Astana

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Specialized (Bastards) have done it again

From the guys over at Neil Pryde

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Effective immediately we are retiring our ALIZE bike name and replacing it with NAZARÉ. This is just a name change – your beloved bike will remain exactly the same.

This change comes at the behest of a well known bike company. According to their lawyers the ALIZE name was too close to one of their trademarked bike names and, as such, we need to stop using it.

We didn’t really see it the same way. Both the spelling and meaning are completely different. All our names come from winds (or other water sports references) which is in our heritage. ALIZE is a north-easterly wind found in central Africa and the Caribbean. Any similarity with the name in question, however questionable, was purely coincidental. We are proud of our bikes and our heritage and wouldn’t swap it for anyone’s.

In the end, after months of arguing with lawyers, we were forced to change the name to avoid a protracted and potentially costly legal battle. We prefer to focus on designing great bikes than communicating with lawyers. As such, all ALIZE bikes produced from this spring will carry the name NAZARÉ.

Nazaré is a town and a well known big wave surfing spot on the coast of Portugal. It’s fast, powerful and impressive – just like NAZARÉ.

We hope that you forgive us for this disruption.

So long ALIZE and allez, allez NAZARÉ!

You’d think after the Cafe Roubaix debacle, they would have learnt.

Why does Waren Zevon’s song “Lawyers Guns and Money”.on the closing track on his 1978 album Excitable boy come to mind.

Send lawyers, guns and money, dad, get me out of this

I’m the innocent bystander

Somehow I got stuck between the rock and a hard place

And I’m down on my luck, yes I’m down on my luck

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Paris Roubaix

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This Sunday, SBS will broadcast Paris – Roubaix LIVE: 2130-0130 (AEST) on SBS ONE and streaming online at Cycling Central.

exhausted (& happy) after winning his 3rd Paris-Roubaix

Can Fabian do the double?

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What you missed last weekend

I was fortunate to get out for a ride on both Saturday nand Sunday morning last weekend. I would have to say that as cycling conditions go, it doesn’t get much better than this.

With lows around 12 degc, and highs around 22 degc and cloudless skys were simply perfect.

The photos below just do not do the hills any justice, but better than nothing.

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Flanders

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Fabian Cancellara, 33 yrs old, outfoxed a trio of classy riders to win the 2014 Tour of Flanders in a sprint finish in Oudenaarde.

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Fabian made his move from a select four-man group with just 300 metres remaining to claim the race for the third time.

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“I asked how many seconds we (the break) had because the last thing I really wanted was (Alexander) Kristoff, Geraint (Thomas) and Niki Terpstra and others coming,” said Cancellara.

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“For the spectators it was a kind of track final, it was man against man and I just kept pushing to bring this home to the team.” Cancellara finished ahead of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) with Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Stijn Vandenbergh finishing fourth.

“I still don’t believe it. It’s so tough, I almost got dropped two times when they attacked and then everything just went well at the end,” said Cancellara. “Last year I won in an amazing way but to repeat this is even bigger I think because winning once is big, but to repeat this, well…just no words.”

The race was marred by a number of crashes including one involving a roadside spectator and Garmin-Sharp’s Johan Vansummeren. The accident took place less than one hour into the race as the riders made their way out of the town of Wielsbeke.

Riders were sweeping past the traffic island, which was apparently unmarked and did not have a police officer signaling the danger. An interesting fact is that it is the Flanders Classics organisation hires 1,410 signallers for the race.

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As seen in a YouTube video, Vansummeren struck the spectator at close to full speed, the impact knocking off her shoes.

A compilation of this years Flanders Crashes here – Crash Compilation – Ronde van Vlaanderen 2014

The 65-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries after she was knocked over by Vansummeren. The 2011 Paris-Roubaix champion was transported to a local hospital in a stretcher and neck brace. Johan left the AZ Groeninge hospital Monday with a black eye and stitches in his cheek after a horrible crash in the Tour of Flanders.

He was back on the bike yesterday going for a short ride this morning, only for an hour or so.

The ladys conditoin is still unclear,  although she was still in a coma at hospital.

In addition to the top four finishers the group also contained pre-race favourites Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale), but they both faded toward the finish and failed to contest the final.

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National Road Series

From Cycling Australia

Budget Forklifts’ Brodie Talbot has claimed his maiden tour victory, winning the Jarvis Subaru Adelaide Tour, the second event in the men’s Subaru National Road Series (NRS).

Talbot boldly ripped the leaders jersey from stage one victor Wesley Sulzberger’s (Drapac Pro Cycling) shoulders following his efforts in stage two’s Woodside Road Race which saw Talbot establish a 24 second lead.

Talbot maintained his lead for the remaining two stages of the Tour, despite the best efforts of Sulzberger and the Drapac team.

Talbot finished the Tour 24 seconds ahead of Sulzberger and a further 44 seconds in front of Keagan Girdlestone (Lightsview).

Men – General Classification – Individual (Final)

rank rider (team) time/gap
26 Brodie TALBOT (BFL) 8h47:05
38 Wesley SULZBERGER (DPC) +12
218 Keagan GIRDLESTONE (LTV) +44
11 Joseph COOPER (ART) +51
74 Stuart SMITH (STR) +56
18 Jack HAIG (ART) +1:03
21 Timothy ROE (BFL) +1:23
16 Brenton JONES (ART) +1:45
42 Jeremy CAMERON (AWS) +1:52
184 Nicholas BIEN (ESS) +2:31

Women – General Classification – Individual (Final)

rank rider (team) time/gap
21 Felicity WARDLAW (BSS) 7h48:52
11 Ruth CORSET (HWC) +25
33 Kendelle HODGES (VIS) +54
64 Lizzie WILLIAMS (SPS) +57
34 Tessa FABRY (VIS) +1:00
12 Jenelle CROOKS (HWC) +1:22
23 Rebecca HEATH (BSS) +1:25
24 Kristy GLOVER (BSS) +1:38
92 Alexandra MANLY (SAS) +1:44
51 Ruby LIVINGSTONE (BRT) +1:59

Photos from Peleton CafeADT_Stage4M_2

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Superflat grabbed some great pictures on Corkscrew – see more here

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Astana

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We’ve seen the light turquoise colour of the Astana Pro Cycling team, and you most probably know it as a Kazakhstan team, but how many actually know anything about about Astana?

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In 1997, the capital of Kazakhstan was moved to Astana from Almaty to take advantage of Astana more favorable location as it is closer to Russia and the risk of earthquake is much less.

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Founded as a fortress in 1824, it was a small mining town until the 1950s when it became the center of a vast agricultural project initiated by Nikita Khrushchev.

Over its life it has had a few names including:

  • Akmolinsk until 1961
  • Tselinograd until 1992,
  • Akmola until 1998, and now
  • Astana.

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Nowadays, the city is becoming a new cosmopolitan western-style city with a population of Astana is 0ver 800,000, it is the second largest city in the country after former capita Almaty.

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Famous Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa worked on the master plan of the city, with many of the significant landmark buildings designed by Norman Foster

Little surrounds the city for 1,200 kilometers, save a handful of provincial towns dotted across the world’s largest steppe, a flat, empty expanse of grassland.

Shooting up from this void is a mass of strangely futuristic structures. The newest of these is the shopping mall designed by Norman Foster, the Khan Shatyr.

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Foster was also the architect behind the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, a 60-meter-tall glass pyramid.

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There’s also the Central Concert Hall, which from above looks like a budding flower, a flying saucer-shaped circus, a presidential palace designed to replicate the White House, and Baiterek, a 100-meter-tall tower that has drawn comparisons to a giant lollipop.

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Astana Pro Team

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The Astana Pro Cycling team is sponsored by Samruk-Kazyna, a coalition of state-owned companies from Kazakhstan and named after its capital city.

Astana attained UCI Pro Team status in 2007, but has underwent two years of drug taint related upheaval . Following a major doping scandal involving Vinikourov, team management was terminated and new management brought in for the 2008 season. The team was then managed by you guessed it, Johan Bruynel, former team manager of US Postal Services.

The start up Astana team was very successful, with a lineup including Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Andrea Kloden.

The team came close to collapse in 2009. At the end of 2009, Bruynell and and at least fourteen of its riders left, most for Team Radioshack.

Todays team includes a few well know and quite a few notso’s. Riders such as:

Maxim Iglinsky

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Vincenzo Nibali

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Michelle Scarponi

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till next week

tight spokes

iPib

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