Category Archives: Monuments

Marv is back from holidays

Dear Rouleurs,

MMT is back  online after well earned 4 week holiday and has number of interesting stories and pictures to share. The three highlights being:

  • Meeting the grandson of  Enrique Otero, who in 1927 established the first bicycle shop in Madrid.  Unfortunately, they don’t make frames anymore.  They had a fabulous collection of old bikes. You can find them at https://www.facebook.com/otero.bicicletas/
  • Driving up Mont Ventoux in Provence, France.
  • Checking out some very cool bike shops in London and spending way too much money.

Finally, a big ‘chapeau’ to Esteban Chaves of Orica-GreenEDGE who finished 8th in the 2015 Giro di Lombardia, a slender 56 seconds behind the winner, Vincenzo ‘I won’t cheat this time’ Nibali.

Surely it must be time make Chaves an Australian citizen.

More later this month.

Marv

The lost art of team time trial or how Orica-GreenEdge won Stage 1 of Giro D’Italia 2015

Dear Roulers,

I have to say how much I’ve enjoyed the SBS coverage of the spring classic one day races. Clearly the standout performer this year has been this man, Alejandro Valvarde.

The Spaniard wins so many races that his exploits in the Ardennes sometimes go a bit unnoticed, but he fully lived up to his status as the favourite in all the races in 2015.

The Movistar rider just missed out on the Ardennes clean sweep, pipped on the line by Etixx-Quick-Step’s Michal Kwiatkowski in the Amstel Gold Race. But that minor blip on the palmares was recovered a few days later when he won Flèche Wallonne. Keep in mind that he’s the same age, 35, as the soon to be retired Bradley Wiggins.

However, the Giro d’Italia is now underway and again its Orica-GreenEdge giving other teams a lesson in how to do team time trials.  The Orica-GreenEdge covered the 17.6km course in 19 minutes and 26 seconds (54.3km/h average), seven seconds ahead of Tinkoff-Saxo and another six seconds faster than Astana.  That’s about 25km/h faster than I can manage along Beach Road.20150509-OricaGreenEdge-ChainGang-B

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the intermediate time check, 9.9km into the stage, the Orica-GreenEdge squad lead Astana by eight seconds. Much of the damage had been done by three of the team’s time trial specialists Luke Durbridge, Brett Lancaster and Michael Hepburn.  I have to say I really felt for the team’s specialist climber Esteban Chaves, who looked like a 12 year old, tailing behind the bigger Australians.  At 55kg, Chaves is 25kg lighter than the other guys and looked to be hanging on to the last wheel as if his life depended on it.

You have to wonder how practice these other teams put into the discipline of chain gangs and riding team races.  Most teams seemed to have formations that were at best untidy at worst disjointed. Mind you it helps it have Olympic team pursuit medalists in the team.Simon Gerrans Stage 1 Winner Giro 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevertheless last night was a great win for Simon Gerrans who has been beset by bad luck and injury for the last 12 months.  The final results for stage 1 were:

Stage 1: 17.6km team time trial, San Lorenzo al Mare – San Remo
1 Orica-GreenEDGE 19min 26sec
2 Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:07
3 Astana 0:00:13
4 Etixx-Quick-Step 0:00:19
5 Movistar 0:00:21
6 IAM Cycling 0:00:25
7 BMC Racing
8 Sky 0:00:27
9 Trek Factory Racing 0:00:29
10 Lotto Soudal 0:00:31

Tonight’s stage in the  Giro d’Italia is a 177km stage from Albenga to Genoa which has only one small classified climb and which will almost certainly end in a bunch sprint.  I reckon Simon might be turning up for a second maglia rosa later tonight.

See you on the road

Marv