushed on alone seeing the GC win slip away. By the the time he crossed the line he had only taken 4 seconds out of Talanskly. They had basically matched each other stroke for stroke up the final climb. Wether the tactics were called from the car or on the road between Talansky and Hesjedal it was one of the smartest and tactically savy rides of the year, finished off by a rider who just refused to buckle and literally left everything on the road to take the biggest win of his career. This was an amazing stage to watch.
A Stunning Cinelli Supercorsa Pista In Pink 12/07/2014
Sometimes to get a bike this perfect, and this bike really is perfect in every aspect, it takes a really long time. In this case three years. The frames are custom made in Italy by Cinelli and the design and paint was created by Ignazio Lacitignola, a designer from San Franciso. The build list is pretty impressive. A classic Cinelli alloy cockpit. The drive train is Campy Record Pista originally designed for the velodrome and now found on classic street builds like this beauty. Laced up to the Campy hubs are some polished H-Plus Son rims. As you would expect with a build of this quality it is going to hit your wallet pretty hard at $5250. But if you are looking for something that stands out this is a good place to start.
Vittoria Lorica 1976 Shoe 11/22/2014
Leather and laces are well and truly back. My first ever pair of racing shoes (granted in black) are back on the market. The original shoe launched in 1976 by Celestino Vercelli is handmade in Biella, Italy and sports the original punched holes for ventilation.
Available at Always Riding
“It Was Like I Just Fell Out Of A Tree” 04/27/2014
Today just illustrated how much of a crap shoot cycling can be. Form, positioning and equipment mean nothing without luck. In 2013 coming out of the last bend of Liege-Bastogne-Liege Dan Martin was out of the saddle and dropping the power in a kick that would eventually be the final punch to Joaquim Rodríquez. This year in the 2014 edition at almost exactly the same spot, Dan Martin was out of the saddle and dropping the power and chasing one of Rodríquez’s teammates, but this time ended up on the deck his race blown after a near perfect seven hours of racing. All from what looks like sliding on a spot of oil. Would he have won against a surging Gerrans, who knows, the Irish amongst us would have said absolutely. What we do know is he would have been damn hard to catch. As he rolled over the line in 39th place and back to the sanctuary of his team bus he was greeted by cheers from the crowd and his teammates. A dethroned champion who was 250m from cycling immortality with back-to-back wins of “The Old Lady“. He would have been up there with the greats like Merckx, Argentin and fellow country man Kelly. Alas the gods of cycling decided it was not to be, reserving that for another day. Not that Dan will feel like this right now as he has his post race dinner, but he is one hell of a rider. A rider on the up. With every race his belief grows and with it his ability to deliver killer moves. Maybe that will come in the ITT climb up to Cima Grappa, or a late attack on the Zoncolan for some retribution. After all the GIRO does start in Ireland this year and who would deny him a little rub of luck after today. Maybe it will even see him on to the podium. Chin up mate. Be strong and know there is going to be a hell of a lot of people in Belfast and Dublin waiting to catch you if you fall. Go n-éirí an t-ádh leat!
The Magic Elixir 12/18/2014
Any rider who has spent long hours in the saddle day after day has probably at some point had the misfortune to experience a saddle sore. That felling that starts with a mild irritation at the end of a ride, only to wake up the next day to a full on saddle sore and a world of hurt. At this point there is not a lot to be done, other than suffer. Although I once watched a documentary on the Tour in the days of David Miller, where they would take raw meat (usually Liver) and seal it in a ziplock bag to then be placed in their shorts over said irritated spot. Apparently it worked, but rumors of the team chief then cooking it and making the “Lantern Rouge” eat it for dinner are apparently not true. One method of prevention I was introduced to when racing in my teens was the wonders of “Savlon”. Or ironically our knick name for it now used in other cycling circles was “Ass Saver”. Savlon is a British made antiseptic cream. The stuff that when you were a kid and grazed your knee was the go to “magic cream” that your mother used. For this particular use case, usually after a post ride shower and drying, I put a thin layer around any contact points that might need a little love and attention (or even if the don’t to be preventative). I have got to the point where I do this after every ride and have not had a saddle sore for nearly 20 years. Is it the Savlon? Maybe, but that is the magic. Something is working and I am not changing it. So my recommendation would be, like me, if you are ever flying through Heathrow make sure you make a visit to Boots Pharmacy (they are in every terminal) and pick up a few packets. It is always something I keep in my kit bag.
Today is the day. My favorite one day race. The classic for the climbers. On the back door step of Philip Gilbert (where his fan club beer tent is bigger than the official beer tent) and in a region where five cycling tribes border. There is no luck in this one, you are just basically broken down over the duration of the race until you hit La Redoute. Then whoever still has matches to burn goes of it. This years edition has a lot of favorites including a back on form Gilbert eager to please those in his beer tent after last years let down. Should make for a great race this year.