It’s not just the superb terrain and scenery that made this race one of the best ever in the UK in our view, it was the standard of organisation, marshalling and policing – along with a great “race buzz” and a thoroughly professional set up in all areas, including a flawlessly policed rolling road closure. We can only hope that it runs-and-runs in future years alongside the 31 year old men’s Premier Calendar race that took place over the same weekend. It will certainly be one of the first to be inked into our race programme for 2015!
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Team Katusha is proud to launch a limited edition “matryoshka” water bottle, to be used for the very first time in the 2014 Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. This bottle features a colorful “Russian nesting doll” on the front and will only be used by Team Katusha in the upcoming Grand Tours and the remaining Monuments.
More about it here: http://www.katushateam.com/en/news/press/team-katusha-presents-special-matryoshka-bottle
Brilliant. Fans are going to love trying to get these roadside or from riders.
After too much coffee and – appropriately enough – a Belgian bun, I rattle though some choice morsels in episode 5 of the eternally delayed and somewhat infrequent Chasing Wheels podcast.
- Paris-Roubaix, why will no one let me bet on Manuel Quinziato?
- Speaking of betting, thank you Mr Alex Kristof for winning Milan-San Remo. Proof that if you pay attention you can place a good bet on cycling…
The latest in the economic rollercoaster that is Welcome to Yorkshire’s ambitious Grand Depart is that they might have under-estimated an important tender resulting in a £2.3m shortfall.
I don’t think this is the first or last time the project will find that their hopes are matched by the expectations of reality.
A while back, I did some scribbling of numbers of rooms given accommodation was the…
So, according to VeloNews, what cycling needs is more races in shrinking markets with shrinking capital investment, not new races in growing markets with growing capital investment:
“With cycling pinched by recession across much of Europe, coupled with a growing fixation to “internationalize” cycling by shoehorning the sport into untapped markets, this weekend’s Italian romp should serve as a…
"Pantani’s audacious attacking style left both his fans and rivals breathless. An iconoclast who expressed himself best on his racing bike, he is still adored by cycling fans worldwide." Thus spake Rapha about Marco Pantani.
I can think of nothing iconoclastic about a tiny climber who couldn’t time trial, was mentally fragile and whose doping was extensively documented throughout his professional career in an era where talent was about half as important as knowing how much EPO you could get away with taking without stopping your heart. If anything Pantani confirms every single mythology both of cycling in general and of that era in particular.
Unless of course Rapha believe that he was iconoclastic because he helped sweep away every last semblance of moral order in the sport through his rise to fame and the shameful way in which the sport’s authorities first scapegoated him and then venerated him after he found his own way into an early grave.
“The size of the challenge in Team Sky has grown over the last few years. Having won the Tour twice, it has put us on the map globally, and it feels like a bigger challenge.” - Sir Dave Brailsford to rethink British Cycling role after Track Worlds
" Walter Godefroot is a stud.
Paris-Roubaix 1969: Is he riding on the shoulder of the road, away from the pave? No, “The Bulldog of Flanders” is riding right down the middle giving them a good spanking.
Is he wearing gloves on what is one of the most brutal days of racing? No, he didn’t seem to ever wear gloves. Why should Paris-Roubaix be an exception?
Is he off the back? No, quite the opposite. See that group of chasers off in the distance in the upper left? The 5 riders in hot pursuit included three big names: Eddy Merckx, Felice Gimondi and Roger De Vlaeminck. Even those guys could not pull back Godefroot that day. Walter rode everyone into the ground and finished alone at the Roubaix Velodrome 2 minutes 39 seconds ahead of the final chase group of four riders. Merckx ended up 2nd on the day, Gimondi 4th, and RDV 5th.
I had read and heard several explanations as to why Godefroot rode without gloves. A few year back I asked Walter about why he chose not to wear gloves, particularly at races like Roubaix. His response was quite simple: he could feel the road surface better without gloves. My next question was to ask if after using that strategy over so many years as a pro, did he have any functioning nerves remaining in either of his hands? He just gave me a smile and chuckled.
I am acquainted with Walter only on a very casual basis. Nevertheless, any time he and I are ever in the same area, be it at a race or a social gathering, he will always make the effort to come over and say hello. What a prince of a guy! “