Orica Green-EDGE rider Esteban Chaves hooked up a video camera to his handlebars during last night’s team time-trial stage of the Giro d’Italia. Of course we now know that his team blitzed it, and Aussie Simon Gerrans wears the pink leaders jersey tonight. Check out how fast they rode on what was mostly a bike path in the coastal region of San Remo.
Can Australian boy Rohan Dennis break the hour record? Tune in here to find out. Official live stream video is below.
If you would like to watch it on your big screen TV, please follow our review on How to Stream Live Cycling on your TV.
The Marymoor Crawl is a particularly interesting bike race to watch, like no other sports event I can think of. Sometimes dubbed “The Longest Lap” the concept is relatively straight forward: All riders are to start by track-standing for approximately 3 minutes without crossing the official start/finish line and without unclipping and letting their feet hit the ground. By time the riding gets started, the field has typically dwindled down to not much more than a hand full of riders. Finally the bell rings and it’s a full on one lap sprint – first across the line finishes.
In the video below, what this race as a classic example. Things to look for:
- How many riders start vs How many finish
- Just how good some of their track standing skills are
- Then, after you’ve finished watching it and sees who wins – watch again and look for the winner and what his tactic was and how well he did it
Personally I think it’s a cool race to watch, albeit a bit of a novelty. My track standing skills put me to shame, and I admit I can only do it “when the conditions are right”! What about you? Can you track stand? How do you think you’d fare in a race like this? How well do you think you’d go in a one lap race from standing start? Do you think this race is one to be taken “seriously” or is it just a good one for the spectators more than anything? I’m curious to hear your thoughts…
“SHUT UP LEGS“. It’s the Jens Voigt catch-cry that’s become so famous in recent years that nearly everybody in the cycling community knows it, and has a t-shirt that says it. Voigt is a well liked professional cyclist who, shortly after announcing his retirement hit us with one final effort – to attempt the hour record.
Overnight the man himself didn’t simply attempt it, he smashed it. The 43 year old clocking exactly 51.115 kilometres for his sixty minute effort. Not bad, not bad at all.
“I can’t ask for a better good-bye than this” Voigt said, after the ride. Neither could we. Farewell Jens, you will be missed.
Here’s the official video of the Hour Record in full. If you’re sitting on the indoor trainer one day and need to pump out an hour session, this is for you.
The announcement that the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is coming to town has swept the socks off the Australian cycling community. Further to the formal announcement earlier today, we take a quick look at a few of the finer details you need to be aware of if you want to be a part of the action.
1. Event Dates
The inaugural edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will be held on the weekend of 31 January – 1 February 2015. More specifically:
- Saturday 31 January 2015 (morning): People’s Ride
- Saturday 31 January 2015 (afternoon): Elite Women’s Race
- Sunday 1 February 2015: Elite Men’s Race
Further details as they come to hand.
2. People’s Ride
The ride on the Saturday will be the chance for us “everyday cyclists” to ride a part of the course of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. In a similar format to a Gran Fondo ride which is popular in Europe and starting to gain some momentum here in Australia, it will technically not be a race but the local club cyclists will be seeing it as a chance to show their colours and try and beat everybody to the line. For most other riders it will be a social occasion riding with a group of friends.
Due to the timing of the event (late summer), I expect the People’s Ride will be an incredibly popular event. If you’re booking accommodation, get onto it pronto.
3. The Big Teams Will Be Coming to Play
Forget about the arguments about early season racing making the season too long. There will be some big hitters Down Under and that does not include “just” the Aussies. The Tour Down Under will have finished only one week prior, and with nice weather and places to train don’t be surprised to see plenty of teams and riders staying the extra week chasing some valuable UCI points so early on.
Some of the world’s best cyclists will be in Geelong for this race, both men and women. Bring it on!
4. There Will Not Be a Support Race for Local Riders
OK, I’m just guessing on this one but given the logistical difficulties in organising these types of events, it is unlikely that it will be supported by a race especially for local (state and national level) riders. If you don’t qualify for the Elite race on the Sunday, you’re only option will be the People’s Ride on the Saturday. Deal with it.
5. The Race Will Be Organised With The 2010 World Championships Used as a Template for Success
There’s no question that the 2010 World Road Championships was a fantastic success, not only for Geelong, but also for Australia as a sporting nation and the UCI as the sport’s governing body. On the back of that, expect the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road to base it’s foundations on that event. If you were to organise this weekend, why wouldn’t you base it off that?
6. Some Locals Won’t Be Happy About It
While the 2010 World titles were a fantastic event for most, some locals weren’t happy about losing “their” roads to a bunch of lycra clad cyclists for no apparent reason. Sadly attitudes haven’t changed, and unfortunately there will always be someone who doesn’t see the value in this event. And expect the Geelong Advertiser (the local newspaper) to run at least one story about how local’s will be inconvenienced by such a “nuisance”, followed quickly by a standard “Cars vs Bikes” debate.
Update! It’s already started. Good one Christopher Taylor.
7. The Course Won’t Be Easy
The announcement of the course is yet to be finalised, but if there’s one thing I can tell you now it’s that it won’t be a roll in the park. Some of the roads are dead and heavy, there seems to be a consistent stream of rolling hills. For the pro’s it won’t be too much of a drama, there’s no major mountains around here. But for the average weekend warrior I expect most people to be telling me how surprisingly hard the course was the day after the People’s Ride.
Don’t be surprised. You heard it here first 🙂
8. It Will Be Hot. And Windy
Late January/early February is traditionally a hot time of year in Victoria. Just as the kiddies go back to school, a sudden heatwave comes on. Temperatures could vary depending on the day, don’t expect the max temperature to be much lower than about 24C, but temperatures up to about 42C wouldn’t surprise me either.
It will be windy. I’m no meteorologist but I’ve been riding a bike long enough to know it will be windy. It was windy yesterday, it will be windy tomorrow and it will be windy on the weekend of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road. Put it in your diary. I’d love to be wrong on this, by the way… I just won’t be.
Sporting organisations take note: The Tour de France are brilliant when it comes to a social media campaign. A few weeks ago they were pumping out the #TDFRespect campaign which seems to have a strong message getting through, especially on the back of the near disastrous stage of the Giro whereby fans continually got in the way. But in these last few days we have seen social media backfire on the Tour a little bit, as taking a selfie and using the hashtag #tdfselfie has become all the rage.
When it works, it works beautifully.
— Mr Cycling World (@mrcyclingworld) July 7, 2014
But other times, not so much. (The below tweet has caused a flurry of reactions online. It is worth noting that it did not cause any harm to the riders or to the spectators, nonetheless the young lady “Zoe” has been subject to quite a bit of abuse over the last 24 hours since posting this pic.)
There’s no doubt that social media plays an important role in modern day sport. It connects the athletes with the fans, the sponsors and the organisers like nothing else we have seen before. But the trend of taking a #tdfselfie is worrying and is virtually impossible to control.
So what do you think? Would you dare take a #tdfselfie? What role can event organisers like the Tour de France take to try and control dangerous actiuons taken by spectoatrs in an “open road” environment? Was Zoe (see above) a fool? Or has she been harshly trolled, probably as a result of a poorly worded tweet that she didn’t expect anyone beyond her friends to take notice of? I’m curious to hear your thoughts, leave them in the comments below!
Final 10 kilometers of last night’s stage.
1 Christopher Froome (GBr)
2 Bernhard Eisel (Aut)
3 Vasil Kiryienka (Blr)
4 David Lopez Garcia (Spa)
5 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa)
6 Danny Pate (USA)
7 Richie Porte (Aus)
8 Geraint Thomas (GBr)
9 Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa)
11 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa)
12 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa)
13 John Gadret (Fra)
14 Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa)
15 Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa)
16 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa)
17 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa)
18 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa)
19 Giovanni Visconti (Ita)
21 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa)
22 Vladimir Isaychev (Rus)
23 Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
24 Luca Paolini (Ita)
25 Alexander Porsev (Rus)
26 Egor Silin (Rus)
27 Gatis Smukulis (Lat)
28 Simon Spilak (Slo)
29 Yury Trofimov (Rus)
31 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa)
32 Daniele Bennati (Ita)
33 Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa)
34 Rafal Majka (Pol)
35 Michael Mørkøv (Den)
36 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por)
37 Nicolas Roche (Irl)
38 Michael Rogers (Aus)
39 Matteo Tosatto (Ita)
Astana Pro Team
41 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita)
42 Jakob Fuglsang (Den)
43 Andriy Grivko (Ukr)
44 Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz)
45 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz)
46 Tanel Kangert (Est)
47 Michele Scarponi (Ita)
48 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita)
49 Lieuwe Westra (Ned)
51 Peter Sagan (Svk)
52 Maciej Bodnar (Pol)
53 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita)
54 Edward King (USA)
55 Kristijan Koren (Slo)
56 Marco Marcato (Ita)
57 Jean-Marc Marino (Fra)
58 Fabio Sabatini (Ita)
59 Elia Viviani (Ita)
Belkin Pro Cycling Team
61 Bauke Mollema (Ned)
62 Lars Boom (Ned)
63 Stef Clement (Ned)
64 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned)
65 Tom Leezer (Ned)
66 Bram Tankink (Ned)
67 Laurens ten Dam (Ned)
68 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel)
69 Maarten Wynants (Bel)
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team
71 Mark Cavendish (GBr)
72 Jan Bakelants (Bel)
73 Michal Golas (Pol)
74 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol)
75 Tony Martin (Ger)
76 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita)
77 Mark Renshaw (Aus)
78 Niki Terpstra (Ned)
79 Matteo Trentin (Ita)
AG2R La Mondiale
81 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra)
82 Romain Bardet (Fra)
83 Mickaël Chérel (Fra)
84 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra)
85 Ben Gastauer (Lux)
86 Blel Kadri (Fra)
87 Sébastien Minard (Fra)
88 Matteo Montaguti (Ita)
89 Christophe Riblon (Fra)
91 Andrew Talansky (USA)
92 Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col)
93 Jack Bauer (NZl)
94 Alex Howes (USA)
95 Benjamin King (USA)
96 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned)
97 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu)
98 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned)
99 Johan Vansummeren (Bel)
101 Marcel Kittel (Ger)
102 Roy Curvers (Ned)
103 Koen de Kort (Ned)
104 John Degenkolb (Ger)
105 Dries Devenyns (Bel)
106 Tom Dumoulin (Ned)
107 Ji Cheng (Chn)
108 Albert Timmer (Ned)
109 Tom Veelers (Ned)
111 Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por)
112 Davide Cimolai (Ita)
113 Kristijan Durasek (Cro)
114 Christopher Horner (USA)
115 Sacha Modolo (Ita)
116 Nelson Oliveira (Por)
117 Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg)
118 Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col)
119 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa)
121 Thibaut Pinot (Fra)
122 William Bonnet (Fra)
123 Mickaël Delage (Fra)
124 Arnaud Démare (Fra)
125 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra)
126 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra)
127 Cédric Pineau (Fra)
128 Jérémy Roy (Fra)
129 Arthur Vichot (Fra)
131 Andre Greipel (Ger)
132 Lars Ytting Bak (Den)
133 Bart De Clercq (Bel)
134 Tony Gallopin (Fra)
135 Adam Hansen (Aus)
136 Gregory Henderson (NZl)
137 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel)
138 Marcel Sieberg (Ger)
139 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel)
BMC Racing Team
141 Tejay van Garderen (USA)
142 Darwin Atapuma (Col)
143 Marcus Burghardt (Ger)
144 Amaël Moinard (Fra)
145 Daniel Oss (Ita)
146 Michael Schär (Swi)
147 Peter Stetina (USA)
148 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel)
149 Peter Velits (Svk)
151 Thomas Voeckler (Fra)
152 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn)
153 Bryan Coquard (Fra)
154 Cyril Gautier (Fra)
155 Yohann Gène (Fra)
156 Alexandre Pichot (Fra)
157 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra)
158 Kevin Reza (Fra)
159 Pierre Rolland (Fra)
Trek Factory Racing
161 Fränk Schleck (Lux)
162 Matthew Busche (USA)
163 Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
164 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa)
165 Grégory Rast (Swi)
166 Andy Schleck (Lux)
167 Danny van Poppel (Ned)
168 Jens Voigt (Ger)
169 Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre (Spa)
Cofidis, Solutions Credits
171 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa)
172 Nicolas Edet (Fra)
173 Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa)
174 Cyril Lemoine (Fra)
175 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa)
176 Rudy Molard (Fra)
177 Adrien Petit (Fra)
178 Julien Simon (Fra)
179 Rein Taaramäe (Est)
181 Simon Gerrans (Aus)
182 Michael Albasini (Swi)
183 Simon Clarke (Aus)
184 Luke Durbridge (Aus)
185 Mathew Hayman (Aus)
186 Jens Keukeleire (Bel)
187 Michael Matthews (Aus)
188 Svein Tuft (Can)
189 Simon Yates (GBr)
191 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra)
192 Martin Elmiger (Swi)
193 Mathias Frank (Swi)
194 Heinrich Haussler (Aus)
195 Reto Hollenstein (Swi)
196 Roger Kluge (Ger)
197 Jérôme Pineau (Fra)
198 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi)
199 Marcel Wyss (Swi)
201 Leopold König (Cze)
202 Jan Barta (Cze)
203 David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa)
204 Zakkari Dempster (Aus)
205 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol)
206 Tiago Machado (Por)
207 José Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por)
208 Andreas Schillinger (Ger)
209 Paul Voss (Ger)
211 Brice Feillu (Fra)
212 Jean-Marie Bideau (Fra)
213 Anthony Delaplace (Fra)
214 Romain Feillu (Fra)
215 Armindo Fonseca (Fra)
216 Arnaud Gerard (Fra)
217 Florian Guillou (Fra)
218 Benoit Jarrier (Fra)
219 Florian Vachon (Fra)
- Traditionally last yeat’s winner wear’s number 1 on the back of his jersey. This year Chris Froome has that honour.
- The designated “team leader” is usually given the first number is the team. For example, Alberto Contador’s team is in the 30’s and his personal is number 31.
- Australian riders are designated with the flag icon
- Data courtesy cyclingnews.com (verified via other sources)
My good mate Andy visited the Dirty Deeds Cyclocross race here in Melbourne on the weekend just gone, and was kind enough to share these photos.
All images: Andrew Haig.
Following on from the near-disaster of the Zoncolon stage at the Giro, the organisation of the Tour de France has taken the unusual step of doing a social media campaign asking all fans to respect the riders. The official hashtag used is #TDFRespect.
Here’s an example of the promotional images they are pushing forward – it translates to “Please don’t run up the road along the riders.”
And here’s a video they did in collaboration with the last year’s winner, Chris Froome:
I must say that is a brilliant use of social media strategy, and I hope their proactive approach pays off. I’d hate to see a Tour ruined by a spectator.
If you are on social media yourself, I’d love for you to join in the conversation or simply say “Hi” to us!:
I’ll bet my last dollar that every cycling fan worth his bike can name at least one Tour de France champion from the last 10 years. But who among us can remember the name of the top domestique who guided that champion? Of course, some of you will. But the rest of us?
Multi-stage races like the Tour de France are won by team, not individual riders. Although only one rider is hailed as winner at the end of the race, lots of people work behind the scene to make sure that these champions will have the chance to win at the end.
Strong contenders for the general classifications in Tour de France, or at any multi-stage races whatsoever, need to have the best of the following:
Some top notch teams and riders dedicate the entire season to the pursuit of Tour de France glory, treating other shorter races as mere training ground for the race. Notorious among riders in this kind of mentality was Lance Armstrong – bless his doping soul – who was widely criticized for his refusal to seriously compete at other long races other than the TDF.
Elite teams have several weeks of preparation for every major race – scouting the trail, familiarizing themselves with the rise and fall of the road, perfecting every climb, doing everything to avoid surprises at race time.
Dedicated Support Riders
No one can argue against the importance of having strong and tireless wall of domestiques, climbers, and lead out men in the team. No one has won in the TDF by riding solo from stage 1 up to Paris. Mark Cavendish might be the best sprinter today, but I’m not sure how many of those 25 TDF stage wins did he win all by himself. And I don’t think if Bradley Wiggins will have any chance of finishing in the top 10 if he is to fetch his own water bottle from the squad car when he becomes thirsty (I know this one’s a stretch, but you get my drift).
Dedicated support riders are the lifeblood of every team. In a tight race, the teams with the strongest support riders often come out on top.
Top Notch Equipment
In a race where the winning time is counted in minutes and seconds, having the best equipment can often spell the difference between losing and winning. They include custom built bikes, aerodynamic suits and helmets, lightweight shoes, and other top of the line gadgets that only the top cycling teams in the planet are lucky enough to have.
All the things listed above are only worth something if the team leader can actually, well, lead his team to victory. There were instances when teams had to drop a team leader and concentrate on supporting another team member in the middle of a race, especially when it becomes obviously clear that the designated team leader is not strong enough challenge for the win. Any show of weakness in the team’s main rider often invites attacks from opposing team. A strong team leader is not only capable of going wheel to wheel with the other team’s best riders, but can wreck havocs on other team’s strategy when he wants.
Cycling is a team sport, no matter how individualistic every race appears to be. Building an elite cycling team takes a lot of effort and resources from management and team sponsors. That is why only a handful of teams are invited to race in the TDF every year, and even fewer have actually won the race in its 100 years history.
There is only one rider who raises his arms in triumph after every sprint – but somebody else is celebrating the achievement as if it is his own.
Sprinting is a nasty business. This is the part of a race where the chance of seeing collisions and bodies flying in the air are high. Understandably, only the toughest riders, and in some instance – the craziest, dare pedal into the front of the peloton and risk life and limb just to be the first to reach the finish line.
To the untutored, what happens in front of the peloton before a sprint finish is pure madness – undisciplined and jerky movements that invites accidents. But to real fans, the final kilometer of every stage is where the real excitement begins as lead out riders jostle hard for position before they launch their team’s sprinters. In this seemingly chaotic environment, no one is better than Mark Renshaw.
Renshaw built his reputation as a top notch lead out man by piloting most of Mark Cavendish’s Tour de France career wins. Though he has the enviable task of leading out for arguably the best sprinter of this generation, no one can argue of Renshaw’s own sprinting skills. But his bread and butter as a rider is in getting into the front of the peloton in the final push for the finish line, challenging other riders to kiss his behind, and ultimately launching his man into the finish line for a stage win.
What separates the best lead out riders from so-so sprinters is their single mindedness in their pursuit of a stage win – not for themselves but for their team’s designated sprinter. In his hall of fame worthy career, Renshaw has never finished first in any Tour de France stage, but has placed second behind his man several times. This selflessness and dedication to his craft led Mark Cavendish to say that no one can do what Renshaw has done for him, a tacit acknowledgement that without Renshaw piloting him, his 25 stage wins in the Tour de France is all but impossible.
Toughness is another trait that a lead out man has to have in plenty supply in order to succeed in what he does. In a place where everyone is fighting for every inch of space, a slight show of weakness can cause a team victory.
Renshaw has repeatedly showed that he is not a man to mess with when he is barreling down the road with his man in tow. Julian Dean realized this the hard way when Renshaw head-butted him during the sprint at the end of Stage 11 of the 2010 Tour de France. Replay showed that Dean was moving to his left and into the path of Renshaw. Though he was disqualified by the race organizers in a rather controversial decision, Renshaw has sent the unmistakable signal that he cannot be pushed around.
Sprinters and their lead out men will eventually slow down and pave the way for another crop or riders to take over. But until then, and until younger riders take his spot, Mark Renshaw is still the best lead out man coming into the 2014 Tour de France.
Photo credit: SNappa2006 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)