Posts Tagged ‘people’

CampagEven though I ride Shimano, I am a fan of Campag and have always dreamed of riding an Italian frame with a full Campagnolo groupset. One day!  But this year is the 80th Anniversary for Campagnolo and they have released a video in celebration of this. To celebrate those of us who cycle. The video is great (even though the voice over is slightly creepy).

Enjoy nonethless!

By Peter Hodges

Vacansoleil win again, as Michael Albasini enters final stage with a minutes lead over rivals, while ‘Tour de France’ style crowds great The Tour of Britain in Suffolk and Essex

Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) taking stage 7 honours

The Vacansoleil team took their second stage win of The Tour of Britain, as Borut Bozic sprinted to victory on East Hill in Colchester, as the gradient took its toll ensuring just Greg Henderson could stay with the Slovenian rider as they reached the line.

With the drag to the line causing splits in the field, Bozic and Henderson came in three seconds up on third placed man Richie Porte, with the leading trio all collecting time bonuses to add to their advantage over race leader Michael Albasini, who came in 20th in a group 11 seconds down on the winner.

That means that Albasini now holds the Yellow Jersey presented by Bikeability by 1 minute and 5 seconds from Bozic, with Porte a further nine seconds back and Henderson two more in arrears.

The Swiss rider, who won Stage Three into Swansea on Monday, spoke after the stage of his relief at having safely negotiated the final road stage of The Tour, with just London’s circuit race remaining.

“I was always looking forward to this moment, normally in the last stage not so much happens and it should be a bunch sprint.  I am happy to still have the Yellow Jersey.  Three days ago I wasn’t so sure to bring it this far when we had just four riders in the race.

“It’s perfect now with three stage wins and hopefully also the yellow at the end in London.”

The 29-year-old though isn’t going to celebrate early, saying, “The last stage is always hard, you have to keep the concentration and it’s only over when it’s over.”

Friday’s stage was characterised by a long breakaway containing Sigma Sport – Specialized’s Tom Murray and Pieter Jacobs, which went away after 21 miles of racing.  For the second day running in the East of England massive crowds turned out to welcome The Tour of Britain to Suffolk and Essex, with sunshine and good weather greeting the riders for the start in Bury St Edmunds.

The peloton making its wat through Sudbury

With Team Sky a constant presence at the front of the peloton, the break’s lead only just rose above three minutes at its greatest, before steadily being slashed as The Tour reached Essex just after passing through Sudbury and climbing Ballingdon Hill, both described as being the scene of ‘Tour de France style crowds’, by experienced cycling journalists after the race.

With 25 kilometres of racing to go, Murray had no response when Jacobs sensed him slowing and attacked, leaving the British to be swallowed up by the peloton.  Ahead the Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator rider persevered on alone, before being caught with five kilometres remaining on the outskirts of Colchester.  But with an uphill drag to the line awaiting it wasn’t going to be conventional bunch gallop, as Bozic and Henderson crested the rise ahead, with the Slovenian coming through to take the win, much to his and his teammates joy.

Speaking afterwards, former Vuelta a Espana stage winner Borut Bozic said, “For me this is a big victory because there are a lot of good riders here.  It doesn’t matter where it is; every race is hard to win.”

Bozic also commented on his team, who have featured prominently throughout The Tour, saying, “We are a good team and we help each other a lot.  There is also, as you can see, a good team spirit.”

Teammate Johnny Hoogerland sealed the overall King of the Mountains and now just has to finish Stage Eight to claim the polka dot jersey, and spoke afterwards of his happiness to take a jersey, although his overall aspirations have not come to fruition.

“Yesterday I was pretty sure of the jersey”, said the Dutchman, “But with today it could have happened that 15 riders had gone with Richie (Porte) and stolen the points, so you never know.

“During the last few stages I have been taking the most points, but it was on the fourth stage when I took the jersey that it was good for me.  I’m very happy to bring it home.

Hoogerland also praised The Tour of Britain’s route, saying, “You always have hilly and flat stages so I think it’s normal.  They could have stayed in the South West the whole week, but I think that’s not fair for the sprinters!  For me, two extra stages in the South West would probably have been better, and then maybe Albasini wouldn’t have got his jersey still.

“Some teams are probably less motivated because it is only a 2.1 category race, but for us they are all big races.  I looked at the programme for September and I said ‘I want to do The Tour of Britain’, because I think it’s a beautiful race.”

The Vacansoleil rider also praised Suffolk and Essex for their role in hosting Stage Seven of the race, explaining, “There are a lot of people!  It was actually more beautiful than I expected, because in every village there are fans, I think all the schools are empty for the race, and it’s lovely to be here.”

The peloton going through Suffolk

The final stage of The Tour of Britain takes place in Newham, London’s Olympic and Paralympic Borough, with a 96 kilometre circuit race around the historic Royal Dockyards and London’s ExCeL Centre.

Before the racing gets underway and the winner of the 2010 Tour of Britain is crowned amateur cyclists will have the chance to take part in the second of this year’s Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Rides, offering the unique opportunity to ride an official stage of The Tour in London.

The Tour of Britain is in the second year of its successful partnership with The Prostate Cancer Charity, who are sponsoring the coveted blue Points Jersey, currently worn by Team Sky’s Greg Henderson.

Mark Bishop, Director of Fundraising at the Charity, said: “By turning the Points Jersey blue, we are demonstrating the commitment of each party to this partnership which has proved hugely beneficial.

“Our first of three events this month went exceptionally well last weekend, in the South West. We believe the unique proposition of riding in the tracks of the pros has added something fresh and credible to the sportive calendar.

“Through the partnership, we have been able not only to raise awareness of prostate cancer in the men we are trying to reach – but given all cyclists something challenging and active to do to support the cause.”

Cyclists get a further chance to ride a Tour of Britain stage on Sunday 26th September, when The Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride takes place at Stoke-on-Trent over the tough of Stage Two of The Tour.  To find out more visit www.tourride.co.uk

Stage Seven Results

1) Borut Bozic                               Vacansoleil Pro Cycling             3h 24m 15s

2) Greg Henderson                        Sky Professional Cycling Team  @ same time

3) Richie Porte                              Team Saxo Bank                       @ 3s

Honda Combativity Award Winner: Pieter Jacobs         Topsport Vlaanderen – Mercator

General Classification standings (after seven stages)

1) Michael Albasini                        Team HTC – Columbia               27h 26m 40s

2) Borut Bozic                               Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    @ 1m 05s

3) Richie Porte                              Team Saxo Bank                       @ 1m 14s

The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Jersey standings (after seven stages)

1) Greg Henderson                        Sky Professional Cycling Team  62pts

2) Borut Bozic                               Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    57pts

3) Koen de Kort                            Skil – Shimano                          50pts

The King of the Mountains Jersey standings (after seven stages)

1) Johnny Hoogerland                   Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    56pts

2) Richie Porte                              Team Saxo Bank                       45pts

3) Wout Poels                               Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    31pts

The Sprints Jersey standings (after seven stages)

1) Michal Golas                             Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    31pts

2) Richie Porte                              Team Saxo Bank                       20pts

3) Johnny Hoogerland                   Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    16pts

The Tour of Britain is proud to be partnered with The Prostate Cancer Charity.  Don’t forget this September your chance to follow in the wheel tracks of the professionals and ride three stages from The Tour of Britain.  Go to www.tourride.co.uk to find out more!

The Great Tour route map

Late on Friday 7 May myself and a colleague from work, Kathryn and her boyfriend Gavin, made our way down from Weybridge in Surrey to Seaton in Devon.

Now Seaton is a small seaside town on the South West coastline of Devon England. It has also been described as the gateway to the 95-mile Jurassic Coast of the Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Coastline.

However, the reason for our drive down to Seaton was  so that we could do a recce of the first two stages of The Great Tour. Not on our own of course, but with a group from our office that have put together this challenging event.

So what is The Great Tour? Well, in short, it’s a circumnavigation of the outer edge of the UK coastline by bicycle.

The Great Tour itself will take place on 3 July when a group of cyclists drawn from the world of sport, celebrity, charity, politics, science and the arts will gather in Seaton to embark on one of Britain’s last great sporting challenges. Keeping the sea to their right for 64 days, the riders will never lose the sight, smell or sound of the sea during their epic 6600km pedal for charity.

The ride will be hosted by well known athletes who will be joined by a wide variety of guests and charity riders to create a colourful and inspirational sporting celebration of the British coastline.

The 2010 event will be the inaugural Great Tour, which will become an annual charity bike ride. This is most probably the most important thing to remember about the event. Its purpose is to help raise money for a charity of your choice. You take on an incredible challenge while helping to raise money for a good cause.

So this ride we embarked upon took in the first two stages of The Great Tour. Stage 1 saw us riding from Seaton to Swanage. Expected total ride distance is 128km with 2483m of ascent.

Stage two took us from Swanage to Ryde with an expected total ride distance of 114km and 1236m of ascent.

On Saturday 8 May after a great fry up breakfast at our guest house, we made our way to the Seaton sea front to await the rest of our team that were going to join us on this ride. Also joining us on the ride was Alistair Cope, a Devon local who would guide us on our way. Alistair is also one of the main guides on The Great Tour itself and is himself raising money for The Prostate Cancer Charity while taking on this 64 day challenge.

Now the weather wasn’t great. It was not too cold, but it was damp and there was intermittent drizzle about. Not something I was looking forward to.

Here  are some pictures, taken by Gavin(or Kathryn) of our ride over the two days:

Gavin Morton (our photograher) and myself outside our guest house in Seaton

Getting the bikes and ourselves ready before we set off

Discussing the road ahead

The group before our depart on stage 1 of The Great Tour

On our way out of Seaton

Wating for the group to catch up after our first climb

Gavin joining us

Road bikes to continue left on the road. Hybrids to go straight along onto the gravel roads

Appreciating why they call it the jurrasic coastline

Loving the climb, but I really do need a new bikeLoving the climb, but I really do need a new bike
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Alistair going up one the many many climbs on this stage

Graeme and Kevin, Great Tour route leaders

Graeme and Kevin

Graeme and Kevin with Mick Bennett, former Olympic medallist

Taking in the scenery

Enjoying myself

I'm lovin it!

The scenery is just beautiful

Riding with Alistair and admiring how the climb just keeps going up

Taking a mini break in one of the many villages along the way

For any would be bike sponsor - Your bike could be in the picture instead of the Trek. Think about it!

We visited some interesting roads and places

Spectacular views once again

I love this picture

Feeling the pain

Graeme, Kevin and myself glad that we're coming to the end of stage 1

Packing the cars before makin our way to our local accommodation

Now we didn’t quite make the full stage. After all the stops and starts, we managed only to get to Weymouth, just over half the distance we were expecting to do for that day. But that was the whole purpose of the recce – to find out what challenges could stand in  our way when the main event takes place.

It’s at this point where I have to say that The Great Tour is not the ideal challenge to take on with a road bike. The best bike for this challenge is a hybrid. With a relaxed frame geometry and slick MTB tyres makes it easier to ride over the varying terrain than what a road bike could handle. I did manage it on my road bike, but my tyres did take a huge hammering.

But more importantly, the hybrid offers you the aditional gears you would need to climb over some of the steep sections of this ride. I have to be honest and say that I did run out of gears and some of the road surfaces were so wet that I wasn’t able to stand going up the climbs. This really did test the strength in my legs and arms. However, the road bike was great for some of the descents as we reached up to 80km/h without pedalling. Not for the feint-hearted!

Oh, before I forget, stage 1 is the hardest stage of the entire Great Tour.

Stage 2: Swanage to Ryde

After a good night’s rest, we all made our way into Swanage for our early morning start of 8:00am. Not before getting in a good breakfast though.

Our early morning breakfast stop

Running through the details of the route

Our group photo

Maing our way along the Swanage coastline

A group of men on their way to Studland - haha!

Going to Foreland (or Handfast) Point

The Foreland (or Handfast) Point

Enjoying my way along Newto Heath to catch the short ferry to Sandbanks

On the ferry to Sandbanks

Doing our bit for Mulebar - well, trying to at least

Felt Bicycles taking full advantage of the sponsorship areas I posses. Just need to get a bike from them next 🙂

Making our way along the Bournemouth coastline

The group

and in black & white

Stopping for pies in Lymington

Lymington. Well, that’s as far as I got to on day two of the ride with another 60+ km’s in the bag.  It was at this point that I joined Kathryn and Gavin as they made their way back home to Surrey. From Lymington the rest of the group made their way onto the Isle of Wight to complete the rest of their journey for stage two.

From speaking to guys afterwards, I understand that it was quite hilly too once on the Isle of Wight. So I’m glad I didn’t go the whole way as my legs were competely knackered by the time I made it home that afternoon.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself over the two days we were out there. The riding was great, the scenery spectacular and the company was excellent.

In summary, The Great Tour offers 64 days of riding, 6600 km’s, 87,500m of ascent and 500 hours in the saddle. So if you feel like taking up a new challenge and want to see the beautiful coastline that the UK offers, then why not sign up for The Great Tour.

*All photographs thanks to Gavin Morton

I’ve taken some time out of clearing my study to go through my computer and clear out any old files that I have. While doing so, I came across this video that I took while at Cycle Show in London this year.

It’s of the man that Saddleback Ltd – importers of Felt, SRAM, ZIPP, Castelli, etc – use to ‘gain’ people’s attention at the show and bring them onto their stand. Not sure if he get’s them onto the stand, but he does manage to get their attention.

Anyway, it tickled me to watch people get caught unaware by this guy so thought I’d film it and get it up here.  As they say, better late than never. Enjoy!

Oh, more importantly, Merry Xmas everyone!!

As some of you may or may not know, I am lucky enough to head up the marketing and PR for The Tour of Britain professional cycle race (yes, it is a full time job!). As such, I have been lucky enough to get up close with some of the world’s best at this year’s event that took place last week. A cracking event which saw some of the best racing to take place yet on British soil. Here are some of my pics from the event:

Bradley Wiggins being interviewed by the Scunthorpe Telegraph

Bradley Wiggins being interviewed by the Scunthorpe Telegraph before the start of Stage 1

At the start of Stage 2:

Geoffroy Lequatre from Agritubel

Geoffroy Lequatre from Agritubel

Team Halfords Bikehut

Team Halfords Bikehut

Filippo Pozzato, Italian national champ riding for Team Katusha

Filippo Pozzato, Italian national champ riding for Team Katusha

Dan Lloyd - Cervelo Test Team

Dan Lloyd - Cervelo Test Team

The UK's Team CandiTV - Marshalls Pasta  with Malcolm Elliott and Russell Downing

The UK's Team CandiTV - Marshalls Pasta with Malcolm Elliott and Russell Downing

In NewcastleGateshead

The Tour of Britain press office where I spent most of my time during The Tour

The Tour of Britain press office where I spent most of my time during The Tour

Then onto Scotland for the start of Stage 3

The view from the Hydro Hotel in Peebles, Scotland

The view from the Hydro Hotel in Peebles, Scotland

One of Rabobanks many many vehicles on The Tour

One of Rabobank's many many vehicles on The Tour

The SRAM Neutral Support vehicle

The SRAM Neutral Support vehicle

Team Joker Bianchi

Team Joker Bianchi

Team Vacansoleil

Team Vacansoleil

Little & Large from Team Katusha

Little & Large from Team Katusha

Pozzatto's Ridley

Pozzato's Ridley - check the gold drop outs!

Mauricio Soler - former KOM Winner in the Tour de France

Mauricio Soler - former KOM Winner in the Tour de France

Ben Swift from Team Katusha

Ben Swift from Team Katusha

Nicolas Roche from AG2R

Nicolas Roche from AG2R

Edvald Boasson Hagen taking line honours on Stage 3

Edvald Boasson Hagen taking line honours on Stage 3

Stage 4 in Blackpool

Doing the typical tourist pitcure outside the AG2R mechanics truck

Doing the typical tourist picture outside the AG2R mechanics truck

Geraint Thomas being interviewed

Geraint Thomas being interviewed

Ian Stannard from the ISD Neri Team

Ian Stannard from the ISD Neri Team

Team Joker Bianchi's racing machines

Team Joker Bianchi's racing machines

Podium Girl Becki showing off her gift

Podium Girl Becki showing off her gift from the CSF Navigare Team

The finish of stage 5 in Stoke on Trent

The finish of stage 5 in Stoke on Trent

Some of the thousands of school kids waiting for the riders to come in at the end of Stage 5

Some of the thousands of school kids waiting for the riders to come in at the end of Stage 5

Lauren and Becki - our podium girls

Lauren and Becki - our podium girls

The end of Stage 6 in Bideford

Edvald Boasson Hagen's racing machine

Edvald Boasson Hagen's racing machine

Start of stage 7

Nicolas Roche's racing machine

Nicolas Roche's racing machine

Brice Feillu - stage winner in the 2009 TdF

Brice Feillu - stage winner in the 2009 TdF

Valdimir Karpets from Team Katusha

Vladimir Karpets from Team Katusha

Kai Reus from Rabobank

Kai Reus from Rabobank

Kim Kirchen

Kim Kirchen

The final stage that took place in London. It must also be said that for the very first time ever in the history of London, Embankment was closed on a Saturday to a public event.

Riders lining up for the start of the final stage of The Tour of Britain

Riders lining up for the start of the final stage of The Tour of Britain

More of the riders

More of the riders

The Tour of Britain 2009

The Tour of Britain 2009

The different jersey leaders on the start line together

The different jersey leaders on the start line together

Stage 8 Combativity Award winner - Thomas De Gendt

Stage 8 Combativity Award winner - Thomas De Gendt

2009 Tour of Britain Sprint Competition winner - Thomas De Gendt

2009 Tour of Britain Sprint Competition winner - Thomas De Gendt

2009 Tour of Britain King of the Mountain Competition winner - Thomas De Gendt

2009 Tour of Britain King of the Mountain Competition winner - Thomas De Gendt

2009 Tour of Britain Champion - Edvald Boasson Hagen

2009 Tour of Britain Champion - Edvald Boasson Hagen

De Gendt and Hagen

De Gendt and Hagen

De Gendt and Hagen

De Gendt and Hagen

If you’d like to see the full gallery which includes in race footage, head over to The Tour of Britain website for more.

I do have some videos from the event which I plan on getting up here within the next few days, especially now that things are a little bit quieter at work.