Tag Archives: Richie Porte

Woo woo, here comes the Sky Train…

Dear Rouleurs,

In lieu of a proper blog about the shenanigans at 2015 edition of La Vuelta, for example various members of the Tinkoff-Saxo squad, most notably Peter Sagan, being struck by motorcycles and Chris Froome breaking his ankle, I thought I would provide another infographic.  Its been liberated from the rather wonderful RCUK’s Infographic Guide to Cycling .  I’ve provided the link to Amazon as shameless plug, hopefully, to ward off legal action for a blatant breach of copyright.

Woo...woo...here comes the Skytrain...

Woo…woo…here comes the Skytrain…

Here at marvmadethis.com, we’ve long identified that infographics are the preferred communication media of the attention/literacy challenged Gen Y.  For those of us not in that underachieving demographic, infographics occasionally capture something useful or entertaining.

The illustration above  does both, showing how Team Sky propel their GC rider, Chris Froome, along in a mountain stage. By keeping the tempo high, they attempt to prevent attacks from less well supported climbers, for example Alberto Contador.

I’m not sure which one of these was meant to Richie Porte 😉

Until next time


Final wrap up of the Tour De France 2015


Dear Roulers,

I’ve recovered, from a 3 week TDF2015 sleep deficit and some flu that’s going round at work, sufficiently to write my first blog for August 2015.

The final mountain stage #20 of the TDF 2015 an absolute cracker, as the promised show down between the GC contenders on the iconic climb of Alpe d’Huez actually happened.  The talk matched the walk…er…ride.  The one-two move of Movistar’s Alejandro  Valverde and Nairo Quintana very nearly broke the Sky Train and Chris Froom’s grip on the Jeune Malliot. When the heat was on Sky rallied behind their leader.  Richie Porte and Wouter Poels should take a big bow for dragging Froome up the final 10km of Alpe d’Huez and onto the podium in Paris.

The short but brutal stage #20 must have seemed interminable to the riders as they struggled their way up the final climb. The crowds on Alpe d’Huez were as large as ever – some say one million fans lined the roads – but despite concerns over out-of-control spectators causing bother, trouble did not really materialise.  I sure French fans would have taken some heart from the fine stage win by the French FDJ rider Thibaut Pinot.

So here’s another couple of pilfered photos of GC and Jersey for the TDF 2015 podium.


Left to Right: Quintana, Froome, Valverde


Left to Right: Sagan, Froome, Quintana

The winners of the Jerseys and Awards were:

 Yellow Jersey  FROOME, Christopher  31  TEAM SKY  84:46:14
 Green Jersey  SAGAN, Peter  47  TINKOFF-SAXO  432 points
 Polka-Dot Jersey  FROOME, Christopher  31  TEAM SKY  119 points
 White Jersey  QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander  51  MOVISTAR  84:47:26
 Most Combative BARDET, Romain  12  AG2R LA MONDIALE  85:02:14
 Team  MOVISTAR  Total Time  255:24:24

Here’s the top 10 finishers in the GC

 1.  FROOME, Christopher  31  TEAM SKY  84:46:14
 2.  QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander  51  MOVISTAR  84:47:26 + 1:12
 3.  VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro  59  MOVISTAR  84:51:39  + 5:25
 4.  NIBALI, Vincenzo  1  ASTANA  84:54:39  + 8:36
 5.  CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto  41  TINKOFF – SAXO  84:56:02  + 9:48
 6.  GESINK, Robert  131  LOTTO NL – JUMBO  84:57:01  + 10:47
 7.  MOLLEMA, Bauke  141  TREK FACTORY RACING  85:01:28  + 15:14
 8.  FRANK, Mathias  181  IAM CYCLING  85:01:53  + 15:39
 9.  BARDET, Romain  12  AG2R LA MONDIALE  85:02:14  + 16:00
 10.  ROLLAND, Pierre  121  EUROPCAR  85:03:44  + 17:30

Here’s where the Australians finished:

 36.  ROGERS Michael  46  TINKOFF-SAXO  86:42:27: + 01:56′:13
 48.  PORTE Richie  35  TEAM SKY  87:02:19 + 02:16:05
 101.  DENNIS Rohan  63  BMC RACING TEAM  88:13:48 + 03:27:34
 114.  HANSEN Adam  76  LOTTO-SOUDAL  89:12:47 + 04:26:33
 151.  DURBRIDGE Luke  103  ORICA GREENEDGE  89:11:17 + 04:25:03
 152.  MATTHEWS Michael  105  ORICA GREENEDGE  89:12:47 + 04:26:33

This is who retired:

 195  DEMPSTER Zakkari  BORA-ARGON 18  Stage 12 – DNF
 115  RENSHAW Mark  ETIXX-QUICK STEP  Stage 18 – DNF

And in addition from Orica GreenEdge:

 104  IMPEY Daryl  Stage 4 – DNS
 102  ALBASINI Michael  Stage 6 – DNS

So before signing off, congratulations should be given to Adam Hansen who finished his 12th consecutive grand tour, despite dislocating his shoulder back in stage 2. Dear God the man feels no pain.

Now bring on La Vueleta, viva l’espana 🙂


The end of the Magic Spanner??

Dear Roulers,

I was reading a recent article in Cycle Sport July 2015 edition, talking about the end of the ‘magic spanner’. Apart from terse warnings from the UCI Commissaries, the article was a showcase for a number of nostalgic photos demonstrating the bravery of team bicycle mechanics.  Leaning out of vehicle traveling at 40 to 50 Km/h looks like an easy way to end up in hospital.   Unfortunately there is no easy way of directing you to the article, as far as I can tell, there is no online copy…boo 🙁

For those of you that have no idea what the magic spanner or its close relative the ‘sticky bidon’ are, its occurs when a rider drops out of the peloton, on the pretence of requiring an adjustment to brakes, cleats, cables, whatever, and catches a presumably well earned rest hanging on the team car.  Here’s an example of an intrepid FDJ mechanic braving life and limb. Impressive core strength, young man.


Its close cousin is where a rider seems take a very long time to secure their grip on a bidon ie 1 or 2 minutes, before taking a drink.


Neither of these ‘tactics’ should be confused with hanging on to a motorbike…


….which is just plain cheating.

Nor is Richie Porte’s ‘wheelgate’ fiasco, which basically cost him any chance of maglia rosa in 2015.

So, naughty, naughty, very naughty, which is no doubt why the UCI issued a reminder just before the 2015 Paris-Nice race and fined a couple of team  a 1000 Swiss Francs. The article’s author seems to make great sport of team Sky who have a number of photos included in the article.  Oh well…….

As the sole rider on Team Marv I have to say that I want one of these magic spanners.  I’ve had 3 punctures in 6 weeks and having a Team Marv support vehicle would be just awesome. My personal pick would be the Team Sky jag that’s been going around in the ‘hot lap’ that’s been going round on SBS’s Bike Lane.


I’ll be passing the hat round shortly. Don’t be shy, chip in 🙂

Until then ride safely


Richie Porte, Wheelgate and Emergency Repairs


Dear Roulers,

Not much seems to be going right for Team Sky’s Richie Porte at the Giro.  He has been docked two minutes by the race jury after he received an illegal wheel change from Orica-GreenEdge‘s Simon Clarke following his puncture in the closing kilometres of stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia.  Porte punctured with seven kilometres remaining and lost 47 seconds to the main peloton, despite the wheel offered by Clarke and the assistance later provided by GreenEdge’s Michael Matthews during the chase effort.  Man doesn’t that suck.    I wonder would that have happened between Aru and some other Italian rider?


Also is it my imagination or is Orica-GreenEdge giving him more help than his own team?….AND WHAT EXACTLY IS THE SKY RIDER IN THE FRONT OF THE PHOTO DOING?? Given that he’s out of contract at the end of this year, are GreenEdge sending not so subtle messages about which team he should ride for next year.  Time will tell.

Given Richie’s faux pas, it triggered some thinking on my part about what else he could have done to effect an emergency repair and then in general about emergency repairs.

Here’s my bumper list of emergency repairs you could do by the side of the road:

Split Tyre No tyre patches…no problem.  Wrap strong paper, plastic sheeting around the tube inside the tyre.  Wrapping tape around the tyre with tape or part of an old inner tube may help.  Remember to disable the brakes or remove the brake blocks, otherwise the tyre won’t spin freely.
No Spare Tubes You’ll love this.  Tie a knot in the tyre on the hole.  You may be able to inflate the tyre hard enough to be able to ride.  Plan B is stuff the tyre with lots of grass and spare filling such as paper.  This is hard to do and it may be more time effective to walk to help.
Broken Gears I wish has known this a few months ago….if you break the rear derailleur, shorten the chain and remove or bypass the gears.  This will result in a single speed bike. Riding will always be quicker than walking.
Snapped Gear Cable Thank God I’ve never had this happen…screw down the ‘high adjuster’ screw on the gear mechanism, so that the chain is one of the middle sprockets.  You should be able to keep going , especially if the front derailleur is still working.  If the front cable breaks, repeat the fix and put the chain on to the smaller chain ring.
Freewheel Failure I didn’t even know that this could happen…however, use zip-tie to secure the sprockets to the spokes of the back wheel.  Be really careful as you are now riding a fixed wheel track bike.  Be very careful applying the brakes.  Provided you are careful, there’s a really good chance you’ll make to assistance.
Cracked frames or forks Again if they are carbon or aluminium forget it…if its steel or titanium based you’ve got half a chance of bending it back into shape. If you cracks in your frame, again gaffer tape and strong pieces of wood may be enough to hold the frame together long enough to reach assistance.
Bent Rims Hopefully it goes without saying this won’t work with carbon wheels.   Emergency straightening can be carried out by standing on them or leaning on them against a gutter or manhole.  You’ll have to disable the brakes.  Toss the rim when you get home.
Broken Seat Post 2 fixes that you might be able to try, depending on where the break is on the post.  The most obvious action…drop the seat post until decent portion is in the seat tube, uncomfortable but doable.  Second, find a piece of wood or tree branch that can be jammed into the two halves.  Brace the saddle to the top tube or seat stays by using gaffer tape  or straps.

Hopefully you’ll never have to use any of these.

Until next time