Big doings in the bike world this week. It’s COBBLES TIME!
If you don’t follow pro cycling, we’re into the exciting one-day spring classics as riders come off a couple of early stage races and get geared up for the big ones this summer (including, of course The Tour). The great thing about the Tour of Flanders — which happened yesterday — and Paris-Roubaix — scheduled for this Sunday — is the terrain: looooong stretches of cobblestone paths.
If you’ve ever ridden a road bike, you know that’s more than tough. As in, I would not stay upright.
Flanders is a Belgian race — 258K this year — that includes some awesome cobbled hills, while Paris-Roubaix is in northern France near the Belgian border. It’s also called Hell of the North.
These races are a blast to watch because there is a lot more visible strategy than you might see in a stage race, as riders only have one day to take the title rather than a week or more. You’ll also see sprinters and other specialists contending for the overall win. And these two in particular are interesting because of the courses.
Here’s a fun video from Trek — sponsor of the new Leopard Trek squad — not only because it’s about bike technology but also because it features Fabian Cancellara, a Swiss rider and world time trial champ who won both races last year.
Unfortunately, he got beat out yesterday, but I still have a not-so-secret athlete crush on him because he’s a badass. Europe in Spring 2012, anyone?