Sunday, April 29, 2012

Trailside Chats with Vinny

Vince trailside at the Sea Otter Classic, coming to you from the the XC race course

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Valverde, Others Disqualified For Steering Off Liege Route

By Andrew Hood
Valverde ran afoul after La Redoute. Photo: Andrew Hood

LIEGE, Belgium (VN) — Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and four other riders were disqualified from Liège-Bastogne-Liège after steering off course during the race on Sunday.
According to race officials, Valverde and others rode onto a shortcut designed to allow photographers’ motorcycles to safely pass ahead of the peloton after coming off the decisive Redoute climb with about 32km to go.
“When things do not go well, there’s nothing you can do. I didn’t have the best legs at Amstel and Flèche, but today the sensations were good. Just at the start of the Redoute, Voeckler crashed and I couldn’t avoid him. I fell and my gears got twisted,” said Valverde. “I had to stop and wait for Madrazo, who gave me his bike. I wasn’t far behind, but we came to an intersection and went the wrong way.”
ASO official Gilles Maignan told VeloNews that Valverde was riding behind motorcycles after a mishap on the climb up La Redoute in a bid to regain contact with the front group.
Valverde followed the motorcycles onto the detour rather than taking a wider loop that was about 600 meters longer.
“We do not know if they did it with purpose or not, but the rules state that riders must trace the entire race route,” Maignan told VeloNews. “They followed motorcycles onto the detour.”
Other riders disqualified were Valverde’s Movistar teammates Angel Madrazo, José Rojas and Pablo Lastras as well as Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator).
The disqualification put a rather dubious end to Valverde’s Ardennes classics return.
Despite not riding for the win at Amstel Gold Race or Flèche Wallone, the Spanish rider had big hopes coming into Liège, which he has won twice before.
Valverde was suffering in the cold and rain before puncturing on the decisive climb up La Redoute. After swapping bikes with Lastras, Valverde tried in vain to regain contact and found himself off-course.
“I probably could have come back, but my options were limited because I was on Angel’s bike, which is a lot smaller than mine,” he said. “It’s too bad, things didn’t go well this week, but I am happy with the first part of the year. Now I will take a little break and prepare for the Tour.”

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Sea Otter tech: Disc Brakes Invade Cyclocross

  • By Logan VonBokel

The Look X-85 is straight-forward, without many frills, other than the disc brakes and lightweight frame. Photo: Logan VonBokel

MONTEREY, California (VN) — This year’s Sea Otter Classic has proven that the tidal wave of drop-bar disc brakes is building. It seemed everywhere we turned in the expo yet another manufacturer was showing off a disc-ready road or cyclocross creation.
Perhaps the most groundbreaking of the lot is the Colnago C59 road bike with Formula Di2 hydraulic levers. The discs themselves weren’t the only innovation; more importantly, Formula showed that anyone with a little electronic know-how can make an electronic drivetrain shifter. That realization opens the floodgates to hydraulic brake manufacturers entering the road lever game.
High-end disc frames were abundant and all with 135mm rear ends. French manufacturer Look was on-site with its X-85 cyclocross frame, a bike aimed at the “boutique racer, who wants something fast and unique,” according to Look’s marketing manager Justin Lubecki. The frame, fork, and headset will be the only American-sold option, with an MSRP of $3,000 — a large price tag in a sport where many “boutique racers” will insist on owning two identical bikes. The X-85 features a straight, 1 1/8inch head tube and a 68mm English threaded bottom bracket. A fairly straightforward frame without any frills, the Look X-85 will certainly suit the die-hard French bike lover.
Fuji upped the ante on its already fast Altamira CX 1.0 with the Altamira Disc. Based closely on the existing Altamira, the disc model has a new fork produced in-house by Fuji. While not in the final production phase, the demo rode like a finished product with no chatter or wiggle. The Altamira will come equipped with Fuji-owned component brand Oval’s first foray into the carbon wheel market.
We spent some time on the Altamira Disc, and it was notable for its stability and excellent brake performance. The model we rode was equipped with new SRAM Red and BB7 calipers. The disc brakes increased confidence considerably, even when compared to stiff V-brake options.
Raleigh launched its RXC Pro disc bike this weekend as well. The pre-production model we shot was equipped with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and will be on showroom floors with Shimano’s new cable-actuated CX75 disc brakes. The bike will also come equipped with a tapered Enve fork and a carbon Enve cockpit to finish off the build. Raleigh went with a PF30 bottom bracket, claiming the plastic cups holding the bearings paired with the BB30 cranks to be the perfect hybrid to keep a stiff and quiet bottom bracket. The RXC Pro comes equipped with Cole wheels made especially for Raleigh, and Raleigh employees expect the wheels to be offered to aftermarket buyers later this year.
Felt is another manufacturer that will offer a carbon disc brake bike in 2013, but did not have a model on-site.
Though UCI rules allowing disc brakes in cyclocross racing changed less than a calendar year ago, we have anxiously waited for ’cross disc technology reach the point where bikes rolling off the production line were top-shelf race bikes. It would appear that 2013 will be the year that occurs. The sheer quantity of quality disc bikes available this fall will make even the most traditional cyclocrosser take notice.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Garmin delays Vector power pedals

By Caley Fretz
Garmin Vector power meter

Garmin has delayed the release of its highly anticipated Vector power meter pedals once again via a press release Wednesday morning. The company now says it “cannot estimate delivery date.”
The pedals were originally slated for release in late 2011, then March 2012, then “late summer” 2012, and now Garmin has given up attempting to set a date.
From the release:
After testing our latest advanced prototypes of the Vector system, we are still not satisfied with the results. As you can imagine, Vector is a complex, precision measurement instrument and as of yet, we are unable to ensure that this device will meet the expectations of the cycling community. Presently, we cannot estimate a delivery date but we do not expect the product to be ready in the summer of 2012, as previously targeted. We understand that this is a highly anticipated product within the cycling community, but Garmin’s commitment to quality necessitates this additional delay. We will update our customers when we have additional information to share. Thank you for your understanding.
Pedal-based power meters are considerably more complicated than their crank or hub-based brethren, since the system must deal with and differentiate between more varied force inputs. The pedals must figure out, for example, whether pressure applied to them is applied on the front or back of the pedal stroke (or else you could spike wattage by bunny hopping), or is simply caused by a bouncing foot or road vibration. Advanced accelerometers and algorithms aid in this differentiation, but also make the system extremely complex.
Look’s KeO Power is currently the only pedal-based option, and has been released to the public for $2,000. VeloNews has a pair in-hand, and a full review is coming soon.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

2012 UCI Track World Championships-Sarah Hammer

Sarah Hammer talks about winning the bronze medal in the women's omnium at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne, Australia. She also discusses earning an automatic nomination to the 2012 Olympic team

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Berkshire Cycling Classic Added As lone UWCT Stop In U.S. For 2012

The United States will again host a leg of the UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) in 2012. Sparta Cycling announced this month that its first annual Berkshire Cycling Classic, scheduled for May 6 in Lenox, Mass. will be the lone American stop on the UWCT. 
In its second year in 2012, the UWCT (formerly known as the UCI Masters Road World Championships) features 15 stops across the globe, plus the UWCT final in Pietermartizburg, South Africa, Aug. 23-26.
Riders must qualify to compete for world titles at the UWCT final by meeting one of the following conditions:

  • Placing in the top 25% of their age category at one of the 15 UWCT stops
  • Participating in three of the 15 qualifier events during the season, regardless of their placing
  • Holding a road race or time trial world title from the 2011 UWCT final
The only UWCT qualifier event in the U.S. this year, the Berkshire Cycling Classic will be held in a Gran Fondo format. It starts and finishes in the heart of the Berkshire Mountains on Sunday, May 6 and will feature route selections of 62 or 81 miles. Overall times for both distances will be recorded and ranked according to age groups.
“Becoming the sole U.S. race on the UCI World Cycling Tour takes the Berkshire Cycling Classic to a level we never could have anticipated,” stated Kimberly Flynn, Chairperson of the Lenox Marketing & Events committee.  “We look forward to hosting cyclists from all over the world in May and for years to come as they enjoy the beauty and culture of Lenox and the Berkshires.”
“Enthusiast cyclists can choose to experience a true UCI racecourse at their own pace, or really test themselves against the best national age group riders. The format is also ideal for licensed racers looking for a new challenge, and allows them the exciting chance to qualify for a World Championship,” said Sparta Cycling principal John Eustice.
Participants in the Berkshire Cycling Classic will receive technical support provided by Mavic USA, well-positioned feed-zones complete with energy food, hydration choices and relaxation areas. Pre-registered riders will receive a commemorative t-shirt and vendors will be on hand to sell a limited-edition jersey. Following the main event, riders and their families will be invited to a post-ride celebration.
To register or to find more information on the Berkshire Cycling Classic, please visit its website at

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