Friday, April 05, 2013

Hell is Coming!

le parcours...

254 Kms, 27 cobbled sectors, 52.6 km of cobblestones.

les équipes...

la legende...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Eddy Merckx: His Two Ronde van Vlaanderens

Eddy Merckx reflects on Ronde van Vlaanderen and on his two classic victories in 1969 and 1975.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Peter Sagan: Classic Victory in Gent Wevelgem

Peter Sagan rode away from a disorganized group to win his first classic, Gent-Wevelgem. It was to be for the young prodigy taking care of business his way. The Terminator redeemed himself from his seconds of Strade Bianche, Milan SanRemo and E3 Harelbeke - to make a cold Belgium day his own.

I was eagerly waiting for Sagan to win his first classic just because he is so suited to the one-day races. He is suited to the weather, distances ...and the cobbles.

"I've been waiting to win one of the big northern classic races, which I rate the best of all and which really inspire me as they are made for riders like me. This race might not be on the same level as the Milano-Sanremo or the Paris-Roubaix but all the same it's my first major win in a classic and I'm very proud of it."

And whilst his finish line theatrics are frowned upon by Cancellara, who abandoned at the feed zone -he made me smile ... because Peter Sagan was Wheelie Good!

1Peter SAGANSVKCAN4:29:10
7Bernhard EISELAUTSKY+23


Monday, March 18, 2013

La Primavera: Back Stage Pass & Ciolek Wins A Cold One

Photos: AstanaCyclingTeam

This MSR is one for the record books: Abusive weather, shortened race, first WorldTour Monument victory for Gerhard Ciolek and his African based Team MTN-Qhubeka. And, also the very first black African rider to ride a WorldTour race -  Songezo Jim. Here's the Back Stage Pass episode of a frozen la Primavera!

 Enjoy this with  something warm to drink!

The Shark exits.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

La Classica di Primavera

Last Sunday, our clocks sprung ahead. 

Now, whilst Spring is officially March 20th, la classica di Primavera is this Sunday with the ... 104th Milan San Remo.

Our money's on Peter Sagan. And, after witnessing the fuggitivi heroics of Sagan-Rodriguez-Nibali on stage 6 of Tirreno, this trio can be at the finish in San Remo. The Poggio will prove to be the final launch point for the remaining strong favorites.

Twenty-three year old Peter Sagan is one, if not the most complete classics rider since Eddy Merckx. His Cannondale team comes loaded for bear in search of the ultimate classic treasure. A fourth year professional, his talent is like a conductor waving or flexing his arms at victory. He knows how to handle sprint expert's Greipel and Cavendish by winning the 2012 Tour Green Jersey. And, recently in Tirreno, the Terminator bested both on stage three.

The three amigos, S-R-N are our picks ahead of notables: Haussler, Hushovd, Gilbert, Dagenkolb, Ciolek, Boonen, Boasson Hagen, Cavendish, Goss, Cancellara and Greipel. Not only you have to be strong, you must factor in - crashes, punctures, tactics and luck.

At this time of writing, the weather forecast is for rain or snow ... add that as a deciding factor to this epic race.

The longest race.

One more time...

An exciting finish for Gerrans!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Race of the Two Seas

Cadel at today's interview.
via BMCRacing

Tirreno-Adriatico March 6-12.

A star studded list of contenders are set for tomorrow's Race of the Two Seas.

2011 winner, Cadel Evans is in good form, finishing third in the Tour of Oman. Always cautious and not wanting to put too many eggs in one basket...

Some of the biggest stage racing riders will be there. Strade Bianche (28th) was a good indication for me, though I didn't make the final in the front group. We'll see how the team time trial goes and then we'll take it from there.

He brings a solid and capable team with another guy back on form; Thor Hushovd and World Silver Medalist; Taylor Phinney. BMC Team list here.

Evans' is just one fish in the sea. He will have plenty of competition: Contador, Nibali, Sagan, Sanchez, Greipel and Rodriquez.

Looking forward to this!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Classic Cool OHN & Iced for KBK

Classic Cool for Paolini
photo: Tim De Waele

A classic win for Luca Paolini taking the sprint from Stijn Vandenbergh to win the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Sylvain Chavanel showed promise attacking with about 50km remaining but it was not to be for the Frenchman. He showed gusto in the sub-freezing temperatures (-1C). In fact, most of the riders wore thermal gear and wrapped like mummies. Except for Heinrich Haussler who went gloveless.

The rest of the stars stayed in protective custody in the peloton. A safer option than dealing with the tough headwind.

The race whittled down to the two strongest, and at the end, the tall Vandenbergh leading out his old team mate Paolini to secure a classic cool win. The race for third was the most exciting part of this race as Sven Vandousselaere refused a fast charging Geraint Thomas to complete the podium.

I awoke early this morning anticipating Kuurne Brussels Kuurne only to have it cancelled due to snow. Yes, the third cancellation in it's history (since 1945) and a wise decision by the organizers to scrub it. Also, GP Lugano was cancelled due to snow.

1. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha...4:52:15
2. Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team
3. Sven Vandousselaere (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
4. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling
5. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6. Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling
7. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team
8. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9. Maarten Wynants (Bel) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
10. Egoitz Garcia Etxegibel (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits

Meanwhile, I scoured Facebook and came up with this image from KBK...

Time for cross bikes.
via IAMcycling

So, all is not lost classic fans, in case you missed it, here's OHN with 76 km remaining...