The Giro is on. Simoni is in Pink and Cipo is in the stink:
Subject: Cipollini carries on
Mario Cipollini took the start in the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia, the morning after a violent crash in the closing metres of a wet, dangerous stage 4. Cipollini crashed heavily in the final sprint, taken out by his leadout man Andrus Aug who drifted off course while looking around in the bunch finish. The Lion King required 14 stitches to attend to deep cuts in his shin and elbow, but slept in the team hotel after being examined at the hospital in San Donato di Arezzo. X-rays ruled out any fractures for Cipollini.
“Last night wasn’t easy,” Cipollini said before today’s stage start. “What worries me the most is my ankle, but I have to try [to start] for the tifosi… it’s my duty. I’ll try to pedal and I hope to finish the stage. To finish would already be a success.”
All exciting stuff, but perhaps not as exciting for wheel connoisseurs as a first glimpse of the widely expected and much anticipated Dura Ace carbon wheels. They’re here.
Causing a bit of an uproar is news that a 29er has won a mountain bike cross country race in the Netherlands, where since UCI rules were changed to permit the inclusion of 700c wheeled bikes, racers have been turning up with thinly veiled cyclo cross bikes, much to the angst of ‘mountain bikers’.
Officials have now stared debating a world of weirdness including making the use or proper sized mountain bike tyres a requirement. Quite wether a proper mountain bike tyre is a 1.5 Conti Cross Country or a 2.5 Nokian Gazzalodi or something in between is not clear, but as John Stevenson has aptly pointed out:
As someone who was deeply involved in mountain bike racing in the UK the first time this debate rolled round in the late 1980s, I can’t help but think this is all a bit silly. If a ‘mountain bike’ race course is so technically undemanding that it can be won on a cyclo-cross bike, then so be it. Either redesign the course, or put up with it. Artificial equipment rules to exclude a type of bike that you don’t like is exactly the sort of nonsense that drove people away from road racing and into mountain bike racing back in the ’80s and early ’90s.
The original rule against tyres bigger than 26in was introduced on ‘safety’ grounds – on a well-designed mountain bike course a cyclo-cross bike would be a hazard, the reasoning went, even though cyclo-crossers seemed to survive events like the UK’s Three Peaks Race on a course that no sane person would tackle on anything but a mountain bike. No mountain bike racer I talked to at the time wanted to exclude the ‘crossers, especially as we’d found ourselves being welcomed warmly at their events. But the rule happened anyway, because it’d never do to actually foster good relations between different branches of cycling.
What happens when you mess with a fixed gear bike? It shows it’s disgust by exacting oily revenge, meaning you’ll have one less digit to prod at it with in future. Carnage here.
And on singlespeed themes, Race Face kit is not invincible to the power of one.
Finally the recreational drug of choice for a generation is starting to get people into trouble, especially those growing it for personal use. America might be the land of the free, but I’m fairly certain the American dream wasn’t based on building wealth by growing pot. As former professional downhiller Myles Rockwell has just found out. I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere, but ‘don’t get caught’ isn’t necessarily it.