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Photo: Tour de France winner, Chris Froome, talked to the Cycling Independent Reform Commission to tell them his view of the state of cycling.
Chris Froome has confirmed that he was one of the riders who talked to the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC), whose report into doping in the sport is due next week.

The Team Sky rider waived his right to anonymity by telling the Daily Mail that he sat down with CIRC to give his perspective on the state of cycling at present.

And Froome insists the sport is cleaning up its act, with positive drugs tests simply proving the detection systems are working.

“I sat down with CIRC after the end of the season last year and spent a good few hours with them, just talking about the state of the sport and how, from a rider’s point of view, they can try to improve on things,” he said.

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Alex Howes (Garmin Sharp) receives kisses from the podium hostesses
When the merger that led to the formation of Cannondale-Garmin was confirmed last summer, it seemed apt that the only man signed up to the team for the next three years was the lone rider to have been a part of the Slipstream project from its very outset.

Alex Howes was part of the first crop of juniors to ride for Jonathan Vaughters’ 5280-Subaru team in Colorado in 2003, and he has remained part of the structure, through its various guises, almost all of the way since.

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Heading to South Africa...Mark Cavendish (Getty Images).
Mark Cavendish is traveling nearly 14,000km this weekend to take part in a 47km race.

Cavendish - and Australian lead out man Mark Renshaw - are making the trip to South Africa to compete in the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

The event, which consists of a road race and the world's largest participation ride with 35,000 cyclists, has been forced to shorten the course to 47km after fires swept across Cape Town's Table Mountain. .
March 5, 2015 (

Photo: 2014 Strade Bianche champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
The spring Classics season kicked off with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last weekend, and many of the same riders who competed in Belgium will head to Tuscany for Sunday’s Strade Bianche, which race organiser RCS Sport has dubbed “the northern Classic at the most southern point in Europe.”

Officially now called Strade Bianche Eroica Pro, after the creation of an accompanying sportif and a women’s version of the race, Strade Bianche is a unique race on the packed European calendar.

March 5, 2015 (

Photography by Cor Vos: The stunning scenery through the Tuscan hills and quaint Italian villages provides a feast for the eyes.
Strade Bianche is a race full of history.

It began as an amateur fondo called l’Eroica, which is held in October in Tuscany each year following the Road World Championships.

The ride is a throwback to earlier days. All participants ride bicycles built before 1982. Many wear vintage clothing and accessories.

The professional event began as a men’s only affair in 2007 – and for the first time this year, the women have been invited to the party.

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Ian Stannard wins the 2015 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad .
After winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last weekend, Team Sky’s Ian Stannard will take part in Italy’s Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico in the coming week. He will race there without the expectation or pressure to win, as he continues his important build-up to the classics.

“Strade Bianche is probably too hard for him, we also don’t want to always put the pressure on him,” Sky sports director Servais Knaven explained.

“He had pressure in Nieuwsblad and in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, so he will have free role in Italy. To say he can go for the win, is asking too much.”

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: The course is made of two sections: A 53 kilometre anti-clockwise ‘squirrel shaped‘ loop starting in the host town, Tielt-Winge followed by five laps of a local 13 kilometre circuit.
Omloop van het Hageland is the second race in the Lotto Cycling Cup and wraps up the first block of racing in Belgium before the teams head north for the Drenthe races next week.

Many riders will be making their way back from Siena and the first Strade Bianche as the race gets underway in Tielt but many of the larger teams have sufficient strength in depth in their squads to field very competitive teams for both races.

March 5, 2015 (

2014-15 Races & Results.

Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen - Mar 6-8 (Start List),

Strade Bianche - Mar 7 (Start List),

Strade Bianche Women - Mar 7 (Race),

Paris Nice - Mar 8-15 (Stages),

Tirreno-Adriatico - Mar 11-17 (Start List),

Giro d'Italia 2015 - May 9-31 (Stages),

Tour de France 2015 - July 4-26 (Stages),

Vuelta a España 2015 - Aug 22-Sept 13 (Stages),

UCI Road World Championship 2015 - Sept 20-27 (Stages),

Le Samyn - Mar 4 (Results),

Le Samyn des Dames - Mar 4 (Results),

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne - Mar 1 (Results),

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite - Feb 28 (Results),

UCI Track World Championships - Feb 18-22 (Results),

UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships - Jan 31-Feb 1 (Results).

More ...

March 4, 2015  (

Rigoberto Uran won the Giro's stage 12 individual time trial in 2014, and after previewing the 2015 TT course, he's confident he can rise to the occasion again. Photo: Tim De Waele |
Rising Colombian star Rigoberto Uran previewed the potentially decisive 59.2km individual time trial course slated for this year’s Giro d’Italia, and the GC favorite said, “It’s a nice parcours that I really love.”

Riding alongside Etixx-Quick-Step teammate Gianluca Brambilla in Treviso, Italy this week, Uran said the time trial “can be key, because energy levels of all riders will be at the limit after that amount of racing.

It could be important for the GC because, after about an an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes of time trialing, time differences can be pretty significant.”

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Strade Bianche Profile.
2015 Strade Bianche LIVE Saturday, March 7.

Race starts at 10:30am CET (4:30am U.S. Eastern)

Finish at around 3:30pm CET (9:30am U.S. Eastern)

Live video from 2:00pm CET (8:00am U.S. Eastern, 5:00am Pacific).

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Paris-Nice Prologue Profile.
Sunday's Paris-Nice Prologue, a 6.7km Individual Time Trial at Maurepas, gets underway at 1:35pm CET (8:35am U.S. Eastern) with the departure of the first rider.

Paris-Nice live streaming video should get underway at around 2:00pm CET (9:00am U.S. Eastern, 6:00am Pacific).

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Kris Boeckmans (Lotto Soudal) in the leader's jersey
(Fotoreporter Sirotti).
Kris Boeckmans won Le Samyn after beating Gianni Meersman with a powerful effort in the small group sprint in Dour, while Christophe Laporte took third.

Etixx-QuickStep dominated proceedings in the finale, and Stijn Vandenbergh’s show of forcing on the final stretch of cobbles, the 700 metres of the Rue de Bellevue, meant that the Belgian squad had four out of eight riders in the race’s decisive move.

March 4, 2015 (

Photography by Cor Vos: Chantal and Ellen were still fresh coming into the finish. (
Chantal Blaak won the bunch sprint that decided the Le Samyn des Dames race after a six-rider attack was reeled back in the final kilometers.

Blaak beat Anna van der Breggan, with last year’s winner Emma Johansson completing the podium.

It is the first victory of the season for Blaak, who finished fourth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last weekend, and the seventh win for her Boels Dolmans team.

March 4, 2015 (

Photo: Last year’s winner: Carlos Betancur wins stage six of the 2014 Paris-Nice.
After last year’s unusual parcours, made up almost exclusively of middle-mountain stages, this year’s Paris-Nice (March 8-15) reverts to type with the balanced blend of flat stages, time-trials and mountain stages.

As such, the race once more resembles a mini-Tour de France, and looks set to be contested by general classification riders looking ahead to the grand tours later in the season.

March 4, 2015 (

Photo: Overall wiiner, Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r)
Jean-Christophe Péraud is starting to find his form after a slower start to the 2015 season than previous years, and is hoping he can find his form by the end of Paris-Nice to grab a good result in the uphill time trial on the Col d'Eze.

The AG2R La Mondiale rider was third overall when he last competed in Paris-Nice, using a fourth place on the Col d'Eze time trial to pull himself onto the podium, and is tipping that year's overall winner, Richie Porte, as the rider to beat this year.

March 4, 2015 (

Photo: Samuel Sánchez (BMC) was busy on the front of the peloton during his first race of 2015
(Tim de Waele/
Former Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez will make his European debut with BMC Racing Saturday at Strade Bianche in support of three-time top-10 finisher Greg Van Avermaet.

Sánchez, who won the Olympic road race in 2008, was a late signing for the team and has competed only once so far this season in the red-and-black BMC kit, appearing on February 1 at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Australia.

March 4, 2015 (

Quintana adds Romandie to early season campaign.

March 4, 2015 (

Bart Wellens retires from cyclo-cross.

March 3, 2015 (

Photo: Will Astana be saved if Alexandre Vinokourov steps down from his position as team manager?
The Astana affair continues to evolve and is still lacking a lot of clarity.

First the team has been granted a later deadline for sumbitting their dossier to the UCI License Commission and they will now have to present their defense before Friday, March 20.

However, La Gazzetta dello Sport now presents a possible loophole that could save Vincenzo Nibali's and Fabio Aru's team.

If general manager Alexandre Vinokourov steps down from his position and allows a new management to take over, it may be enough for the UCI to accept Astana in the WorldTour.

This could be an easy way for the team to avoid being relegated to pro continental level or losing their license completely.

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: A VPN is a Virtual Private Network and it can allow you to get around geo-restriction technology.
March is a busy month for pro cycling. Even if you had the free time and inclination trying to watch as many races as possible would not be easy.

Races are spread over many channels and for many fans there’s sometimes no legal way to watch a race because it’s not on TV.

The internet’s changed expectations and fans want watch every race going and thanks to the web it’s often possible.

Many people resort to so-called pirate feeds. But there’s a better way: use a VPN.

March 5, 2015 (

UCI President Brian Cookson said
The UCI’s Athletes’ Commission, a group tasked with providing a direct link between riders and the governing body, will see an organizational shakeup and a modernization this season.

The new-look Athletes’ Commission will place its members on the corresponding UCI commission overseeing their discipline — the road representative will sit on the UCI’s road commission, for example — providing a direct line to top-level decision making.

The president of the Athletes’ Commission, who will be elected by the other commission members, will sit on the UCI Management Committee.

March 5, 2015 (

Paris-Nice 2015 will offer a mountaintop finish midway through the eight-day race. Photo: Tim De Waele |
Beginning Sunday, twin plot lines will course south from Maurepas, a suburb outside Paris, toward Nice and the Mediterranean Sea. One is doused in yellow, built around two time trials and a tough mountaintop finish.

Another is green, a matchup of the sprinters, fighting for the four stage wins on offer. The two combined will tell the story of the first real stage race of the year.

Paris-Nice, or the “Race to the Sun” as it has been optimistically dubbed, races across France from March 8-15.

A Tour de France in miniature, it often provides insight into climbs and stages Tour organizers Amaury Sport Organization will use for the grand boucle in coming years. The race compresses sprints, mountaintop finishes, and time trials into a single week.

March 5, 2015 (

Alberto Contador and Peter Sagan now wear the same jersey, aboard the Tinkoff-Saxo team. They'll have to balance their divergent aspirations at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de France, but the team insists it's possible to aim for both yellow and green jerseys. Photo: AFP PHOTO | ERIC FEFERBERG (File).
It was the blockbuster trade of the season. Peter Sagan’s move to Tinkoff-Saxo gave the already-loaded team another deadly weapon.

Cycling’s latest super-duo will match up for the first time this season as Tinkoff-Saxo will bring Alberto Contador and Sagan together in the same jersey in the same race for Tirreno-Adriatico next week.

Contador made his season debut at Ruta del Sol, where he went mano-a-mano with Chris Froome in a gripping battle that saw the two grand tour favorites separated by two seconds. Sagan, meanwhile, opened his season in the desert, with seven top-fives during the tours of Qatar and Oman, but no wins. Sagan lines up this weekend in Italy at Strade Bianche to make his European debut before linking up with Contador for Tirreno-Adriatico (March 11-17).

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Dutch cyclist Thomas Dekker reacts at the end of the race during the UCI world hour record attempt at the bicentennial velodrome in Aguascalientes city on February 25, 2015.
(Getty Images Sport).
Lampre-Merida team manager Giuseppe Sarroni has denied that his team are interested in signing Thomas Dekker for this season.

On Thursday, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf quoted Peter Koperdraad, the managing director of Merida Benelux, saying that they may reignite talks with Dekker after his attempt at the Hour Record but Sarroni says the team is going in a different direction.

"We never thought of Thomas Dekker,” Saronni told Tuttobiciweb.

“Our philosophy is different. Maximum respect for Thomas, who has had the courage to face a challenge such as an Hour Record attempt despite not having a professional team behind him, but the philosophy of the Lampre-Merida is to invest in young talents, add new pieces to the team of the future and to improve promising riders.”

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Even the best drink on the market reportedly only contains approximately half of the amount of sodium that the body sweats out.
Adding salt to electrolyte sports drinks can improve performance for endurance athletes, with many top drinks not containing enough sodium.

Researchers in Spain have found that athletes who supplement their electrolyte drinks with extra salt perform better in endurance events than those who rely on the drinks alone for rehydration.

They found that the leading sports recovery drinks did not contain enough electrolytes to replenish those lost during long distance events, meaning the body will run on a sodium deficit.

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: om Boonen Credit: Yuzuru Sunada .
Style is a word used a lot in cycling. On one level it’s very practical. It helps quantify form and efficiency.

A good riding style is efficient because more power goes into the pedals per calorie of energy burned, but the style we are talking about here is so much more than that.

Cycling is very visual. It’s quite graceful too when you think about it. A bicycle transfers the up and down motion of the rider’s legs into smoothly spinning wheels, and the most stylish riders do that with the greatest grace.

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Canyon gave its aero road platform a thorough overhaul and this latest version is absolutely fantastic
James Huang / Immediate Media.
BikeRadar verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars. "Swap out the old-school wheels and you've got an utterly fantastic aero road machine."

March 5, 2015 (

If history is any guide, Roman Kreuziger faces an uphill battle as he appeals a biological passport doping sanction in the courts. Photo: Tim De Waele |
Czech cyclist Roman Kreuziger faces a difficult legal battle to defend himself against accusations that he doped, based on past cases. Both the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed that an athlete has never won in appeal of a biological passport case.

WADA told VeloNews, “All passport cases brought before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) have resulted in sanctions.”

The sports high court in Lausanne, Switzerland, CAS, confirmed the same but noted that it reduced the ban of Turkish track and field athlete, Alemitu Bekele two years ago.

March 4, 2015 (

Photo: Astana manager Alexander Vinokourov at the Dubai Tour
(Tim de Waele/
The Astana team has until March 20 to prepare its defense and response to the UCI’s request to revoke its license according to a report in the l’Equipe newspaper.

The UCI formally requested that its License Commission revoke the Kazakhstan team’s WorldTour license after an audit by the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL) of the team’s anti-doping culture, policies, structures and management systems.

The UCI also claimed that it has now received important evidence from the Padua police investigation. This was not available when the UCI License Commission granted the Astana team a 2015 license in December.

March 4, 2015 (

Axel Merckx met up with his father Eddy at the recent Tour of Qatar. Photo: Tim De Waele |
Axel Merckx has helped 18 cyclists — including Taylor Phinney and Joe Dombrowski — graduate to UCI WorldTeams over the last six years, a success rate he said is thanks to Axeon’s independence.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Merckx told VeloNews. “It’s a formula that works, not for everyone but for a big majority of the guys out there.

“I’m really proud of the team, it’s something that we’ve built up over the years. I’m trying to keep it going as long as I can.”

The Belgian former professional and son of cycling great Eddy Merckx announced in December a new look to his team for 2015. Bissell stepped down from the title sponsorship and took a smaller role, and the team was rebranded as Axeon.

Axeon is not a company, but a name that Merckx wants to help establish in cycling.

March 4, 2015 (

Photo: Etixx-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere and Tom Boonen meet the press.
(Tim de Waele/
The tax evasion case involving Tom Boonen and his Etixx-QuickStep team boss Patrick Lefevere has been postponed. The pair were due to appear in front of the council chambers in Kortrijk this Tuesday along with Trek Factory Racing racing Stijn Devolder and six other members of the Etixx team.

According to a report in the Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf, the lawyers have requested a delay in the proceedings so that they may be able to reach a settlement.

The trial is the result of an investigation that began in 2009. Boonen and his fellow defendants are believed to have used various financial schemes to avoid paying tax.

March 4, 2015 (

Photo: Credit to my wife for the pictures and to my son Mario for the moral support. Looking forward to see him in races in the future!
This Saturday the 9th Strade Bianche heads off from San Gimignano to cross the ‘White Roads’ before finishing in the historic city of Siena. Our man in Italy, Alessandro Federico (and his bike), covered the last 20 kilometers to take in the final climbs and those dirt roads in his Tuscan homeland.

Despite its short story the Strade Bianche is already one of the most important races in the spring calendar and it’s the first big race in Italy, opening an important month.

March is full of cycling events with the WorldTour’s Tirreno Adriatico and the first of the historic classics: Milano Sanremo.

March 4, 2015 (

Photography by Wade Wallace: The Power comes in the flagship S-Works model which is a pricey $300.
Specialized designed the Power for the purpose of being able to ride in a low, aggressive, aerodynamic position while staying comfortable and not restricting blood flow to the nether regions.

The most notable thing about the Power is that it appears to be a combination of many of Specialized’s existing Body Geometry saddles.

It bears the most resemblance to a Romin but with a shorter nose (by 30mm) and a more generous groove in the middle.

However, the widest part of the saddle measures the same as the Romin and comes in 143mm and 155mm sizes, going as wide as 168mm in the Expert and Comp models.

March 4, 2015 (

Home Wrench: Equipment for home mechanics.

March 4, 2015 (

Photo: Daily Distraction... © (

March 5, 2015 (

March 5, 2015

Photo: Dave Brailsford before stage two of the 2014 Paris-Nice (Watson) .
Dave Brailsford welcomes the UCI’s stance on Astana’s WorldTour license, insisting it is acting in the best interests of cycling’s credibility.

Astana has until March 20 to prepare their response to the UCI’s request for the License Commission to withdraw their right to race, which comes after after the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne returned its audit of team procedures.

Team Sky principal, Brailsford, says Team Sky are playing their role in moving cycling into a new anti-doping era, but insists only the UCI can decide on the best course of action for Astana.

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Tejay van Garderen (BMC) checking his data or Angry Birds high score
(Tim de Waele/
On paper, Tejay van Garderen sets out from Maurepas this Sunday as one of the outstanding favorites for final overall victory at Paris-Nice, but the Race to the Sun rarely plays out according to a preordained script.

Twelve months ago, van Garderen’s race was ended prematurely by a bout of illness that forced him to abandon on the second day, but even without such misfortune, BMC directeur sportif Yvon Ledanois warns that Paris-Nice can never be reduced to its set-piece stages.

March 5, 2015 (

Ned Overend has more championship titles to his name than he has fingers to count them. The age-defying 59-year-old relies on high-intensity training and Strava to stay fast. Photo: Wil Matthews .
"I turned 59 in 2014, and I have maintained a high level of fitness since I first began endurance racing in the late 1970s.

Training with an emphasis on high-intensity intervals has been my preferred method of preparing for events throughout my career, which includes racing mountain bikes, road bikes, cyclocross, and Xterra triathlon.

I made a few forays into long-distance events such as the Leadville 100 mountain bike race and the Ironman triathlon, but my preference is racing for one to four hours."

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Lance Armstrong admits doping to Oprah Winfrey in 2013 (Getty Images).
No doubt Lance Armstrong is still digesting the news that he has to repay $10m (£6.4m) to previous sponsors following a ruling by an arbitration panel a few weeks ago.

This is on top of the lifetime ban from all sporting competitions that he was given several years back. Many probably think he got the punishment he deserved, but was it done fairly?

Leading sports organizations such as the International Olympic Committee and FIFA have been under pressure to resolve internal ethical issues in recent years.

On the other hand the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) remains highly regarded for its determination to stop athletes cheating, standing for fairness and protecting a level playing field.

Like a pulp crime novel, anti-doping action is seen as the good guys against the bad guys.

March 5, 2015 (

Photography by Cor Vos: Maybe a cute little cocktail dress.
"My youngest teammate Anna Christian looked genuinely concerned as she pulled me aside after dinner last Friday, the night before our first European race, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Chloe, I need to ask you a question,” she said.

Oh no. What’s she done?, I thought to myself. I know I’m one of the most experienced on the team but I’m not ready to help hide a body.

That falls outside the “what I’m expected to do for my teammates” charter.

“What are you wearing tomorrow?” she asked."

March 5, 2015 (

Owain Doull, Andy Tennant, Steven Burke and Ed Clancy took silver at the World Championships (Pic: Vaughn Ridley/
On the face of it, Great Britain’s below-par World Championships showing was a disappointment all round, returning with no gold medals for the first time since 2001.

Among the disappointment, however, were a few rays of hope and causes for optimism – not least for the men’s team pursuit squad, who improved significantly on their Cali horror show of 12 months earlier.

Ed Clancy, Andy Tennant, Steven Burke and Owain Doull – the latter two only just recovered from injuries  – won silver behind New Zealand in Paris.

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: France en Vélo – The Ultimate Cycle Journey From Channel to Med – St-Malo to Nice by Hannah Reynolds and John Walsh.
More than 5000 people each year tackle John O’Groats to Lands End, but now there is a new challenge St-Malo to Nice – the ultimate route across France.

Lands End to John O’Groats is ridden by a huge number of cyclists each year, some riding it for charity, others as a purely personal challenge.

Imagine arriving at the glittering blue of the Cote d’Azur, warm sun beating down on your back and the vibrant town of Nice to welcome you.

There is an alternative to a wet and windy End to End; instead of riding across Britain, ride across France.

March 5, 2015 (

Photo: Dimension Data set to revolutionize the experience of billions of cycling fans across the globe..
"Commencing in July this year at the Tour de France, Dimension Data will partner with A.S.O. to revolutionize the viewing experience of billions of cycling fans across the globe.

Both organizations said their common goal in the coming years is to deliver and share the best race information speedily and in real-time with race commentators and the global viewing public."

March 5, 2015 (

Moots Vamoots
(Photo courtesy of Moots).
"Cyclists come in all shapes and sizes, and lucky for us, so do bikes. However, when you’re a larger rider—whether you’re super-tall or consider yourself in the Clydesdale/Athena category (commonly defined as weighing more than 220 pounds for men or 160 pounds for women)—finding long-lasting, proper-fitting bike gear, from wheels to jerseys, can be tough.

When we recently reported on clothing for bigger riders, we heard from our readers that it wasn’t just finding the perfect pair of shorts that was the problem: It’s finding components and frames that can stand up to the weight of larger athletes."

March 5, 2015 (

March 4, 2015

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot wins the 2014 edition of Fleche Wallone Femmes.
(Photo by ASO).
When Marianne Vos didn’t win World Championships on the road, we were surprised.

When she didn’t win World Championships in the mud, we were downright shocked.

Sure, she was injured—an early season hamstring issue made her season suffer—but for those of us who have seen Vos dominate the women’s peloton in road and 'cross for the past few years, watching her take third place earlier this month felt like a changing of the guard.

Added to that, it was Vos’s teammate, 22-year-old Pauline Ferrand Prevot, who took both wins and is wearing the rainbow jerseys.

March 4, 2015 (

Photo: A feed-zone .
Belgian pro Johan Vansummeren, winner of the 2011 Paris-Roubaix, wants cycling’s governing body, the UCI, to strengthen its race safety measures after a spectator’s death on Sunday.

A rider collided with 54-year-old wife of ex-pro Ludwig Wynants while she was in the feed zone of the Brustem-Sint-Truiden race near Hasselt, Belgium.

She later died of her injuries.

March 4, 2015 (

Photo: There were some really big names and teams in this race, with a very hard course. I was hoping just to finish.
Along with the nine Europeans who crowded the top 10 at the semi-classic Le Samyn on Wednesday was 22-year-old Park City native Tanner Putt of UnitedHealthcare.

Tanner joined eight Belgians — including winner Kris Boeckmans — and a Frenchman to finish ahead of riders like 2014 Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra, Tour de France stage winner and compatriot Tyler Farrar, rising sprinting stars Giacomo Nizzolo and Bryan Coquard, and many others.

March 4, 2015 (

The chainrings may be expensive, but they last quite long and the ability to swap between compact and standard rings on the same crank is brilliant. Photo: Brad Kaminski |
Two years, over 10,000 miles, one conclusion: Shimano’s Dura-Ace 9000 mechanical group is the best human-powered drivetrain the world has ever seen.

If you’re a weight-weenie, look to SRAM, home of the best weight/cost ratio in the industry. If heritage and beauty are paramount, there can be nothing but Campagnolo and its striking carbon curves.

But if clever, precise engineering and absolutely flawless performance gets you flush in the face, Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 is the group for you.

One can argue cost/benefit ratios and aesthetics and personal ergonomic preferences until the cows come home, but to do so is to miss the point. In the 9000 drivetrain, Shimano has a kit so impeccable it rivals the company’s own electronic groups.

Shift performance — and that’s what really matters here — is in a class of its own.

March 4, 2015 (

Why not “Made in U.S.A.”?

March 4, 2015 (

March 3, 2015


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