Posts Tagged ‘Team Leopard-Trek’

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.

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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 #3

April 22, 2011

5 DOWN Assos
Despite it’s unhealthy fascination with Fabian Cancellara, The DYNAMITE! Files has never met anyone from Switzerland, so it cannot wholeheartedly vouch for the intelligence of the country’s male inhabitants. Yet this blog is surely not alone in reasoning that Swiss chaps who ride bicycles do not habitually slop dollops of beauty cream on their private areas in the mistaken belief that a cosmetic product sold by a women’s fashion retailer is the same as chamois cream made by a high-end cycle clothing giant, even though the two have near-identical names. So how, then, has Assos managed to ban Asos from using the name in its home country? And to prevent any further confusion, will they drop the terms “knickers” and “tights” from the Assos website? Because those things really aren’t what ladies are looking for when they Google them, fellas. Especially when they’re modelled by a homoerotic mandroid.

4 UP Alberto Contador
The pressures of infamy appeared to have finally got to Alberto Contador on Tuesday when the Clenbuterol swallower was spotted shielding his mouth in a manner not wholly dissimilar to the late Michael Jackson. But let’s not label the poor chap Wacko ‘Berto just yet or concur with the banal explanation that the band of material covering his gob was to help him cope with his hay fever during training, because there is a possibility that El Pistolero was wearing a face mask to take his gun-slinging nickname to the next level. Wardrobe updates to watch out for at his next race: spurs on the heels of his Specialized BGs and a ten-gallon hat glued to his Giro Ionos. Ride ’em, cow-eating boy!

3 UP Sean Kelly
Speaking of bovines, Eurosport’s one-man humour vacuum Sean Kelly broke out of character on Sunday by deploying the wonderful phrase “done for the deep freeze” as a euphemism for the slaughter and dismemberment of a heifer. He was relating the story of how he won a cow in a Belgian crit and plumped for the latter option when the organisers asked if he would like to take it home alive or dead. That unexpectedly humorous anecdote delivered during a lull in the Amstel Gold would be enough for the Irishman to make The DYNAMITE! Five any week of the season, but he also gets an extra tip-o-the-hat for his steadfast refusal to pronounce the word “leopard” in the embarrassingly feigned manner laid out in Team Leopard-Trek’s infamous dictum to the cycling industry. For that one small act of defiance, he can mangle “classement général” and anglicise “Paris-Roubaix” any time he likes.

2 UP Kebabs
Fabian Cancellara’s choice of recovery food on Sunday produced another fascinating entry in the ever-expanding Dictionary of Fablish: a “Vino kebab”. Rumours that rickety carts bearing the legend “Honest Alexander’s Meaty Treats” were seen near the finish line of the Amstel Gold are wholly unfounded. Nevertheless, if you ever ingest a post-pub meal so toxic that you feel it has done something peculiar to your bloodstream, yet the sense of shame forbids you from ever admitting to ingesting it, then at least you now have a wholly appropriate term for the unfortunate foodstuff. Thank you, Fabian!

1 UP Douglas
You may have missed it, but Mark Cavendish won something last week: the Freedom of Douglas. Perusing the brief list of Manxmen who have previously garnered the same award, one can’t help noticing that Sir Winston Churchill and Norman Wisdom are no longer with us, and one of the three Bee Gees has not been Stayin’ Alive since 2003 – so it is a credit to the borough’s council members for bestowing the same honour on a 25-year-old who can raise the area’s profile among the under-50 age bracket. The Manx missile was supposed to have picked up the gong three years ago but his hectic schedule got in the way, so expect him to start exercising his freedom of his hometown sometime after the 2014 Tour de France.

The DYNAMITE! Five: The week in cycling, remixed. Issue #1

April 8, 2011

5 DOWN Puns
There was a keen sense of anticipation in The DYNAMITE! Files’ famous soundproof bunker last Friday when we tore into our pile of morning papers hoping to witness an orgy of inventive punnery accompanying photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Boris Johnson riding the latter’s titular two-wheelers – so you can imagine the intense disappointment when we discovered no one had plumped for “joke pedallers”, “political Raleigh” or “Last Traction Heroes”. In fact, the only pun deployed was – wait for it – “I’ll be bike”, which was used by no fewer than five publications. I’ll be bloody bike! He’s not a bike! Neither of them are! It doesn’t even make sense! The headline should, of course, have been “Faster la Vista, Boris!” But nobody asked us, did they?

4 UP Sponsorship opportunities
Oh, cruel fate! Friend of this blog and all-round nice chap Will Hayter drew his action-packed daily diary of the Absa Cape Epic to a premature close after hitting a ditch and taking a very nasty tumble on last Friday’s 143km-long stage. The DYNAMITE! Files wishes him a speedy recovery, but having seen the wince-inducing footage of his wheel-mangling smash, it can’t help wondering why 12 sponsors would want to associate themselves with such a painful misfortune in the clip’s closing frames. Coming soon: You’ve Been Framed bike crash special, sponsored by [NAME OF WHEEL MANUFACTURER DELETED FOR LEGAL REASONS].

3 UP Wood
Another week, another groundbreaking material surely destined to usurp the carbon stranglehold – and unlike fancy-pants nylon fused by the magic of lasers in a 3D printer, this one is made from those dull, useless bits of scenery you usually ride past, or “trees” as they’re commonly known. For just £4,500, the discerning cyclista is invited to own an Audi-branded wooden bicycle equipped with SRAM Red, which you will no doubt agree is, er, truly unbe-leaf-able. Photographic evidence of two or more of these bikes actually being ridden would be a novelty, if only to make a quip about them being a splinter group.

2 DOWN Lycra
Prepare to overhaul your wardrobe, chums, because the death knell of the cyclist’s fabric of choice was sounded on Monday by no less a clothing authority than a features scribbler from the London Evening Standard. The reason? Apparently Rapha has brought out a pair of jeans which you can’t actually buy at the moment. “Lycra – your days are numbered,” the scribbler concludes, and who knows what outdoor activity will be the next victim of her withering fashionista’s eye? Possible target for the autumn/winter season: those long, thin shoes maniacs use to slide down snow-covered mountains. And the sticks! Those silly sticks! Dahling, they’ve just got to go!

1 UP Emoticons

Poor old RoboFab. The mighty mandroid, known by his adopted human name of Fabian Cancellara, got into a horrible pickle after appearing to be less-than-gracious about the manner of his defeat at Sunday’s thrillingly unpredictable edition of the Tour of Flanders. The pre-race favourite said his rivals rode “only to make me lose” and Nick Nuyens’ victory “has no value” – but as he later explained: “Interviews are not coming out like always I be thinking to say things. Specially now what’s around sounds not me. Lot get lost in translation.” Yet while the subtleties of the Fablish tongue eluded the gentlemen of the press, there could be no misinterpreting the stark binary language of the emoticon on the Swiss cyborg’s back (pictured above) which reflected his fans’ reactions to the race as it unfolded. He’s caught Sylvain Chavanel (AMAZED FACE)! Oh no – he’s cramped on the Muur (AMAZED FACE)! Now Phillipe Gilbert’s gone on the Bosberg (AMAZED FACE)! Fab’s attacked with four kilometres to go (AMAZED FACE)! But Nuyens has got it (AMAZED FACE)! Finally, Team Lay-O-Pard have found a use for that clumsily-pronounced “o”.