Velo Orange recomended by the Velocast Boys John and Scott from Peebles

And my favorite orange team Escadell Eskadi from the basque area of Spain

A wee bit of the Omloop

Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) soloed to victory in the 65th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the opening Belgian classic of the season.

The Spaniard attacked with Philippe Gilbert on the Lange Munt cobbled sector with around 20km to go, quickly dropping Gilbert to go it alone. He was chased by Gilbert, Jurgen Roelandts and Frederic Guesdon, but these were swept up by the bunch with 7km left. Flecha, however, was too strong and held onto a 35 second lead right to the finish in Gent.

A late move by Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo) just netted him second place – although he had to sprint for it in the end – with Tyler Farrar (Garmin) taking third.


1 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa|Team Sky)    
2 Heinrich Haussler (Ger|Cervelo TestTeam)    
3 Tyler Farrar (USA|Garmin-Transitions)    
4 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor|Team Sky)    
4 Luca Paolini (Ita|Acqua & Sapone)    
5 Marcel Sieberg (Ger|HTC-Columbia)    
6 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor|Team Sky)    
7 Niko Eeckhout (Bel|An Post – Sean Kelly)    
8 Bernhard Eisel (Aut|HTC-Columbia)    
9 Ton Veelers (Ned|Skil – Shimano)    
10 Filippo Pozzato (Ita|Team Katusha)

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad the classics have started

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

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Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Race details
Date Late February
Region Flanders, Belgium
Local name(s) Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Dutch)
Discipline Road
Competition UCI Europe Tour
Type One-day race
First edition 1945
Editions 65 (as of 2010)
First winner  Jean Bogaerts (BEL)
Most wins 3 wins:
 Ernest Sterckx (BEL)
 Joseph Bruyere (BEL)
 Peter Van Petegem (BEL)
Most recent  Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP)

The 2005 edition of Het Volk climbs the Oude Kwaremont (Picture courtesy of Eddy Van Laere of the Official Het Volk Site (

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (previously known as Omloop Het Volk) is a European semi classic single day cycle race held in the Belgian province of East Flanders.

The race was first held in 1945, organised by the newspaper Het Volk in response to Het Nieuwsblad’s Classic Ronde van Vlaanderen. The Omloop, with the start and finish in Ghent, uses many of the climbs in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, and is for that reason often used in preparation for the bigger event.

The race was known as Omloop Het Volk until 2008. The newspaper Het Volk stopped publishing in 2008 and was taken over by Het Nieuwsblad, as a result of which the race was renamed to Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for the 64th edition in 2009.[1]

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is the opening event on the Belgian cycling calendar and is usually held on the last Saturday in February or the first in March. It is characterised by cold weather and short cobbled climbs and comes as a contrast to the training camps of the Italian Riviera or the south of France.

Since 2006, a women’s edition of the race of approximately 130 kilometres distance has also been held.



[edit] The weather

The race has been affected by snow. The organizers rely on weather forecasts and adjust the course if the cobbled climbs are deemed unsafe. Snow fell the night before the 1955, 1974 and 1988 races but they were still run. The 1971 race was postponed due to snow and run three weeks later on Thursday 26 March when the GP Pino Cerami moved to another date. There was a thaw on the afternoon of the original date and the following day’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne went ahead.

The 1986 edition was cancelled because of snow. It was not run later.

In 2004 race organiser Wim Van Herreweghe said: “The safety of the riders could not be guaranteed, the snow and freezing cold made the route too dangerous.” The race was cancelled.

The 1960 race was also cancelled but due to a disagreement between the organisers and ruling body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The UCI had given better dates to other Belgian races and Het Volk ababdoned the race in protest.

[edit] History

Belgians have dominated the race, aided by large, supportive crowds, and comfortable with cobbles and the cold. In 60 editions, there have been only three winners from outside northern Europe: the Italians Franco Ballerini, Michele Bartoli and Filippo Pozzato. Another Italian, Fausto Coppi won in 1948 but was disqualified for taking a wheel from the Belgian Walschott, who was not of his team.[2]

The record for wins is three, held by Joseph Bruyère (1974, 1975 and 1980), Ernest Sterckx (1952, 1953 and 1956) and Peter van Petegem (1997, 1998 and 2002). Bruyère has the fastest speed (43.35 kmh) for 1975.

Other winners include Eddy Merckx, Roger De Vlaeminck, Freddy Maertens and Johan Museeuw. Dutchman Jan Raas won in 1981 after finishing second in 1977, third in 1978, second in 1979 and fourth in 1980.

[edit] The route

Het Volk started and finished in Ghent between 1945 and 1995. In 1996 to 2007 the conclusion of the race was at Lokeren, 20 km north east.

In 2008 the race finished in Ghent with 11 climbs and 16 km of cobbles in 199 km The start is outside Ghent’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the first 70 km is flat before 40 km including five short, sharp climbs and one cobbled sector. Another flat part is followed by 55 km which includes the cobbled sectors of Donderij and Hof ter Fiennestraat and the climbs of the Oud Kruisberg, Taaienberg, Eikenberg and the Wolvenberg. The Molenberg is the final climb 39 km from the finish and this short climb which averages almost 10% in gradient can be the launching point for a winning break. The race finishes in the centre of Ghent on the thoroughfare of Charles de Kerchovelaan in front of the Citadelpark.[3][4]

[edit] Men’s Winners

  ↓   ↓ Rider  ↓ Team  ↓
1945 BEL Belgium Bogaerts, JeanJean Bogaerts (BEL)  
1946 BEL Belgium Pieters, AndreAndré Pieters (BEL)  
1947 BEL Belgium Sercu, AlbertAlbert Sercu (BEL)  
1948 BEL Belgium Grysolle, SylvainSylvain Grysolle (BEL)  
1949 BEL Belgium , André DeclerckAndré Declerck  (BEL)  
1950 BEL Belgium Declerck, AndreAndré Declerck (BEL)  
1951 BEL Belgium Bogaerts, JeanJean Bogaerts (BEL)  
1952 BEL Belgium Sterckx, ErnestErnest Sterckx (BEL)  
1953 BEL Belgium Sterckx, ErnestErnest Sterckx (BEL)  
1954 BEL Belgium De Baere, KarelKarel De Baere (BEL)  
1955 BEL Belgium Anthonis, LodeLode Anthonis (BEL)  
1956 BEL Belgium Sterckx, ErnestErnest Sterckx (BEL)  
1957 BEL Belgium Kerckhove, NorbertNorbert Kerckhove (BEL)  
1958 BEL Belgium Planckaert, JosephJoseph Planckaert (BEL)  
1959 IRL Republic of Ireland Elliott, SeamusSeamus Elliott (IRL)  
1960 ~ No race ~  ~ 
1961 BEL Belgium De Cabooter, ArthurArthur De Cabooter (BEL)  
1962 BEL Belgium De Middeleir, RobertRobert De Middeleir (BEL)  
1963 BEL Belgium Van Meenen, RenéRené Van Meenen (BEL)  
1964 BEL Belgium Melckenbeek, FransFrans Melckenbeek (BEL)  
1965 BEL Belgium De Pauw, NoelNoél De Pauw (BEL)  
1966 NED Netherlands Roo, Jo deJo de Roo (NED)  
1967 BEL Belgium Vekemans, WillyWilly Vekemans (BEL)  
1968 BEL Belgium Vanspringel, HermanHerman Vanspringel (BEL)  
1969 BEL Belgium De Vlaeminck, RogerRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL)  
1970 BEL Belgium Verbeeck, FransFrans Verbeeck (BEL)  
1971 BEL Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL)  
1972 BEL Belgium Verbeeck, FransFrans Verbeeck (BEL)  
1973 BEL Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL)  
1974 BEL Belgium Bruyere, JosephJoseph Bruyere (BEL)  
1975 BEL Belgium Bruyere, JosephJoseph Bruyere (BEL)  
1976 BEL Belgium Peeters, WillemWillem Peeters (BEL)  
1977 BEL Belgium Maertens, FreddyFreddy Maertens (BEL)  
1978 BEL Belgium Maertens, FreddyFreddy Maertens (BEL)  
1979 BEL Belgium De Vlaeminck, RogerRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL)  
1980 BEL Belgium Bruyere, JosephJoseph Bruyere (BEL)  
1981 NED Netherlands Raas, JanJan Raas (NED)  
1982 BEL Belgium De Wolf, AlfonsAlfons De Wolf (BEL)  
1983 BEL Belgium De Wolf, AlfonsAlfons De Wolf (BEL)  
1984 BEL Belgium Planckaert, EddyEddy Planckaert (BEL)  
1985 BEL Belgium Planckaert, EddyEddy Planckaert (BEL)  
1986 ~ No race ~  ~ 
1987 NED Netherlands Vliet, Teun vanTeun van Vliet (NED)  
1988 BEL Belgium Van Holen, RonnyRonny Van Holen (BEL)  
1989 BEL Belgium De Wilde, EtienneEtienne De Wilde (BEL)  
1990 BEL Belgium Capiot, JohanJohan Capiot (BEL) TVM
1991 GER Germany Kappes, AndreasAndreas Kappes (GER) Toshiba-Look
1992 BEL Belgium Capiot, JohanJohan Capiot (BEL) TVM-Sanyo
1993 BEL Belgium Nelissen, WilfriedWilfried Nelissen (BEL) Novemail-Histor
1994 BEL Belgium Nelissen, WilfriedWilfried Nelissen (BEL) Novemail-Histor
1995 ITA Italy Ballerini, FrancoFranco Ballerini (ITA) Mapei-GB-Latexco
1996 BEL Belgium Steels, TomTom Steels (BEL) Mapei-GB
1997 BEL Belgium Van Petegem, PeterPeter Van Petegem (BEL) TVM-Farm Frites
1998 BEL Belgium Van Petegem, PeterPeter Van Petegem (BEL) TVM-Farm Frites
1999 BEL Belgium Vandenbroucke, FrankFrank Vandenbroucke (BEL) Cofidis
2000 BEL Belgium Museeuw, JohanJohan Museeuw (BEL) Mapei-Quick Step
2001 ITA Italy Bartoli, MicheleMichele Bartoli (ITA) Mapei-Quick Step
2002 BEL Belgium Van Petegem, PeterPeter Van Petegem (BEL) Lotto-Adecco
2003 BEL Belgium Museeuw, JohanJohan Museeuw (BEL) Quick Step-Davitamon
2004 ~ No race ~  ~ 
2005 BEL Belgium Nuyens, NickNick Nuyens (BEL) Quick Step-Innergetic
2006 BEL Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Française des Jeux
2007 ITA Italy Pozzato, FilippoFilippo Pozzato (ITA) Liquigas
2008 BEL Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Française des Jeux
2009 NOR Norway Hushovd, ThorThor Hushovd (NOR) Cervélo TestTeam
2010 ESP Spain Flecha, Juan AntonioJuan Antonio Flecha (ESP) Team Sky

[edit] Winners by Nationality

# of Victories Country
53  Belgium
3  Italy
3  Netherlands
1  Germany
1  Ireland
1  Norway
1  Spain

FRR now a member of the hardest Velo club in the world

Chippo what Style What Cycling Gear


What? Never hear of Wim Vansevenant, maybe the greatest you and me of Tour de France history?

In the 96 runnings of the Tour de France there have been 511 team and 4,566 riders compete in what most of the sporting world considers the greatest and most difficult outdoor sporting event on the face of the Earth. Cast on the world’s largest playing field, the country of France.
<!–[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]–> <!–[endif]–>

Each year we celebrate the winner, the maillot jaune, the rider clad in yellow. And each year someone must be last, most pedal home unknown, but they by no means suffer the least. In the Tour, from the very beginning, there has been recognition for the last of these great sufferers, a rider who against all odds suffered and survived, for him, is awarded the Lanterne Rouge.
Lanterne Rouge is the French phrase, which translates to “red lantern,” is used to describe the racer who finishes dead last in the overall standings when the peloton reaches Paris. (The terminology is borrowed from railway jargon for the archaic practice of hanging a red light on the caboose of trains, which assured station operators that no cars had come uncoupled.) The “winner” of the Lanterne Rouge are most like us – neither hero nor villain – simply the ones who tried, who struggled, and who, as the great French journalist Albert Londres wrote, rode with conviction and perseverance the “Tour de Souffrance”.

Today is the birthday of the greatest of these Lanterne Rouges, Belgian pro cyclist Wim Vansevenant. Wim accomplished a feat even more remarkable in many ways than the seven wins of Lance Armstrong or the seven King of the Mountains by Richard Veronique, he is the only Tour rider to ever have ridden into Paris with the Lanterne Rouge “hung” from his saddle three times – three consecutive times!

Call it what you like fate, luck, stubbornness, providence, maybe even stupidity, all have played a role, but Wim survived. He outlasted those who abandoned the Tour through illness, injury or simple exhaustion; those who were eliminated for failing to finish within each day’s time cut-off and were unceremoniously forced to withdraw; and those who were banned or withdrew in disgrace for cheating (doping). Over the years about 20% of the riders plummet from the peloton. In other words, our Birthday Boy didn’t simply coast to last place; Wim worked for it, he fought for it! And for that he is a cycling hero!

I doubt I shall ever enter another race, struggle in the peloton, cling on for dear life, even, god forbid, get dropped, without thinking of you. Thanks!

Happy Birthday Wim!

Posted by Gerry at 10:44 AM Labels: , , , , ,



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Gerry Elsewhere


Is FRR now the Flying Dutchman, the new fixie is up and ready

Here the FRR interview on episode 3 of Veloreviews

Go to around 1h 24min to find the interview

This article is for the [Welsh Rugby Supporting] Gentleman Roadie of Portland

Rugby star dropped over golf buggy arrest

February 15, 2010 — Updated 1751 GMT (0151 HKT)

Andy Powell during a weights session for the British and Irish Lions

Andy Powell during a weights session for the British and Irish Lions


  • Welsh international rugby player Andy Powell has been dropped from the national side
  • He was charged of driving a golf cart while drunk by British Police in the early hours of Sunday morning
  • Powell was part of a last-minute victory against Scotland the day before

(CNN) — The governing body for Rugby Union in Wales has confirmed that international player Andy Powell has been dropped from the national side after police charged him with driving a golf cart while drunk.

Powell was arrested just hours after helping Wales beat Scotland 31-24 in the Six Nations Championship at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, and now faces a court hearing in Cardiff on March 2.

The 28-year-old back-row forward was stopped and breathalyzed by police in the early hours of Sunday morning at a highway rest stop close to the hotel where the Wales team were staying.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) said in a statement: “This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated in a professional, elite sporting environment and we have acted quickly and incisively in order to leave no ambiguity over the dim view we take of this situation.”

Powell, who has won 14 caps for Wales and toured South Africa with the elite British and Irish Lions side, took part in a thrilling game against Scotland the day before in which Wales clinched a last-minute victory.

This kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated in a professional, elite sporting environment
–The Welsh Rugby Union

South-Wales police said Powell was charged with “driving a mechanically propelled vehicle whilst unfit through drink.”

The WRU went on to say: “The player has made his private apologies to the Welsh management team as well as apologizing in a public statement.

“We will now leave the [police] to conclude the matter.”

Powell’s agent Mike Burton told BBC Radio: “Andy was disappointed and embarrassed to find himself in this position.

“Andy remains a committed professional and will now work towards re-establishing himself in the Welsh squad at a time when the WRU team management think fit.”

A specific replacement for Powell will not be added to the Wales squad, who lie forth in the Six Nations table.

To the Velocast Boys John and Scott what about making this product of the week

Cyclecraft by John Franklin

Book Review


I bought Cyclecraft over a year ago now as a result of multiple recommendations on the internet for it.  I think it’s probably the most often recommended cycling book out there, and if you get only one cycling book, this should be it.

John Franklin’s book is well written, laid out and illustrated, and is considered the bible of how to ride in traffic in the UK.  It’s the recommended course book for the National Cyclist Training Project, and is endorsed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

It’s one of the leaders of the approach of treating bicycles as vehicles – to be a part of general traffic on our roads.  This approach may seem at odds with what many non-cyclists feel to be common sense, but there’s plenty of good logic behind the approach and once you read the book and apply it in real life, he’s inarguably right.  I think everyone will have something to gain from the book, no matter how experienced a cyclist you are.

It’s all about road positioning, confidence, negotiation, and how you can influence other vehicles to help your own safety.

My own experiences

As an experienced driver, cyclist, and motorcyclist, I found I was already doing a number of things the way John Franklin recommends.  Equally, I found a lot of things I could learn from.  In particular I found I was too submissive to motor vehicle traffic in some circumstances, especially on roundabouts, which are not common where I learnt to drive.  I also never realised quite how dangerous cycle lanes can be, and I don’t use them nearly as much now, as a result of better knowledge from this book.

I’ve read it a couple of times now, and I keep picking up new things in the light of my increased understanding and experience of UK cycling.  The book has helped turn my London commute from something that was a little stressful to the best part of my working day.  I love cycling in the traffic now, it’s not intimidating and I get to interact much more positively with other road users, be they cagers [1], pedestrians, other cyclists, etc.


Get your hands on this book at all costs, be it from the library or for yourself, and get all the cyclists you know to read it.  It’s really that good.

Recommended links:

Click this link to buy the book Cyclecraft by John Franklin.

A similar book is Effective Cycling by John Forester, but more applicable to the US.  I’ve not read this, but have seen it recommended by friends.

The Theory of Big is a humorous read!  The underlying essence is similar to the ideas presented in Cyclecraft.