Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Statto Tour de France

Greatest number of wins

7: Lance Armstrong (Usa)
5: Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
5: Eddy Merckx (Bel)
5: Bernard Hinault (Fra)
5: Miguel Indurain (Esp)
Greatest number of days in yellow

111: Eddy Merckx (Bel)
83: Lance Armstrong (Usa)
79: Bernard Hinault (Fra)
Greatest number of stage wins

34: Eddy Merckx (Bel)
28: Bernard Hinault (Fra)
25: André Leducq (Fra)

on one tour
8: Charles Pélissier (Fra, 1930))
8: Eddy Merckx (Bel, 1970 et 1974)
8: Freddy Maertens (Bel, 1976)
6: Mark Cavendish (Gbr, 2009, records de sprints victorieux)
Greatest number of podiums

8: Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
8: Lance Armstrong (Usa)
Greatest number of participations

16: Joop Zoetemelk (Ned)
Greatest number of green jerseys

6: Erik Zabel (Ger)
Greatest number polka-dotted jerseys

7: Richard Virenque
Greatest number of white jerseys

3: Jan Ullrich (Ger)
Number of wins per nation

36: France
18: Belgium
12: Spain
10: United States
9: Italy
4: Luxembourg
2: Netherlands and Switzerland
1: Germany, Denmark and Ireland
Gap between the yellow jersey holder and the runner up

Biggest: 2h 49’45’’ in 1903 between Maurice Garin (Fra) and Lucien Pothier (Fra)
Smallest: 8’’ in 1989 between Greg Lemond (Usa) and Laurent Fignon (Fra)
The oldest and the youngest winner

36 years Firmin Lambot (Bel) in 1922
20 years Henri Cornet (Fra) in 1904
The winner of the 2009 tour, Alberto Contador (Spa), was 26 years old.

Special Tour de France preview video

Tour Mountain's 2010


Two left feet?

How do the Tour pro's set up their bikes?

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Wiggo strums it on and talks Tour

BBox name Tour team - Arashiro in!

BBox Bouygues Telecom have all but finalised their Tour roster. The squad will be lead (as always) by newly crowned french Champion Thomas Voeckler - and will also include japanese rider Yukiya Arashiro, who will be riding his second TDF, and his second grand tour of the season. This year Arashiro will be the only japanese rider in the race (Beppu was not selected by Radioshack).




Thomas Voeckler, Pierrick Fédrigo, Pierre Rolland, Cyril Gautier, Yukiya Arashiro, Nicolas Vogondy, Matthieu Sprick; tbc Anthony Charteau and Sebasitan Turgot

Tour de France Start list, so far

Team HTC - Columbia                                

1  Mark Cavendish (GBr)
2  Michael Rogers (Aus)
3  Bernhard Eisel (Aut)
4  Bert Grabsch (Ger)
5  Adam Hansen (Aus)
6  Tony Martin (Ger)
7  Maxime Monfort (Bel)
8  Mark Renshaw (Aus)
9  Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr)

Team Radioshack
10  Lance Armstrong (USA)
11  Andreas Klöden (Ger)
12  Levi Leipheimer (USA)
13  Christopher Horner (USA)
14  Janez Brajkovic (Slo)
15  Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por)
16  Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr)
17  Grégory Rast (Swi)
18  Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz)

Quick Step
20  Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa)
22  Sylvain Chavanel (Fra)
23  Dries Devenyns (Bel)
24  Kevin De Weert (Bel)
25  Jérôme Pineau (Fra)
26  Kevin Seeldrayers (Bel)
27  Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel)
28  Maarten Wijnants (Bel)

Euskaltel - Euskadi
30  Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa)
31  Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa)
32  Iban Velasco Murillo (Spa)
33  Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa)
34  Alan Perez Lezaun (Spa)
35  Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa)
36  Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa)
37  Amets Txurruka (Spa)
38  Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa)

Team Saxo Bank
40  Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
41  Andy Schleck (Lux)
42  Fränk Schleck (Lux)
43  Jens Voigt (Ger)
44  Stuart O'Grady (Aus)
45  Matti Breschel (Den)
46  Chris Anker Sørensen (Den)
47  Jakob Fuglsang (Den)
48  Nicki Sörensen (Den)

Rabobank
50  Denis Menchov (Rus)
51  Robert Gesink (Ned)
52  Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa)
53  Lars Boom (Ned)
54  Grischa Niermann (Ger)
55  Koos Moerenhout (Ned)
56  Maarten Tjallingii (Ned)
57  Bram Tankink (Ned)
58  Juan Manuel Gárate Cepa (Spa)

Team Milram
60  Gerald Ciolek (Ger)
61  Linus Gerdemann (Ger)
62  Niki Terpstra (Ned)
63  Thomas Rohregger (Aut)
64  Christian Knees (Ger)
65  Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger)
66  Roger Kluge (Ger)
67  Luke Roberts (Aus)
68  Fabian Wegmann (Ger)

Omega Pharma-Lotto
70  Mario Aerts (Bel)
71  Francis De Greef (Bel)
72  Mickael Delage (Fra)
73  Sebastian Lang (Ger)
74  Matthew Lloyd (Aus)
75  Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa)
76  Jurgen Roelandts (Bel)
77  Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel)
78  Charles Wegelius (GBr)

Cervelo Test Team
80  Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa)
81  Volodymir Gustov (Ukr)
82  Daniel Lloyd (GBr)
83  Jeremy Hunt (GBr)
84  Thor Hushovd (Nor)
85  Andreas Klier (Ger)
86  Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu)
87  Brett Lancaster (Aus)

AG2R La Mondiale
90  John Gadret (Fra)
91  Christophe Riblon (Fra)
92  Nicolas Roche (Irl)
93  David Lelay (Fra)
94  Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita)

Astana
100  Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa)
101  Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz)
102  Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz)
103  Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa)
104  Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa)
105  Paolo Tiralongo (Ita)
106  David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa)
107  Andriy Grivko (Ukr)
108  Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa)

Caisse d'Epargne
110  Mathieu Perget (Fra)
111  Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa)
112  José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa)
113  Christophe Moreau (Fra)
114  Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por)
115  Vasili Kiryienka (Blr)
116  Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa)
117  Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa)
118  Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa)

Sky Professional Cycling Team
120  Michael Barry (Can)
121  Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor)
122  Steven Cummings (GBr)
123  Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa)
124  Simon Gerrans (Aus)
125  Thomas Lövkvist (Swe)
126  Geraint Thomas (GBr)
127  Bradley Wiggins (GBr)
128  Serge Pauwels (Ned)

Footon-Servetto
130  Jose Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa)
131  Arkaitz Duran Daroca (Spa)
132  Iban Mayoz Echeverria (Spa)
133  Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa)
134  Markus Eibegger (Aut)
136  FELLINE Fabio (Ita)
137  Eros Capecchi (Ita)
138  Giampaolo Cheula (Ita)

Team Katusha
140  Pavel Broutt (Rus)
141  Serguei Ivanov (Rus)
142  RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin (Bel)
143  Vladimir Karpets (Rus)
144  Robbie McEwen (Aus)
145  Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus)
146  Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel)
147  Eduard Vorganov (Rus)
148  Alexandr Pliuschin (Mda)

BMC Racing Team
150  Alessandro Ballan (Ita)
151  Brent Bookwalter (USA)
152  Marcus Burghardt (Ger)
153  Cadel Evans (Aus)
154  Mathias Frank (Swi)
155  George Hincapie (USA)
156  Karsten Kroon (Ned)
157  Steve Morabito (Swi)
158  Mauro Santambrogio (Ita)

Garmin - Transitions
160  Julian Dean (NZl)
161  Tyler Farrar (USA)
162  Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
163  Robert Hunter (RSA)
164  Martijn Maaskant (Ned)
165  David Millar (GBr)
166  Johan Van Summeren (Bel)
168  David Zabriskie (USA)

Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne
170  Damien Monier (Fra)
171  Rémi Pauriol (Fra)
172  Samuel Dumoulin (Fra)
173  Stéphane Auge (Fra)
174  Julien El Farès (Fra)
175  Christophe Kern (Fra)
176  Sébastien Minard (Fra)
177  Amaël Moinard (Fra)
178  Rein Taaramae (Est)

Française des Jeux
180  Sandy Casar (Fra)
181  Christophe Le Mevel (Fra)
182  Anthony Geslin (Fra)
183  Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra)
184  Rémy Di Grégorio (Fra)
185  Benoït Vaugrenard (Fra)
186  Jérémy Roy (Fra)
187  Anthony Roux (Fra)
188  Wesley Sulzberger (Aus)

Tour line up almost complete

Most teams have already made their Tour de France selections, and when they finalise things fully we'll bring a start list to the site - meantime here's all the jerseys that will be lining up for le grand depart this weekend...

Tour de France route

Kraftwerk - the ultimate Tour de France recording

Cult German group of the 80's, and avid bike racing fans

Tour de France map 2010

Monday, 28 June 2010

Koji does backflip

Yep, it's a shame, but we got a mail from Koji Fukushima today telling us he'd decided against a return to racing. He now has a young family, and we figure things weigher hard - ahh, those suicide attacks will have to remain but a distant memory.....

Singapore National Road Champs


The 2010 edition of the Singapore National Cycling Championship took place on a flat wind sweep course in northern Singapore at Fernvale circuit, Sengkang Singapore. 
With defending champion, LOW Ji Wen (Team Geumsan Ginseng Asia) and Dinah CHAN (Passione Bikes) back to defend their Mens and Womens Elite title respectively, the race on the flattish 6km circuit turn out to be explosive with attacks happening throughout the morning.
The Under-19 Juniors category was raced in a semi wet condition after a morning downpour. Defending Champion, Malvin LAI (Team Cycleworx) is certainly a marked man with riders from PICO-Bikelabz attacking throughout the race. The strategy pay off with PICO-Bikelabz managing a 1-2 finish rewarding Ryan CHAN with the national U19 champion title, while Malvin LAI coming in a deserving 3rd after surviving the countless attack thrown at him.
Anders Jarfors (Team RevSIN!) took the sprinters by surprise in the Mens Masters category, winning the race with a strong attack in the last lap, with Bergtor HAUGA (Team Joyrider) winning the bunch sprint for a consolation 2nd. Top Singaporean sprinter Ronnie YAP (Team Cycleworx) took the championship with a strong 4th place finish, reinforcing his podium finish 2 weeks ago in the Sprints Challenge.
While Dinah CHAN successfully defended her title by attacking early and drive the pace for the Womans Elite race, winning with a 90sec margin easily, it was a roller coaster ride for the Mens Elite riders. Team OCBC Bank Singapore featuring 6 riders was constantly on the break, wearing the pack down with chases and eventually managed to isolate defending champion LOW Ji Wen from his team. 
The select group of 11 riders forming the eventual winning pack is evenly distributed, with riders from Team OCBC Bank Singapore, Team Cannasia-Cannondale and Team Cycleworx having the most options. A surprise attack from Lee RODGERS (Team Fuji) 500metres from the line surprises the bigger team resulting in a split taking eventual Singapore National Champion Darren LOW (Team Cycleworx) and a few others off the front. 
With 300metres to go, wheels touches bringing a bunch of riders down including favourites Vincent ANG (Team Cycleworx) and Junaidi HASHIM (Team OCBC Singapore), leaving Lee RODGERS to the race win and Darren LOW crowned the National Champion, as the first Singaporean across the line.


thanks to www.dirtraction.com

Rotterdam Tour intro

Ride Life - What's it like to be a top pro rider?

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Armstrong talks Tour


Asia Track Cup, day 2

The second day of racing at Cheras Velodrome saw the Korean and Japanese riders dominate the keirin races, and also Korea took the men's omnium title. Hong Kong too the women's omnium, while the Thai girls ruled in the junior female events, and Malaysia took the junior mens keirin race
Pic Pulse Media

Anuar Manan on one wheel

Lance gets ready to go

EU's new bicycle policy?

Asia Track Cup Malaysia


Koreans dominate Asia Cup

Korean teams took victory in the mens and women's team pursuit, wonen's team and individual  and sprint and mens 1KM TT. Meanwhile Iran took the mens team sprint, and Thailand ran out tops in the junior events




Pics Pulse Media

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Team Sky Tour de France line up

Many teams have already confirmed their Tour de France lines ups, but we just thought we'd show a few who send us nice videos too..
Out of the mist came the Sky...



The Full Tour Team...


Michael Barry         Canada              34      0 tours ridden
Steve Cummings        Great Britain       29      0
Juan Antonio Flecha   Spain               33      7
Simon Gerrans         Australia           30      4
Edvald Boasson Hagen  Norway              23      0
Thomas Löfkvist       Sweden              26      4
Serge Pauwels         Belgium             26      0
Geraint Thomas        Great Britain       24      1
Bradley Wiggins       Great Britain       30      3

McCann Wins Irish Time Trial Champs

Giant Asia supremo David took another Irish national Tine Trial Championship title this week, McCann who finished 11th in last year's World Championship was a clear winner of the event which took place in Co Sligo. last week he was racing in the Tour if East java, and will be heading back to Asia very soon to race on of his favourite races - the Tour of Qinghai Lake.

You can catch our recent interview with the Belfast rider by hitting the link in the features menu bar above

Friday, 25 June 2010

Giant head honcho on tour in Holland

Koji, the return..

Great news for Asian bike racing, Koji Fukushima is back! The lovable Japanese rider who is a nuts as nutty fruit cake and as aggressive as a pack of wolves will return to racing in August, riding alongside his elder brother Shinichi at the Geumsen Ginseng Asia team.
Koji was "semi forced" into retirement 2 years ago, which was never what he really wanted. In a few days he will head to Thailand for a month of intense training before joining the team for the rest of the season in France, which has ben a second home to him and his brother for ten years.
We'll be catching up with the man himself next week, when he'll be dropping in for bananas and coffee!

Trail Wizard returns

Trail Wizard

Ok, so this one may not be quite as versatile as our last Trail Wizard piece of kit – but none the less it could well save the day. What are we talking about? The swinging quick-release skewer, none other!
Now, I have to admit that this was not one I’d even thought of – but there I was a few years back, riding through an Alpine valley in the middle of the summer – cowbells ringing, Julie Andrews a singing – ok, forget the second bit; I was on the rivet, riding with a certain Chris Boardman, we’d been doing a photo shoot for a magazine – when we came across a group of young Johnny foreigners, whatever they were doing in France I don’t know.
Anyway, there they were – miles from anywhere, stumbling around at the side of the road – desperately trying to get a tight tyre off the rim, in order to repair a puncture – or at least I hope that was why!
So, Mr B pulls up, shakes his head at the despairing and fumbling victims, then promptly removes their quick-release skewers and hey presto – two tyre lever, and one tyre removed.
I don’t think they had any idea who it was, but it just goes to show – even World Champions can change their own tyres!

PS – be sure to use the right end, and if you do find yourself in urgent need of a barbeque skewer – look no further

The tracks behind Trek

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The House of Atherton

We've already seen some great performances this year from cycling's super family, but just why are they so damn good - and what lies behind the scenes?
Ok, we've sen the latest editions of the Atherton Project here on BNA, we've sen them winning World Cups, but when they're not doing this what do they do and where do they go?
They do actually spend a great deal of the summer race season on the road, traveling to the World Cup, some national and a selection of Red Bull events. Early in the year (when it's whet and horrible at home) the head to California for a little sunny weather training - both on road bikes and MTB.
But, as they say - home is where you lay your helmet, or was it hat. Anyway, home for the last few years has been a tiny dead end village in the middle of North Wales, one of the wettest places in the wettest countries around. It has 2 pubs, and a public toilet - as do most villages in Wales. Surrounding the place are endless deserted mountains, trails, backroads and the odd late or 3. How do we know? Strangely enough, BNA's secret HQ was in this very village for many years, long before the Athertons came to town.. it's a small world!
Home is an old farm house on the side of a valley. It's here that all those skills are honed and the training takes place. There's a dirt jump track in front of the house, a chilly gym in a back-room and a great workshop too.
What makes them so damn good? Hard to say - sibling rivalry has a part to play for sure, hard work too - but we also figure there's something genetic built in somewhere -must be. On the other hand it could be something they put in the water in the Village - but then again I couldn't pull a wheelie to save my life...


Which Schleck brother could challenge for the tour - Frank or Andy?

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Just keep on riding, and riding...?!

It's a strange old thing, being a cyclist, riding a bike - it's something that's often so hard to explain to those mere mortals around us - people otherwise known as "normal". We all have our reasons for it; freedom, fitness, power, escapism, or even just a lust to punish yourself. Whatever the reason it doesn't matter, it sub-divides us some, but we all know that core feeling - "I WANT TO GO OUT ON MY BIKE!'
Sometimes you get so wrapped up in other things in life - like making a living, running a business, keeping a family and other things, and you lose track of what it's really about - 2 wheels and a few tubes! The freedom of the open road, or the half open trail - ahh, yeah, life is about getting out and enjoying riding your bike - Steve chapter 7, parable 5 - the soon to be released bible of bicycling.
Despite having seen the light many time's I'm probably even more guilty than most when it comes to losing the plot - and neglecting the iron horse that's stabled in a room beneath the sacred temple - otherwise known as the office, or upstairs bedroom.
Yeah, yesterday was one of those days; after a month of 16-18 hour days and little sleep, marinated in barrels of wine and with no barrels of fun, you kinda grind down. The weather has changed, the rains have come; the air was clear, and I had an unfortunate day ahead - appointments with destiny, stuff we don't have to deal with too often in life, and never want to. Three hours sleep and the small furry thing with 4 legs decides to wake me up, leaving just 2 hours till the off - the air was clear, I was wiped out, but needed so much to just get out for half an hour on the bike.
I was aching all over from the lack of sleep, head was pounding and throat rasping - kinda normal here. But for a change something forced me to look around, and start talking to myself again. We haven't been of friendly terms for a while - me and my soul. Finally we agreed with myself - this was what it was all about. A deserted trail, a trail I ride so often suddenly became something else, freedom! As Braveheart said while the hook went into a nasty place.
I could see new trails, that were not at all new, I'd ridden past them a hundred times. But today I wanted to go, and keep going, see where they went - the internal wresting begun. I had to be somewhere else, it was crucial, seriously crucial. What should I do? Yeah, keep on riding - so I kinda split the cookie, slowed up and enjoyed the ride, putting of the inevitable for another day, or two..
It was a wise decision. Many years ago I went for a ride with a friend, the morning of my wedding (to the ex-witch). The same thoughts drifted through my mind that day - but I turned around. If only I'd listened to that eager devil inside back then, maybe I wouldn't of had to make that decision again, I could still be riding...

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Atherton Project - NEW

Taichung Bike Week 2010

Taiwan's annual Taichung Bike Week is well into the development stage, and will follow a similar format to last year's event. The week will that of the 4th 8th December, and it will again combine with Ride On, an industry lead initiative aimed at exporting the many branded products made in Taiwan, there's also some decent riding out of the city.
www.taichung-bike-week.com 

Could a Tour de France rider win RAAM?

Well, this was a question, but it has been answered. Back in 1985 pioneering US pro rider Jonathan Boyer took on the great race, with a whole new approach - riding at full pelt race pace and resting - almost as if he was riding the Tour, it became a battle between Boyer and Michael Secrest, with Boyers tactics paying off in the last hours of the race - as you can see bellow.
Boyer came very close to winning the 1980 World Pro Road race Championships in Goodwood, England. Into the final few minutes of the race her was clear, heading into the last kilometer his teammate - Greg Lemond attacked from behind, overhauling Boyer - and leading Italian team manager Guiseppie Saronni to victory. We still wonder what would of happened of Lemond had not chased him down, maybe his life would of panned out differently. The intensely religious Boyer spent some time behind bars following a conviction for lewd behaviour, but returned to win the Solo Enduro category of RAAM back in 2006.
He now spends much of his time managing the Team Rawanda Project.

Cancellara exposed

Schleck - not the green guy, the fast one...

Monday, 21 June 2010

Minnaar takes Leogang World Cup DH

South African downhill star Greg Minnaar took the third round of the UCI World Cup in Austria on Sunday. Just behind the Santacruz rider (not Santaclaus) was Gee Atherton, while Minnaars teammate, World Champ Steve peat, finished down in 6th spot.
It was a French clean sweep of the podium in the women's race, with Sabrina Jonnier leading the field home.

MTB World Cup 2011

This last weekend saw the UCI World Cup hit Leogang in the Austria, a small ski resort famed as one of the very first bike parks in Europe - we'll bring you an update on the race -soon  and maybe some pics and a story on Leogang, but not just yet - we have Sabah to recover from. 
Meantime the UCI have just announced the dates for next year;'s World Cup - which takes it';s traditional start grid slot in South Africa and ends in Italy. Leogang makes the cut again, as do the 2 British rounds of the series - but those blonde beer lovers will have to sober up this year, as the classic Houffalize round in Belgium will not be happening. Houfalize was always a favourite race for the Chinese girls - who seem to like the steep sides and mud of the Ardennes (or was it the beer?)


2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
April 23-24: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa (XCO/DHI/4X)
May 21-22: Yorkshire, Dalby Forest, Great Britain (XCO)
May 28-29: Offenburg, Germany (XCO)
June 4-5: Fort William, Great Britain (DHI/4X)
June 11-12: Leogang, Austria (DHI/4X)
July 2-3: Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec, Canada (XCO/DHI/4X)
July 9-10: Windham, New York, United States (XCO/DHI/4X)
August 6-8: La Bresse, France (DHI)
August 13:14: Nove Mesto Na Morave, Czech (XCO)
August 20-21: Val di Sole, Italy (XCO/DHI/4X)

Monday, oh Monday...

Is this like your Monday morning?

Sunday, 20 June 2010

East Java Tour ends in a crash

The sprint finish to the final criterium stage of the year's Tour of East java ended in a crash with 300 meters to go, which floored the previous stages winner Anuar Manan. The stage winner was Projo Waerso, while Tabriz Petrochemicals new Iranian star Hosein Azzadeh took the overall title.

We don't have any more info as the organiser didn't bother to tell us - this came from a little friendly research ;)

Schelck Sr beats Arrmstrong in Swiss Roll

Wow, Tour fever is really hotting up. Today saw the finale of the Tour de Suisse, which was a 29-km ITT. Robert Gesnik of Rabobank was leading overall, and hope to hold on to his 55-seconds advantage over favourite Lance Armstrong.
As it turned out Tony Martin (HTC) of Germany beat local ace Fabian Cancellara to take the stage. Armstrong, a former winner of the race, finished down in 11th spot on the stage, 2 places ahead of Frank Schleck - who thus took the overall title.
So, it's really up in the air for this years Tour de France. We'll stick our neck out now and predict a similar, err - same outcome as last year -

1 Alberto Contador
2 Andy Schleck
3 Lance Armstrong
4 Levi Leipheimer
5 Ivan Basso
6 Cadel Evans

Now not taking bets

** sorry, we first reported it as Frank Schleck, then because we figured that wasn't possible we amended - it was Frank - but we stand by the above prediction

Race Across America (RAAM) Finishes

Ultra marathon racer extraordinaire, Jean Robic from Slovenia, took his 5th RAAM individual title this weekend - averaging 13.85 mph, the 45 year old was slowed up by some horrific weather in Colorado, and was run close for much of the race by Austrian rider Gerhard Gulewicz, who finished just 12 hours behind him.

And others.....

Guts...

Our journey through Sabah, Borneo - part 2

Continuing where we left off a couple of days back, from the jungles of Borneo...

Day one had been a hot and humbling day, but in real terms out ride, and the tale of the marches had only just reached the opening chapter. This is where the going starts to get tough, seriously hilly and hot, and through dense and humid jungles.
We were heading for Tampias, a small village used as a stop off point during the marches. The scenery is truly spectacular, especially during early morning, when the mist rises from the jungle, like a magic carpet, The noises of the jungle can be deafening when you chose to listen, although the climbing ensured we had little time to do anything but concentrate on getting through the day.
We eventually came out above the Tovud River, a major crossing point during the marches. Bellow us I could see the river, during the war this was a serious torrent, and the weakened solders were forced to try and cross, many were too weak and were swept away to their deaths. Those that survived were faced with a 2 hour dense jungle scramble out of the gorge, while Japanese soldiers kicked them back down the gorge, shooting those who did not have the strength to try and climb again, for us it was time to rest up and contemplate what had happened.
Our final day dawned, and we were headed for Ranau, the ending point of the marches, where those that did survive were finally slaughtered. Many locals also risked, and lost their lives trying to aid the prisoners. There was a little old lady living in one village we passed through who is known as the ring lady; when she was a young girl she used to sneak the waste food for the pigs and feed the prisoners. It started with one, and became six – then one morning she returned to feed them and found 7 rings in a tin, wedding rings belonging to the soldiers, they had gone, and had left a small thank you for her.
That last day in the saddle was long, hard, and hot. As we drew closer and closer to our destination so the riding got tougher, and the heat seemingly hotter. Crossing in towards Ranau we entered the final section, and an evil climb over from Muruk to Ranau, passing through numerous paddy fields. This 30km out and back slog is where the surviving prisoners were forced to carry sacks of rice from camp to camp, until they finally died. For us it was just a hard day in the saddle, nothing by comparison.

The undoubted local experts are Borneo Bikers. Check out www.borneobikers.com for small group options or for a longer option that covers Sabah in more detail with set dates check out www.skedaddle.co.uk 

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Anuar Manan wins today in East Java

Charity rides, 12 hour mountain bike races, festivals and functions - it's been kinda bust for Malaysia's favourite cyclist Anuar Manan, since he won a stage and the green jersey in the Tour de Langkawi.
At the moment he's on tour in Indonesia with his Geumsen Ginseng Asia team, and after a couple of tough days he finally found his feet again and took victory in today's road stage of the Tour of East Java.
Tomorrow is a critirium, and Anuar tells us he's hoping to make it a double!

Thanks to Anuar and the team for informing us - and we look forward to hearing more of their tales on their return..

Radioshack announce Tour team

Shimano Bike Doping?

No, not really - but the Japanese manufacturer have just launched a whole new race of electric bike components called STEPS - umm weren't they a failed pop group of a few years back? Maybe SRAM are ahead of the game if our bike doping story has any credence?

I was gonna race on with you, and then I got caught.

Basso's sister convicted for drug trafficing

In the blaze of flory created by Ivan Basso's Giro d'Italia win something seems to have been lost - recent memory. basso returned last year following a suspension for doping. His sister Elisa has now just been convicted for dealing drugs to cyclists, along with her husband and ex pro Eddy Mazzoleni, a case which has taken some 5 years to come to a resolve.
You know, when you see Basso bathing in the champagne while wearing his maglia rosa - spare a thought for those who actually did come clean, and are paying heavily for it...

Sticking with the Saturday high theme

Bike Doping Tests Begin

Yes, it seems that the UCI have decided that "bike doping" could be for real - after all, it may be thinking sideways - but it's so easy - if you don't check then...
So, from the Tour de France onwards dope tests will be performed on bikes - but what we want to know is where the line will lie, and who will be given the authority to judge - the ABDFL, WABDA, or the OICDC - watch this space
Oh, and is out of competition testing still on?

BIKES WILL BE EXAMINED FOR MOTORS

Friday, 18 June 2010

Malaysian Games, Women's XC

Kedah Take gold and bronze - Sarawak take the silver - their first of the games. Sprint finish for the first two riders.

MASZIYATON BT MOHD RADZI - Kedah
2 JUNAIDAH BT JUSS - Sarawak
3 NUR SYUHAINI BT OTHMAN - Kedah

Malaysian Games Cross Country MTB results

Pahang take mens race by 4 minutes, Sabah spring yet another off-road medal, while Brunei rider sneaks into third spot


Mens

MOHD HAFIZ B ROSLI - Pahang
2 NICKLOS MINOL - Sabah
3 RAFIUDDIN B ZAKARIA - Brunei




Pics Pulse Media

An epic mountain bike adventure in Sabah,Borneo - part 1

Taking an incredible and historic journey through the jungles of Borneo we retraces the routes of the infamous Sandakan death marches of the Second World War.

My guts churned, and I felt hollow. A glazed look sweeps across my face as my mind struggled to cope with things. I was truly shocked, not at all for the first time on this journey, but I figured I’d become more or less immune to the whole story by now, as I’d researched most of the horrific details over a long period of time.
We’d stopped off at a stall in a small, near anonymous village in the north of Sabah, Borneo. We were loosely following the routes of the horrific Sandakan death marches of the Second World War, and were in a spot that was used as an impromptu stop off during the marches, where thousands of Allied prisoners of war were force-marched to their deaths by the occupying Japanese. I was told the story of a local man who had recently passed away, he was enforced as a cook for the Japanese captors, and told the tale of how he was once forced to cook two prisoners for the soldiers to eat. By this stage they were so malnourished that their was no flesh on the bones, so he was told to take out and cook the intestines, it just beggared belief, but it was true and documented along with so many other atrocities.
Our ride was around 250km and 3 days in all, along a mix of jungle jeep roads, palm plantation trails and some hard core. This was more or less along thee lines used in the marches, although many things have changed since then, so conditions are nowhere near as harsh today, and we also chose to skip the impenetrable jungle scrambles, which were near impassable with a bike, and also to skip some of the road sections where logging trucks make conditions treacherous.
The port of Sandakan, is situated on the north coast of Borneo, and was used heavily by the Japanese during the war, and was where they shipped in and initially held the POW's. All in all there were some 2600 POW’s shipped to Sandakan between 1942-43, mostly all Australians, and a fair amount of Brits. They had mostly been captured during the fall of Singapore, and others from the Philippines. This made the town the obvious starting point for the route, and we literally rode out from the remains of the POW camp, where many were to meet their end.
Maybe you wonder why we did this ride? Well, it had not been followed by bike before, and had a real sense of purpose. There were just 6 survivors from the marches, all of who escaped to safety, and it was the worst atrocity ever in Australian military history, and one of the worse crimes of the war.
Our initial section was a long slog from Sandakan to Teluipid, This is relatively flat country, so not too demanding. We wound our way along miles and miles of sweet palm plantation trails, great for cruising and clocking up distance, but back then this was primary jungle, and no easy slog for the prisoners.
The Japanese saw great shame in surrender so showed little respect for their captives, or for the Geneva Convention. The war was nearing it’s end, and they knew it, and the allies were bombing the ports heavily, so they decided to move the prisoners inland to force them to work on a new airfield, and to slowly kill them off. 
We had the full luxury of a support vehicle and supplies, and a nice clean shower and bed waiting at the end of the day; the prisoners had none of this. It was tough enough just riding easy in the intense heat, which was getting up towards 40 degrees at times. The soldiers were given little or no food or medical supplies, many didn’t even have footwear, and they were literally marched until they died, or were executed along the way – beheaded, shot, or simply kicked to death when they were too weak to continue, no mercy was shown.
To be continued soon, stay tuned.......
The undoubted local experts are Borneo Bikers. Check out www.borneobikers.com 
For small group options or for a longer option that covers Sabah in more detail with set dates check out www.skedaddle.co.uk 

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Malaysian Games Downhill

Seems like our post went missing - Stan the Man form Sabah took gold in the Malaysian Games today, a huge step for Sabahan cycling - and they also took silver in the ladies too! wahoo....

Men

R STANLY B JALIP - Sabah
2 NORSHAHRIEL HAIZAT B AHMAD NAZALI - Selangor
3 MUHAMMAD AIM B MOHD FAUZI - Pahang


Women


NUR SYUHAINI BT OTHMAN - Kedah
2 LAURA AVILA ADRIAN - Sabah
3 MAZZATUL SYAKILA BT ABDUL MANAN - Perak


Epic biking tales from Sabah to follow...

Fisher bikes - the end...

You probably saw a brand new video from Trek here a while back, where Gary Fisher introduced the 'Gary Fisher Range"... by Trek. What they didn't mention was that this actually means that Gary Fisher bikes as we know them will very shortly no longer exist -  do you believe what the man himself had to day about the new big buck deal?


Well, if you adore his bikes as much as we do - they you'd better go buy one now - before they become extinct...

Gary Fisher..

“This makes sense. I love this strategy,” said Gary Fisher. “I’ve been working with Trek on the Fisher Brand since 1996, but this puts me right in the middle of the best team of bike people. I can now bring my ideas to Trek, No.1 bike brand in the world. Better bikes and more people on those bikes. I love it.”

“2010 has been a fantastic year for both Trek and Gary Fisher bikes," said Trek president John Burke. "But we weren’t taking full advantage of the incredible resource we have in Gary Fisher, the man. We realized we could bring Gary’s ideas to many more people by creating the Gary Fisher Collection.”

Tour de Timor 2010

This years Tour de Timor is opening for registration. The race will take place between 13-17th September in East Timor - Check out www.tourdetimor.com

Gary Fisher talks new bikes

Aussies in France

While we have Brad Hall on site we thought we'd bring this promo video to the site, it relates to 2 past greats from down under - one who was, well, a legend, the other -  if he'd been born French he would probably of been the first and only Aussie to win  the Tour  de France . Check out the classic 23 Days in July DVD to see just how close Phil Anderson was..

Marco Polo rider Brad Hall checks in from France

Australian rider Brad Hall is no stranger to Asian Bike racing, having won extensively in many Asian countries. This year he re-joins the Marco Polo team, and has just started his "second-half" season in Europe, along with several of the team's Asian Riders. 
Brad has a couple of wins under his belt already this season, and came very close to winning the overall title in the Tour of Thailand in April. Here he reports from the outskirts of Paris, just to give you a feel for what it's like to race in France.






Stage 1: 125km Tour de'L'Oise Road Race, France.

A series of 2-3km climbs was the best way to describe this stage. A total of 5 king of the mountain sprints were the highlight of today’s race. The first of which was just 5km into the start of the stage. OUCH!! Up, down, crosswind, up, down, crosswind……. You get the drift. This stage was shorter than the other stages but quite challenging as most of the climbs were situated just on the outskirts of a small French town that usually included tight corners and narrow streets. This had the effect of stringing the peloton out single file and then smashing the remaining components into a pulp up the hill.
The first ascent of 3km started only 5km into the stage and here I managed to sit my heart rate on 184bpm for the second half of the climb, that’s 95% of my max and also equated to around 480 watts for three and a half minutes with a peak one minute power output of about 515watts. To some of the readers this may all be gibber jabber, but it basically quantifies an effort that was indicative of today’s racing.
From here on end the pace never let up. The peloton split in a crosswind section but was brought back eventually by a fast chasing group. We had Leon Von Bon in the front group though he had to abandon the race due to his foot swelling abnormally during the race. A big loss as his experience and expertise are really valuable to the team and the riders.
After cresting the last of the climbs, a bunch sprint seamed definite. Getting to the front of the race was super difficult as the pace was so high due to the quality teams leading out their respective sprinters. The run into the finish line saw a speed of around 55-60km/hr. With this high pace getting to the front was difficult due to the fact that as soon as you come in contact with the wind you are forced backwards through the group. Here it pays to have someone take you to the front so that you can remain there until the sprint commences.
We finished in a small town on the outskirts of Paris with three corners in the last kilometer making a challenging finish. The Marco Polo team all finished in the bunch except for Loh and Leon who both had a bad day out with some unlucky events happening for each rider. So we are down to 4 riders already and some seriously hard racing on the horizon as most of the riders in the field are on equal time and have a lot to prove!!
Interestingly the average wattage for the day was 290 watts, with the normalized wattage around 340 watts (the average wattage recorded only when the cranks are turning: which therefore excludes down hills when one is just coasting or when one is cornering). That is a massive set of figures for me as I have averaged 320watts for a one hour time trial on a good day in the past. The weather in the north of France is going to be more like an Australian spring so I am looking forward to the opportunity to do some quality racing through some quality terrain in some quality weather. ‘Living the dream’.

Rounding it all up..

The four day tour through the north of France proved to be a challenging event. The terrain was mainly undulating with the first stage proving to be one of the hardest days racing I've done so far this year. Over the course of the tour my legs got better and better, though no result was achieved. The last day was mared by some questionable tactics as the team that was leading the tour just 'gave-up' as a group of 25 riders slowly made their way away from the peloton. An interesting turn of events considering how strong the leading team was. Looking forward to the next race on Sunday which is a pro kermesse in Belgium.
 

Thanks for reading. Brad.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A French Letter

A French Letter; umm, well - it's a strange old place - and full of French people, no idea why? Croissants, the Alps, the Louvre, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, that big hunk of iron in Paris, and of course cheap red wine...
Ahh, today we bring a little je ne sais quoi to the site, thanks to the Le Petit Champion, as he's known - Brad Hall, a man from the land down under - Australia, who is also a regular on the Asian racing scene, and a member of the Marco Polo team - and currently he's dipping his pastry in French chocolate chaud and peeing in strange gardens before the start of his next race - here he shows us what it's like to race in la France - although we have no idea where the nick name came from.....

And it's his birthday today :)

Greatest Tour Rider Ever -the poll will return soon, techno gremlins again...

Now Everyone Can Ride - Air Asia, losing the plot?

Budget regional carrier Air Asia seem to have gone all bike friendly - they are offering 30% discount on Giant bike rental in Taiwan when you book with them, we can but imagine the tears at the airport when you check in without a bike - all those excess kilos......

The Cavendish crash

The entire peleton of this years Tour of Switzerland have taken objection to Mark Cavendish's controversial sprint 
yesterday - they took a brief protest strike this morning - what do you think?




Malaysian Games continue.....




Women's 500m

FATEHAH BT MUSTAPA - Terengganau
NURUL NORLIZAWATI BT MOHD SYARIFF - Kedah
NURUL AHMAR BT BADEUZZAMAN - Selangor




Men's 1-km


1 MOHAMAD AKMAL B AMRUN - Selangor
2 AHMAD FAKHRULLAH B ALIAS - Pahang
3 MUHD ARFY QHAIRANT B AMRAN - Melaka


Pic Pulse Media

Team Geumsen Ginseng Asia report from the far corners of Asia


Two races on June 13 2010
2010 Japanese ITT National Championship.


Geumsen Ginseng team riders Shinichi Fukushima and Nara Motoi delivered one two for Team GGA
The same  30-km course in Akita, Japan, has been used for the Japanese National ITT Championship for the last 5 years. Shinichi Fukushima of Team GGA has been in top form recently, but throughout recent Tour of Japan and Tour de Kumano, he was always marked by other riders and came so close from winning many times. 
However, none could mark Shinichi in the race of truth on June 13. He set off at a blistering pace of over 50-kph towards the half way turn. As he braked for the turn the rear tire of his disc wheel over- heated and exploded. Despite a wheel change and replacement to a none-disc wheel, Shinichi still finished the race with a course record winning time of just 7 seconds over 38 minutes. The only rider close to him during this race was his own teammate of GGA, Nara Motoi, he delivered an outstanding performance by finishing just 25 seconds behind Shinichi to take the 2nd spot, and made it Team GGA one two finish. 

2010 Tour of Jakarta race report.....Despite been out numbered, Ji Wen Low of Singapore fought bravely till the end  

A one day race in heart of Jakarta city center, a city with 25-million people and enough motorbikes, vehicles, bicycles and people to give any bike race organizer a major challenge. The race had to start around 6:40 am and hoped to finish around 11-am, before the roads are opened to the public traffic. 
The course was simple; straight and flat - a 10-km loop along the pretty Jakarta central main boulevard,  surrounded by luxury hotels and shopping malls on the both sides of the circuit. To make the course more interesting, riders had to do 10 laps of the basic loop plus 5 laps of 1+1/2 laps of the course, total distance added up to just a few clicks under 200km. 
There were 17 teams on the start line,  but only 5 foreign teams, including team GGA. However, team GGA was only able to send 3 riders (Ji Wen Low, Puchong and Anuar Manan) to this race, while almost all of the other teams had full 5 ride rosters (Team Polygon was able to enter 2 teams and had 10 riders). 
Without a cloud in the sky and pancake flat course, it was going to be a hot and fast race. t Predictably riders were attacking from lap 1; but several attempts failed and peloton was back to one big bunch after 2 laps. But the attacks kept going, but with just 3 riders it was difficult to mark every attack. Anuar had to stay back in the "sprinters group" with the other sprinters like Samai of Indonesia, who is the only other SE Asian rider to win a stage in LtDL.
Meanwhile Phuchong was not feeling well after long journey from northern Thailand which took him almost 24 hours to reach Jakarta. So the task of getting into the early break was on the shoulders of Ji Wen. 
After 2 laps a group of 25+ riders got away without a team GGA rider. Ji Wen realized the group was too dangerous and bridged across the gap, solo. In the group of 25+ riders 3 riders were from team Polycot, and most of Indonesia teams were also represented in the break as well as 2 riders from Australia teams and 1 rider from Singapore OCBC team, Ji We and a German rider from CCN. 
The group kept close to 4-minutes ahead of the Peloton. After about 100km of racing, on 11th lap, riders from the leading group started attacking again attempt to get away, but no-one succeed, and it forced a selection down to the 10 strongest men of the day  Polycot had 2 riders in the elite group. Ji Wen made the selection along with only one other foreign rider Dave Treacy from Australia. 
Ji Wen looked very comfortable on the bike, despite soaring temperatures of 35 degrees, and this after more than 150-km of racing, while some of the lead riders started to skip their turns at the front. 
With 2 laps, and  about 30km to the finish, the 10 men had enough of a gap to make it to the finish. More attacks started. The Indonesian riders were working well together, and continually  attacking. Despite being out-numbered 8 to 1, Ji Wen was able to chase down every attack. As the final 10 men passed the last 1km marker  Ji Wen launched a strong attack and opened a 50 meter gap.  But he was followed by one Indonesia rider who refused to take a pull on the front. So they were caught just 600 meters before the finish. Ji Wen sprinted for 6th position.

Mantur of Team Polygon/Indonesia won the race

Thanks to GGA for the update - you can find their link above