- La Charge by Wiscot September 2, 2020Teocalli
Guilty as Charged?
As if losing their rising superstar Remco Evenepoel to a horrific crash in the Giro di Lombardia, Deceuninck-Quick Step now have the added “issue” of “the bottle.” What was the wee white bottle removed slyly by Davide Bramati and slipped into a pants pocket? What was in it? It’s been called a bidon but not what we tend to think of when we think bidon. This was no standard issue water bottle but more of a small flask.
Was it drugs as so many are speculating? Frankly, I doubt it. Deceuninck-QuickStep boss Patrick Lefevere is not stupid enough to juice up his star young rider with 50kms to go in a race he was favored to win. Winning a Monument at age twenty and then failing a drug test could have serious ramifications for the rest of Evenepoel’s career. The official team response was “As has already been stated publicly, the item that was captured being removed from Remco’s pockets was a small bottle containing nutrition products and was removed in order to help him to be placed more comfortably by medical staff on the stretcher.”
What was it then? Was it a late race “pick me up” of caffeine, B12 and whatever to give a late-race jolt? Maybe. But I don’t think it’s anything new. Look at this picture of Bernard Hinault descending the Croix de Fer in the 1986 Tour. Look at his rear left pocket. What’s that wee bottle? It sure isn’t a regular bidon. It’s more of a small flask. I’ve never seen pictures of a rider being handed such a bidon or drinking out of such a container. And Hinault never failed a drugs test.
In the wonderful 1962 French film, Vive le Tour, by Louis Malle, the riders are featured after another hot day in the saddle. Most are drenched in sweat, gaunt and exhausted. They talk openly about being “charged” with coffee and caffeine, stating that “it all gets sweated out.”
Maybe Bramati was safeguarding one of the best kept secrets in the peloton: a late race “jolt” that’s better than a gel but not enough to get you into trouble. Cycling has enough problems with public perceptions of the riders “all doping” — a hangover from the Armstrong years — but with an exciting crop of young riders coming through, some secrets are still best kept.
Ed: Wiscot provided me with the link to this video in a separate conversation but I thought it worth adding here. Some telling moments and comments from the past and as Wiscot said – some great jerseys. Hopefully, we can be thankful that medical intervention would be likely these days before a rider got into the sort of state as shown in the video.Continue reading →
- Tirreno Adriatico 2020 September 2, 2020Teocalli
As La Tour winds its way through France we have Tirreno Adriatico running in parallel. This year’s Tirreno-Adriatico will be the 55th running of the race which starts on Monday 7 September and finishes on 14th Sept giving eight days of racing. With some significant climbing such as the finish climb to Sassotetto on day 5 of 13.2 kilometres at 7.3%, I hope there is some TV coverage.
Pre Covid, the Tirreno Adriatico was scheduled for 11 – 17 March it now has an additional mountainous stage.
The top 5 from 2019 were:
- Primoz Roglic
- Adam Yates
- Jakob Fuglsang
- Tom Dumoulin
- Thibaut Pinot
So one thing is sure – the top 5 will be very different this year. It will be interesting to see whether any riders feel they have a point to prove for missing out on TdF. There is still a potentially very competitive field of contenders for the overall.
Rider details can be found here.
Note: Picks will open for Giro d’Italia Femminile on Friday 4th September.Continue reading →
- Summer project August 25, 2020MangoDave
I’m still waiting for my road bike frame to be built by Chris Chance (ordered last October). Since it’s too hot to ride much, I ended up with a different summer build project. The goal was to replace my mint condition Somec adorned with C-Record jewelry with something a little more friendly for use as an “around town” bike. I ended up with the Fondriest frameset and built it up with stuff I had laying around in the garage. (Note to self, I really need to get rid of some of that stuff!) I think I missed the goal – too good for a townie – it’s a pretty nice retro-mod build and rides amazingly well. Frame is very light for older steel, 3.4 lbs (1.5 kg), with a complete weight of 18.5 lbs (8.4 kg). I have done two rides on it and have it mostly dialed in. About 50 miles total, but it’s brutally hot here (115* F yesterday), which limits range due to logistics such as death avoidance. I can easily see doing century rides on it, quick yet comfortable.Continue reading →
- Prisma art app August 24, 2020chuckp
I’ve been having fun messing around with it just to make pictures different/interesting. Also been working on #bikeselfies.Continue reading →
- Upcoming Events this week 24th – 29th Aug 2020 August 23, 2020Teocalli
Keep your heads up this week as we have the following OTRL events. Picks are open for Bretagne Classic and GP de Plouay but will close at midnight on Tuesday UK time. Picks will open on Wednesday for Le Tour de France and La Course.
25-Aug-20 Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France FRA ME 1.UWT 25-Aug-20 GP de Plouay – Lorient Agglomération Trophée WNT FRA WE 1.WWT 29-Aug-20 La Course by Le Tour de France FRA WE 1.WWT 29 Aug-20 Sep 2020 Tour de France FRA ME 2.UWT
Last year’s top 5 for Bretagne Classic 2019 were
- Sep Vanmarcke
- Tiesj Benoot
- Jack Haig
- Michael Valgren
- Amund Jansen
Details of riders for Bretagne Classic can be found here. Hopefully this list will fill out on Monday, but if anyone has a better link please post it.
Last year’s top 5 for GP de Plouay 2019 were
- Anna Van der Breggen
- Coryn Rivera
- Amy Pieters
- Marta Cavalli
- Demi Vollering
Details of riders for GP de Plouay can be found here. Hopefully this list will fill out on Monday, but if anyone has a better link please post it.
Top 5 for Le Tour 2019 were
- Egan Bernal
- Geraint Thomas
- Steven Kruijswijk
- Emanuel Buchmann
- Julian Alaphilippe
Details of riders for Le Tour de France can be found here.
Top 5 for La Course 2019 were
- Marianne Vos
- Leah Kirchmann
- Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig
- Lucinda Brand
- Ashleigh Moolman Passio
Details of riders for La Course can be found here.Continue reading →
- Tyre pressures, Resistance and Rollers August 17, 2020Teocalli
Lead Photo by Teocalli
With the current trend to wider tyres and tubeless there is also a trend to running lower pressures. The manufactures and the science says that there is no net loss in speed and/or efficiency in running lower pressures and some claim it may be faster. Well, I guess I have to believe the testing behind all that.
Unless you are on Rollers.
Over the winter I was doing a Roller session and started to get rather worried as the whole thing was getting harder and harder to maintain anything like my normal speed. Given my recent history I was getting quite worried until I noticed that I had a slow rear puncture! I must have had a small stone sliver in the tyre at the start and the greater point pressure of the rollers had caused it to puncture, though at a slow rate.
Having noticed this I pumped back to 100 psi and found I was back up to speed, for a while, till the tyre started to deflate again. It had got down to 60 psi and at that pressure it was like being on a pretty decent incline.
Anyway, this week I had cause to think on this when I was doing a roller session due to rain (and being a whimp). I pulled a bike from the rack and did not check tyre pressures but found I was down on comfortable max cruise speed by 2-3 mph. On checking pressure I was at about 80 psi. Pumping to 100 psi and I was back up to a healthy speed (for me).
So, my conclusion is that starting from 100 psi on 25mm tyres I’m losing about 1 to 1.5 mph for every 10 psi pressure loss. I don’t run a power meter so I can’t do any empirical measurement but it might be interesting to run a test as pressure is lowered and see what power increment is required to maintain speed.
It does make me wonder how the manufacturers take their measurements of rolling resistance.
Anyway, if you are on Rollers and want to run a resistance session the cheapest solution may be to just lower your tyre pressure!Continue reading →
- F1 tires for your bike August 15, 2020chuckp
P Zero Race TLR tubeless. Have just over 350 miles on them. Posted my review in Tech.Continue reading →
- Criterium du Dauphine and Il Lombardia 2020 August 10, 2020Teocalli
Photo – Double Header Steam Engines
Well, unless I have my calendar all screwed up we have Criterium du Dauphine kicking off this week and il Lombardia at the weekend. So you need to be on your toes with picks this week and get your Criterium du Dauphine picks in sharpish and watch for Il Lomardia picks opening afterwards.
Sorry for the skimpy update but things are a bit hectic here this week with one thing and another.
Details for Criterium du Dauphine can be found here.
Details for Il Lombardia can be found here.Continue reading →
- Milan San Remo 2020 August 3, 2020Teocalli
Lead Photo – Cycling News
The rearranged 2020 season continues with the 111th Milan San Remo this coming weekend. The route is over 299 kilometres and although there are some changes to the last 40 Km of the route from previous seasons the Cipressa-Poggio is retained in the final run in. One thing seems certain, it’s going to be hot again.
Last year’s top 5 were:
- Julian Alaphilippe
- Oliver Naesen
- Michal Kwiatkowski
- Peter Sagan
- Matej Mohoric
Route details can be found here.
Rider Start List can be found here.
Submit your entries as usual via the OTRL Page.Continue reading →
- Maglia Rosa by Wiscot July 22, 2020Teocalli
Lead Photo by Steel Vintage Bikes
Introduced in 1931 and first worn by Francesco Camusso, the Giro d’Italia’s general classification leader has worn the maglia rosa – the pink jersey – as an indicator of their status. It was made of wool – a characteristic that persisted for the next fifty years until synthetic fabrics came into widespread use and sublimated printing meant all kinds of subtle, or not so subtle, designs and sponsor names could be added. This development also gave teams the opportunity to turn as much attire and equipment pink-as possible: bikes, helmets, gloves, shorts, shoes, sunglasses, bar tape, in fact if it could be made pink it probably was. Nairo Quintana took things to the extreme in 2014 with basically an all pink ensemble and bike. While well-intentioned, it was overkill to the point of being garish and rather diluted the splendid appearance of the garment itself.
Photo – Cycling News
It was not always this way. Really through the 80s, the race leader wore their usual team gear and the maglia rosa. This meant all the attention was focused on the actual garment, not on the accessories. Made by Castelli for many years and sponsored by La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper (printed on pink paper, hence the jersey color), it was crisp and clean. The wool fabric didn’t take kindly to sponsor decals being attached and if they were, they were often sewn on in big panels. (Today, they are screen-printed backstage immediately after the stage is over.)
Castelli understood this and in a brilliantly subtle piece of marketing (the jersey featured the Castelli logo of a scorpion on the shoulders) they stitched a little label under the front hem upside down. Why upside down you ask? Well, this was when jerseys were cut longer than they are today and inevitably, the front hem would flip up leaving the little label in full view and visible the right way up. Therefore pictures of the race leader on the podium would often be showing a Castelli label to the assembled multitudes.
In an age of marginal gains being applied to all aspects of a rider’s wellbeing and performance, sponsors such as Castelli were way ahead of the game.Continue reading →