Monday, August 22, 2011

Nice debut GT win for Sutton at Vuelta - Farrar, Boonen, Petacchi miss out

I've never met Chris Sutton - but his dad (a world champ on the bike) sold me a track bike once. How's that for a connection? Oh, and I kept a safe riding distance from his hot-headed uncle Shane, too! (I think he's a bit less tense these days.) 

Anyway, a nice debut win in a Grand Tour, especially so in front of his mum. I'm sure Uncle Shane wasn't far away either. 

Vuelta A EspaƱa: Stage 2, Route Maps & Results |
Chris Sutton took his debut stage win at a grand tour, out-sprinting Vicente Reynes (Omega Pharma-Lotto) at the end of a disorganised sprint into Playas de Orihuela. The Australian timed his final surge perfectly, jumping in behind Reynes as the Spaniard hit out for the line from the top of the final rise with 300 meters remaining.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One for the trainspotter, the film buff and the freaky bike rider

Oh I think I can do maybe 1 or even 2% of what this guy can do on a bike. And I'm not going out there now to try some of this out.

It's a nice bit of editing in its own right. Called "Industrial Revolutions", starring street trials rider Danny Macaskill. He's freaky, in a good way. It's been filmed in a deserted Ayrshire industrial area, including a train yard and some derelict buildings. Directed by Stu Thomson. Wow.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Why cycling really isn't a team sport

A couple of weeks after Cadel Evans has won Le Tour 2011 and I can confidently assert, not for the first time, that cycling is simply, definitely not a team sport. Sure, we dress it up like it is, and we cobble together a passing representation of a team sport at times - look at the team time trial for example - but when it really matters, when the winners stand on the podium, it's clearly, obviously, all about the individual: Cadel won. We glorify the man, who politely thanks his team. But his team, BMC, didn't even get the team prize at Le Tour. Instead they got one man standing atop a podium and a shared prize pool. 

This individualism is what appealed to me in the first place. You don't need a team to ride, or to train, or to race. You don't even need a specific time or even an agreed place - you just need you, a bike, some time to spare and some terrain to ride on. After all, it's far more like walking or running than like football or netball, isn't it? Sure, we wrap it all up in an organisation, 'cause people need to organsie things and make it all tidy and legit, but at its essence it's just you and a bike. You call the shots, you hurt, you suffer, you win. Or get dropped. Or whatever.

OK, the teams aspect is real enough at times, true. Cadel didn't win on his own, although at times it looked that way. He had a team behind him who protected him and kept him out of trouble. But when he had to ride, he rode alone against the other talented loners. All of these guys are used to riding long miles on their own. Sure it's great to ride with others, be they teammates or just a loose arrangement of riders you stumble upon. It's fun. It's natural to form a bunch and ride together. But it's neither essential nor the point. Just as surely as it's not about the bike, it's also not about the team, your teammates or your club. Or even your coach. It's about you. And deep down we all know that.

Don't see Gerrans leading the Tour of Denmark every day, do you?

Lots of Aussies in the mix in Denmark but it's Simon Gerrans who has taken the GC lead. (Nice stage win by Fuglsang, too.)

3 stages to go, including a TT. I suspect Gerrans will be overtaken but I'm not sure when or how. The TT may be the real stumbling block for the Victorian classics and hilly-stage specialist.

Tour Of Denmark: Stage 3, Route Maps & Results |
General classification after stage 3 Result
1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Procycling 13:03:15
2 Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:04
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek 0:00:08