Is this the prettiest darn road i the Adelaide Hills? Its awfully difficult to chose because there are just so many of them.
This time of the year is a special time in the hills. Around Stirling, the trees are preparing for winter and are putting on a stunning show. Make sure you get yourselves up there over the next few weeks before the leaves fall off.
Just North of Stirling, on the east side of Mt Lofty, lies the Mt Lofty Gardens, and right at the entrance to the gardens lies Spriggs Road.
To me, the scenery only makes up part of the story. Being on the eastern side of Mt Lofty, riding at the base has a somewhat ethereal quality to it. Sounds appear to be damped somewhat, the mists that roll off the mountain on those cool mornings envelop the road and allow you to escape to your happy place, if only for a short time before you come bounding back down to the Piccadilly Valley.
Some minor roadworks at the moment, but give it a few more weeks and the road should be open to road bikes.
Looking back down towards Piccadilly Valley
Spring Classics – 2013
Can you believe the spring classics have finished? Where did the time go?
Just to wrap up the winners.
Milan-San Remo (Italy)
E3 Harelbeke (Belgium)
Tour of Flanders (Belgium)
Amstel Gold Race (the Netherlands)
La Flèche Wallonne (Belgium)
The Giro starts this coming weekend (serious? It feels way too early).
The first of cycling’s three Grand Tours, the Giro d’Italia, will have 8 stages broadcast live on SBS, plus daily highlights.
Giro d’Italia live stages
Stage 8 – 11:05 pm AEST Saturday, 11 May SBS 2
Stage 9 – 10:45 pm AEST Sunday, 12 May SBS 2
Stage 14 – 11:00 pm AEST Saturday, 18 May SBS 2
Stage 15 – 10:45 pm AEST Sunday, 19 May SBS 2
Stage 18 – 11:05 pm AEST Thursday, 23 May SBS 2
Stage 19 – 11:10 pm AEST Friday, 24 May SBS 2
Stage 20 – 11:00 pm AEST Saturday, 25 May SBS 2
Stage 21 – 10:50 pm AESTSunday, 26 May SBS 2
Daily highlights are on at 6pm on SBS 2, starting from this Sunday 5 May.
The Giro will begin in Naples on Saturday 5 May, finishing in Brescia on Sunday 26 May.
This year’s Giro is set for some classic mountain top finishes, including
It looks like the decisive stages are 18, 19 & 20.
Stage 18 – Thursday 23 May
A short uphill time trial. It’s not quite a mountain time trial but the gradients will hurt. Imagine a time trial 2 1/2 times the length of Greenhill Road (Ouch!).
Stage 19 – Friday 24 May
Huge climbs and a short distance means this could be an explosive stage. The Passo Gavia is infamous and the Passo Stelvio is the literal high point of the race and a very challenging climb especially because its length induces fatigue. All this before the climb of Val Martello, 22.3km long at 6.4% but with a series of steep steps to climb on the way making it ideal for attacks. Will this stage settle the result of the race? No, because look at the next day.
The Queen stage of the race, there are four climbs which are each had in their own right but by now the race is three weeks old and this is the third consecutive day of climbing. The final ascension to the Tre Cime de Lavaredo is a mythical place in the Giro and its steep slopes are the last chance to decide the race. During the final four kilometres the gradient reaches 18% and never dips below 10%.
The potential contenders to wear the Maglia Rosa could be last year’s winner, Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, British rider Bradley Wiggins, Italian Vincenzo Nibali, the Spaniard and former Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez, Ivan Basso, Cadel Evans from Australia and the Dutch rider Robert Gesink.
The Giro organisation crew have been marvels at social communication this year. Their facebook page has some excellent images and information, slowly drip fed to us over the last 3 or so months.
Have a look at some of the YouTube promos:
- the Giro promo
- the Giro Girls
- Maglia Rosa – the Dream
- the Fans
- the Route
- Fight for Pink
- the Last Challenge
- the Route Overview
or if you get bored, try last years highlights
- 2012 highlights
Below are a sample of some of the images released by the Giro team..
Oh yeah, how could I forget
Off Season/Winter training
In the off season, it is recommended that you reduce your cardio and increase your power during your workouts.
Ride in bigger gears during intervals than you’re used to and if you can, compliment this with weights. Your legs will love you when you get back into it next season, especially on the hills.
Start to think about introducing power into your program. Lower cadence (even into the 70’s) and much larger gears. Intervals should be short anaerobic efforts, like 30 seconds on with lots of recovery (1 to 2 minutes). On flat roads, drop it down into a bigger gear and crank out a hard cadence of around 75, with an all out effort. Hills are good too. Ride as hard as you can for 30 seconds and then sit up in a very easy gear for a 1 – 2 minutes to recover and then go hard again. After around 8 – 10 of those, you’re ready to call it a day. Only do this once, maybe twice a week, as you’re really breaking down your muscle fiber. This is very effective training and will increase your muscular endurance and power output.
Toy of the Week – Poster – Great Climbs of Europe
Defining the great climbs of Europe
Starting out with the monuments, those climbs passed into cycling folklore through races and riders that have given them great stories. Then there are those mentioned in conversations with local riders, people on the road, picked up in articles, or discovered through studying race routes. Key cities were added next, the places traveled in and out of, and the ranges and areas where all of these exist. Together these created a footprint that document the climbers playgrounds of Europe.
The prints are available for order at this shop Elcyclista
The Posters are printed by SUPREME in Brooklyn and are of exceptional exhibition quality. They are created using the Giclée inkjet printing process using archival inks to create fade-resistant prints, typically used for gallery printing. They are printed onto an enhanced 260gsm Matte paper. There are two print sizes (unframed), printed to order:
SIZE 1: 18″ X 24″ print at $80
SIZE 2: 24″ X 36″ print at $140
I’m not sure if there are any left though.
Till next week