Monday, February 28, 2011

Why did Boonen attack? Did he really think the winning move was at the 6km mark? Practising his TT?

It looked like he was committed, so he probably meant it. Was it just to show his face to the fans (and sponsors), knowing that his sprint is under-done? Extra intensity training? Anyway, nice lead out work by Sky lead to a good win by Chris Sutton. Dad Gary and Uncle Shane will both be pleased.

OffLine: Sutton wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne classic - Final 6 km video
Sutton wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne classic - Final 6 km video
Sutton clearly wins but the Belgian commentators are somewhat surprised and take a while to be certain. Boonen wastes himself in a bold attack but is brought back. And fun and games as riders miss the roundabout and find a photographer instead (4km to go mark).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

McEwen's interesting training ride from Nashik to Mumbai - a good story

With all of the assumed and presumed doping and what have you going on you could easily lose sight of what makes the bike so enjoyable - the sheer pleasure of covering long distances under your own steam. It's what drew me into the sport in the first place, a mere 37 years ago! Bravo to the likes of Hunter, Elliott and McEwen for taking the scenic route!

Robbie McEwen and Co. head cross-country in India
McEwen was joined by RadioShack teammates Sam Bewley and Robbie Hunter, the South African Bonitas team, keen to put in some miles ahead of next week’s Tour of South Africa, and members of the UK-registered Motorpoint team, including racer/manager Malcolm Elliott.

They rode 140km, heading out of Nashik and taking in the opening 50km of Friday’s race route. Instead of turning around at the bottom of a wide gorge, as they did Friday, they kept on heading southwest toward Mumbai.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nice win for Moncoutie - Feillu really needed a body swap with his brother to win this one

David Moncoutie always seems to have the goods when it matters, although this has to be one of his better, more tactical wins. As for overnight leader Romain Feillu, he really needed to swap his sprinter's legs for younger brother Brice's climbing ones. But that's probably not allowed under the rules, eh?

Tour Méditerranéen Cycliste Professionnel: Stage 5, Route Maps & Results |
Yellow jersey Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM) was never likely to hold on to his advantage on the 9.9% slopes and he would ultimately lose 2 minutes and slip to 25th overall by the day’s end as the peloton fragmented on the climb.

Tour Méditerranéen Cycliste Professionnel: Stage 5, Route Maps & Results |
Moncoutié’s Mont Faron experience was to prove telling in a dramatic finale, however, as he intelligently timed his effort. He pressed clear of a ten-man chasing group in the final two kilometres and went on to catch and pass Péraud 350 metres from the line. He came home 7 seconds clear of the AG2R man and 18 ahead of Wouter Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Cervélo). Other pre-stage favourites Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervélo) could only manage 12th and 36th, respectively.

Romain Feillu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Romain Feillu (born April 16, 1984 in Châteaudun, Eure-et-Loir) is a French road racing cyclist who rides for UCI ProTeam Vacansoleil-DCM. He is the older brother of Brice Feillu, who is also a road racing cyclist.

The 2 Robbies deliver on flat tyres... didn't Sean Kelly specialise in this sort of rim-riding?

It's always disappointing to feel that softening tyre under you, more so when you've ridden through all but the last few kays of a race. So Hunter can be doubly pleased to still get the win.

I can recall Irish hard-man sprinter Sean Kelly doing something similar back in the 80's but can't remember which race that was. I think he won on the rim itself - but maybe not? As McEwen said, it's hard to control the fishtailing when you have bottomed out.

The ‘two Robbies’ deliver big weekend in India for RadioShack
“We actually both punctured. He won the race on a half-flat tire. When I was coming off the bridge with about a kilometer and half to go, I felt it was half-gone, but as I got across the bridge, my rim was hitting the road. I couldn’t pedal without my bike just fish-tailing,” McEwen said. “Just as I was about to tell Rob – I saw him bouncing on his (wheel) – he turned around and said, ‘I’ve got a flat!’ I said you have more air than I have, so go for it. Mine was totally gone, but it was too late to change a wheel and get back, it was never going to happen. We were coming down the bridge at full speed, so I told Robbie, you’ve got to sprint on yours because mine is gone.”