Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rest Day Musette - Things We Missed During the Classics

Apologies for getting this to you a day later than usual--hopefully the Giro’s Rest Day gives a bit of time to enjoy it. I don't know about you, but I feel like I missed a lot of quality musette material over the past several weeks as the classics dominated my attention. Here's a sample of what we might have missed:

1. I included this terrific short film about Paris-Roubaix in my Pavé Spring Awards, but it bears mentioning again.  

2. Have you had a chance to check-out the parcours for next month’s Dauphiné Libéré yet? The ASO has taken over the organization of this important Tour de France build-up event, creating an exciting course for 2010. Highlights include 2 time trials, a summit finish atop Alde d’Huez, and a final stage with finishing circuits in Sallanches, the site of Bernard Hinault’s World Championship in 1980. This is one of my favorites races; this year looks to be one of the best yet.

3. In case you thought they didn’t exist, here are The Rules. Read them.

4. El Cyclista's Battenkill photography deserves a moment of your time.

5. Velorunner posted this video of former Garmin rider Will Frishkorn riding some cobbles. This and Michael Barry’s terrific videos of Team Sky’s pre-Flanders and pre-Roubaix training come close to re-creating the experience in the comfort of your own living room.

6. I loved this photo from Velopresse. There’s something about the current trend in cycling photography that really excites me. I won’t try and describe it—I’ll just butcher the jargon. Whatever it is, it works perfectly for the spring classics. And while you’re there, spend some time looking around the Velopresse site; there’s much to enjoy.

7. If you use iCal as much I do, you’ll appreciate this downloadable, iCal-friendly version of the UCI’s 2010 road calendar.

8. Am I the only one who thinks Alberto Contador looked out of place riding next to Peter Van Petegem on the pavé? While Contador was riding team issue equipment, Van Petegem apparently needed to borrow a set of wheels for his Museeuw. As for the kit he’s wearing, he and his wife have started a bed and breakfast in the Flemish Ardennes. Might have to get me some of that kit!

9. V for...Vino? Vulgar? Vapid? Welcome back, Mark.

10. Has Thor Hushovd been training with Denis Menchov?

11. After a used Schwinn Le Tour, a Greg LeMond Tourmalet with Columbus SL tubing was my first “real” road bike. Once again, Tears for Gears has me feeling nostalgic.

12. And speaking of bikes, thanks to BQ at Competitive Cyclist for the heads-up on the new limited edition Renaix 88 model from Fondriest. I was a bit disappointed to see the frame wasn’t made from aluminum in the way that aluminum frames were made when aluminum was high-end, but it’s a great piece of eye-candy nonetheless.

13. I kinda like the retro Team Radio Shack kits used by Lance & Co. at the Tour of the Gila. Here’s a great post from Embro as to how it all came together. And by the way, the Rapha-Speedvagen kit that James Selmann designed is going to be great.

14. Wow.

15. And last but not least, the Giro is underway. Following 3 rainy, windy, crash-filled days in Holland. The race reconvenes in rainy, windy, and crash-filled Italy tomorrow with a team trial trial from Savigliano to Cuneo. So far it looks as if two of my 5 pre-Giro questions have been answered with Tyler Farrar taking Stage 2 and Vinokourov taking the maglia rosa after yesterday’s Stage 3.

All in all, this year’s race looks to be one for the Anglo’s, with 2 of the first 3 stages and 2 of the first 3 maglia rosa’s being taken by English speakers. Mark your calendars for the appearance of the strade bianche on Saturday—that might be one stage worth setting your watch for.

15. Two notes before concluding:

First, an apology to anyone who has sent an email or posted a comment and not received an immediate reply (or anything at all for that matter). Not to make excuses, but Pavé’s still a one-man operation. I’ll always do my best to return your attempts at communication as quickly as my other responsibilities allow (sometimes it’s all I can do just get new posts together “on time”). Thanks for the understanding and support in the meantime—your visits and recommendations are always appreciated. Keep spreading the word.

Second, I’ll be at the first half of this year’s Tour of California as a member of Bicycling’s team. If you plan to attend in some way, shape, or form, feel free to say hello.

That’s it for today—share your comments, thoughts, and feedback below!

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