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:
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.