here are a few images from today, they are taken during my morning run which was half trail and half on the road. most importantly though was that this was the first run in and around my new home town of bath. gone is the urban street and city park environment of london in favour of a much more rural setting. i have been wanting this for a very long time and i will make sure i make the absolute most of it. i plan to be sharing many more photos over the coming weeks and months as i discover my new home.
peloton magazine presents a fascinating behind the scenes look into the fabrication and history of some of italy's most famous cycling brands including fizik, wilier, castelli, carrera, bianchi and vittoria. it was a particular treat to see the interview with the great man felice gimondi for bianchi.
this is an image of me with some very good friends of mine prior to my last london ride with them before betty and i move to bath. it just so happens that we look like a bunch of rapha gimps but hey where do you think all those sample sale jerseys end up? i have had the pleasure of cycling with these boys over the past four years or so and have to say it was an absolute pleasure. thanks lads and look forward to you visiting me for some bike rides through the somerset lanes.
tuesday will mark the beginning of a new chapter for betty and i. she has been in london for ten years and i eighteen. although we have both enjoyed living in the big smoke we have decided it is time for a life style change - much smaller city and having easier access to the countryside. bath qualifies in both respects and in my opinion is one of the most beautiful cities in england, the countryside is also very beautiful and quite hilly.
we are sad to be leaving london, our friends and all the good times we've had but also very excited to be able to start exploring our new home. there is one other big change too, betty is pregnant with our first child and is due in the middle of july, during the tour de france! we really cannot wait to meet the new edition to our family.
as i said our move date is this coming tuesday (i am surrounded by packed boxes as i write this) and because of this we will not have internet connection until around the end of the first week in june. i know my posts have been less frequent of late but for the next couple of weeks i may not get a chance to post at all, although a priority of mine will be to find a good local pub with wifi connection so maybe i can squeeze out a couple of posts here and there, i will see.
anyway thanks for visiting and enjoy the remainder of the giro d'italia.
tragedy struck what had so far been a successful opening to this year's giro d'italia today when leopard-trek's 26 year old belgian rider wouter weylandt crashed heavily on the very technical descent of the passo del bocco. he was unconscious at the scene and although paramedics worked to revive weylandt by using cardiac massage and adrenaline and atropine injections they were unable to save him. weylandt became the fourth rider to die during the giro's 94 editions along with orfeo ponsin (1952), juan manuel santisteban (1976) and emilio ravasio (1986). weylandt's death is made all the more tragic by the news that his girlfriend sophie is expecting the couple's first child in september.
i was watching the eurosport stream of the 173km 3rd stage between reggio emilia and rapallo when with only 35km to the finish the camera switched to shocking image of weylandt laying on the tarmac unconscious in a pool of blood. i can still picture the awful image in my mind as i recount this. thankfully the tv cameras showed some respect and discretion by turning back to the race footage and finale which incidentally was won by spain's angel vicioso arcos of androni giocattoli. vicioso would have rather chosen another day to take what is the biggest victory of his career.
days like today really bring home how dangerous the sport of cycling can be. for the professionals taking a tumble now and again is almost considered part of the job specification but the death of a rider is something that occurs surprisingly rarely considering the risks associated with descending at speeds that can sometimes reach as high as 110/120kph. it is not only the professionals that put themselves at risk though. i would never discourage anyone from taking up cycling but unfortunately sad events like today also remind amateur riders like myself and indeed all cyclists to take care every time we go out on the bike. i try to never take anything for granted when i am out on the roads and everyone whether on foot, bike or in a vehicle is a potential hazard. it sounds like a pessimistic way to ride but it is not. it is simply a good survival strategy and one that allows me to be able to continue enjoying my riding while being alert and aware at the same time.
weylandt's role with leopard-trek and previously quick step-davitamon was that of sprinter as well as humble domestique but when big opportunities presented themselves he took them including two major professional victories with stages in the vuelta a españa (2008) and giro d'italia (2010).
my deepest sympathies go to weylandt's family, friends and teammates on this very sad day. everyone else, please be careful out there.
although the 94th giro d'italia starts today you may want to take a few minutes to look back to the spring classics and beyond the peloton's tour of flanders documentary. betty and i have just finished watching the film and we both decided that it was noticable how tense and almost beaten the garmin-cervelo team looked prior to the start of the race especially when compared with fabian cancellara's confident attitude during his press conference. that said jonathan vaughters, the general manager of garmin-cervelo, and his director sportifs did a hell of a job instilling the strength and self belief needed to pick themselves up and win paris-roubaix one week later, albeit with johan van summeren rather than their leader thor hushovd.
back to the start of today's giro d'italia and the 19.3km team time trial (ttt) between venaria reale and torino. you can find streaming options for this stage and indeed the entire race at any of the links below:
i came across these fantastic images by photographer nicolas götz the other day. professional cycling really is blessed with some very talented photographers and i think götz certainly falls into this category.