May 3, 2016

The Lucky 13

It couldn't be better...
On the quiet, backroads around Ft. Langley. 
photo: Cycling Art

On last Sunday's FRFuggitivi ride I headed over to Guy's in New Westminster to start what would be an epic ride to Ft. Langley. Leader of the day was Curtis who drafted the route consisting of 100km and 80km bail-out option for those that didn't want to go the full distance to meet at the coffee stop. Thirteen of us met for the early start of 8AM. I awoke at 4:45AM thereby having enough time for a hearty breakfast of porridge and pancakes, then I was ready to go. At the start it was all good banter sprinkled with  anticipation for the ride. It's good to see newbies; Matt and Jos joining us and I'm often reminded how our little riding group has grown (initially with Guy and I) to this full fledged team that is a registered association. Cue in smile.

The lucky 13.
(l to r): Jos, me, Charlie, Dean, Brian, Curtis, Patrick, Mario, Guy, Matt L., Scott, Ross & Matt C.
Note: a nice biker lady took this image.
photo: Jos

I along with Patrick and Matt L opted for the shorten less hilly 80km route. After all we wanted first dibs of the espresso and chocolate cookies. At the coffee stop we remain rested and happy as the rest of the group swooped in around 10 minutes later. After a much needed rest it was time for the return leg. On two separate occasions the inevitable happened - rear flats claimed two victims - Dean and Ross. But, we continue to roll on with the prize on the distant horizon, Red Racer Brewery. Because as our late brother, John coined the famous hashtag, and we forever support....#moremilesmorebeer.

At Red Racer Brewery and duly supporting
photo: Cycling Art

Apr 30, 2016

FRFuggitivi team caps in production mode

photo: Red Dots Cycling


Our Fraser River Fuggitivi Cycling Club is eagerly awaiting shipment of the new kit, meanwhile, 
Red Dots Cycling  has begun production - embroidering the official team caps.

Apr 29, 2016

Friday File: The Giro rules the month of May

I've been following the steady rise of the talented climber, Michael 'Rusty' Woods since turning Pro with Cannondale. The Canadian was slated to debut at the Giro d'ltalia but that'll have to wait another year, he's sidelined with a broken hand from a crash in Liege. Here's hopping he recovers quickly and returns back to the peloton soon. I agree with the above tweet... #bummer.

Vincenzo Nibali, the 2013 winner, is back to win but he'll have a battle between his old teammate, Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde. These three may have the strongest teams on paper but watch for Ryder Hesjedal (2012 winner), Rigoberto Uran (2013-2nd, 2014-2nd), Esteban Chaves, Steven Kruijswijk (2015-7th) & Rafal Majka (2014-6th) to contend for the Maglia Rosa.

There's going to be some exciting racing upcoming.

Canadians in the 99th Giro d'ltalia: Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo), Svein Tuft (Orica GreenEDGE), Hugo Houle (AG2R La Mondiale).

- 3,463 km, 21 stages, May 6 - May 29.
- 3 TT - 61kms including 1 mountain TT. Stage 1. ITT Alpeldoorn, Netherlands.
- 6 stages 200km+
- 7 mountain stages including 5 summit finishes.

The 1964 Giro d'ltalia poster is striking.


1964 was doubly good for Maitre Jacques.

Jacques Anquetil (Monsieur Chrono) won his first Giro in 1960 and returned in 1964 to win again thus achieving the rare Giro/Tour double with the legend, Fausto Coppi. 

On the topic of legends...

One of my all-time favorite sports cars is the fabulous Jaguar D-Type XKSS (produced 1957) - with Steve McQueen at the helm...

Apr 25, 2016

LBL: Layers On

Before my Sunday FRFuggitivi ride, I had the chance to watch the shortened route of Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Snow was the deciding factor and produced an unexpected but deserved winner... Wout Poels. As always, the entertaining Backstage Pass was on hand to record an epic day to the final Spring Classic of the season...

Apr 22, 2016

Friday File: Neige Bastogne Neige?

Heavy favorite, Valverde and teammates riding up the final 'new' climb.

If the weather gods make their appearance Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege could be called, Neige-Bastogne-Neige. But whether the weather steps in or someone can dethrone heavy favorite Alejandro Valverde is all in the air. If it was up to me, I want it to snow (aka. 1980 edition won by Hinault, frozen fingers and all) and yes an upset winner would be a nice change. But, tempting fate it may just snow and spoil it for many riders. Can a 36 year snow drought come to an end? I love to watch foul weather alter the cycling equilibrium universe. Of course, not so extreme that the Extreme Weather Protocol steps in and cancels it. 

La Doyenne is the oldest one-day classic, first raced in 1982. First edition 124 years ago this year is the 102nd edition of this Belgian Monument. 253km route with 10 categorized climbs. The final climb is the newly added Cote de Saint-Nicolas (6km avg. 10.5%) with cobbles replaces the Cote de Stockeau. This great race was made for the mountain specialists that's why I'm by passing the powerful and crafty Valverde and going for the two prong attacking style (reminiscent from Flèche Wallonne but with a better outcome) from Etixx for a 1-2 punch Monument victory...

Start List.

The 1-2 punch...

On today's recon.

Memorable quotes: 

5 time champion The Cannibal says...

The 1980 iconic winner says...

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