...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:
I bet the only people who understand the title of this blog will be Americans. Ha! I get tons of hits from folks in Belgium so when they see the words 'safe' or 'D'oh!' in conjunction with their Vorselaar hero hitting the hard deck, the humor will be lost on the benign.
But, I digress...
Anywhoo, this looks like it hurt Bart-man. Can't say I haven't felt that type of crash before either. Surf City 2003 I am going into the final as series leader and had a crash just like this on wet pavement at like 30 mph and I still carry the scars and deep bruising on my hip to this day. Anyone reading this blog is invariably racing a bike and know exactly what the f I'm talking about.
Looks like Bart is going Jersey-style and whipping out the law suits. Broken wrist and a heap of pennies gone is what Bart is walking away from the Worlds with. The video coverage Sporza Belgium and other carriers in the region provide us (well, for us we get 'em weeks later on DVD...) is sick. I mean right up close with Sven and Erwin and gang so you can literally see how certain sections of a course are won by riding (Sven) or running (Erwin). In all sincerity, I have been 'crossing for the last 10 years and the videos and this level of detailed coverage have done so much for learning the nuances of technique, it is insane, so I am a huge proponent of continuing this but as you can see, this bump of the pylon into Bart's wheels was a galactic f-up. They've got to figure out something better than frigging pylons.
Anyway, here is a GREAT highlight reel to distract you while you eat lunch:
Only for the world champ. Check these out. I can't quite see the tread pattern but they look like Rhinos. Frankly, I'm more interested to learn how well those Dura Ace carbons are holding out. Apparently bomber.
Photo by Chris Milliman
This course was super photogenic. Our friends Nancy and Russ Wright from back in the old Bay Area are there snapping photos as is our team photog Joe S from Peloton Photo . REALLY looking forward to their shots. Some borrowed for now from sites you normally may not go to to see the action so here I am trying to cross pollinate the goodness (with credits):
Speechless. That's all I can say regarding Page. Silver! Unbelievable. I hope Nys and Wellens don't cry about their mis haps to lessen Page's day today. 5 laps out in front. Flawless. Vervecken really showed the world he wanted it most as he had to work his skinny lanky ass off to reel in Page.
Danny S- Silver
It is VERY safe to say the US should be factored in in world CX scene. The difference has been Page immersing himself. Never crying, always learning. Suffering. Being poor. Living race to race. Season to season. I hope the world sees what this kid can do. Amazing. I don't see anyone else going deep like Page. Sacrificing. I think J-Pows is the closest to the 'core' Page represents but everyone else (Trebon, Wicks, et al) have another agenda. Not a bad agenda, just an agenda for other disciplines to pay the rent. I guess it all comes down to a very deep acknowledgment of what 'cross means to a person like Page to make those sacrifices and move to gray places like Bracken or Mol or Smallville, Belgium. He knew. What did I know for certain at that age? Can't remember.
Congrats Page and I am speechless with pride. Who will follow your lead from the US? Geoff P, keep doing what you're doing.
Looking forward to seeing this on cycling.tv. I think B Dwight is having this live in the shop. Gotta bring him my speakers today. Anywhoo Velonews has a decent write up of the course but you bike geeks already beat me to reading it I'd guess.
Nijs by :34
Well, son of a beeatch:
OK, I can think of only one word: Dedication (or if I get only one word but allow interchange: Whoa). Our team mate and remote home boy TT got himself some ink. Some ink. Some very big ink. No, I did not doctor this with PhotoShop. Unbelievable. His note when he sent the pic was pretty friggin' compelling in that there is a boat load of history with our team (starting ages ago as a P1,2 team) and obviously lots of tight bonds over the years. The team was obviously pretty meaningful to this young impressionable youth.
Ahh, RM-Izze. The history, nostalgia. Good times. Good times. But no, I ma not compelled to get RM inked. Maybe some knuckle tatts thoough...Here's to ya TT. All new recruits to RM-Izze 07, please read fine print in your contracts related to obligatory ink moving forward.
Worlds this weekend. Lots of Amerikaner's going. Wish I were there too to witness the spectacle. Where's Hooglede-Gits, Belgium you ask? See here. Smack dab in the middle of the mother-land. The weather looks nice and Sven-like as well. I wonder of he burned too much coal at the last World Cup and/or if Wellens made the right decision to pull himself and save some coal. Gerben just shut down in the Netherlands last weekend. From teh looks of it, he not only burned all the coal but needed some surplus.
I hope Page rocks it this weekend. I really do. I feel a top 5 (dare I say it) because this kid is uber-determined to score a road contract for 07 which is still eluding him at the moment (I believe). Go boy. Ride like you stole something.