Monday, April 28, 2008

Single in Vegas

What a weekend! I'm broken, from being abused by a rigid cyclocross bike for three hours, and the requisite drinking before and after the race. And a brutal race it was, 45km through the awesome Redwoods, which just got harder with each lap. Everyone who rode it, includding SS animal and winner Garth Weinberg, declared it as one of the toughest races ever. I declared it one of the toughest drinking sessions ever...
The course wasn't revealed until we actually got into the forest, and it was a cool figure-8 layout, nothing too long and steep but plenty of technical challenges to punish the tired and/or unattentive.

Chris The Courier got a good start and rode with the big guns for awhile, and finished in 6th place... awesome ride CTC! He would fade later that night in the drinking stakes though, proving once again that the young guys just don't have the endurance.

Kah just about to put a move on me into the first corner, followed by me putting a move on him into the second corner. My bike got plenty of attention and cheers, probably for the "why the hell are you riding that?" aspect of it.

Cabin and Garth were like this for almost the whole race, with Cabin pulling the lead after a beer stop, then Garth re-taking him on the last lap, both doing a final beer-slam to finish off in true SS style. I was doing my beer stop when Cabin came in, and I was still there struggling to get down the Speights as he flew off back onto the course resplendent in his beige skinsuit (a la the NZ cricket team of the 80's).

The first two laps I was on auto-vision when light rain rendered my glasses useless.... I stopped and removed the tinted lenses after lap two, the rain stopped, and I could see clearly now.
Didn't stop me from crashing a couple of times though, the skinny tyres, rigid fork, beer-goggles and fatigue teaming up to slam me to the ground.

When it was all over, the real event began at the Pig N Whistle, where I performed a lot better than I had earlier in the day. The rest of the night, well, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!
Thanks to Chris The Courier's mum Robyn for taking the pics.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Genius, part 2

Well, looky here....If there was a Spring Classics tipping comp, I'd be doing ok. Now for Liege... As I'll be away this weekend at the NZ Singlespeed bash, I'll make my tip here and now. It's a hard one, but I'll go with Rebellin, though I wouldn't be surprised to see Cunego up there again, he's got some form going for sure. Cadel as an outsider. Have I covered all bases? Photo ©: Roberto Bettini/

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Midweek madness

The second last Classic of Spring. La Fleche Wallonne. Three climbs up the mighty Muur de Huy (the wall), and the usual suspects will be in the mix (Rebellin, Valverde, Cunego). Photo ©: Luc Claessen
I'm tipping an outsider, a strong rider in Spring, Kim Kirchen. But my head says Valverde after his ride at Amstel.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shit beer, good race

The Spring Classics head to the hills of the Ardennes this weekend, with the Amstel Gold race. Amstel Gold is an underwhelming beer, bland with no redeeming features, somewhat like the Dutch countryside where the race is run. Well, there's some windmills and tulips, and even some climbs to sort out the contenders. I'm tipping the Italian Cunego....
even though he's put on a little weight over the winter....
Maybe he shouldn't have followed the "Ullrich diet and training plan".

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Make up your own mind...

You know my thoughts on this shaman...
The only guy in the last 20 years who didn't dope, but consistently beat the convicted, accused and suspected dopers by margins unheard of before or after his reign... yeah right!
Check out this site, it's a good read even if you are hoodwinked into believing his spin.

Graham Watson Photo

Monday, April 14, 2008

Langster gets cross'd out

Musical bikes knows no bounds. I've sold off my faithful Langster to Chris The Courier, and gained a new Tricross Singlecross. This bike kills two birds with the one stone... it'll do most duty as my commuter, running fixed, and as my singlespeed 'mountain bike', perfect for the upcoming NZ SS Champs in Vegas.

I've always wanted a cyclocross bike, and this was the perfect introduction, at the right price. Those tyres aren't as scary as they look. I took it on it's first off-road jaunt today at Makara, and it handled the singletrack with aplomb, and put the biggest smile on my face since Jesus rode a ProFlex. My back ached on the climbs and my hands went numb on the descents, but man it's fun. (I double-wrapped the bars as soon as I got back!)

And the looks and comments you get from mountain bikers is priceless. I'm running 38-18 gearing for off-road, and will revert to 44-16 fixed for the road, probably with smoother, narrower tyres. But then again, it could see a lot more dirt than tar this winter...


Boonen pumps the sprint to beat Cancellara and Ballan in Roubaix. The rain stayed away unfortunately, but the big guns didn't disappoint. And another great ride from Stuey in 5th.

Photos ©: AFP Photo

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Muddy Hell?

Queen of the Classics. Hell of the North. Paris-Roubaix. Love it. Another forecast of wet weather, hopefully it will be a truly monumental race, a la 2001. The Minion tips Boonen, I tip Gilbert, wait, no, Cancellara (Josh's tip), or Hoste, and Matt will tip whoever wins after it's over.
As long as they look like this at the finish.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Josh goes PRO

The angry vegetarian midget was having a dilemna; should he buy a new road bike, or save his money for something he referred to as "life". I said he should adopt my motto of "buy first, think later", but this only seemed to confuse him.
After a few hours of walking around the shop wringing his hands and wracking his brain, the misguided perception that he had other important things to put money towards won out.

By close of business, he'd put his order in, the next day he was building it, and Sunday we christened it with a 90km ride out through the Hutt Valley. That's PRO decision making right there.

Solo man

Devolder wins Flanders with a 25k solo effort.

If you've ever tried walking on a tile floor in road shoes, you might have some idea of how hard this would be.

Winning the biggest Belgian race in the Belgian National Champion kit... nice.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


It's on. Flanders. The cobbles. The climbs. The hardmen. The... frites. One day, I'm going to experience it for myself. Might even chuck in Paris-Roubaix, Liege and everything else in those magical three weeks for good measure. But for now, it's this... And this...
Forecast... "cold, wet and miserable"... yes!
My tip... Boonen to return to form in a big way.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wellycats 2

The second installment of Wellycats was run tonight, on short notice and with a small but enthusiastic turnout.
The concept was a little different too, with the first checkpoint at one of four choices, all gyms where we had to locate Jim. From there you would be pointed to the next check, and so on. Chris the courier used his streetwise-ness to full effect and took the win, five minutes(!) ahead of yours truly, taking a sprint-of-sorts from damn-I-can't-remember-his-name-Giant-rep.
Once again my navigational skills (or lack thereof) let me down, when at the third check and with Chris just leaving, I thought I'd take a shortcut and not follow the courier, thinking in my head "Tinakori Rd" instead of the actual "The Terrace" which I'd been instructed. Lesson; always follow the courier. Second bad decision; I was going to zip-tie my camera to my bars and get some pics and video, but gave it to Mark instead, who was marshalling and took ZERO pics.
Check out the bikes of Wellycats 2 here.