Posts Tagged ‘tdf’

So, it’s been a while since I last put up a post here on Sweat ‘n Gears. The past few months I have been with work – a new international role that I have. As such, finding time to work on the blog has been a little hard. But making the most of a day off from work, I thought I would write up a few posts.

Last week saw the 10th edition of The Tour of Britain take place. The race had many big names take part including the likes of Mark Cavendish, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, and Garmin’s Dan Martin, to name but a few. And on Sunday the race concluded with Bradley Wiggins taking the overall honours!

One video from the event that really caught my attention was this one from the AN Post Chain Reaction team. It stems from the day Sam Bennett took the win on Stage 5. You can see (and feel) team manager, Kurt Bogaerts, well up with emotion when he hears that Sam took the win.  Enjoy the clip!

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So you’ve all heard of Danny MacAskill, the trials rider like no other. Well, fellow trials rider Martyn Ashton decided to do something spectacular, but with a twist.

Ashton decides to display his awesome bike handling skills using a Pinarello Dogma 2 – the £10,000 carbon road bike the same as used by Bradley Wiggins for his Tour de France win.

The 5-minute vid, a promotion for WD-40, was filmed in a variety of urban and coastal settings. Ashton also hits the skatepark, rides a wall of death at the fair, and backflips from the most unlikely of locations – a golf course bunker.

The Official Tour de France Game for Android and Blackberry

The Official Game of the Tour de France: The global standard for cycling games, is now available to all Android and Blackberry users!

According to the description on the Android Market:

Become the team manager for your favorite team and then become a legend as you lead your team to victory!

Manage the peloton and deal with breakaways, climbs, accidents, loss of form, and more. TAKE CONTROL and take part in the most realistic virtual Tour de France ever seen! Choose the correct racing strategy and the best tactical plans. Expose the weaknesses of your competitors, and attack with your team in full force!

Tour de France 2011 – The Official Game: The best way to experience the race!

Game features include:

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Main screen with plenty of options to choose from

The 2011 Tour de France kicked off this weekend to a great start. Unfortunately not all of us get to work from home during the week and watch it live on TV. So, to make do we use the internet and anything else that can help bring us closer to the race. And this is something the Tour de France organisers, along with sponsor SKODA, have cottoned onto. They have launched the Official Tour de France Application powered by ŠKODA.

According to the Google Android App Store:

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Team Garmin-Cervélo lightens up with a new Tour de France kit

Slipstream Sports, today unveiled its limited edition team kit for the 2011 Tour de France, created by its innovative Italian clothing partner, Castelli.

The new jersey and shorts retain the distinctive Garmin and Cervélo logos, but reverse white with black on the jersey. The signature Slipstream Sports argyle is prominently displayed.

“We’re really excited about the Tour de France kit,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports and Director Sportif, Team Garmin-Cervélo. “The lighter color is perfect for hot weather and our signature argyle is more prominent.”

This is the third time Castelli have introduced new clothing at the Tour de France. “We consider the Tour de France a very special event that deserves a special design,” said Steve Smith, Castelli Brand Manager.

“This team is rider-centric, and Castelli has done its part to make sure the riders have the most comfortable and technically advanced clothing for this big event. Racing in hot weather is physically demanding, that’s a given, and despite the fact that Castelli makes some of the lightest and coolest fabrics in existence, wearing a lighter colour will make a big difference, both psychologically and physically, to a rider’s well being,” explained Steve Smith.

The limited edition Tour de France kit will be available in early July at Castelli dealers and from the team store.

In addition to the new color, the Castelli Speed Research Unit has been busy making sure it’s the fastest gear in the peloton. With new innovative thinking, fifteen rounds of sampling and numerous tests later, the Castelli Speed Research Unit and has invented the first skinsuit for road racing.

And, working with Robby Ketchell, Director of Sport Science for Slipstream Sports, Castelli created a nearly seamless Body Paint TT Speedsuit to cut through the wind better than almost any other suit ever created. For the mountain stages, the riders will be supplied with an unbelievably lightweight jersey that virtually absorb no moisture so the weight savings multiply in the most extreme conditions.

This year’s London Cycle Show also showcased the new Pinarello Graal that will be used by Team Sky in 2011. An awesome looking machine to say the least. The extended/integrated stem with its own unique handlebars; the one-piece fork and headtube; the front brake housed behind the fork; and the hideaway section on the rear chainstay for the Di2 battery pack (if you choose to ride with the Di2, of course).

However, the best looking part of the entire bike is the downtube. It has sections that look like raised ‘shark fin’ profiles. Whether it enhances the rider’s performance is yet to be established, but it does look quite cool. I’m sure when the 2011 season kicks off, we’ll soon be able to tell if does help when the Team Sky riders edge their way up the GC. Maybe we’ll even see Bradley put in a sterling performance at the Tour de France.

Team Sky Pinarello Graal

Super skinny

Looks alien-like from the front (ever seen Men in Black?)

The aero downtube

A close up shows the shark fin ripples on the downtube

The battery pack for the Di2 nicely tucked awy within the chain stay

A chunky but much needed integrated stem and unique handlebars

Front brakes sitting behind the forks

Team Sky Pinarello Graal

Jens Voigt descends the Peyresourde Pass on a loaner bike after a crash shattered his own (Robin Wilmott)

On stage 16 of this year’s Tour de France, Jens Voigt showed us what legends are made of. About 2km’s into the descent of Peyresourde Pass, he blew his front tyre and he went down.  This crashed almost forced him out of the Tour for a second year in a row.

To make matters worse, the first team car was behind Andy Schleck, and the second had decided to go up ahead to hand out water bottles at the foot of the next climb. As a result Jens had no bike as his was shattered from the front wheel blow out.

According to Jens:

So then the broom wagon pulled up and was like, “Do you want to just get in?” And I said, “Oh no, I don’t need YOU!” But there I am with blood spurting out my left elbow and no bike. Finally, the race organizers got me a bike, but it was this little yellow junior bike. It was way too small for me and even had old-fashioned toe-clip pedals. But that is the only way I could get down the mountain, so I had to ride it for like 15-20 kilometers until I finally got to a team car with my bike.

Then, I still had to get up to the grupetto. All I can say is that that desperate times need desperate measures, but I got up there. And once I did it was grupetto all day long.

Needless to say, I had plenty of time to come up with a fitting book of the day. It’s from the Disk World series by Terry Pratchett. In it, the protagonist is Conan the Barbarian, who is a 70-year-old who has just survived everything. At one point he, and his other old warrior friends capture this village, but then they find that they are surrounded by an army of tens of thousands, and his only reaction is, “Oh man, it’s going to take days to kill all these people!” And that’s the way I was today when I was lying on the ground. I just thought, “Oh no, I’m going to Paris this year, I’m going to Paris. There’s just no way you are going to get me out of this race for the second year in a row!”

This just goes to show what a legend the man is becoming! No matter what bike he was riding, no matter what his circumstances were, he decided not to give up. You have to admire that?!