Happy Friday! It is once again time to dust off the shoes, pump up your tyres and lube all moving parts in preparation for the weekend; that time when, amongst the carnage that is the lists, food shopping and jobs that need doing, we try and escape for however long to go for a ride. So, with that glory awaiting, let’s take a look at the week that was in pro cycling, some new product here at PBK, a few pictures (some of them moving) and that all important news – what are we up to this weekend. Enjoy!
The Week’s News in Brief:
Paris-Nice; the Shack Attack.
We’ve been glued to the Paris-Nice this week, there’s been some great racing and some good results, particular highlights are Greg Henderson’s great ride on Stage 2 with Geraint ‘the train’ Thomas giving him a phenomenal lead out, then yesterday in stage five Andreas Kloden (Radioshack), with the help of team mate Brajkovic, took the win in a sprint finish adding to what has been a great season so far for the Shack. Watch out, they’re on the attack.
In case you’ve missed it, here’s the stage results so far:
Stage One: 1. Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil) 2. Jeremy Roy (FDJ) 3. Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo).
Stage Two: 1. Greg Henderson (Sky) 2. Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad) 3. Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha Team).
Stage Three: 1. Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad) 2. Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) 3. Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha Team).
Stage Four: 1. Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) 2. Remi Pauriol (FDJ) 3. Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil).
Stage Five: 1. Andreas Kloden (RadioShack) 2. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) 3. Matteo Carrara (Vacansoleil).
This leaves Kloden first in the general classification, with Sanchez second. In the team GC, it’s RadioShack first, Team Sky second, Movistar third, Rabobank fourth and Leopard Trek fifth, so it is all still to play for. Today’s time trial will certainly separate the men from the boys, 27km and an uphill finish will both break rhythm and also punish those tired from yesterday. Check out our preview for more information.
So far we’ve seen the Team TT and the first stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico. This ‘mini Grand Tour’ is a great preview to the Grand Tours and a good first chance for riders and teams to test themselves over big stages. There are some big names riding, check our preview blog for the low-down!
Stage one’s Team TT was won by a dominant Rabobank, they were the first team on the course and beat second place Garmin-Cervelo by nine seconds. Third place went to HTC-Highroad whilst Leopard Trek, with Fabian Cancellara and Andy Schleck riding could only manage 7th, twenty-nine seconds behind Rabobank. Not a great start!
Stage two saw the impressive Garmin-Cervelo show their intentions for both the season ahead with Tyler Farrar taking the stage in a final sprint expertly set up by his team. You may have noticed that in our Tirreno-Adriatico preview blog we mentioned that Farrar might have world champ and PBK towers favourite Thor ‘The Hammer’ Hushovd riding as a ‘superdomestique’ for him. Well, Farrar was expertly led out by the one and only Thor whose demonstration of power is quite something. If you get chance to watch the final kilometres of the race, just watch how Thor effortlessly beats the attacks, setting up Farrar for the win. Great to see!
Contador: Scarred for life.
Since having the doping charges that were levied against him dropped, Alberto Contador has come back in force, winning the overall GC in the Tour of Murcia.
However, Contador has also revealed how upsetting the whole doping scandal has been for both him and his family. Contador went as far as suggesting that the doping charge laid against him will be “a scar that will stay with me for the rest of my life”.
The process left him unable to sleep, caused him to lose his hair and severely affected his parents.
In response, Contador has reiterated that he has always supported the fight against doping and has now offered up his samples for retrospective testing.
In an effort to avoid any future incidents, Contador has also admitted he is now taking greater care in choosing the meat he eats, stating that he now only eats meat that comes from known sources in his parents’ home region of Extremadura.
Returning to cycling proper, Contador remains upbeat about his chances in the Giro and the TdF. It’s even been hinted at that Contador may try to take on all three Grand Tours this year. It would certainly be a good way to prove that his form isn’t linked to anything doping related…
Pellizotti 2 year ban.
I’m not sure if there’s been a Friday Round Up without a doping story. In the firing line this time is Italian cyclist Franco Pellizotti. On Tuesday the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) slapped a 2 year ban and US$ 161,000 fine on the Liquigas team rider. The 33-year-old rider had been tipped as one of the favourites for the Giro in 2010 after he finishing 2nd in 2009. He also won the mountains classification at the 2009 TdF.
The ban came about after abnormalities were detected in Pellizotti’s biological passport last May, however the case was dismissed by the Italian Olympic Committee due to lack of evidence. Pellizotti’s case was later reopened through the CAS’s blood profiling passport program. Pellizotti has appealed the decision and has based his defence on questioning the reliability of the biological passport.
The biological passport is designed to pick up cases of doping by detecting changes in a rider’s blood profile over a period of time. This is the UCI’s heavy artillery in the battle against doping in cycling and could replace traditional tests which at the moment are aimed at detecting specific banned products in a rider’s blood or urine.
UCI have predicted an annual cost of $8.3 million for the running of the project which is to be funded by teams and race organisers and is designed to expel the practise of doping altogether in pro cycling. Riders will also be required to donate some of their prize money towards the program.
Pictures of the Week:
Video of the Week:
This weeks video is a fascinating insight in to the world of Japanese Keirin racing.
Pick of the Week’s New Products:
We welcome back a familiar product this week with the EVOC Bike Travel Bag. It’s been claimed by many to be setting a new standard of padded bike bags which are just as safe as a hard case when travelling but easier to store and use afterwards.
The EVOC comes in 3 different colours and is capable of swallowing up a road bike, DH bike or your trusty MTB for a nice trip to the sun…
They include all the padding you need plus there are inner pockets and compartments for small parts and tools. On the bottom the bag has wheels for rolling around the terminal and handles to assist in this!
Cycling Weekly gave the bag a glowing review in June 2010, here’s what they said about it:
“EVOC appears to have listed all the common bike transportation pitfalls and tackled each one individually….It takes just minutes to load your bike and be protected.”
There are far too many frames and lenses to go into here but they’re definitely worth a look if you’re currently an Oakley person. The frames are full of technology which while not as flashy as some will be there to work and protect you when you need it most – they still can’t handle being sat on too much unfortunately!
Lens technology wise again, the range is as sophisticated as you’d expect. A quick look at the Adidas eyewear site shows you just how seriously Adidas have taken their eyewear.
With them all supplied in hard cases with microfibre pouches you have the bases covered for a great set of sunglasses
What are we upto this weekend?
- John is detoxing, he will NOT have fun this weekend.
- Chris is going out on the bike and doing some research for future PBK Race wine guides.
- Grant is going to an engagement party, not his own we hasten to add, unless he’s gone covert…
- Anthony is going for a short ride, to the dentist and then if he is alive, climbing.