Looks like Japans star Fumiyuki Beppu is on the start list. I also am interested in wathcing Lars Boom as he was a world champion cyclocross rider. Thor Huschov says his team will work for him but we will see how much Farrar and Hausler actually work for him. Of coarse as an american I will be watching Hincapie appearantly he and his team mate Ballan crashed last week. I wish Jens was racing with Fabian but I guess he probably doesnt need him! Boonen could play his card right, he has done it before. My guess is everyone will watch Fabian, an early break will form and hold off because they will be too busy watching the Leapoard with a hat on!
That was a great race to watch! Now on to Amstel Gold!! I love this time of year, really gives you the ambition to go out and ride. Too bad about Bonnen, hope his knee didnt get Jacked again, same with Heinrich. Both of those guys had a rough time coming back and I hope there ok, along with the guy who may have broke his Collarbone. Such a brutal race, but thats why its the queen! Cancellara still proved his worth doing what he did, but didnt make the move soon enough, and couldnt shake those last guys after all the energy he used dropping Thor and Ballan. I would bet to himself though, he is thinking, "I showed them jerks, they shoulda pulled then we would all be on the podium.... Me on top of coarse"
Cancellara animated the whole race again. Bit of a nightmare situation really. Big group up front. Him bridging the gap solo with Thor and Ballan on his wheel. One can imagine the scenario. He towes them across. One of the riders in the lead group attacks and Thor or Ballan jumps on.
One wonders why he left CSC. This Leopard Trek team seems poorly geared up for the classics. He may as well just race as Cancellara Racing Team.
Hats off to the guy who won it though. Nice solo attack worthy of the win.
Like the latest blog Andy, sounds like your group rides are pretty intense, maybe I can make it out there some time? Looks like you got a carbon bike too, do you notice a difference in the ride quality?
Not always so intense! Yesterday we had two rides going out of Kashiwazaki. I chose (designed?!) the hard one. We are lucky to have some high calibre riders here like Murayama san (famous throughout Japan as Mr. Hillclimb), Tazaki san (three times Yahiko champion, Yunotani HC champion) but of course many people who just like riding their bikes.
We have quite a few organised rides / races.
Yeserdays' Yahiko was an impromptu one that can be arranged with a few emails.
We also do about 4 "organised" hillclimbs on Mt. Happodai each year. Followed by a teams points race through the hills of Yamakoshi.
In August (Obon) we do a 100 km circuit race followed by a BBQ which is always good fun:
There's also a 200km time trial (!) loop that we do that touches into Nagano. Time splits are recorded by receipts from 4 7-11s on the route. Just comparing the items bought on receipts as the ride progresses is fun in itself!
People will start taking this on soon as preparation for Tokyo~Itoigawa.
But yeah, lots of riding options around here, flat on the coast, rolling terrain, nice hill climbs. Few cars. Few lights. Just like you have. Would love to have you over.
With regards to the carbon, I've been riding carbon and aluminium for about 6 years now.
The carbon is lighter and I have it set up with compact cranks for hill climbing. It's a smoother ride and you certainly don't notice the bumps in the road.
However, the aluminium is a perfect fit. It's fast on the flats an on rolling courses. Despite my preference for the carbon for climbing, I seem to get better results in hill climbs using the aluminium too....
What I really want is a Litespeed Vortex. I had a ride on Murayama san's last autumn and though not one to go on about bikes and bike parts, I was really impressed.
Likewise, would love to join you on one of the Azumino rides if I get chance...
Very cool - I didn't know he rode a Litespeed. Andy, I'll make one for you at less than half the price. Ti makes a great climbing frame, and dampening just comes back as road power due to the elasticity. Plus you can really go ape on the chainstays without increasing weight dramatically or decreasing suppleness.