Euskaltel-Euskadi – Fernando Alonso
A month back I demise of Euskaltel-Euskadi. I saw on social media this morning a posting that brings a smile to my face.
Euskaltel Euskadi have confirmed rumours that Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso has decided to purchase the team’s license and take over the team.
Alonso, who’s an avid cycling fan and no bad rider himself, was last week successful in convincing his personal sponsors to come up with the six million euro needed to by the license from the team’s holding company Basque Cycling Pro Team. Rumours only surfaced about a deal being reached between the two parties early on Monday morning, but only a few hours later both Alonso and the team had confirmed the deal.
Alonso hails from the Asturias region in northern Spain and will run the team from Samuel Sánchez’s home region. Alonso is of course a long-time friend of the Euskaltel rider – as well as of Alberto Contador. ‘Samu’ and Alonso are known to be occasional training partners, and the latter has for several years flirted with the idea of running his own team.
Just quickly, Asturias, where is it?
Some lovely scenery
There is no word yet on whether the riders with contracts expiring this year will stay on or not. Nor has a name for the team been released although it will change as the telephone company Euskaltel will not fund the team in any way.
Adelaide Dirty Dozen
This ride has grown in just one year, with an anticipated 100+ riders expected to participate this Saturday.
Thanks to the generosity of Walter over at Red Berry Espresso, this year will see the Dirty Dozen Café appear for the very first time.
The DDC will be located at the top of Coach Rd, where riders will be able to refuel for the remaining rides with a selection of cupcakes, cookies and bananas as well as take on board a shot of Red Berry’s renowned Cold Drip Coffee for a caffeinated boost. But you will have to earn it by getting up about 200m of some 20% average near the top of the climb! This is the hill you won’t want to skip!
Due to the numbers, there will be 2 groups this year.
1. If you consider yourself a quicker rider who may get frustrated waiting for slower climbers, or have significant time constraints, you may leave at your own pace immediately following the Riders Briefing, before the ‘peloton’. You will need to be totally familiar with the route and you will need to leave your name back at Red Berry at the end of the ride IF you complete all the climbs.
2. The ‘peloton’ will ride as per last year with regular regroups waiting for all riders to ascend each climb before moving on. The social camaraderie and the challenge of completing all of the climbs is really what the spirit of this event is all about.
- 7am – Sign On so that we can get a record of all participants (for future bragging rights of course)
- 7.15am – Riders briefing
- 7.30am – Roll out
The Dirty Dozen trailer can be viewed here! DD Trailer
Some key moments of last years ride were fortunately captured by the roving photographers, as shown below for the very first time.
There was the intense planning in the back room at Red Berry
And then the reconnaissance (a military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain vital information about enemy forces or features of the environment for later analysis and/or dissemination)
And who can forget that inspiring pre ride briefing?
There were a few survivors at the top of Cherryville
And then there was the unforgettable welcome back at Red Berry.
Ahhhh! Will this years be as good?
Anatomy Lesson #1 – The Foot
Just over a week ago on a Saturday night, I had what appeared to be a small accident at home. A twisted foot at the bottom of the stairs.
Thought it was just a sprain and did the usual RICE, and jsu hobbled around when I needed to, however come Thursday morning the swelling had not gone down significantly and the weight bearing pain was just not going away.
Fridays visit to the doc and a subsequent visit to the radiologist confirmed it was more than a sprain – a midshaft Spiral Fracture of the 5th Metatarsal.
The podiatrist at SportsMed on Monday morning initially recommended a treatment of “rest” for 4 – 6 weeks (the time it takes for the bone to re-grow), but was going to consult with an orthopedic surgeon to get a second opinion.
I got a phone call later that day from the podiatrist. The surgeon has seen a number of problems of late where the 5th Metatarsal hasn’t healed properly, resulting in excess stress being placed on the 4th Metatarsal causing complications to the healing process.
The upshot of that phone call is that Wednesday I will be fitted with a new moonboot, which will be my companion for another 5 weeks. Faaark!
Just as the weather has turned for the better.After suffering through winter
Just as I was ramping up for the Adelaide Dirty Dozen and mys Gran Fondo.
Mind you, I’m in good company:
- Michael Owen (2006): Fifth metatarsal – predicted 6-8 weeks returned 17 weeks later
- Wayne Rooney (2004): Fifth metatarsal – predicted 8 weeks returned 14 weeks later
- David Beckham (2002): Second metatarsal – predicted 6 weeks returned 7 weeks later
- Steven Gerrard (2004): Fifth metatarsal – predicted 6-8 weeks returned 10 weeks later
I’ve never ridden a Titanium bike before, but every now and then I bump into someone who has one stashed away away at home. For some reason they ride a carbon, but talk with some reverence about their Tibike. The thread of the discussion generally revolves around the comfort, the feel, the ability to soak up the harsh road vibrations and the rider bike interaction is more personal when compared to the stiffer, lighter but dull carbon framed bikes.
Titanium alloys are high performance alloys that offer a unique combination of high strength, low density, excellent fatigue and corrosion resistance. The performance of Titanium alloys makes them the ideal choice for bicycle frames and other tubular structures.
Ti bikes are generally an alloy with small percentages of aluminum (around 3%) and vanadium (around 2%). This alloy is commonly known as Ti-3-2.5. Ti-3-2.5 was developed for the aerospace industry for use in high pressure hydraulic lines and is found on virtually all new commercial and military aero planes being built in the Western World. Ti-3-2.5 balances the higher strength of some Titanium alloys and ductility of commercially pure Titanium to create an all round high performance material.
Ti’s magic potential for use in bicycle frame manufacture comes from its low density (low weight), high strength, extended fatigue life (frames that last a lifetime) and corrosion resistance (rust free) properties. With a greater elongation tolerance (ability to bend back”) than steel, ti frames are much more resistant to crash and shipping damage, a fact worth comparing to aluminium or carbon fibre alternatives.
Titanium as a raw element is often thought of as being rare; this, in fact, is not the case. Titanium is an abundant element with large deposits occurring in Australian beach sand. Unfortunately, Titanium’s extreme reactivity with oxygen makes it difficult to produce in metallic form. The manufacturing process of turning the raw Titanium into seamless tubes for use in high performance bicycle frames is a long and expensive one.
Titanium bikes found in Australia, and this is by no means an exhaustive list, include:
- Dean Bikes
- Van Nicholas
- Rikulau Bikes
- Everti Bikes
Van Nicholas Astraeus
With Shimano Dura Ace DI2 11SP, the complete bike comes in at $10,100
Rikulau – 6AL-4V Titanium
Large Frame – 1.44 kg.
The complete bike with Campy Super Record 11 SP is priced at $8,400.00
These look great, but before you buy a DEAN, have a read of some of the Adelaide Cyclists comments here: AC
Some other well known brand floating around overseas include:
- Seven Cycles – Axiom
The naked Ti frames look superb.
Irrespective of the material, it must be remembered that without a good fit, it won’t matter one iota what material the bike is made of. So whatever material you ride, make sure you get a good bike fit by a reputable bike fitter.
Cycling for Culture
Some time ago, I mentioned a ride through Kaurna Country that was being organised by the Cycling For Culture group later this year. Well time has crept up and it is almost here. The team are riding over 3 days from 18th – 20th October 2013.
The ride covers almost 300kms through the breathtaking scenery of the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Mount Lofty Ranges and provides the riders with the opportunity to discover Aboriginal culture and learn about the stories and the land of the Kaurna people around Adelaide.
The group numbers are limited to 25 riders, They are taking sponsorship, further details here – Cycling for Culture
The donations will contribute to raising awareness and funds to support language and well-being projects connected to the Kaurna Aboriginal community.
They will ride along the Tjilbruke Dreaming trail, listen to Kaurna Elders’ story-telling and get a better understanding of the lives of the Kaurna people past and present. An unprecedented cultural adventure!
Day 1 – Friday 18 Oct – 78 km
Warriparingga (Bedford Park) to Karrakarlangga (Carrickalinga)
Day 2 – Saturday 19 Oct – 105km
Karrakarlangga (Carrickalinga) to Kangkarrilla (Kangarilla)
Day 3 – Sunday 20 Oct – 97km
Kangkarrilla (Kangarilla) to Pirltawardli (Torrens Lake)
Vuelta – 2nd Wednesday Wrap
Its been a fascinating Vuelta so far this year. Some absolutely wicked mountain climbs, the oldest Red Jersey Holder and numerous leader changes have made for an unpredictable and entertaining race so far.
Great to see Bling take the honours at Sanabria Lake in the Zamora province
This stage will be remembered for an epic but ultimately unsuccessful solo breakaway by Tony Martin, who led for 170 of the 177km stage, but was pipped with 25m by 6 other riders.
GC standings at the end of Stage 10 are:
1 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack Leopard 40:29:14
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:43
3 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:00:53
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:02
5 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha 0:01:40
6 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha 0:02:04
7 Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:02:20
8 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:03:11
9 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:03:16
10 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:28
till next week