The Rides

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The Ride. It is the cathedral of our sport, where we worship at the altar of the Man with the Hammer. It is the end to our means. Indeed, The Bike may be the central tool to our sport, but to turn the pedals is to experience the sensation of freedom, of flight. It is all for The Ride.

The world is overflowing with small, twisty roads that capture our collective imagination as cyclists. We spend our lifetimes searching out the best routes and rides; we pore over maps, we share with our fellow disciples, we talk to non-cycling locals all in pursuit of the Perfect Ride.

The Rides is devoted entirely to the best routes and rides around the world. Some are races or cyclosportives, others feature in the Classics and stages of The Great Races, while others still are little-known gems, discovered through careful meditation on The V. Be warned: these rides are not your average Sunday Afternoon spin; these rides are the best and most difficult rides in the word – they represent the rites of passage into La Vie Velominatus. It is to be taken for granted that these rides require loads of Rule #5, many of them Rule #10, and all of them are best enjoyed in Rule #9 conditions. They have been shared by you, the community. The Rides also features articles devoted to the greatest rides and providess a forum for sharing other rides for discussion.

If you’d like to submit a ride or an article about your own favorite ride, please feel free to send it to us and we’ll do our best to work with you to include it.

Haleakala

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 56km / Location: Paia, Maui, Hawaii, USA

haleakala

Haleakala is simultaneously the longest paved continuous climb in the world as well as the shortest ascent from sea level to 10,000 feet in the world. Though not terribly steep, this is a long, grinding climb that will reduce a strong rider to a whimpering lump.

To put the effort in perspective, this climb is 60km long a an average of 6% with two pitches as steep as 17%. That translates to somewhere between 3 or more hours of nonstop climbing, usually in Maui’s direct heat and often into a whipping headwind that spins around into a headwind no matter which direction the switchbacks take you.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/50412514

Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Category: Rouleur / Distance: 265 / Location: Liege, Belgium

lbl

Liege-Bastogne-Liege is not only La Doyenne, the oldest of the Classics, but also represents perhaps the most demanding course in cycling. The 280 km, 3000m vertical route starts with an easy ride out from Liege to Bastogne which lulls riders into a false sense of security; the hills are frequent, but none of them terribly demanding. Into Bastogne, and the story changes on the way back to Liege with 9 categorized climbs in the second half, including the fearsome Côte de la Redoute and the Côte de Saint-Nicolas.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58053308/

Paris-Roubaix

Category: Hardman / Distance: 265 / Location: Compiégne, France

paris-roubaix

L’enfur du Nord. The Hell of The North. The Queen of the Classics. This isn’t a ride over the stones from your local brick-paved roads. You think climbs are what make a ride tough? We’ve got news for you: this is the hardest ride on the planet and it boasts a maximum elevation of 55 meters. These are vicious, brutal stones; the kind that will stretch each kilometer to their full length, the kind of stones that you will feel long after the rattling of the bars has stopped. These stones will change you. Forever.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052610/

Guide: Pavé Cycling Classics

Mortirolo/Gavia Loop

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 115km / Location: Bormio, Italy / Contributor: Joe

The Mortirolo is perhaps the most feared pass in Western Europe, and the Gavia the most storied. Given their proximity to each other, its a wonder why this isn’t the most talked-about ride in Italy. Maybe it is; its impossible to say without being Italian. The loop nature of this ride makes it feasible as a solo escapade, but any ride with the kind of stats this one bears – 3200 meters ascended in 115 kilometers including the viscously steep Mortirolo – is best enjoyed with a riding partner or support car.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/59027020/

200 on 100

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 330km / Location: Vernon, VT / Contributor: cdelinks

“Dumptruck of Awesome” has become the catch-phrase associated with this brutally hard, yet strikingly beautiful 330 kilometer (200 mile) ride down Vermont Route 100.  This ride was made popular during the summer of 2011 when Ted King, Tim Johnson, and a local amateur cyclist, Ryan Kelly, documented this ride on film. The ride starts on the Canadian border and finishes on the Massachusetts border.  With over 2500 meters of climbing on this 330 kilometer ride, you will need to pack a few lunches to get through this one.  Do this ride in the Fall, and the foliage might be beautiful enough to distract you from the horrible pain you will most certainly suffer.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/58052808/

De Ronde Van West Portlandia

Category: Grimpeur / Distance: 76km / Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

A ride that officially “never happens” each spring, this 76 km route charts a course through Portland’s West Hills, paying homage to the European Spring Classics. Approximately 1,800 meters of paved and unpaved climbs are spread throughout the course, with several sections reaching grades of over 20%. More information can be found at Ronde PDX.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/15276210

Seattle Master Urban Ride

Category: Rouleur / Distance: 130km / Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

seattleronde

This is perhaps the most challenging urban route in Seattle, hitting three of the big hills that define Seattle’s topography. The route starts and ends on Phinney Ridge, but hits the climbs of Interlaken and Alder Street/Lake Dell Drive on its way to Mercer Island, before coming back to hit Queen Anne and Magnolia, weaving its way up each of these hills as many times as possible via the steepest route available before the finale to the north via Golden Gardens, Blue Ridge Drive, and Carkeek Park. Panoramic views of the Cascades, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, The Olympic Penninsula and Puget Sound makes this a standout Urban ride.

Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/57732282

  1. Muddy Ford crossing again — awesome hidden road — 28mm




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  2. Raced on the road for the last time this season yesterday. Super hard Cat 2/3/4 race, apparently.

    I can’t comment because I got dropped before the race hit the first climb; repeated 4 times during the race as part of a 25ish km circuit. I was feeling comfortable and then there was a sudden acceleration in the bunch which I didn’t adjust to, and 20 seconds later I was on my own in the wind with no hope of catching the group again.

    I chased a lone rider about 45 seconds ahead for the whole of the next lap, but he abandoned as the race went past HQ for the 2nd time, so I pulled in too. One of my team mates was already out, another gave up after lap 3 and the other 2 finished, one coming in 3rd.

    Next year I’d like to try finishing that one.




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  3. So, Peter Sagan, current World and European Champion…

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/uec-road-european-championship-2016/elite-men-road-race/results/




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  4. @Teocalli

    Flatlands=Netherlands. This race took place in Belgium. But is almost funny to watch. He came out of the water like a duck with his mouth the other way around,




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  5. Nice long ride up into the Welsh mountains on Saturday. On the downside, I definitely got too excited and rode the first 2 hours much too hard. On the plus side, I now know that 2-2.5 hrs is as long a I can ride tempo and the journey into the pain cave that comprised the next 2.5hrs was a lesson not to do it again.

    Also said hello the The Man With the Hammer about 20kms from home.




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  6. This is the epitome meeting the Man With The Hammer.




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  7. @Teocalli

    This is the epitome meeting the Man With The Hammer.

    I saw that – quite incredible. That wasn’t just the man with the hammer, but his whole crew. Brownlee wasn’t just exhausted, he was way past that.




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  8. @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    This is the epitome meeting the Man With The Hammer.

    I saw that – quite incredible. That wasn’t just the man with the hammer, but his whole crew. Brownlee wasn’t just exhausted, he was way past that.

    I couldn’t get the video to open but I was going to guess it was Brownlee the younger. Alistair said that the reason he grabbed him is that he was genuinely worried for his brother’s safety if he’d collapsed where he was – where the medical attention would be much better across the finish line.

    I know we speak ill of tri-geeks on these pages, but those two are Badasses.




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  9. Rode the 120km ride of this event a couple of weeks ago.

    Only 5500 of my closest friend’s came along.

    Nothing unusual or extreme about the ride or distance for that matter but the scenery made the day, particularly the forest sections in the Otway’s.

    http://amysgranfondo.org.au/video/




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  10. No idea if this is the right place to post this, but I’ve just seen the UCI’s revision of the omnium and feel compelled to ask this community if it’s just me or is the UCI determined to screw up everything they touch?

    From being a 2 day event comprising 6 events ranging from a flying lap to a points race it’s now reduced to a 1 day event, 4 races, all of which seem to be basically endurance races with some sprinting. This is to ‘improve the competition narrative’. Right.

    So whilst before the omnium could be described to a non cycling fan as the cycling equivalent of the decathlon/heptathlon whereby the winner is the one who excels over many different disciplines, now how do you describe it? To a layman how will the tempo race be visually different to the ponts race? Or indeed the scratch race?

    Or have I missed something terribly obvious?




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  11. @davidlhill

    No idea if this is the right place to post this, but I’ve just seen the UCI’s revision of the omnium and feel compelled to ask this community if it’s just me or is the UCI determined to screw up everything they touch?

    From being a 2 day event comprising 6 events ranging from a flying lap to a points race it’s now reduced to a 1 day event, 4 races, all of which seem to be basically endurance races with some sprinting. This is to ‘improve the competition narrative’. Right.

    So whilst before the omnium could be described to a non cycling fan as the cycling equivalent of the decathlon/heptathlon whereby the winner is the one who excels over many different disciplines, now how do you describe it? To a layman how will the tempo race be visually different to the ponts race? Or indeed the scratch race?

    Or have I missed something terribly obvious?

    I think the bit you’ve missed is the shrinking attention span in modern society. Yeah when I heard this and that it basically took out the width of ability (aka decathlon/heptathlon) I just put my head in my hands. PS I think these days when the UCI do that last part they mostly miss.




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  12. @davidlhill

    The other absurd part of this and many other non cycling events is that as the arenas get to cost more an more and architects compete to add more and more grandiose stadia the sports authorities try to reduce the number and length of events held in them. Nuts.

    As for the calls to add Fishing to the Olympics………….




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  13. @davidlhill, @Teocalli I really wanted Cookson to do something special at the UCI after the previous criminal mismanagement but at would seem that he’s made little difference to the ongoing farce.

    If your organisation uses a term like competition narrative, it’s time to accept that you’ve failed and step down. It’s the management equivalent of the remedy to the extension of Rule #65.




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  14. So glad it’s not just me. An endurance coach commented “who wants to see the flying lap?”. Well, I do for one. And it seemed to me the fans filled the arena with noise when the riders are on one.

    And I too agree re Cookson and the ongoing farce. I’ve said this before, but they seem to be competing with FIFA to hold the title of the world’s worst governing body.




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  15. @chris

    If your organisation uses a term like competition narrative, it’s time to accept that you’ve failed and step down.

    Spot on.

    I don’t think it is that difficult – sports fans can follow the heptathlon without difficulty because, despite not knowing exactly how the scoring works, the ‘competition narrative’ is pretty simple – 7 events, points per event, most points wins. The events are fairly different. The winner is the best all-rounder, fundamentally.

    The omnium was the same. Not that hard to follow, really.

    The same coach I mentioned above said that training for the omnium hindered Cav’s chances in the team pursuit, so he supports the change. What?! Didn’t seem to harm Laura Trott’s preparations…….

    Anyway – signing off now – need to prepare for the Cogal tomorrow…




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  16. Dowsett goes for it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/38011814




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  17. @Teocalli

    Interesting changes for Ghent Wevelgem

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/ghent-wevelgems-new-muddy-semi-paved-roads-could-cause-absolute-chaos-video-301631?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

    that is really beautiful. it’s going to be a great spring for bike racing.




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  18. @Cary

    @Teocalli

    Interesting changes for Ghent Wevelgem

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/ghent-wevelgems-new-muddy-semi-paved-roads-could-cause-absolute-chaos-video-301631?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

    that is really beautiful. it’s going to be a great spring for bike racing.

    Isn’t every spring ?! Love it. Cheers




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  19. @Randy C

    @Cary

    @Teocalli

    Interesting changes for Ghent Wevelgem

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/ghent-wevelgems-new-muddy-semi-paved-roads-could-cause-absolute-chaos-video-301631?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

    that is really beautiful. it’s going to be a great spring for bike racing.

    Isn’t every spring ?! Love it. Cheers

    yeah i suppose it is! i hope Ghent Wevelgem experiences the same resurgence the Ronde did after it’s route alteration a few years ago. the Ronde went from being among my favorite races, to plainly being my favorite race.




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  20. Free ticket for the London Velodrome tonight! No idea if this is the right place to post, but anyway – a friend of mine has let me down last minute, so I have a spare ticket for tonight’s Revolution series at the velodrome. Anybody here want it? It’s a good one, as it’s described as a Finish Line ticket.

    OK, not strictly free – I’d appreciate a beer!




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  21. Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike is one of my favorite bike . I am riding this bike from last 2 years . This is super easy to ride with this awesome road bikes . I love it so much . Do you ever ride on this bike ?




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  22. Interesting preparation for an allroad recon ride when you are obliged to drive out to talk to landowner about his amazing gravel section that feeds into an absolutely hidden roadbed — Google and RideWithGPS has even lost track of this section. Route crosses a creek spot { hidden } to then intersect with another known road to get back on course — 0.5 mile unknown roadbed on an incredible 53.5 mi. race route. Recon this month with race director on starting South Carolina April allroad race. Hoping to lure more experienced and willing riders in as more starts to happen with this — January.




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  23. @universo

    Interesting preparation for an allroad recon ride when you are obliged to drive out to talk to landowner about his amazing gravel section that feeds into an absolutely hidden roadbed — Google and RideWithGPS has even lost track of this section. Route crosses a creek spot { hidden } to then intersect with another known road to get back on course — 0.5 mile unknown roadbed on an incredible 53.5 mi. race route. Recon this month with race director on starting South Carolina April allroad race. Hoping to lure more experienced and willing riders in as more starts to happen with this — January.

    That sounds like a good time ! Like ol’ Elvis sang, True love travels down a gravel road… Cheers




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  24. Happy new year and all the best to the Velominati clan out there. Wishing you all many safe and happy miles on whatever bike(s) you have at your disposal.

    First ride of the new year yesterday. 43 kms in thick, cold Wisconsin air. Roads were clean and dry and wind minimal. Felt ok. Been riding the rollers a bit and I think I noticed a bit of a difference in the smoothness of my stroke and calm upper body. Certainly enough to warrant more roller time.

    It was truly a case of applying the Kelly theorem of winter riding: how cold is it? I don’t know. I guess I’ll just have to go out and ride for 90 minutes and find out.




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  25. So I got around my 4 laps at Newport Velodrome yesterday in 1 minute 12 seconds plus small change, in the Welsh Track Championships

    Was good enough for 6th but I did mostly for the challenge of doing something completely new (I only started track cycling in November). Thanks for all here who gave me advice and encouragement.

    Riding the Team Sprint Championships next weekend, so I’ll report back!




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  26. @RobSandy

    Great work!




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  27. @RobSandy

    So I got around my 4 laps at Newport Velodrome yesterday in 1 minute 12 seconds plus small change, in the Welsh Track Championships

    Was good enough for 6th but I did mostly for the challenge of doing something completely new (I only started track cycling in November). Thanks for all here who gave me advice and encouragement.

    Riding the Team Sprint Championships next weekend, so I’ll report back!

    AWESOME picture! Reminds me to bring someone with me when I hit the tracks for the first time… Still 3.5months to go. How long is your track? The Zurich one is 333.33m and in open air. I like the Dutch colours you wear. You have an aero shaped helmet too?

    PS: stay closer to the black line, that’s the shortest…




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  28. @wiscot

    Wishing you all many safe and happy miles on whatever bike(s) you have at your disposal.

    Already forgetting Rule #24 in the New Year?




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  29. @KogaLover

    @RobSandy

    So I got around my 4 laps at Newport Velodrome yesterday in 1 minute 12 seconds plus small change, in the Welsh Track Championships

    Was good enough for 6th but I did mostly for the challenge of doing something completely new (I only started track cycling in November). Thanks for all here who gave me advice and encouragement.

    Riding the Team Sprint Championships next weekend, so I’ll report back!

    AWESOME picture! Reminds me to bring someone with me when I hit the tracks for the first time… Still 3.5months to go. How long is your track? The Zurich one is 333.33m and in open air. I like the Dutch colours you wear. You have an aero shaped helmet too?

    250m – standard indoor velodrome. My club is called Ajax, too – don’t know if that it why we chose those colours. It’s an old club.

    I’ve got a Catlike Chrono Plus – bought it for road TT’s but it’s all the same.

    PS: stay closer to the black line, that’s the shortest…

    Yes, thanks! I’m expecting my coach to give me a roasting about this when I see him. It’s actually quite hard to do, especially at 55kph when you’re totally boxed…




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  30. @RobSandy

    Chapeau Butt




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  31. @KogaLover

    @RobSandy

    So I got around my 4 laps at Newport Velodrome yesterday in 1 minute 12 seconds plus small change, in the Welsh Track Championships

    Was good enough for 6th but I did mostly for the challenge of doing something completely new (I only started track cycling in November). Thanks for all here who gave me advice and encouragement.

    Riding the Team Sprint Championships next weekend, so I’ll report back!

    AWESOME picture! Reminds me to bring someone with me when I hit the tracks for the first time… Still 3.5months to go. How long is your track? The Zurich one is 333.33m and in open air. I like the Dutch colours you wear. You have an aero shaped helmet too?

    PS: stay closer to the black line, that’s the shortest…

    Congrats! 6th at the first shot is not too shabby at all. Keep us posted on your progress. Podium next year?




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  32. @wiscot

    @KogaLover

    @RobSandy

    So I got around my 4 laps at Newport Velodrome yesterday in 1 minute 12 seconds plus small change, in the Welsh Track Championships

    Was good enough for 6th but I did mostly for the challenge of doing something completely new (I only started track cycling in November). Thanks for all here who gave me advice and encouragement.

    Riding the Team Sprint Championships next weekend, so I’ll report back!

    AWESOME picture! Reminds me to bring someone with me when I hit the tracks for the first time… Still 3.5months to go. How long is your track? The Zurich one is 333.33m and in open air. I like the Dutch colours you wear. You have an aero shaped helmet too?

    PS: stay closer to the black line, that’s the shortest…

    Congrats! 6th at the first shot is not too shabby at all. Keep us posted on your progress. Podium next year?

    Chapeau Rob, great result regardless of when you started. Even sweeter as a relative newcomer.

    My Christmas present from @Mrs Chris included accreditation sessions for LVVP with a view to racing next winter. This is inspiring.




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  33. @RobSandy

    So I got around my 4 laps at Newport Velodrome yesterday in 1 minute 12 seconds plus small change, in the Welsh Track Championships

    Was good enough for 6th but I did mostly for the challenge of doing something completely new (I only started track cycling in November). Thanks for all here who gave me advice and encouragement.

    Riding the Team Sprint Championships next weekend, so I’ll report back!

    Nicely done!! What spot are you riding for the Team Sprint?




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  34. @RobSandy

    Very cool ! Much respect. Cheers




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  35. @chris

    I don’t even have a track accreditation yet! My first ever bunch race was Sunday morning in the kierin. Where I managed to get myself DQ’d. Oh well.

    @Haldy

    Nicely done!! What spot are you riding for the Team Sprint?

    I’m man 2. I’m more confident on my ability to really smash it for that length of time. And man 3 rode a 1:10 in the Kilo on Sunday.




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  36. @RobSandy

    Well done, and congrats on a very respectable kilo time. Fair play too for even attempting the keirin. I’d imagine that was slightly scary, or did the red mist descend and it was all a blur?




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  37. @DVMR

    @RobSandy

    Well done, and congrats on a very respectable kilo time. Fair play too for even attempting the keirin. I’d imagine that was slightly scary, or did the red mist descend and it was all a blur?

    Keirin was completely awesome. I’ve raced plenty of crits and it wasn’t too different, except there were only 8 of us and it kicked off at 50kph.

    The annoying thing was I felt comfortable and if I’d had the guts I would have pulled out, opened up my sprint properly and probably come 3rd. As it was I hesitated, got boxed in and drifted down onto the cote d’azure in the home straight and got DQ’d. Live and learn.




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  38. Do you like my new jersey?




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  39. @RobSandy

    Cool – looks very Welsh.




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  40. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    Cool – looks very Welsh.

    Yes, but I posted it for a reason.

    Maybe too subtle? Next clue: I didn’t buy it.




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  41. Stealing is WRONG.




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  42. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    Cool – looks very Welsh.

    Yes, but I posted it for a reason.

    Maybe too subtle? Next clue: I didn’t buy it.

    Maybe my response was too subtle? Chapeau.




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  43. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    Cool – looks very Welsh.

    Yes, but I posted it for a reason.

    Maybe too subtle? Next clue: I didn’t buy it.

    Maybe my response was too subtle? Chapeau.




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  44. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    Cool – looks very Welsh.

    Yes, but I posted it for a reason.

    Maybe too subtle? Next clue: I didn’t buy it.

    Maybe my response was too subtle? Chapeau.

    What a strange day that was…




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  45. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    Cool – looks very Welsh.

    Yes, but I posted it for a reason.

    Maybe too subtle? Next clue: I didn’t buy it.

    Maybe my response was too subtle? Chapeau.

    What a strange day that was…

    Awesome. Chateau.

    Now you’ll have to get @frank to get a special V-kit made up with championship bands on one sleeve.

    Green red, orange and black; what a mix!




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  46. @RobSandy

    Who are you? which are you?

    There should be a rule against wearing a cycling jersey with regular trousers, Mr Left & Mr Right…

    @chris

    Awesome. Chateau. Now you’ll have to get @frank to get a special V-kit made up with championship bands on one sleeve. Green red, orange and black; what a mix!

    Chateau? On my keyboard, the “t” is quite far from the “p”.




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  47. @KogaLover

    Who are you? which are you?

    Far left

    There should be a rule against wearing a cycling jersey with regular trousers, Mr Left & Mr Right…

    @chris

    Oh you can fuck off (nicely)!

    I’ve never been on a podium before (and nor am I likely to again) and I’ve been getting it in the ear left, right and centre that I should have been in club bibs for the presentation. I had no idea.

    In mitigation, my ride was at 14:30 and the presentation was at about 18:00.




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