Archive | July, 2010

Jalabert takes the win in 2001

Velominati Super Prestige: Clasica San Sebastian

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The inaugural Velominati Super Prestige continues with its the first Summer Classic, Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian, on Saturday, July 31. This will be the first post-Tour event in the series and with the unpredictability of how riders are recovering, it makes this race a tough one to predict. The route of this Basque road race is a difficult…

Voigt_06

Ultimate Indulgence: The Simplicity of Pain

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It’s a good question, this: who in their right mind would willfully hurt themselves doing something they “enjoy”? I’m guessing psychologists have a word for this type of behavior, and I’m not afraid to assume it’s not a flattering one. Indeed, we are all of us completely nuts. When I’m not filing TPS Reports, it’s my job to help…

chiapuccino

The Big Engine that Just Might

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I think the last time I cheered for the guy who won the Tour de France must have been Greg LeMond in 1990. Although he would later become one of my favorite riders ever, I didn’t cheer for Jan Ullrich in 1997 because wasn’t cool enough yet.  I didn’t cheer for another eternal favorite, Marco…

Greg LeMan scortches down the Champs-Élysées in 1989

Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France Stage 19

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Looking back on this year’s Tour, it occurs to me it’s been one of the best Tours I’ve seen.  The 2003 Tour will forever go down as my favorite, but mostly because we were there that year, my boy Jan Ullrich nearly won, and I got to sit on Ullrich’s TT bike right before he…

75 miles of unimproved dirt

Gravel

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Last fall, a wrench at the small LBS in town alerted me to a new race that was being put on for the first time just south of where I live. The Heck of the North is organized by a former Ely local named Jeremy who was inspired by a couple other gravel road races…

Jens the Barbarian descends on a loaner bike with toe clips; Photo: Fyxomatosis

Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France Stage 17

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At one point [Conan the Barbarian], and his other old warrior friends capture this village, but then they find that they are surrounded by an army of tens of thousands, and his only reaction is, “Oh man, it’s going to take days to kill all these people!” – Jens Voigt This (paraphrased) passage from Terry…

Certified hardman and aesthete, the Swiss rider Hugo Koblet.

The Cycling Aesthete

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There are those who are challenged to find the value of aesthetics in a sport which requires eating 11T cogs buttered with chain oil for breakfast and drinking kegs of Rule #5 at dinner. Ye of the Congoscenti, I present you with the following photos of some of the quintessential hardmen of our sport who…

Schleck suffers a dramatic mechanical which results in the loss of his Yellow Jersey

We Are Not Animals

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Of all people, a Velominatus knows that our sport is a civilized one; it is steeped in tradition and etiquette and rife with unwritten rules. High on the list of unwritten rules are those that outline acceptable behavior when various hardships befall the leader of a Grand Tour. One of the reasons such rules exist is…

Ullrich fought to within seconds of the Yellow Jersey at Ax-3 Domaines in 2003

Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France Stage 14

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The inaugural Velominati Super Prestige launches it’s second VSP Sub-Competition with Stage 14 of the Tour de France.  The competition will allow contestants the opportunity to win bonus points in the VSP Tour de France by choosing the top three finishers of the stage for a chance to win 3 points for first place, 2 for second, and 1 for…

The irreplaceable multi-colored 3M Electrical tape.

Reverence: 3M Electrical Tape

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One of the most cherished bits in my toolbox are the four rolls of 3M Electrical Tape: red, green, white, and black. In the past, I’ve used off-brands, but those appear to use an adhesive that leaves a gooey residue and the tape itself seems to shrink (especially in heat) as it sits in it’s…

The Mountains are  lonely place to race alone.

The Giants of the Road

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Those who complete the Tour de France are referred to as The Giants of the Road, and a look back at the first week of the Tour doesn’t leave much room for wondering why.  With barely ten stages behind us, we’ve seen some amazing battles.  We’ve seen Pharmstrong take a small psychological win over Contodor in the opening Prologue.…

Steven Rooks wearing the Dotted Jumper in 1988

The Dotted Jumper

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I’m not sure if it’s because I’m too fat to climb and therefore admire those who aren’t, or if it has something to do with the masochistic nature of sprinting to the top of every hill during a three-week race, but the competition for the best climber in the Tour de France has long captured my imagination.…

Jan Jansen, a master of the double-shift.

Reverence: The Double Shift

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There was a time when shifting was an art. Friction down-tube shifters required a finess and a light touch of the fingers; a slight overshift to pop the chain onto the cog, and then ease the shifter forward to rest the chain perfectly in its place. Over time, and with the advancement of technology, the…

Contador stamps his authority on the first hilltop finish of the 2009 Tour.

Velominati Super Prestige: Tour de France Stage 8

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The inaugural Velominati Super Prestige makes it’s first VSP Sub-Competition with Stage 8 of the Tour de France.  The competition will allow contestants the opportunity to win bonus points in the VSP Tour de France by choosing the top three finishers of the stage for a chance to win 3 points for first place, 2 for second, and 1 for…

Pave Training or Teeth Rattling Bullshit?

That Is It Obama, I’ve Had It!

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When President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka the huge stimulus package, into law I figured he was probably doing his job and putting some peeps to work. Merckx knows this country needed some help and I voted for the guy so I thought ‘what could possibly go wrong?’ That was until…

F Grimpeur, Banged but not Felled - Photo Courtesy of Universal Sports

Professionals: Rule 5 and No Room For Protests

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First and foremost, as a cyclist and a devoted fan of this sport – a Velominatus, no less, – I express my deepest sympathies to the riders who crashed in Stage 2 of the Tour de France.  Blame was cast around, but as pointed out by Ben, there were many months of opportunity for the riders to…

photo 2

Reverence: Baxter Aftershave

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Baxter Aftershave is one of the most important cremes I have in my arsenal, aside from the testosterone rub, the alcohol swabs I use before injecting my EPO, and Butt Butter or whatever my chamois creme is called. At $15 a pop, it’s not particularly cheap, but the addition of moisturizers and antiseptic keep irritation at…

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