Well, we finally got this thing together and launched! Herding kittens through a door simultaneously is a pretty complex endeavor but the team managers and I got the sponsors, kits and everything else lined up and ready for last night's kickoff. We had a great turnout with the majority of the racers and lots of their wives and kids. The agenda was to lay out the ground work for next year in terms o goals which amount to supporting our devo and women's squads who'll be making a run for it and allowing teh men's categories to break up into their groups by various categories (e.g. Cat 35-4's, 4, 3, 2/1 and of course 35 Opens) to allow each to meet new riders and see friends from last year and share a couple of Dales Old Chub's to talk through what their plans are for the upcoming season. Most of us see each other regularly but this winter has put a damper on things! The sponsors play a major role as well to help us out. Lance G (above) and crew from Izze came by to talk about the company and product which is quite an amazing story of how their "Project Reach" is helping build schools where Izze harvests the fruit used in their beverages. Awesome story and proud to have them as a title sponsor.
All-in-all, I was proud to look across the room last night at the wonderful faces and review the rich history of the squadra. We're going to have aboat load of fun this year and we're stoked!
Here's to 07.
We finally got outside as a group today. Good times, good times. 3 hours and rolling hills mixed with flats. Tons of teams out. We had a good showing with lots of new guys. Varying skills which will fall into place so each cat can ride amongst themselves and gel. I wanted to play today and all that weight work and living like a monk has paid off. More is needed. I played mainly to see who would follow of the new guys to get a feel for what we have to work with this year. New guy Dave W, a former pro MTB'er, is an absolute steal. He's got a great attitude and an equally great motor. He played my game. Others a very cool guys, but we'll have to drill them over and over until they get some road etiquette. Their squad leaders will have to work on them.
All in all great to be on the road. Snow's coming again, but hopefully not in the same volume. It's OK, I need to work harder on strength and core so this is all good to me.
Sorry, no pics, Camera's dead.
Mmm. 48 degrees. Yummy. It's Africa hot as far as I am concerned. Did a nice lunchtime roll and hooking up with my team mates FINALLY so we can spin together on our first ride of the season as a group. enough rollers, enough single speed and CX bikes on the sludgy roads and snowy trails (or now) . I am looking forward to spinning long hours on the roadie with good peeps.
My boys at Ritchey gave me the kind hook up to make the roads feel that much better on my Sycip. Jeremy and Jay Sycip built me this ride in 2001 believe it or not and I can't believe how well it's stiiod the test of time. 1000's and 1000's of miles on this.The new Ritchey stuff is like buttah. I am going with the new Streems to see what that is all about. I tend to ride on the tops of teh bars on the road so this is supposed to be more confortable.
The fork replaces a 6 year old LOOK and this is lighter and carbon from drop outs to steerer.
Seatpost bling will keep my heiney well positioned. I will do a complete write up of these after I have some time on the road. I use WCS everywhere so I expect the reviews will be stellar.
Looking forward to the LSD trip.
More fuel for my "Belgium 2008" chant I say to myself silently every AM.
Ives, from Baginton, just failed to make history in the event by becoming the first rider to win six World Masters Cyclo Cross titles.
He was beaten into silver medal position in the 65+ category by old rival and now five times world champion Herman Martens, three years his junior.
Ives had trained very hard to defend his championship and was a clear winner at the recent British Championships, but it is a very different ball game in Belgium, where the cyclo cross is huge and big events often attract 30,000 spectators.
The course at Mol, which Ives has raced ten times, is very fast and mainly single track through pine forests, with 500m of road and three big sand sections, some of which is rideable, the rest has to be run.
Ives has won the title five times, been second twice and third once. He has also been second three times in the UCI World Road Championships and third once in the UCI World Mountain Bike Championships.
MI Racing-EAS-Thule team mate Barrie Mitchell finished eighth in the 60+ category, just three places behind last year's World Champion Vick Barnett.
Barrie's race went exactly as expected and for the first time in five years he managed to get round without any crashes or problems.
He was happy with 8th, although he was only 15 seconds away from 6th place.
"Racing at Mol is very fast and even small time gaps are very hard to close up. Passing is also a problem as a large section of the course through the woods are on single track paths," he said.
"As usual the large sections of sand are a problem to the English riders as we have nothing like this in the UK.
"You can lose big chunks of time each lap if you are unable to ride through the sand sections. Local Belgians are very good at this as many events in Belgium are centred in sandy areas each weekend."
Richard got negged by Rabo this weekend too. They offered him a lower salary and he said take this job and shve it and drive off in his Bog Foot. He's outtie and will be picked up by another squad to try and get revenge on Rabo-Sven.
I had lots to do today. Heavy duty spin and then weights for 3 hours in the AM, kid play all afternoon then unpacking all the boxes from Verge and re-packing into individual bags for all the team-mates today. Thanks to our Devo team for assisting! They basically ran the show! One other thing was to visit BCS and pick up my new Rock Lobster for next season. (Don't ask me why i had it built up. It's sort of like having a bad case of blue balls I suspect. I needed to 'release' and see the thing built up).
It came out sweet. With Mavic Open Pro/Hugi's, a bunch of Ritchey WCS (although I'll have other wheels this coming season to race on) and the Alpha Q, this Easton Ultra Light is 18lbs. Not stupid light (my Scandium RL with the FSA's is 17.3 pounds) but light enough. I am 6'2 and about 180 when I race so I figure I can skip a couple-a Newcastles before I get stupid light equipment.
An interesting twist was related to the Alpha Q. I had this fork on my Scott Team CX this season and while on ,it had a significantly longer steerer. Problem: When you buy and install Alpha Q's, they are essentially on THAT bike for life. Why? You cut the carbon steerer, then permanently glue in this Aluminum shim which holds the star nut in place with the same shit they bond rotor blades of Apache's with. So, I'm thinking I am humped and have to buy a new fork. D-Wayne (THE MAN) at BCS called True Temper directly and got the green light to cut RIGHT through that shit! Good as gold. He cut through the carbon and on through the aluminum shim, pushed down the star nut and voila, correct steerer length for this bike.
I blinged out this bike with some carbon fiber love. Some FSA CX carbon cranks (175 x 110BCD) and a 42t FSA ring. Note the carbon chain guides. Hand made by Joe De Paemelaere of Primus Mootry here in town. Dope. Super stiff.
Lastly, Brandon waranteed a few Fizik Arione saddles for me. The guys at Fizik were cool and swapped out the seats I broke this CX season (2 of 'em). Apparently there was some flaw that cracked right at the flex points directly through the middle of the underside of the saddle....obviously exacerbated by 'cross regardless of how smooth your remounts are. I run 'em on my road bikes and love 'em so I wanted to try for 'cross. C'est la vie. I'm going with 'em again this season.
Finally, to my earlier point, the 07 uni's are in and they are sick. Verge nailed the design spot on.
...by now have invariably seen Ben Atkin's report on the bikes of the 'cross Worlds on cyclingnews and popped wood. I quickly got passed Sven's C50's and all of Wellen's Taiwanese Ridley's and shed a tear when I saw Christine V's Rock Lobsters all nice an mounted on the roof rack of a car:Lobstah is getting built today (couldn't hold out any longer and had to 'release' as it were to see it in it's built-up glory. Pics soon.
If you haven't checked out the World's vids yet circulating, you're lame. Un-frickin-believable. Un-FRICKING-believable. I can not believe:
a) How Sven cracked...and when he cracked game over.
b) How Wellen's fought. Man, this kid is hard. Yeah yeah yeah, I've seen the threads around other blogs on how much of a p.o.s. he's being made out to be for suing and what not, but at face value in the race: sick.
c) Erwin is retardedly strong. WTF. That guy bridged gaps amazingly even after some just sweet crashes. That face digger was priceless. But his ability to bury himself, bridge, sit in, then get it on and up the tempo was crazy.
d) Van den Bergh: Love that Dutchman. Flipping the bird on the first lap to all the piss-faced Belgies yelling at him. He's my man as that tank of a human wins like every hole shot in every race I see and then blows up 2 laps in, in such spectacular fashion I just have to smile. I love that boy's style. Hole shot hero like moi.
e) Enrico F looked pretty motivated. I'd say he was a fairly worth podium finisher.
f) Gadret: HA! Amazing 'crosser but is such a fly weight he could produce zero watts through that sand or mud. Dude: EAT SOME MEAT fer chrissakes. Gain some mass. This is cross, not the Giro where I'll give you some props for your exploits last year.
g) Page was a definite worthy podium finisher and then some. I think he made the race personally and made it so compelling to completely throw a hand grenade on the Belgie party that it was a crack up to watch him lay wood. Shit, I was literally standing in front of my PC watching this choppy vid with my hands on top of my head. My wife thinks I am a total geek when she swung into my office standing in front of my PC with my hands on my head. But...hon...this is SICK!
Well, it looks like this guy has most of the surplus of Dugasts around his neck! this is a gret article on A-Dugast's which are the most lusted after rubber known to man. If you haven't ridden them, there is a true/real/demonstrable difference in their feel and hook-up. Just as expensive as all hell.
This is copied from CyclocrossWorld:
Keeper of the Cotton
by Chris Milliman
January 26, 2007
For years, word of André Dugast’s special cyclocross tires circulated through North America like some kind of urban legend. These tires, the whispers said, allowed you to ride in places otherwise unrideable, go faster than ever before, achieve a cyclocross euphoria impossible to imagine. But since nobody but the best pros could ever find a pair of the elusive white-sidewalled beauties to actually buy the legend grew but hard facts remained elusive.
Here are the facts: an elderly Frenchman, André Dugast made tires the old fashioned way. Cotton casing with hand glued treads made the Dugast tubulars a perfect combination of light weight and responsiveness. Their indescribable ride characteristics emanated from their old world construction methods, methods that kept the original output to something just greater than a dribble. If you wanted Dugasts you had to go to France.
Enter Richard Nieuwhuis. In 2001 Nieuwhuis, personal mechanic to Dutch cyclocross legend Richard Groenendaal, took a load of tires back to Dugast to get re-conditioned. After a long conversation that continued on to the World Championships in Zolder, Belgium, André Dugast, then 72, asked Nieuwhuis and Groenendaal to buy the company from him.
“It was not a big decision,” remembers Nieuwhuis. “Mr. Dugast used to make about 40 tires a week, that was fine for him.It got him enough money so he could buy himself some nice wine. It was good for him. Maybe he would sometimes make 80 tires a week but he really didn’t want to make more.”
Seeing an opportunity to bring Dugast production to a wider market Nieuwhuis bought the molds, the tools, and the secrets that had allowed Dugast to create cotton casing racing tires with an otherworld suppleness and feel. Everything was moved to Holland and a larger production of the famous and rare tires began.
Today Dugast can turn out up to 108 tires a day from its seven-worker factory but averages somewhere around 400 a week. Cyclocross tires make up about 25 percent of the company’s tire production with the other 75 percent going to road racing tires.
“The hardest part is to keep improving the product,” says Nieuwhuis. “Always I am trying to make them lighter while keeping them safe, staying ahead of the competition. It’s because of my relationships with the other tire and rubber companies that I can use the newest materials and keep moving forward.”
Nieuwhuis admitted that he does extensive private label and custom production for larger more mainstream tire companies, producing specialty tires for their road and cyclocross squads. While you’re never likely to see the Dugast emblem on the tires used by a Pro Tour team at Paris-Roubaix the chances are good that many of the tires were made by Nieuwhuis.
As for cyclocross, responding to requests for a better mud tread than the old school Typhoon pattern Nieuwhuis introduced the Rhino tread design in 2005. Dugast had become know for custom making mud tires using other companies’ tread glued onto Dugast casing, but the Rhino put that bit of custom business to sleep. Nieuwhuis says one of the major trends in ‘cross tires in the past few years has been the move to bigger tires.
“We’re seeing a lot more people wanting the 34mm tires. I think it has to do with the courses and the later winters,” says Nieuwhuis. “The riders are now racing in shirt sleeves in December sometimes, no mud, no shit on the ground. That makes the courses bumpy and on that you want comfort and for comfort you want a 34.”
Nieuwhuis is nothing if not a tire fanatic. He’s constantly toying with new glue to use with the tires, new rim strips to build up the rims for better tire adhesion, new sidewall treatments to lengthen the life of the cotton casing. No detail is too small to keep Nieuwhuis from tweaking the Dugast formula, maintaining all the time the essence of what created the Dugast legend in the first place.
I love the fact that Eki is retired and can still motor along at a near dead-man's heart rate. Shit I am probably pushing an 89 right now sitting at my desk stressing about work.
Note the Polar: