Where to from here?

It’s been a long month with the Tour de France (remember that?), and the Olympics.

Fortunately it doesn’t stop there.

Coming up at the end of this week is the Vuelta.  More about that later.

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This last week saw cycling at the Olympics wrap up with the BMX and Cross Country events.

BMX is making just its second appearance on the Olympic program, and has certainly made a big impact.

Olympic bmx Track

The track for men is 470 metres long and features a berm jump, an S-bend transfer, a box jump and a rhythm section in the final straight.

The women’s course is 430 metres long featuring three jumps in the opening straight , a tunnel and a rythm section in the final straight.

The track also features an 8 metre high starting ramp.

Not sure if I agreed with BMX taking the space of some of the track cycling, and still not sure why some of the track events had to go to make way for the bmx. That being said, the bmx racing was a rush, the sheer power of some of these riders was extraordinary.

The finals being a straight out single sprint left a lot to chance, compared to the heats which were the best of 5, and the semis the best of 3 where you have a chance to recover from a mistake.

It would have to be the most unpredictable sport in Summer Olympics, and  right up there with the unpredictability of the Winter Olympics speed skating. Who can forget Steven Bradbury in the 2002 men’s 1000m short track skating .

Steven Bradbury (via the age)

The potential for collisions and crashes that can have a bearing on the final positions, is huge.

Congratulations to Sam Willoughby from South Australia for silver in the mens.

Mens BMX podium
Sam

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Womans BMX

Unfortunately Canberran Caroline Buchanan missed the start and could only 5th. Incosolable in the first few minutes after the finish, but a great effort to get there and hopefully we’ll be seeing more of her in Rio.

Caroline Buchanan

The three podiums were:

Womans Podium
Mariana Pajon – Gold Medalist

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Lets take a short breath and take stock of where we are with the UCI World Tour Season is at.

The 2012 UCI WorldTour began back a long time ago at the Tour Down Under in January, and wraps up on October 14th with the Tour of Beijing, in China.

Yep, that man Wiggo is leading the ranks and will maintain his lead till the end.

A little recap. Who remembers who won what?

Tour Down Under

Paris Nice

Milano-San Remo

Tour des Flanders

La Fleche Wallonne

Liege – Bastogne – Liege

Giro

Critérium du Dauphiné

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Vuelta

From SBS

Running from Saturday 18 August to Monday 10 September (AEST) 2012, the 67th Vuelta a Espana will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3300km.

The defending champion is Juan Jose Cobo , now riding for the Spanish based Movistar team.

SBS will broadcast eight LIVE stages of the race this year, all streamed online as well.

SBS’s coverage of La Vuelta a Espana begins with daily highlights at 5.30pm on Sunday 19 August on SBS ONE. The first live stage is Stage 8 at 11:30pm Saturday 25 August on SBS ONE.

La Vuelta broadcast details (all times AEST)

Sunday 26 August
STAGE 8 – 2330-0200 SBS ONE LIVE, streaming to Cycling Central website

Monday 27 August
STAGE 9 – 2335-0200 SBS ONE LIVE, streaming to Cycling Central website

Sunday 2 September
STAGE 14 – 2300-0200 LIVE streaming to Cycling Central website (SBS ONE from 2335)

Monday 3 September
STAGE 15 – 2300-0200 LIVE streaming to Cycling Central website (SBS ONE from 2330)

Tuesday 4 September
STAGE 16 – 2300-0200 LIVE streaming to Cycling Central website (SBS ONE from 2330)

Saturday 8 September
STAGE 19 – 2330-0200 SBS ONE LIVE, streaming to Cycling Central website

Sunday 9 September
STAGE 20 – 2300-0200 LIVE streaming to Cycling Central website (SBS ONE from 2325)

Monday 10 September
STAGE 21 – 2330-0200 SBS ONE LIVE, streaming to Cycling Central website

Daily highlights are at 1730 from 19 August to 10 September.

The third (and last) grand tour of the season, the Vuelta has been lost in the Olympic wake, however this years race has attracted a quality field.

The two riders to watch will be Sky’s Christopher Froome and Saxo Bank-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador. Both champing at the bit for different reasons.

Contador’s returning to top flight after just one warmup (Eneco Tour).

Froome will be eager to stamp his name and prove his worth as a leader.

Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez has also shown good form, and with support from Denis Menchov will be keen for a good showing in front of his home crowd.

Throw in Jurgen Van den Broeck, Damiano Cunego and Robert Gesink.

Aussie Cameron Meyer gets a chance to lead Orica-GreenEdge. They will be made up of Simon Clarke, Allan Davis, Mitch Docker, Cameron Meyer, Travis Meyer and Wesley Sulzberger, with imports Daniel Teklehaymanot (Eri), Peiter Weening (Ned) and Julian Dean (NZ) completing the line-up.

Only one other Australian has been named outside of the Orica-GreenEdge line-up and that is Lotto Belisol’s workhorse, Adam Hansen.

Early favourites are:

1st – Alberto Contador
2nd – Chris Froome
3rd – Joaquim Rodriguez
4th – Jurgen Van den Broeck
5th – Robert Gesink

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Book of the Week

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is Dick’s most well known novel, due to the fact that the movie Blade Runner was based on this story.

It is the futuristic story of Rick Deckard, Blade Runner. He is a special police officer assigned to terminate human replicants who live unnoticed in the San Francisco of 2021. The replicants are perfect reproductions of humans who are manufactured to do hard physical labor in the colonization of distant planets. They also provide company to human settlers in space. When a group of replicants go on a murder spree, hijack a ship and return to Earth, it is Deckard’s job to search and destroy these villianous androids.

Classic American literature

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Website of the Week

http://tokyo-bleep.tumblr.com/

Some terrific eclectic photos.

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Photo of the Week

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