'Greg LeMond and five-time winner Bernard Hinault battle it out' (1986)
Slaying The Badger, Tribeca Film Festival. 
By John Dower

Before Armstrong, there was Greg LeMond. As the first, and now the only American to win the Tour de France, LeMond looks back at the 1986 Tour during which friend, teammate, and mentor Bernard Hinault—reigning Tour champion and vicious competitor known as “The Badger”—‘promised’ to help LeMond to his first victory. But in a sport that purports teamwork, we see it’s really every man for himself. Hinault has his say, too, along with others involved in the tension, rivalry, physical demand, and (last but not least) the many agendas and politics that make up the Tour. Well-chosen footage complements the candid comments to provide a penetrating look at a sport that never really was innocent.
- Brian Gordon

If you happen to be in NYC they are showing this must see documentary, based on the brilliant book by Richard Moore, at AMC Lowes Village Theater tomorrow night at four. I only can wish I was there.

'Greg LeMond and five-time winner Bernard Hinault battle it out' (1986)

Slaying The Badger, Tribeca Film Festival. 

By John Dower

Before Armstrong, there was Greg LeMond. As the first, and now the only American to win the Tour de France, LeMond looks back at the 1986 Tour during which friend, teammate, and mentor Bernard Hinault—reigning Tour champion and vicious competitor known as “The Badger”—‘promised’ to help LeMond to his first victory. But in a sport that purports teamwork, we see it’s really every man for himself. Hinault has his say, too, along with others involved in the tension, rivalry, physical demand, and (last but not least) the many agendas and politics that make up the Tour. Well-chosen footage complements the candid comments to provide a penetrating look at a sport that never really was innocent.

- Brian Gordon

If you happen to be in NYC they are showing this must see documentary, based on the brilliant book by Richard Moore, at AMC Lowes Village Theater tomorrow night at four. I only can wish I was there.

Crashed

Use caution on the roads this spring if you happen to live in Ontario, more specially my part of Ontario, or even just generally anywhere the municipal government uses a lot of sand on the roads.

I recently experienced my first crash of the season (hopefully my last). Whilst traveling on a slight downhill at quite some speed I made a sharp turn to my left, not paying attention to the large abundance of sand on the corner. Hitting the corner I skidded, lost control and before I knew it I was on the ground, sliding along the sand covered asphalt.

Fortunately, I came away with nothing more than bad road rash. The bike, however, was a tad more damaged.  With the leavers bent and the back wheel busted, it means I’m approximately down three hundred dollars in my savings, savings that was going towards another bike. As frustrated as I may be, I do understand these things happen and really after a crash like that you just have to shrug it off, get your bike fixed and get back on the road.  

Representing my favorite pro cycling team, in still freezing cold Canadian spring
Introducing the Gentleman
Since I’ve finally reached over a thousand followers, before I continue further I’ll start by telling you a little bit about myself.  A difficult task since there is a rather small amount to tell. Let’s see. Well I’m twenty years old, living in Canada, born and raised in the U.K. I’m currently studying history at York University. I excelled in all my classes in my first year of University, and even if I am saying so myself, I’m quite a little genius when it comes to history, so the future of my education seems optimistic. I’m afraid it’s after I get my degree my future seems a tad cloudy.
It is well known to most young adults that while a degree is important it is no guarantee of a job. It certainly would not surprise me, once graduated, if I have to continue working at the same job I have now (lifeguard) to provide my main source of income. As much as I, immediately after graduation, would like to work in a job where the primary workers aren’t sixteen, the fact is, as a twenty-plus, working a job you don’t like is a reality of our age. There is, however, a bright-side, because I’m not too fussed about the job and it’s only means to me is a source of living, this suggests I will not be tied down to working on my so called career and instead I can put the majority of my savings towards travel and life-experience, stuff that’s a lot harder to do when you are eventually dedicated to a career. So who knows what awaits me once I’ve graduated. There is some meaning after all to the possibilities being endless.
One of the possibilities for me is writing. I do have a deep love for writing, and although I may not be overly impressive, I am determined to attempt a go at it. Covering all forms, from journalism, short stories, essays, to non-fiction, I will try, for my twenties at least, to have my skills as a writer provide me with some small amount of income. Once you are getting paid to write, you can assume not everything that comes out of your brain is worthless. As it is a major goal of mine to be considered ‘not completely worthless’ getting paid for my writing, even if it’s shite pay, is a goal.
What shall I write about? Well, my interests other than history include politics, international relations, literature and beer (yes, beer, I am a massive fan of all things to do with the craft beer industry). I’m also a cyclist, and although I’m not good enough for a future in the sport, I want to become more involved with the cycling community. Whether I’m journaling about the pro sport, documenting the history or writing about my own experiences as an amateur/touring cyclist, I plan to use my pen and computer to claw my way into the culture so much so that I will be consider by peers an semi-influential figure within cycling literature. That’s my fantasy at least. 
Although cycling has always been a small part of my life, thanks to my father, in the past few years my love for the sport and the activity has grown immensely. After a difficult time with mental illness, cycling has become my salvation, my vehicle for the return to physical and mental wholeness. It provides an amazing mixture of things; it challenges and strengthens the body, sharpens and stimulates the mind, and caresses the soul with the pure joy of flying at the ground level. I’ve falling head over handlebars in love with every aspect of cycling; the bikes, the exercise, the clothes, the pros, to that ever so important freedom that riding a bike provides.
This blog is for me to express my love for the wonderful world of cycling, provide a bit of education, promotion, advocation and appreciation. I will mostly gear my appreciations towards the pro road scene, (mostly the elite men’s, sorry woman) as well as document some of my training regime this coming season. The blog will likely to be continued as it is, that is full of pictures I find cool and articles that I find interesting. However, from time to time, I will write my own opinions/insights about this wondrous velo world. These ‘articles’ as one aspiring writer might call them, are my attempts at cycling journalism which is really an attempt to get noticed by other aspiring cycling journalists (a thousand followers is apparently not enough).   
The blog to me is my sketch book, my blank canvas in which I can practice my art. A velodrome where I can improve my form. But I’m aware it’s not an empty velodrome either, a thousand plus followers means judgements from the anonymous critics whom either don’t share the same opinion as me or just dislikes my style. By all means judge and if I have said something you happen to disagree on, or write in a way you think can be improved, please do not sit back quietly. I welcome criticism and am open for debates.  If you do in fact, surprisingly, enjoy my work, again I ask for you not to sit back quietly. Like and reblog away, even feel free to write small appreciation notes in my ask box, for compliments are also most welcome.  

Mostly, however, the main reason I will write these articles are not for you.  I write with hope that I will provoke few more ordinary people (non-cyclist) in becoming bicycle lovers. I write in hope to improve myself. I write with love for the sport and everything that comes with it.  

Representing my favorite pro cycling team, in still freezing cold Canadian spring

Introducing the Gentleman

Since I’ve finally reached over a thousand followers, before I continue further I’ll start by telling you a little bit about myself.  A difficult task since there is a rather small amount to tell. Let’s see. Well I’m twenty years old, living in Canada, born and raised in the U.K. I’m currently studying history at York University. I excelled in all my classes in my first year of University, and even if I am saying so myself, I’m quite a little genius when it comes to history, so the future of my education seems optimistic. I’m afraid it’s after I get my degree my future seems a tad cloudy.

It is well known to most young adults that while a degree is important it is no guarantee of a job. It certainly would not surprise me, once graduated, if I have to continue working at the same job I have now (lifeguard) to provide my main source of income. As much as I, immediately after graduation, would like to work in a job where the primary workers aren’t sixteen, the fact is, as a twenty-plus, working a job you don’t like is a reality of our age. There is, however, a bright-side, because I’m not too fussed about the job and it’s only means to me is a source of living, this suggests I will not be tied down to working on my so called career and instead I can put the majority of my savings towards travel and life-experience, stuff that’s a lot harder to do when you are eventually dedicated to a career. So who knows what awaits me once I’ve graduated. There is some meaning after all to the possibilities being endless.

One of the possibilities for me is writing. I do have a deep love for writing, and although I may not be overly impressive, I am determined to attempt a go at it. Covering all forms, from journalism, short stories, essays, to non-fiction, I will try, for my twenties at least, to have my skills as a writer provide me with some small amount of income. Once you are getting paid to write, you can assume not everything that comes out of your brain is worthless. As it is a major goal of mine to be considered ‘not completely worthless’ getting paid for my writing, even if it’s shite pay, is a goal.

What shall I write about? Well, my interests other than history include politics, international relations, literature and beer (yes, beer, I am a massive fan of all things to do with the craft beer industry). I’m also a cyclist, and although I’m not good enough for a future in the sport, I want to become more involved with the cycling community. Whether I’m journaling about the pro sport, documenting the history or writing about my own experiences as an amateur/touring cyclist, I plan to use my pen and computer to claw my way into the culture so much so that I will be consider by peers an semi-influential figure within cycling literature. That’s my fantasy at least. 

Although cycling has always been a small part of my life, thanks to my father, in the past few years my love for the sport and the activity has grown immensely. After a difficult time with mental illness, cycling has become my salvation, my vehicle for the return to physical and mental wholeness. It provides an amazing mixture of things; it challenges and strengthens the body, sharpens and stimulates the mind, and caresses the soul with the pure joy of flying at the ground level. I’ve falling head over handlebars in love with every aspect of cycling; the bikes, the exercise, the clothes, the pros, to that ever so important freedom that riding a bike provides.

This blog is for me to express my love for the wonderful world of cycling, provide a bit of education, promotion, advocation and appreciation. I will mostly gear my appreciations towards the pro road scene, (mostly the elite men’s, sorry woman) as well as document some of my training regime this coming season. The blog will likely to be continued as it is, that is full of pictures I find cool and articles that I find interesting. However, from time to time, I will write my own opinions/insights about this wondrous velo world. These ‘articles’ as one aspiring writer might call them, are my attempts at cycling journalism which is really an attempt to get noticed by other aspiring cycling journalists (a thousand followers is apparently not enough).   

The blog to me is my sketch book, my blank canvas in which I can practice my art. A velodrome where I can improve my form. But I’m aware it’s not an empty velodrome either, a thousand plus followers means judgements from the anonymous critics whom either don’t share the same opinion as me or just dislikes my style. By all means judge and if I have said something you happen to disagree on, or write in a way you think can be improved, please do not sit back quietly. I welcome criticism and am open for debates.  If you do in fact, surprisingly, enjoy my work, again I ask for you not to sit back quietly. Like and reblog away, even feel free to write small appreciation notes in my ask box, for compliments are also most welcome.  

Mostly, however, the main reason I will write these articles are not for you.  I write with hope that I will provoke few more ordinary people (non-cyclist) in becoming bicycle lovers. I write in hope to improve myself. I write with love for the sport and everything that comes with it.  

Photographer the Unknown’s ‘Mark Cavendish in ‘Maglia Rosa’ last year as he won stage one’ (2013)
Cavendish to Skip the Giro

By Simon MacMichael
Mark Cavendish, who last year became just the fifth man to win the points competition in all three of cycling’s Grand Tours when he won the red jersey at the Giro d’Italia, won’t be among the riders starting the race in Belfast in three weeks’ time - despite recently announced rule changes that now make it easier for a sprinter to win the competition.
The 28-year-old’s big target this year is the Tour de France, and in particular the opening stage which finishes in his mother’s home town of Harrogate and gives a rare chance for a sprinter to claim the first yellow jersey of the race.
Barry Hoban, who prior to Cavendish bursting onto the scene was Great Britain’s most successful Tour de France cyclist in terms of stage wins, with eight to his name, recently expressed doubts that the Manxman could win Stage 1 of the 2014 race.
But Cavendish, who is recovering from a virus that put him out of races including the Scheldeprijs, which he has won three times, is determined to prevail in Harrogate and join David Millar and Sir Bradley Wiggins as the third British cyclist to have worn the leader’s jersey in all three Grand Tours.
Last year’s haul of two stages was his lowest since his debut Tour de France in 2007, so he is also looking to re-establish his supremacy in the sprint and add to his existing tally of 25 stage wins.
His programme will now see him tackle the Tour of Turkey later this month before heading to the United States for the Amgen Tour of California, then Switzerland for the Tour du Suisse.
"As everybody knows, my big goal this year is the Tour de France," he said, quoted on the website of his Omega Pharma-Quick step team, “especially as it starts in my native country."
“My programme is shaped for that moment,” he went on. “This year I will skip the Giro d’Italia. I’m saddened as it’s a race that has given me great satisfaction in the past. I have great memories and victories, even last year.
“But, with the Tour de France as my main objective this year, we had to make some choices. I’m sure passing through the Tour of Turkey, and a great, well organised race like Tour of California will get me in shape and ready for the Tour de Suisse, which will be my final tune-up for the Tour de France.”
Rolf Aldag, who worked alongside Cavendish at HTC-Highroad and is now sport and development director at Omega Pharma-Quick Step and was instrumental in his moving to the team, added: “With the sickness Mark had, we had to reshape his calendar a little bit.”
"It’s a shame because Mark showed how strong he was at Milan-San Remo [where he finished fifth]. He could have taken advantage of his condition during the period immediately after that race.
“But, it is what it is, and now we have rebuilt the best approach for Cavendish heading into the Tour.
“Cav is now training in Italy and will be back at Tour of Turkey with a good, strong team around him. With [the] Tour of Turkey we will open the second part of his season that culminates with the Tour de France,” he concluded.

Photographer the Unknown’s ‘Mark Cavendish in ‘Maglia Rosa’ last year as he won stage one’ (2013)

Cavendish to Skip the Giro

By Simon MacMichael

Mark Cavendish, who last year became just the fifth man to win the points competition in all three of cycling’s Grand Tours when he won the red jersey at the Giro d’Italia, won’t be among the riders starting the race in Belfast in three weeks’ time - despite recently announced rule changes that now make it easier for a sprinter to win the competition.

The 28-year-old’s big target this year is the Tour de France, and in particular the opening stage which finishes in his mother’s home town of Harrogate and gives a rare chance for a sprinter to claim the first yellow jersey of the race.

Barry Hoban, who prior to Cavendish bursting onto the scene was Great Britain’s most successful Tour de France cyclist in terms of stage wins, with eight to his name, recently expressed doubts that the Manxman could win Stage 1 of the 2014 race.

But Cavendish, who is recovering from a virus that put him out of races including the Scheldeprijs, which he has won three times, is determined to prevail in Harrogate and join David Millar and Sir Bradley Wiggins as the third British cyclist to have worn the leader’s jersey in all three Grand Tours.

Last year’s haul of two stages was his lowest since his debut Tour de France in 2007, so he is also looking to re-establish his supremacy in the sprint and add to his existing tally of 25 stage wins.

His programme will now see him tackle the Tour of Turkey later this month before heading to the United States for the Amgen Tour of California, then Switzerland for the Tour du Suisse.

"As everybody knows, my big goal this year is the Tour de France," he said, quoted on the website of his Omega Pharma-Quick step team, “especially as it starts in my native country."

“My programme is shaped for that moment,” he went on. “This year I will skip the Giro d’Italia. I’m saddened as it’s a race that has given me great satisfaction in the past. I have great memories and victories, even last year.

“But, with the Tour de France as my main objective this year, we had to make some choices. I’m sure passing through the Tour of Turkey, and a great, well organised race like Tour of California will get me in shape and ready for the Tour de Suisse, which will be my final tune-up for the Tour de France.”

Rolf Aldag, who worked alongside Cavendish at HTC-Highroad and is now sport and development director at Omega Pharma-Quick Step and was instrumental in his moving to the team, added: “With the sickness Mark had, we had to reshape his calendar a little bit.”

"It’s a shame because Mark showed how strong he was at Milan-San Remo [where he finished fifth]. He could have taken advantage of his condition during the period immediately after that race.

“But, it is what it is, and now we have rebuilt the best approach for Cavendish heading into the Tour.

“Cav is now training in Italy and will be back at Tour of Turkey with a good, strong team around him. With [the] Tour of Turkey we will open the second part of his season that culminates with the Tour de France,” he concluded.