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- Never been there but would like to hook-up w/ that one tonight. I seem to remember something about 6 PM. Just wondering about the route, time, and it really does start in the Lowe' parking lot - right?
- It would appear as if the issue of safety is finally sexy when marketing helmets. Last February, we examined the new technology going into Kali ... The post Giro Partners with MIPS Technologies for “Slip Plane” Helmets appeared first on Cyclocross Magazine - Cyclocross News, Races,...
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RONDA, Spain (VN) — The rumor mill was churning during the Tour de France that Edvald Boasson Hagen was heading to Tinkoff-Saxo. With team owner Oleg Tinkov opening his checkbook, big names, such as Peter Sagan, are heading to the team.
On Wednesday, however, there was a bombshell of sorts. The 27-year-old Norwegian is instead bound for professional-continental team MTN-Qhubeka.
The news first broke on Norwegian TV, which follows Boasson Hagen’s every move, and was later confirmed by team management during stage 5 at the Vuelta a España.
MTN-Qhubeka sport director Manel La Cambra confirmed during the broadcast on Spanish television that Boasson Hagen is set to join the team, through 2016.
“He is a big rider, and he will help us in the classics and the grand tours,” La Cambra said on TVE. “It’s big news for the team.”
Moments later, the team released an official confirmation of the news.
“We believe he is one of the best riders in the world and we look forward to seeing him achieve great results for himself as well as mentor our young African talents,” said team principal Douglas Ryder in a press release. “We want to become one of the best teams in the world to assist the African riders to get into the biggest races in cycling, and this is a huge step in that direction.”
The team is already making history as the first African-registered team to race in a grand tour at this Vuelta. With the arrival of Boasson Hagen, the team’s profile will rise even more.
Boasson Hagen, 27, seemed to have been stuck in a rut at Team Sky. With the British squad putting nearly all of its focus on grand tours, the once-prolific Boasson Hagen has reverted into a helper’s role for most of the season. After winning stages in both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia in previous years, he is winless so far in 2014.
Turning down offers from WorldTour teams, Boasson Hagen instead chose MTN-Qhubeka.
“It’s been five great seasons with Team Sky, but the time has come to seek new challenges. MTN-Qhubeka has a very good platform and a framework that fits me very well, so I´m sure this is a very good choice for the next seasons,” he said in a team release. “For next year they are targeting the Tour. So I feel safe about the race program, and I really look forward to focus on new goals in the MTN-Qhubeka jersey.”
Boasson Hagen’s arrival will also give a huge boost to MTN-Qhubeka’s hopes to race the 2015 Tour de France.
Editor’s Note: This video is courtesy of Global Cycling Network. The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily represent the opinions of VeloNews.com, Velo magazine or the editors and staff of Competitor Group, Inc.
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- If you are interested in sharing the cost of a log cabin at Bass Resort next weekend send me a PM. Right now my wife (non-racer / support crew) and I are renting it alone. She does not like to camp. Details of the cabin are on the website:
Our rustic Log Cabins are ideal for groups of all sizes. Log Cabins 13-18 each accommodate 8 people max per unit. Log Cabins 13-18 are located near the Outpost. These units include one private bedroom with full bed, upstairs loft with 2 full size beds, and a full hideaway couch in the living room. These cabins do not have T.V.'s. Log Cabins 19-28 can accommodate 12 people max per unit. Log 19-28 are located near our Main Headquarters. These units include one private bedroom with full size bed, two upstairs lofts with 2 full size beds in each, and a full hideaway couch. These units have T.V.'s. Each unit has a sitting area, a kitchen with refrigerator, stove with oven, microwave, coffee maker, heat & A/C. All lodging units come with a fire ring, picnic table and charcoal grill. A 2 night minimum stay on weekends and a 3 night minimum stay on holiday weekends is required. Sunday nights on holiday weekends are Saturday rates.
Crank-based power meter manufacturer Quarq, a division of SRAM, is expanding its range to include Shimano road and XX1 mountain crank options in 2015.
Quarq’s Shimano-compatible Elsa RS
The new Shimano-compatible Elsa RS is built around a pair of hollow carbon crank arms crank arms of Quarq’s design. It uses a spider for Shimano’s proprietary 4-arm chainring standard, allowing users to mount Dura-Ace 9000-series chainrings to improve shift quality (and the aesthetic) when paired with a Shimano drivetrain.
As with all of Quarq’s latest power meters, the Elsa RS spider houses a user-replaceable CR2032 battery, worth about 300 hours of ride time, an LED indicator light, and a printed ANT+ code for easy connection to any ANT+ cycling computer. The RS electronics also include active temperature compensation, improving accuracy and consistency as temperatures fluctuate. Thanks to this new feature, Quarq says the Elsa RS is its “most exact power meter to date.”
The use of Shimano’s 110BCD standard and proprietary chainrings allows riders to chose between compact (50/34-tooth), semi-compact (52/36-tooth) and standard (53/39-tooth) chainrings, all with the same crank and spider. Quarq’s OmniCal feature makes swapping chainrings easy as well, as it automatically compensates for the changes in torque brought on by different ring sizes.
The Elsa RS will be available in 170mm, 172.5mm, and 175mm lengths, has a Q-factor of 145mm, and weighs a claimed 616 grams (GXP, 110BCD, 172.5mm). Bottom bracket options include GXP, PressFit GXP, BB30, PressFit 30, and BBright.
Retail price is set at $1,600 for the GXP version and $1,650 for the BB30 version.
Quarq brings power to XX1
The new XX1 power meter is built specifically for SRAM’s single-ring mountain bike drivetrains, XX1, X01, and X1. All of the electronics are the same as Quarq’s road units — ANT+, LED indicator light, active temperature compensation — except squeezed into a smaller 104 BCD spider.
The rather old school 104 BCD (bolt circle diameter) spider means that the smallest compatible SRAM narrow-wide chainring has 32 teeth — four more teeth than the smallest available ring for SRAM’s normal single-ring cranksets, which are 76 BCD. That limits the Quarq XX1 to faster riders and/or faster bikes.
Thankfully, aftermarket chainrings from RaceFace, Pacenti, and Wolf Tooth are available down to 30 teeth. The Quarq XX1 is sold without chainrings.
Carbon fiber arms, available in 170mm and 175mm lengths, and a low-profile spider help keep weight relatively low, 626 grams for the GXP version without a ring.
156 and 168mm Q-factors are available, as are GXP, PressFit GXP, BB30, PresFit 30, and BBright bottom bracket options.
Retail price is set at $1,500 for GXP and $1,550 for BB30. SRAM X-SYNC narrow-wide chainrings range from $105 to $127.
Both the Elsa RS and XX1 meters will include a new, integrated, accelerometer-based cadence function, removing the need to attach a magnet to the frame. Every Quarq power meter shipped from the factory after August 14 will include this new feature, and all Quarq meters with a visible LED and ANT+ code can be have the feature added simply by updating firmware.
Performance of the accelerometer-based cadence is “excellent up to 160rpm and in all but the most extreme vibration environments,” but those seeking utmost accuracy can still attach a magnet for measuring cadence.
The post Quarq adds XX1 and Shimano-compatible power meters for 2015 appeared first on VeloNews.com.
CORDOBA, Spain (VN) — Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) shouldn’t even be in this Vuelta a España. Barely a month ago, the Spanish superstar crashed out of the Tour de France with a broken leg. A fractured bone seemed to be a death sentence for Contador’s 2014 season, on the side of an innocuous French road in the Vosges mountains. Everyone close to him says he was in the best form of his career.
Yet here is Contador, without question one of the most tenacious riders in the modern peloton, if not cycling history, fighting back yet again. Throughout much of his career, Contador has defied the odds. One obstacle after another, Contador has overcome, and won.
Can he do it again? In the opening days of the 2014 Vuelta a España, there’s a growing sense of optimism within the Tinkoff-Saxo camp.
“We don’t know how far Alberto can go,” Tinkoff-Saxo sport director Philippe Mauduit told VeloNews. “It sounds like a cliché, but we are taking it day-by-day, stage-by-stage. Every morning we make a plan based on what happened the day before.”
Through four stages of racing, it’s unrealistic to reach conclusions about a race that’s just starting to heat up. Yet there have been encouraging hints that Contador could well go a lot further than he’d hoped for less than two weeks ago when he announced that he would start the Vuelta.
Contador has suggested in the early, hard efforts of this Vuelta that his right knee, which was most seriously impacted in his Tour crash, is not causing him as much pain and discomfort as expected.
“We are taking it day to day. I have some discomfort, but it’s not getting worse,” Contador said after finishing safely with the front group Tuesday. “I am getting through each day, and that motivates me, but at the same time, we’re still cautious.”
Contador, 31, returned to racing with this Vuelta barely two weeks after resuming serious training following his horrific, high-speed crash in the Vosges that knocked him out of the Tour.
Much like Chris Froome (Sky), who also returned to the Vuelta from a Tour-ending injury, Contador doesn’t really know his true form. And he probably won’t know until getting through a pair of early, steep, and explosive climbing stages at La Zubia on Thursday and Valdelinares on Sunday. Neither stage is considered a race-breaker, but if Contador can hang in there, the dynamics of this Vuelta could change dramatically.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is considered by many to be the five-star favorite in the early going of this Vuelta, with both Froome and Contador unknown elements.
Contador’s ability to stay with the favorites, especially in Monday’s explosive finale to Arcos de la Frontera, is only fueling confidence inside the Tinkoff-Saxo bus.
“He’s going better than I am,” said Jesus Hernández on Spanish TV following Tuesday’s stage. “He’s getting through it without too much pain so far. We’ll see at La Zubia how good he really is. So far, it’s great to see him doing well. That just motivates everyone even more.”
Contador’s presence in the Vuelta has been like a bolt of electricity in the season’s final grand tour, especially among Spanish fans and media. Contador is the only Spanish rider who seems to reach out beyond the cycling community to the everyday sports fans. Each morning before the start, huge crowds press in around the Tinkoff-Saxo bus, peering to catch a glimpse of the only contemporary Tour winner among the active Spanish peloton.
“Knowing how hard-headed Alberto is, it’s no surprise that Contador is here,” Hernández continued. “When I talked to him a few weeks ago, he said, ‘What do I do? I don’t feel bad, but not great.’ He said, what’s worse, going to the Vuelta and failing, or sit at home and climb the walls?”
Beyond the competitive interests of the race, simply starting and finishing the Vuelta will pay dividends for 2015. Like Froome and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), whose Tours were cut short by crashes, putting in the effort of a complete three-week grand tour carries over into the following season.
Yet there are few riders in the peloton such as Contador. Unquestionably, he is the most successful grand tour rider of his generation. He has won seven grand tours, though two were erased following his controversial clenbuterol case in 2010 (the 2010 Tour and 2011 Giro d’Italia victories, among all other results, were wiped clean), meaning that Contador is the most successful grand tour rider in the peloton. Only Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), with one Giro, Tour, and Vuelta on his palmares, comes close.
But Contador hasn’t won a grand tour since his daring and emotional 2012 Vuelta victory, when he attacked a hapless Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) on an otherwise routine mountain stage to Fuente Dé to snatch away the victory. After a subpar 2013 season, Contador came back with a vengeance this year, winning or finishing second in every stage race he started before the Tour this summer.
It’s that competitive streak and ambition to reclaim his crown as the king of the grand tours that is fueling Contador through this Vuelta.
“You know the first thing Alberto said when he stepped into the team car at the Tour, still in his jersey and with his knee bleeding?” Mauduit said. “He said, ‘I will be at the Vuelta. You can be sure. I will be at the Vuelta.’ He is very strong in the head.”
That inner strength is often what divides the winners from the wannabes in cycling. Scores of riders have come through with impressive power numbers, but it takes someone “strong in the head” to deliver victories in the cutthroat elite peloton. And Contador has that in spades.
Whether that drive and confidence will be enough to lift Contador in this Vuelta remains to be seen. He barely had two weeks of training following his recovery from his Tour injury, and even that was limited.
“Alberto will not lose the fitness from the Tour, not at his age, and not with his class,” Mauduit continued. “What he will be missing is that explosive edge. There are others who are coming to this Vuelta who are fresher, like Quintana. All we can do is wait.”
So far through the beginning of the Vuelta, Contador has been able to show that he can be there. His rivals are certainly taking notice.
If Quintana or the others want to assure themselves a good chance of winning this Vuelta, they will want to do themselves a favor and try to distance Contador in these early climbs. They run a very big risk if they decide to wait until the final week of the Vuelta. By then, it might be too late.
Contador will only be getting stronger by the day.
The post Encouraging signs for Alberto Contador in opening days of Vuelta appeared first on VeloNews.com.