Posts Tagged ‘Giro d’Italia’

Where’s Danilo?

March 26, 2014

Since getting a life ban and moaning that everyone was at it, why is everyone picking on me, it’s not fair waaah waaah etc etc, former Giro d’Italia champion Danilo Di Luca appears to have gone to ground. But I think I’ve spotted him.

Add a ‘tache…

Danilo di Luca with a tache

and a fedora…

Inspector De Luca

…and voila! He is Inspector De Luca, the bicycle-riding detective of BBC4’s latest Saturday night foreign crime drama.

Mystery solved.

Presumably his next case will be to uncover the 90 per cent of Giro riders who were juiced up. Or maybe not.

The Bike-Chucking World Championships

July 18, 2012

For some reason, Bradley Wiggins threw his bicycle into a ditch during Monday’s stage to Pau.

The Tour de France leader calmly removed his bottles before jettisoning his Pinarello. And what sort of behaviour is that? You’re never going to win the Bike-Chucking World Championships without completely losing your rag, fella.

But then Brad doesn’t have anything to prove: he already has the bike-chucking bronze medal for throwing his Felt to the ground in disgust during the 2009 world time trial champs in Switzerland.

The standard of Tour de France bike-chucking was set by Bjarne Riis, who takes the second step of the podium for his spirited two-handed throw at the Disneyland time trial in 1997.

But it’s a Brit who is the undisputed King of the Flingers: step forward David Millar, who lost out on a stage win at the 2008 Giro due to a mechanical failure one kilometer from the finish in Contursi Terme. The Garmin man’s chain snapped while he was out of the saddle, causing him to bash his gentlemen’s area on the top tube – and the resultant pain and frustration inspired a magnificent, spinning throw over the barriers.

Bravo, sir!

Coming up with a new nickname for José Rujano

May 31, 2012

During the Giro, I learned that José Rujano’s nickname is “El Condor” – which, if I am to trust the services of Google Translate, is apparently Spanish for “The Condor”. Like the soaring bird of prey, the Venezuelan climbing specialist displays his magnificence at high altitudes. In that sense, the name is apt.

But condors are enormous, heavy birds, while Rujano is a light, relatively compact fella. More pertinently, lanky Dutchman Robert Gesink is known as “The Condor of Varsseveld”, and we really can’t have two condors in professional cycling. That would be like having two Cannibals or two Pistoleros or two Tyler Hamiltons, one of whom somehow vanished while in the womb. Utter madness.

So we need a new name for José. Littlejen suggested “The Dassie”, which is a small creature that dwells in mountainous regions. But dassies are found in Africa, not South America, which is a shame because I can’t help noticing that the cute little critters bear a slight resemblance to little José.

Instead, I suggest cyclepeople should use the name of another bird of prey when referring to the Androni team’s upwardly-bound sensation. Like a condor, it is found in Venezuela (and, in a pleasing co-incidence, it too shares its name with an independent bicycle brand). But unlike a condor, this feathery killer is small yet robust, similar to the man himself. And the moniker I’ve come up with also incorporates Rujano’s home state, as well as gifting many wordplay opportunities to sports commentators who seek to praise the multiple Giro stage-winner’s magical climbing ability and wizard skills.

Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby dub José Rujano… The Merlin Of Merida.

I hope this one will fly.

The DYNAMITE! Five: The week in cycling, remixed. Issue #7

June 3, 2011

5 DOWN Piercings
As Giro time trial winner David Millar topped off a fantastic week for British cyclists by showing off a pair of hipster specs in a post-victory interview, one of his former Saunier-Duval team-mates was facing the very real possibility that he too might be changing his image. Ivano Fanini, owner of the Italian Continental Amore & Vita team, revealed on Tuesday that he was ready to sign Riccardo Riccò, providing the ginger doper “removed the two earrings, piercings and also the diamond embedded in a tooth”. It’s easy to criticise Fanini for putting cosmetic alterations as his number one priority while issues related directly to the Cobra’s doping past only made third and fifth on his list. But this is Riccò we’re dealing with, a man so dim-witted that the ability to put in an earring without his earlobe going septic is probably an immense source of pride. In this context, you can imagine the psychological challenge the one-time wannabe barman was facing – which could be why he walked away from Amore & Vita and signed for Meridian-Kamen the very next day. Heigh ho.

4 UP Leather
Staying with the serious business of makeovers, those monochrome fashionistas at Team Leopard Trek have given their style-conscious fans the opportunity to buy the same leather jacket that Andy Schleck and Fabian Cancellara will be working this season. “Shop the look”, the Leopards command, somewhat confusingly. But which look to go for: cabaret Justin Timberlake tribute act or underweight Judge Dredd? And would you really be willing to pay £570 for the privilege?

3 UP Nudity The naked human form cannot possibly offend when placed atop a bike – and BBC2 viewers were reminded of this simple truth during the Bank Holiday weekend when the whimsical video for Bicycle Race popped up during Days Of Our Lives, a wonderful new two-part documentary on Queen. Sadly, magistrates in Suffolk have not learned this lesson from history, as they recently fined 23-year-old cyclist Alexander Purser £500 and handed him an 18-month conditional discharge for trying to set off a speed trap while wearing only his trainers and a pair of spectacles. Spoilsports.

2 DOWN Gyroscopic force
Regular readers may well suspect that The DYNAMITE! Files knows next-to-nothing about the science behind bicycles, and they would be entirely correct to make that assumption. In fact, the only bike-based scientific theory we know is that gyroscopic forces on the front wheel and the angle of the fork increase stability – and now it turns out that both have been debunked. So thanks to the experimental model demonstrated by Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin, no one knows exactly how bikes stay upright. Damn you, science!

1 DOWN Olympics tickets
Like Stonehenge or the Wandsworth one-way system, mankind may well never fathom the rationale behind the Olympic ticketing process – but after a quarter of a million people were left empty-handed on Wednesday morning, we now have a vague clue to how the fiendish ballot operators decided who should be kept out of sports venues next year. Bradley Wiggins, Boris Johnson, The DYNAMITE! Files and just about everyone we know personally on that there Twitter were turned down, including the Olympics’ very own Head of New Media and friend of this weblog Alex Balfour – and it is obviously no coincidence that all of us ride bicycles. If that’s not a clear case of minority discrimination, chums, we don’t know what is! To make matters worse, it was London’s racing cyclists who let the 2012 visionaries bulldoze the legendary Eastway circuit to build the Pringle-roofed velodrome overlooking the A12, and now they’ll be locked out when Team GB bag their gold medals. At this point, you may expect a scathing diatribe about the situation (particularly as Condor Cycles this week identified our reputation for having “a sharp tongue”) but The DYNAMITE! Files isn’t all that bothered, actually. It’s the Olympics – a spectacle, yes, but not as jaw-droppingly awesome as, say, Prince live at Wembley, nor as historically resonant as the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the case of track cycling, it’s just people doing something similar to what we do, but faster. And, course, it will be on the telly. But if you’re still desperate for tickets, then check out the website for the Olympics’ German vendor, which was apparently prohibited from advertising in the UK but is obliged to shift tickets. There’s no cycling, although you can grab a seat at the third round of the women’s ping-pong for 120 smackers. Don’t say we never do anything for you.

The DYNAMITE! Five: The week in cycling, remixed. Issue #6

May 13, 2011

5 UP Alessandro Petacchi
Sound the conspiracy theory klaxon! The Giro d’Italia’s commissaires ruled in favour of their countryman Alessandro Petacchi on Sunday, even though the ageing fastman clearly weaved around like an inebriated pensioner for the final 200 metres of the second stage to edge out an irate Mark Cavendish. It’s their national race, so it stands to reason that them Italians would show no sympathy towards a foreigner, yeah? Well, not quite: leafing through The DYNAMITE! Files’ bumper book of bike facts, it seems Paolo Bettini was disqualified in similar circumstances at the 2005 Giro, although on that occasion the English-speaking sprint rival – Baden Cooke – actually ended up going ‘a’ over ‘t’. Well, Cav, if that’s what it takes for the race officials to make the right decision…

4 DOWN The Associated Press
Sound the conspiracy theory klaxon again! But a bit louder this time! The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the federal investigation into alleged doping carried out by Lance Armstrong’s US Postal team has uncovered “corruption to the core”. But don’t get too excited just yet: AP’s source is “a person familiar with the investigation”, which sounds like it could be any of us, depending on how you define “familiar”. Still, at least the news agency has uncovered a mystery that has long perplexed some of its more unintelligent American readers: apparently it was “in France where Armstrong became famous by winning the Tour de France seven straight times”. So that’s how the race got its name!

3 UP Caravans
And speaking of mysteries, The DYNAMITE! Files was left to ponder the possible purpose of a scruffy caravan which we spotted parked next to the VIP entrance of the Manchester Velodrome on Saturday evening. It must be there for a reason, because British track cycling is all about the aggregation of marginal gains, isn’t it? Our theory: when the pressure of all that aggregating gets too much, this is where Dave Brailsford goes for a bit of “me” time. With his spreadsheets and cocoa. And a clipboard.

2 DOWN Boris Johnson
Securing his record third appearance in our weekly rundown, Boris Johnson turned up half an hour late at a Hillingdon school for the launch of the latest Sky Ride cycling event because he, er, choose to take the tube instead of using his bike. Maybe the Mayor of London was afraid of getting a flat. The Uxbridge Gazette revealed: “A few of the children showed the mayor how to find and fix a puncture in an inner tube. Charlotte Masters, aged nine, said: ‘I think he understood it.'” Let’s hope so, eh?

1 UP Doutzen Kroes
After this week’s tragic events, the Giro needed some sort of light-hearted moment to soften the mood – and Cycling Weekly duly obliged yesterday with the romantic tale of the underwear model and the professional cyclist. If CW is to be believed, blonde hottie Doutzen Kroes and race leader Pieter Weening could soon be an item, chiefly because the two of them hail from the same Dutch city and she tweeted the word “lokwinske” – which apparently means “congratulations” in their native tongue. Now, the DYNAMITE! Files is a big fan of the whole romantical-getting-together thing, but is one word tweeted to a third party ample grounds to conclude that she’s likely to call him? Remember, CW: if poor Pieter’s heart gets broken, you will be the ones to blame.

The DYNAMITE! Five: The week in cycling, remixed. Issue #2

April 15, 2011

5 DOWN Universal Sports
Tired of waiting for the sporting authorities to decide whether Alberto Contador is a naughty boy? Then look no further than Universal Sports. According to a trailer, all you need to do is watch its forthcoming coverage of the Giro and the answer will magically reveal itself to you. Coming next on Universal: did a certain footballer really do all that business with a lady of the night? Watch how he kicks a football to somehow work it out.

5 UP Alans
He has suffered many indignities in the course of his long and undistinguished career – and now the present host of Mid-Morning Matters on North Norfolk Digital has been trumped by Alan Titchmarsh on a peculiar set of Allen keys which feature on the mighty Bianchista’s blog. Has the chirpy gardener ever shot a man live on air or put his foot through a spike? Then why, in comparison with Alan Partridge, is Titchmarsh the, er, bigger tool? At least we can all agree it is only right that Tim Allen gets the tiniest key because he’s not British and “Allen” is only his middle name. The fraud.

3 UP Round stays

Following on from the world’s first laser-fused nylon frame and last week’s wooden SRAM-equipped bike from Audi comes another staggering innovation in bicycle technology: two huge rings in place of seat and chain stays. Riding a gigantic Venn diagram has a certain novelty, even though its Canadian inventor Lou Tortola appears to be unwilling – or unable – to guide the thing in a straight line. Loopy.

2 UP Dangerous cycling
Instead of wading into the hoo-ha created by the proposals for a new Dangerous and Reckless Cycling Bill instigated by Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom, The DYNAMITE! Files would like to maintain its reputation as a wholly unbiased media outlet by directing our inquisitive readership to the excellent Bagehot in the Economist and the Guardian’s Erin Gill, who respectively argue the cases for and against the legislation more persuasively than other commentators. Or if you really prefer to be irked, then pop over to the BBC News magazine, which bizarrely claims: “There is little that divides UK public opinion more sharply than cyclists.” Except for, say, Iraq, Afghanistan, tuition fees, the efficacy of following horoscopes, the imminent return of Big Brother, the existence or not of a supreme omnipotent being, global warming and just about every topic that comes up daily on a Jeremy Vine phone-in.

1 UP Johan Vansummeren
One of this blog’s few proud moments took place during Eurosport’s coverage of last year’s Tour de France when we made David Harmon chuckle by suggesting lanky Belgian Johan Vansummeren should be nicknamed Johan Van Somersault for his less-than-graceful exit down the time trial ramp in Bordeaux. Sadly, that comic moment will soon vanish from fans’ memories now that the gangly Garminator has won Paris-Roubaix, heroically crossing the line with a flat tyre and then immediately proposing to his girlfriend. The cry of “FABEEAAN!” from someone in the crowd which greeted the victor as he entered the velodrome on Sunday sounded very much like Sylvester Stallone’s anguished wail of “ADREEAAN!” in Rocky, and its tone summed up The DYNAMITE Files’ despair at realising the world won’t get a victory tweet written in Fablish, as well as the realisation that our mildly amusing nickname for Vansummeren will now be erased from history. Never mind, because as this belter of a photo shows, he’s earned a better one: No Hands Vansummeren. That, chums, is taking the well-worn phrase “floating over the cobbles” to the next level.

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