Lagazzettadellabici's Blog

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on June 30, 2009

CONGRATULATIONS KRISTIAN HOUSE NEW BRITISH CHAMPION

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on June 30, 2009

FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS, APART FROM BEING OBSESSED WITH THE TOUR DE FRANCE I’LL ALSO BE POSTING A GUIDE TO MY FAVORITE CYCLING FILMS. ITS NOT A TOP TEN OR ANYTHING JUST A COLLECTION OF MY FAVORITE FILMS WITH SCREENSHOTS OF THE ACTION. I HOPE YOU LIKE THEM. IF YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITES THAT I DON’T MENTION PLEASE FORWARD THEM TO ME AS I LOVE WATCHING CYCLING FILMS.

TODAY IS THE FILM Stjernerne og vandbærerne or STARS AND WATERCARRIERS. FROM 1974 BY Jørgen Leth

The film follows the 1973 Giro d’Italia and in his commentary Leth explains the fascination exerted by the great cycle races: “The most beautiful, most pathetic images cycling can give us involve extreme performances in classic terrain.” The action literally emerges on the move and the riders readily assume the roles tradition and epic necessity allocate to them, with the central conflict between the accustomed winner and greedy Belgian legend Eddy Merckx and the Spanish mountain specialist José Manuel Fuente. Stars and Watercarriers was created by a small film unit that use a vivid, documentary style to describe the race from close up and sometimes quite from within. The film consist of ten sections, each with a title such as “A road of pain” and “A peaceful day”; thus it alternates between dramatic and more peaceful passages, which Leth’s commentary leads the viewer through soberly, empathetically and humorously. The chapter “The trial of truth” stands out with its focus on the Danish star Ole Ritter, his technical, physical and psychological preparations and his performance in the time trials. Ritter is lauded with words such as “power, cycle and style in the simplest manifestation possible”, and aesthetically, too, the section stands out: there is no background music or ordinary real sound. Instead, a sound close up of the chain as it seems to sing emphasises the utter concentration of Ritter’s venture. Throughout the film Gunner Møller Pedersen’s music supports the dramatic and aesthetic aspects of the race and thus sets the mood. The music mimics the light tread of the mountain specialists when they are in focus and seems to indicate the beat as we watch the more powerful riders.








































Posted in TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 by lagazzettadellabici on June 30, 2009


EUROSPORT BROADCAST TIMES FOR THE TOUR DE FRANCE

Posted in TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 by lagazzettadellabici on June 29, 2009

TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 TEAMS

Ag2r-La Mondiale
Country: France
Sponsor: Insurance brands
Bikes: BH frames with Campagnolo kit
Website: http://www.ag2r-cyclisme.com
Managers: Vincent Lavenu, Laurent Biondi
Key riders: Vladimir Efimkin (Rus), Cyril Dessel (Fra), Nicolas Roche (Irl)
How will they do? Stage wins and plenty of time in breakaways will be the team plans, bread-and-butter for a French team. Though Valjavec is absent, Vladimir Efimkin will be looking to improve on eleventh place overall, while Dessel, anonymous so far this year, should be active in breakaways as he looks to retrieve his yellow jersey-winning form of 2006.
Nicolas Roche rides his first Tour de France after finishing a promising thirteenth in last year’s Vuelta. A climber with a handy sprint on him, he is a good prospect for stage victory.
As a whole, the team is full of handy, attacking riders who could be dangerous from breakaways.
Last year: After Martin Elmiger was outsprinted by Kurt-Asle Arvesen in Foix, Cyril Dessel saved their race with a canny breakaway victory into Jausiers, leading into the late, final corner and outsprinting his two companions. Tadej Valjavec and Vladimir Efimkin (technically a stage winner in Bagnères de Bigorre last year after Riccardo Riccò’s retrospective disqualification) ghosted into tenth and eleventh places overall. With three in the top twenty-five overall, the team also finished second overall behind CSC.
Tour pedigree: Including former incarnations Chazal and Casino, Ag2r have been a fixture in the Tour de France for the last fifteen years. Their first stage win came from Rodolfo Massi in the 1998 Tour, and they’ve enjoyed several since, thanks chiefly to mountain-fearing fast man Jaan Kirsipuu.
Surprise package: Former Coupe de France winner Lloyd Mondory packs a decent sprint. Potentially very threatening from a small breakaway group.
Factoid: Evergreen Stéphane Goubert could be the oldest man in the 2009 Tour – the climber turned 39 in March. He is remarkably consistent, if unspectacular, too, finishing inside the top forty of the Tour for the last eight years.

Agritubel
Country: France
Sponsor: They make agricultural machinery
Bikes: Kuota frames with SRAM components
Website: http://www.agritubel-cycling.com
Managers: Denis Leproux, Emmanuel Hubert, Frédéric Mainguenaud
Key riders: Romain Feillu (Fra), Christophe Moreau (Fra)
How will they do? These three weeks in July are the highlights of Agritubel’s year. Expect to see them up the road often, showing off the sponsor’s name. Romain Feillu is their best bet for a stage win, lethal from a small group thanks to his strong sprint. Christophe Moreau will be wanting to end his career with a flourish and could be a danger for the polka-dot jersey, if he is not too far over the metaphorical hill. Plucky trier Nicolas Vogondy is likely to be up the road again this year.
Last year: Romain Feillu made it into an early breakaway and finished third, enjoyed a day in the maillot jaune, before the Tour’s first time-trial. Feillu was one of the race’s most aggressive riders, also scoring two other third place finishes. Speaking of aggressive riders, some may remember Nicolas Vogondy being caught by Mark Cavendish 200 metres from the line in Châteauroux.
Tour pedigree: For a team that has never been in the top tier of pro cycling, they’ve fared well. In their debut Tour of 2006, Juan Miguel Mercado outsprinted Cyril Dessel into Pau for an opportunistic stage win.
Surprise package: David Le Lay. Since joining mid-summer 2008, he has had a fine year with Agritubel, winning the Circuit de la Sarthe and coming second in the Four Days of Dunkirk and attacking on the Mur de Huy in the Flèche Wallone. Definitely one to watch out for in breakaways.
Factoid: Agritubel can boast two Tour of Britain winners in their ranks – Romain Feillu (2007) and Geoffroy Lequatre (2008).

Astana
Country: Kazakhstan
Sponsor: A consortium of Kazakh companies
Bikes: Trek frames, with SRAM components
Website: http://www.astana-cyclingteam.com
Manager: Johan Bruyneel
Key riders: Alberto Contador (Spa), Lance Armstrong (Usa), Levi Leipheimer (Usa)
How will they do? Very well. The strength-in-depth of their lineup is remarkable. Simply, the Tour will be unsatsifactory if they fail to win overall. Alberto Contador is their best bet for victory, having shown no signs of slowing down after his 2007 overall victory. As much media hype as he may create, Armstrong will do well to finish in the top five overall.
Last year: After a chequered year of doping misdemeanours, Tour organisers ASO did not give them a wild-card, leading to some world-class tantrums, most notably the ‘Let Levi Ride’ campaign.
Tour pedigree: Non-starters; the team was withdrawn halfway through the 2007 after news of Vinokorov’s positive test, and were not given an invitation to last year’s race. Third time lucky?
Surprise package: This team has so many proven performers that they have no need for a surprise package.
Factoid: In Armstrong, Contador, Kloden, Leipheimer and Zubeldia, the team has five riders who have finished in the Tour de France top five before.

Bbox Bouygues Telecom
Country: France
Sponsor: Bouygues Telecom is a French telecoms company, BBOX is the name of its TV, broadband and phone set-top box.
Bikes: Time frameswith Campagnolo components
Website: http://www.equipebouyguestelecom.fr
Manager: Jean-René Bernaudeau
Key riders: Thomas Voeckler (Fra), Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra)
How will they do? Lacking both a overall contender or sprinter of note, they will be throwing riders up the road in escapes to maximise their chances. A stage win would make the Tour a success for this French team of triers. Thomas Voeckler epitomises their style of racing: plucky and attacking, but often unsuccessful.
Last year: Predictably plucky and attacking. Thomas Voeckler wore the polka-dot jersey for the first five days. Jérôme Pineau was third on the opening stage into Plumelec, but otherwise they were very quiet, faring worst of the French teams in attendance.
Tour pedigree: Still dreaming of the halcyon days of 2004, when housewives’ favourite Voeckler spent ten days in the maillot jaune. Only one stage win in the Tour de France, courtesy of Pierrick Fédrigo in 2006.
Surprise package: Twenty-two year old Pierre Rolland starts his first Tour de France, after some promising top-twenty rides at Paris-Nice in recent years. Though this will be a learning experience for him, he should be good for an attack or two.
Factoid: Thomas Voeckler spent his childhood and adolescent years on the Caribbean island of Martinique.

Caisse d’Epargne
Country: France
Sponsor: French bank
Bikes: Pinarello frames with Campagnolo components
Website: http://www.cyclisme-caisse-epargne.fr
Managers: Eusebio Unzue, Neil Stephens
Key riders: Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa), David Arroyo (Spa)
How will they do? Not as well as they would have done with Valverde. However,the resultant carte blanche could be good for a team packed with strong climbers and attacking flair, including Tour winner Pereiro and Gutierrez. A stage or top ten finish is very possible.
Last year: Valverde destroyed the opposition to take the first yellow jersey in Plumelec, and Luis Leon Sanchez soloed into Aurillac for a classy win. However, Valverde’s ninth-place finish overall may have been slightly disappointing.
Tour pedigree: This team goes way back, to the time of Reynolds and Banesto, and therefore to Tour winners Pedro Delgado and Miguel Indurain.
Surprise package: If he gets a ride in his first Grand Tour, Colombian Rigoberto Uran could fare well. Third in last year’s Tour of Lombardy and fifth overall in the Tour of Romandie, the twenty-two year old is a strong climber.
Factoid: Oscar Pereiro has not won a professional race since his 2006 Tour “victory”.

Cervélo Test Team
Country: Switzerland
Sponsor: Canadian bicycle manufacturer
Bikes: Cervélo frames with Campagnolo components
Website: snipurl.com/jwdtx
Manager: Jean-Paul Van Poppel
Key riders: Carlos Sastre (Spa), Thor Hushovd (Nor)
How will they do? Sastre will be keen to defend his Tour crown, but a podium finish may be his best bet, with young guns Contador and Schleck and their teams looking stronger. Consistent Hushovd is a good prospect for a stage win somewhere along the route. If Cavendish falters, he will be a favourite to take another green jersey.
Last year: Didn’t exist – although Sastre won the Tour and the queen stage up Alpe d’Huez, while Hushovd also took stages.
Tour pedigree: See above.
Surprise package: Jose Angel Gomez Marchante. Beset by illness and injury in recent years, can he rediscover the climbing form that took him to fifth in the 2006 Vuelta?
Factoid: If he starts, 40 year-old Iñigo Cuesta will be the oldest man in the race. When he turned pro in 1994, for Euskadi, Mark Cavendish was only eight.

Cofidis
Country: France
Sponsor: Offer credit over the phone and online
Bikes: Look frames with Campagnolo components
Website: http://www.equipe-cofidis.com
Managers: Eric Boyer, Francis Van Londersele
Key riders: David Moncoutié (Fra), Samuel Dumoulin (Fra), Amaël Moinard (Fra)
How will they do? There’ll be a lot of pressure on Cofidis to take another stage. Two-time stage winner Moncoutié, now injury-free, will be dangerous on hilly transiton stages. Having lost Chavanel and Monfort over the winter, it could be slim pickings.
Last year: Samuel Dumoulin’s third day stage win from a breakaway took off the pressure for the next three weeks. Sylvain Chavanel won late on to make it a bumper Tour for Cofidis.
Tour pedigree: No more relying on David Millar for stage wins.
Surprise package: He’s no longer a surprise, but it will be interesting to see if Amaël Moinard can improve on his fifteenth-place finish from last year.
Factoid: Barring a last-minute midget entrant, Samuel Dumoulin will be the smallest rider at the 2009 Tour, at only 159 centimetres (5’2″) tall.

Columbia-High Road (Team Columbia-Highroad is now Team Columbia-HTC.)
Country: USA
Sponsor: Columbia manufactures outdoor clothing. High Road is the name of the team’s management company, currently up for sale HTC Corporation, a designer of mobile phones, just became a new sponsor.
Bikes: Scott frames with Shimano components
Website: http://www.highroadsports.com
Managers: Bob Stapleton, Rolf Aldag, Brian Holm, Allan Peiper
Key riders: Mark Cavendish (GBr), Kim Kirchen (Lux), Michael Rogers (Aus)
How will they do?
Very well. Like Rabobank, another team that can produce wins in almost
any competition – however, their cohesion sets them apart. Cavendish,
the sprinter to beat at the moment, will win several stages and a green
jersey if he wins some intermediate sprints, Rogers could finish in the
top ten overall after a promising Giro.
Last year: Superb. Four stages for Cavendish, a stage for Burghardt, the yellow jersey and seventh place for Kirchen.
Tour pedigree:
Harking back to Telekom and the days of Ullrich and Zabel, it’s been
both excellent and highly-chequered by suspicion. Still, Columbia is a
very different team now.
Surprise package: No-one – after all, Mark Cavendish doesn’t need someone upstaging him.

Euskaltel-Euskadi
Country: Spain
Sponsor: Euskaltel is a Basque telecoms company, Euskadi is the Basque regional government.
Bikes: Orbea frames with Shimano components
Website: http://www.fundacioneuskadi.com
Managers: Miguel Madariga, Gorka Gerrikagoitia
Key riders: Egoi Martinez (Spa), Mikel Astarloza (Spa)
How will they do? They’ll be on the attack in the Pyrenees, and Astarloza could provide a top-ten overall finish. A stage victory would be very welcome; the finish in Barcelona would have been perfect for Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez, but he’s not riding this year.
Last year: Seventh overall for Samuel Sanchez, who lost the race in the Pyrenees. Egoi Martinez was beaten into second on Prato Nevoso.
Tour pedigree: Haven’t won a stage since 2003, when Haimar Zubeldia and Iban Mayo finished fifth and sixth overall. The days of Euskaltel-Euskadi illuminating the race with attacks in the mountains are long gone.
Surprise package: Igor Anton has been anonymous since crashing out of the Vuelta in sixth place last year, but if he finds his mountain legs, he could be lively in the mountains.
Factoid: Basque heritage is usually a prerequisite for joining this squad.

Française des Jeux
Country: France
Sponsor: The French national lottery
Bikes: Lapierre frames with Shimano components
Website: snipurl.com/jyx7c
Managers: Marc Madiot and Martial Gayant
Key riders: Sandy Casar (Fra). Anthony Geslin (Fra)
How will they do? Attack a lot with the hope of winning a stage. Sandy Casar will ride bravely to a top-twenty finish, Sébastien Chavanel might sneak a bunch sprint top-three finish.
Last year: Close but no cigar. Gilbert was second on the opening stage to Plumelec, while Casar missed out to the tactically-astute Dessel into Jausiers.
Tour pedigree: Aside from a successful patch for a couple of years thanks to Cooke and McGee, they have a rich heritage of valiant attacking, from the likes of Durand, Mengin and Guesdon.
Surprise package: Remy di Gregorio. Has shown promise in the mountains of the Dauphine, but needs to follow through in the Tour de France.

Garmin-Slipstream
Country: USA
Sponsor: Garmin makes satnav equipment, Slipstream is the team management company.
Bikes: Felt frames with Shimano components
Website: http://www.slipstreamsports.com
Manager: Jonathan Vaughters
Key riders: Christian Vande Velde (USA), David Millar (GBr), Bradley Wiggins (GBr)
How will they do? Wiggins and Millar are contenders for the race’s opening time-trial, while the team, brimming with time-trial specialists, have also been preparing assiduously for the TTT. Christian Vande Velde is the lelader, though his preparation has been a race against time after crashing out of the Giro d’Italia.
Last year: No stage win last year, though Frischkorn, Pate and Millar all had top-three finishes.
Tour pedigree: The 2008 Tour was their debut.
Surprise package: Daniel Martin. Nobody knows what to expect from him in a Grand Tour, but second place in the Tour of Catalunya suggests he is one handy climber. An outside bet for the white jersey.
Factoid: Winning is in his blood: Daniel Martin is the nephew of 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche.

Katusha
Country: Russia
Sponsor: Katusha is the title of the Russian Global Cycling Proeject. The team’s chief paymasters are energy companies Itera and Gazprom.
Bikes: Ridley frames with Campagnolo components
Website: http://www.katushateam.com
Managers: Serge Parsani, Andrei Tchmil
Key riders: Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Gert Steegmans (Bel), Filippo Pozzato (Ita)
How will they do? After strong riding in the Classics, glamour-model-cum-cyclist Filippo Pozzato will be eager for a third Tour stage win. Despite being relatively quiet thus far, muscular Flandrian Gert Steegmans will be up there in the sprints. Vladimir Karpets could scrape into the top ten if he shows the consistency that has been so perplexingly lacking in previous Tour rides.
Last year: Didn’t exist last year.
Tour pedigree: See above – though the bare bones of their squad originates from Tinkoff, who won a Giro stage.
Surprise package: Alexandre Botcharov has the unenviable talent of always finishing highly without ever winning: in 11 years as a pro, he has two wins.
Factoid: No Russian has ever won the Tour de France; Denis Menchov’s fourth place in 2008 is the country’s best-ever overall finish.

Lampre-N.G.C.
Country: Italy
Sponsor: Lampre makes sheet metal
Bikes: Wilier frames with Campagnolo components
Website: snipurl.com/jwnhz
Managers: Fabrizio Bontempi, Giuseppe Saronni
Key riders: Alessandro Ballan (Ita), Marzio Bruseghin (Ita)
How will they do? Probably not as well as they want to. Their big race of the year, the Giro d’Italia, was rather fallow, with Ballan out with a virus, Cunego bombing and Bruseghin scraping into the top ten. Suddenly, a team of previously-indifferent Italians need a stage win here to try and resurrect a bad year.
Last year: Atrocious. Damiano Cunego crashed and abandoned. Alessandro Ballan was outsprinted in Foix. The team finished bottom of the money list, with over half as much money as the next-placed outfit, Barloworld.
Tour pedigree: Generally follow the idea “if it ain’t the Giro, it ain’t worth racing”. Daniele Bennati won a few before he jumped ship to Liquigas
Surprise package: Former Petacchi leadout man Mirco Lorenzetto had such good sprint form in the early season that his name was put forward as an outside bet for Milano-San Remo, only to succumb to illness. However, the fact his name is prefixed with “former Petacchi leadout man” itself explains that he isn’t up there with the Cavendishs of the sprinting world.

Liquigas
Country: Italy
Sponsor: Liquigas produces bottled gas
Bikes: Cannondale frames with Campagnolo components
Website: http://www.teamliquigas.it
Managers: Roberto Amadio, Mario Chiesa
Key riders: Daniele Bennati (Ita), Roman Kreuziger (Cze), Vincenzo Nibali (Ita)
How will they do? With Daniele Bennati and Roman Kreuziger, they have two bona fide challengers for the green and white jersey. Bennati has recovered from a niggling injury and could be Cavendish’s main rival; super-talented Kreuziger, only 23, is tipped to finish in the top six overall this year. Team-mate Vincenzo Nibali could squeeze into the top ten too.
Last year: They really missed an injured Bennati. Chicchi, Pozzato and Kreuziger chipped in with top tens aplenty, but it wasn’t quite the same.
Tour pedigree: In line with other Italian teams: generally not too bothered if they’ve had a good Giro. Their only stage win came from Filippo Pozzato in Autun in the 2007 Tour. Just don’t mention Ivan Basso.
Surprise package: Tour of Romandie winner Kreuziger could surprise many with his performance.

Milram
Country: Germany
Sponsor: Milram is a brand owned by German dairy Nordmilch
Bikes: Focus frames with SRAM components
Website: http://www.team-milram.com
Managers: Vittorio Algeri
Key riders: Linus Gerdemann (Ger), Gerald Ciolek (Ger), Fabian Wegmann (Ger)
How will they do?
Follow the pattern of their last two seasons: try hard and be visible
in their blue-cow-kit, but ultimately fall just short of the mark.
Their best bet is a breakaway victory by the likes of Gerdemann or
Wegmann.
Last year: A couple of third places for veteran Zabel. But they led the gruppetto by example.
Tour pedigree: Considering the team has had Petacchi and Zabel on board, very poor. They are yet to find a Tour de France stage.
Surprise package: Niki Terpstra showed his potential with a well-taken Dauphiné stage win, outfoxing his breakaway rivals.

Quick Step
Country: Belgium
Sponsor: Quick Step makes flooring
Bikes: Specialized frames with Campagnolo components
Website: http://www.qsi-cycling.com
Managers: Patrick Lefévère, Wilfried Peeters
Key riders: Tom Boonen (Bel), Sylvain Chavanel (Fra)
How will they do? Despite failing another test for cocaine, Tom Boonen may be allowed to race if a court rules in his favour and would be (pun intended) Quick Step’s crack sprinter. A lot has changed since Boonen won the green jersey in 2007 – Mark Cavendish is now the force to be a reckoned with, and Boonen’s sprinting hasn’t looked as sharp as in the past. In Sylvain Chavanel and Carlos Barredo, the team has two of the peloton’s most useful baroudeurs.
Last year: Gert Steegmans stepped in to save the team’s blushes on the final day, powering to stage victory on the Champs Elysées.
Tour pedigree: Svorada, Zanini, Steels, Boonen, Freire… bunch sprinting is their thing. Recently, the team has also proven a dab hand on transition stages too, as breakaway stage winners Vasseur, Tosatto and Knaven can attest to.
Surprise package: The only thing surprising about Jérôme Pineau is that he hasn’t won a Tour de France stage yet. After several near misses, perhaps moving to a foreign team will help to break his duck.

Rabobank
Country: Netherlands
Sponsor: Dutch bank
Bikes: Giant frames with Shimano components
Website: snipurl.com/jwu9q
Managers: Erik Breukink, Erik Dekker, Adri van Houwelingen
Key riders: Denis Menchov (Rus), Oscar Freire (Spa), Robert Gesink (Ned)
How will they do? Very well. This team is brimming with quality, for every type of stage or competition. Menchov, Freire and Gesink will be gunning for the yellow, green and white jerseys respectively. But can Giro d’Italia winner Menchov peak twice? Can Freire beat Cavendish legitimately, without the Brit abandoning the race? Because of such wide-reaching goals, it will be interesting to see how the team copes. They even have Juan Antonio Flecha for breakaways.
Last year: Oscar Freire won a stage and the green jersey through impressive consistency. Menchov finished fourth overall.
Tour pedigree: Traditionally, long-serving Rabobank have always performed well at the Tour; they’re on a ratio of a stage win per year. Just don’t mention Rasmussen.
Surprise package: Robert Gesink is heralded as the lanky, emaciated Dutchman who can bring back the Dutch Tour glory days of the 1980s, when the likes of Winnen, Theunisse and Rooks terrorised the opposition in the mountains. It remains to be seen how the precocious youngster copes with the Tour de France, but a top-ten finish and white jersey win are possible.

Saxo Bank
Country: Denmark
Sponsor: Saxo Bank is an investment bank
Bikes: Specialized frames with SRAM components
Website: snipurl.com/jywr6
Manager: Bjarne Riis
Key riders: Andy Schleck (Lux), Frank Schleck (Lux), Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Jens Voigt (Ger)
How will they do?
They will rally behind Andy Schleck and help him on to the podium; this
is arguably the strongest team all-round at the 2009 race. The question
is, does the fresh-faced talent have the stamina and experience to
reach the top step?
Last year: A first Tour win as directuer for Riis from Sastre, as well as two stage wins and the team classification.
Tour pedigree: From early days as CSC and Jalabert, this outfit has perennially performed with aplomb here.
Surprise package:
Kurt-Asle Arvesen can’t really be called a surprise package since he
won a stage of last year’s Tour but after the quiet year he’s had so
far, we reckon he’s aiming to do something at the 2009 Tour too.

Silence-Lotto
Country: Belgium
Sponsor: Silence is a brand of anti-snoring pills made by Omega Pharmaceuticals. Lotto is the Belgian national lottery
Bikes: Canyon frames with Campagnolo components
Website: http://www.silence-lotto.com
Managers: Marc Sergeant, Henrik Redant, Roberto Damiani
Key riders: Cadel Evans (Aus), Philippe Gilbert (Bel)
How will they do? Evans, Evans, Evans. Everything is set up to help the sometimes-prickly Australian win the Tour de France; the team bolstered the squad with the likes of Dekker. Lang and Wegelius over the winter. However, defensive-minded Evans may be left behind in the mountains by Schleck and Contador.
Last year: Evans held the yellow jersey until Alpe d’Huez. Expected to overturn a 1’34” deficit to Sastre in the Tour’s long final time-trial, he fell unexpectedly short of the mark and finished second overall. Again. Meanwhile, an ageing Robbie McEwen failed to deliver his customary stage win.
Tour pedigree: This team goes back to the mid-80s. Used to rely on McEwen for stage wins, but it’s ok now they have Evans for second places…
Surprise package: Thomas Dekker briefly looked like being the next big thing, but he’s gone off the boil a bit this year. Still only 24, he needs a good Tour to underline his talents, but may be confined to Evans domestique duty.

Skil-Shimano
Country: Netherlands
Sponsor: Skil makes power tools, Shimano makes bicycle components
Bikes: Koga Miyata frames with Shimano components
Website: http://www.skilcyclingteam.com
Manager: Rudie Kemna
Key riders: Jonathan Hivert (Fra), Kenny van Hummel (Ned)
How will they do? Very little. With no Tour de France experience whatsoever in their team, they are on a hiding to nothing. Will bravely have a go in some attacks though. A stage win would be a big surprise – and a massive success – for the Professional team.
Last year: Did not get invited.
Tour pedigree: This will be their first Tour.
Surprise package: Kenny van Hummel had a purple patch in May where he won just about every bunch sprint going; consequently, he currently leads the UCI Europe Tour. He’s no A-list sprinter, but could raise a few eyebrows with some top tens.

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on June 28, 2009

Just like the Carling Cup will always in my child like mind be called the Milk Cup, the Tour of Britain will always be known in my heart as the Milk Race. As a kid I had a Raleigh Milk Race bike and I was convinced that the streets around the council estate I grew up on were stages of the race.

The Tour of Britain, known for many years as the Milk Race, has its origins in a dispute between cyclists during the Second World War. The British administrative body, the National Cyclists’ Union (NCU), had feared since the 19th century that massed racing on the roads would endanger all racing, including early-morning time trials and, originally, the very place of cyclists on the road.


A race organised from Llangollen to Wolverhampton on 7 June 1942, in defiance of the NCU, led to its organisers and riders being banned. They formed a new body, the British League of Racing Cyclists (BLRC), which wanted not only massed racing but a British version of the Tour de France.
The first stage, or multi-day, race in Britain was the Southern Grand Prix in Kent in August 1944. It was won by Les Plume of Manchester; the first stage was won by Percy Stallard, the organiser of the Llangollen-Wolverhampton race in 1942.
The experience encouraged the BLRC to run a bigger race, the Victory Cycling Marathon, to celebrate the end of the war in 1945. It ran from Brighton to Glasgow in five stages and was won by Robert Batot of France, with Frenchmen in six places in the top 10, winners of the mountains competition and best team.
Chas Messenger, a BLRC official and historian, said: “No one had ever put on a stage race in this country, other than the Southern Grand Prix, and even fewer people had even seen one. So raw were they that Jimmy Kain [the organiser] even wrote to the Auto-cycle Union [the body for car racing] and the flags used by them were taken as a guide to what was needed. Kain recalled the precarious budget: “£44 entry fees and £130 of my own money and £16 when I went round with the hat after the Bradford stage.”
The writer Roger St Pierre said:
“It was reported that 20,000 watched the start but I’ve seen a picture which would indicate it was probably three or four times that number. What outsiders didn’t see though was just what a ramshackle affair it all was, with riders finishing stages often miles longer than billed then having to find a bed for the night – with the poorer riders ending up spending the night huddled in barns, haylofts or even under the hedgerows.”
The BLRC was not recognised by the world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale and so it recruited its French riders from another rebel organisation, the communist Fédération Sportive et Gymnastique du Travail, using French café-owners in Soho, London, as their link.



The Victory Cycling Marathon was run on what little money the BLRC could raise. Riders stayed in cheap boarding houses and officials used their own cars. In 1947, the News of the World gave £500 to the race, by then called Brighton-Glasgow. Within a year it pulled out again, concerned by the internal arguments that had bedevilled the BLRC from the start. The 1950 race was sponsored by Sporting Record, another newspaper, followed by the Daily Express in 1952.
The cycling official John Dennis said in 2002:
“The most effective sponsor of the Tour of Britain (the Daily Express) was lost as a result of the constant bickering between rival officials and organisations. I was the press officer to the Express publicity director, Albert Asher, and saw it all happen. He was upset by the petty disagreements and decided to support the new Formula 1 motor-racing instead.”
Sponsorship was taken up by the makers of Quaker Oats in 1954 and then, in 1958, by the Milk Marketing Board.
The Milk Marketing Board (MMB) was a sales monopoly for dairy farmers in England and Wales. A semi-professional cyclist from Derby, Dave Orford, asked the MMB to pay for “Drink more milk” to be embroidered on the jersey of every semi-professional, or independent, rider in the country. The MMB could then advertise that races had been won because of the properties of milk and the winner would receive a £10 bonus as a result.

Orford met the MMB’s publicity officer, Reg Pugh, at the board’s headquarters in Thames Ditton, west of London. Orford said: “At the end of the discussion he stated that the MMB would prefer to sponsor a major international marathon. So the Milk Race, the Tour of Britain, was born, starting in 1958 and lasting for 35 years, the longest cycle sponsorship in the UK ever.”
The first two races were open to semi-professionals but from 1960 until 1984 it was open only to amateurs. From 1985 until 1993 the Milk Race was open to both amateurs and professionals. After 1993 the Milk Race ended as the MMB was wound up because of European monopoly laws.

The professional Kellogg’s Tour of Britain began in 1987 and eight editions were completed. This Tour, particularly in its early years, was characterised by very long hilly stages, a typical example being the Newcastle to Manchester stage via the Yorkshire Dales in the 1987 event. The Prudential plc-sponsored PruTour (1998-1999) ran twice. Concerns about safety during the races contributed to both events’ demise through the withdrawal of sponsorship; in the case of the Kellogg’s Tour this followed a member of the public driving into the peloton in the Lake District, and in the case of the Pru Tour a police motorcyclist being killed in a collision with a motorist near Worcester.

















Posted in TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 by lagazzettadellabici on June 28, 2009

Participating Countries in the Tour de France

1. France 532 22,2% 45
2. Italy 396 16,5% 41
3. Spain 336 14,0% 43
4. Belgium 314 13,1% 45
5. Netherlands 229 9,6% 67
6. Germany 97 4,1% 40
7. Switzerland 82 3,4% 37
8. Colombia 68 2,8% 28
9. United States 37 1,5% 29
10. Denmark 33 1,4% 36
11. Australia 28 1,2% 31
12. Russia 28 1,2% 20
13. United Kingdom 26 1,1% 40
14. Portugal 22 0,9% 32
15. Luxembourg 19 0,8% 23
16. Poland 14 0,6% 17
17. Austria 13 0,5% 23
18. Sweden 11 0,5% 16
19. Norway 11 0,5% 26
20. Ireland 9 0,4% 19
21. Kazahkstan 9 0,4% 15
22. Slovenia 8 0,3% 9
23. Ukraine 8 0,3% 15
24. Czech Republic 8 0,3% 18
25. New Zealand 6 0,3% 15
26. Lithuania 6 0,3% 8
27. Latvia 6 0,3% 9
28. Brazil 5 0,2% 7
29. Venezuela 4 0,2% 9
30. Canada 4 0,2% 14
31. Finland 3 0,1% 6
32. Japan 3 0,1% 2
33. Belarus 3 0,1% 3
34. Estonia 3 0,1% 12
35. Mexico 3 0,1% 11
36. Uzbekistan 2 0,1% 9
37. Yugoslavia 2 0,1% 3
38. South Africa 2 0,1% 7
39. Moldavia 1 0,0% 1
40. Slovakia 1 0,0% 2
41. Kenya 1 0,0% 1
42. Croatia 1 0,0% 1
43. Hungary 1 0,0% 3

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on June 28, 2009

Wilier was born in 1906 thanks to the brilliant idea of a trader from Bassano, Pietro Dal Molin, of building bicycles on his own account. His forge or \”Steel horses\” rose as a small workshop along the banks of the river Brenta, at Bassano del Grappa, and it became more and more successful by keeping up with the increasing demand for bicycles.

In the first post-war period, Mario, one of Dal Molin’s sons, gained the leadership of Wilier and he began a constant perfectioning of the bicycles through chromium and nickel-plating. Under his leadership, the production increased considerably and the firm, which came unsmirched out of the II World War, after the Armistice, started again its activity.

Those were the years of the Reconstruction, when the bicycle was the most important means of transportation as well as cycling, together with football, became the most popular sport. For this reason, Dal Molin determined to set up a professional team captained by the triestin Giordano Cottur, well-know for succeding no less than Gino Bartali during the Bassano-Monte Grappa lap for amateurs.

In the same time, according to the common feeling of uneasiness about the fate of Trieste, Dal Molin decided to associate the name of this julian town to that of his own firm. In this way, in Autumn 1945 the Wilier Triestina was born, distinguished by its red copper-coloured bicycles, which later became an authentic trade-mark. The following year the team took to the first Tour of Italy of the post-war period, cutting in the duel between two great champions, Coppi and Bartali, and gaining flattering victories in several laps. After all those successful races, Wilier became part of the most important Italian cycling: this big industrial boom involved an enlargement both of the plant and of the staff, in the order to meet the increasing demand; so, the production reached 200 bicycles a day, employing 300 workers.

Strong in its success and thanks to the prestige it had gained, in 1947 Wilier bought up a promising young cyclist: Fiorenzo Magni, this one, instead of being crushed in the challenge between Coppi and Bartali, found out the right system to become the third great protagonist of Italian cycling, by winning the Tour of Italy in 1948. This is the same year Wilier spread its intense activity in South America too, where a small team of local professional cyclist collected dozens of wins.

In the following season, the team, reconfirmed for its great performances, won several national races, until it became successful in 1949 and in 1950 in the Tour of Flanders and the Tour de France.

Unfortunately, after the first enrapturing phase of national reconstruction, in the early ’50s, came the period of the economic miracle: people gave up bicycles to discover scooters and motorbike. Cycle firms suffered the damage of progress, and in 1952 Wilier Triestina had to shut down and leave its agonistic activity.

Nowadays, the glorious story of this firm and of its \”copper-coloured jewel\” lives again thanks to the Gastaldello brothers from Rossano Veneto, who bought the Wilier Triestina mark in 1969, proud to bring again great favour to one of the best known Italian cycle houses and providing dozens of professional and dilettantish Italian and foreign teams with their bicycles.

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on June 26, 2009

THE WORM IS BACK. WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH TEAMS SIGNING FUCKING LITTLE SHITS LIKE THIS AS SOON AS THEIR BANS ARE OVER http://bit.ly/wOZPw

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on June 26, 2009

AS I SAID IN MY LAST BLOG I WENT TO SOUTHEND LAST NIGHT TO SEE THE FINAL OF THE TOUR SERIES. I TOOK A LITTLE DIGITAL CAMERA AND TOOK SOME SNAPS AND HERE THEY ARE. BECAUSE RAPHA ARE MY FAVOURITE TEAM THE PHOTOS ARE SLIGHTLY BIASED TOWARDS THEM BUT NEVERMIND THERE ARE STILL SOME OTHER RIDERS IN THERE SOMEWHERE. ANYWAY THANKS AGAIN TO THE TOUR SERIES FOR THEIR VIP TREATMENT WE HAD A AMAZING NIGHT. IF ANYONE WANTS TO USE THESE PHOTOS JUST TAKE THEM I DONT MIND.

























Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on June 26, 2009


I WENT TO THE LAST STAGE OF THE TOUR SERIES RACES YESTERDAY IN SOUTHEND WITH MY WIFE. HAD A GREAT TIME LARGELY DUE TO THE VIP TREATMENT WE GOT FROM THE TOUR ORGANISERS BECAUSE IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY. FREE BEER, FREE FOOD AND BIKE RACING IS A PRETTY GOOD COMBINATION. I HAVENT HAD TIME TO WORK ON THE PHOTOS I TOOK BUT I’LL POST SOONER THAN LATER. ITS A REAL SHAME RAPHA DIDNT WIN, ESPECIALLY AS I DONT REALLY LIKE HALFORDS BIKEHUT OR THE WAY THEY RIDE BUT NEVER MIND WHAT CAN YOU DO. ILL POST MORE PICS SOON.