Tour of Flanders Preview
A look at the big races on Sunday You can keep your Tours de France and your World Championships. For those of us in the know, there’s no better race than the Tour of Flanders. We’ve got a Sunday in the sun coming up, with two superb races over the cobbles to Oudenaarde. More detail and some predictions below. The Men’s Route There’s really very little I can add to what was outlined last year by Chris. The course is, insofar as it’ll matter, the same as last year. The gory details are here – 17 helligen and 5 sections of “flat” cobbles, 270km from Antwerp to Oudenaarde. What maters? Well, the first named obstacle is the Lippenhovestraat after 87km, and the first hellig is the initial passage of the Oude Kwaremont after 119km. We hit the Muur after 171km, and that’s always fun and is arguably where the race ...
The Podium Cafe Ronde Rankings
So. Er. It’s me. Back for another power rankings. Let’s see how the last ones went. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images Ah, there they are now. Anyway, it’s time for another go, with a bit more data and a lot more “Andrew gave it a go so now I have a point of reference.” Anyway, we at the café know I couldn’t possibly do this alone so helping me tonight, yes, you guessed it. The one, the only, Carol Vorder- The door bursts open. Joyous music plays. Heavy panting as a stony figure crashes into the room. Cuddles? What are you doing here? I thought you were in Edinburgh, and that you hadn’t forgiven me to boot! “ That. Damned. Seal.” Excuse me? “I can’t live with that godforsaken thing.” Hate to say it, but you have some notable similarities. “ Don’t care. All I wanted to do was drink ...
New bike alert: Specialized launches overhauled S-Works Roubaix
Jack Elton-Walters 10 Apr 2019 Like all bikes, it's meant to be lighter and faster. But this one is also smoother and carries an important message for race organisers Although the bike has apparently been used, unspotted, for weeks now by women's and men's professional teams, Specialized has officially launched the all new Roubaix. Headline claims include it being lighter than the latest Venge, more aerodynamic than the newest Tarmac and an essential next step in the brand's move away from gendered bikes. Cyclist 's deputy editor Stu Bowers has had his hands on one for a while, his initial impressions and first ride review can be read here . 'Smoother is faster' but aero is still everything A history lesson during the presentation of the new Specialized Roubaix takes us back to the launch of the brand's first full suspension mountain bike. Back then, riders were sure that such ...
First ride review: The all-new Specialized S-Works Roubaix
Stu Bowers Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 15:59 The 2019 Roubaix is as comfortable as previous generations while matching the speed of the Tarmac SL6 Over the past decade and a half, Specialized's iconic Roubaix has established itself as the bike of choice for those seeking a comfortable, lightweight, endurance road bike with a tall front end. In doing so, it has evolved considerably from the Spring Classics racing heritage it was originally founded upon – leaving Specialized with something of a dilemma. ‘We had this bike with some really innovative ways of dealing with shock damping and smoothing out the ride, but our pros weren’t keen to use it because quite simply it wasn’t light and fast or aggressive enough for them,' Roubaix product manager John Cordoba told me when we initially spoke about the new design. The goal with this new version, then, was to pull the Roubaix ...
Mathieu van der Poel is a generational talent, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the show
Joe Robinson 5 Apr 2019 It’s Van der Poel’s world and the rest of the peloton are just living in it Remember when you played sport as a kid, any sport whether it be cycling, swimming, football or cricket, there would always be that one kid who was so much better than everyone else. So much better it made the rest of you playing almost pointless. He’d smash every ball for a six, leave your entire defence on their backsides, swim quicker in backstroke than you would in front crawl, ride away from you while laughing and waving. It was like they were an adult playing against a bunch of toddlers except you were all the same age and you’d all played the same sports for the exact same amount of time. They just had an innate ability within them to be better than you. With his rosy cheeks, baby ...
Preview: What you should know about the 2019 men’s Tour of Flanders
It’s time for the second Monument of the year and the biggest bike race in cycling-mad Belgium: the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Ahead of Sunday’s 103rd edition of the men’s Tour of Flanders, we bring you up to speed on the course, the climbs and the contenders for what is one of the world’s most important … The post Preview: What you should know about the 2019 men’s Tour of Flanders appeared first on CyclingTips .
The weekly spin: Flanders into Roubaix, pro cycling’s holiest of weeks
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s often referred to as Holy Week, the span between the start of the Ronde van Vlaanderen in the port city of Antwerp and the finish of Paris-Roubaix in the arena of the Parc Municipal de Sports velodrome in Roubaix. Officially, it’s called Holy Week because these … The post The weekly spin: Flanders into Roubaix, pro cycling’s holiest of weeks appeared first on CyclingTips .
Van der Poel claims maiden WorldTour win at Dwars door Vlaanderen
Proving his potential on the road, cyclocross champion Matheiu van der Poel sprints to victory in Dwars door Vlaanderen after animating the race. Read the full article at Van der Poel claims maiden WorldTour win at Dwars door Vlaanderen on VeloNews.com .
Sram launches Force eTap AXS 12-speed
Stu Bowers Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 13:59 Sram now offers its latest wireless eTap AXS 12-speed shifting at the Force level. £2,274 It seems like only a matter of a few weeks ago we were bringing you news of Sram launching its all-new flagship Red eTap AXS 12-speed wireless shifting groupset. Sram had, at that time, alluded to the possibility that a Force level version of eTap AXS might also be the pipeline, and now here it is. And the good news, by the time you read this it will already be available to buy. The key message is it’s bringing its very latest, cutting edge, eTap AXS wireless, 12-speed shifting technology down to a considerably more attainable price point. At the premium Red level, the cost for this eTap AXS kit is indeed pretty steep, at £3,349 for a 2x hydraulic disc brake set-up, but Force knocks over ...
De Vlaeminck praises Van Aert and Van der Poel's 'big class' ahead of Flanders
Joe Robinson 3 Apr 2019 11-time Monument winner was previously critical of Tom Boonen and his Classics exploits Four-time Paris-Roubaix winner Roger de Vlaeminck is a notoriously hard man to impress, having routinely criticised riders such as Tom Boonen. However, two riders in the current peloton have caught the 71-year-old's eye. In an opinion piece for Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad , the 11-time Monument winner has praised cyclocross starlets Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel as the strongest Classics riders in the peloton currently. Thinking back to the weekend's Gent-Wevelgem, De Vlaeminck wrote: ' The strongest man in the race? Wout van Aert!' before extolling the quality of both. 'If you have big class, then you can do everything. From the moment Van der Poel and Van Aert became professional cyclists, I knew that they would be two very good road racers. The best in Belgium and Holland. ...
Winners and Losers from the Pre-Cobbled Monuments Cobbled Classics
Besides Dwars on Wednesday, all the big lead up cobbled races to Flanders and Roubaix are finished. If you haven’t made your mark on the cobbled classics yet, there are only two more chances at the big shows during the next two weekends to try to make something out of your spring season. At the same time, it’s not all about the big two. Winning the lead up races is a huge mark on the palmares of the riders in its own right. Let’s take a look at who has won and lost the cobbled season thus far. WINNERS 1. Alexander Kristoff Even though we often call Kristoff the White Whale and make quips about his girth, the truth of the matter is that Kristoff has a physique that most if not all of the men reading this site would die for. Just take a look at his Instagram here ...
Annemiek van Vleuten’s Stelvio escape
The Stelvio Pass, with its endless switchbacks and breathtaking scenery, is arguably one of the most iconic climbs in the world of cycling. So when Annemiek van Vleuten and 2014 Ironman Hawaii winner, Sebastian Kienle were looking for a training camp destination, they had somewhere in mind... The post Annemiek van Vleuten’s Stelvio escape appeared first on CyclingTips .
Three things: Takeaways from Wevelgem weekend
Supported by It always sneaks up on us. One minute, it’s the dead of winter in northern Europe, and the next, it’s the heart of Classics season. We’re in the thick of it now, with Driedaagse De Panne-Brugge, E3, and Gent-Wevelgem in the books and the Tour of Flanders less than a week away. Watching the springtime … The post Three things: Takeaways from Wevelgem weekend appeared first on CyclingTips .
Van der Poel gains confidence in WorldTour debut
World cyclocross champion Mathieu van der Poel impresses with a fourth-place result at Gent-Wevelgem after a day of aggressive racing. Read the full article at Van der Poel gains confidence in WorldTour debut on VeloNews.com .
Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0 review
Giant’s Defy is the brand's best selling road bike. The TCR may have the kudos of being Tom Dumolin’s bike of choice, and the Propel has all of the aerodynamic bells and whistles to make it a pure superbike, but it’s the Defy that's aimed at everyday riders like us that bring the most revenue to the ‘world's biggest bike manufacturer’. The Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0 is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2019 and has been crowned our best comfort road Bike of the Year . To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women's bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub page . Best road bikes 2019: how to choose the right one for you Road bike groupsets: everything you need to know That means that Giant pays a lot of attention to the Defy, it’s ...
Flanders Friday: Cheers to the Classics!
Feeling jovial? Well, why shouldn’t you? The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the classics are officially, officially upon us... are you thinking what I am? Yes! It’s definitely time for a beer. Ah yes, the beer, an indelible element of the cobbled scene, from the cafes lining the course to the beer tents lined with people lining the course, to the cyclotourists relaxing in villages around Flanders on social rides with a nice cold one. The Tour of Flanders itself isn’t exactly associated with alcohol, mind you. We outsiders are more likely to conflate all things Belgium with beer — their finest export — than the cycling classics themselves try to do. So forgive us if we are surprised that there is no “Ronde van Vlaanderen, p/b Westvleteren Ale” happening. The answer, I suspect, as to why is twofold. One, cycling and beer don’t go that well together, ...
E3 BinckBank Classic Preview
The best non-monument cobbled classic can’t stop getting in the way of itself. (There’s a saying that I’ve only heard used in West Virginia that seems oddly appropriate - The E3 organizers can’t stop stepping on their own dicks). The always-exciting racing is often overshadowed by the organizer’s sexist provocations in advertising the race. This year’s addition to their chauvinistic oeuvre was this: Honestly, the body paint thing standing alone is kinda neat. The message, though, is at best muddled— “Who will crown himself prince in Harelbeke?” First, in the Frog Prince fairy tale, it’s a princess that kisses a frog, which turns the frog into a prince. (And actually, in one of the original editions of the Frog Prince fairy tale, it wasn’t a kiss by the princess that turned the frog into a prince, but rather the princess smashing the frog against the wall in a fit of ...
Cobbles power-ranking: PrE3 Edition
A reshuffle of the list ahead of the heart of the cobbled season Some words of wisdom from the boss, in the comments when I ran the equivalent piece last year: This is always the toughest column to write: it looks like you have relevant data, but only if you don’t look too closely. We still won’t know much about who is really strong until it’s nearly over. But it’s fun to try a guess at it, with or without a surly lump of granite in tow. This is, I fear, all too true. We’ve got some data, and it is of some help. In attempting to set the rankings before the run of E3, Dwars, Flanders and Roubaix (yes, there are other races, but that’s the key four) we’ll look at what Conor thought coming into preseason – and where I agree and disagree with him – plus what ...
Technical FAQ: Big ring vs. little ring; cyclocross vs. gravel
Readers ask whether it is more efficient to stay in the big ring or switch to the little chainring and what the differences are between 'cross and gravel bikes. Read the full article at Technical FAQ: Big ring vs. little ring; cyclocross vs. gravel on VeloNews.com .
By the numbers: What it takes to finish in the lead group at Milan-San Remo
On Saturday, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) thundered down the Via Roma to finish sixth at his first Milan-San Remo. The three-time cyclocross world champion was part of an elite lead group that formed over the day’s final and most decisive climb, the Poggio, before racing down to the finish. While the victory eventually went to … The post By the numbers: What it takes to finish in the lead group at Milan-San Remo appeared first on CyclingTips .