A letter from Greg LeMond

Can anyone help me out? I know this sounds kind of lame but I am not well versed in social marketing. I would like to send a message to everyone that really loves cycling. I do not use twitter and do not have an organized way of getting some of my own “rage” out. I want to tell the world of cycling to please join me in telling Pat McQuaid to f##k off and resign. I have never seen such an abuse of power in cycling’s history- resign Pat if you love cycling. Resign even if you hate the sport.

Pat McQuaid, you know dam well what has been going on in cycling, and if you want to deny it, then even more reasons why those who love cycling need to demand that you resign.

I have a file with what I believe is well documented proof that will exonerate Paul.

Pat in my opinion you and Hein are the corrupt part of the sport. I do not want to include everyone at the UCI because I believe that there are many, maybe most that work at the UCI that are dedicated to cycling, they do it out of the love of the sport, but you and your buddy Hein have destroyed the sport.

Pat, I thought you loved cycling? At one time you did and if you did love cycling please dig deep inside and remember that part of your life- allow cycling to grow and flourish- please! It is time to walk away. Walk away if you love cycling.

As a reminder I just want to point out that you recently you accused me of being the cause of USADA’s investigation against Lance Armstrong. Why would you be inclined to go straight to me as the “cause”? Why shoot the messenger every time?

Every time you do this I get more and more entrenched. I was in your country over the last two weeks and I asked someone that knows you if you were someone that could be rehabilitated. His answer was very quick and it was not good for you. No was the answer, no, no , no!

The problem for sport is not drugs but corruption. You are the epitome of the word corruption.

You can read all about Webster’s definition of corruption. If you want I can re-post my attorney’s response to your letter where you threaten to sue me for calling the UCI corrupt. FYI I want to officially reiterate to you and Hein that in my opinion the two of your represent the essence of corruption.

I would encourage anyone that loves cycling to donate and support Paul in his fight against the Pat and Hein and the UCI. Skip lunch and donate the amount that you would have spent towards that Sunday buffet towards changing the sport of cycling.

I donated money for Paul’s defense, and I am willing to donate a lot more, but I would like to use it to lobby for dramatic change in cycling. The sport does not need Pat McQuaid or Hein Verbruggen- if this sport is going to change it is now. Not next year, not down the road, now! Now or never!

People that really care about cycling have the power to change cycling- change it now by voicing your thought and donating money towards Paul Kimmage’s defense, (Paul, I want to encourage you to not spend the money that has been donated to your defense fund on defending yourself in Switzerland. In my case, a USA citizen, I could care less if I lost the UCI’s bogus lawsuit. Use the money to lobby for real change).

If people really want to clean the sport of cycling up all you have to do is put your money where your mouth is.

Don’t buy a USA Cycling license. Give up racing for a year, just long enough to put the UCI and USA cycling out of business. We can then start from scratch and let the real lovers in cycling direct where and how the sport of cycling will go.

Please make a difference.



Dan Gerous changes

No I'm not dead! I'm alive and kickin' but I'm currently re-thinking the vocation of this website. I've got some ideas mixing loose in the head so until it all settles down, this place will be put on hold. I still post a lot on my facebook page so make sure to follow me there.

To make sure the ideas are really shaken into my head, I'm about to start my cyclocross season up here in the province of Québec even though I haven't really trained this year, just riding when I could, mostly some commuting on a fixed gear but some nice riding on backcountry dirt roads as well. Last year I didn't race much with ABC Cycles & Sports but this year, I'll be doing every races starting with the Bromont CX the second weekend from now, all the way until I top it off with the Québec CX Championships.

I'll be racing under different colors this year though, I'll be racing (well trying my best and more importantly having some fun) in the glamorous colors of Cannondale... No I wont be Fontana, Fumic, Gujan, Juarez and Bishop's teammate, it's a local division, but it will be an honour nonetheless to wear the same kit as these guys.


Bike of the day

Or make it bike of the year... A blinged out, custom painted 2013 Cannondale Trigger.


2013 Cannondales part 1

After the new Hollowgram, Cannondale also showed new bikes at their current press camp. No suprises there, the SuperX Disc is pretty much the bike they showed at Paris-Roubaix. The final version gets internal cable routing for the rear brake (which will be nice for carrying the bike over barriers but a pain in the ass once real disc brakes, hydraulics mated to road levers, are available, forget brakes bled from the factory), a 135mm dropout spacing (compatible with every nice mtb disc hubs already on the market), post-mount compatible with rotors 140mm and up front and rear, revised, lighter seatstays...

Also nice is the return of an alloy disc specific cross bike. The CAADX Disc is pretty nice.

The SuperSix Evo will now be available in a slightly heavier but less expensive non Hi-Mod version, kind of like the SuperSix were in 2010. Same molds, pretty much same feel and stiffness. The bike above is a high-end, women's specific Evo.

The Tango is a 29er hardtail plateform designed for smaller women and riders which often have a hard time fitting on 29er bikes. I still think they'd be better off on smaller wheels but, many consumers don't agree with me.

Cannondale will show more in the coming days, especially in the mountain bike range. Apparently, the Jekyll gets a bit beefier... which I think also gives away the fact that the gap between it and the Scalpel will be filled with a new bike that will replace the oldest bike in Cannondale's line, the RZ... This one's due.


Hollowgram SISL²

Damn! 484 grams for the crankarms, SpideRing, spindle and bolts! Stiffer than the current Hollowgram SL with normal chainrings bolted to a separate spider on top of that.

The obvious change is the SpideRing, a one piece 3D forged then machined spider and rings combo. Available in compact 34/50 or standard 39/53, optimized for 10 or 11 speed transmissions.

The arms are still 100% machined in two halves that are bonded together but they also get a bit lighter (obvious is the shaping near the spindle that follows the BB30 spline shape) but it also gets stronger/stiffer. Not shown is the new spindle, also trimming some material and also getting stiffer.

Too bad it wont be here in time for my new bike project, I'll have to endure the current Hollowgram SL...

Also a good news, there is a new cheaper version of the Hollowgram with 3D forged arms to reduce the price. These will mostly make their way on middle range bikes instead of crappier cranksets from FSA.


Perfect weekend at the TTC

Haaa that was nice! I spent the weekend riding under the sun with a good friend, in the hilly Jay Peak, Sutton and Owl's Head triangle. I want more.

If you want to go explore that area with climbs, hilly roads, paved or dirt, no traffic, the TTC house is now available for rent. A weekend, five days, your choice... The nice luxurious house has three bedrooms, a big main living room, dining room, kitchen area with a spacious balcony and this view below.

The place is perfect for cyclists with a garage to keep your bikes safe and well tuned, the spa takes care of your legs after the ride and the owner can suggest some amazing routes of various lengths and difficulty to ride, including some of my favorites. Some mountain bike networks aren't far if you prefer or if you want to vary your riding during your stay. As options, you can also have a massotherapy service and/or a bike guide, maybe even me as a guest guide... A very nice place to relax off the bike, to just ride and enjoy the views, to ride very hard or have a training camp.


New build

So I was telling you I had a new bike project in the head... Here's the central part of it, a Cannondale SuperX frameset.

I'll be building a bike much more polyvalent than my SuperSix and since my favorite roads are usually the roughest, made of dirt and gravel or typical québécois pavement (which usually looks like normal pavement but after a bombing, dirt roads are usually smoother), the SuperX will be great with the Speed SAVE stays and room for bigger tires. I also pretty much only do cyclocross as far as racing goes but it will be built as a mix of cross bike, dirt road bike and yes, I'll throw some road tires on it when needed. And with the parts I will use, it will probably end up being lighter than my SuperSix was. More to come as I start the build.


SuperSix & CAAD9CX for sale

While I love that bike, I have a sickness... and it hit me. I have to build a new bike, so to finance it, I'm selling my SuperSix.

It's a 54cm 2010 SuperSix SRAM Red. I put the original (unused) parts back on (compact Cannondale branded SRAM Red crankset, Mavic Ksyrium Elites, FSA SL-K post...). The only non-stock parts are the SRAM Red cassette and the bar tape. It's about 15.5lbs as is, I'm asking 3000$ CAD but will take good offers... Click here for the ad and full specs.

I'm also selling my CAAD9CX frameset and some of it's parts. The frame is a 52cm, comes with the seatclamp, Easton EC90 CX fork, FSA CX headset and FSA OS-99 stem... Also available are the FSA K-Force seatpost, a color-matched Fizik Aliante saddle, some SRAM Red shifters with yellow hoods, TRP EuroX Carbon brakes... Email me if you want something. Oh and just to help the sale, the CAAD9CX bike's previous owner was 6x US National CX Champion Tim Johnson. I'll post pictures when I get to take the bike apart.

Some of you might be wondering what's the next project? I'll post about that in due time.


Solo duel against the wind

Sunday was a nice sunny spring day looking from inside the TTC (more to come about the TTC, the Thiffault Training Center, a nice house available for rent, perfect place for cycling trips and training camps with optional guides and more), but once out on the road, I found a very motivated wind that made a normally not so hard 90km loop pretty tough... It didn't help that I was riding alone, ITT style.


The Giro is already here!

I love May, weather gets nicer and warmer (please?), bikes get ridden longer, barbecues get used more often and the year's first Grand Tour, usually the most beautiful, the most exciting (unless Alberto's there), the Giro d'Italia takes place! It starts tomorrow!

I'll be posting race videos, photos, ladies, bikes and all on my Facebook page.


Oscarito schools Rabobank

I'm a big fan of Oscarito, Oscar 'the cat' Freire. Seeing him race so far this year, after Rabobank pushed him away because he was too old or something makes me smile a bit. Why? He keeps on winning races and is often seen in the thick of the action like during today's Amstel Gold Race where he attacked solo with 6km to go, probably to set Purito Rodriguez for the win*… but managed to hang on for 4th. Not bad for an old sprinter… in a race with a very steep finishing climb.

On the other hand, Rabobank replaced him with Mark Renshaw… Yeah, the guy known to head butt others and setup Cavendish in sprints. According to himself, he could be as good as Cavendish and according to Rabobank, better than Freire. So what has Renshaw done this year so far? Yep, nothing, nada, to the point we wonder if he has actually entered a race… unless you count his complaining and excuses as an accomplishement. Katusha 1, Rabobank 0.

*Turns out, Purito didn't feel all that great and told Oscar during the race... so it was a bold move to try to win. Chapeau!


Discs for Roubaix?

Some interesting pictures popped up of what is supposedly the SuperX Disc bike that Liquigas-Cannondale Paris-Roubaix captain Daniel Oss will ride tomorrow... if it's muddy. He can forget neutral support for a wheel if he flats with discs and a 135mm wide rear hub.

At first, I thought riding Mavic's C29ssmax with discs were a serious downgrade from standard roadie rim brakes and fat tubular for Roubaix... but those don't look like the standard clincher C29ssmax wheels, Mavic probably built them with a much lighter tubular rim, perhaps the same rims as Manuel Fumic and Marco Fontana were using during this year's first World Cup... Lighter rims and no clinchers... But SRAM, wouldn't it be the perfect occasion to test the new Red hydraulic disc brakes? BB7 brakes suck!

Now for the racing... Who's your pick? Will the man of the spring, Tom Boonen, win again? If he does, it would equal the current record of 4 Roubaix wins by Mr. Paris-Roubaix, Roger De Vlaeminck. That would also mean Boonen would be the first to do the Flanders-Roubaix double twice! Or will Pippo's form continue to impressively improve and get his most important win ever? Will Chavanel be to Boonen what Vansummeren was to Thor last year? Will Thor finally show himself this year? Or will we see a surprise? Can't wait!


Missed De Ronde?

Missed De Ronde? No worries, it's on Youtube! Watch part 1 and then part 2. Now, don't miss Paris-Roubaix next weekend.


Ronde Van Vlaanderen

To many fans and cyclists, sunday's Tour of Flanders is the year's best and most important race. The course has changed but the favorites are pretty much the same: Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara are expected to have another battle royale! But they're not alone, QuickStep has two other potential winners in Sylvain Chavanel and Niki Terpstra. That for me gives Boonen an advantage over a Spartacus that doesn't have a great team (LeoShack is pretty much built to deliver Andy Schleck to another 2nd place in Le Tour). And Fabian has a single tactic, ride others off his wheel. It works sometimes but his over-confidence often makes him not pick the right moment/place to attack, he's strong, but not as tactically sharp as some others (that's a theme in that team!)... We'll see.

After these two, a few riders could win depending of how the race develops. Chavanel, Terpstra, Peter Sagan, Matti Breschel, Lars Boom, Pippo, Sep Vanmarcke... or a lucky underdog (à la Devolder and Nuyens) if the favorites look at each other, not wanting to work for the others and let a break go.

Who wont win? Freire is going well these days but it's not a course for him. A good rider that usually can score a podium in any rough classic, Juan Antonio Flecha will race, but he's back from sickness/injury so I don't expect him to be good enough. BMC have a few stars that should be able to win with Thor, Gilbert and maybe even Van Avermaet, but they're all not fit enough. They have Ballan but his big wins of the past were one-off lucky moments if you ask me... and he's way past his prime. Americans would like Hincapie to win but I've never seen him as strong enough... and he's even more past his prime than Ballan, he'll focus on finishing to become the first rider to complete 17 Tour of Flanders.

Whatever happens, it should be a great race as always. If it's not broadcasted locally on TV (or if like me you don't have a TV), be sure to watch it online.

And if you want more (and you do), there is also a Women's Tour of Flanders earlier in the day. It's the 3rd round of the World Cup and it will be interesting to see if the women version of Eddy Merckx, Marianne Vos, can continue her domination and keep her 2012 World Cup score perfect by winning, quite surprisingly, De Ronde for the first time.


So long Lefty accordeon boot

A Lefty has very few drawbacks and is the closest thing to the perfect XC and trail front suspension. It's light, it's stiff and precise, there is no stiction and the action is smooth thanks to it's roller bearings. Cannondale have still find a way to make it better.

Details are few, but the MY2013 Lefty will be lighter, stiffer, nicer looking and I heard bearing migration might have been eliminated. Here are some pictures and speculation from James Huang. But, if looking back to his other guesses, it could be pretty close to reality, and in this case, seem to confirm my info/guesses...

Picture of the day

Have you watched any racing this past weekend? A great start to the mountain bike World Cup and a good edition of Milan-San Remo that wasn't a typical sprint finish. Links to highlights to both on my facebook page.


Dirt roads!

I love dirt roads, I love Italy, so I love the Strade Bianche race. You can watch the last kilometers here.


Ride du jour

Today, the plan was to go snowboarding... but it was sunny... with a snow forcast for tonight. So snowboarding would be better tomorrow and today better for cycling. And since it was a few degrees below the freezing point, the snow covered dirt roads were hardpacked, not slippery, not too soft, perfect for a bike ride.


Scalpel 29er Ultimate

If you have 10000$ burning a hole in your pockets, now's the time to place your order for one of only 125 Cannondale Scalpel 29er Ultimate. The bike looks very nice in it's paintless (read light) matte carbon color and even though it's speced with Shimano XTR (which doesn't sound too ultimate to most but...), the bike weighs 21.6lbs! That's for a 29er full suspension bike with 100mm of travel at both ends! Imagine if you were to switch the XTR stuff for lighter parts!

A nice touch, the bike is assembled with a Hollowgram SL with the SRAM XX spider and big wheel friendly 39/26T chainrings but also comes with a 36T single ring and a MRP 1.X chainguide to switch to the increasingly popular option of a 1x10 setup. I like that!

Full specs and info can be found at Infinite Cycles.

Il Pirata day

Marco Pantani is the first pro cyclist I can remember watching in amazement when I was younger. I can't even remember the year and the race (although I was watching tv in Canada so it must have been the Tour de France) but I remember watching his vicious uphill attacks that put minutes on his rivals, not slowing down until the finish. He was impressive. His career though had a very high 'high' that didn't last long but the 'low' that followed ended up being very low, the reason for this post as today marks the 8th anniversary of his death. Here's an interesting book review about the Life of Pantani...


Red hydraulics

We got our first glimpse of the hydraulic parts of the 2013 SRAM Red today. The levers look a bit odd with such a tall knob at the front of the hoods, but they still look better than Shimano levers. The rim brakes are not looking too different compared to regular cable actuated brakes (and I wouldn't pick them over lighter, simpler, less troublesome, cheaper cable-actuated rim brakes for a road bike) but the disc calipers look nice! Small, clean, I'm guessing pretty light... and if so, maybe compatible with Avid's mtb bike levers?

With a summer release for us mere mortals, I think there will be more cyclocrossers on discs next season, even pros... SRAM may actually push/force the discs on pros to generate sales but I think many would be happy to do so if the weight is close enough to cantilever setups (better braking, less bike changes in mud and if you're like Jeremy Powers, less cuts on calves caused by canti brakes). Only Tim Johnson was ready to use the heavy and clunky BB7 this year. Performance and weight should be greatly improved with these.


Picture of the day

From yesterday's ride. More of that on the schedule today? I may go and pedal up to the US/Russia border...


Red hot

I haven't posted in a while right? It's not for the lack of news and races as we just went through the thick of the cyclocross season with National Championships, the last few World Cups and the World Championships. I also started training a bit and plan to do a lot more than last year... it's just that I'm semi-homeless these days, staying a few days here, a few days there. The website took a hit but my facebook page gets more regular updates as does my twitter page. But, this place isn't dead and it should get back to normal gradually, starting with today's big, not really new, news:

SRAM finally let the cat out of the bag with the official launch of the 2013 Red group. A single surprise from what we had gathered... well mostly what James Huang had gathered.

We had seen the new levers with a smaller body, longer blades and textured hoods, the smaller, lighter and cam actuated brake calipers, the XX-style machined cassette with elastomer rings between cogs to dampen noise, quieter pulleys on the new rear derailleur and the front derailleur with the 'yaw' feature that eliminates the need to trim and the only surprise, a semi-integrated chaincatcher.

What do I think? I'm not sold on electronic groups like Di2 and EPS and even if they work very well, I think their pricing is waaaaay too expensive for the added benefit they provide. If I didn't have to pay for my parts (well most of the time), I might consider them but I still see mechanical groups as the best value for most. The Red group was already pretty much the lightest and cheapest of the top-end mechanical options (and worlds cheaper compared to electronic groups), the new one is even lighter, another big win, and pricing is virtually the same as before. A mechanical transmission is also dead simple, easy to understand, easy to work on, easy to setup and adjust. Electronics are super easy to setup thanks to nice programming but if the issue is in the programming, what do you do on the side of the road?

As for SRAM sticking with 10 speeds vs 11 speeds for Campagnolo and Shimano's next groups. I never felt like I needed another cog. I'm sure I'd like to have tighter gearing with the same spread though. It's one of those things that, as long as you don't try it or at least get used to it, you don't really need it. It's not a deal breaker but I think it would have been nice to make the leap to a 11 speed cassette.

As for the improvements over the old loved Red. It all looks like winners to me. I like the new lighter brakes, they're apparently more aero and more powerful. I don't see myself ditching my Cannondale Hollowgram SL cranksets anytime soon so I wont talk about the Red crankset apart that I don't really like it's look (if that matters). The lighter and more silent cassette is the smartest cassette design I have seen (as long as it's on a road bike, more below about that) and the new trimless front derailleur sounds good to me. With even Alberto Contador using Apex gearing in some races featuring very steep climbs, SRAM will also have a Red rear derailleur compatible with up to a 32 tooth big cog.

It might not look like the most striking change but the new levers are one of the things I'm the most curious about. Having more space for fingers under the hoods is something I really welcome, especially for cyclocross. The lever bodies being smaller and squarer should help too. Levers are not the most exciting parts of a bike but it's one of the interface you are 'playing' with the most directly in a groupset, having great ergonomics is very important in my book, one of the top reasons I wont touch Shimano road groups with a ten foot pole...

One thing to note though is that the new cassette, with the elastomer rings between each cogs covers most machined openings that would allow for mud to pass through in cyclocross. You can use the cassette without the rings but even then, the holes are not as big and not between each cogs unlike the XX mountain bike cassette. So I think cyclocross bikes will probably still stick with SRAM's more conventional lower-end cassettes.

Cable pull are the same compared to SRAM's current road groups so everything is pretty much mix-matchable with your current parts with one half-exception. If you were to fit a new front derailleur with the old levers, you would have useless trim positions... but the opposite wouldn't be too nice, the old derailleur would lose it's needed trim if used with the new levers. Cog and chainring spacing is unchanged and the old chain carries on so everything will be compatible there too.

Word on the streets is that Red branded hydraulic disc brakes and rim brakes (à la Magura) and matching hydraulic road levers are not yet ready but coming... maybe before year's end so as 2013 models too. The rest should start to appear this spring... I wonder if complete 2012 bikes specced with the old Red will take a hit in sales now though...

Sources: cyclingnews.com and bikerumor.com for more pictures and technical graphics.


The Art of CX

Very nice edit of last weekend's New Year's Resolution CX race. The music and slomo shots of course are reminding us of the snowboard movie The Art of Flight but that's a good thing...

The race marked the return of Ryan Trebon and it looks like his knee works pretty well, just in time for the US Cyclocross National Championships this weekend. I'm pulling for Jeremy Powers though.


XX with a twist

Still no official date about the release of a 10 speed XX Grip Shift but the pictures look closer to the real deal. Jaroslav Kulhavy already won the World Championships with the prototypes so we should see them sometimes in 2012...

Good news, I don't like triggers. Grip Shifts shift much faster, provide better, more direct feel/feedback, like your hand is physically connected to the derailleurs, they're also lighter, much simpler mechanically speaking, give some trim-ability for the front (and big plus to use the whole 10 cogs with the big ring) and should be cheaper than XX triggers. It's a win-win-win-win-win-win situation!


Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to cyclists everywhere... Hell, I'll even extend my wishes to non-cyclists (but that gives you a good idea of New Year's resolution). Get some rest, party hard, do the Rapha Festive 500 Challenge but whatever you do, do it while having fun!


Red tease

I really don't like the look of that chainring, the rest of the 2013 SRAM Red group looks more like an evolution of the original Red... Cam actuated brake calipers, hidden bolt on the very narrow crankset, longer looking brake levers... We'll see.


Picture of the day

Meanwhile in Sardinia, the Liquigas-Cannondale boys are training.


Kabush's secret's out

The news about Geoff Kabush's 2012 team is finally out. Looking forward to see if it will bring him up another step.


Off season work

It's time to start training for next season (if you have the time, which I don't) and to clean and get the bikes perfect again (if you have the time, which I don't). I pulled apart my Speedplay Zeros a while ago, after a clean-up, I think they'll be back from the dead... I just have to build them back. Those pedals are the best there is as far as performance goes... they're just very sensitive, one ride in the rain/dust and they have to be rebuilt it seems.