Throwback to the 2012 Olympic Road Race!

I can’t believe this was FIVE YEARS AGO now! It really does seem like yesterday I was cheering the guys on as they hammered their way up Box Hill nine times! I was also totally in awe at the speed at which the peloton flew up the road. The wind rush of a 100+ strong peloton flashing by inches away from your face is also quite an experience.

Unfortunately that day Team Sky Team GB couldn’t gain control of the race and deliver Cav to the line first (even with the current TdF winner and a future one in the team).  In no great surprise, none of the other countries wanted to work with them in order to reel in the break. They spent a lot of time riding on the front.

Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan (and of ASTANA blood doping ban infamy) took the gold medal, with Rigoberto Uran and Alexander Kristoff rounding out the podium.

Along with Wiggo’s Tour de France win, it was this event that lead to a huge cycling boom in the UK and in particular Surrey and the home counties. Thousands of guys and gals dusted off their road bikes (or bought shiny new carbon ones) and got back into shape, logging thousands of miles racing along thousands of Strava segments.

It was certainly an event that got me motivated to pedal a lot harder!

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!

Sagan to Astana? Hmmm…

So word on the pro cycling grapevine is that Peter Sagan has been linked to a possible move to Astana at the end of this season. With his current team (Tinkoff) not continuing into 2017, many of the big budget teams will be hunting this particular World Champ head.

Apparently  Specialized also would like to keep him on their bikes. I’m sure they weren’t thrilled with Cavendish switching to a team on Cervelos, especially as the Venge was basically designed around him!

But Astana? Really?

They have the budget to pay his wage with Nibali on the way out, but would it be a good move for the world champ to link up with the team with one of the worst doping records in the pro peloton?

Astana? The team with FIVE positive doping tests in recent times? In my view Astana shouldn’t even still have a World Tour license! I hope another quality team snaps him up soon. A move to Astana just wouldn’t sit right with me (plus their kit is rubbish).

Hands on with mechanical doping

Recently I had a chance encounter with the guys from Typhoon, who build intriguing “motor assisted” road and mountain bikes. They had on display a motorised carbon road bike that on inspection shared an extremely close resemblance to one recently discovered in the world of cyclocross.

At first glance I didn’t spot that the bike was modified. It just looked like one of many very sleek carbon road bikes. In fact the weight wasn’t even that bad, I’d guess around 9kg, no featherweight but less than my fully kitted winter bike. Even on close inspection the only clue was a barely visible wire running from the storage bottle into the seat tube. The guys assured me this would be totally hidden in the future and that the storage bottle would be much smaller.

IMG_0988Click on the pic to enlarge. You still won’t be able to tell it’s an e-bike!

This particular pre-production model had a three-speed motor activated by a tiny switch hidden on the bars. Once turned on it kicks in when you pedal, providing up to an extra 250 watts of power in high mode.

Yes, that’s an extra TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY WATTS!

According to the guys they are currently two months away from a proper release, but with the recent publicity surrounding mechanical doping in the pro ranks they brought a couple of examples to the Bike Show to ride the wave of that publicity, so to speak!

At a cost of around 12,000 euros I don’t think you’ll be seeing many on the club rides any time soon, but this undoubtedly proves that the tech is out there, works perfectly and is accessible to the general public.

Now if only I could score a proper test ride…

Some loser called Lance

I don’t normally weigh in on the Lance Armstrong debate. I feel it’s giving him the attention he so badly craves. Providing him with any attention – whether that be positive or negative – is certainly no good for the sport in this new and (hopefully) cleaner era of professional cycling.

I’d much prefer he was forgotten and ignored, with just the lessons learned from his atrocities remaining. With his recent emergence back into the media I was asked to contribute a few thoughts for a fellow blogger, so I made an exception. If you’re at all interested in the Lance Armstrong Era then be sure to head over to Michael Stokoe’s blog and have a read of his latest articles on the subject:

Lance Armstrong Special – Part Four

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