Posts Tagged ‘Universal Sports’

The DYNAMITE! Five: The week in cycling, remixed. Issue #16

September 9, 2011

5 UP Todd Gogulski and Steve Schlanger
First things first: if you didn’t catch Sky’s Chris Froome winning stage 17 of the Vuelta on Wednesday, then head over to Universal Sports to see the Kenyan-born Brit’s all-out, gutsy double attack on the Peña Cabarga, and to marvel at the all-out, gutsy double attack of US commentators Todd Gogulski and Steve Schlanger as they attempt to out-yell each other. The OMG-gasm at 3min 20sec – “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” – is a sound to marvel at. You don’t get this from Phil and Paul…

4 DOWN Dahon
What’s the worse that can go wrong in the world of collapsible bikes? A stiff Sturmey-Archer lever? Misplaced bicycle clip? Scuffed Birkenstocks? Well, if you think that’s the case, you’ve obviously not heard about the internecine battle of the Hons. Dr David Hon, founder of Dahon, began pursuing Josh Hon through the courts after his son and estranged wife Florence started a new company called Tern. In August Dahon senior failed to stop Tern trading, and last Thursday a court in Munich made a preliminary injunction forbidding Dahon from selling two of its 2012 range in Germany ahead of Eurobike. So it’s Dahon vs Dahon. And you know what that means, don’t you? Yes, it’s a DYNAMITE! Files pun explosion! Because things have taken a Tern for the worse. It’s a case that could go Dahon and on. Hopefully, one side will do Dahonourable thing. Or it’s Dahmagedd-on. One company could even fold. (FOLD, you see. Because they’re folding bikes, yes? Oh please yourselves…)

3 UP The bike tree
“Boy went to war in 1914 – left his bike chained to a tree.” That, at least, was the story of a seemingly poignant photo doing the rounds on Twitter – until someone pointed out that tree trunks grow thicker, not taller, so the bike was probably placed up there by some prankster on a ladder. But does that make it any less awesome? No, chums, it does not. In a strange way, the bicycle looks like it naturally belongs there, the colour of the rust melding into the hue of the tree’s bark. And it’s a practical joke which has taken up to 70 years to reach its conclusion – a dedication to tomfoolery which this light-hearted blog wholeheartedly admires. So bravo, mystery bike planter, whomsoever you may be…

2 DOWN Damon Rinard
What would you say to a porky rider looking to justify the purchase of an aero road bike? If you’re Damon Rinard, race engineer at Cervélo, your answer to BikeBiz magazine consists of just two words: “Thor Hushovd.” So Cervélo reckons the muscular, powerful Norwegian is “porky”, eh? Dear oh dear – no wonder he’s off to BMC!

1 DOWN Leopard
The name is extinct – so farewell, then, to that strange, contradictory beast called Leopard. The matching scarves, “epic” black-and-white landscapes, a brief attempt to push a fashion line – it all seemed to be a considered, sophisticated marketing strategy, but the whole project from conception to launch was actually a seat-of-the-pants rush job. Leopard’s detractors saw the team as the epitome of corporate dullness crushing the spirit of professional cycling – and yet it aroused huge passions from many (including a defiant and ultimately wide-of-the-mark piece from Velocast) when reports suggested a merger was imminent. And then, late on Monday night, came the final nail in the coffin of Brian Nygaard’s branding: the team that was originally meant to be about “smart, young riders” announced that it is merging with RadioShack, the semi-retirement home of the Armstrong era’s elder statesmen. An interview with Nygaard in the latest edition of SportsPro magazine, published prior to the merger, serves as an unwitting epitaph to the Leopard story (see page 90) – and the Dane admits he “couldn’t care less” if we all pronounced the name “leppard” rather than the prescribed “lay-o-pard”. But The DYNAMITE! Files only wants one question answered: what will be the fate of the light blue strip across the front of Leopard’s jerseys, which, when worn by the team’s portlier fans, appeared to be a middle-aged moob tube? That design feature must stay, if only for the sake of our amusement.

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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