Archive for October, 2011

Oliver Zaugg shows how it should be done

Oliver who? I watched Lombardy on Gazzetta TV and when he attacked the commentator shouted ” Fuglsang” so I was not alone in not recognising the Swiss. But what a great move, it should be in the racers’ manual.

Clearly Nibali had lost the plot. When he attacked 55km from the line Gilbert was perfectly positioned to follow but thought better of it. Quite right too. What to say about the attackers on the last climb? I think stupid twats covers it. Sky’s Lovkvist immediately hit the front at a steady pace on a big ring climb. Well obviously he is keeping it together for a team mate, but there was no other Sky rider in the group. When Lovkvist had shagged himself  Basso took over at the same fast but steady pace. Just like Lovkvist he didn’t get a gap of a metre. Dan Martin was well positioned but when Zaugg attacked as the road kicked up he couldn’t follow. Nevertheless he was clearly the best of the rest and he must surely win a classic.

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Brits on Top (almost)

This is the gen. class. after the second day of the Tour of Peking. I know it is a chipper but I never thought I would live to see the day.

1. Tony Martin (Ger) In 3u17’03 “
2. David Millar (GBR) at 17 “
3. Alex Dowsett (GBr) 24 “
4. Christopher Froome (GBR) 26 “
5. Stephen Cummings (GBR) 35 “

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Pride of Britain

 A cool looking Cav with Peta Todd at the Pride of Britain awards

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Cracknell/Walters crack on End to End

James Cracknell and Jerone Walters have abandoned their record attempt just  68 miles from the finish when their task looked hopeless. They had less than four hours to cover the remaining miles if they were to beat the record of Swinden and Withers set in 1966.

Whatever the reason for their failure it wasn’t the amazing Dolan tandem which had every possible aerodynamic aid. This is an ideal opportunity to mention two of my cycling heroes Albert Crimes and John Arnold who set the tandem trike record of fifty two hours in 1954. It would take a book to list the reasons why they should have been days slower than our modern superstars but consider just the drag from two 40 spoke back wheels compared with one super fast disc wheel. Or thick wool jerseys complete with gaping front pockets compared with slick skinsuits. Oh and don’t forget the extra thirty miles on the 1954 route.  And finally when our two heroes from the NW of England reached John O Groats on their tandem trike they turned round and headed off in to a stiff wind to knock out another 130 miles to set a 1000 miles record of 62 hours! And all on a diet of dripping butties.

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Oscar says send slackers home

Ever since his amazing first rainbow jersey at Verona I have been a big fan of Oscar Freire. What’s more he often seems to talk sense so when he  recently suggested that there should be no reinstatement of  riders eliminated from the TDF  I took notice.

Freire was asked about Cavendish’s green jersey at the Tour de France despite finishing outside the time limit on consecutive days in the Alps. The size of the laughing group  meant that Cavendish and the other riders involved were not eliminated from the race, but were punished by being docked 20 points from their tallies in the points classification on each occasion. Freire believes that the rules need to be revisited.

As for the green jersey, there are rules that say that when a lot of riders finish outside the time limit, they are allowed back in,” Freire noted. “Those are the rules, but it seems wrong to me that those outside the time limit are allowed back in. It’s sometimes happened that riders who finish hors delai win the following the day. If you’re sick or you fall, they don’t let you back in, but if you finish in a group, they do. It’s not good, I don’t understand it. They should change the rule.”

Well said Oscar. From memory I think that one day there were seventy riders in Cav’s group of slackers, which is a joke. Of course the organisers wouldn’t want to send that many home but if the riders knew that the rule would be enforced regardless there would be far fewer taking a “rest day”  Perhaps they could try a “no reprieve in the last week” rule to see how that works.

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