Froome Dog’s TT Weapon

Chris Froome’s TdF TT bike – complete with 3D PRINTED BARS! :-) So I’m not normally much of a Pinarello fan, but this thing is so full of tech and cycling awesomeness it just blows me away. Check out the 58/46 chainrings! Barring any incidents between now and then, you’d be hard pressed to bet against Froome winning the Stage 20 time trial.

To finish first… (TdF Stage 9)

…first you have to finish.

Well that was a stage and a half! It had all the markings of an epic day at the Tour but that was not what anybody wanted! Big G out. Porte out, Contadope and Q both slipping backwards. Aru(kiddingme) the only other GC rider managing to keep tabs on Froome – okay Bardet and Uran Uran up there too.

No disrespect to Froome of course, he’s an incredible rider and is absolutely crushing it in the Tour – I’m a fan. Sure he’s no style icon but he can certainly race a bike. I want him to win the Tour but with some exciting racing thrown in the mix! I hope after that stage this doesn’t turn into the #BoreDeFrance from here on in.

Are we going to see the “Sky Procession” control the peloton as Froome carries that Yellow all the way to Paris? Please no. But with mountains to follow and that final time trial looking to suite Froome down to a tee, on paper it’s looking that way. I hope we’re in for some more action (of the staying upright kind) and a proper GC fight. It’s still a long way to Paris!

Opening 2017 TdF Time Trial

I love a good time trial. I think it’s a great way to open a Grand Tour and put a few time gaps into the top of the field. Sure it can be a little boring to watch but I love the tech and checking out the aero – or not – riding positions of the field.

Great to see big G in yellow after the opening stage! He wouldn’t have been my pick if I were laying down some money, but a worthy stage winner. My money would have been on the German TT powerhouse that is Tony Martin (he still came in a respectable 4th at 8 second back). Froome dog looking strong too. It’s a long three weeks until the end of the Tour, but he’s looking like he can repeat past victories and claim another Yellow in Paris. Check out his TT position, jet plane aero. Team Sky are looking STRONG!

Photo credit: www.steephill.tv

2015 Aussie TT Champ Richie Porte was further back than I was expecting, although being a super wet day the top GC guys probably weren’t taking many chances. I hope he has a cracking Tour. My opinion is he CAN win the TdF, but I’m not sure he has the team strength behind him to unseat Sky. With only one Stage down there’s still over 3500km of racing to go and hopefully a good mix-up of GC racing!

Winter project: Converting the TT bike into a fast road bike

This winter’s project is to convert my Planet X time trial bike into a road bike. I love riding the TT bike, but there’s not much of a TT scene around here and I’m not getting enough use out of it. It’d be great (I think) to use it as an aero road bike for a while.

With a bit of Googling I tracked down a pair of new old stock SRAM Rival 10-speed shifters to compliment the rest of the 10-speed drivetrain. These were harder than expected to source now that everything has gone 11-speed, I had to get them sent over from the UK.

As I’m not even sure if I’ll like how it rides with drop bars I didn’t want to splash out on a completely new groupset. I think I can live without that one extra gear now now. The old SRAM Rival stuff is actually pretty ace and the bike is already sporting  SRAM carbon cranks. Of course the SRAM eTap upgrade kit would have been nice… ;-)

As for bars I’m waiting for a good deal on some carbon aero topped bars, possibly 3T or similar. Although it won’t be a TT bike anymore I still want it to be slippery and these just look fast, which is half the fun!

The geometry of the Stealth frame will make for a fairly aggressive position so we shall see if it even works as a roadie. If not, I can always convert it back! Anyways it’ll give me something to tinker with on those cold winter weekend mornings.

Exploring the Tasman Peninsula on two wheels

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take my bike down onto the Tasman Peninsula for a ride along the coast and into the hills. It was one of those rare and perfect early winter evenings. Still mild enough to have the legs out, not a drop of wind and hardly a car to contend with.

It’s not often enough I get out on the road these days and this ride certainly reminded me of what I am missing out on!

During the summer  the roads down on the Peninsula are jammed full of tourist rental cars and badly driven camper vans, but outside of peak season you can almost have the place to yourself. It really is a little slice of island paradise. If it weren’t for the fading light I could have ridden for hours, but in the end I rolled back to the house with a shade over 51km on the Garmin, three Cat 4 Climbs, 28kph average, two Strava KOMS and one absolutely stunning sunset to finish off the ride. Some days life is just ohhh so sweet and it makes you thankful to be alive. #keepthosepedalsturning