Everyone’s My favorite XCO racer–Jolanda Neff–has branched out onto the road this season. I’m no huge fan of road racing, but I’m glad to see Jolanda’s “Neffness” branching out onto the paved roads of the European women’s pro peloton.
Tag Archives | road racing
Every so often, especially with the cobbled classics coming, I find myself getting sucked into perusing through vintage photos online from the early days of racing. The one you see here is of 29-year-old French cyclist Jules Deloffre at the 1914 Paris-Roubaix.
This one caught my eye for a variety of reasons. For one, Jules looks hella unhappy to have his photo taken. I know that in those days, there wasn’t a lot of smiling and giggling for the camera due to the exposure time, etc., but still, Jules looks as if he is trying to make sure the viewer makes no mistake about his nationality, or the level of asshole that he is. That, or he sensed dead legs and a 76th place finish later that day.
Despite having legs that felt as heavy has a two sacks of haggis, I got out for a ride on Thursday. Right now, I’m not so concerned with the length of the rides, just trying to get consistent time on the bike. So I headed out for yet another Better Than The Trainer Ride™, but this time ventured off of pavement for a bit and reintroduced some dirt, er I should say mud, to the ride.
Every year about this time I find myself posting something about the Strade Bianche road race in Italy’s Tuscany region. A race that has nearly 53 km worth of white dirt and gravel road sectors along its 176 km percorso. Think Paris-Roubaix; in Italy; with dirt sectors instead of cobbles.
Lately I have been taking enjoyment from some strange things, and by “strange,” I don’t mean stupidly riding around the snowless woods on a heavy ass fat bike or my born again lust for women wearing tube socks. Not that those things aren’t fun or incredibly freaking hot, it’s just not what I am referring to. Read on if ye care, if ye don’t… well… don’t.
Note: The blog post below was originally posted on xxcmag.com on November 4th 2011. As I’ve been doing with some other posts that I wrote and enjoyed on XXC, I am reposting it here, because when the now defunct magazine’s site expires, it’s gone. I am also reposting because I just saw a Tweet that The Guardian wrote a way better, more professional article about her on May 12, 2014 and I wanted to prove (at least to myself) that I was at least thinking of how badass Alfonsina Morini was before them (even if it was a short post, via a now defunct endurance mountain bike site with a microorganism sized following). Also note that I wrote the post using Alfonsia’s maiden name of Morini rather than that of her husband Luigi Strada.
You may or may not (probably not) remember my post a while back on the isolati. If you don’t remember (and you probably don’t) I will quote the post…
…earlier this week as I continued to delve further into the book Maglia Rosa, I stumbled upon a word that was used in the early days of the Giro to describe the amateur racers, who didn’t ride for a team, just for themselves, room and board… they were called the isolati.
I was drawn to this concept for some unknown reason. Whooooo, wait a good-God-damn-minute. Fuck that, that’s a lie. I was drawn to it because the isolati were badasses. They were considered unpaid pariahs of the peloton. The only racers below them was the aspiranti (which I just MIGHT be drawn to even more and will be featured on a future jersey! Ha!)
Note: This post appeared on xxcmag.com in the winter of 2013. I really dig the post and since I’m not sure how much longer xxcmag.com will be live, I am preserving it here, so as not to let the post go to waste.
All too often modern-day riders and racers get caught up in Facebook, Twitter, message board and Strava pissing contests about their training, riding and racing and lose sight of the feats that our brothers and sisters have done before us.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not discounting the amazing adventures, rides and races that folks are doing on their bikes these days; i.e.Tour Divide, Iditarod Trail Invitational, Arrowhead 135, Trans Iowa, etc., etc., (all those races that I lack the talent, skills and man-giblets to ever attempt) I just think that on occasion we need to put some things into perspective and call attention to some past events, races and the vintage bad ass riders of yesteryear.
In the case of today’s post we are actually highlighting one of the hardest stages ever, in what is known as the hardest version, of what is arguably the most popular bike race in the world– The Tour de France. Stage 10 of the 1926 Tour de France to be exact.
The 2014 Strade Bianche race was a super fun race to watch! I highly recommend watching it [HERE] on YouTube or downloading it from your favorite torrent site. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) is such a powerful and fun racer to watch, but was outdone by Michal “The Kielbasa King” Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) who was in freaking beast mode. Watching the pros racing on the white, dusty gravel of Italy was just the motivation I needed (along with a couple high-octane beers) to finally enter the 2014 Barry-Roubaix.
This week has given me very little and in return I have given back even less. So far, aside from two trips to the gym (with varying results) and spending ten minutes on the stationary trainer before saying “fuck it, this is like the dumbest thing ever,” I have pretty much done nothing. And when I say “nothing,” I mean NOTHING. Well, unless standing at the back door and blindly staring out the window wondering what people with real lives are doing is something, but I am pretty sure that qualifies as nothing. I guess I could consult The Idiot’s Guide to Depressive Slack & Ennui for an official ruling, but I’m way too busy doing nothing .