2 outa 3 aint bad

Don’t forget, Adelaide’s hardest organised ride, the Adelaide Dirty Dozen, is back in September.

This year it’s being sponsored by La Velocita, The following is a grab from their Facebook page.

3500+ metres of climbing over just 130 km awaits you. We’ll brutalise you on 13 of Adelaide’s hardest climbs.

Event organiser Adam Williss has done an amazing job building this event over the last few years. He’s kept it as a proper community event – free and open to anyone. We’re not changing that formula at all.

This ride is about challenge. There is no support. We don’t have any prizes for finishing. There’s no entry fee. It’s you Vs gravity. We’d tell you to ‘have fun’ but we’ve made sure you won’t.

Here’s the course announcement: https://www.lavelocita.cc/la-velocita-rides/adelaide-dirty-dozen-2017

Check out the Strava route: https://www.strava.com/routes/9433917

Here’s the route for hipsters who use RideWithGPS: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/22508773

Schedule:

6.15am – Sign On for a record of all participants/finishers
6.45am – Riders briefing
7.00am – Roll out

The rules:

1. This is an unassisted social ride. You should have your own insurance, helmet and spares.
2. Neither La Velocita, event supporters, volunteers nor organisers accept any responsibility for damage, accidents, or injury that may occur.

Last years ride was epic. Cold rain and wind whipped the riders right from the get go. It was horrible. Thankfully I was recovering from an injury and spent the morning taking photographs, a few of the better ones below.

 

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Vuelta

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2 down, one to go, although lets be honest, no one really cared about the Giro because we couldn’t watch it on Free to Air TV.

So whats this years Vuelta got in store for us.

It starts in France on Saturday, August 19, and finish in the Spanish capital of Madrid three weeks later. It only seems fitting that it starts in France, because the TdF didn’t start in France, and whilst the Giro technically started in Italy, it started in Sardinia, and speaks predominantly Catalan, which is Spanish, although not if you actually come from the Catalan region on the Spanish mainland because they would desperately like to not be Spanish.  Got it!

This is only the third time its started outside Spain.

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Vuelta a España 2017 stages:

  • 1 Sa 19-8 Nîmes (fra) – Nîmes 13.7 km TTT
  • 2 Su 20-8 Nîmes (fra) – Gruissan (fra) 203.4 km flat
  • 3 Mo 21-8 Prades – Andorra la Vella (and) 158.5 km mountains
  • 4 Tu 22-8 Escaldes – Tarragona 198.2 km flat
  • 5 We 23-8 Benicassim – Ermita Santa Lucia 175.7 km summit finish
  • 6 Th 24-8 Villareal – Sagunto 204.4 km hilly
  • 7 Fr 25-8 Llíria – Cuenca 207.0 km flat
  • 8 Sa 26-8 Hellín – Xorret del Catí 199.5 km mountains
  • 9 Su 27-8 Orihuela (Torreviejo) – Cumbre del Sol 174.0 km summit finish
  • Mo 28-8 rest day
  • 10 Tu 29-8 Caravaca de la Cruz – Alhama de Murcía 164.8 km mountains
  • 11 We 30-8 Lorca – Calar Alto 187.5 km summit finish
  • 12 Th 31-8 Motril – Antequera 160.1 km hilly
  • 13 Fr 1-9 Coín – Tomares 198.4 km flat
  • 14 Sa 2-9 Écija – La Pandera 175,0 km summit finish
  • 15 Su 3-9 Alcalá la Real – Sierra Nevada 129.4 km mountains, summit finish
  • Mo 4-9 rest day
  • 16 Tu 5-9 Los Arcos – Logroño 40.2 km ITT
  • 17 We 6-9 Villadiego – Los Machucos 180.5 km summit finish
  • 18 Th 7-9 Suances – Santo Toribio de Liébana 169.0 km hilly, summit finish
  • 19 Fr 8-9 Caso (Parque de Redes) – Gijón 149.7 km hilly, flat start
  • 20 Sa 9-9 Corvera – Angliru 117.5 km mountains, summit finish
  • 21 Su 10-9 Arroyomolinos – Madrid 117.6 km flat

Some of the climbs if distinction in this years Vuelta include:

1 – Ermita St Lucia – stage five.   3.5km, 320vm, 9% ave gradient

Only 3.5km, the climb averages more than 10 percent, with three sections ramping up to more than 20 per cent.

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2 – Xorret del Cati – stage eight.   3.8km, 448vm, 11% ave gradient

Not quite a summit finish, the Xorret de Cati climbs nearly 400m in around four kilometres with a double digit average gradient, some sections at more than 20%

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3 – Cumbre del Sol – stage nine.   7.6km, 354vm, 10% ave gradient

This stage ends with a steep three kilometre climb. Cumbre del Sol has become a Vuelta regular.

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4 – Sierra de la Pandera – stage 14.   7.6km, 671vm, 9% ave gradient

The lesser of the two Sierras at the end of the second week, the Sierra de la Pandera is likely to be overshadowed by the following Sierra Nevada.

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5 – Sierra Nevada – stage 15.  30.4km, 2435vm, 6% ave gradient

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The 7.6km climb averages nine per cent, but hides a two kilometre section midway up that stays steadfastly and 12-14 per cent and will surely be the launching pad for attacks.
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6 – Los Machucos – stage 17.   9.4km, 713vm, 7% ave gradient

A highly irregular climb, some sections in the middle hit gradients as high as 31 per cent, with a concrete road surface with strips across it to stop cars slipping down in wet or icy condition, and to make it even harder for the riders.

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7 – Alto de l’Angliru – stage 20.   13.2km, 1241m, 9% ave gradient

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The Angliru has only been used six times in professional racing, but has already earned a fearsome reputation in the peloton with its 13.2km length and average gradient of nine per cent.

Hidden in that average gradient is the fearsome Cueña les Cabres stretch of the climb, which rears up to more than 20 per cent for long sections before a flat and slightly downhill run to the line

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The favourites for this years Vuelta are:

  • Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali, Steven Kruijswijk

Followed by:

  • Alberto Contador, Fabio Aru, Rafal Majka, Miguel Ángel López
  • Wout Poels, Wilco Kelderman, Adam Yates, Romain Bardet
  • Simon Yates, Ilnur Zakarin, Bob Jungels, Domenico Pozzovivo, Tejay van Garderen

And finally

  • Esteban Chaves, Davide Formolo, Rui Costa, Leopold König, Rohan Dennis, Marc Soler

I don’t think Chris Froome can win the Vuelta after his efforts in the Tour de France, my money would be on Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru or Rafal Majka.

Eds note:

I travelled through spain a long long tine ago. We spent a week and a half down south, visited Granada with its famous fortress Alhambra. Overlooking Granada in the distant was the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. I love the Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Films, so the Sierra Nevada holds a place of interest to me. I must admit that although I love most of Clints work, his cowboy homage album, containing that particularly unforgettable song Sierrra Nevada, is perhaps a low point in his stellar career.  If you’re interested, check the song out here – https://open.spotify.com/track/5KYWUh4tpOmRf5KvcycgKO

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Perhaps the one and only regret from that trip was not detouring up to Sierra Nevada, but there is only so much you can do in a short time.

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The Alhumbra with Sierra Nevada behind

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Alberto Contador

Alberto Contodor announced that he would retire at the end of this season, so this Vuelta will be his last Grand Tour. Love him or hate him, he certainly lit up the pelaton when he was in the prime of his  career.

Born in Pinto, near Madrid, in 1982, Contador turned professional with ONCE in 2003, having impressed Manolo Saiz as an amateur, but his career was almost ended the following year when he suffered a cerebral cavernoma during the Vuelta a Asturias. Remarkably, he returned to training at the end of that season and announced his return to competition with a stage win at the Tour Down Under.

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In 2006, Contador and five of his Astana-Würth teammates were barred from competing at the Tour de France after their names were linked to the Operacion Puerto blood doping inquiry, though Contador was later cleared of charges.

A year later, Contador was back at the Tour de France in the colours of Johan Bruyneel’s Discovery Channel team, ostensibly to ride in support of Levi Leipheimer, yet he quickly outstripped his leader. For much of the race, he seemed destined for second overall, but when Michael Rasmussen was thrown off the Tour after lying about his whereabouts in the build-up, Contador inherited the maillot jaune and carried it to Paris.

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In 2008, Contador followed Bruyneel to the revamped Astana and, unable to compete at the Tour, he proceeded to win a Giro-Vuelta double, becoming the youngest rider ever to complete a full set of Grand Tour victories. Lance Armstrong emerged from retirement to join Astana in 2009, but Contador had the sangfroid and the resolve to see off that internal challenge and add a second Tour de France title to his palmares.

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Nobody expected it would be his last and, for a time, it wasn’t. Andy Schleck arguably had the legs to beat Contador at the 2010 Tour de France but the Spaniard somehow eked out a win, only for a positive test for Clenbuterol on the second rest day to scrub it from the record books.

News of the positive test broke in September 2010, but it took more than 16 months of investigations, hearings and appeals for Contador to be belatedly sanctioned. He claimed the positive test was the result of contaminated beef and dismissed the hypothesis that it had been caused by a contaminated blood bag. The Court of Arbitration for Sport, meanwhile, suggested a contaminated food supplement, but the end result was the same: a retroactive two-year ban.

There was something of Pedro Delgado’s defiance on the 1988 Tour about Contador in those 16 months. Having swapped Astana for Riis’ Saxo Bank squad for 2010, during the Tour de France, Contador barely missed a beat, and continued to race and win while the UCI and Spanish federation argued over how best to resolve his case. His 2011 Giro d’Italia triumph was perhaps the most dominant of his entire career, even if the title would eventually pass to the late Michele Scarponi.

Cycling News

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Go Pro Hero 5 Session

Who woulda thought.

I entered into a competition on the Orica Scott Facebook site at the end of the first week of the Tour de France.  https://www.facebook.com/GreenEdgeCycling/videos/1535021843216339/

I received notification early in the week that I had won one of the GoPros used by the Orica-Scott team at the TdF.  Woo Hoo.

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That makes three competitions I’ve won over the last 6 months.  The first was a lock from local bike shop Bio-Mechanics Cycles & Repairs . The second was a bike and care pack from Pedalit.

The 3rd now being the GoPro. Cool eh.

The Pedalit pack included a degreaser, chamois cream, sunscreen, bike wash and a kit wash detergent. The kit wash liquid, Revival, has had a lot of use in the Legs household. I have gotten myself into the habit of handwashing my good kit in the laundry sink using the revival liquid. I’m not sure if I’m a little strange, buy it has become a little soothing washing my kit by hand – it doesn’t take long, but it’s satisfying knowing that the kit I forked out good money for is not being battered in the washing machine.

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I’ve almost run out, so I have taken advantage of a sale they have on line and purchased a few bottles, along with a liquid soap, a couple of doodles and a few other bibs and bobs.

Oh, and the guys at Pedalit have thrown in a few extra bottles of this kit wash to give away to Wednesday Leg readers.

To win one of two giveways, like and share the posting on my Wednesday Legs Facebook page here.

Wednesday-Legs-Face Book 

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Rapha Sale

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Its been a long time coming, Rapha has finally been sold. Louis Vuitton passed up on buying Rapha, being purchased by RZC Investments, an investment group headed up by Steuart and Tom Walton, the family out of Bentonville, Arkansas, who own Walmart.

Before you jump on your high horses and wailing about a cut proce business getting involved with a top-end kit manufacturer, bare in mind that Tom is known to have kickstarted the trail building in Bentonville that has made it the hot spot for mountain biking for nearly 1000 miles in every direction, so the cycling passion is in his blood. RZC is reported to have paid $200 million to CEO Simon Mottram and his investors.

Rapha’s revenue for 2016 was around £63m, up 30 percent over the 2015 figurs, and reportedly up 40 percent over this point last year.

This is seen as a terrific buy for RZC.

With the new shareholders and desire to keep growing the profit, it will be interesting to see if the customer service that Rapha provides their clients will remain intact, such as their lifetime guarantee that includes free repair/replacement of crash damaged clothing.

Some are concerned about how the Waltons will manage the business, whether they will move to America where they have a reported reputation for being heavt supporters for deregulation, fights unionisation and pushes back heavily on wage increases for their workers via minimum wage increases.

Interesting times indeed.

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Rider of the Week – Harrison Douglas

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  • How long have you been cycling?

Have always had a bike for as long back as I can remember, including some good highlights of going downhill and not knowing how to stop a bike and turn. Since the age of 12 I started to get more and more serious each year. Currently racing for R.A.C.E VMG Accounting, (Regional Academy of Cycling Excellence) Where I have been given the opportunity to compete is some awesome racing, like Bay Crits and Victorian Road Series.

  • What got you started in cycling?

Watching the old man come back from rides I suppose created a curiosity into road cycling. Had to save up a year for my first road bike racking leaves at our neighbours, was a Trek 1.1. Any spare time I had during the week would be spent down at the local bike shop and then over time that led to a weekend job. From there I began living and breathing cycling and never looked back.

  • You’re building up a new business, can you describe what it is and how you came to be involved?

I am the founder and manager of Acium Sports, Distributor and retailer for VeloPac, Piston Racing Wheels, Altum Designs and PONGO London, which is my side project outside of year 12 and work.

I also work casually at local bikeshop when they need an extra set of hands. I came to be involved from networking and building I suppose, from doing sponsorships and social media for a few local teams where I got onto Piston Racing Wheels, omne thing led to another and I became the Australian Contact.

From that base early last year I added a few other brands and opened Acium Sports.

  • How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?

I only own the one road bike at the moment, I tend to only ever keep one bike as the do it all. It is a Sarto Dinamica custom frame running Shimano Ultegra, thanks to the team at Zoncolan Sports.

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  • What bike do you covet?

Hard one because the Sarto was/is a dream bike and can’t top it off. However, craving a slick TT bike with a disc wheel and tri spoke front wheel for those odd TT races.

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  • How do you store your bikes?

In the Acium Sports office, either in a Pro stand if I have carbon wheels in or on the wall hooks with everyone else’s bikes.

  • Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?

Since being around and working in shops, since I was 12 to get cheaper shop pricing I mainly do all my own work for family and myself but every now and then to source parts or double check something I’ll pop into either Woodend Cycles or The Angry Butcher Bike Shop.

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  • What cycling specific tools do you have in your “bike shed”?

Everything I need to be able to strip and rebuild our bikes plus spares, over the years of working casually on weekends and holidays at bikeshops you build a solid base of tools. Only thing I’m missing that I forget about to buy until I need it, is a good pair of cable cutters.

  • What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?

#sockgame, Socks speak all languages and are able to help express what sort of mood or theme you are going for on your ride, plus who doesn’t love a fresh set of PONGO socks?

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  • What do you love about cycling?

Freedom of being out on the road, socialising with good mates .and then trying to tear each other a new one in a few efforts.

  • What annoys most about cycling?

In a way I would have to say the time you need to spend training if I wanted to see good results for racing. Especially during Year 12 this year, just can’t justify the time on the bike…. Have started to become a weekend warrior.

  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?

Jens Voigt, bloke is a legend off and on the bike and makes pain look like fun.

  • What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?

Fondest memory would have to be my first Tour Down Under, (Big Lance Armstrong fan at the time before he got caught doping). Meeting Lance Armstrong and getting him to sign some things and having a chat with him, was star struck.

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  • Have you had any nasty crashes? If so how did the worst occur and what was the consequence?

Touchwood have not had a bad one yet, few narrow escapes and small spills but nothing serious. Worst would have to be was when I did my first junior tour, was up the road with a kid and swapping off, he slowed and I overlapped his wheel and we swung right and took me out. Definitely an eye opener in one of my first races.

  • What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot, and what would you normally buy as a treat?

Red Beard Café in Trentham do a good latte but has to be followed by a jam donut at the Trentham bakery (Always causes controversy in the bunch on which to stop at so may swell have the best of both worlds.)

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  • Do you have a favourite overseas country in mind you’d love to take your bike to?

Ideally like a lot of other cyclists, wouldn’t mind Europe and climbing some of the big bergs over there or really anywhere with a different scenery and good riding company.

  • What is your favourite local training route?

Out to Trentham down Ashbourne Rd (Always gets competitive for strava segment on Ashbourne  and back then home via Mt Macedon climb. Nice 80-90km loop.

  • What cycling related thing would you like for your next birthday?

A new few new sets of carbon wheels wouldn’t be too bad…

  • Is there a local cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?

Quick plug for Travis at Blackchrome Cycling, could not be more impressed with custom products from them.

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Hang on a minute, i recognise that face #simonveitch

Also to Matt at CoachPro BikeFit

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  • What is your non-cycling go-to place when Interstaters come to your town?

Honour Avenue Macedon for the changing leave colours during autumn or definitely the Memorial Cross at the top of Mt. Macedon.

  • Is there anything else you feel like talking about?

Yeah, quick plug for my business Acium Sports (Cycling retailer and distributor) Use the code ‘FIRSTTIME15‘ to receive 15% off your first order (Excludes Wheels) as a reader of Wednesday Legs.

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www.aciumsports.com.au

Looking at the website sees Acium Sports offer socks, Musettes, RidePacs, PhonePacs, wheels, multi tools, a small range of apparel,  and saddles.

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till next time

tight spokes

iPib

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