Tour de France

Our take on the the Tour brought to you fresh by the original Clip-n-Seal.

Hydro Rim Brakes at the Tour

Cavs goes fast

A Venge with Hydro R

Haven’t heard if Hydro Rim brakes helped Cavs in the Tour’s crash yesterday, but that he’s riding them is news and a win for SRAM. We got the PR and this photo of his bike on Friday.

I reviewed and fully approved of HRR earlier this year and on Tuesday will attend a clinic, building up a bike with RED 22 HRR. That post about Hydro brakes, and much more, is also bundled for free with our new magazine for iOS.

Where SRAM’s new “22” groups are a response to their competitors—it’s Red 2012 with another click— Hydro is the story. The development in brakes is an engineering statement that’s as much about SRAM as a company as how bikes stop. This is the company who brought us GripShift, fought for years to break up how drivetrains were sold, and now is moving the market with a break-through product that again challenges a conventional market lacking a major jump forward.

The Great American Tour Heist

tour

Robbed the tour like an old-timey train – Movie poster LOC, 1896

As it was told to me by and industry insider

Another perspective, instead of an athletic morals failure story, is that the Lance Doping Era was the Great American Tour Heist. Stupid bike racers fooled everyone, stole Le Tour’s Money, got rich, famous.

That’s a movie I’d like to see, like the a train robbery or Oceans 11. Remember, these aren’t Wall Street, Ivy League corporate raiders, math geeks in a casino, or dotcommers, but bike racers.

Some of the stupidest people you’ll ever meet are bike racers and they made millions.

Tour de France Recap: Ride Britannia Ride

The gold chains were dangling at Le Tour this year.

gold chains

Dangling bling, bling

Fans were naked and crazy

with some flying eddies

with a couple flying eddies covering the junk

Voekler rocked it

Lick it up

Lick it Up

and then this happened.

radiohead

Pull that radio out of your head and go!

That screenshot summarizes a frustratingly boring Tour that ended with Wiggo winning. The course suited him, many rivals in the mountains we’re taken out (45 abandons) or not there, and we debated on social networks that it’s not just the win, but the manner in which the race is won. I said

Meaning, besides the outward stoicism, suspect Wiggo is infinitely more complex. If Sky signs with Specialized next year and works more closely with Mclaren, expect a dynasty too. Listen to him in this presser. He responds to the question of being boring and lacking panache. Also listen to us debating the Tour on the Fredcast Spokesmen.

Finally, from the NYT, how Britain conquered the cycling world

Before the British came to dominate track cycling, before the Olympic medal haul of 2008, before the velodrome sold out faster than any site for the London Games, there was “E.T.” The movie inspired Chris Hoy’s foray into cycling. He started in BMX and later moved onto the track and won three golds at the Beijing Games. Afterward, he was knighted — joining Sir Elton John, Sir Alfred Hitchcock and Sir Isaac Newton — for riding a bicycle around a wooden track.

Screenshots are from NBC’s coverage of the tour with a mod’d Getty Image of Tour fans via Daylife.

Vive le Tour in 1962 and Now


Louis Malle loved bike racing and his short film shows that, “Then and now, it’s not a bourgeois sport.”

HT a Paris State of Mind.

Another Tough Tour for Tyler Farrar

Yesterday while we raced the 4th in Burien at the Matava crit, a Seattle-area classic, the announcer mentioned how Tyler had raced there as a junior so many times in the past. I’d watched him there, raced a few races he was in, and followed his progress to a Pro Tour racer with pride too. Today was a tough day for Tyler and he lost his normal, reserved cool. Eurosport UK covers what happened during Stage 5 in an well-written article.

For three consecutive days, Farrar has been thrown off his bike and cheese-grated by the awaiting tarmac; for three days, instead of competing for wins the American knows he’s capable of, Farrar has been reduced to leaving pools of blood over various roads of France; for three days, the 28-year-old from Washington has probably been reading on internet forums about how he’s past it, while looking down at scabs and bruises and wondering just how he’s feasibly meant to get back on it.

Earlier I linked to a YouTube video on Twitter that shows a shaken Tyler paying the Argus bus a visit to talk to Tom Veelers, whom he blames for the crash.


In a sport many of us old racers feel is over-marketed, cynical, and corrupt with catered-to-personalities and boring, pre-determined races; this shows how chaotic, real, and emotional it really is on the road. On the world’s stage today is what you’d see at a local race after a contested sprint when the testosterone is coursing through bulging veins and the emotions are running high. It’s not the slick version shown on TV with HUMAN graphics from NBC Sports; as if Cuddles was touchy feely.

This is as real, raw, and human as it gets from a blue-collar, working man’s sport. Not one that was made for Fondo hospitality tents with California wine and cheese. Tyler must have avoided the marketing and PR staff looking for him to get to the bus and I’m sure regrets it afterwards, but fewer true words have been spoken in the sport recently than…

hey you don’t do that to someone.

No you don’t. Not in this sport.

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