Mar 30, 2015

Flandrian Legend: Luca Paolini, Wily Winning Gent Wevelgem with leg warmers over his shorts

Post race...
Believe it, he wore his leg warmers over his shorts. A new 
fashion statement?

Due to yesterday's deluge of dreary rain I cancelled my Pacific Populaire 100km ride. I admit I'm not fond of trying to enjoy four plus hours of riding in the cold rain. Especially soggy cold hands and feet are not my idea of fun. Our FRFuggitivi group was splintered and most chose not to ride except for Curtis who did and clocked a time of 3 hours 46 minutes. I crown him our Flandrian and congratulate him. So, saving myself from certain hardship and misery I stayed in and had copious amounts of coffee and happily welcome the Flandrian misadventures of Gent Wevelgem.

Yesterday's Flemish classic was incredible to watch and one of the harshest and amazing editions in some time. For the riders, surely the toughest, battling 60kph winds and Flemish rain. The final tally; 39 finished, 160 abandoned. And on a serious note, Edvard Boasson Hagen suffered a broken clavicle and he's force to miss the upcoming Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Bradley Wiggins gave up and dropped out early - better to save himself for L'enfer du Nord. And, further frustration this time for Jack Bauer, just after the feed zone (66km) his musette bag or jacket gets stuck in his rear wheel and...

Wind, Rain and pathos: A true Flemish classic...

That's a helluva throw.

Here is Geraint Thomas literally been thrown off his bike by a gust wind, remounted, rejoined the leaders and bravely finished in third place...

Photo Time De Waele

Earlier in, the wind gave the riders fits and forced them to try to form echelons...

Gutsy Jurgen Roelandts steps into a certain pantheon of heroes deserving Belgian beer for life for his 50km escape in difficult conditions. With 20kms remaining he was passed by the chasers and eventually finished in a stellar seventh place. 

photo Tim De Waele

Luca Paolini, at 38, was the wily one of all attacking with 6km remaining, going at the right time while the others were watching one another and winning a outrageous and stunning Gent Wevelgem!

A Flandrian win: one for the old guys...

'This victory is one for heart, courage but also intelligence.'
- Luca Paolini


1. PAOLINI, Luca (KATUSHA) 6:20:55

3. THOMAS, Geraint (SKY) s.t.




7. ROELANDTS, Jurgen (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 1:52

8. OSS, Daniel (BMC RACING) + 4:15
9. KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA) + 5:12
10. SAGAN, Peter (TINKOFF – SAXO) s.t.

Mar 27, 2015

Friday File: More Cobbles, More Wind, More Heroes, More Belgium Classics, More Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame

Spartacus' pain is evident after fracturing 2 vertebrae
photo Tim De Waele

Todays' E3 had it's share of crashes and spoiled the race for some of the favored riders; Lars Boom, Greg Van Avermaet, John Degenkolb and Fabian Cancellara. Notorious as this race is, Spartacus' Classic season seems over as he joins Tom Boonen on the sidelines. Fortunes for Geraint Thomas as he took the wind out of the sails of the breakaway group to win his biggest single day race of the season. It wasn't Peter Sagan's day for a repeat but I'll give him another chance for redemption in Sunday's Gent Wevelgem.

When there's wind there's Gent Wevelgem...


The Cannibal survives to win the 1970 Gent Wevelgem

Dwars door Vlaanderen produced many heroes...

Jelle Wallays of the well drilled team; Topsport Vlaanderen Baloise
photo Tim De Waele

Another stunning finish in MSR, John Degenkolb rides into history...

photo Luca Zennaro

Marinoni, the film returns to Vancouver...

Time to see it again!
March 27- April 13.
Vancity Theatre

Thanks to Joey for sending me this,

From the Consulate General of Italy in Vancouver - Cultural Office...

The charismatic Giuseppe Marinoni has been making some of the most desirable bicycle frames in Canada for decades. Although his enterprise has grown over the years, he still seems happiest when welding a handmade frame. (The enduring joy this brings him is particularly impressive when you consider that he’s made 20 or 30 thousand of them in his lifetime.) Since leaving his native Italy, he’s made a home in Montréal and established a fairly routine life centred on his wife, his bicycles and the tomatoes in his garden.

A competitive cyclist in his youth, he decides, at age 75, to attempt a World Record for distance cycled in one hour for his age group. Giuseppe’s determination and perseverance lead him back to Italy for his training and, ultimately, his attempt at the record. His perfectionism, combined with a curmudgeonly nature, makes him impatient with first-time director Tony Girardin, adding much humour to this inspiring film. One of the most moving scenes involves Marinoni catching up with his dear friend Jocelyn Lovell, one of Canada’s greatest cyclists during the 60s and 70s, whose storied career was sadly ended by a famous and fateful accident that left him a quadriplegic. This is a film not only for the spandex-and-helmet crowd but for anyone who believes that a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.

For more information, the complete schedule of screenings and to buy tickets, please visit

Mar 23, 2015

Red Dots Cycling: The Heroic Cycling Cap Collection

Orange and Aqua
photo Red Dots Cycling

Chapeau to the Italian classic race L'Eroica for celebrating and upholding the Heroic era of cycling. It is that particular period when riders wore woolen jerseys on vintage steel bikes riding in leather shoes on miles of un-paved roads with short brimmed caps. I'm a ongoing disciple, holding dearly to the vintage steel bike norm as one to have yet to cross over to the aluminum/carbon bike side. As I peer ever so closely into that rich cycling world, it's more than attractive riding on scenic Tuscan roads and resting when tired and enjoying earthly pleasures of brandy, stew, figs and salami. I may be getting ahead of myself but there always is a jovial correlation between cycling and food/drink. 

Red Dots Cycling has embraced the Heroic Era and introduces the new Heroic Cycling Cap Collection. A series of three cycling caps with emphasis on two-tone colors depicting the richness, color and vibrancy of the Heroic Era! 

Available here.

Black and Grey
photo Red Dots Cycling

Blue and Red
photo Red Dots Cycling

Fausto Coppi exemplify the Heroic Era,
style and substance winning the 1948 Tour of Lombardy.

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