May 26, 2016

Those delectable climbs


The San Maurizio climb: cobbled and steep much?








Once again, we can thank the organizers for adding yet another incredible climb on stage 18. The Pramartino climb was big, but the hidden jewel was the 400m cobbled ascent of The San Maurizio climb. It set the stage for brilliant finale win by Matteo Trentin...











Tomorrow's important Cima Coppi stage (the highest point of the race) goes
into France for two days...


























How long can Damiano Cunego hold on to the maglia azzurra?


KoMs classification after stage 18: 1. D Cunego, 134 pts. 2. S Denifl, 72 pts. 3. D Atapuma 69 pts.
4. G Visconti, 61 pts. 5. D Lopez Garcia, 54 pts.













May 25, 2016

Smile for IAM Cycling

Roger Kluge caps off a day of brilliant riding.




Got to hand to Pippo Pozzato for attacking in the final kilometers of stage 17. Brilliant! It was reminiscent of his 2006 MSR attack...



If he did win, his fans would got Pippo crazy with love.











"I've been a pro for six years and this is the big victory I have been looking for. It wasn't planned at all. I was working for Heinrich Haussler, closing the gap for him but I saw a possibility to get away. The finishing line was near. It's a strange feeling. Yesterday we were very disappointed to hear that our team is going to stop at the end of the year but we decided to stick together and it's wonderful to come up with a victory to make up for our disappointment." 

- Roger Kluge, IAM Cycling team will fold at end of year.






May 24, 2016

Panache


The final 3 before the finish,
The Bullet will take the sprint from Kruijswijk.
photo: Yuzuru Sunada





Unless a quick return to form happens, Vincenzo Nibali's hope to win this Giro has taken a bite. A thrilling stage 16 as the rider with the widest shoulders, Steven Kruijswijk moves closer to becoming the first Dutchman to win the Giro d'ltalia. By far the strongest rider  he handles it all as a true champion with panache. The Dutch came close in the eighties with two podiums by Erik Breukink. However Kruijswijk is going to have to defend big time over the next few days of difficult climbs. 


Full results.




Erik Breukink wore the maglia rosa for 3 stages eventually
finishing in 3rd overall, 1987.







May 23, 2016

FRFuggitivi: Conquering the Delta Triangle, ducklings & Marinoni gazing


Caution: Duck crossing.
Dean & Curtis take time to admire some cute ducklings (hidden from view).
All photos: Cycling Art







Yesterday's FRFuggitivi ride was a series of firsts.

I started out to meet the team in New Westminster packed my top tube bag with cliff bars and ready for a long ride. Mario and Curtis were our patrons and that means it was going to be a long route. Beforehand, there was serious talk on our twitter page of a long ride finishing at our beer sponsor S&O. I didn't know what to expect but I reckon to get to the end... one must start. We welcomed our first female rider, Anna. Who, in my opinion, earned special recognition for riding up Mt. Seymour the day before. On the Port Mann Bridge Charlie succumbed to a flat as he tried to ride over an expansion joint. Then it started to rain. Can it get worst? 

The showers continued and as we took a roundabout, Matt hit the deck... the roads were surprisingly slippery. Anna quickly responded with an antiseptic wipe and Matt came up with a quick thinking bandage for his cut forearm and he was back up and on his bike. After coffee and with the showers ending we were on the rural Langley roads. Time for my turn and after a year 'without'...  I flatted. Why is it always the rear? Anna, Guy and Curtis stayed with me while I set about to repair it. A couple of older cyclists stopped by and one of them spotted Guy's and my Marinoni. He asked me; Question: what is the year and where I purchased it from. Answer: 1987, Edmonton. Interestingly, he mentioned that he was the Marinoni dealer here for 30 years and admires and owns a few. My flat, with a story.






Passing with flying colors...
The showers was a good test for our new team kit.





This was the first time, for me, on 0 Avenue located on the edge of the border. Anna quipped to me that they probably ran out of names to call this rural road. It is challenging on a bike, a rolling stretch of short climbs just enough to test tired legs. I managed it well and the goal was to finish for beer in New Westminster. But to get back we had to negotiate through the 'wilds' of Delta. In the past, every time we rode through we got lost, cursed it and aptly named this, 'the Delta Triangle'. But, a first once again, Curtis guided us successfully through it and our dubious record was beaten.

We all finished and enjoyed our first official beer ride at S&O. Total distance: 116km. The longest ride, for me, so far this season. And kudos to our new member, Anna. Who will open the door for more female cyclists to our team. Cheers to that!



Note: Scott has encouraged me to ride the triple crown: Mt. Seymour, Grouse Mountain & Cypress Mountain. Never before riding it, I have accepted the challenge so do check back for my attempt at the Triple Crown. #sufferfest






May 21, 2016

King of the Dolomites & What a cruel sport sometimes.







Stage 14 into Dolomites was full of drama and nightmare...




When I first learned on twitter that Ryder Hesjedal had abandoned I was in disbelief. Before the Queen stage he was riding well in 14th and looked like he was about to turn it on in the mountains.
And as cruel as this sport is sometimes, we won't see him ride in the top 15. I'm gutted and I hope this is not the last we'll see of Ryder Hesjedal.

Heavy favorite Nibali launched an attack with 27kms to go in a bid to reach the front 3: Atapuma, Siutso and Preidler. Critical point here, Valverde could not answer and was dropped. Only Kruijswijk and Chaves joined the Shark. And Atapuma attacked from the leading group and churned out a brave solo bid for glory. 




The Dolomites = Spectacular vistas.




In last two kilometres the four leaders kept the Shark at bay enough for Chaves to time this winning sprint. What brutal end for Atapuma but brilliant for his compatriot. Kruijswijk (maglia rosa) and Chaves proved that they are a genuine GC threat and attention turns to tomorrow's climbing TT. It just got a lot more nteresting.





Stage 14: 1. Esteban Chaves 6:06:16, 2. Steven Kruijswijk ST. 3. Georg Preidler ST

GC: 1. Steven Kruijswijk 60:12:43 2. Vincenzo Nibali :41 3. Esteban Chaves 1:32









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