Meanwhile – over in Qatar
Bloody Bloody Hot.
With the temperatures getting up around 35 deg C, the dry heat of the desert will be hard to ride in after a long year starting way back in January.
“I am afraid of what can happen with dehydration,” Spanish national team doctor Iñaki Iñigo told El Mundo. “The Europeans are not used to the high temperatures of Qatar. It could be very difficult.”
The UCI announced several contingency plans in place to help deal with temperatures that can easily reach 40 degrees. But following the team time trial on Sunday, where we saw first-hand examples of the heat, riders are speaking out that the heat is simply too much.
There are questions about why the hell the worlds have been scheduled in Qatar. Well, why was the world cup awarded to Qatar. A biking trip here is a true cyclist’s dream! It is one of the main cycling destination in the world. Many professionals and amateur riders enjoy the good climate, the variety of the roads and the quality of the hotels.
There are are volcanoes with impressive landscape, and amazing routes. Another destination of professional teams especially for the stages at high altitude. Whoops, hang on, thats a tourist description for Mallorca.
What about Qatar – well according to Wikipedia
Qatar is a sovereign country located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf. A strait in the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island country of Bahrain, as well as sharing maritime borders with the United Arab Emirates and Iran.
Qatar is a high income economy and is a developed country, backed by the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves. The country has the highest per capita income in the world.
Ah, there it is.
The UCI’s hefty fee and and the promise of potential additional sponsorship money for the sport is the rationale behind the unconventional destination.
Although, they do seem, on paper anyway, to have provided a fairly unique route for the TTT.
Eight men teams took to the road under the blazing desert sun in the Sunday’s truncated pro team time trial — not all teams attended over a spat over travel costs (hang on a minute – refer to Wikipedia note above about their gas and oil reserves).
BMC’s winning streak in the Road World Championships team time trial has come to an end with Etixx-QuickStep taking victory in Doha on Sunday.
The Belgian outfit completed the 40km course in a time of 42:32 (56.4km/h), taking back the world title after two successive victories to BMC. BMC was second on the day, 12 seconds behind the winners, while Orica-BikeExchange slotted into third, a further 25 second behind.
Etixx in the Elite Mens TTT of the 2016 World Road Championships
And Boels Dolmans were the victors in the Womens TTT in extremely opressive conditions, starting mod afternon, the friggin hottest part of the day.
During the women’s team time trial, where the temperatures neared 40C, Koster, who rides for Rabo-Liv, appeared to suddenly lose all control and veered off line, flipping over her handlebars. She was helped back on to her bike looking extremely dazed and managed to finish the race.
“The heat in Qatar is extreme,” her team-mate Roxane Knetemann said. “I cannot explain how excruciating it feels to be riding 40km through the desert. You’d expect organisers and the UCI to have some knowledge about cycling.
“If you send out people for a team time trial in this heat, make sure there are at least 10 ambulances ready to look after the riders. The UCI didn’t think this through. The heat, it’s just not to do and certainly not in a time trial. It’s like a sauna.”
Still to come
- Wednesday, October 12 Men Elite Individual Time Trial
- Thursday, October 13 Men Under 23 Road Race
- Friday, October 14 Women Juniors Road Race
- Saturday, October 15 Women Elite Road Race
- Sunday, October 16 Men Elite Road Race
I’ve mentioned the guys over at Biketivist before, and reviewed their season 1 jersey and gilet last summer. I These guys are based in Adelaide and produce some damn fine kit. Their season 2 kit has been out for a few months now, but supplies are running out so if you want to support a local Adelaide outfit and strap some great gear in your winter body, you better get in quickly as there are only a few left out there.
“We used bold colours and sharp shapes and came up with 2 pieces for men and our first ever female specific jersey and bib. Once again reception from our fans was great and we pretty much sold out online with a few pieces left at Bike Society (Anzac Hwy Store) and Cycle Closet in the city”
UCI Individual World Ranking
1 Peter SAGAN (SVK) 4579 points
Peter Sagan has done the rainbow band proud with an outstanding season in the rainbow bands, with 10 of his 13 wins coming at WorldTour level and helping him to top the end-of-season rankings.
Among the highlights were a Monument breakthrough at the Tour of Flanders and three more stages at the Tour de France, with plenty of success outside of the WorldTour, including victory at the European Championships.
2 Christopher FROOME 3771
Well, what can you say about Chris Froome, what can you say. This year he seemed to go out of his way to prove his critics wrong by attacking at some crucial stages of the TdF. Hell, he even almost broke the internet when he discarded his bike on stage 12 on the climb to Ventoux after a crash woth the moto, and then taking on a neutral bike that was too small and had different pedals.
3 Greg VAN AVERMAET 3608
Greg had a decent year, starting with a win at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February. Later at the Tirreno–Adriatico, where he was on the winning team of the opening team time trial and won won the stage 6. Following Tirreno, he crashed and broke his collarbone in the Tour of Flanders.
After his return from injury, he stage 5 of the Tour de France, and also captured the yellow jersey, which he held for three days.
He then capped off a stellar year with a scintillating win at the Olympics Road Race.
Other rankings include:
UCI Nations World Ranking – FRANCE
UCI World Tour Teams Ranking – MOVISTAR TEAM
UCI Africa Tour Ranking – TESFOM OKUBAMARIAM (ERI)
UCI America Tour Ranking – Greg VAN AVERMAET (BEL)
UCI Asia Tour Ranking – King Lok CHEUNG (HKG)
UCI Europe Tour Ranking- Baptiste PLANCKAERT (BEL)
UCI Oceania Tour Ranking – Sean LAKE (AUS)
UCI Individual World Ranking
1 Megan GUARNIER (USA)
2 Anna VAN DER BREGGEN
3 Elisa LONGO BORGHINI
UCI Olympic Qualification Ranking – Emma JOHANSSON (SWE)
UCI Women’s Individual World Tour Ranking – Megan GUARNIER (USA)
Oakley have recently launched their new sunnies, the Radar Pace, a collaboration between Oakley and Intel, designed to give real time feedback on training and performance. At its heart is a set of Oakley’s Radar glasses, which are equipped with earbuds and a microphone.
Oakley also provides a touch pad on the left side of the glasses, which can be touched or swiped to control functionality. There are also sensors built into the glasses: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and pressure, humidity and proximity sensors. Radar Pace is recharged via USB and is IPx5 water resistant.
There’s Bluetooth connectivity to other devices such as mobile phones for calls, texts and music. You can also get data from other external devices such as power meters, heart rate sensors and GPS units, both via Bluetooth and ANT+.
Part of the Radar Pace package is a set of training programmes appropriate to your experience and goals. The athlete’s interaction with Radar Pace is via Intel’s Real Speech technology. This allows you to ask questions and receive feedback and metrics in real time.
Rider of the Week – Nigel Parsons
I’ve known Nigel for over 9 year now, having been first introduced to him when i first started riding with the Sunday Muppets, the first group riding i was involved with, and all these years later, till riding with.
I’m in awe of Nigel (don’t tell him i aid that though), but i don’t think I realised how much until i was riding behind him one summers evening on the way to the Crafers Hotel. Screaming down Mt Lofty Summit Road heading towards the Crafers roundabout, you know the hill, heavy, a long gentle right hand curve before heavy on the brakes at the bottom.
It wasn’t that i was out of control, nowhere near it, but watching Nigel brake and manouvre at the bottom made had me thinking about how the hell he does it. You may not know, but Nigel rides with a prosthetic arm, and his ability to control his bike in fairly extreme situations like this I find extraordinary. Think about it, think about riding down Greenhill road with one arm on the bars, the you have to steer, brake, be aware of whats happening around you, and balancing. I’m in awe.
I got a chance for a quick ride with Nige the other day, this is his story.
- What first got you started in cycling?
I started watching the Tour de France in the late nineties and loved it and in 2003/4 a mate from work was raving about how good his first weekend ride through the hills was after his recent purchase of a bike. His enthusiasm got me interested.
- How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?
I own 2 road and a mountain bike but my main go to bike is a Colnago clx2
- You ride with a prosthetic arm, can you describe how you set up your bike because of this?
As I ride with a right arm prosthesis I’ve had a couple of modifications with the break cables both going to the left hand sti lever through a splitter. The rear gears through a bar end shifter . see pics sent via sms. It works beautifully albeit not electric which would be nice to try.
- What are the some of the difficulties in riding with a prosthetic.
Some of the difficulties of riding with a prosthetic – The arm socket can get a bit uncomfortable on long rides on hot days. People expecting a high five…….,
- You’ve had a few crashes in your life, any memorable ones (so to speak)
Crashes: Yes, had a few. Wrecked three helmets and not allowed to wreck anymore . My first crash was a case of getting too much of a buzz from speed and I didn’t see a sign for an extra tight bend, the bike came out from under me and got a tremendous arse burn. The most memorable one would be hitting a kangaroo at reasonably high speed
defending Norton. The roo become a jump ramp and got airborne , needless to say I came off second best.
(I’d like to add one in here as well Nige. Riding behind Nige (hang on a minute i see a trend here!) as we were coming down Tiers road – the long straight from the top of the hill down to the bridge just before you hit Woodside. The unfortunately was a 1″ step between the road bitumen and te bridge deck, which under normal circumstances is not such big deal. Rick was the first to hit the bridge, got the wobbles and pivoted to warn Nige. Unfortunately Nige’s wobble was a little more catastophic than Ricks, he lost purchase on the bars and somersaulted over at high speed. Suffice to say he wasn’t a pretty site, and it did take him a while to come too, but fortunately the St Johns crew in Woodside attending the Ride Like Crazy ride were able to attend before the ambulance was able to get there. Scary stuff)
- How do you store your bikes?
Hang the bike up on a wall. Other in shed on trainer.
- What do you love about cycling.
The things I love about cycling are the adrenelin rush that comes from riding in the hills, mostly the only sound in your ears is the wind rush, the never ending views you get on a long ride, the coffee banter afterwards, the great feeling after a good ride.
- What annoys most about cycling?
Punctures, crashes, hitting a wall (so to speak) when you’re a long way from home, drivers and cyclists who don’t share the road.
- Who is your favourite Cyclist?
Eddie Merckx – he’s the greatest, Robbie McKewen – he tells a great yarn, Lance Armstrong – would try and get him drunk and see if he might really spill the beans on what really went on.
(Mentioning Lance – i have to add this little story. When Lance came out to ride in the TdU, Nige was among the throng at Norwood at the start of one of the stages, and was able to get his signature. Being the opportunist he is, he grabbed the first thing he could lay his hands on for Lance to sign, his prosthetic arm. He was proud of Lances signature, although I’m fairly certain he’s long since scrubbed it off)
- What would be your favorite cycling holiday destination.
- What is you favorite training ride
My favorite local training ride is a 40 km loop from Stirling to Basket Range and back via Deviation Rd. and back over Mt. Lofty.
Thanks Nige. Its always pleasure to ride with you. Good luck with your training for next years 3 Peaks.
Cafe of the Week – Hustle
I passed this little cafe cafe on the way back from my LBS the other day, it was lunch, i hadn’t had a coffee for a while. A quick look at the food through the open window, and the coffee machine and I thought, why not.
Well, the coffee hit the spot, and the Chicken and Mayo Focaccio hit the spot. Its only a small cafe with about 6 tables, tucked away in a small nook fronting light square. They’ve only been open for a few weeks niw, so i suspect their offerings in their display is on the cinservative ide until they build up their clientele.
The map below is a little misleading, the cafe is open to the footpath. 155 Waymouth Street
Open 7:00AM – 3:00PM Monday-Friday, next time your passing, pop in and grab a coffee.
til next time