Friday Shorts

Ban powermeters? After Nairo Quintana’s statement a few readers have emailed in asking for thoughts on this. For starters the possibility of a ban happening seems somewhere between impossible and unimaginable so any debate is academic.

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The Power of Music

Mike Teunissen

Jack Bobridge’s UCI Hour Record attempt had him riding to a chosen soundtrack with a series of selected songs. Twitter found some of the songs amusing but there’s a performance aspect as music can make you go faster. Many riders, like Mike Teunissen above, use it during a warm-up.

The velodrome is unique because a rider can have music played to them during competition. Should Rohan Dennis compile a playlist?

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Tour Winners and Music

Bernard Hinault’s disco disc is not the only example of a Tour winner doing a record. The video above is altogether more classy as Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi share the stage and start singing together.

To list them as Tour winners is restrictive, the pair amongst the greatest the sport has seen and their rivalry was tremendous and supposedly divided Italy. Yet watch as they unite. There’s no tension, just light entertainment.

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Bernard Hinault’s Disco Fever

Laurent Olivier Hinault Guimard

Bradley Wiggins is reaching audiences well beyond the circle of pro cycling with his guitar performances. For years he would take a guitar from race to race and now the effort looks worthwhile.

But he’s not the only Tour de France winner to get musical. The image above is a record sleeve with with five times Tour winner Bernard Hinault in a relaxed lean on the right of the image. Laurent Olivier is the “musician,” a term that merits quotation marks as you will discover below. Renault team manager Cyrille Guimard stands on the left.

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The Spin: Giro Stage 9

It looks flat but look again. The last 10km have a series of short hills that could ruin the hopes of the sprinters or allow a crafty rider to get away whilst the sprint trains try get their wagons back on track.

In particular there are three short ramps and the profile above does not go them justice, the last one is 1.2km long with a gradient of 6%. That’s enough to make the sprinters worry.

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Rodania, the sound of bike racing

How do you know a bike race is coming? Roadside fans often wait for the audible rumble of TV helicopters to indicate the race is approaching.

But in Belgium it’s different. Instead you know the race is coming thanks to the call of Rodania.

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Marco Pantani remembered

Marco Pantani died on this day in 2004. The Italian cyclist was wildly popular during his career and has become the stuff of legend. Visually recognisable, his exploits on the bike combined with posthumous myth ensure Il Pirata, the pirate, is still famous today.

Swashbuckling on the bike but the reality is less glorious. The song in the video above is by French band Les Wampas, a tribute but one that captures the sad demise of a man dying alone in a seaside hotel during the winter.

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Mods and rockers

Two video clips that are very different but both contain behind the scenes footage, one with a heavy metal loving soigneur and the other with Bradley Wiggins, a self-styled mod.

First is a video from the soon to vanish HTC-Highroad team and shows the work of a soigneur. “We need 30 hours in a day” is the opening claim from the team’s head soigneur Frits Van Der Heide. The film explains the role of the soigneur, French for “carer”. As you can see the day is long and it goes from supporting the riders to washing the team car. Just as the mechanics wash every bike, the team cars must have the showroom look too. There’s all the usual footage of soigneurs filling up musettes and the slow-mo footage shows text-book examples of how to grab them in the feedzone (arm forward, grab where the straps meet the bag).

I follow Frits Van Der Heide on Twitter and as well as cycling-related messages, it seems he’s into Black Sabbath and a keen Saab driver. He’s joined Saxo Bank for 2012.

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Le Vélo

If all the talk of police raids is too much and even race previews are beginning to overwhelm you then it’s time for some music. It’s Friday night after all.

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