What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thanksgiving!

Nov 27, 2014 – A special guest editor today for this Thanksgiving Edition of EuroTrash – the PEZ himself has been charged with a condensed version of ET, noting the sad passing of Steve Hed, the birth of the Velon Project, and the return of the Tour to German TV and San Remo’s finish on Via Roma.

Steve Hed Dies
Hed Cycling’s Facebook page reported that:
“Steve Hed has died at the age of 59. Mr. Hed collapsed outside of one of his facilities on Thursday and was discovered by an employee minutes later. CPR was administered on the scene and by first responders, who rushed him to the hospital. He was taken off life support Tuesday night and passed Wednesday morning.”

Steve Hed in the windtunnel with Ivan Basso in 2006.

I can’t think of a sadder way to lead off this Thanksgiving edition of EuroTrash – but for sure we can all be thankful of the innovations and creative thinking that Steve Hed brought to the world of cycling speed. His work in wheel aerodynamics changed the way bike wheels are shaped and build, and certainly for made us a lot faster on two wheels. He was also pioneered wider rims for road wheels – very forward thinking back in 2008 when I tested a set of HED Ardennes here.

Here’s more from the HED Facebook page:

Steve Hed was the manufacturing entrepreneur with the longest pedigree in the sport. During the early 1980s he scraped by owning a small bike shop in the Twin Cities area called Grand Performance. His curious and generous nature was naturally attractive, and he made the acquaintance of a composites tinkerer and the two started making aero bicycle wheels that riders could afford. That was in 1985 and his company, famous for the big block “HED” emblazoned on his wheels have set a standard since. HED was the first triathlon manufacturer.

While many of his competitors ebbed and flowed in the ardency of their attachment to aerodynamic wheels, or changed ownership or focus or were absorbed by larger companies, Mr. Hed was not compelled by an exit strategy. He enjoyed doing what he did for a living. HED’s arch rival during most of HED’s existence was Zipp, but a measure of the esteem in which his contemporaries held him was the number of Zipp current and former owners and employees who were regularly seen at the HED booth during the Interbike trade show. His relationship with Zipp’s owner for most of its tenure, Andy Ording, grew into a warm friendship after Mr. Ording sold his company to SRAM in 2007.

Mr. Hed’s patent on toroidal wheel shapes set the standard for aero wheels for years. Zipp began making wheels of this shape only after bought a license from Hed’s one-time partner and co-patent holder. Mr. Hed was an innovator in wider rims at the bead site for both road and tri. He’s been generally proven right in his ardency for wider rims, which caused his wheels to be coveted by road riders. His carbon wheels for MTB riders made him a whole new set of fans, and fat bike enthusiasts were blown away by his very lightweight wheels for their bikes at the most recent Interbike show.

Mr. Hed was an inveterate tinkerer, insatiably curious and creative, which led him to move into aerodynamic handlebars once he knew he would not be competing with longtime friend and Scott handlebar creator Boone Lennon. The HED one-piece aerobar, debuted in the early 2000s, was revolutionary. Most recently his interest has been gravel racing, and he stepped in to help produce the now iconic Almanzo gravel race held in the Twin Cities area.

More than just a manufacturer, Mr. Hed became and has remained a technical and equipment mentor to many triathlon and cycling legends. Lance Armstrong was fiercely loyal to Mr. Hed during the 1990s and for years thereafter, riding HED wheels when he could have earned much more. Mr. Hed became the aero bike fitter for Lance, Levi Leipheimer and others on that team. No doubt the loyalty shown Steve Hed flows from the loyalty he exhibited first. Stories have been told for decades of Mr. Hed quietly continuing to send stipend checks to athletes for years after those athletes retired, well after they could provide any benefit back to the company.

Mr. Hed’s trajectory was bent toward triathlon during the early 1980s by an attractive and smart professional in that sport named Anne McDonnell. She was part of the enclave of pro triathletes in the Twin Cities area that included Tony Schiller and Julie Olson. Annie McDonnell became Annie Hed in 1990, but the two have been in, for 30 years, the perfect communion of Steve’s out-of-the-box creativity and Annie’s feet-on-the-ground attachment to the realities of business.
Steve Hed was born on July 11, 1955 and died the morning of November 26, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 24 years Anne Hed, a son Andrew and a daughter Rebecca.

VELON Project: Pro Cycling Teams Unite to Create a More Exciting, Stable and Credible Sport
Potentially big news for pro teams, fans, and the entire sport is the formation of Velon – a joint venture of pro cycling teams to drive a financial model that, in line with other international sports, ensures a sustainable future for the teams. After reading through several press releases it’s still unclear exactly how they will do it, but maybe the clearest glimpse of the future comes from their initiative to use more bike-mounted cameras as part of tv race coverage.

They were tested and used at the 2014 Tour de Suisse, Tour de France and Vuelta and provided some pretty cool pictures and sounds – literally taking viewers into the bunch and into the race. The venture wants to attract more fans to cycling – and ultimately make it more lucrative for all parties involved, so making it more fun to watch certainly can not hurt.

With so many stake holders though, and a spotty at best track record of cooperation between the teams, the UCI and other governing bodies, success could be a long way off. We’ll be watching closely though.

Here’s an official release that came in from several sources:
Velon aims to make the sport more accessible to all, to bring technology to the races and to promote stable, credible teams that fans can support long-term.

Today sees the launch of Velon, the first joint venture of UCI World Tour cycling teams. This group brings together 11 leading teams – over 60 per cent of the World Tour – to drive a financial model that, in line with other international sports, ensures a sustainable future for the teams. To achieve this the group wants to bring excitement to the sport, allowing fans to engage more with the teams than ever before. Velon’s aims are for a coherent season that excites people from start to finish and uses emerging technologies, such as on-bike cameras, that bring fans closer to the action.

Through Velon, the group will continue to work on partnerships with other stakeholders in the sport, including the UCI, the race organisers, and the AIGCP professional cycling association. Velon’s founding members are Belkin Pro Cycling, BMC Racing Team, Garmin-Sharp (in 2015, Garmin-Sharp will become Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling), Lampre-Merida, Lotto-Belisol, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, Orica-GreenEDGE, Team Giant-Shimano, Team Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek Factory Racing. The group is open to working with other teams that share their objectives and values, either to join Velon or partner with the company on new business.

“There has been a group of teams collaborating for some time about how we can – by working together – shape the future of the sport,” said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports and Team Garmin-Sharp, and a founding member of Velon. “Facilitating the use of on-bike cameras during racing was our first major step and now, as a formal cooperative, we will be able to continue to create even more opportunities to grow the sport we all love and make it more accessible to our fans. This is particularly exciting for our organization as we look ahead to 2015 as Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling.”

Andrew Talansky, rider for Team Garmin-Sharp, added: “It’s great to see teams working so closely together to create an even better future for cycling; and bringing fans closer to the action of the sport we all love. This is an important and exciting initiative.”

The core ideas and objectives for the Teams in Velon are:
– More exciting sport: looking for a race calendar that tells a season long story, and is better understood by a growing international fan base, with more entertaining racing for the fans.
– New technology: bring the race alive from the rider’s perspective, showing the fans what it’s like from the saddle.
– Underpinned by sustainable, credible teams the fans can follow now and long into the future. Creating a new, better economic future for the sport, through collective action and increased co-operation between the teams and other stakeholders.

The company has been created to work on behalf of these teams for new business creation. Each team is represented on the board and Graham Bartlett (formerly of UEFA, Nike and other major sports brands) has been appointed as CEO. Bartlett said: “The existing, sponsor only, business model is fragile for all teams. We need to change this to a more rounded one with fans at the heart of it, investing in new technological initiatives to generate greater excitement from the races and bring the sport closer to its fans. The company will look to use the combined commitment of the teams to create new revenues.

“This combined commitment can help to deliver more of what the fans want to see from the sport – exciting races brought to life with great technology. What we’re trying to build will hopefully create a virtuous circle where it’s easier for fans to engage with the teams and riders and gives the teams even greater incentives to maintain credibility.”

The first example of Velon’s work came earlier this year, when these teams got together to work with their riders and the race organisers to implement on-bike cameras during the races.

Bartlett adds: “This could only have been negotiated and delivered with the organisers by having a unified group. Initially co-operating with IMG for the Tour de Suisse and then continuing with A.S.O. at the Tour de France, the Vuelta and a number of other big races in the calendar.

“By using new technology, and by working very closely with the race organisers, the teams were able to capture fantastic, never seen before footage showing the riders in spectacular fashion and the response from the fans was even better than we expected.”

The Tour de Suisse on-bike camera videos syndicated to Cyclingnews and InCycle (which is also an IMG Media/Velon collaboration) were viewed over 1 million times.

Fans and financial partners must trust the sport and the teams must be open, honest and transparent. The integrity of cycling is also the foundation for a healthy following, increased investment and further growth. This must be based on a sound, stable business model for the teams.

About “Velon”
Velon is a business venture formed by pro-cycling teams, established in 2014 to foster longer term stability for its members and the sport. It is wholly owned and controlled equally by the 11 shareholding teams. Headquartered in the UK, the commercial organisation “Velon” was founded by Belkin Pro Cycling, BMC Racing, Garmin-Sharp, Lampre-Merida, Lotto-Belisol, Omega Pharma – Quick-step, Orica-GreenEDGE, Team Giant-Shimano, Team Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek Factory Racing, with members of each team on Velon’s board. Its first project was to create on-bike camera footage for several UCI World Tour races in 2014.

The German media did its best to kill pro cycling in that country, but thanks to fans’ undying interest, and a new wave of German pros who are winning races, that could be about to change. The German media’s distaste for the doping scandals in cycling got so bad that they actually refused to show the Tour de France on television for the past couple of years. Pro teams disappeared like a toppling deck of cards. The biggest bike race in the world, the second most popular international sporting event after soccer… and you could not watch it on tv in Germany. Why they chose to focus on cycling while ignoring virtually all other professional level sports is anyone’s guess, but their collective efforts to try and make pro cycling disappear are shameful.

Erik Zabel wins a stage into Berlin in the 2000 DeutschTour, and I imagine German cycling fans are feeling the same way about the return of le Tour to German tv in 2015.

Well that’s all about to change – if you believe the rumors anyway, as there are rumblings that the Tour could make its way back onto German tv screens and into homes across the land as soon as next year.

I was in Germany in 2005 for the DeutschTour (another victim of the media’s witch hunt) and met several members of the German press. They seemed like good guys, and were there to cover the cycling, but the big topic of conversation – the white elephant in the room – was how much the press hated Ullrich (he was the scapegoat for all German pro cyclists), and were publishing an endless barrage of what was basically dirt. It’s no wonder Jan got out of cycling and has pretty much not been seen since.

Thankfully German riders kept riding, and a new generation of German pros persevered to compete at the highest levels and win races – Andre Greipel and John Degenkolb are two shining examples. I’d say this goes to show you that no matter how loud the voice, or how sticky the mud, cycling can not be kept down by a media with an agenda.

It’s unlikely we’ll see la Primavera return to it’s traditional race day of Saturday, but we can smile about the finish of the season’s longest classic (300km) to it’s long standing finish on San Remo’s Via Roma. The race has in recent years finished a couple blocks south of the old strada on a much wider and promenade along the water. I was in San Remo in 2010 for the race, and noted that the potted surface on Via Roma was less than desirable for a high speed bike race finish – and several sections carried a significant hump down the center that sloped off to both sides.


The official announcement is due next week, but I for one welcome it – just like the Champs Elysses and the Roubaix Velodrome, certain traces should finish in certain places.

Weekend of racing at Burnaby velodrome offers window to Canada’s cycling future

(Ottawa, ON – November 23, 2014) The 2014 Canadian Junior and U17 Track Cycling Championships took place in Burnaby, and close to 80 young riders met to compete for the ultimate honours, the red and white jerseys awarded to the Canadian Champion.

The event was an excellent opportunity for athletes of all corners of Canada to race head-to-head, some for the first time at a national competition, and evaluate their form and progress against each other.

“The future of Canadian track cycling is very bright. We observed some very exciting moments and strong performances this weekend after three days of very competitive and passionate racing in Burnaby,” said Mathieu Boucher, Cycling Canada’s Director of Performance Development and Technical Delegate of the event. “We saw U17 riders posting times rivalling with junior athletes, showcasing exceptional track cycling skills for their age level. The weekend showed that Canada is heading in the right direction in the long-term development of track cyclists.”

The next major track cycling event will be the second UCI World Cup of the season in London, Great Britain from December 5-7, while the 2014 Canadian Track Championships for the elite, master and para-cycling categories will take place January 3-6, 2015 in Milton, ON, using the brand new Pan-Am velodrome.

Full results will be posted at www.cyclingcanada.ca.

U17 Men Omnium
1. Cam Fitzmaurice (TaG Cycling) 216 points
2. Stefan Ritter (Team Alberta) 197 points
3. Thierry Kirouac-Marcassa (Team NCCH) 181 points

U17 Women Omnium
1. Maggie Coles-Lyster (Local Ride Racing) 213 points
2. Erin Attwell (Cycling BC) 184 points
3. Marie Alexandre Lemire (Equipe du Québec) 180 points

U19 Men Omnium
1. Bayley Simpson (Team Ontario) 210 points
2. Trevor Stothard (Cycling BC) 201 points
3. Max Duso (TaG Cycling) 185 points

U19 Women
1. Sarah Mason (Team Ontario) 218 points
2. Katherine Maine (Team Ontario) 206 points
3. Catherine Ouellette (Equipe du Québec) 205 points

Nothing makes you faster than new kit – right? Let’s see how it pays off for the boys of Rusvelo, who showed off some new duds at the team training camp in Peschiera del Garda.


Granfondo Campagnolo Roma 2015 Registration Opens Dec 1
Ok – you’ve got a couple years of gran fondos under your belt, and wonder what’s next… It’s time to take your show on the road and go the the land that coined the phrase – and line up with thousands of other nutters hours before the rest of the world wakes up, and ride your bike until hours after the rest of the world has gone to bed… Ok – maybe it’s not quite that bad – but setting off at daybreak under the ancient arches of the Roman Coloseum, riding through the scenic hills around the Eternal city and returning hours later to gorge on all the pasta and wine you can handle sounds like a pretty good idea to me.


On Monday 1 December the race to register begins and the front rows at the starting line will be reserved for those who register first

On Monday 1 December, on the website www.granfondoroma.com, the race will begin to register for the Granfondo Campagnolo Roma 2015, which will be held on Sunday 11 October. On the same day, both the new regulations – with lots of changes – and the registration fees will be published. The first to register will enjoy a fantastic reward: they will be in the front rows at the starting line and will thus enjoy this Eternal City cycle as privileged protagonists. Registration for the Granfondo Campagnolo Roma 2015 guarantees a prestigious and wonderful experience, and would make a perfect Christmas present.

Rome has always been synonymous with great beauty. Its monuments, culture, art, philosophy, religion, literature, customs and laws have contributed to spreading an image throughout the world of an eternal city, a city which has no equal, steeped as it is in three thousand years of history.

All of Rome contributes to winning over millions of tourists each year with its extraordinary ability to surprise and delight: from the city centre districts, churches, villas and squares to the suburban neighbourhoods, which are equally charming, curious and splendid.

The same great beauty characterises the entire province of Rome; from north to south, east to west, the Italian capital is surrounded by hugely attractive possibilities. In the Castelli Romani or Roman Hills, in particular, these attractions take the form of lakes, mountains and plains which can satisfy even the most demanding expectations in terms of landscape, culture and history, not to mention their proverbial food and friendliness.

The great beauty of Rome and its province can be experienced in many ways but in the last three years, a truly unique event has been added. Thousands of cyclists from all over the world can experience this event from the saddle of their bikes, the ideal means for discovering this area and everything it has to offer. This experience is offered by the Granfondo Campagnolo Roma which perfectly captures the colours, climate and flavours of Rome in autumn, the season which exalts this territory more than any other in Italy.

The Granfondo Campagnolo Roma creates a fantastic opportunity because it unites, in one single event, everything that Rome and its province has to offer. It promises to quickly become an event that is not to be missed.

The success of the Granfondo Campagnolo Roma will grow as the event grows and engages more and more of the world on two wheels. Starting with children, who were stars of their own section of the Imperial Forum this year, the event aims to involve urban cyclists whether riding electric bikes, fixed gear, single speed or vintage bikes. They are all interpreters of the need for sustainable mobility, which is athletic, ecological, modern and universal.

All of this within the context of a global village, based at the stadium of the Baths of Caracalla, which during the Granfondo Campagnolo Roma, becomes the perfect place to practice spinning, try out the best materials, meet the sponsors and relax in the area around the Roman Forum, together with new friends from all over the world. In 2014 they came from 34 countries, on each of the continents.

Ufficio Stampa Granfondo Campagnolo Roma
Mobile: +39.335.7931616
Tel.: (+39) 06.8419669
Fax: (+39) 06.8419664
e-mail: [email protected]
web: www.granfondoroma.com

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