Friday, June 28, 2013

Ladies Night Tonight!


FRIDAY JUNE 28th @ 6:30 pm
Special Guest Speakers
Free Mechanical Clinic 
Ladies Only Private Sale
10% of proceeds will go the Ladies Race in Menlo Park

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

10 Memorable Moments from the Tour de France

By: Ellis Bacon
Tour countdown: five days to the Grand Depart

In the latest of our special Tour de France countdown features, Ellis Bacon looks back at 10 memorable moments from the 99 editions of the Grand Boucle.

Tells us which is you memorable moment in the comments section below.

1910 “You’re all murderers!”

The high mountains first featured in the 1910 edition of the Tour de France, with the introduction of the Pyrenees. But far from providing the spectacle they do today, back then they simply added to the brutality of what was already an extremely tough race.

The unmade roads forced most riders to push their bikes up the climbs, and prompted eventual 1910 winner Octave Lapize to crest the Col d’Aubisque on foot while famously shouting, “You’re all murderers!” at the race organisers.

The Alps were introduced in 1911, but their green, magisterial beauty seemed to enchant, rather than anger the riders. The two mountain ranges have remained key battlegrounds at the Tour ever since.

1913: Christophe fails to forge victory

In 1913, 10 years after the first edition of the Tour, French darling Eugène Christophe was hoping to go one better than his runner’s-up positioning 1912. The Tour had been decided on points then, but was decided by accumulated time in 1913 and the Frenchman was a big favourite. However, the clock was ticking when poor Christophe’s forks broke on the descent of the Col du Tourmalet and he was forced to run with his bike until he found a blacksmith’s forge at which to effect his own repairs.
He fixed his forks, only to be disqualified for having received ‘outside assistance’ from the blacksmith’s apprentice.

1964: Anquetil and Poulidor duke it out on the Puy de Dôme

Jacques Anquetil always had his rivals’ measure in the time trials, and it was perhaps for that reason that the Frenchman allowed compatriot Raymond Poulidor to eventually ride away as they approached the top of the Puy de Dôme on stage 20 of the 1964 Tour. But not before photographer Roger Krieger captured the iconic image of the two rivals bouncing off each other as they battled for superiority on the climb’s narrow roads.

By the top, Anquetil still held a slim 14-second lead over Poulidor — ‘The Eternal Second’, who would never win the Tour — and added to that lead in the final time trial to Paris, where he won the race by 55 seconds to take his fifth and final Tour title.

1986: LeMond and Hinault match each other on Alpe d’Huez

Accepting Greg LeMond’s assistance to win the 1985 Tour was supposed to mean that Bernard Hinault would return the favour in 1986. Yet the famously aggressive Frenchman had other ideas when the time came — the chance of winning a sixth title proving a massive incentive. But after a tense duel, stage 18 to Alpe d’Huez proved to be the moment when Hinault would accept that his young American teammate was the better rider. The two matched each other pedal-stroke for pedal-stroke up through the climb’s famous 21 hairpin bends before crossing the finish line arm-in-arm — although ‘The Badger’ made sure he squeezed his wheel across the line first to become the official stage winner.

1987: “That looks like Roche!”

“Just who is that rider coming up behind? Because that looks like Roche. That looks like Stephen Roche... It's Stephen Roche!”

Cycling commentator Phil Liggett’s hugely entertaining words did justice to a performance sure to live on as one of the Tour’s greatest efforts.

Stephen Roche, the Irishman who became the Emerald Isle’s first, and still only, Tour de France winner, dug deep into his reserves to peg back rival Pedro Delgado on the slopes of La Plagne, emerging from the mist to that famous commentary before collapsing on the ground, where he was administered oxygen, and all but winked at his fans at home. Roche had saved his Tour, and in spectacular fashion at that.

1989: A tale of ponytails and tri bars

There’s definitely a bit of an eighties theme going on in this top 10, but that’s because that decade’s Tours were that good.

However, 1983 and 1984 Tour champion Laurent Fignon’s ponytail was a fashion choice that might just have lost him the race in 1989. Compared to American Greg LeMond’s aerodynamic ‘triathlon’ handlebars and aero helmet, Fignon’s long blond hair and round spectacles seemed to invite the air to slow him down during the final time trial that year. But with a 50-second buffer, Fignon’s lead seemed insurmountable.

“He’s bouncing off the barriers!” a delirious Liggett exclaimed as the Frenchman emptied himself during the last couple of hundred metres on the Champs-Elysées. Eight seconds before Fignon crossed the line, LeMond started celebrating; it was the closest Tour in history, and arguably the best there’s ever been, too.

1992: Hysteria on Sestriere as Chiappucci comes home

Claudio Chiappucci’s successful lone breakaway to Sestriere on stage 13 of the 1992 race provided some of the most extraordinary scenes ever seen at the Tour.

The Alpine climb takes the riders into Italy, and so the Italian climber could count on plenty of support from his compatriots that day. Thousands turned out, and when the race’s lead motorbikes were blocked by the sheer volume of spectators, Chiappucci was in danger of being mobbed and disappearing into the crowds completely. Lucky, then, that he was clad in the red-polka-dot jersey as ‘king of the mountains’ — a jersey that can apparently be spotted from space.

1994: Poli conquers the Ventoux

If Mont Ventoux is ‘best’ remembered for the death of Tom Simpson, then Italian Eros Poli’s 1994 escapades on its slopes goes at least some way to redressing the balance towards more celebratory memories.

The Italian giant took on ‘The Giant of Provence’ in a battle everyone was expecting the rider to lose. With a 25-minute lead over his pursuers at the start of the climb, Poli dragged his huge, tired limbs up and over the Ventoux, and was still able to celebrate his stage win in Carpentras with a buffer of over three minutes on the chasers having risked everything on the descent.

Stage 15 of this year’s Tour will hopefully provide more stunning scenes on the Ventoux that will also be remembered for all the right reasons.

1996: Indurain’s reign reined in

His face was almost unreadable in every one of his victories from 1991 to 1995, but Miguel Indurain’s expression said it all on stage seven of the 1996 Tour.

Indurain had arrived at the Tour fit and well having won June’s Dauphiné Libéré, and, despite his third place at the 1995 Tour behind Indurain and Switzerland’s Alex Zülle, there was little to suggest that Bjarne Riis might go two better in 1996.

But on the road between Chambéry and Les Arcs — that year’s first mountain stage, Indurain’s Tour untouchability suddenly left him. He cracked, ceding almost three-and-a-half minutes to Riis. The next day, the Dane took another 26 seconds out of the Spaniard in the time trial — unheard of — and by the end of the following, snow-shortened stage to Sestriere, Riis was in yellow.

2003: Armstrong has a field day

We can try to write Lance Armstrong out of Tour history when it comes to the results, but it’s far more difficult to ignore the myriad images of him in yellow.

Arguably the most memorable one that will infamously live on as a reminder of his presence is of him plunging down through a field in order to avoid a stricken Joseba Beloki, who’d crashed on the descent of the Col de la Rochette, near Gap, on stage nine of the 2003 Tour.

The fact that Armstrong almost seamlessly rejoined the road after leaping across the ditch at the bottom of said field made it look like he could do no wrong...
Ellis Bacon is author of new book Mapping Le Tour (Collins), which details the geography of the Tour de France, with a preview of the 2013 edition and a section on the race’s most memorable battlegrounds.

Article Source: Cycling News

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tour de France 2013: The Race Preview

Tour countdown: 10 days till the Grand Depart
By: Stephen Farrand

This year's Tour de France is the 100th edition of the Grand Boucle, with race organiser ASO starting the celebrations with the first ever Grand Départ in Corsica on Saturday June 29 and ending in style with an evening stage in the centre of Paris on July 21.

In between are three weeks of intense racing around the hexagon of France with a finely balanced route of tough and spectacular mountain stages in the Pyrenees and the Alps, three vital time trials and a mix of flat stages for the sprinters and hilly stages to inspire heroic breakaway attempts.

Like every Tour, each stage will tell a different story, with the battle for the race leader's yellow jersey, the green points jersey and the polka-dot mountains jersey the colourful threads and themes that hold the three-week adventure together.

A Tour de France stage victory can make a rider's season, the winner of the 100th edition of the Tour de France will make cycling history.

Without Wiggo

Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Team Sky dominated the 2012 Tour de France, taking first and second overall. Wiggo is not part of Team Sky this year due to a knee injury and a disastrous Giro d'Italia and so Froome has been groomed as Team Sky's new Grand Tour leader.

He seems content not to have to take on his teammate as well as his biggest rivals but could miss the support and experience of a strong teammate. Froome describes himself as something of a Grand Tour novice. He is confident and hungry to win but we will see what he is really made of during the chaotic three weeks of racing.

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) tops the list of riders who could discover Team Sky's weaknesses and end their domination this year. He missed last year's Tour due to a doping ban but is back this year and out to show Froome how to win the Tour and prove he is back to his best. So far this season, his form has been hot and cold but he has strong support from some experienced teammates and can count on the knowledge and cunning of team manager Bjarne Riis.

In-house rivalries will no doubt be a theme of this year's Tour de France despite the absence of Wiggins. Cadel Evans is the designated team leader at BMC but has Tejay van Garderen snapping at his heels. The American won the best young rider's white jersey last year and was fifth overall, better than Evans, who finished seventh, as he struggled with a mysterious virus. Their relationship will be fascinating to watch as it the race evolves.

Movistar also has two contenders in their line-up, with Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana both focusing on the GC. Valverde is experienced but the pocket-rocket Colombian seems far more suited to Grand Tours and is rightly considered a dangerous outsider.

Other names to remember for the GC battle include French hope Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Ryder Hesjedal and Daniel Martin (Garmin-Sharp), Pierre Rolland and Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) and Bauke Mollema of the soon to be named Belkin team. They will all fight for a place in the top ten and even cause a surprise, win a prestigious stage or crash out in the first week. Such is the nature of the Tour de France for the overall contenders.

Sprinting battle royal

The sprinters are also promising a battle royal for the 100th edition of the Tour de France, with the flat stages offering a high-speed, adrenaline-fuelled showdown between Mark Cavendish, André Greipel, Marcel Kittel, Peter Sagan and their respective Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Lotto Belisol, Argos-Shimano and Cannondale teams.

Other sprinters expected to barge their way into the fast finishes include Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ), Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) and the ever-erratic Roman Feillu (Vancansoleil-DCM).

The four big sprint teams will chase down breakaways and then try and set up their sprinters at high speeds. Crashes, polemics and the fight for the green points jersey are part of the game and should keep us all on the edge of our seats until the mountain stages and fight for the yellow jersey.

The Tour de France parcours

As tradition, the Tour de France consists of 21 stages and two rest days during the three weeks of racing.

This year the route follows an anti-clockwise direction after the opening stages in Corsica, with the Pyrenees coming in the first week of racing before a transfer to Brittany, a long diagonal ride back south via Lyon for the showdown in the Alps before a second flight takes the riders to Paris for the finish on the Champs Élysées. The official race distance is 3404km, an average of 162km a day.

The Tour de France often starts with a prologue time trial and flat stages for the sprinters. Not this year. Corsica hosts three road stages: to Bastia, Ajaccio and Calvi. Only the first really suits the sprinters, with the others including rugged and testing climbs along the coastline of the Mediterranean island.

Mark Cavendish may be favourite to win the first sprint and so take the first yellow jersey but the other stages in Corsica could offer Sagan a chance to quickly establish a lead in the battle for the green jersey.

The riders fly to Nice after Monday's stage but there is no rest day and they face an intense afternoon of speed and nerves in the 25km team time trial. The stage is out and back along the Promenade des Anglais seafront with an equally flat and fast loop inland. Time lost by the weaker teams could be decisive for their leaders' hope.

The first week heads across the south of France but with a mix of hilly stages and expected sprint finishes. Here the canicule of July will also be a factor, with holiday makers no doubt watching from the shade along the side of the road.

Early mountains

The first mountain stage on Saturday July 8 ends in Ax 3 Domaines. The Col de Pailhères (15.3km at 8%) is brutal, while the 7.8km climb to the finish should set the hierarchy for the rest of the race. The following day's ninth stage is just as important and is a classic day in the Pyrenees, covering five cols in just 130km before the descent to Bagnères-de-Bigorre. We can expect a breakaway attempt as the overall contenders watch each other for signs of weakness.

The Tour de France transfers north to Brittany on the first rest day for a change of landscape and probably weather. The 11th stage, a 33km time trial, finishes in the spectacular shadows of the Mont-Saint-Michel island, with riders out to beat each other and the coastal tide. Winds and the risk of rain could also be a huge factor in the race of truth.

Showdown in the Alps!

Le Tour returns south after the time trial, cutting across central France before a long stage to the summit of Mont Ventoux. The Géant de Provence is a terrible, steep and painful climb (20.8km at 8%) and comes after 220km of racing. The stage will also be held on Bastille Day: extra motivation for the French riders and even bigger crowds on the barren white rocky slopes.

The riders can enjoy the second rest day in Vaucluse after conquering the Ventoux but the Alps are looming to the south-east. The 32km stage 17 time trial between Embrun and Chorges includes two climbs and requires excellent bike handling skills and then Thursday's 172.5km stage climbs L'Alpe d'Huez twice!

The first is followed by the decent of the Col de Sarenne, with some riders not happy about the dangers of the twisting descent. The stage ends with a second climb on the legendary hairpins, with another name to add to the long list of prestigious winners.

The mountains continue on stage 19 to Le Grand-Bornand, with the Col du Glandon and the Col de la Madeleine just two of five climbs covered during the 200km stage.

The mountains of the 100th Tour de France end on Saturday July 20 with a relatively short (125km) but tough stage near Annecy. The climb that could well decide the Tour is up to the finish at Annecy-Semnoz, a final Hors Categorie climb that is 10.7km and has an 8.5% average gradient.

With no time bonuses awarded at stage or intermediate sprints, every second will count throughout the race and on the final climb.

The last stage to Paris and the Champs-Élysées on Sunday July 21 will be a celebration of the 100th Tour de France, of this year's overall winner and hopefully everything that is good about professional cycling. Riders leave Versailles at 5:45pm, with the finish scheduled for sunset at 9:30pm local time.

It will be a spectacular end to what promises to be a spectacular Tour.

Vive le Tour!

Article Source: Cycling News

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

Giro Shoes Biomech Analysis

Get an inside look as Giro analyzes fit and performance of our footwear with riders at the PACE Performance center in Portland, Oregon.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tales from the Underground: The Honeymoon is Over for Sky and Wiggins

By: Robert Millar

What's the real reason behind Wiggins missing the Tour?

Looks like the Wiggins/Sky honeymoon is now officially over. They've had the good times, they've had some bad times and now marital trouble is brewing behind the shiny façade. Like any relationship going bad, there'll be some good excuses thrown about and I do wonder which one Sir Dave has told Sir Brad.

Maybe not the brutal one of 'you've been replaced by a younger model.' That might be a bit too much like the truth. No, something from the less offensive selection has to be more appropriate for a national hero. 'You're just not doing it for me, I think we need a break' or perhaps 'it's not what we expected and something has to change.' The last one is probably nearest the mark but then remember any change which is required isn't for The Plan. Sky haven't been good at changing The Plan.

According to some sources close to the Wiggins camp, it seems that the dicky left knee story might not be exactly the whole truth behind the imposition of July holidays for last year's TdF champion. The can't train reason might have been valid if he hadn't been doing four-hour rides, trying to hit the required numbers. As anyone who has experienced that kind of pain will tell you can't ride even 30 minutes under any kind of effort with a knee injury so four hours, really?

This season hasn't been a patch on 2012 for Wiggins and it seems that despite following head coach Tim Kerrison's menu for success like he did previously, this time around he hasn't been hitting the numbers and the results haven't been there. Cue head falling off and the onset of unhappiness. Of course, the weather hasn't helped him but it looks like Brad is missing old friends Shane Sutton and Sean Yates. When it came to managing the athlete that Wiggins is, they were the ones who knew what to look for, when to reassure him or when to shout at him, and now that kind of relationship and understanding isn't available the wheels are falling of the Wiggo wagon.

The wattage game might have worked last year but there's more to training than just that aspect and it's difficult to keep doing the same type of efforts year in year out and still keep your sanity. Sometimes you need to change a few things to keep the mental side of things fresh, some new ideas or stimulation in how you train and race and that's where the good old boys could have stepped in before everything turned sour.

So the dicky knee would have been a good cover story and you have to admit it's more convenient than saying Wiggins wasn't going to be good enough but then we come to the conspiracy theory.

Apparently when Chris Froome was considering putting his signature on a new contract to stay with the Brit team after last year's Tour he insisted on sole team leadership and no Wiggins at the 2013 TdF. It was that or hello BMC. Now that kind of bombshell - if it's true - puts a different complexion on the injury excuse and it might explain why Sky were so keen to point Wiggins in the direction of the Giro. Of course the internal politics between Froome, Sky and Wiggins wouldn't have been a problem if Wiggins had met his target and won the Giro but he didn't and now the dirty laundry is being pegged out.

Now to add this scenario we have the return of Alberto Contador, the big danger but according to a team mate he isn't looking to be in the same all-conquering form he once enjoyed. Tactics may well be deployed in the race for yellow. The thinking goes that Froome and Contador will be watching each other that closely that Richie Porte could sneak off up the road and gain enough advantage to withstand any attacks from either of the two named leaders.

Then who is going to help Froome out? Not Evans, as it was his spot as number one at BMC which was been taken, and he's Australian to boot, so he's not going to ride and certainly not any of the Spaniards either as they couldn't go back home having helped Contador lose. Wiggins enjoyed a certain aura before his triumph and had few enemies but Froome doesn't seem to have that luxury. His PR machine needs to be making good impressions so this Criterium du Dauphine is going to be vital to Chris Froome's ambitions of TdF success. If he doesn't shine like Wiggins did last year, there'll be extra pressure and if he wins, there'll be even more stress. Meanwhile over at Sky Central, the mantra will continue, stick to The Plan. Though you do wonder if Brad was kept fully in the loop on that one.

Want a bit of good reading to get you prepared for a summer of cycling? Look up The Rules by Velominati. I will point out that I quickly browsed through them and noticed they've missed a couple. Front brake to the left hand lever, rear brake on the right hand lever is one and no sprinting on the hoods is another. The exception to that rule is Guiseppe Saronni, for an example see the Goodwood Worlds in 82. I know it's not a great exemption as he employed the same style at Prague in 81 and Freddy Maertens mugged him so stick to the rules.

Article Source: Cycling News

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Renshaw Convinced He'll be Ready for Tour de France

By: Alex Malone
No sprint support as Blanco chase GC, Tour de Suisse to test form

Mark Renshaw has been pleasantly surprised by his ability to bounce back from the high-speed crash that took him out of the Tour of Turkey on stage 2 and he believes that he will be ready for the Tour de France.

The Blanco sprinter spent just two weeks off the bike following surgery on the broken collarbone he sustained in Turkey, while a few of the associated injuries took a little bit longer to get right. Renshaw returns to racing at the Ronde van Zeeland Seaports this Sunday to get some last-minute leg speed before heading to the Tour de Suisse, where his performance will ultimately determine his Tour inclusion.

"The plan has always been for the Tour but now it just means that at Tour de Suisse I have prove I'm back on the level. If I can prove I'm right to race then there should be no worries," Renshaw told Cyclingnews.

"I had two weeks completely off the bike, one week on the home trainer. I've been back on the road for almost two weeks. I'm going pretty well actually and quite happy with how the recovery has gone. I thought it was going to be a lot harder to come back but it's [the form] has come back quite quick."

Blanco has a formidable line-up for the 200km Zeeland race, with Theo Bos leading the line. Renshaw admits that while his condition is on the up, he probably won't have the legs to contribute to Bos' sprint train, which features fellow Australian Graeme Brown. At Suisse however, there's a number of stages earmarked for sprints but with a difficult parcours and a field full of riders testing themselves ahead of the Grand Depart, bunch sprints are never certain.

"The only chance to race before Suisse is at Zeeland. I can't see myself playing a big role in the race, it's more to get a day of racing under the belt. It seems like there will be a few sprint stages but in saying that it's Tour de Suisse and it's always a hard race," he said.

Renshaw's transition from lead-out man to sprinter and back to sometime-lead-out man has led to mixed feelings for the Australian, who is best-known for his performances alongside Mark Cavendish during his Highroad days. At Blanco, Renshaw has come to understand that if Bos is there, it's almost certain the Dutchman will be given the lead.

"It works quite well for the team when we race together but if we ride together we always ride for him, so I try to do a different program a lot," he explained.

Assuming Suisse goes to plan Renshaw should be in Corsica on June 29 but as has been the case a number of times this season, Renshaw won't have support for the sprint stages. With a team that has ambitions for the general classification, he will have to be there to take opportunities when they arise, after his team duties have been performed.

"If I go to the Tour it will be to support Bauke Mollema and Robert Gesink, who are the leaders of the team. They are focused on GC so if I go it will be to help those guys. I can obviously try to take my chance in sprint stages but they [Blanco] won't have support for me," said Renshaw.

The Australia National Team

Critical of his omission from Cycling Australia's selection for the 2011 world championships and 2012 Olympic Games, Renshaw was satisfied with the appointment of Brad McGee and Brian Stephens, who will share the National Team DS position. Renshaw had voiced his backing of the former professional McGee into the role held by Matt White - until he stepped down - and believes sharing the work load with Stephens should work well.

"I think he's going to be great in that role. I've known Brad a long time, he's a smart guy and he'll do a great job. He's in Australia now but they will have Brian Stephens to look over the European racing so between the two of them they will do a good job."

Article Source: Cycling News