Monday, 31 May 2010

No green valley ahead for Valverde - banned!

Alexandro Valverde has just received a full 2 year suspension for his involvement in Operation Puerto

Tour de Singkarak starts Tuesday

But we won't be there... ahem, read the post last week...

Anyway, here's the team list. Irelands David McCann (Giant ART) starts as a favourite for the twisty and hilly Sumatran six day 550km stage race, following his amazing early season run of form. Although he did tell us he took last week off his bike, and  was not feeling fit - yeah... we'll soon see, we figure not fit doesn't me the same to him as it does to us.
Also in great form is Mr Mizbani of the Tabriiz Petrochemical team (if he starts). The two missed a show down a couple of weeks back due to visa issues for McCann, forcing him to stay home in Ireland.


International teams
1. AZAD UNIVERSITY - IRAN
2. AISAN RACING TEAM - JAPAN
3. ROADBIKE PHILIPPINES 7 ELEVEN RACING TEAM - PHILIPPINES
4. BIKE BUG NORTH SYDNEY-CAROLL & O'DEA LAWYERS - AUSTRALIA
5. POLYGON SWEET NICE - INDONESIA
6. PETROCHEMICAL TABRIZ TEAM - IRAN
7. MALAYSIA NATIONAL TEAM - MALAYSIA
8. GIANT ASIA RACHING TEAM - TAIWAN
9. ACTION CYCLING TEAM - CHINA TAIPEI 
10. OCBC - SINGAPORE 
11. CCN COLOSSI - NETHERLAND
12. KSPO - KOREA
 Indonesian Teams 
1. UNITED BIKE KENCANA TEAM
2. DODOL PICNIC GARUT
3. KUTAI KARTANEGARA CYCLING TEAM
4. ARAYA INDONESIA
5. BINTANG KARANGGAN CYCLING CLUB
6. CUSTOMS CYCLING CLUB 
7. KOMUNITAS SEPEDA SUMATRA BARAT
8. PUTRA PERJUANGAN BANDUNG    
9. PENGPROV ISSI D.I YOGYAKARTA
10. PENGPROV ISSI SUMATRA BARAT

Breaking team and race news...

If you don't tell us we don't know, and we have asked. We got hold of a crystal ball, but instructions were in ancient script - so we can't work it out. We can't print news that nobody sends us ;)
So to all you teams and organisers out there - if you want to see your events and news here send us an email..

Invisible rider spotted, naked

New doping product uncovered?

Nah, we don't believe it - will the UCI now be conducting random oil checks and introduce biological logbook? ;D

Ivan Basso, all pretty in pink

Sunday afternoon in Verona and Italian comeback kid Ivan Basso held on to his overall lead and took the final victory in the first of the year's three grand tours, the Giro d'Italia. Basso had ample time in-hand over second places david Arroyo as they launched themselves of the final starting ramp of this years race.
With just 15 kilometres to cover the GC was safe, although Basso only finished 15th on the day - behind stage winner Gustav Erik Larson of Team Saxo Bank.
The second place on GC stayed with the Spanish rider Arroyo, while Basso's Liquigas teammate Vincenzo Nibali took third place overall, a great race for the Italian green machine.

Here's a video of Basso's killer blow - on the climb of the Zoncolan

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Kazak takes Kumano lead

Junya Sano of Team Nippo won the second stage of Japan's tour of Kumano, ahead of Kazakhastan national team rider Andrey Mizurov, who now leads the race overall with just today's stage left to ride.

Stage 1 was won by Yoshimitsu Tsuji

Great Rides Asia - Phu Chi Fah, Thailand

Great Rides Asia – Phu Chi Fah, Chiang Rai Thailand

Phu Chi Fah is a huge great cliff that overlooks the Thai/Laos border and the Mekong River. It lies at the end of a string of mountains, to the east of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. There are several roads leading to Phu Chi Fah and also on to the old Chinese village of Pha Tang.
There is a main ridge road across the range, and hill road that runs along the valley bellow – making for numerous circular route options.
The roads are challenging, but the serenity and scenery are amazing – and along the ridge road there are numerous time-locked hill tribe villages. The roads are well used by many of the top Japanese and other Asian riders, who base themselves in the area for their winter training, so you never know whom you might meet along the way.

Type – road ride
Distance – numerous variations – the actual main climb is around 8km, plus another 1 km to the summit.
Grade – ultra tough
Terrain – well surfaced and traffic free roads
Hills – wow, one mother of a climb, whichever way you chose to climb it – need at least a 27-bottom sprocket! From sea level the road climbs to around 1600 meters (to the summit car park)
Facilities – several small village shops along the way. At Phu Chi Fah it’s self there are a number of small local restaurants, and several small bungalows for rental, although you’ll probably want to stay at ground zero – it’s warmer.
Base camp – you can either stay at Thoen, or Chiang Khong (further way, but good bike friendly facilities)
When to go – anytime is good. But march-April is burning season – smoke! June-September is rainy season, but most days are good for riding. During the November-January time it can be chilly at night.
Getting there - Chiang Rai is the closest major city/airport. From here you can either ride – or take the local bust (60km to Theong/100km to Chiang Khong), bikes carried no problem.
Bike shops – there are a number of good shops in Chiang Rai – Fat Free (in the city centre) is a great shop. In Chiang Khong there is a small bike spares and repair shop too.

Check out the following

For bike friendly accommodation in Chiang Khong
For organised or supported tours
For local maps
www.gt-rider.com

***We'd love to hear about your great rides! Please write in bnaeditor@gmail.com

Basso extends Giro lead - is it all over?

Today (Saturday) was expected to be something of a swan-song at the Giro d'Italia - but things went a little crazy at the - The stage was won by BBox's Swiss climber Johann Tschopp (what a mouth-full). Trailing behind was Cadel Evans, who managed to distance race leader Ivan Basso on the day - although with just one 15km ITT to go Basso looks set to take the Giro title again as he did a few years ago - before being banned for a positive dope test - a bitter sweet ending looks to be on the cards, which could raise a few eyebrows for the ex Armstrong team-mate.
Yukiya Arashiro finished 49th today - another solid performance for the Japanese ace.

On the pull in Italy, riders thrown out and fined

Following the evil stage over the Passo di Gavia, won by Ivan Basso, several riders were fined and slapped with time penalties for taking "assistance" during the stage - these included last years Asian road race champion and GC contender Aleandre Vinokourov (taking a feed in the last 20km) and our own favourite Yukiya Arashiro, who was of many riders fined 50 Swiss Francs and docked ten seconds - lets hope he had the cash at hand!
Meantime poor young Chris Froome from team Sky got sent home with a letter for his team manager - for taking a wee tow from a motorbike; ahh, and they think they had it tough - by heck, back in the 80's men were men, they rode in the snow and ate nails for breakfast ... as you can see

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Calanedar girls

Just while we sort out the issues with the non displayed text ;)


The Making of CYCLEPASSION 2011 - DVD Teaser from CYCLEFILM on Vimeo.

Vote now!

Cummon guys, we all have opinions - but our poll is lagging compared to reader stats - things have moved on some since we initiated the Lance or Landis poll - and many other riders and officials have been dragged in to it - where will it end? We do have an idea on this one - which is... nowhere... but maybe for the wrong reasons.
There are many powers that be that will ultimately decide the outcome - but meantime vent your opinion - over on the right hand side of the site - if nothing else it lets us know you're reading the site and interested...

Basso goes all pink - WOW!

What can we say? Ivan Basso, the man with one of the biggest engines in bike racing has taken control of the Giro on one of the toughest stages - the one that went over the Motirolo, after attacking Basso finished second to Scarponi on the stage - taking 3 minutes out of arch rival Cadel Evans, leaving him ahead of David Arroryo by just 51 seconds - with just one road stage, and final 15km ITT to go it looks like the formerly disgraced Basso will take the Giro...

But, it ain't over till the fat lady, or thin cyclist sings - tomorrow - the Gavia...

We'd like to add a pic here - but we use our (my) own material, and don't just lift from other sites, hope you understand -that just is not fair for hard working photographers.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Team Geumsen Ginseng Asia check in from Japan


The Tour of Kumano has just started in Japan, GGA team guru Danny Feng brings us the latest updates from the land of the rising son

The 2010 Tour de Kumano kicked of on Thursday with short but technical prologue ITT race, on a course of just 0.75km. Young Singaporean ace Low Ji Wen from GGA had a very good ride,  finishing 9th on the day with a  time of 1:02.40 and in doing so he also took the under 23 leading riders jersey ending up just 2 seconds behind the day's winner Takashi Miyazawa from the Japanese Team Nippo. 
On todays 130km stage, Ji Wen lost the U23 leaders jersey to Hong Kong team rider. Some 12 riders broke away towards the end of the stage with GGA team captain Shinichi Fukushima amongst them. Provisionally he finished  6th on the stage, which was won by a Bridgestone rider . 
Team riders Ji Wen, Phuchong and Yoo Ki were about 1 minute down in the 2nd group. 

We'll post more details when they are available - but being as all info is in japanese we figured you'd like to know the basic's first

Thanks to GGA

Air Asia sale means time to go ride somewhere else?

Ok, so we have to say that they are not exactly our favourite regional carrier - but the fact is that if you book at the right time, and don't mind being crammed in like a sardine - and of course pay for every crumpled roti lookalike and half cold Coke, then Air Asia the way to get around Southeast Asia on a budget, and to locations the major carriers don't serve.
Well, they always have offers - but of course those mythical $1 seats are rarely available but since all of the troubles in Thailand of late their business in and out of the country has died down, to say the least. Their response - a grand ticket sale on most routes in and out of Bangkok - so check it out - there are limited seats available.
But, you must of course remember their bike carriage deal - because their check in staff don't seem to be able to remember it - and it changes with the wind. As it stands a bike is deemed as sporting goods - up to 15kg, the cost of carrying it on a regional flight is RM50/TB520 or the equivalent in local currency. You must of course pack the bike in a bag or box, or strip it down and wrap it safely - and remember to take the pedals and a few heavy bits in your had luggage to keep within the limit - extra kilos come at a hefty price!
Check it out www.airasia.com
PS - new super economy class seats available soon (see pic above)

Latest UCI Asia Tour rankings



1
IRI

302.66
2
IRL

257
3
ESP

195
4
IRI

194.66
5
IRI

172.66
6
IRI

172.33
7
RUS

164
8
GER

138
9
IRI

133.33
10
VEN
130

Is this the craziest road bike race ever?

The winner is Fred Moncassin of France - former Tour de France and classics star - take a look at the bike - wedge stem and steel forks - retro chic....

Arashiro's Italian Job

With just three if the 21 stages left to run in this year's Giro d'Italia Japanese rider Yukiya Arashiro of the BBox Bouygues Telecom team looks set to finish his second grand tour in as many years. Last year (in his first Pro-Tour year) the Okinawa born rider stunned his rivals and team mates by taking 5th place on the second stage of the Tour de France. He went on to finish the Tour, alongside countryman Fumi Beppu, making them the first Japanese riders ever to finish the great race.
This year the plucky Arashiro took a fine 3rd spot on stage 5 of the Giro, and 13th on yesterday's stage, and looks set to finish the race in around 100th spot overall - and become the first Japanese rider to finish these two grand tours.
This year his team is not part of the UCI Pro Tour, and so with one grand tour under his belt and an uncertain TDF start slot we're sure he'll be out to follow up on his words when he dropped in to see us earlier this year; “Well, my main aim is to win my first real pro race for the team this year. I think I’m stronger than before, and learned a lot last year. I know I can’t out-sprint Cavendish, and can’t climb with Contador, so I need to find my way some still. I’m what they call a “poncher.”


Go Go Yukiya!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Atherton Project, new from the worlds fastest biking family

Retro Tour de Langkawi crash sequence


Danilo Hondo took second place on Wednesday's stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia - we won't be bringing daily worldwide news coverage, we're not that kind of a site. But we thought you might like to see him crashing Alberto Loddo's party in the Tour de Langkawi a few years back... ouch
More Steve Thomas LTdL images can be seen at

More monkey business at the Tour?

What do you think these guys were on? PGT, the next generation stimulant ;D

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Don't forget to vote (on the right hand side)


UCI Press Release, May 25 2010
Floyd Landis’s accusations: clarifications from the UCI
Due to the controversy following the statements made by Floyd Landis, the International Cycling Union wishes to stress that none of the tests revealed the presence of EPO in the samples taken from riders at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland. The UCI has all the documentation to prove this fact.
Between 2001 and 2003, only the Paris, Lausanne, Cologne, Barcelona and Madrid laboratories, commissioned by the UCI, detected the presence of EPO in the samples that had been entrusted to them for analysis. During this period, the first laboratory carried out three positive analyses for EPO, the second 18 and the three last laboratories one each. None of the samples concerned had been taken at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland.
The International Olympic Committee received a copy of all the reports for the positive analyses mentioned above. Furthermore, in 2001, all the analysis reports carried out at the Tour of Switzerland were sent to Swiss Olympic.
Since 1st January 2004, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) receives a copy of any analysis reports which show an abnormal result. WADA has not reported any abnormal analyses from any of its accredited laboratories that have not been duly dealt with by the UCI.
The UCI wishes to reassert the total transparency of its anti-doping testing and categorically rejects any suspicion in relation to the concealment of results from parties involved in this field.

Asean cycling federations Vs private event promotors

Sometimes this one can be a touchy subject. Most Asian/Asean nations have their own UCI international tours and races, as well as many other events. The great national tours usually take centre stage, which is natural, after all they have the budget, resources, power, and the backing of their national federations, the UCI, and often the government too.
So why is it that these big budget events all too often don't manage to make the headlines internationally and are often end up run off behind near closed doors. They never seem to match the outcome in relation to their budgets, or even attract the best of the available teams?
As in all sports politics and power are often the driving factors. Often it's commercial and sporting suicide for media and teams to speak out when such situations occur; but for sure these organisations don't seem to like change, or any hint of progress - let alone anybody who isn't in their "special gang" being involved in things - thus events become incestual.
Having worked with and been involved with so many races and events in Southeast Asia we can tell you that these events often run scared when an international media person approaches them; perish the thought of the event getting any coverage outside of their circles. I mean, this would only benefit sponsors, teams and riders - ohh, and of course help boost the stature of the races themselves - and maybe a few un-biased words would be passed by somewhere too.
Yep, we can tell you that our calls to cover around 60% of the major UCI registered tours in Asia fall on deaf ears and into e-mail trash cans (when we are offering international coverage - not only at BNA). Continual harassment of organisers for the hell of it often leads to zero response or "Your services are not required!" replies, which translates clearly to say "we're not letting anybody in who knows what's what or who won't do what we tell them".
Strange old attitude really, but then anybody involved with this or other sports will know that some officious guys and girls are always going to make life tough. Then again when a commercial when organisation steps into the arena things always seem to run well. Races become a big deal, not simply a sideshow of the organisation. Media, TV, and sponsors come out in supports, and we all get to hear about it. Unfortunately the "official" powers that be often step in to thwart these "professionally" promoted races - why? take your own guess on that one.
Thus there are several races that we will be unable to cover here at BNA - as they simply don't and won't help us to do that. Meantime we'll bring you what we event coverage can -with your help!
If you'd like us to cover or promote your event drop us a mail and we can discuss things.
Meantime we're stepping off the soap-box!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Garzelli conquers the Giro's evil Plan de Corones

Ok, so it's still more Euro news - but we're not fully up and running yet - so just to let you all know that former Giro winner Stefano Garzelli won today's uphill ITT stage on the evil dirt road to Plan de Corones, beating World Champ Cadel Evans along the way.
Spain's David Arroyo remains in the maglia rosa of race leader while Ivan Basso moves into second place, with Evans now 4th overall (Behind Ritchi Porte). It looks very much to be a show down between Basso and Evans for the overall - and with such great form it would seem as though Evans has lowered his sights from the Tour de France, although the Giro could hardly be considered a step down..
Evans last rode the Giro as a neo Pro with Mapei, and famously took the race lead as his elder team-mates faltered, and duly lost it when he died in epic style in the mountains of Trento

I

Cape Epic 2011 filling up fast!

Since BNA attended the first ever Cape Epic MTB stage race in South Africa a few years back it's fast  become the mountain bike race to take part in. Every year the entry line gets longer and longer - the 2011 race will take place between 27th march and 3rd April, and places are almost full - if you fancy a great adventure in the wilds of South Africa you'd better sign up now! www.cape-epic.com




Team Sky training for the Giro d'Italia TTT


Thanks to team rider Michael Barry www.michaelbarry.ca

Please send us your stories and event info!

By the time you read this post the site should be just about up and running, all be it in the fledgling stages. We'd love to hear from anybody who is interested in contributing material (please check for details etc above in the Send Us Your News section). 
We'd also like to here news about your events, new products etc etc
If nobody tells us we don't know...




Please mail us at bnaeditor@gmail.com

Philippine Premier League Tour of Clarke

The PPL corporate cycling league have just announced their next weekend stage race date for the 26/27th June. The Tour of Clarke will be a 3-stage race held around the Clarke Freeport zone in the Luzon region (north of Manila). Teams are made up of full time professional people, who are also full time amateur bike racers; a rather new concept in bike racing - which allows the "none-elite" cyclists to enjoy the sport but without the stress of having to train full time.


Check out - http://www.philippinecyclingnews.com/
For images from the recent PPL Tour of Subic go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevethomaspix/sets/72157623836522613/

Ride it before it rains!

After a long and heated dry season the rains have arrived in fine style to many parts of Southeast Asia. Although they are welcomed and refreshing, they also mean than many of our favourite trails will be mud-clogged or un-rideable for the next few months. So, now is the perfect time for those epic rides you'd been thinking of - do them now or they'll be gone for another few months.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Landis or Lance...

Once again it's turbulent times for pro cycling - and for the image of the sport and pro bike racing in general. Doping has been all that some people talk about when "professional" bike racing comes to the forefront for many years now, and all too often it's in a hippocritical or a widely miss-understood way - there's far more to this beautiful sport than a few syringes and pills, and that can't be taken away.
These guys are supreme athletes, however you look at it. The day that Floyd Landis rode back into contention in the Tour de France is one of the most memorable days ever in bike racing, even if it was not done in a clean way. But who knows how many of the riders in his wake were in the same position...
Right now things are at breaking point - if it is proven that Lance doped then an entire generation, a nation, and many of the sport's followers will be lost to the sport, which is a great shame for all of us. We'll see what unfolds, but lets hope that it is just a man scorned (after all Floyd did take the wrath of things, while others rode off quietly).
Meantime the effect has dribbled down to Asia; Chinese pro Fuyu Li has recently been recalled from duty at Radioshack following a failed test, although we all hope that this is not for sinister reasons as the substance involved is hardly "performance enhancing" and is common in Chinese meat products (and knowing him personally we think all's clear) .  But of course there were other Asian riders (Beppu) at DISCO with Lance during the period blemished by Landis, lets hope the mild mannered Japanese rider doesn't get tarnished simply being part of what was the team of the moment.

To read the Landis letter go to http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=9YV8dMts
What did lance say?  http://www.livestrong.com/teamradioshack/news_lance-responds-landis-allegations/