Rouleur

13/09/2019
Ian Stannard. Tougher than the rest. And then some.

Ian Stannard. Tougher than the rest. And then some.

Boonen, Vandernergh og Terpstra har 40km på å knuse Ian Stannard i Omloop 2015…

Boonen, Vandernergh og Terpstra har 40km på å knuse Ian Stannard i Omloop 2015…

…Ian Stannard knuser Boonen, Vandenbergh og Terpstra på de siste 40 km av Omloop 2015

…Ian Stannard knuser Boonen, Vandenbergh og Terpstra på de siste 40 km av Omloop 2015

“Etixx-Quickstep: How did they manage to lose that???” gasps an incredulous Eurosport commentator, Rob Hatch. He finds the answer with his very next breath: “Never underestimate Ian Stannard.”

 

Stannard’s odds-defying victory in the 2015 edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad proved that it was possible to beat the Belgians at their own game. Having pulled Stannard with them to the head of the race at 40 to go, Etixx had a 3-1 advantage as it reached the final five kilometres. All they had to do, surely, was wear Stannard down. Punch. Counterpunch. And repeat. How many times have we seen it before?

 

Although their riders made a couple of tactical blunders, ultimately it was Stannard’s strength, his refusal to recognise when he was beaten, that prevented a foregone conclusion from being realised. Rather than allowing them to put him in the corner, Stannard threw punches of his own, knocking first Stijn Vandenbergh, then Tom Boonen(!) and, in the final straight, Niki Terpstra to the canvas.

Domestique - Also known as "gregario" or "knecht". The role of the domestique, or servant, is the most important in any team. In fact, it's so important, that it won't do with just having one domestique, you need a lot of these. The role of fetching water bottles, protecting riders from wind and pulling in break-aways isn't glamorous, but it's vital, and even the best star rider wouldn't win Tour de France without good domestiques. See Chris Froome (SKY) on stage 9 of the TdF 2013 for an example of how much harder a stage is if you have no help. All rider types can and will pull domestique duty during different parts of a race.

  • Captain - This is the rider that everyone else is riding for. Normally he's the one the team manager think has the best chance to win, but this can change during a longer stage race. In the TdF 2013, Moviestar started with Valverde as their captain, but ended up riding for Quintana when they realized he was going to finish the race better.

  • Super-Domestique/Lieutenants - We've had some teams pumping excessively much money into the contracts, signing riders to be domestiques even when they would be capable of being captains in other teams. See Saxo-Tinkoff as the most obvious example, signing Roche (AG2R) and Kreuziger (Astana) from their comfortable roles as captains to help out Alberto Contador. The upside of this is that you get incredibly strong support for your leader. The downside is that sometimes, the lieutenant is the stronger rider of the two, which makes them more tempted to ride for their own chances. See Froome climbing happily away from Wiggins in the TdF 2012.

  • Rouleur - The "Roller". To win a cycling race, you need to keep the wheels turning. The rouleurs are excellent pacemakers, setting a consistent high pace in the peloton. They are normally good TT (Time Trail)-riders, and while on domestique duty, they are called upon to ride any attempted breakaways into the ground. On the other hand, if you want to put on top speed and ride away from the peloton, there's no better rider to do it than a real rouleur. Powerful guys who can put out incredible watt numbers over long amounts of time. We've seen Fabian Cancellara outpace everyone in the classics several times, and Tony Martin made a Vuelta stage a Solo TT attempt. These guys can roll.

  • Grimpeur - The Grimpeur is a climber. As opposed to the rouleur, he might not be able to hold the cadence needed for a good solo TT run, but he's got muscles that can work with higher effort, sorely needed if you want to scale a mountain or two. By simple physics, the climber has a lot of advantages by being small and light-weigh. The less weight you lug around, the less energy you need to spend to get there.

  • GC - Grand Concours. The "Great Competitions". Strictly speaking, this means the three-week stage races; the Giro, Tour de France and the Vuelta, but in a matter of parlance, it can also refer to any stage race more than a week, and the GC now often means "General Classification". The big three is also referred to as "Grand Tours".

  • GC Rider - the GC rider is someone who the team hope will win GC races. To do so, they have to master both climbing and TT, or at least be so incredibly good at one that the other one doesn't matter. If you can do both incredibly well, like Chris Froome, well, then you're not a GC rider, you're a GC winner.

  • Road Captain - Before they had team radios, all decisions had to be made on the fly; when to breakaway, what riders to send, who to pull them in, etc etc. This is usually left to one of the most experiences (read: older) riders on the team, who've rode the race several times before, and know the course better than anyone. This is still important today, but some teams seems to have left everything to radio (SKY!), which means they are unable to cope quickly if many things happen at once.

  • Puncheur - This is a rider who's got a good sprint, but also enough punch in the legs to get over a medium hill or two. And at a considerable speed as well. They are the strongest racers in many classics, as they have the combination of speed and endurance needed to win such races. If the sprinters can't get up the hill to fight at the finish line, the puncheur is there to sprint down the rest of the reduced field.

  • Finisseur - A finisseur is someone who's got enough power to put in a decent uphill sprint, even at the end of a mountain stage. When most riders are struggling just to keep the wheels rolling, he can grit his teeth and accellerate away for the last half kilometer or so, putting a lot of seconds into his rivals. Joaquin Rodriguez is an awesome finisseur.

Sykkelteori

Kjapp innføring i hvordan profflagene (les: Team Sky) legger opp taktikken for å knuse motstanderne:


Fans and rivals alike are growing exasperated at Team Sky’s dominance in the climbing stages. With up to five teammates drilling everyone into the ground, yellow jersey holder Chris Froome has controlled the steepest mountains of this Tour with imperial domination. 

Up until now in what’s been a climb-heavy Tour, almost no one has dared to attack Froome. And with the yellow jersey all but sewn up, Froome can race conservatively through the final two mountain stages to Paris to claim his third Tour win in four years. 

So what’s going on? We spoke with Tinkoff sport director Sean Yates to get an insider’s view. A former pro and sport director who helped Bradley Wiggins win the 2012 Tour, few know the inner workings at Sky better than Yates. 

Simply put, Yates says Sky’s dominance is a numbers game. With cycling’s biggest budget, Sky can buy riders who would be leaders on other teams, put them on the front of the peloton, and have them climb at their threshold power to protect Froome. And with Froome establishing himself as the strongest Tour rider of his generation, Yates said it’s virtually impossible for anyone to take on Froome directly on the climbs. 

Here is Yates explaining why Froome’s grip on the yellow jersey could last another three or four years: 

VeloNews: Can you explain Sky’s tactics on the climbs?
Sean YatesOn the main climbs or the points where it’s crucial, Sky sits at the front and rides a very high tempo. They’re all riding at threshold, and when you’ve got very good guys riding at threshold, about 450w, or in VAM, they’re climbing 1600 or 1700, so to attack, you’ve got to go 1900 for a short period of time, which means you go over your threshold, which means you pay for it. 

VN: So everyone is essentially going as fast as they can; what happens when you ‘pay for it?’
SYYou can only go over your threshold for 30 seconds or 1 minute, and then you have a big dip in power. So consequently, by the time when you attack, and the time you recover from that attack, you’re going slower. And when you have such a strong team, setting such a high tempo, it’s virtually impossible to attack. 

VN: Similar to what happened when a rider like Dan Martin tried to jump early on Finhaut-Emosson and later lost time?
SYThat was a perfect example. Martin, he attacks, he goes into red, and he blows up. Valverde didn’t attack, but he tried to make the race hard, and went over his threshold for two minutes, or whatever it was, and obviously he couldn’t keep it up, and he drops back. That’s the story. There is nothing you can do about it, really. 

VN: So when can a rider attack in these mountain stages?
SYRealistically, you can save your attack for the last kilometer, or the last 500m. If you feel you have something left in the tank, you can take a few seconds, like Adam Yates has been doing. You’re going to gain a few seconds, not minutes. 

VN: Is that what’s happening with Nairo Quintana? He just doesn’t have the strength to go over the top of Sky to challenge Froome?
SY: Look what happened on Mont Ventoux; Quintana did a small attack, Froome went with him, and then Froome attacked, and Quintana just blew. It’s purely dictated by your threshold power and how fast you can go. 

VN: So Froome is simply stronger than everyone else, with the strongest team?
SYSky and Froome are just in great form, and Froome can go a bit faster than everyone else. [Wout] Poels can set a super-high tempo. If Froome is 5 percent more comfortable than Quintana, that means he’s got a bit more in the tank if Quintana or someone else attacks. It’s a question of your physical condition, and that is what the race is being dictated by so far.

VN: So if everyone is on their limit, that’s why it’s become a race of attrition?
SYYou have to pace yourself correctly. If you really try to have a go, then you risk blowing. If you feel at a certain point that you’re at your limit, you have to back off a little to avoid blowing up. It’s better to lose a bit of time because you don’t want to blow entirely. That’s when you lose a lot of time. 

VN: You said earlier that in modern cycling, the winning gaps are made in time trials, so it’s almost impossible to make big gains in the mountains?
SYThe winning gaps today are made in time trials, in splits, and a little bit here, a little bit there. It all adds up, and you saw Froome doing that this year, attacking on the descent, in the crosswinds. If you’re up against a very strong team like Sky, to make a big difference in a stage it’s virtually impossible to do that in the mountains. 

VN: So for Froome to lose the Tour, he almost has to crash out?
SYFroome would have to crack to lose this Tour. Because he’s stronger, he’s a little more comfortable than his rivals, so in theory, he should have that accumulation of reserves over the course of three weeks still in the tank. He does spend energy being at the front, to be out of the wind or being at the front in the finals to avoid splits, so he’s spending energy there. His team does a great job protecting him. 

VN: So what does a rival need to bring to the Tour to challenge Froome? A team as strong as Sky, with a leader as strong as Froome?
SYThe team doesn’t necessarily have to be the strongest if your leader is slightly stronger. If you lose a minute in the time trial, you pretty much lost the Tour already. And if you lose 10 seconds on a mountaintop finish, to regain that, you’re a marked man. It’s pretty simple to defend yellow if you’re strong. Then it’s up to you to make that difference, and to try to make that difference, you are using a lot of energy. And you always pay for it when you use energy in a bike race. 

VN: And now that the race is on the for podium, it’s even easier for Froome?
SYYes, that also helps Froome. No one is going to attack him now, because if they do, they’ll crack and then lose their chances for the podium. 

VN: What’s the key to Froome’s success in this Tour?
SYIt’s a question of being consistent, and Froome is always consistent. And he is not being reckless. He could have attacked [Wednesday], but he doesn’t need to. He’s riding smart, using what you got in the best possible way and not wasting energy. He wants to keep those reserves in the bank, if not for this Tour, for Rio, for the next races, even for next year. He’s smart, the team’s smart, the sport directors are smart, [Nicolas] Portal is smart. 

VN: How many Tours could Froome win? Could he have won in 2012?
SYHe could have, I wouldn’t say should have, but he certainly has a lot more to give. Every time he wins the Tour, it gets easier. He can base his entire year around July. There is no other pressure to perform throughout the year, so that means he’s not wasting energy at other races. That accumulates over a long season, trying to do the classics, win in March, in June, but if you win the Tour, your season is made. Once you’ve been there, you always know you can get back there. I forecast that he will perform at this level for a few more years. He’s 31, so another three, maybe four more years. 

VN: Are the other riders catching up, or is it a lost cause?
SYA lot of people are catching up. The differences in the mountains aren’t that much. The climbing speeds are going up. There is not such a big gap between first and 10th in the mountains. You never know who is going to come along, but the way cycling is at the moment, Sky has got a massive budget and they can buy who they want. Therefore, on a purely physical level, if a rider doesn’t cut it, Sky can get rid of them and sign someone else. 

VN: Is Sky’s bigger budget unfair to the other teams?
SYIt is unfair. That’s why some people think a salary cap is good idea. Sky is going to do what they need to do to win the Tour, so unless the governing body or somebody else does something, Sky is going to keep winning, and the Tour is going to become boring. 

VN: Even you think it’s boring?
SYIt is boring compared to other races, like the Giro or Vuelta, where there is a lot less at stake. Teams don’t bring their A-team [to Giro or Vuelta], because the A-teams need to be at the Tour. That’s what really matters, is the Tour. So Sky brings the A-team to the Tour. What can you do?

...


Velonews

Bonk.

08/06/2018
pns tur bloggpoist.jpg

How does it feel? Your legs are listening but the won’t obey. They can’t. I am trying to solve a puzzle in my head to surpress the pain, but to no avail. My. thighs feels like they are made of concrete. Not in a good way, as in strong and powerful. Just dead mass. Dead weight.

Osl-Stckhlm

Sweden in April. Scandinavia in april. Out in the woods, in a little cottage, en röd stuga as the swedes call it. Waking up early. The sound of a sleeping house, a dog barking, muted, on the next farm and a few optimistic birds chirping is the only contentum. I add to the noise when I put on the coffee-machine. The smell of coffee will soon wake  the others, still sleeping above.  

As I bring the coffee and some chocolate, a morning ritual for me, out on the porch, I see the mist hovering over the fields. Lighter and lighter for every minute until it suddenly is vaporized. I haven´t even finished my mug of coffee in that time, so I think to myself; this will be a good day.

Our bikes are lined up like soldiers, or mules. Still covered in the morning dew.Steel, carbon and titanium. Cleaned, oiled and adjusted for another day on gravel and swedish, frost-heaved tarmac.  
Frost heaving, («Tele-hiv») means that the tarmac is being lifted when the soil underneath it freezes in winter and then subsequently it melts in springtime, you get holes and cracks in the road that can be a real challenge. We fight it off with 28mm tires and lower tire-pressure.

I pick up my iPhone (- the best camera is the one that´s with you), and take a few pictures of the landscape. The pictures don´t need any filters to look altered; the colors of the late scandinavian spring are … pale. The grass is not very thick yet and has a light green hue, almost opaque, the wheat has just started it´s way up from the soil and the leaves on the birch-trees are just slowly folding out. 

Pale is also how I feel and look when I get in and see myself in the mirror. A double espresso while eating a bowl of porridge brings the pink hue back to my cheeks.

Everyone is awake. Some are eating, some checking mail, weather or instagram. Preparing the kit, long legs or just knees? Routine-stuff. There is low chatter and a relaxed sensation before the next stage of our trip.

A trip has an end. We all know where we will end up. And yet we don´t focus on that. We have talked amongst us of how we find pleasure in «just» riding, totally independent of the "need to reach the goal». On the bike , moving through rolling and ever changing landscape I am reminded of how Rosseau describes his hiking. How the swift movement gets the thoughts flowing, gives them courage and space to go beyond the constraints and limitations we give so often give them;

When I am in one place I can hardly think at all. My body has to move, to be in movement, for my mind to work. The sight of the landscape, lovely, changing views around every corner, being outdoors, a healthy appetite and the good health the hiking brings me. The good atmosphere in an inn, the absence of everything that reminds me of my dependencies, of everyting that reminds me about my situation - all of this frees my mind so that I can let my thoughts flow freely, with more courage and I can combine, sort and make them my own, without any fear or limitations.

(My translation)

Rosseau writes this about hiking. It could just as well been about riding a bike. The flow of thoughts, a stream of consciousness and free associations. Sometimes, riding alone, I can hardly remember where I have ridden, or what has happened. My thoughts have flown, meanings, insights, interpretations of thoughts and ideas have come and gone. Very often I don´t remember a whole lot, but I have experienced that what stays in the back of my mind after such rides, are the important things that will come out later. Be it decisions I have to take, ideas that are worth trying or just a solution to a practical problem at home. 

Time to ride. We head out of the woods and the gnarly roads. There will be chatter, there will be silence and our thoughts will flow. Freely and without limitations or fear on a road to nowhere.


 

Denne teksten jeg skrev for Pas Normal Studios etter en fantastisk tur på sykkel fra Oslo-Til Stockholm gjennom den svenske landsbygda. Fortellingen om den turen kommer etterhvert. PNS er et Københavnbasert klesmerke som designer og lager sykkeltøy i Rapha-segmentet og vel så det. Teksten er publisert på deres hjemmesider og nettbutikk.

 

Sykkel + kaffe

22/02/2018


Ganske raskt i sykkel-livet blir kaffe en (for de fleste) integrert del av sykkelopplevelsen. Og det er flere fordeler med koffein enn de sosiale pausene på lengre sykkelturer...

Noen gode bi-virkninger av kaffe/koffein kan være;

• Mer oppmerksomme - kan være greit særlig når man sykler i et felt.
• Økt fettforbrenning - enhver syklists evige mål (?)
• Bedre muskelsammentrekning og bedre blodgjennomstrømming. (her har jeg allerede en "fordel" med mine blodfortynnende tror jeg?)

Fun-fact: 10g koffein er dødelig dose, og i en vanlig espresso er det ca 212mg koffein. You do the math...

Roadcycling.uk

Oslo - Stockholm

...grus og asfalt!

Jeg har blitt invitert med på en nydelig liten (...) ukes-tur på sykkel i slutten av april. 840 km på 5 dager. Jeg har selvsagt takket ja.

Siste sykehusbesøk var sjekk av underekstremiteter (grusomt navn på noe som jo bare er blodkar bak kneet). Kirurgen som skulle ringe meg om resultatet, ringte 9.30 på lørdag morgen. Jeg rakk ikke svare på første oppringning, så jeg sjekket gule sider og så at det var fra sykehuset. Blodtrykk og puls steg selvsagt kraftig, men jeg ringte sporenstreks opp og fikk da beskjed om at det så helt fint ut og ingen endringer etter operasjonen var å se. Nå gjenstår  bare en CT-undersøkelse for å se om alt er bra med Gore-Tex-slangen inne i magen... I så fall gjenstår bare å komme i god (nok) form

For å komme i god form, det er virkelig nødvendig. Formen er stigende, bl.a. pga fine økter på Zwift men det er langt igjen til 5 dager med snitt-etapper på 160km og der all matlaging og overnatting foregår utendørs og i telt. Dette kan bli et aldri så lite eventyr om alt klaffer. 

Følg med!

++

Strada

21/10/2017

3T Strada. Nytt design fra Gerhard Vroomen (Cervelo): Aero-grus-og landevei, 28mm dekk, skivebrems og kun et gir foran... Profflaget Aquablue skal sykle på denne i 2018 så helt crazy er det nok ikke.

 

 

 

Pariserdekk

01/07/2017

Har nettopp limt mitt første Pariserdekk med TAPE. Ja ikke med klissete, stinkende (noen liker lukta) lim som søles overalt. Pariserdekk er dekkene proffene og de meste entusiastiske (og svermeriske muligens, som meg) bruker.

Det er et dekk som er håndsydd, med en slange inni og som må limes fast på hjulet for å ikke skli av. Clinchers (dekk og slange som 97% av all bruker) er vel mer praktisk - (kommer tilbake til det) men fremdeles lever jeg i troen på at pariserne ruller bedre og gir bedre "veifølelse". Alt dette ting som ikke påvirker mine prestasjoner særlig da jeg verken er proff eller på høyt nivå i min klasse, MEN, følelsen av godt utstyr, av godt sykkeltøy, en hjelm som sitter uten at du merker den, briller som bare er der, men du glemmer at du har dem på, en ramme som er så stiv at du kjenner det minste tråkk går rett i hjulet og ikke forsvinner i ramma, slike ting, det er nesten halvparten av sykkelopplevelsen. For meg.

Tilbake til pariserdekk. Den vanlige måten å feste dem på er en omstendelig limeprosses som er slik: 

Et lag lim på hjulet. La tørke. Et lag lim på dekkets innside(et lag med stoff som suger limet godt inn), La tørke. Så lag to med lim på hjulet. La tørke. Lag to på dekket. La tørke. Så lag tre på hjulet. Ikke la det tørke helt. Bruk så mild tvang for å tre dekket rundt hjulet og rett det opp slik at det er jevnt (derfor lurt med vått lim på, så man kan vri forsiktig på dekket til det sitter perfekt. Pump opp dekket med høyt trykk som sikrer god kontakt mellom de to lagen lim. LA tørke. Helst over natta.

Det er kortversjonen for "die-hard" liming. Nå har jeg sett videoer fra proffe mekaniker som limer kun to ganger. Bare på hjulet og når de setter på dekket så er andre runde lim helt vått og de pumper opp dekket slik at dekk og hjul nærmes sveises sammen av trykk. Må stå over natta. 

I går da jeg byttet pariserdekk på bakhjulet gjorde jeg det slik:

Av med gammelt dekk, noe som er litt jobb da det satt som fanden. Vaske vekk gammelt lim med Aceton, pusse forsiktig med 180 sandpapir, vaske støv med Aceton igjen. Så brukte jeg en tape fra Tufo som jeg la rundt hjulet. Det ble liggende limt på med en stripe plast på oversiden der det er lim som skal feste seg til dekket. Når dekket er strekt (gjennom å ha vært pumpet fult av luft et døgn) kunne det tres på og justeres mens det hvilte på plasten over limet. Når dekket satt fint pumpet jeg det litt opp, og dro forsiktig av plasten så limet kom i kontakt med dekket. Når all plast var fjernet pumpet jeg 9 bar luft inn og lot det stå en times tid. 

Deretter slapp ejeg ut litt luft og tok en tur til Birkeland. Kjørte på høyere lufttrykk enn vanlig, men det var fordi jeg ikke stolte helt på at dekka skulle sitte godt nok med tape. 

 

MER OM SYKKEL:

Sykkelteori

22/07/2016

CHAMONIX, France (VN) — The Tour de France has been converted into a race of attrition. 

Fans and rivals alike are growing exasperated at Team Sky’s dominance in the climbing stages. With up to five teammates drilling everyone into the ground, yellow jersey holder Chris Froome has controlled the steepest mountains of this Tour with imperial domination. 

Up until now in what’s been a climb-heavy Tour, almost no one has dared to attack Froome. And with the yellow jersey all but sewn up, Froome can race conservatively through the final two mountain stages to Paris to claim his third Tour win in four years. 

So what’s going on? We spoke with Tinkoff sport director Sean Yates to get an insider’s view. A former pro and sport director who helped Bradley Wiggins win the 2012 Tour, few know the inner workings at Sky better than Yates. 

Simply put, Yates says Sky’s dominance is a numbers game. With cycling’s biggest budget, Sky can buy riders who would be leaders on other teams, put them on the front of the peloton, and have them climb at their threshold power to protect Froome. And with Froome establishing himself as the strongest Tour rider of his generation, Yates said it’s virtually impossible for anyone to take on Froome directly on the climbs. 

Here is Yates explaining why Froome’s grip on the yellow jersey could last another three or four years: 

VeloNews: Can you explain Sky’s tactics on the climbs?
Sean Yates: On the main climbs or the points where it’s crucial, Sky sits at the front and rides a very high tempo. They’re all riding at threshold, and when you’ve got very good guys riding at threshold, about 450w, or in VAM, they’re climbing 1600 or 1700, so to attack, you’ve got to go 1900 for a short period of time, which means you go over your threshold, which means you pay for it. 

VN: So everyone is essentially going as fast as they can; what happens when you ‘pay for it?’
SY: You can only go over your threshold for 30 seconds or 1 minute, and then you have a big dip in power. So consequently, by the time when you attack, and the time you recover from that attack, you’re going slower. And when you have such a strong team, setting such a high tempo, it’s virtually impossible to attack. 

VN: Similar to what happened when a rider like Dan Martin tried to jump early on Finhaut-Emosson and later lost time?
SY: That was a perfect example. Martin, he attacks, he goes into red, and he blows up. Valverde didn’t attack, but he tried to make the race hard, and went over his threshold for two minutes, or whatever it was, and obviously he couldn’t keep it up, and he drops back. That’s the story. There is nothing you can do about it, really. 

VN: So when can a rider attack in these mountain stages?
SY: Realistically, you can save your attack for the last kilometer, or the last 500m. If you feel you have something left in the tank, you can take a few seconds, like Adam Yates has been doing. You’re going to gain a few seconds, not minutes. 

VN: Is that what’s happening with Nairo Quintana? He just doesn’t have the strength to go over the top of Sky to challenge Froome?
SY: Look what happened on Mont Ventoux; Quintana did a small attack, Froome went with him, and then Froome attacked, and Quintana just blew. It’s purely dictated by your threshold power and how fast you can go. 

VN: So Froome is simply stronger than everyone else, with the strongest team?
SY: Sky and Froome are just in great form, and Froome can go a bit faster than everyone else. [Wout] Poels can set a super-high tempo. If Froome is 5 percent more comfortable than Quintana, that means he’s got a bit more in the tank if Quintana or someone else attacks. It’s a question of your physical condition, and that is what the race is being dictated by so far.

VN: So if everyone is on their limit, that’s why it’s become a race of attrition?
SY: You have to pace yourself correctly. If you really try to have a go, then you risk blowing. If you feel at a certain point that you’re at your limit, you have to back off a little to avoid blowing up. It’s better to lose a bit of time because you don’t want to blow entirely. That’s when you lose a lot of time. 

VN: You said earlier that in modern cycling, the winning gaps are made in time trials, so it’s almost impossible to make big gains in the mountains?
SY: The winning gaps today are made in time trials, in splits, and a little bit here, a little bit there. It all adds up, and you saw Froome doing that this year, attacking on the descent, in the crosswinds. If you’re up against a very strong team like Sky, to make a big difference in a stage it’s virtually impossible to do that in the mountains. 

VN: So for Froome to lose the Tour, he almost has to crash out?
SY: Froome would have to crack to lose this Tour. Because he’s stronger, he’s a little more comfortable than his rivals, so in theory, he should have that accumulation of reserves over the course of three weeks still in the tank. He does spend energy being at the front, to be out of the wind or being at the front in the finals to avoid splits, so he’s spending energy there. His team does a great job protecting him. 

VN: So what does a rival need to bring to the Tour to challenge Froome? A team as strong as Sky, with a leader as strong as Froome?
SY: The team doesn’t necessarily have to be the strongest if your leader is slightly stronger. If you lose a minute in the time trial, you pretty much lost the Tour already. And if you lose 10 seconds on a mountaintop finish, to regain that, you’re a marked man. It’s pretty simple to defend yellow if you’re strong. Then it’s up to you to make that difference, and to try to make that difference, you are using a lot of energy. And you always pay for it when you use energy in a bike race. 

VN: And now that the race is on the for podium, it’s even easier for Froome?
SY: Yes, that also helps Froome. No one is going to attack him now, because if they do, they’ll crack and then lose their chances for the podium. 

VN: What’s the key to Froome’s success in this Tour?
SY: It’s a question of being consistent, and Froome is always consistent. And he is not being reckless. He could have attacked [Wednesday], but he doesn’t need to. He’s riding smart, using what you got in the best possible way and not wasting energy. He wants to keep those reserves in the bank, if not for this Tour, for Rio, for the next races, even for next year. He’s smart, the team’s smart, the sport directors are smart, [Nicolas] Portal is smart. 

VN: How many Tours could Froome win? Could he have won in 2012?
SY: He could have, I wouldn’t say should have, but he certainly has a lot more to give. Every time he wins the Tour, it gets easier. He can base his entire year around July. There is no other pressure to perform throughout the year, so that means he’s not wasting energy at other races. That accumulates over a long season, trying to do the classics, win in March, in June, but if you win the Tour, your season is made. Once you’ve been there, you always know you can get back there. I forecast that he will perform at this level for a few more years. He’s 31, so another three, maybe four more years. 

VN: Are the other riders catching up, or is it a lost cause?
SY: A lot of people are catching up. The differences in the mountains aren’t that much. The climbing speeds are going up. There is not such a big gap between first and 10th in the mountains. You never know who is going to come along, but the way cycling is at the moment, Sky has got a massive budget and they can buy who they want. Therefore, on a purely physical level, if a rider doesn’t cut it, Sky can get rid of them and sign someone else. 

VN: Is Sky’s bigger budget unfair to the other teams?
SY: It is unfair. That’s why some people think a salary cap is good idea. Sky is going to do what they need to do to win the Tour, so unless the governing body or somebody else does something, Sky is going to keep winning, and the Tour is going to become boring. 

VN: Even you think it’s boring?
SY: It is boring compared to other races, like the Giro or Vuelta, where there is a lot less at stake. Teams don’t bring their A-team [to Giro or Vuelta], because the A-teams need to be at the Tour. That’s what really matters, is the Tour. So Sky brings the A-team to the Tour. What can you do?

...


Velonews

Internett på dugnad

10/05/2016

Syklet en kveldstur over Grimenes i går. Ved Thingsbæk svinger jeg av for å sykle gjennom skogen over Espevann og ut på Øvre Birkeland.

Akkurat ved gårdene der nede på Thingsbæk er veien gravd opp innover. En minigraver og to unge foreldrepar graver en tynn kanal langs grusveien. Jeg stanser og spør litt på spøk om det er internett som er på gang? Og det er det faktisk! De forteller at for å få internett måtte de legge kablene mellom husene selv, mens Telenor skulle ta ansvar for kabeltrekk gjennom vannene.

Litt småprat og jeg syklet videre og på neste gård 100 metert lenger bort satt flere familier i ettermiddagssola og drakk kaffe mens noen barn syklet rundt i sirkler på tunet. Veldig idyllisk og nært... Skulle gjerne tatt bilder av dette, men hadde glemt iPhone.

 

Sykkelplakater

05/05/2016

Jeg lagde disse plakaten i fjor mens jeg fulgte Tour de Frane. 

Hadde tenkt å få dem trykket i stort format. Ha dem på veggen i gangen eller noe.
Så langt kom jeg aldri.  

(Klikk på plakatene for stor versjon)