Velominati › 2011 June
Archive for June, 2011
While a good number of Velominati get all uppity around May and make rash statements like their preferred Grand Tour is the Giro d’Italia, because it has more and bigger climbs, beautiful white roads and crazy tifosi, there’s no denying that Le Tour de France is the real grandaddy of them all.Admit it, July trumps May every time. Conti...
Suspense. It defines the thrill of watching a bike race. Johan Van Summeren, his deflated rear tire clanging over the last secteurs of cobblestones in Paris-Roubaix with Fabian Cancellara breathing down his back; Laurent Fignon snatching seconds from Greg LeMond on each mountaintop finish, as LeMond snatches those same seconds back in the time tria...
As Le Tour approaches rapidly, memories of Tours past come to the fore, and riders who may have gone unnoticed for the remainder of the racing season are once again lauded for their performances on the biggest stage there is. We know them as the Evanescent Riders.In 1993, one such rider was the Colombian climber Álvaro Mejía. ’93 was also...
Tullio Campagnolo, an amateur racing cyclist, was racing on a classic Rule #9 day in Italy. The weather was cold, and I believe he was racing in the mountains. Riding with the leaders, I can almost feel in the pit of my stomach the dread that must have crept over him as he realized he wouldn’t be able to change gear. At the time, wheels use...
We all have our obsessions, and principle among mine is the pursuit of silence when it comes to my machines. Not every sound is a bad sound, mind you; the hum from the tires, the growl of a carbon wheel under acceleration, the crisp click of a shift – these are sounds that set my heart alight. But sounds such as a lazy creak or metallic cli...
When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. I’ve whined about Thomas Voeckler on this site for years. After his yellow jersey escapade in the TdF many years ago he became the new Richard Virenque, the new golden boy of French cycling. That was my first problem with Thomas as I never liked RV, let me rephrase, I always hated RV, though he tr...
It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: the shoes say an awful lot about the rider. More than they’d like them to in retrospect, I’m guessing. Here we have the Prophet, looking mighty dapper, congratulating the unexpected victor in the form of Charley Mottet in the Grand Prix of his own name.A first glance at the photo reve...
We tend to look at cycling through rose-tinted glasses; cycling-specific ones that not only give us a cheery outlook on the past, but ones that conveniently hold big black bars over the bits we prefer not to remember as they were because they don’t fit into the picture we’ve formed in our minds. One of the most interesting things about...
If we were meant to fly, Merckx would have given us wings. But he did give us two wheels and Physics. The first allows us to feel like we’re flying, and the second gives us the propensity to fall over and, as such, crashing – or the fear of crashing – is the constant companion of a cyclist. Our first experiences on a bicycle as a...
The Tour de Suisse is the last warm-up race prior to the Tour, and the last chance to test your form. As far as Tour rivalries go, we typically see one rival choose the Dauphiné and one la Suisse; it’s unpleasant to ruffle your feathers too much with a pre-Tour head-to-head, you see.While the Dauphiné has the benefit of previewing some of t...