Signs of spring

The cold European winter is finally beginning to lose its grip. Whilst it can still return with a snow flurry or icy rain, there are signs that spring is on its way.

The tree buds are beginning to swell, some woodland flowers are beginning to emerge and for cyclists, the unmistakable colour of spring: the green sidewalled tub.

Green sidewalls

Credit to’s Daniel Benson for what I think is the first spot. Tech fans should note I think these particular ones are FMB tubs, a point brought to my attention by an alert reader.

It won’t be long until George Hincapie emerges to proclaim he’s in with a chance to finally win Paris-Roubaix.

17 thoughts on “Signs of spring”

  1. Poss. Vittoria Open Pave tubular judging by colour,but FMB or Dugast are known to camouflage their products to get around sponsor requirements

  2. Neil: yes. It’s just the English speaking media give him plenty of coverage, a point I covered a year ago at We’ll see if he can do it this year.

    Florian Goessmann: a reader says they are FMB, I edited the text above to reflect this.

    mark rushton: I think it’s FMB as the cotton colour is a bit different than Vittoria. But hard to tell.

  3. the mainstream ‘chipmunching media’ hypes Hincapie every year & every year without fail, it never happens. He simply crumbles & disappears out the back.
    Reality is, his best days are long gone, and aside from his experience, he is not competitive.

  4. I enjoyed reading the post you linked from a year ago. It would be nice to see big George win a monument as I think he deserves it but I doubt he’s got the legs to beat Tommeke or Spartacus anymore. He would have to get lucky and make the right break as I can’t see him riding away or out sprinting any of the big favourites.

  5. Flashing Pedals and Neil: you never know and you guys know experience and luck count for a lot in Rouxbaix. See O’Grady or Duclos-Lasalle. Still, it will be hard to look past Boonen, Cancellara and Hushovd and several more names.

  6. Unrelated question here. Is there a way to subscribe to the comments? If I remember correctly I used to be able to click something which would email me all further comments on a post that I’d commented on.

  7. Innrring – for me, the explosion of unglamourous pundits talking about Belgians and the odd foreinger all over Sporza is as good a sign as any that spring is on its way.

    In case it has slipped you by (I’d imagine reasonably unlikely) Michel Wuyts has tipped Farrar for something special in Belgium this spring…

  8. Of course all Garmin riders will be perfectly “on message” about the qualities of their new Navigate tyres and how they’re far better than the stuff they ride last year & that caused them to crash all the time. Despite the fact they’ve only ridden to the shops & back on the new rubber (see Dan Martin’s column in Procycling) Heaven forbid you suggest Garmin ride anything else.

    Isn’t passing one product off as another false-advertising? I’m going to call Gray Manrod to look into it

  9. Neil: I’ve added a plug-in for this. Look for the little tick-box option below and please let me know if it works.

    Rick: yes, the Belgian media go to town. I’m enjoying the ticker on the Het Nieuwsblad site. Imagine the pressure on the riders, even a training ride attracts the TV crews.

    Jarvis: it’s been done for years but we’ll see if the riders try to push the message or not.

  10. Agreed. The shameless American cycling media knows nothing but the U.S. riders. Even as an American it’s embarrassing. However, what’s just as embarrassing is the constant back handed remarks and digs that most American riders receive by non-American fans. I guess we deserve some of it but it seems rare that you find someone outside of the U.S. that can come up with an unbiased opinion about American riders and isn’t claiming some sort of exclusivity to the Euros stamp on cycling. Sometimes cycling fans remind me of some horrible high school clique where the American riders just aren’t “cool”. And God forbid a Euro actually like a U.S. rider . Then again, our media can’t be unbiased so I’m not sure why I should expect anything different outside of the U.S. C’est la vie. BTW, this is pointed at you inrng…just race fans in general.

    Anyway, sorry for the tangent. Even though I like George, I agree with everyone; his time unfortunately has come and gone. Nothing more I would love to see than him win a race during the Classics season but it’s going to take an act of God for him to get to the line first. I wonder if that’s even going to be his charter this season though? Or if his season will consist of delivering a young’in to the line or simply teaching them the ropes?

    I’m new to cycling tech so what is it about the green sidewalls that makes this a “spring” tire? Is it a special tire that is specific to the harsh classic conditions? Also, I noticed you used the term “tubs”. Is that synonymous with tube or tire?

  11. Dave Baas: looks like one. Maybe they’ll mix during the spring.

    eatiusbirdius: I got your rant the first time, no worries. I admire Hincapie’s experience but he’s not a contender at the same level. As for the green sidewalls, some manufacturers do an “all weather” tub and for some reason they have been green. I think Vittoria where the first to do them. As for tubs and clinchers see as this explains it.

  12. inrng: Cheers for the link. Makes a lot of sense now. As for Hincapie, agreed. Sorry again for the rant. Just gets to me sometimes. Thanks again for your all of your hard work. I very much enjoy your insight and posts!

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