It would be tempting to say that tomorrows 12.8km of the Passo del Mortirolo will decide the fate of what has been one of the best ever Grand Tours. But with the following day going over the Gavia, weather permitting, and a time trial into Verona there are still plenty of places to gain and loose time. If you think it is between Basso and Evans, then 42 seconds is nothing. There are time bonuses on the finishes and if Evans hangs with Basso until the last KM of the climbs I expect to see him attacking. In the time trail he should pull between 20 and 30 seconds out of Basso. But if Basso has the Pink jersey on his back, and Evans crumbles at the end of what has been a brutal three weeks and the pressure of his first GT win, he might want be a little closer than the power meter numbers from their coach Sassi says. So that puts it back on the Mortirolo and maybe more importantly the descent of the Trivigno.
Then there is the weather, if it hits tomorrow then the odds and players change somewhat. We have already seen Basso back off on the wet, while riders like Evans and Vino pile it on. So the descent of the Trivigno may well be the ideal place to gain time and maybe by the the time we hit the Mortirolo it will all be about minimizing loses. Andy Hampsten must be laughing at them all as the potential for snow at the summit of the Gavia the next day may redirect the stage, but with that type of weather threatening you could even see abandonments! I say let them go up, providing it is ridable of coarse.
And what of David Arroyo Duran? Who thought he would have turned in the time he did on the slopes of Plan de Corones? This will be his first time up the Mortirolo, not really the circumstances you want to be tackling one of the most famous climbs in the world. But a Spaniard winning the Giro, now what more carrot do you need? Plus he will have seven teammates all determined to control the race at least until the Motirolo. If he rides to limit his loses and still looses 1.30 min, that still gives him nearly a minute going into the final two days.
This is going to be good. Very good.
This was epic. This Giro keeps giving us some of the most exciting riding I have ever seen, and the Zoncolan stage was a great set-up for a very exciting final week. No amount of team support was helping anyone here, this was down to your own personal ability to suffer. Once on the slopes of the last 10km it was you, your bike and a very steep hill. The Tifosi really did themselves proud. The noise as they saw Basso coming through the Zoncolan bends was incredible. And what a return for Basso. It has been a long way back for him and what a way to announce that you have found your legs again. He visibly looked more fluid than any of the other riders, keeping a metronome pace all the way up, riding everyone off his wheel. Then watching Evans fight back in the upper slopes as he realized his chance to take a Grand Tour was slipping away up the road in front of him. Epic.
Photo: Pentasport/RCS Sport
On heading out for a Sunday morning park ride I ran into these guys by Grand Army Plaza. It turned out to be the beginning of Brooklyn’s (and probably New York’s) very own Tweed Run. We posted a heads-up on the original London run a while back, that got an amazing turn out of over four hundred appropriately dressed riders. This run looks like it is just getting started, but the energy was there for this to grow. There seemed to be more of a focus on the outfits than the bikes, although I did spot this beautiful Hetchins above. Whilst the outfits in London seemed to definitely weigh towards the Dandy, some of the rider outfits here had a very cool American Worker look (apart from the guy in the cape and Bowler obviously). We wish them all the best with the run, they get top marks for making the effort.
Don’t know who the rider is and don’t know who took the shot, but man it makes you proud to be a rider. Chrome spokes, box rims, toe straps and a helmet that believe me if you hit the deck wearing one, it was like having the equivalent of a box of Kleenex strapped to you head for protection. But the frame more than anything stands out for the shear understated class of Condor.
The wonders of motor-paced cycling on the velodrome, or the Derny. Quite a spectacle. That guy above is definitely on my team.
(Found these shots on my desktop and forgot to tag them, so apologies in advance for the lack of photo credit).
CATEGORIES: Classic,The Other Stuff
I felt bad for big Tony (Juan) Flecha last year in Paris Roubaix, when Pozatto had the balls to complain about him falling in front of him. Hell Pippo, it’s not like he did it on purpose, maybe you shouldn’t sit so close to his wheel! So if anyone was going to beat our Heinrich, then I don’t feel so bad seeing Tony giving the “bow and arrow” on the line. Did he really just ride Philip Gilbert off his wheel without getting out of the saddle? It looks like that new fish n’ chip, and deep fried Snicker British diet is working out for the Spaniard (did I just give Brailsford’s secret away, sorry Dave). Very impressed to see Heinrich take second, despite declaring himself “less than fit” before the race. Looking good for MSR Mr Haussler! Also nice for the Belgium commentators to be the first to say “the sky’s the limit” – I wonder how long it took them to think that one up? I doubt it will be the last time we heat that…Cycling’s March madness is well under way.
….and they just picked up a 3rd in K-B-K, with Ian Standard. Man, I could feel Standard’s legs lock up after he went in the last KM – still a great ride. This team is looking good for another win in the classics.
I don’t know what impresses me more about Ray Dobbins. The fact that he has found and restored all of these bikes to such a high standard, or the effort he takes in documenting them. His site is well worth a visit for anyone interested in looking at the craft of frame design and how rides have evolved over the decades. It is hard to choose a favorite, but this Paletti Cronos is one of the most unique rides I have seen. Check out that paint. Man I wish I had the story behind this bike.
Photos by Ray Dobbins.
“A metropolitan ride, with a bit of style“. This looks like a fun day out in your Sunday best. The second edition of the Tweed Run will take place on April the 10th at midday around the center of London. It is only 14 miles long, so need to worry about chafing from the tweed. They take a very scenic route around the city center that includes Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, but the best bit has to be stopping for tea in the park halfway around. At the end of the ride they are throwing a party and judging who was best turned out. People into this ride make a serious effort. I think a lot of the outfits are more interesting than the bikes, with a lot of the riders sporting bespoke outfits tailored for the event. It is a paid registered ride with the proceeds going to bikes4africa.
Photos courtesy Roxy Erikson and Adam Scott
Cevelio, Eddy and Claudette. That’s what mine are called. We all have pet names for our bikes right?…. right? But how do we decide which gender they are? Mine have nearly always been male, all but one. My current ride is a Cervelo SLC, nicknamed “Cevelio“. My mental rider image of Cevelio is kind of a cross between Oscar Feriere and Francesco Moser, a little chunky, but looks fast standing still. I have no idea why this Canadian has become a Spanish male sprinter, but it just feels right. Maybe it is all that muscle up front and that big fat down tube?
I couldn’t help thinking while riding next to my friend Wai the other night that his old purple steel frame Colnago was female. Well, it is purple, and has lovely delicate little chrome lugs and some nice linear paint decoration. It kind of looks all dressed up and ready to go out. The sort of dressed up that most men don’t particularly care to do (You know “what T-shirt graphic will I wear this evening?” isn’t really dressing up right).
However my first ride was an old steel Holdsworth under the brand of Claud Butler. She (see it just feels right to say “she”) was a gorgeous royal blue and in the way that a lot of frames from the 80s look now, looked a little delicate. Hence Claudette. Despite the fact the frame is British I always thought of her as being from Belgium. Kind of like a female version of Claude Criquielion.
The side effect of this is I can’t give them up. This isn’t just a build. It is Claudette. How could I ever sell Claudette? Hence I have a bike from each period of my riding, apart from the Merckx I crumpled into the back of a car. You know this cold weather riding does funny things to your brain….
I am using this time in between seasons to catch up on photography projects that I have been sitting on from last year. These shots were taken this summer on a week in the Pyrenees. We had really spotty weather which made it sometimes nervous to ride in (I found that out descending with Carbon rims in the wet for 17km), but it did make for great light to photograph in. The Peyresourde sits just outside of the spa town of Bagnéres De Luchon, nestled at the bottom of some of the best climbs in the Pyrenees, up the valley from Lourdes. Two cars past me all the way up. It is a really beautiful ride, with the best of french country markets at the end of it.