September 30, 2010

UCI Worlds: Day 2 Review

Thursday 30th September: Day two of the UCI World championships, the time trials have all been raced for 2010 World Championships though not only the Australian stage event is grabbing the attention of the cycling world.

The atmosphere in Geelong has continued to grow throughout the week and the support for Australians Mick Rogers, Richie Porte and Luke Durbridge has been second to none. The people of Geelong have been leaving their offices to watch the Australian’s come through the course and cheering as loudly as possible, with all the negative press coming out of Geelong in the weeks leading up to the event it’s good to see locals enjoying themselves.

In a day that should have been all about the Elite Men’s Time Trial, Alberto Contador has been officially suspended after traces of bronchodilator clenbuterol were found in his test from the second rest day of the 2010 Tour de France.  Contador is claiming food contamination; the amount found in Contador's urine was 50 picograms, 400 times less than the threshold required by a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory. Investigations are progressing.

The next race is the Under 23’s road race on Friday 2nd October, starting in Geelong at 1pm.


Results to date:

Under 23 Men Time Trial
1. Taylor Phinney (USA)
2. Luke Durbridge (AUS)
3. Marcel Kittel (GER)

Women’s Elite Time Trial
1. Emma Pooley (GBR)
2. Judith Arndt (GER)
3. Linda Melanie Villumsen (NZL)

Men’s Elite Time Trial
1. Fabian Cancellara (SUI)
2. David Millar (GBR)
3. Tony Martin (GER)

UCI Worlds - Johnston Park Information Hub

Johnston Park is the home to food, arts and crafts whilst the 2010 World Championships are on, this is the perfect opportunity to go for a wonder between laps and time trial starts.

If you’re obsessive about your race weight, as most cyclists are, it’s best that you steer clear of the park. Walk through early morning and you can see everyone setting up shop, enjoy the smell of freshly baked pastries, and coffee from Sensory Lab.

The girls at Sensory Lab where cheerful when I stopped by, we greeted each other as another small downpour came through, if you need some perking up after days of constant riding and trying to keep up with the pro’s then this is the place for you.

The beans are from St Ali, they roast their own and they're one of the best in Melbourne, if not the best. If you like your coffee at drinking temperature then this is the bean for you, if you like your coffee boiling they're normally happy to scold the beans. Did I mention that it is the best coffee.. and the friendliest?

Location wise, Johnston Park is right near the train station and only a short 5 minutes’ walk to Moorabool Street and about the same distance to the Geelong Cunningham Pier.

September 29, 2010

UCI Worlds: Emma Pooley wins Women's TT

The Women's Time Trial results were Emma Pooley (GBR) 32:44.44 in 1st position, Germany’s Judith Arndt in 2nd place with a time of 33:03.16 (+15.17) and 3rd on the podium was Linda Melanie Villumsen (NZL) 33:04.24 (+15.8).

The women’s 22.8km time trial started out relatively slow, with the new and less experienced riders heading out of the gates first, it was the first climb that the U23 Men experienced twice that really pushed the women to the limit on Mt Pleasant Road.

Pooley, Olympic Silver Medallist and now World Time Trial Champion was 15 seconds ahead of Arndt, who passed Australian hope Alexis Rhodes on the course that she was clearly not suited to.

UCI Worlds Womens Elit TT Emma Pooley
Emma Pooley (GBR) - UCI World Champion in Elite Women's Time Trial


UCI Worlds Womens Elit TT Judth Arndt
Judth Arndt (GER), 2nd in the UCI World Champion in Elite Women's Time Trial

Villumsen switched allegiance to New Zealand from Denmark in December 2009 and was very proud to ride for her new country in today’s time trial and proud to win bronze.

Australian Shara Gillow came in 8th place which is an excellent result for the first timer; Vicki Whitelaw (AUS) was 18th followed by Alexis Rhodes (AUS) in 19th.

The most amazing and inspirational ride of the day was perhaps 51 year old French rider Jeannie Longo-Cirprelli, she has been riding since before Pooley was born and came in 5th place.

The women’s road race is on Saturday the 2nd of October at 1pm; it will be interesting to see how the two climbs affect the women’s peloton.

Road UCI Worlds - looking for a bike shop?

If you missed out on Ausbike this year and you’re making a special trip to Melbourne for the 2010 World Championships, you’ll be pleased to know that The Bike Shop is where your favourite products are at.

If your favourite products aren’t there, you do have the opportunity to fall in love with something new, a new bike, new wheels and new cycling kit, the possibilities are endless. Located down on the Geelong Cunningham pier, you will find a large range of brands represented.

Feeling a little peckish? Check in with the boys at the Power Bar stand, they were handing out samples early this morning and no doubt have many more up their sleeves.

Be warned though, The Bike Hub is handing out cow bells, if you’re after a quiet ride home, its best to by-pass this stand if you have children in tow.

Rapha and Apres Velo have the low-down on all things stylish for male and female cyclists, pop in and get dressed in your best; it’s time to make an impression Australia!

Uci Worlds - The Bike Shops - Trek
Trek: Too many logo's? Nah, not enough
Trek Bicycles Australia has got some fancy time trial bikes with even hotter wheels, they’re deep dish, they’re carbon fibre and they’re really nice to look at.

Uci Worlds - The Bike Shops - Giant
Giant has the right idea with colour co-ordinated zipps.

Confused about Kevlar and why you need it in your tyre? Schwalbe has enough information to sink a ship, do quiz them, they may know something you don’t.

If you need a break from the racing you will find The Bike Shop on the Geelong Cunningham Pier, it’s only steps from the road race and time trial course.
The Bike Shops carries the following brands:
Baum, Giant, Teschner, Apres Velo, Computrainer, Rapha, Bouwmeester, Felt, Mod Style, Tour Down Under, Focus Australia, Maxxis, Specialized Australia, Cannondale, Bike Hub, XOSize, AQTO, Trek Bicycles Australia, Garmin, Schwalbe (BikeBox), Power Bar (Echelon Sports), Compressor Sport, The City of Greater Geelong, Koga, Body Science, Scott, Avanti, Skins, Kenda, Deakin University, Ride Media

September 28, 2010

One Metre Matters - Fight for Safer Cycling

Dave Sharp returned to cycling after years of laziness and bad health, the roads he had ridden in the 90's where no longer safe. With the rising risk of victimization and road rage, Dave took the passion that he had for cycling and made the choice to turn that passion into something that would benefit Queensland and Australia.

Sharp is asking that vehicles be required by law to give one metre of clearance on the right hand side when passing a cyclist.

Sharp gathered over 5000 signatories, which were passed to the Queensland House of Representatives. The Honourable Member for Ipswich and Minister for Transport, Rachel Nolan, replied with the following statement, "The introduction of a specific rule to restrict vehicles to keeping one metre from cyclists would be, in many cases, detrimental."

The Australian Road Rules state that a vehicle may only pass a cyclist when it is safe to do so, the law recommends keeping a distance of one metre when passing, but it's only a recommendation, not a law.

Nolan went on to say, "a law making a one metre distance mandatory would make it illegal for cyclists to move slowly and closely past queued vehicles."

The petition was clear about its intention, one metre of clearance for a cyclists being passed by a motorist, cyclists would still be able to filter through traffic at traffic lights with care and when safe to do so as recommended by the Australian Road Rules.

The Queensland Government isn't willing to make a ground breaking decision which could lead the way for safer cycling across Australia, which is why Sharp has teamed up with the Amy Gillet Foundation (AGF) to campaign his message of 'one metre maters.'

Australian cyclists Robbie McEwan and Rachel Neylan (AGF Ambassador) are passionate about the project and giving it there full support, they train on public roads daily and no only too well about the risks involved.

With general cost rising and cyclists producing less wear and tear on our roads, government’s still won’t go into bat, cyclists promote good healthy living, but the government won't stand up.

Sharp has developed a letter campaign that is unique to each State and Territory, the letters can be printed and signed by you, friends, family and co-workers and be sent to the Minister for Transport in your State or Territory the details can be found at http://www.safecyclingaustralia.org/.

The good news is there are more cyclist on Australian roads than ever before, the government will have to pay attention whether it be at a state or federal level, the real question is, how will you be involved?

Get on board Australia! It’s time to make a change; let’s support the ‘one metre matters’ campaign.

You can become involved by supporting The Amy Gillet Foundation: http://www.amygilletfoundation.org.au/

Dave Sharp also needs your support and ideas; your can email him: wombling@hotmail.com

September 25, 2010

2010 Women's World Championship Road Race

The women's road race at the 2010 World Championships is bound to spark interest amongst spectators; it isn't often that we see women of such a high calibre racing in Australia.

The women's road race is a circuit styled course, they will ride 127.2km circuit and complete the course 8 times. The course is in similar style to that of the men’s road race without the lead in from Melbourne to Geelong.

The course will suit a rider who can be a jack-of-all-trades on the day, before the most significant climb of the day that concludes on The Ridge, riders come into the climb from a very sharp right hand turn, it will suit riders with strong technical ability; this turn should not be underestimated as easy.

The second climb of the day reaches its peak at Aphrasia St, it is shorter and sharper than the first, expect to see the sprinters fall back in the last couple of laps. After Aphrasia St the race is on for one and all, expect a fast descent down Pakington Street, the right turn into Glenleith Avenue and The Esplanade is where the action will be, the peloton will reorganise itself here before the finish in Moorabool St.

Fierce competitors to watch out for include Marianne Vos of the Netherlands, already this year she holds the title of UCI Cyclo-cross World Champion, Dutch National Road Race Champion and winner of the 2010 Women’s World Cup. Vos has placed 2nd two years in a row now, back in 2006 she took the title of Road Race World Champion and is worthy of the win in 2010. The Netherlands will be able to give their full attention to Vos as their allocation of seven riders became eight, with the inclusion of the European Champion Noortje Tabak.

Annemiek Val Vleuten and the Dutch Champion Loes Gunnewijk will join team mates Vos and Tabak, along with Kirsten Wild who is a favourite to win if it finishes in a bunch sprint. Regina Bruins will double it up in the road race and the time trial, she already rides for the world’s number one team, the Cervélo Test Team and there is no doubt that she will be racing with heart and soul at the world championships.

The current World Champion Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) has had a few podium finishes this season, the most significant of the placing’s was her win at the Italian National Road Championships, Guderzo placed 3rd in the General Classification at the Giro d’Italia Donne earlier this year where Mara Abbot of the United State of America took first place.

27 year old, British rider, Emma Pooley, has a string of podium finishes in first place this season; Pooley has added British National Road Race Champion and Time Trial Champion to her list of accolades this season. Team up Pooley and the current British National Road Race Champion, Nicole Cooke, and they could be formidable; Pooley stripped Cooke of the British National Road Race Championship title, Cooke had held the title for a staggering nine years.

Judith Arndt of Germany was the World Champion in 2004 and at 34 years old she is still a strong performer, she will lead a very strong German team, with team mates, Charlotte Becker, Sarah Düster, Claudis Häusler, Luise Keller, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Trixi Worrack. Arndt season hasn’t been overly impressive, she has had only three wins this season compared to team mate Teutenberg who has racked up a staggering 16 wins.

The Australian team will be led by Ruth Corset, our biggest hope amongst the women for a podium finish; she’ll be backed up by Bridie O’Donnel and Vikkie Whitelaw who add years of solid experience to the team. Young guns, Shara Gillow, Tiffany Cromwell and Amanda Spratt are bound to make an impact.

Without a doubt the strongest women’s teams heading to the 2010 World Championships are the Dutch and German teams, the British women should not be underestimated, I would suspect to seea mixture of the following women on the podium; Vos, Teutenberg, Wild, Cooke, Pooley and Tabak.

Many of the women will double it up in the road race and the time trial; to see the hard women of racing, head to Geelong on Saturday 2nd of October for the road race.

Photo: Marianne Von (NL) 2009 UCI Womens Road Championships silver medalist © Cindy Trossaert

September 21, 2010

Chamois Butt'r for your Butt!


Chamois Butt'r prevents rubbing when there should be no friction.

Butt cream as it's commonly referred too, is a personal choice, there is only so much advice we can take from friends when finding the right cream for your butt.

The product is a thick cream that can be applied to the skin or the chamois of your cycling shorts, you should use as much or as little as you like.

Chamois Butt'r washes out of knicks easily in a regular wash and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth.

Chamois Butt'r can be found in a tub of 235ml or in handy 9ml tubes which can easily be tucked into the back of your jersey for longer rides. After not having done a decent long ride in at least four months and four hours ahead of me on the bike, I threw one 9ml tube in my jersey and applied the cream to my cycling shorts, the first two hours went well and when we stopped for a break I applied the contents of the 9ml tube.

There is enough cream in the 9ml tube to cover the chamois, the last two hours of the ride went well and the product did it's job, I experienced no chaffing.

If you’re looking for a new butt cream, I’d recommend trying Chamois Butt'r. I especially like the 9ml tubes which can be put into a jersey pocket, for those of you who are into long rides it’s the prefect product.

Chamois Butt'r (from Paceline Products in the US) is imported into Australia by Ride Easy Sports Products and Chamois Butt'r is an official sponsor of the Fly V pro cycling team.

September 11, 2010

2010 World Champion Road Race and Time Trial

Melbourne and Geelong are the privileged cities who will play host to the greatest cyclists in the world for five days of what should be the best racing that has ever graced Australian shores.

For the men's World Champion Road Race, the riders face a relatively flat course; from Melbourne to Geelong there is barely a hill in sight. Riders may endure headwinds and crosswinds and they’ll be lucky if there is a tailwind as the peloton heads for Geelong.

American, Tyler Farrar (USA) who beat Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) to the line on stage five at the Vuelta a España early this September is a top contender for the Rainbow Jersey. Cavendish will compete in the worlds without a lot of support, the British National Champion, Geraint Thomas (Great Britain), has pulled out of the Worlds claiming fatigue, however, the Tour de France confirmed that Cavendish could be able to jump on any wheel to find that magic line.

Will the Manx Missile be able to come through for a win? If so, it will no doubt be the greatest victory of his young and promising career. David Miller (Great Britain),who was stripped of his 2003 Individual World Time Trial title for admitting to the use of the blood booster EPO, will replace the British National Champion.

Belgian rider, Philippe Gilbert's intentions are clear since his stage three finish at the Vuelta a España, this was a similar finish to the one that the riders will experience in Geelong. The 28 year old rider is firmly fixed on the Rainbow Jersey; Gilbert agrees that the toughness of the course has been underestimated by many of the favourites. It’s not the section from Melbourne to Geelong that will provide the most challenge; it’s the 15.9km circuit that they will ride 11 times.

The 15.9km circuit has two significant sharp climbs, along with a couple of very quick turns that could be potentially hazardous, all this before a fast descent into the finish line. If mother nature is in the mood for an exciting finish, she will provide a tail wind to the finish and we will see the likes of Cavendish, Farrar, Gilbert, Greipel (Germany), Hushovd (Norway) and Pozzato (Italy) come to the front for an all out bunch sprint.

German sprinter Andre Greipel has the added benefit of having current HTC Columbia Team mates with him at the worlds, Tony Martin and Danilo Hondo. His main rival for the worlds is Cavendish; both men are out to prove that they‘re better than the other. Cycling fans have waited all season to see a sprint between Cavendish and Greipel; this is one race that shouldn’t be missed.

Current World Champion Cadel Evans (Australia) and Simon Gerrans (Australia) are in with a chance. Gerrans who is signed with Team Sky, experienced a set back recently when team soigneur, Txema Gonzaler, passed away from a stomach virus early September. Gerrans is returning to Australia to train and is considering the Ballarat Classics the weekend before the World Championships to be some solid last minute training.

After having what can only be described as an excruciating Tour de France and finishing with a broken elbow, current World Champion Cadel Evans is still in with a chance for Australia. The ex professional mountain biker proves time and time again that he can pull out all the stops in a one day race, he may not have won the Tour de France but he is the World Champion.

2009 Individual Time Trial Champion Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) will be contesting his title as the Individual Time Trial World Champion and to top it off he will also be vying for the title of Road World Champion.

Australian, and new kid on the block Richie Porte is a promising talent for Australia given his impressive performance at the Giro d’Italia earlier this year where he surprised the world; this first year neo-pro will, without question, be giving his heart and soul to wear a Rainbow Jersey. 2009 Australian Time Trial Champion and three times Individual Time Trial World Champion (2003-2005) Mick Rogers will also be at the starting line, Rogers has had two impressive finishes this year as the overall winner of the Tour of California and Vuelta a Andalucía.

Tony Martin (Germany) rode to victory at the Individual Time Trial at the Tour de Suisse earlier this year, followed by an overall victory at the Eneco Tour of Benelux, he is the German National Champion and has showed good form all season, he will without a doubt score a podium finish.

I want Mark Cavendish to cross that line two lengths in front of the bunch, he is the fastest man in the world and he will want to prove it.On the other hand the Australian in me is desperate to see Cadel Evans retain the World Championship Jersey, this general classification rider can sprint and climb; the mountain biker in him will push as hard as possible until its all over.

The Tasmanian in me is screaming loudly for Richie Porte to come through for the win at the Individual Time Trial, but the brilliance of the Swiss rider Cancellara puts him as the front runner to maintain his title. Ultimately it will be the experience of riders that will show through; Mick Rogers has had an incredibly successful year and will no doubt show us something special come race day.

This is the one race where it’s each for their own, if riders have the chance and the opportunity, then they will be going for the win. This will be an epic day for cycling.

The men’s road race is on Sunday 3rd October, they will start in Melbourne from Federation Square and the men’s Individual Time Trial is on Thursday 30th of September, for more information on the 2010 Road World Championship head to www.melbourne2010.com.au.

We look forward to seeing you there!

September 9, 2010

Lauretta Howarth; Crocodile Trophy


It was three days before her 30th birthday when Lauretta Howarth completed her first Ironman race in Malaysia of all places; it was a pact that she made with her two best friends, they were on the quest to do something spectacular before the big three zero.

Lauretta is now taking on a challenge that is hotter, harder and longer; the Crocodile Trophy is providing the challenge and Lauretta is adamant that her ego will not let her down, nor will she let the team down, she is in this race to cross the finish line.

The 37 year old Paramedic is balancing long hours and training, she was once a believer that this race was out of her league, when asked to participate, she was unable to find a reason to say no.

Rowena Scott from Bicycles Network Australia (BNA) spoke with Lauretta about the challenges that she and the SheSpoke Cycle Wear team will face in far north Queensland this October

BNA: How old where you when you decided to take on your first ironman race?

Lauretta: I was 29. Ironman Malaysia was three days before my 30th birthday. My two best friends and I had made a pact that we would all do something “spectacular” to celebrate turning 30.

BNA: Have you always been competitive?

Lauretta: Definitely, as a kid I was into athletics, especially 100m, 200m and long jump. I loved to win. As I’ve gotten older though I find it’s less about competing with others and more about competing against myself, pushing and constantly redefining my limits.

BNA: Being a paramedic must be stressful; do you find time on your bike balances things for you?

Lauretta: Absolutely, I work 8 days of 10 hour shifts and on-call, so it’s pretty much 24/7 for eight days straight. By about day 5 I’m yearning for some quiet time with just me, the bike and the bush.

BNA: Is there any particular stage of the Crocodile Trophy that really frightens you?

Lauretta: Stage 1, it’s only 98km but its never-ending nasty hills where my granny-gear is going to get a lot of use and where there’s not hills it’s hot hot hot!!!

BNA: Have you done any of the trails that the Crocodile Trophy follows?

Lauretta: I’ve done Stage 1 a few times and a few of the stages out west. None of these rides did much too ease the anxiety! Hills, sand, rocks, steep technical descents, red dust and heat (Okay, I need to stop listing the nastiness before I hyperventilate!).

BNA: What’s the one thing that’s going to get you through if you're having a bad stage?

Lauretta: My ego, I couldn’t bear the thought of not completing a stage, or the race. And my amazing team mates, Sharmie & Maree.

BNA: Why are you doing this?

Lauretta: Hmmm… I’ve been asking myself that very same question. I’ve always been in awe of the Crocodile Trophy and used to perceive it as a race that was beyond my ability. I’d never even entertained the idea of doing it until Sharman asked me, but when she did I couldn’t think of one good reason to say no. It’s an opportunity to challenge myself and take myself way outside my comfort zone. My goal is to simply cross the finish line & if I can achieve that – wow – that will rock my world!

BNA: What is your favorite motivational saying?

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways at the last minute, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - That was fun!"

Bicycles Network Australia wishes Lauretta and the SheSpoke cycling team the best of luck for the Crocodile Trophy and hope they finish safely with all limbs intact.