Category Archives: professional cycling
Brian Vernor: On Rivalries
Vernor

Photo by Brian Vernor

Rivalries, they exist everywhere, especially in professional cycling. So when Sven Nys, lost his main rival yesterday, it called for some reflection. Niels Albert had to pull out of professional cyclocross racing due to a rare heart condition.

Head over to Brian’s blog to read his piece…

May 20, 2014 1 comment
2014 Amgen Tour of California: Stage 08 – Thousand Oaks
TED KING FOR THE MUTHA FUCKIN WIN!

Man oh man. What a day! I’m still buzzing from the final stage of the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. After a week-long road trip with Rapha North America and Tillie, the new Mobile Cycle Club, we were all at our maximum capacity. Late nights working turned into early mornings riding and after a week, all the energy left over culminated into one crescendo of cheering and support for the PRO cycling contingency.

The final stage was a three-lap circuit up and over the (in)famous Rock Store climb. Normally moto and auto territory on the weekend, this road is one of the more treacherous climbs for cyclists in the area. That said, just this one day, for four hours however, the road was ours. Unfortunately, we had to begin early… Like, wake up at 4:30am and drive an hour to start our ride at 5:30.

But, as the saying goes, early to bed, early to shred. With only minimal aggression from motos and autos, we took to the hills of Malibu Creek State Park and eventually scaled Rock Store, where we greeted amass of fans, all in support of the ATOC and looking to party.

It was majestic. Even the pros got down. Thanks so much Ted King!

Read more in the gallery!

May 19, 2014 12 comments
2014 Amgen Tour of California: Stage 07 – Pasadena
Flag face

Stage 07 was my unofficial “rest day”. After eight days on the road, I was ready for a chill afternoon, lounging by the pool, with a bourbon in one hand and my ‘gram in the other.

Like all time spent on the road, nothing ever goes as planned. I shot the start of the race because, why the hell not? Then I bumped into some friends and watched the start. Before I knew it, the time was 1pm and I had still yet to find a pool…

Then, we got an urgent call, summoning us to the team hotel, an hour away, to interview a very important person… More on that later, but for now, enjoy some good old fashioned race randomness and race refuse observations.

May 18, 2014 7 comments
Clement Chevrier’s PRO Trek Madone with SRAM Wireless
Clement Chevrier's PRO Trek Madone with SRAM Wireless

This is by no means a “secret”. Plenty of other sources have covered SRAM’s new prototype wireless shifting. All I’m doing here is showcasing a PRO bike that just happens to be using this new technology…

When a company goes through years of PR&D, in house testing and thorough engineering, the next phase is getting said product out on the bikes of PRO cyclists. This year at the Amgen Tour of California, SRAM unveiled a new piece of technology on the Trek Bissell Cycling Team: wireless shifting.

All I can do is show you Clement Chevrier’s Trek Madone team bike, you can make any assessments yourself. If, for example you wanted to guess what it’s like to ride it, go for it. If for example, you wanted to guess how it shifts or sets up, go for it. If for example, you think it’s “dumb” or “stupid”, by all means, you’re entitled to your opinion, but remember, you’re not PRO!

One thing I will say is that you’re in for a surprise… Thanks to Criag, the Bissell mechanic for hooking this one up!

May 17, 2014 52 comments
2014 Amgen Tour of California: Stage 06 – Santa Clarita
Typical Rapha routing

For the past week, Rapha and I have been covering the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. In that time, I’ve seen some incredible feats of athleticism from the PROs, met tons of rad people, shot enough photos to fill a book (hint hint) and gone on some very tough rides.

The ride we did up to Diablo – more to come on that – was hard, but the ride we did yesterday was tough. So tough that if our friends at Mavic hadn’t offered support, it would have been a long day.

Deserts can be an unforgiving place. Even with my musette stuffed with extra water, food and camera equipment, I would have succumbed to the bonk goblins if it hadn’t been for Chad and Charlie from Mavic.

Thank you’s aside, we rode from Palmdale to the KOM, made a wrong turn and then hauled freaking ass – I’ve never climbed that fast before in my life – back up to the top.

The race ended and we headed back to Palmdale, finishing out at over 80 miles and 7,000′ elevation.

May 17, 2014 6 comments
2014 Amgen Tour of California: Stage 05 – Pismo Beach
He makes it look easy!

I’ve been looking forward to this stage since the first time Rapha North America and I discussed doing the Tour of California again. Why? Because Stage 05 ends in Santa Barbara, home to one of my favorite dudes / frame builders, Aaron of Stinner Frameworks.

Our plan was to get into town super early and hit a quick road ride before waiting at the KOM for the Hot Boyz of PRO Cycling to crest. Well, when you’ve been on the road for around a week, plans get shuffled around a bit.

We got to town late, like four hours late, but we quickly assessed the race via the ATOC app and figured we could hammer it up Old San Marcos road to the KOM in time.

Side note: I was over shooting frame builders in their studio, so it was nice getting Aaron out onto a bike. If only I could do this for every “shop visit”…

After literally hammering it up to the top, the breakaway group summited, then the peloton and eventually, the stragglers. The temps were up in the high 90′s and it was hot, hot, hot.

20 miles and 2800′ elevation later and we were ready to hit the road…

Read more in the captions!

May 16, 2014 16 comments
Rohan Dennis’ Lucky 13 Cervélo R5ca PRO Road
Rohan Dennis' Lucky 13 Cervélo R5ca PRO Road

PRO bikes just look fast, sitting (magically) by themselves, not that Rohan Dennis needs any help going fast. Even with all the added performance peaks of the R5ca, Cervélo’s made in California professional road frame.

A friend of mine is one of the Garmin-Sharp Pro Cycling Team mechanics and today (uh, yesterday?? – my clock is all off), he let me take some quick photos of Dennis’ lucky 13 Cervélo R5ca.

Built with Di2, Rotor noQ, Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels, 3T bar / stem and topped with a matching Fizik Arione, this bike is nothing short of a dream ride. Especially straight off the mechanic’s stand, I felt like I should have white gloves on!

Many, many, many thanks to Ben from the Garmin-Sharp team for allowing me the honor to shoot this bike. I owe you a beer the next time I see you in Minneapolis man!

May 15, 2014 15 comments
2014 Amgen Tour of California: Stage 04 – Monterey
Then the motos come up for hydration. Temps peaked to 99 yesterday along the coast!

How many more of these stages do I have? Are we on the coast yet? It’s been hot as hell… I just want more coffee from the Rapha MCC and some more House Industries caps.

Yesterday was Monterey to Cambria, one of the most scenic routes in the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. The race course snaked its way through Big Sur and the coastal redwoods as they hit two KOMs back-to-back, three total and one sprint section.

I was in the Skratch Labs Neutral Human Support vehicle, watching them work – more on that in the captions – and trying to get a few shots from the passenger’s window. Meanwhile, with no cell reception, we were all forced to soak in the Cali coast…

Read up the captions, because I tried to be clever this morning.

Side note: if you’re on Instagram, follow Skratch and tag your photos with #SkratchNHS and a quick description of what you think “Neutral Human Support” means for a chance to win a bag of product from Skratch!

May 15, 2014 17 comments