Dirty Dirty Dozen

This news is big

 

It was called before the Dirty Dozen on the weekend that the cafe at the bottom of Sheoak made the best Vanilla Slices in Australia.

I’ve heard those claims before, only to be disappointed with the result, a mouth full of sugary vanilla sludge.

That looks like its all about to change.

 

Ta Da!

 

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Dropping the Watt Bombs

Urban Dictionary definition of Watt Bomb

A super-massive amount of power delivered from a cyclist’s legs whilst riding a bicycle.

A cause of significant damage to public roads and pelotons.

Cyclist 1 – “Hey what just happened? The peloton’s scattered all over the place, and the road is all torn up!”

Cyclist 2 – “That guy off the front just dropped some serious watt bombs.”

Cyclist 1 – “Oh. My. God. We’re doomed.”

This week I had a chat with Troy from Watt Bomb Apparel in Melbourne, to find out  who Watt Bomb is and what makes them tick.

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  • What is Watt Bomb?

Watt Bomb Apparel is a premium apparel brand producing custom apparel with no minimum orders. Whether you order 1 piece or 10,000 pieces, the choice is yours.

We specialise in cycling apparel and have access to world leading fabrics, chamois and garment construction techniques.

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We’re based in Geelong, on the surf coast. Geelong has some of the most scenic rides you can images. We’re spoilt for choice with beachside, great ocean road or the Otways right on our door step.

  • How did it all start for you?

We started in 2015 when we realised that there was a real need for premium apparel that didn’t break the bank. We had been getting custom apparel made by some well known brands and felt it missed the mark. There were too many hurdles… “you must have a minimum of 10 base pieces, you can’t do certain colours, the lead time is 8 weeks” and the list goes on… This is where we thought we can do this better!

  • Who are the people behind Watt Bomb Apparel and what are their roles?

I’m the founder and owner of Watt Bomb Apparel.

We have a number of contract staff who work for us depending on the work load and time of year. We have designers, account managers and book keepers working to keep the business running.

  • What’s your cycling history?

I started cycling at around 16 years of age, so quite late really. I competed in triathlons (don’t hold that against me) for approximately 10 years. In 2005 I injured my knee meaning that I could only cycle and running was off the cards for a while. So I threw myself into cycling and never looked back. Crit racing is something that just grabs me, nothing compares to bumping shoulders around a corner at 45-50km/h. It’s just a huge adrenaline rush.

  •  What makes your business unique?

For us being a small business it’s about the relationships we form with our customers. When you spend time with people creating their vision through their custom apparel, you build a strong bond with them and really get to know them… this is something that you can’t get through an “off the shelf” kit.

The other way we’re unique is through our ability to offer no minimum order and a turn around time of as little as 14 days! 

  • What is you Vision for Watt Bomb Apparel?

We want to see as many people bringing their own style to the bunches. Why wear someone else’s style or design when you can create your own?

  • How do you stay in touch with what your clients want / need?

Being avid cyclists we have our ears to the ground. We’re in bunches all over the place throughout the year. This helps keep us intact. On the flip side we’re constantly looking at research and development and trying to find new raw materials that we believe our customers will love.

  • How do you keep up to speed with changes in the industry?

Research and development is a big part of our business. We have connections to fabric’s manufactures all around the world who are constantly pushing the envelope on the fabric technology front.

  • What has changed for Watt Bomb Apparel since the start?

A lot has changed for us since the start. We originally had a focus on producing our own designs, we still do this but it’s not the main focus of our business. Now custom is the main focus. We’ve worked hard with our manufactures to constantly deliver the best products, at great prices with fast turn around times.

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  • Do you provide any support to the cycling industry such as team sponsorship etc?

We sure do! Watt Bomb Apparel have a race team called “Watt Bomb Racing”. Our guys are hitting up the Victorian Road Series (VRS) calendar and local races all year round. We’re not a very big team in  terms of budget but the guys have a crack and rip up some races which is really exciting to see. For us this is about helping riders to develop and assisting them to hopefully take the next step to the  National Road Series (NRS) and beyond.

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Outside of our team we also work closely with local cycling clubs providing support and sponsorship for the events.

  • What major challenges for your business?

The biggest challenge for all cycling apparel manufactures is keeping up with the constant changes to the raw materials used to construct high tech garments. R & D is once of the most important aspects of our business.

  •  What are some of the more common jobs you work on?

Regular jobs for us are producing kits for cycling clubs. This is an area that has come a long way form the time where no-one wad to be seen in their club kits because they were “unfashionable”. The clubs have realised this and are now on trend and producing really great designs that still represent their brand.

  •  Have there been any standout projects come through your doors?

Last year we were approached to produce the leaders jersey for the Jayco Hearld Sun Tour for 2017. Seeing riders like Chris Froome in a jersey we have designs and manufactured was pretty cool. It’s something that 3 years ago we could never have imagined.

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Thanks Troy for opening the door into Watt Bomb Apparel.  Further information can be found here.

https://www.wattbomb.com/

Troy Baker

troy@wattbomb.com

+61 430 302 336

Oh, and Watt Bomb manufactured the Rads Cycling cap, designed by the RADS team in Adelaide, that hit the markets earlier this year, one that I was fortunate to purchase just before my trip to France. I saw a few of them out over the weekend on the ADD17 as well.

Further details on where you can find the cap via project RADS on #radscap @projectrads

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Adelaide Dirty Dozen 2017

OK, last weekend was the annual Adelaide Dirty Dozen, by my reckoning the 6th instalment of this fascinatingly masochistic cycling event tackling in excess of 12 of the hardest hills in the Mt Lofty Ranges just to the East of Adelaide.

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Some say he is an escapee from Nauru and should be deported, but we all know him as Adam “Spoils Everything” Willis, or the Jerk, or “that f$#2ard”, or one of many other apt names mentioned befiore, during and most probably after the ride.

Adam is an enigma.

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Andrew Watson Photography

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To look at him, he looks jovial, friendly, intelligent, wise and approachable, but don’t be fooled. If he draws you into his web of influence you’re a goner.  Underneath that unctuous facade lies the cycling version of the Gimp Master.  I’ve never seen a man so loved yet so abused at the same time. His reputation is right up there with Red Symons when he was on Hey Hey it’s Saturday

496864-916b93a2-ca8b-11e3-9aee-4ab1c4ff1b91 – (showing my age there)

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Andrew Watson Photography

He has produced the toughest annual cycling challenges in Adelaide. They get tougher each year because in his mind, too many finished last year.

There are also queries about his schooling.

Last time I looked, a dozen was 12, and even taking into account he probably was a baker in a past life, he was still 2 out this year.  Taking 3 of Adelaide steepest consecutive climbs and calling them one climb just doesn’t cut it. There were 15 hills this year, and that’s not taking into account the small rolling hills as you transition from one to the next.

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All up, just shy of 4,000 m climbing this year over approx 140km.

And yet we still turn up in droves, for what reasons I’m not sure, probably to prove Adam Wrong, either that, or just an excuse personally abuse Adam in the streets and spit in his face.  Me, I wouldn’t do nasty things like that. I’m much happier doing it from the safety of a keyboard.

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This year there was 200 ADD wanabees.  At the time of writing, some 3 days after the start of the ADD2017, there were a few still finishing so the finishing numbers haven’t been finalised, but with the better weather conditions, I suspect there were a fair few finishers, so ADD2018 is gonna be a doozy.

Below are some of my pictures from the start, and a few I’ve  grabbed off social media.

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And these are those Vanilla slices.

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The following photos have been grabbed from Andrew Watsons Photography Facebook site.

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With all the above being said and done, it was a spectacularly successful day, and Kudos to Adam in particular, the support teams as noted below, and all the riders who turned up.

  • La Velocita and James Raison for doing more trash talking than Conor McGregor
  • Red Berry Espresso, Walter and crew for once again providing the launch pad for eager riders and the re-entry cafe for weary travellers, staying open well beyond the norm
  • Julia Church and ? for providing all sorts of treats at Crafers
  • Mark for providing rolling support throughout the day
  • Torsten Bunge and Costa Exchange in the SA Produce Market for the 60kg of bananas.
  • Andrew Watson for the roving photography out on the course
  • , the family who set up drinks at the top of coach road, and then moved over to the top of Sheoak after Cherryville was removed from the course at late notice due to local complaints, and moved over to Corkscrew.

Keep fighting those battles for us Adam, we’ve got you’re back.

Oh, and yes, I did finish.

 

But not without a few dramas.

On the start of the 3rd climb – Kensi Road, I pulled my rear derailer into my rear wheel. I wa able to pull it back out, but needed to ride carefully back home and swap over to my Jamis Commuting bike and rejoin where I left some 50 minutes earlier. A completely different setup, shoes, pedals, gearing (4 less teeth on the cassette) had me grinding up climbs where I would normally spin. OUCH.

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What type of cyclist are you?

I know cyclists come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. These personalities

The Hedonist

The kind of person who bangs on about how great it is to ride a bike. The sound of rubber on asphalt, the smell of the countryside, how being on two wheels gives them a new zest for life.

The Masochist

The Masochists are the type of cyclists who tell you they’ve spent their weekend doing hill repeats of Coach Road. Their exploits seem ridiculous, even to other cyclists, but to them it’s all about the challenge.

The Accumulator

The Accumulators take any opportunity to rack up the kilometres, even if it means making their life significantly harder. The kind of person who wheels out their Dogma for a trip to the local servo when they need a the morning newspaper, and Strava it.

The Hoarder

Hoarders have a different kit for every month of the year, and you rarely see them wearing the same jersey twice. They’ve got a whole drawer in their house dedicated to their collection of knee warmers. They continuously surf the web looking for and purchasing the ultimate bargain, even if it means N+3 of just about anything that can be bought.

The Fairweather Cyclist

These people spend hours of their lives plotting potential routes on Strava and then never actually ride them because “the weather looks a bit iffy”.

Be it meteorological problems or an unidentified niggling injury, these riders will find any excuse not to get out on their bikes.

The Tech Geek

This is the kind of person who can spot a compact FSA chainset from 30 metres off and notices immediately if you get a new headset cap.

We all love some shiny new things for our bike, but the Tech Geeks know everything there is to know about the latest trends. These riders are often too poor to buy a drink at the coffee stop because they’re saving for their new gadgets.

While they know all there is to know about the technology itself, they are often completely useless at fitting it on their bike or fixing it if it goes wrong.

The Condescending Tech Geek

This is the kind of person who can spot a compact FSA chainset from 30 metres off and then berates you for the other 29 metres for your decision to purchase such an apparently terrible item with such obscene gear ratios.

The Statistician

“If we’re to climb that mountain in an hour we’ll have to average 300W,” they tell you, putting their calculator and power charts down. This despite the fact they’ve never put out 300W in their life, let alone on a 10 per cent gradient for 60 minutes.

Anyone who uses Strava can get a little engrossed in their stats after a ride, but the Statistician will be able to recall their exact progression up that hill near their house at will, and often without prompt.

The Commuter

This is the person in the office who sits with a smug look on their face as Bob from Engineering who slumps in 20 minutes late after being stuck in traffic, and then pipes up: “My ride to work was lovely, I was at my desk just half-an-hour after leaving my house.”

Usually seen slopping muesli on their keyboards and uploading the same six-mile route on Strava two times a day.

The Historian

They can instantly recall the result of any race in history, as well as the components used on most of the bikes used.

Like The Hedonists they’re likely to ride a really old bike, maybe a replica of Giovanni Battaglin’s 1979 Colnago with ridiculous gear ratios. As such they often avoid routes with major hills as they physically won’t be able to get up them.

But if it was good enough for Eddy Merckx, it’s good enough for them.

 

WHO ARE YOU?

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This weeks Rider of the Week – Red Berry’s own – Walter D’Addario

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  • Can you remember what your first bike was?

Ricardo 26”

  • What got you started in cycling?

I received my first bike at the age of 5 and have been riding ever since. I’ve tried other sporting activities but enjoy cycling the most. There isn’t anything that compares to staying fit, camaraderie and seeing the world.

  • At a guess, how many bikes have you owned in your life?

I haven’t owned many bikes in my lifetime, only 4. Apart from the Ricardo racer, my love for the sport really began with a custom made Pursuit steel frame made by Super Elliots, I still have that bike now its relegated to a commuter.

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

I have 3 bikes, the Pursuit, A Casati 53×11 and a new bike Legend HT9.5

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  • What bike do you covet?

Nothing anymore the Legend is only 5 months old, I’ll be right for a few years now

  • What do you love about cycling?

The freedom cycling give me is like nothing else, when I ride on my own its very meditative, I’m able to think of think of things other than work and life in general, It gives me an opportunity to recharge my soul, that’s very important to me. Its a very important aspect to my well being so for me it isn’t just pedalling a bike its so much more.

  • You own and operate Red Berry, a cafe that provides strong support to local cyclists, and thanks btw. Do you have any standout cycling moments at Red Berry?

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I’m very fortunate to be able to combine my passion for coffee and bikes at the same time. It was always my intention to be able to provide exceptional coffee origins with “click” “clack” of cycling shoes. So in answer to your question there really isn’t a stand out moment but rather every day offers both me and my customers an individual experience. Overall though and this applies to all my customers the greatest enjoyment has to be the conversation I have, they’re simply fantastic to have.

  • Do you do all your own maintenance?

I carry out all maintenance except bottom bracket, It’s not hard and I enjoy looking after my bikes.

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

I don’t have anything specific, for me its the total package, the bike the kit etc.

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

Unfortunately yes I have, twice with cars involved, the recovery and reahabilitation is the hardest thing to deal with especially when I require my arms and hands to make that perfect espresso. I don’t let it get me down though, I just dust myself off and get back on my bike as soon as practically possible.

  • What is the biggest cycling lie you have told a partner?

Lying to my partner… perhaps like the many stories I have heard at Red Berry Espresso, isn’t that secret men’s business. I can’t add anything more without incriminating myself.

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

Definitely have to travel to Europe and climb some epic peaks that would be fantastic, and of course combine it with great food and coffee. Spain here I come!

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

I tend not to follow the pack so I don’t have anything specific really I prefer to go with the flow frequently changing as I go, so I may like something this month and move to something new the next, variety is what I like the most.

Having said that, I special mention should go out to Steve at Road, Track and Triathalon I’ve purchased my last 2 bikes from him, he’s a no-nonsense guy and I love the Italian bikes he sells.

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  • From a non-cycling perspective, what do you love about Adelaide?

I thinks like most Adelaide I love the accessibility Adelaide has to offer, we have also for a few year now been experiencing and explosion of great eateries and cafe’s.

  • What is your non-cycling go-to place when interstaters come to Adelaide?

Anywhere serving good food, Pizza and beer.

Thanks Walter

Your ongoing support for Adelaide cyclists as well as the troops coming in for the Summer Tour is much appreciated.

If you haven’t been in Red Berry before, its only a short hop frm the city on the way up towards the hills.

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Oh, and there is another Sky Training session over in Spain, being led by some dude called Froome.

He’s been training on hills like this – the Sierra de la Pandera.

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till next time

tight spokes

iPib

Gary

Vale Gary West

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MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE, the dreadful affliction that seems impossible to beat, has claimed another prominent Australian sports personality. Cycling coach Gary West died at the weekend at the age of 57.

Gary West was a world-class athlete in his prime, competing in the points race at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles as well as being an alternate on the pursuit team that won gold. He also won gold as a pursuit team member at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in 1982.

But he made his mark on the sport mainly as a coach, especially in taking Anna Meares to gold and bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He also worked for the Japan and United States cycling federations before being appointed head track coach at the Australian Institute of Sport in his home town, Adelaide, in 2008.

An excellent piece in the Advertiser by Reece Homfray a few days ago.  Here are a few exerts.

THE enduring image of Gary West’s contribution to cycling is of the master coach standing in the middle of a velodrome in London during one of this nation’s greatest sporting triumphs.

‘Westy’ as he was affectionately known, was a world class rider in his own right but it was his ability to get the best out of others that made him a career coach.

Moments after Anna Meares raced to her second Olympic gold medal by beating arch rival Victoria Pendleton on home soil, West was there to catch her and help her off her bike.

He had not only masterminded the win with a plan dubbed ‘Know The Enemy’ which involved using one of Meares’ male teammates at training to replicate the tactics Pendleton would use on race day, but he also saved Meares’ career.

 

In his blog which he would turn to to share his thoughts after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in September, 2016, West recalled what was said in those moments before the race.

“’I can do this, I can do this’ I heard Anna whisper to me, half out of breath while I man-handled her and her bike in the Aussie infield pit area of the London Olympic Games velodrome,” West wrote.

“It was September 8th, 2012, some 90 seconds earlier she had crossed the finish line to win the first race of a best of 3 against her fierce rival Victoria Pendleton to determine the Olympic Sprint Champion.

“Despite some conjecture over the pending result of race 1 and despite that we had never allowed ourselves to be so audacious or bullish with language of winning … we both knew that she was on the brink of achieving a goal that was hatched 4 years earlier.”

 

He started in 1994 and took the role of national sprint coach in 2008, and continued right up until just after the 2016 Rio Olympics.

He also coached in Japan and the US but Adelaide was home – or to be specific, the SuperDrome at Gepps Cross in the city’s inner north, was.

 

West coached the men’s team sprint to the world championship in 2012 and Matthew Glaetzer and Stephanie Morton became Commonwealth champions in 2014 while Nathan Hart is now the fastest first-wheel rider Australia has ever had.

West was committed and professional right to the end. He went to the Rio Olympics in August, 2016, knowing something wasn’t right with his body.

His speech was at times slurred but his mind as sharp as ever and he had a job to do.

 

So here they were again in the middle of the Olympic velodrome this time in Rio, heads bowed, Meares’ helmet almost touching West’s forehead as they plotted what seemed an impossible plan to win the women’s keirin final.

Meares didn’t win, but she ran third, and salvaged Australia’s only individual cycling medal from the Games with bronze.

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The Magpie sightings have started.

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Adelaide Hills on Saturday Morning – How a beautiful morning almost turned to disaster.

A cold but gloriously still and calm morning had me heading out towards Checker Hill via Anstey Hill, Houghton, Inglewood and Chain of Ponds.

Houghton was a glorious sight as I descended down into the Triangular Village Square. The haze from the early morning wood fires hovered above the ground, the sun had just poked its head over the horizon, and the landscape around the square had a chance to show its beauty.

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Entering Inglewood

And then there was Chain of Ponds (Millsbrook Reservoir).

Its not often you get to see it millpond smooth, but this morning is barely rippled, creating some stunning panoramas.

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The up over Checker Hill

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Climbing up Norsworthy Road a little North of Checker Hill

On the main road to Gumeracha

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Top of Gorge Road

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Looking North East down onto Gorge Road from Torrens Hill Road – Paracombe

And this is where it all went so wrong.

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Finishing the last climb of the day – Corkscrew and turning right on the downhill stretch to Adelaide, I lost my line on the first right hander coming back down Montacute Road, concerned I wouldn’t corner I headed for the gap, only to find the gap lead to a ski slope of a track that I had no chance of navigating upright.

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So the only choice I had was to bail out.

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Fortunately I was able to land on the grassy knoll on the left hand side before I gathered much more speed. I was fortunate to get away with a few bruises, a strained neck and only minor scuffs on the rear derailer.  It may have a minor bend but I cant tell with the naked eye – there is a minor gear jump attempt at times. Hopefully nothing too major.

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The Yates Bothers

The Orica Scott team’s GC ambtions are well documented and their transition from a classics team that also targetted stage wins at the Grand Tours have been taking some interesting twists over the few years. Playing the long game by getting behind the development of the young Yates Bros, their belief in an injured Chaves and recently procuring the services of some good mountain domestiques  Mikel Ituralde from Team Sky and Matteo Trentin from Quick Step Floors, along with some perenial favourites shows they are serious.

Their Vuelta team this year is interesting. 3 future potential GC contenders in the Yates Bros and Chaves all in the same race opens up all sorts of options for the team.

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Stage 3 was the first stage with some serious climbing, and saw Orica Scott with the 2 Yates in the top 11 of the GC, and Chaves climbing strongly with Froome cross the line 5th after a sprint saw Nibali surprise the leaders and jump out and hold off to take honors.

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After yesterdays Stage 4, Chaves sits in 6th in the GC, 11 seconds behind Chris Froome who wears the red Jersey into Stage 4,  Adam sits in 8th 39 seconds adrift of Frrome, and Simon has moved up into 10th, 48 seconds behind Froome.

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This year, to celebrate the two Yates brothers riding in the Vuelta, Scott, one of the teams major sponsors have provided them with an Addict RC Special edition, which is the preferred climbing bike for the team. The HMX Carbon Fibre frame and fork weighs in at just 790/300g, with Shimano Dura Ace Di2 electronic drivetrain and a slew of other high-end carbon components to keep the weight down.

The paint job on the bikes is a black and white Yin & Yang thing.

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Business of the Week

As you would know by now, I’m all about supporting the Australian cycling businesses and enterprises in my small way where I can.  So I’ve decided to add a new feature to Wednesday Legs – Business of the Week.

To set us off, I’m delighted to feature Pete, Lia and Andrew from Bio-Mechanics Cycles & Repairs.

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  • What is Bio-Mechanics Cycles & Repairs?

We’re mainly a bicycle repair workshop, but we also carry a range of specialist touring bikes—such as Surly and Vivente—as well as Curve bikes and wheels, Whyte bikes, and accessories such as Syntace, Tune, Brooks, Ortlieb, SQ-Lab, Kask and more.

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  • What makes your shop unique? 

Whereas most bicycle stores see repairs as a secondary arm to their business—and have the same mountain bikes and road bikes as everyone else—we’re the polar opposite of that model. Repairs are the focus of our business, and our expertise is in skilled and accurate technical work. We often get referrals from other bike shops, and we also do suspension work in-house rather than sending it interstate. We’re known for our attention to detail and customer service.
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  • How long has it been in existence?

BMCR opened in Nov 2004. We’re coming up to our thirteenth birthday, which is really exciting. (Keep an eye on our Facebook page; we usually do birthday week give-aways!)

  • Who are the people behind Bio-Mechanics Cycles & Repairs and what are their roles?

Peter Hague has been working in bike shops since he was 15, and wanted to create a place where cyclists could feel that their bikes were being expertly looked after. Peter was the sole force behind BMCR for its first three years, until he was joined by his wife, Lia Weston, in 2007. Lia looks after the customer service, admin, and marketing (though she will change your tube if you ask her nicely). In 2009, Andrew Field joined the shop as BMCR’s second mechanic, bringing another 20 years of bicycle industry mechanical experience. We’re a small and dedicated team, and fortunately all share a high tolerance for Tool and Weird Al Yankovic music.
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  • In a paragraph or two, can you provide a brief cycling history of each?

Pete started racing road bikes in the late 80s/early 90s, then went across to MTB racing in the mid 90s.

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He’s always had a fascination with bikes, even from a very young age, and it never left him. Lia is a dedicated commuter (she loves her steel Surly) and also hits the hills on her road bike when her writing (see next question) allows. Andrew started riding in Brownhill Creek shortly after he could walk. He’s been competing in mountain bike races since 1988, and is still having a blast.

  • What are your team’s interests outside of cycling?

Pete enjoys gardening, and eating and drinking stuff.

Lia is a published author; her second novel, Those Pleasant Girls, was released in April, with a third book due out in 2018. In between writing and working, she loves to meander through the parklands with BMCR’s shop dog, Kif.

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Andrew has no interest outside cycling.

  • What are your favourite cycling routes?

Pete likes anywhere that’s not the test-ride block around the shop. Lia enjoys the old classic route of Norton to Lofty and down the old freeway. Andrew’s favourite route is the Sturt Gorge trails, including Craigburn Farm.

  • What bikes do you have in your garage?

Pete and Lia have a Baum, custom steel MTB, Santa Cruz MTB, Lemond, and their Surly 3-speed commuters. Andrew has too many bikes to mention.

  • What do you like about Adelaide and why?

Adelaide is a beautiful, progressive and accessible city. It’s been really exciting to watch the arts and food scenes in particular flourish over the past few years. From a cycling point of view, it also has the potential to be a mecca—hills one way, beaches the other, and a flat CBD that’s easy to navigate.

Hopefully progress can continue to be made to ensure the promotion, safety and participation of cyclists of all ages and abilities, whether newbies or experienced. More people on bikes makes for a happier city!

  • What are some of your challenges as a bike  shop?

We’re pretty busy year-round—which is great, especially as most people find us through word-of-mouth—but it often means that Pete works extremely long hours. (10 pm finishes during our peak season are not uncommon.) Taking more than a week for a holiday is not possible at the moment as it involves closing the shop completely. When considering expanding our staff, it’s very tricky to find mechanics with the skills we need; our reputation is based on our service work, so we’re extremely particular about the people we take on.

  • What are some of the more common jobs you work on in the shop?

We deal with a lot of mystery clicks and creaks, and also tricky gear issues. Often when people find us, they’ve already been to a couple of other shops without getting their problem resolved, and they’re happy to finally find somewhere that can fix it! We’re also known for our suspension work and problem-solving skills. A lot of our customers also have their regular service work done on a yearly or six-monthly basis; our general service is very thorough and basically involves stripping the bike down to a frame and rebuilding it from scratch. We also get a lot of tourers on their way through Adelaide who need emergency repairs; we have a lot of experience in touring bikes, and it’s always great to meet people who are seeing Australia from two wheels. Some of the distances ridden are just mind-boggling.

  • Have there been any standout projects come through your doors? 

Lots, but custom builds are always special, such as James Raison’s Curve Belgie he used on the Indy Pac.

Build
Frame: Curve Belgie Spirit – 56 cm
Fork: Curve Road 12 mm
Handlebars: Syntace Racelite Carbon 44 cm
Aero bars: Syntace C3
Stem: Tune Geiles Teil 110 mm
Seatpost: Syntace P6 Hi Flex
Saddle: Specialized Power Expert 143 mm
Seatpost clamp: Tune Schraubwürger
Hubs: Tune Kong/King
Rims: Curve CC 38
Spokes: DT Aerolite
Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 35 mm tubeless
Bar tape: Fat Wrap
Drivetrain
Ultegra 6800
172.5 mm, 50/34 chainrings
SRAM PG1150
R785 shifters
160 mm Shimano rotors
custom 13-36 SRAM cassette – cog sequence: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 22, 25, 28, 32, 36.
Pete put together a specific cassette to give me usable gears for the flat, and a big range on the climbs. He individually chose cogs from multiple cassettes and made sure they would all work together. The shifting quality is fantastic and there’s no issues with chain slack. He’s a wizard.

We’re also working on one at the moment that will change the way people think about small road bikes.  We can’t say any more than that at this point in time…

  • There has been a few major changes to cycling over the years, from uptake trends such as Mountain biking, Road, CX, plus the introduction of disc brakes onto high end Road bikes, not to mention the disruptive on-line technologies. Where do you think cycling is going over the next 5 years? 

It’s always difficult to guess these things, but greater electronics is probably an obvious one.  E-bikes are becoming more and more popular, so it would be nice to see them evolve into something that isn’t a tank: most e-bikes need a motor because they weigh so much.  Remove the motor and battery, and you have a bike you can pedal.

  • Do you have any cycling partnerships you’d like to mention?

We’ve sponsored the Adelaide MTB Club for 12 years, and we also sponsor the Kingston SE Triathlon. We’ve worked with remedial masseuse Holly Hicks from Bodyline Health for many years (though she’s just moved interstate *sob*).

One of the services we offer is bike fittings, so when customers have musculoskeletal issues which are beyond our area of expertise, we’re happy to send people to the team at the South Australian Sports Medicine Centre on South Terrace.

Thanks guys, a pleasure as always.

You can catch up with Pete, Lia and Andrew here.

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www.bmcr.com.au

Find them on Facebook!
Shop at their online store!

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KOM Cafe

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**Special deal for Wednesday Legs readers mentioned at the bottom of this article.

It doesn’t look much from the outside travelling down Anzac Highway heading toward Glenelg, but travelling back towards the City, the mural on the side wall gives a hint there is something special on the inside.

Walking inside you’ll be treated by a warm welcome from the owners, and a deliciously tantalising smell of freshly ground coffee.

The owners are two Colombians – Carlos Diaz and Daniel Valencia.

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Daniel on the left

Daniel has a degree in political science and a Masters degree in human resources, an is currently studying to be a Doctor at Flinders Uni.  Daniel has also been a Barista for more than 4 years.

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Carlos on the left

Carlos is an Industrial engineer currently undertaking an MBA in marketing at Unisa. He has been working in the hospitality industry for about 4 years.

As you know the King of the Mountain (KOM) is the award given to the best climber in any big cycling competition. Colombian cyclists in the 80’s (also in the last few years) were know to be the best climbers mostly focusing on the KOM classifications.  Columbia also has some of the best coffee in the world from the Columbian mountains, so it seemed like an obvious fit to call the cafe KOM.

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KOM is more than a cycling cafe, it’s a Colombian coffee shop serving exquisite premium coffee, of course from the Mountains of Colombia, and pastries and cakes.  It just so happens that cyclist love high quality coffee, so the cafe has built a reputation for a great stop off for cyclists.

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The beans KOM use is are 100% organically grown Colombian beans (single origin), from Columbian Connection. These beans come from different regions in Colombia, letting us offer variety in flavours and coffee profiles. You can find more information at http://colombianconnection.com.au

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The Mural on the outside wall was painted by Sam Brooks.

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http://www.rawartists.org/sambrooksvisualartist https://www.facebook.com/sambrooksartist

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Oh, if you mention Wednesday Legs in August and the first 2 weeks of September, they’ll
upgrade a small coffee into regular.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KOMCoffeeAU/?ref=br_rs

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And the bike on the wall, it’s a Mantci.

More about them in the future.

 

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And thus ends another edition of Wednesday Legs

 

Till next time

tight spokes

iPib

 

 

 

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

France Extraordinaire

La Course

Annemiek van Vleuten from Orica won the 4th edition of La Course, a race that took in a mountain stage on day on a Col d’Izoard 67.5 km mountains, and a 22.5 km time trial pursuit on day two.

The best twenty riders from Thursday’s stage won the right to compete for the win in today’s second event, with the time gaps from the Izoard carried into a staggered start for the 22.5kilometre time trial course around Marseille.

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Phil Anderson

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I will be at home this year, the first time since at least the late 70’s watching Le Tour supporting the Aussies – http://philandersoncycling.com.au/blog/my-tour-de-france-2017

As you may have heard, Phil had a nasty crash on a training ride in Melbourne last week.

It’s been a tough day in the office. Sitting up and feeling great after a rough training ride. For the first time in my career I have a broken collar-bone and broken every rib on my left side. All things considered, not bad and I can’t remember a thing.

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Apparently Phil was found wandering on the roadside with concussion. It is thought the crash was the result of either a pothole or a wallaby.  I’m going with the pothole theory as the Wallabies haven’t been able to stick a tackle for years.

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When it comes time to work out whether to sty home or go to next years TdF, I’m guessing Phil will be going.

Given his long professional cycling career, it’s surprising that this is his first Collar Bone

Speedy recovery Phil.

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Warmfront

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A funny little tea-towell looking thing with a vicars collar arrived at the Wednesday Legs testing lab a few months ago, going by the name of Warmfront

Made in Colarado, it came with the promise:

“The Warmfront is a chest warmer, but it’s a better thermal base layer”

The Warmfront is made from a waffle fleece, which sounds delicious to a cyclist, is lightweight, and with the velcro tab collar, allows you to ride with it stadshed nice and neat in your back pocket without taking up much space. At 51g, you barely know it’s there.

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When you ned it, it’s easy to whip it out, place down your front, attach the collar around your neck and wallah, off you go, down into the great known. Coming back from mid-summer riding in France a few weeks back to mid-winter riding in Adelaide was hard to take.  Whilst we don’t generally get sub-zero temperatures, the Adelaide Hills can get awfully close, and throw in wind chill, it can be very uncofortable.

I popped out for a ride in the Superb Adelaide Hills (have I mentioned that before?) the previous weekend. Blue skys, no rain, halelulah. The route took me up Greenhill road, around to Mylor, up the 4 Whores, Morgan Road, Pole Road and wrapping back around to Redberry Cafe for a coffee with Mrs Wednesday and Wednesday Junior.

It was 5 degrees in Adelaide when I left, so assuming the usual 3 – 5 degrees difference at the top of Greenhill road, it was going to be a bloody cold ride, so with three layers and a Warmfront thrown into the rear pocket, I figured this would be a good test.

I’m glad I did – I robed up at the top of Greenhill road, and then spent the next three glorious hours cruising the Adelaide Hills comfortable not numb (showing my age there). The Warmfront worked a treat gliding down into Mylor, which for those in the know is one of the coldest spots in the Adelaide Hills. With the waffle on the front only, any heat buildup can escape on the back, so I didn’t need to remove it on the short sharp climbs in the hills. In fact, I was a littl econcerned that I would be pulling it on and off on the rolling Adelaide Hills, but I was quite surprised that I was able to keep it on for the remainder of the ride.

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So my verdict, I was glad I had it with me and it’ll be with me on my winter Hill rides – highly recommended for those colder months riding in the hills.

The Warmfronts are distributed in Australia by Full Beam – see here for details on the Warmfront – Fullbeam

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Oh, and this was some of the country side I rode through on that cold cold morning

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Adelaide Cycling Maps by Velo-Port

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For those looking for some ideas on where to ride in Adelaide, the guys over at Velo-Porte have pulled together some great rides that provide a great sample of all that the Adelaide Hills have to offer.

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On offer are a variety of lengths and climbing difficulty, and sitting behind each of these maps are a detailed description of what to expect along each of the major sections of the rides.

VP’sn description of the 75km VPCC KOM Loop ride is on point.

This one is not for the faint-hearted. We may not have the monsterously long climbs of Europe but we can stitch together endless climbs of different grades and lengths.

The combined climbs highlighted below add up to about 18 kms of climbing and 1720m of elevation.

It’s not the longest ride out there but we’ve struggled to write about any of the flat sections, mostly because there aren’t any.

This is a great training ride or if you just feel like testing the legs, give it a crack.

Enjoy?

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So check them out here – http://www.velo-porte.com/local-knowledge  

Those coming from interstate will find this a very useful source of cycling inspiration – oh, don’t forget you can also hire a good bike of you don’t want to bring your own

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Annecy – France

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Please bare with my self indulgance – this is the last of my holiday pics.

Part 3 of my France trip, which seems so long ago now, had me heading over to Annecy for 4 days before I flew back to Adelaide.

Annecy is an alpine town in southeastern France, where Lake Annecy feeds into the Thiou River. It’s known for its Vieille Ville (old town), with cobbled streets, winding canals and pastel-colored houses. Overlooking the city, the medieval Château d’Annecy, once home to the Counts of Geneva, contains a museum with regional artifacts such as Alpine furniture and religious art, plus a natural history exhibit.

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Why Annecy – I’m glad you asked.

I can recall watching last years TdF, listening to Robbie McEwan on the SBS commentary team talk about how Annecy would be his preferred home in Europe if given the chance.

maxresdefault It was around then that I was starting to think about that trip to France, and Robbie’s comments were parked for future reference. The next day, I saw a friends posting on Facebook, they were on holiday in Annecy when the tour came through that day, and her daughter was more interested in something going on in the shade away from the heat than she was in this world-famous race just a few metres away.

Following on from Robbie’s comments, I asked my friend about Annecy, and she responded by saying that they had been staying in Annecy every summer holidays for over 5 years (they live in the UK), and liked it so much they had just bought a holiday house there.

Aaaannnd,

 

the offer was put out that it was available if me and the family wanted to make use of it.  That offer was parked.

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So, when the trip with Unique Cycling Tours came on the radar, and starting/finishing in Lyon, just a few hours train from Annecy, the ball was set in motion, emails sent, negotiations on the home front, and plans made to extend my trip to take advantage of the generous offer.

Take a look at this. Oh my!

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After getting dropped off at Lyon airport by the Unique Cycling Tours crew at the end of the trip, Ed, Ferg and myself caught the light rail from the Saint-Exupéry train station at the airport into Gare de la Part-Dieu – the old Lyon train station. Ed and I were both heading to Annecy, Ed to catch up with a friend before they headed over to the UK for a walking holiday, Ferg came along because he was hanging around in Lyon an extra day and decided to have a look see in Lyon – he came in handy as we needed someone who could half-speak French – ish.

The train station at the airport is stunning, modern concrete and steel structure that looks like a steam punk style cockroach – or if you squint your eyes, it could be a swooping magpie.

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The train out to Annecy took a few hours, lovely countryside, a few lakes, and then popping out in Annecy. I found out that Sunday evening in Annecy is not the ideal time to be looking for a Taxi. I arrived around 6:30pm, and an hour later and 3 knock-backs, which I think my bike bag looked like too much hassle. I found out later in the week from a local that there are few taxis around on Sunday, and those that were around didn’t want to venture too far from town – my accommodation was 15km down the lake.

A quick call to my friend Michelle in the UK for some ideas had me heading to a local pub  – Au Beureau – for a meal to bide my time before trybig for a taxi a little later.  As it turned out, the head waiter spoke pretty decent English, and after a couple of Blondes of the Belgium Beer variety (Leffe) and a bite to eat, I asked and received help from said head waiter. Brilliant. He called the taxi company, was advised they would search for a cab that could take my bike bag, called back 15 minutes later to see if there was any progress, asked me if I was ok to share (Yes), and then helped me with my bags when the taxi when it arrived.  Outstanding service. Check them out here.  http://www.aubureau-annecy.fr/

13419126_1377006425659450_9197729369310952942_n In fact, looking at the pubs Facebook site,  this picture sprung out because the young lady just right of centre front with the long braided hair was my waitress, and the young man next to her right shoulder was the head waiter who helped me. Thanks guys, your effort was very much appreciated.

The second surprise of my Annecy stay was the taxi ride itself. The taxi – a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, cool. The share passenger sat in the front, I sat in the back surrounded by my baggage stuffed in, and with the window down and the warm wind in my face, I was given a great tour of the lake as the taxi driver – a close relation to Alain Prost, took me on a journey around te lake as he dropped the share passenger opposite from where I was going – no drama. That journey was bliss, all the worries of how I was going to find my accomodation drafted out the window – I was given a fantastic 3/4 loop of the lake. The thoughts going through my brain were along the lines of “I wonder whether the company I worked for would like to set up an office in Annecy”. First impression – impressive – looks like a great adult playground.

Arriving at the house, seeing the gate slide back when I punched the code into the panel – such a huge a relief.

OK, without going into the boring day by day details of my 4 days, I’ll give some brief highlights.

Standing on the front Porch of the house had me looking over the lake and up to the mountains on the other side.

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At night, looking across the lake, the lights of a restaurant far up in the mountains opposite shone bold and bright in the dark skyline, and therefore a target for a ride the next day ride. The ride up through the mountain roads was stunning as expected and the views back down onto the lake were impressive, but the highlight of this days ride was finding my way to the main launch platform for the para-gliders that are seen circling Lake Annecy most days.

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Have a look at these few videos from up top.

 

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There were a staggering number of jumpers – is that what you call them? – all in their groups, all waiting their turn to throw themselves off the edge. Before I saw them, I would never have contemplated something like this, I could never build up the courage to do, but sitting down watching the takeoffs and the gliding, it was mesmersing and didn’t look as scary as I thought. I could almost imagine myself doing this.

The main sticking point for me, apart from the launching into space, was watching the jumpers uintangle and sort out the strings connecting them to the parachute. I can see myself getting in a big tangle.

The Bike Path

Surrounding Annecy, or 3/4 of it, is a bike path. On one side of the lake is a dedicated two lane oath that is mostly flat and well removed from the road. The other side of the lake has a mix of undulating paths and quiet side roads. The main dedicated path squirts out the bottom end all the way up to Albertville.

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Annecy itself is a funny town. The old town section looks an absolute treat, plenty of charm and terriffic photo opportunities, but it changes from a lovely quaint olde world village feel before the main shops open around 10 ish, into one of those clichéd tourist precincts with jam-packed restaurants and cafes along the canals and tourist shops. My first day I popped out on the bike looking for some breakfast and ended up riding into town and around the lake.

The following day I popped in early afternoon, the old town was jam-packed and with the sardine tinning of the old town, it was hard to ignore the massess and focus on the buildings and surroundings I had seen the previous day.

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That being said, Annecy is more than the old town, and the beauty and charm of the place, the lake, the outdoor activities, the cafes and bars, and dare i say it sme half decent coffe, the proximity to snow fields and the great riding tracks, all make for a brilliant holiday destination.

My last full day had me riding up the mountain behind me – no idea what I would find other than the fact I knew it was a dead-end.  Another fabulous morning ride, up through a village halfway up, the hill, through dark forests, discovering, walking and riding down tracks that were barely visible from the road, only to pop out on the edge of the mountain and discovering a “hidden” paragliding launch pad, much smaller than the previous one, with 7 – 8 jumpers preparing themselves for launch. The thermals these guys were picking up on this side of the lake had them soaring above our heads within minutes.  Quite amazing – makes me think twice about giving it a go at some time in the future.

IMG_1136IMG_1141IMG_1147IMG_1150IMG_1152IMG_1154IMG_1155IMG_1157IMG_1160Make sure you turn the sound up for the below.

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And a few vids from the other side.  I love this one.

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Baguette time – oh yeah!

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Tour de France

Congratulations to the classification winners at this years Tour.

General Classification – Maillot Jaune (Yellow Jersey)

 

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175811_image00044Cycling - The 104th Tour de France cycling race19-07-2017 Tour De France; Tappa 17 La Mure - Serre Chevalier; 2017, Team Sky; 2017, Cannondale - Drapac; 2017, Team Sunweb; 2017, Ag2r La Mondiale; Froome, Christopher; Uran, Rigoberto; Barguil, Warren; Bardet, Romain; Serre Chevalier;01-07-2017 Tour De France; Tappa 01 Dusseldorf - Dusseldorf; 2017, Team Sky; Froome, Christopher; Dusseldorf;173633_20170720TDF1027Cycling - The 104th Tour de France cycling race22-07-2017 Tour De France; Tappa 20 Marseille - Marseille; 2017, Team Sky; Froome, Christopher; Marseille Stade Velodrome;

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Points classification – Green Jersey

 

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Mountains classification – Polka Dot

 

23-07-2017 Tour De France; Tappa 21 Montgeron - Paris; 2017, Team Sunweb; Matthews, Michael; Paris;

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Young rider classification – White Jersey

 

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There’s some big names that have donned the White Jersey:

2000 Francisco Mancebo (ESP)
2001 Óscar Sevilla (ESP)
2002 Ivan Basso (ITA)
2003 Denis Menchov (RUS)
2004 Vladimir Karpets (RUS)
2005 Yaroslav Popovych (UKR)
2006 Damiano Cunego (ITA)
2007 Alberto Contador (ESP)
2008 Andy Schleck (LUX)
2009 Andy Schleck (LUX)
2010 Andy Schleck (LUX)
2011 Pierre Rolland (FRA)
2012 Tejay van Garderen (USA)
2013 Nairo Quintana (COL)
2014 Thibaut Pinot (FRA)
2015 Nairo Quintana (COL)
2016 Adam Yates (GBR)

Great to see Simon keep it in the family.

With Simon and Adam with Orica (hands off Sky), along with Chavez and with the possible transfer of Mike Nieve Ituralde from Team Sky, the next 2 – 3 years are looking quite solid for the GC classifications across the 3 week races.

This years tour, some would say, was a lop sided again with Team Sky controlling the ride right from the start to the finish. Chris Froome won his 4th TdF without winning a stage, the team were marking his major rivals blah blah blah.

Oh, and Team Sky, which has the biggest budget of the peloton, has now snatched five of the last six titles.

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I found this years tour to be quite fascinating. With the changing fortunes and on road dramas of favourites in the other classification made for exciting and fascinating racing. You were never quite sure what to expect. The racing was exciting, the climbing stages like up Croix de Foir followed b the Galibier, with Contador lighting up the stage up front, but unable to close it out, only for  Primoz Roglic to claw his way to the lead half way up the Galibier and draw away was just stunning.

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Then there were the crashes and disqualifications that played a huge part in the look of the final classifications . Not detracting from the from the classification winners, they deserve everything that is coming towards them. The tour is a trial of survival over 21 stages of unbelievably gruelling hard days of riding.  But, there is no doubt that the viewing public was looking forward to seeing Porte fight it out with Froome right into France, and Sagans fight with Kittel, oh dear.

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And whats all this bonhomie spreading throughout the peloton this year? It seemed that Chris Froome was given way too much respect. I didn’t agree with Aru attacking under his armpit on the 9th stage, but there were a few other incidents where the Peloton waited for him to rejoin.

And at last, the Home of the tour has thrown up something the French can be proud of, its taken a long time with stage 13, 102-kilometre ride from Saint Girons to Foix go to Frenchman Warren Barguil (Sunweb) on Bastille Day.

Warrens win was the first by a Frenchman on Bastille Day since 2005 when David Moncoutié won in Digne. It was also the fourth French win in this Tour after Arnaud Demare (FDJ) won stage four, Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) stage eight and Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) stage 12. Unfortunately the French drought of a Frenchman winning the Tour since Bernard Hinault in 1985 has still not been broken, but there are promising signs.

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Not forgetting that Man with a Thousand Faces” Thomas Voekler , riding his last Tour de France. Chapeau Thomas, its been fun watching you light up the road with the Mountains classification win in 2012, and 4 individual stages in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

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23-07-2017 Tour De France; Tappa 21 Montgeron - Paris; 2017, Direct Energie; Voeckler, Thomas; Geisel Thomas, ; Auvinet, Yves; Paris;

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And last, but definitely not least, this weeks rider of the week. You’ll love the before nd after photos of this writeup – I was astounded,

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Rider of the Week – Paul Clode

2015 Harvest Cafe Mylor

Paul grew up in the ‘Siberia’ of South Australia… Mt Gambier… and moved to the sunshine of Adelaide to start Uni in early 1989.

Studying Design at Underdale, he quickly found a connection to his country boy roots through riding mountain bikes in the Adelaide hills with a bunch of Uni mates.
After Uni he started work at Stratco and, despite a 6 year detour to another company Stratco owned, still find himself there to this day!

Paul looks after a small in-house team of designers who create all kinds of packaging, brochures, catalogues, advertising etc. for the company at their head office at Gepps Cross.

This is Paul’s cycling story

  • Can you remember what your first bike was?

My first bike was a Repco Husky 10 speed with shifters on the down tube which I got when I was in year 7 at school. This was used as my transport to school and for chuffing around the countryside in the search of adventure.

It wasn’t long before I was tinkering with it… repaint… flat bars (which were becoming popular with these new fangled mountain bike thingys!)

  • What got you started in cycling?

I didn’t really become a ‘cyclist’ until my Uni days where a couple of guys had these flash mountain bikes with ‘shocks’ on the front. Wow! Cool!

I lashed out and bought a Repco Maxtrax MTB for $170 – that’ll do the job, won’t it?

1994 GT RTS3 - Easter at Grampians1994 GT RTS3 - Mt Torrens MTB Race
It didn’t take long to realise I needed something better.

So, I finished Uni, got a job, got a car loan… and bought a GT RTS-3 full suspension MTB! I did spend some of it on a car… but the bike cost more than my car).

 

I was hooked. I even started MTB racing, even though back then MTB racing was nowhere near as big as it is now.

2012 Me on GT Force 3

But, after a number of years, life got in the way – work, family, my riding friends moving away – and I slowly rode less and less until eventually I stopped riding.

2004 Fatty

The big problem with this is that I got fat… until one day I realised at 105kgs that I needed to do something about it. Mmmmm… bike riding!

Luckily I was able to lose 25kgs over a year or so, which then made riding easier.
I really got serious again in 2012 when I heard a friend talking about the ‘3 Peaks Challenge’ at Falls Creek.

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My sense of adventure was awakened and I decided that I might have a go at it.
This also meant that I needed to ‘cross to the dark side’ and buy a road bike.

Around that time, Brendon Harslett, one of the dads at my son’s school, heard that I was riding and suggested I join his early morning weekday group.

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That’s Brendon on the floor

2014 Amys Gran Fondo Lorne 2

Once I started they couldn’t get rid of me. They are a great bunch of guys and slowly over time our rides started getting earlier and earlier.

We are now meeting at 5am at the Tower Hotel a couple of times a week… and sometimes even earlier at 4:30am (which means getting up at 3:30am).

2017 5am crew2015 Amys Gran Fondo Lorne 1

The reward is great banter, great riding in the hills and coffee at Argo’s on the Parade at 7am. Mmmmm… coffeeeee.

  • At a guess, how many bikes have you owned in your life?

I think about 8 bikes in total – I tend to hold onto them and still have my GT RTS-3. It’s an antique! Currently 5 are operational and one MTB frame is in the shed rafters.

The operational fleet includes a Cannondale Synapse (alloy frame), Malvern Star Oppy, Specialized Crux CX bike, the old GT RTS-3 and a GT Force MTB than has been turned into a ‘franken-bike’ with a Zaskar 29er carbon fibre main frame mated to the Force’s alloy rear frame… but with 26” wheels not 29”… crazy, I tell you… CRAZY!!!

2017 Gravelaide 12016 Fleet

  • What is your main go to bike?

My main bike is the Malvern Star Oppy which was bought off EBay as a frame, repainted and built up with Di2. Bzzzt!

2017 Malver Star Oppy Current Look

  • What bike do you covet?

I wouldn’t mind the new Trek Madone… or maybe a Canyon… or maybe a Lightweight Urgestalt..

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or… there’s just too many I like! As long as it’s black.

  • What do you personally get out of cycling?

Cycling is just a great way to get outdoors and refresh the soul (no, I’m not a hippy.. no offence to hippies).  I just love getting out in the hills on a sunny day and talking rubbish with your mates and just enjoying life.

But there MUST be coffee and pastries somewhere on the ride. Not negotiable.

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

As a long time tinkerer, I do all of my own bike maintenance and building.
Wheel truing is about the only thing I’ve never tried – it seems like a ‘black art’ to me.
But I’ve had the odd work done over the years by Bicycle Express, Bike Society at Blair Athol and Whippets Workshop and all have been good (no complaints from me!).

  • If you could have dinner with 3 people from the cycling world (living or dead), who would they be and why?

I’m not much of a cycling fan boy, so I think I’d rather choose the guys I ride with. I reckon that would be far more enjoyable.

  • Where would you take them to eat?

I’d be happy with KFC, although I don’t think they would (Eds note – I reckon Brendon might! 🙂).

  • What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?

Some of my best memories are from my early days of mountain biking. We would often go on loosely planned trips to the Flinders Ranges or the Grampians with inadequate camping supplies, food and equipment – and no real plan.

It was a shambles, but the riding, adventure and mateship always made for a fantastic time.

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

Luckily I have never crashed a road bike (touch wood) but I’ve had a few spills on the MTB.

The worst was hitting a gate at high-speed on a night ride coming down Chambers Gully.
My forearm hit the top rail of the gate as I flipped over it and snapped both bones. Nothing a few steel plates, some screws and bit of time off the bike won’t fix.

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I just felt sorry for the poor guy who’s door I knocked on asking for help – his wife had just got home after 6 months away and they were in the middle of getting ‘re-aquainted’! Sorry mate. (Eds note: bwah ha ha ha ha!)

  • What is the biggest cycling lie you have told a partner?

Apart from the usual ‘halve the cost of all cycling gear/clothing purchases’ lie (is it really a lie…? more like a re-interpretation of the facts based on new evidence) I think the one that comes out most often is the “my ride partner had a flat/mechanical/injury/crash/wasn’t feeling well/was really slow” excuse for being late back from a ride.

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

A power meter would be nice! Don’t really need it but I like gadgets!

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

I’d like to say Keith from Velo-Porte who has been a great supporter of our cycling adventures and trips such as 3 Peaks and Amy’s Gran Fondo in Lorne.

2014 Amys Gran Fondo Lorne 1

2014 Dirty Dozen 2

Also the boys at Indigo and Blk-Tec, Brendon Harslett and Simon Zappia – a couple of local boys creating innovative products for cyclists, from right here in Adelaide.

  • From a non-cycling perspective, what do you love about Adelaide?

I think Adelaide is just the right size for a liveable city and has so much going for it with the hills, the beaches, the food and the TDU!

  • Apart from the local KFC, what is your non-cycling go-to place when interstaters come to Adelaide?

Anywhere in the hills or wine regions is great, although Hahndorf is probably the first stop for food and drinks for the tourists. And maybe a coffee. And some pastries (now I remember why I got to be so big!).

2016 Gravelaide 12014 TDU Bupa Ride

Thanks Paul, I’m amazed at that drop in weight – simply astounding. If that demonstration of what cycling can do for you, I don’t know what will.

Chapeau Paul Clode

__________________________________

Well

If I must say so myself, another epic edition of Wednesday Legs

 

Trusting you enjoyed it as much as I did pulling it together.

 

till next time

tight spokes

iPib

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