This was the first time Lisa and I had really spoken. Yes, we’d exchanged pleasantries at cyclocross races across Australia. As she had won many of those elite women’s races, I had congratulated her on her victories, especially when she won both the 2013 and 2014 Elite Women’s category at the Australian Cyclocross National Championships. But we had never had a good chat. Having read the articles she had written, and having seen her interviewed on cycling-related television programmes in her guise as a Cycling Australia board member and Chair of Cycling Australia Athletes Commission I had a pretty good idea of her background, but I was intrigued as to what made her tick. What motivated Lisa? As a lawyer myself, I understand the pressures of work and how difficult it is to train for cycling around work but Lisa takes things to another level.
Lisa first appeared on the domestic women’s cycling scene in 2007 and has been in the top tier of domestic racing, both road and cyclocross, ever since. There have been highs and lows, victories and injuries, a rollercoaster of a ride. In that time, Lisa has represented Australia in road racing and cyclocross.
What got you into serious bike racing?
I was always sporty through school and uni and had a natural interest in cycling. I started my legal career in London. During that time I got into dualthon (bike/run/bike) and multi-sport events. I had a professional licence to race dualthon and competed in a world duathlon championship. In 2007, I came back to Australia and joined a national talent identification program for road cycling being run out of South Australia.
I found I had an aptitude for tour racing and multi-day stage racing. I’ve got pretty good recovery and I can climb pretty well. And I love the strategy of tour racing.
In 2010 you got selected for the Australian National Women’s Road Team.
Yes, that involved a season of racing in Europe with the Australian Institute of Sport including the women’s Giro D’Italia. When I went over there I went straight from a lifestyle where I mainly worked and fit in training around work, into a full time athlete’s schedule with three months of hard core European racing. It was a big adjustment for me and I went into it too hard too early. By the time I got to the Giro I was so over-raced that it was terrible, it was the hardest thing I have ever done.
You got injured around that time.
I’ve had a few long-term injuries over my career ranging from nine months to a year. I would have liked to have gone back over to Europe for another season but the injuries put paid to that. The first time you do anything like that European season it is pretty tough, the second time you have benefitted from the first.
You survived the Australian Institute of Sport selection ‘Survival’ Camp in 2011.
Yes. It was a pretty ground-breaking project for the AIS at the time. They designed the course in conjunction with the SAS and made it properly about survival of the toughest. By the final day I was literally curled up on the floor of a transit van vomiting. They threw everything they could at you over ten days. There was no feedback over the whole time. It was modified after our camp as it was a bit extreme.
I made it to the final five out of 16 starters, and it’s probably one of the things I’m proudest of. It was a good experience of me because I love that kind of stuff. It was the second hardest thing that I have ever done after the Giro. At least you know when at the AIS chances are you won’t die because it’s bad PR for them. It was a great thing to be part of, something quite amazing, and I came out of it with a renewed confidence in what I was capable of doing.
The 2012 Women’s National Road Series got you back into racing.
After an injury-plagued 2011 , in early 2012 I got a call from Donna Rae-Szalinski (my long-time coach) telling me that she didn’t care what form I was in but she needed me to start the Tour of Mersey Valley in Tasmania. If I didn’t start the team couldn’t compete as they needed three riders. So I started, thought I wouldn’t finish, but I won. That started me loving riding again. The Victorian Institute Sport crew is like my second family. We had a really good year. I ended up second in the National Road Series rankings that year to Ruth Corset.
Your first cyclocross race was in June 2012.
I was in the mood for something different as I was training for the mountain bike Tour de Timor at the time and needed to improve my dirt skills. I picked up my cross bike the night before the first national series race, an alloy Apollo that retailed for $1500. Practised a few dismounts and then raced. I won that race and the overall 2012 National Cyclo Cross Series.
Your victory in the 2013 Elite Women’s Cyclocross Nationals was somewhat of a surprise.
In early 2013 I got pretty run down. Tour de Timor the previous year ended for me in the back of an ambulance and my body didn’t really recover over Summer, then in May I went overseas for a family holiday. I came back, tried to race a National Road Seres tour a day later and got taught an absolute lesson. I am very goal focussed so I decided I needed a goal. And I get enjoyment dreaming about the future. I was in terrible form but it usually doesn’t take me too long to find it and my goal was just to have a good race, so that whoever wanted to win that National Championship race would have to earn the victory. I wasn’t going in thinking I could win it, I just wanted to make sure that it would be a hard race. With Donna’s help I put a lot of work into preparation. Coming from being quite unfit in June to being in good form in August takes quite a lot of effort.
What about the infamous bike build?
I got the bike on the Thursday night before the Saturday race, and I had two great mechanics over at my place helping me, Ryan Moody and John Groves. It’s wasn’t a straightforward build as the bike was a prototype and quite unique in design. It took ages. At 11pm we had tubeless wheels exploding with sealant everywhere! On the Friday morning, the day before the race, I rode it for the first time and the seat post kept slipping. A friend who owned a bike shop raided all his bikes for seat post clamps, but because of the sloping top tube design it was difficult to find a clamp that gripped properly. We eventually found one, put on a lot of carbon paste and then duct taped the seat post for good measure. On the day of the race I only had dry tyres and the course was quite muddy. Doing the course inspection I bumped into Paul Larkin who loaned me a set of wheels with great FMB muds on them. Paul also gave the bike the once over. The way I see it, I had four different guys who rescued me before that race and if it hadn’t been for them I’d have been running out the back.
And the victory was your first Australian National Championship.
There was so much stress attached to the days before the race that to come out and win was such a surprise. And I hadn’t really won anything all year. It was a beautiful moment. You did look pretty happy at the end I comment. I went nuts, I’ve never gone that nuts after a race. Usually I’m quite reserved. Although I started realising now that there may be fewer and fewer victories ahead of me so I’ve started celebrating more.
You have an interest in how cycling is governed.
Yes, there have been some good opportunities to get involved in sports governance. When you get to the end of the sports institute process you think about transitioning and you want to stay in the sport as its been part of your life and you want to contribute. A lot of people go into coaching but with my background as a lawyer I have skills in governance. I become Chair of the Cycling Australia Athletes Commission which for the past year came with a seat on the Board of Cycling Australia. I like that I can use my skills as a lawyer for a positive effect for the sport.
What are your racing plans for the next couple of months?
All currently cyclocross. Next week I am going to China for the Qiansen Trophy. This is the second running of China’s only cyclocross race and the second time that I have raced. Last year I had a bad crash and broke my wrist early in the race, but finished (in 14th) because Grover was yelling at me that there was prize money down to 15th! I only found out afterwards that it was broken. I will be racing against some of the top American and European women.
Then I am off to the USA. First to a race in Sacramento then to CrossVegas. It is a race that I am very much looking forward to. It is a course that suits my skills unlike the extremely technical European courses, so I looking forward to having a great battle with some of world’s top female cyclocross racers including multiple US-National Champion Katie Compton and British Champion Helen Wyman. These girls are amazing riders and it’s a big ask just to stay in the bunch at that level but hopefully given that the dry courses in the US are a bit more like Australian courses, I’ll be able to have a crack.
Before all the travel starts I will have to make sure my new bike is completed and working. I suggest to Lisa that she thrives on having bike build deadlines, for example the 2013 Nationals and now this trip. She laughs. It will be finished. Another LJ goal accomplished.
(A couple of weeks after the interview, Lisa came second in the Qiansen Trophy, a Category 2 UCI cross race held near Beijing. She then travelled to the US to compete in CrossVegas, finishing an excellent 17th from a field of 60, including some of the world’s best female cyclocross racers. Lisa was only two minutes off the pace in the forty-minute race in the Las Vegas heat, despite a slipped pedal at the start and feeling under the weather. When I say the world’s best I mean seven of the top-20 ranked UCI riders, including Katie Compton and Helen Wyman).
„Schmerzen geraten in Vergessenheit. Und das ist auch gut so. Auf die Schmerzen kann ich verzichten. Aber weißt du, was mir fehlt? Wind und Wetter … wenn der Schweiß von meiner Nase herunter auf die weiß schimmernde Straße tropft und Schneeflocken auf meiner Haut schmelzen und ein leichtes Kribbeln hinterlassen. Um mich herum scheint die Welt vor Kälte erstarrt zu sein, doch in mir lodern die Flammen – als ob ich in einem Cabrio mit voll aufgedrehter Heizung durch den Winter fahre. Ich bin meine eigene Natur. Ich trotze ihr.“
– Aus The Weather von Rigo Zimmerman
Ob eiskalte Abfahrt in den Bergen oder regennasse Straße in der Stadt – Rapha bietet für jede Witterung die ideale Oberbekleidung. Doch die Frage nach dem passenden Oberteil für eine Ausfahrt kann manchmal schwierig sein. Softshell- oder Hardshell-Jacke? Die gut sichtbare oder doch lieber die stark wärmende Weste? Hier sind unsere Empfehlungen.
Definition: Wetterfeste Außenschicht hergestellt aus Raphas Antwort auf Gore-Tex.
Bedingungen: Wenn es richtig hart wird – also nass, windig und kalt –, sind harte Bedingungen kein Problem mehr.
Fahrer: Straßenfahrer, die den Unterschied zwischen schlechtem Wetter und schlechter Kleidung kennen.
Passt perfekt zu: Thermal Bib Shorts oder Winter Tights / Winter Base Layer oder Long Sleeve Jersey (In der Stadt: Merino Jersey oder Polo / Rapha Trousers oder Jeans).
Das Hardshell Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Die wohl vielseitigste Radjacke der Welt.
Bedingungen: Diese Jacke hält die Körperkerntemperatur vom Herbst bis ins Frühjahr hinein stabil. Die Jacke schlechthin.
Fahrer: Straßenfahrer, Pendler und sogar Mountainbiker.
Passt perfekt zu: Baselayer an milden Tagen, ergänzt durch ein Langarmtrikot darüber bei kälteren Temperaturen. Sieht genauso gut zu Jeans oder ¾-Radhose aus.
Das Classic Softshell Jacket anschauen »
Das Women’s Classic Softshell anschauen »
Definition: Seit dieser Saison mit verschweißten Nähten. Diese leichte, wasserdichte Jacke ist die ideale Wahl bei unbeständiger Witterung und eine erstklassige Schicht für den Notfall.
Bedingungen: Plötzliche Schauer, Touren in die Berge, stürmische Witterung (die Jacke ist auch winddicht).
Fahrer: Unerschütterliche Straßenfahrer, die auch bei Wind und Wetter in den Sattel steigen. Rennfahrer, sportlich ambitionierte Fahrer, Radtouristen. Aber auch Pendler in der Stadt.
Passt perfekt zu: Allen Produkten aus den Rapha-Kollektionen Training & Rennen oder Stilvoll in der Stadt.
Das Rain Jacket anschauen »
Das Women’s Rain Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Diese leichte und äußerst vielseitige Jacke genießt beinahe denselben Kultstatus wie das Classic Softshell Jacket.
Bedingungen: Nasse und windige Tage im Frühjahr, wenn steile Abfahrten eine Extraschicht erfordern oder beim Start am frühen Morgen.
Fahrer: Jeder Straßenfahrer sollte eine solche Jacke besitzen.
Passt perfekt zu: Allem – vom Wintertrikot in der kälteren Jahreszeit bis zum Baselayer an wärmeren Tagen.
Das Classic Wind Jacket anschauen »
Das Women’s Wind Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Eine Außenschicht aus Softshell-/gebürstetem Material – mit dem Tragekomfort eines Trikots und dem Schutz einer Jacke.
Bedingungen: Kühle bis kalte Witterung.
Fahrer: Fahrer, die kein überschüssiges Gewicht mit sich herumtragen möchten, die hohes Tempo fahren und die auf das beste Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis Wert legen.
Passt perfekt zu: Pro Team Thermal Bib Shorts, Leg Warmers und Merino Base Layer.
Das Pro Team Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Diese ursprünglich für das Team Sky entworfene Jacke im reduzierten Design bietet Schutz vor Niederschlägen.
Bedingungen: Nasse und windige Witterung, plötzliche Schauer, Starkregen usw.
Fahrer: Profi- und Amateur-Rennfahrer, Tempoliebhaber und Gewichtsfanatiker.
Passt perfekt zu: Pro Team Jersey (Kurz- oder Langarm) Pro Team Bib Shorts (oder Thermal).
Das Pro Team Race Cape anschauen »
Definition: Das Souplesse Jacket vereint zwei eigenständige Materialien. Es bietet Wetterschutz, kann aber dennoch Wärme ableiten. Mit kontrastierender Farbgebung, versetztem Reißverschluss und reflektierenden Details.
Bedingungen: Kalte, trockene und stürmische Tage.
Passt perfekt zu: Women’s Winter Hat, Women’s Padded Tights.
Das Souplesse Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Diese Jacke im alltagstauglichen Stil bietet zuverlässigen Schutz vor den Elementen. Die Kapuze ermöglicht eine ungehinderte Sicht und kann darüber hinaus eingerollt werden.
Bedingungen: Nasse, schmuddelige Witterung in der Stadt. Diese Jacke ist extrem wasserdicht, wärmend, winddicht und sieht zudem bei jeder Gelegenheit gut aus.
Fahrer: Vom elegant gekleideten Stadtradler bis hin zum Vollblutpendler.
Passt perfekt zu: Rapha Trousers oder Jeans / alle Midlayer aus Merinowolle.
Das Hooded Rain Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Das Rain Bomber Jacket mit klaren Linien und innovativem Material ist die perfekte Außenschicht für den Alltag.
Bedingungen: Für das Radfahren, Arbeiten und Reisen bei kühler oder nasser Witterung.
Fahrer: Diese Jacke ist für jede Fahrerin ein Muss.
Passt perfekt zu: Women’s Jeans, Women’s Printed Bomber.
Die Women’s Rain Bomber Jacke anschauen »
Definition: Eine beidseitig tragbare Jacke in unterschiedlichen Farben, mit PrimaLoft®-Isolierung und Bündchen aus Merino-Mischgewebe.
Bedingungen: Kalte Tage in der Stadt, an denen Regen möglich ist.
Fahrer: Leute, die bei jedem Wetter mit dem Rad zur Arbeit fahren und auf dem Nachhauseweg eventuell noch in der Bar Station machen.
Passt perfekt zu: Merino Crew Neck, V-Neck Base Layer.
Das Reversible Jacket anschauen »
Definition: Ein aus technischen Materialien gefertigter Blazer im entspannten, minimalistischen Stil, der sich auch wunderbar auf dem Rad trägt.
Bedingungen: Von kühlen über milde bis hin zu warmen Tagen. Je nachdem, was unter dem Blazer getragen wird.
Fahrer: Für den eleganten Herrn, der funktionale und modische Kleidung bevorzugt.
Passt perfekt zu: Merino V Neck Baselayer, Rapha Oberhemden, Polos oder T-Shirts.
Das Lapelled Jacket anschauen »
Alle Rapha Jacken anschauen »
As warm-blooded mammals, we’re losing heat constantly and need to burn calories to keep our fires stoked. It’s surprising how delicate this internal thermostat is: if our body temperature drops below 35C we’re on the verge of mild hypothermia, manifested in a general clumsiness, impaired judgement, slower reaction times and a certain argumentativeness. Simple activities such as zipping up a jacket, let alone changing an inner tube, become more difficult. We shiver violently because heat is a byproduct of muscle activity. But with a core temperature below 32C we no longer have the fuel to shiver. Below 30C and consciousness ebbs away. By 20C – the temperature of a late-summer afternoon – the heart has stopped.
So, why is keeping our hands warm so important? “We rely on electrical impulses to send signals to and from our brains,” says Dr Davis. The hand is a hotbed of nerve activity, befitting such a complex piece of engineering and at a temperature below 20C those impulses are inhibited. The 30 muscles in our hands prefer to operate at above 28C, while the synovial fluid around the hand’s 30 or so joints acts like lubrication in a car engine – it’s sluggish when cold. And there’s an interesting third factor, notes Dr Davis: the pain of cold hands distracts you from the task of achieving your goal, which for cyclists translates as a psychological hindrance on overall riding performance.
Hands get cold because we have evolved a life-over-limb survival strategy: when air temperatures fall, blood vessels in the body’s extremities (the hands, the feet, the ears and nose) constrict, keeping warm blood away from the surface of the skin where body heat will be lost through conduction. But it’s a balancing act – to stop skin freezing it has to be supplied with blood, so when the temperature of the hands falls below 10C capillaries suddenly reopen in a warm rush, then continue opening and closing to manage the core body temperature against the loss of feeling in the fingers. With a high surface area, a low volume and lots of blood vessels close to the surface, our hands are especially susceptible to heat loss.
Our worst enemy, however, isn’t just the cold and the air temperature doesn’t have to be below 0C for trouble to strike. The crucial relationship is between the cold, the wind, the effects of which are more pronounced when riding, and being wet. Graeme Raeburn is the designer behind the Rapha Winter Glove System, which comprises the Winter Glove, the Deep Winter Glove, a Merino Liner and Overmitt. “There’s more than one type of cooling,” he explains. “Even in non-freezing conditions, moisture – whether that’s rain or sweat – combined with wind can mean experiencing greater heat loss than you would in cold but dry weather.” Bearing in mind that air temperatures typically fall by 1C for every 100m of ascent, cyclists in hilly country will want to protect their hands from the wind and the rain. Wind chill charts show that a temperature of 1C will feel like -5C in a 25mph breeze. Dr Davis concurs: “Wet hands are especially risky – water is a far more efficient conductor so the exchange of heat takes place fast [up to 25 times faster – which is why swimming in cold water is more dangerous than treading water].”
For mountaineers, Dr Davis advises shaking the hands out every now and then, getting rid of wet gloves and warming the hands in your (or someone else’s) armpits. Then put on the spare pair of gloves he recommends climbers carry. Cyclists don’t have the luxury of being able to carry several sets of winter gloves. Which is precisely why Graeme spent two years designing the Rapha Glove System. Given the variable conditions on long rides – warm valleys, cold summits, squalls of wind and rain – Graeme devised a versatile layering system which can be adapted depending on conditions. The Winter Glove uses breathable, lightweight resistance against wind, water and cold and can be supplemented with the Overmitt in very wet conditions. “The Deep Winter Glove,” Graeme explains, “is extremely technical, with sealed seams and a patented waterproofing technology. It’s insulated with PrimaLoft®, which is very fine and has a very low moisture absorbency. The body and shell is stretched nylon coated with a durable water repellent.”
A key objective of the Glove System was to retain the hands’ natural dexterity.
“A lot of work went into the fit and ergonomics, matching the curve of the hands on the handlebars,” says Graeme. The lining of the Deep Winter Glove is fully bonded to the outer glove, so there’s no shifting or slipping, and the fingertips feature a touch-screen-friendly finish for smartphones and GPS units. The result is that riders in wintry weather avoid having to take their gloves off and exposing their hands to the cold.
It seems that most of the northern hemisphere has been blessed with a warm and dry end to the summer, but sadly our good fortune is about to come to an end. When the seasons change, so do the demands on your kit – when you head out of the door in October and November, you never quite know what weather you’re going to encounter. This unpredictability calls for versatile outfits with layers and warmers. Our first port of call is always a merino-blend fabric. At once breathable, insulating, naturally anti-bacterial and supremely comfortable against the skin even after hours in the saddle, merino wool is a mainstay of the Rapha range.
As we enter the autumn, Rapha is offering a Merino or Merino Mesh Base Layer for £20 with the purchase of a long sleeve jersey.
See the Rapha base layers »
When temperatures dip in early mornings and late evenings, we reach for warmers and accessories. A merino hat or knee warmers can easily be folded and packed into pockets, and can be called into service for both cool commutes and day-long excursions.
See Rapha’s riding accessories »
For some, the autumn brings with it thoughts of the next year’s successes. If you’re hitting the road to accumulate base miles before spring or honing legspeed for this weekend’s cross race, the new Rapha Pro Team Winter Hat hs been developed for you. Constructed form a lightweight softshell fabric with a resilient DWR coating, the Pro Team Winter Hat has been tailored for riding in the drops – the high rear hem prevents bunching when you hold your head up, and the sidepanels are pared-back to protect peripheral vision. The Pro Team collection will be launching soon.
See the Pro Team Winter Hat »
Petrus bescherte München einen wunderschönen Herbsttag, der mehr als 2000 Besucher in den Olympiapark lockte, um die Rennfahrer in Deutschlands wohl größtem Cyclocross-Rennen mit Kuhglocken anzufeuern. Dabei waren besondere Schmankerl die Streckenführung durch ein Bierzelt, wo den Fahrern von der Blaskapelle Poing´s Bunter Hauf´n der Marsch geblasen wurde, eine Schaumwand sowie die berüchtigte Tequila- Abkürzung.
Auch abseits der Strecke war für ein spannendes Programm gesorgt: FOCUS Testräder und ENVE Laufräder mit den neuen Challenge Reifen konnten bei den Cross-Workshops der „Schwalben“ vor Ort auf Herz und Nieren getestet werden. Die Muc Off Waschstation verhalf den staubigen Rädern wieder zu neuem Glanz, und im Bierzelt konnte man bei Pommes, Bratwurst und Bier die besondere Atmosphäre genießen.
Den Auftakt zum Renngeschehen bildete der Nachwuchs: fast 170 Kinder und Jugendliche zeigten auf der legendären Strecke ihr Können im Rahmen des MTB Isar Cups. Nachdem sich die Sonne durch den herbstlichen Frühnebel gekämpft hatte, ging es dann im ersten Cross-Rennen des Tages bei der Damen Elite zusammen mit den Masters 2, 3 und 4 ans Eingemachte. Mit 40 Startern schon ein großes Feld, aber nur ein Vorgeschmack auf das, was bei den Jedermännern folgen sollte. Mit unglaublichen 173 Anmeldungen im gemischten Feld der Jedermänner wurden zunächst zwei Qualifikationsläufen ausgetragen. Im Finale traten dann die besten 30 Fahrer an, um den Tagessieg unter sich auszumachen. Insgesamt waren sieben Nationen vertreten, und vom fünfjährigen Laufradfahrer bis hin zum 60jährigen Crosser-Veteran sind alle Teilnehmer auf ihre Kosten gekommen; nur ein gebrochenes Schlüsselbein war zu vermelden.
„Ein unglaublicher Cross Tag war das heute im Münchner Olympiapark. Rapha hat eine ausgezeichnete Veranstaltung auf die Beine gestellt mit einer nahezu perfekten Strecke, beeindruckende Teilnehmerzahlen in allen Kategorien und vielen begeisterten Zuschauern. Das zeigt wie gesund und wachsend der Amateursport in Deutschland ist. Das sollte ein Wink mit dem Zaunpfahl für alle Sport-Funktionäre sein, sich intensiver um diese Sportlergruppe zu kümmern als nur um die Profi Sportler. Ein großer Dank geht an alle Helfer und Organisatoren, die dieses Event möglich gemacht haben. Wir sehen uns nächstes Jahr!“
– Ken Bloomer, Crema Cycles/Enve, Füssen/Allgäu
„Rapha Super Cross ist jedenfalls eines: Eine mord‘s Gaudi. Schaum auf der Strecke und Tequila-Abkürzungen mögen hart an der Grenze zur Geschmacklosigkeit kratzen, aber wer noch nie mit dem Crosser durch ein Bierzelt gedonnert oder beim Crossen ein Stamperl Schnaps gekippt hat, hat was versäumt. Wer nach einem Shot bei Puls 180 noch weiß, wo‘s lang geht, der ist definitiv auch für die Wiesn geeicht – und für jedes andere Gelage abseits der Rennstrecke auch. Unbedingt probieren, unbedingt vormerken für 2015!“
– Robert Wolf, Rad Core, Wien
Conditions were sunny, dry and dusty for this year’s proceedings, but the results could not have been better. Jeremy Powers looked resplendent in his Aspire Racing kit and took the race nearly from the gun on both days. His continued dominance over the US racing circuit cemented by a win in his adopted hometown of Gloucester, Massachusetts was the icing on a multi-layered cake.
The racing wasn’t without incident, however, as Meredith Miller, a hopeful on the first day in the Elite Women’s category, crashed on the final lap and received eight stitches as her only reward. But foreigners Helen Wyman of the UK and French Citizen Caroline Mani seemed more than eager to pick up where Miller left off, taking the wins on the first and second day, respectively.
Tillie – the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club – was on site to keep the espresso intake coming for the inaugural Rapha Super Cross Gloucester. David Wilcox, the man on the ground, is a native New Englander himself and seemed content to pull shots throughout the entirety of the day; only stopping to don a skinsuit and race the Men’s Elite race himself. Tillie’s pilot/ barista just does not stop.
And as the throngs of people left behind the fishermen and citizens of Gloucester, it is safe to say that they did it with an eye to the future and the promise of a return.
The city’s shape is always shifting. London to me is the centre of an ever-changing universe. I was born here, in Islington, and am still amazed by the place four decades later. It’s a lattice of communities and neighbourhoods all of which are formed by religion, war, immigration, exports, imports, crime, and culture. The whole world is here.
It’s the same with architecture and infrastructure. The combination of new and old buildings side-by-side in such a relatively compact city combined with the wider thoroughfares and narrow winding streets give it that unique pattern, and rhythm. Today the landscape is constantly shifting as more buildings are erected and others pulled down and rebuilt. New inhabitants move in and others move on to other parts of the city, moving through the helix of time and space at an intensity and rate of progression that’s fascinating to watch.
The north/south divide of the city is marked by the snaking River Thames and connected by historic, ornate and more modern bridges that give some of the best views in the centre of the city. Over time I’ve witnessed the enclaves further out get polished and rebranded as ‘villages’, but for me the cornerstones of iconic London and its famous landmarks stay resolute. Peter Ackroyd, in his comprehensive history of the city – ‘London’ – describes the parks of London as the lungs of the city, its streets and byways like veins. And it’s perhaps these parts of the body of London that, as a road rider, I enjoy the most.
Riding and living near Regents Park, a ‘Royal Park’ frequented by road riders, is a privilege. My apartment gives me a sweeping view over the West End with the hum and holler of street bustle. The park, blueprinted by architect John Nash, has a circular design, made up of a 1km (inner) and 4.3km (outer) road loops. Having clocked countless miles round here; each straight, corner, camber and ripple in the road is etched in my mind and legs, and I naturally follow the same line on every lap (give or take who I’m riding with).
To me it’s like a theme park. The American Ambassador’s house with its armed police guards, the huge golden dome of the Mosque, and giraffes swaying around in the grounds of Regent’s Zoo. It has its own unique motion, and the park itself is magical with rose gardens, boulevards, cafes and waterways. If you live here it’s easy to forget how amazing London is for parks and green spaces. In recent years the volume of traffic, in particular cyclists, has increased, all jockeying for a slot on the road and locked into the virtual race in their minds. Groups, clubs and teams have all adopted the outer circle as their playground, utilising every inch of road to train, simulate racing or just simply roll and talk.
Speed is the badge of honour in the park right now, which is represented by every tribe wanting a foot in the game – tricked up track bikes, vintage racers, hybrid dredges, the carbon brigade, and ‘Boris bike’ folk all vying for that slice of tarmac. Whether it’s the peacefulness of laps at dawn to running the gauntlet in amongst these tribes at rush hour, the park always offers a nice distraction.
The cutting edge of tailoring is right here where I live. The city is unmatched when it comes to having a suit made, with a huge number of tailors and designers plying their trade. Savile Row is the bespoke tailoring mecca, with its vaults of patterns and fabrics established over more than 200 years. But it’s not just here you’ll find artisan cutters. London boasts ‘men of the cloth’ all over the city.
The suit is the ultimate prize in style. Just look at Fred Astaire, Gregory Peck, JFK. Today London continues to preserve this artform and I personally admire the sporting heritage of Norton & Sons, Tom Baker the purveyor of the ‘London Cut’ and Nick (Spencer) Hart for his modern aesthetic and contemporary flair. Tommy Nutter is perhaps the man responsible for reinventing the craft in the 1960s, but classic lines will always stay on trend. Walking along the narrow paving of Jermyn Street, where you can find yourself both brogues and bowler hats, you’ll find traditional emporiums with a wide-ranging clientele that reflects the desire for heritage and quality.
I love the community vibe of Lambs Conduit Street in Bloomsbury. It’s a street full of independent traders who uphold the ‘artisan’ approach to retailing their wares and services despite the ever increasing invasion of the corporate chains on our high streets. From small coffee outlets, the delicious Basque and Andalusia dishes of Cigala, to the cool independents like Folk and Darkroom. It’s a place I feel at home in and continues to keep the London spirit alive.
Early morning and late at night is best for riding. The lure of traffic free roads and the quietness of the city is worth the alarm call and associated sleep deprivation later in the day. Heading north up the eerily quiet outer circle, the only movement is wildlife, a fox lurking on the pavement or chirping birds overhead. Primrose Hill beckons and is the first of a sequence of ramps that lift me up and out of the city. You rise up to the top of Hampstead Heath, a short downhill burst and I’m heading north through the suburbs, delivery drivers passing me the other way, neighborhoods stirring as the sunlight emerges. The destination varies – whether travelling north and east to Hertfordshire and Essex tundra or south and west to the hills of Kent and Surrey, the network of roads, lanes and pathways provide a peaceful gateway at this time of day.
London has endless landmarks and iconic sites, but it’s the less prominent and often hidden places that seem to stimulate my imagination. Uncovering small roads, back paths and footpaths is the best aspect of riding through this great metropolis. One example is a road I’ve found up through the grounds of Kenwood House in Hampstead: the road sweeps left, you find a gravel footpath, rise up and look right and on a clear day you’re met with a spectacular sight of London below. I would perhaps never see this without the bike. It’s made me closer to London somehow, giving me the opportunity to explore and escape the regular bustle whilst remaining rooted to the city.
Paul Boudreau, race director, Super Cross Gloucester :
New England is regarded as at the forefront of the American cyclocross scene, with huge fields of amateur racers, large prize purses for the professionals, and an atmosphere of bonhomie and jollity that’s supported by food trucks, fire pits, and fans tempting riders off the racing line with fistfuls of dollar bills.
This is the remoulding of cyclocross’s cliché – that of the dour Northern Europeans in raincoats – into something with high productions values, something more American. On the racecourse, New England’s race directors have made minor but noticeable changes to their races, making for a style of racing that differs from its European cousin.
Gloucester’s race director, Paul Boudreau, has been a part of the race organisation since its inception in 1999, and has come to be the race’s public face. Over fish and chips, he explains the nature of the Gloucester course.
“Gloucester’s mud is thin and quite gritty, mostly because the sand does such a good job of absorbing the rainfall. This means it never gets too sloppy out there, and the average racing speed is pretty high – we never get the attritional, low cadence racing of Belgium. The other big difference is in the corners: American racing tends to favour sweeping corners that require the riders to lean their bikes way over, which is quite rare in European races.
“In 2001 we had the reigning World Champion, Erwin Vervecken, come to race. Back then US cross was still very much outside the mainstream, and to have the current World Champion on an American start line was quite a coup. He won the race, but Tim Johnson sure didn’t give the win away. I’m pretty sure Mr Vervecken was a little surprised to see Tim attacking him.
“We’ve changed the course over the years, but the essence of it has remained the same. A few years ago we added a flyover and a beach run – that year was amazing, and I know the racers loved those features. Since then we’ve had some issues with the city council – residents worried that we were damaging the park and beach, although we’re very confident that is not the case. Our relationship with the city is really strong now, but we’ve had to scale back a few of the course features. I think we’ll be able to bring a few of these things back very soon.
Gloucester according to Zac Daab:
It’s 6:30 on the West Coast, and on the eve of the Gran Prix of Gloucester, that means in the East, everybody’s in town. Flights have landed, couches are now being surfed. Miles of travelled tarmac up the eastern seaboard are finally behind, and it’s go time.
It’s hard to describe to people in the West, and in other parts of the country, this energy and feeling around Boston on the eve of Gloucester. That city has been buzzing for weeks, months. Cat 4s with no hope of finishing on the lead lap have been planning vacations, power levels, sick time, and all major purchases around this weekend. Kit orders, pop-up tents, van decal-ing: they’ve all had a pending deadline, and that deadline is Gloucester. Bars have been filled for weeks by single, white males in 28/32 Levi’s, ruminating on whiteout in 2005, who might get the hole shot this year, and how 35th place will feel.
Cyclocross has come a long way in the last 15 years. In every major city, there is now a legitimate cross series. In some cities, there are two. But in a ‘me-too’ world, it’s hard not to see some of this as cliché, as an impersonation of cyclocross being played out in some odd and tragic forms across the country. But the Gran Prix of Gloucester is the real deal.
Gloucester is like thinking you know every present you’re getting for Christmas, and then the last one comes from behind the couch and blows your mind and you go mental, and the first thing you think is, “I have to wait another 365 days for this moment?”
I’ve been fortunate enough to have ridden the scared grounds of Gloucester on and off since 2000. One of my all-time cherished palmarès is a mild 9th place (cracking the top-10 in the 2005 edition, Day 1). I’ve seen placing’s in the 30s way too many times, but I wouldn’t trade it for a win. Just when I thought I had seen it all at Gloucester, there was more.
Though some of the elements I’ve only viewed from afar, I can say with certainty that there will be “a thing” this weekend, a defining feature that leaves its stamp on 2014. My point is this: In nostalgic New England where some things never change, Gloucester is sacred, Gloucester is tradition, but it also evolves, shifts, turns right-side up, and feels dynamic, fresh, and authentic.
I don’t know Paul or the rest of the Essex County Velo crew that well, just from the landscape they’ve manufactured year after year. The coldest I’ve ever been in my life was in the upper parking lot of Stage Fort Park, and I’ll remember that day forever. On the eve of the Gloucester weekend, I’d like to personally thank all those involved with the race (spectators, race promoters, vendors, Canadians named Pascal) for all the fond memories. Gloucester 2014: Make it so.
Gloucester’s first ever poster, courtesy of gpgloucester.com:
In diesem Sinne schauen wir uns an, welchen Bedingungen man in diesem Winter auf der Straße begegnen kann und welcher Baselayer hierfür am besten geeignet ist.
Sehr körpernah geschnittener Baselayer aus extrem atmungsaktivem Netzgewebe und synthetischen Fasern.
Dieser Baselayer ist so konzipiert, dass er den Körper an heißen Tagen, bei schnellen Renneinsätzen oder bei harten Anstiegen in einer angenehmen Temperatur hält. Er ist aber auch ein idealer Begleiter bei milden oder wechselhaften Bedingungen, wenn man mehrere Lagen kombinieren will.
Harte Rennfahrer, die nicht frieren, aber unter Umständen gegen Wolle allergisch sind.
Passt perfekt zu:
Short Sleeve Pro Team Jersey (mit Armlingen) oder Long Sleeve Pro Team Jersey. Für lange Ausfahrten in Kombination mit dem Wind Jacket oder dem Rapha Gilet. Bei Kälte mit dem Pro Team Jacket.
Den Short Sleeve Pro Team Base Layer anschauen »
Den Sleeveless Pro Team Base Layer anschauen »
Das Original von Rapha – der wohl vielseitigste Baselayer aus 100 % Merinowolle. Lässt sich auch gut als T-Shirt tragen.
Diverse. In Kombination mit mehreren Lagen für Touren bei kaltem Wetter, als leichte Schicht an milden Tagen oder auf dem Weg zur Arbeit unter einer Jacke – dieser Baselayer bietet Atmungsaktivität und Wärmespeicherung mit höchstem Komfort.
Rennfahrer, Pendler, Tourenfahrer, sogar Läufer…mit einem oder mehreren dieser Baselayers im Schrank ist man auf der sicheren Seite.
Passt perfekt zu:
So ziemlich allem, zum Beispiel: Winter Jersey / Long Sleeve Jersey / Classic Softshell Jacket / Pro Team Race Cape, etc…
Den Merino Sleeveless Base Layer anschauen »
Den Merino Short Sleeve Base Layer anschauen »
Den Merino Long Sleeve Base Layer anschauen »
Eleganterer Schnitt und Passform für Frauen. Fühlt sich feiner an und kann auch als T-Shirt getragen werden.
Diverse (wie oben). Eignet sich hervorragend als zusätzliche Lage bei kalten Temperaturen, für milde und sonnige Tage oder als wärmende Schicht auf dem Weg zur Arbeit.
Straßenfahrerinnen, Pendlerinnen und alle, die die schönen Dinge des Lebens zu schätzen wissen.
Passt perfekt zu:
Women’s Long Sleeve Jersey / Women’s Wind Jacket / Long Sleeve Souplesse Jersey.
Den Merino Short Sleeve Base Layer anschauen »
Den Merino Sleeveless Base Layer anschauen »
Den Merino Long Sleeve Base Layer anschauen »
Entwickelt für Alltagsfahrer, die unter ihrem Hemd gerne einen Baselayer aus leichterer Merinowolle tragen (im Vergleich zum Merino Base Layer). Kann aber auch als Alternative zum Pro Team oder Merino Mesh Base Layer getragen werden (falls deren Fischnetz-Optik stören sollte).
Als zusätzliche Schicht für Fahrten bei kühleren Temperaturen, zur Arbeit oder in die nächste Bar.
Für Männer und Frauen, die regelmäßig mit dem Rad im Alltag unterwegs sind und dabei gut aussehen möchten. All jene, die synthetische Materialien oder den „sportlicheren“ Fischnetz-Stil nicht so sehr mögen.
Passt perfekt zu:
Rapha Merino Polo / Rapha Long Sleeve Shirt / City Rain Jacket / allen Trikots.
Den V-Neck Base Layer anschauen »
Made with the same merino blend as the merino base layer, and cut long in the back for a better fit on the bike. Perfect for city riding and fast-paced training.
Cool commutes and post-work high-tempo training rides.
Road Fahrers, commuters, anyone who appreciates the finer things in life.
Passt perfekt zu:
Hooded Rain Jacket/ Long Sleeve Pro Team Jersey/ Track Jacket
Buy the base layer »
Leichtere und atmungsaktivere Version des Merino Base Layer. Mit herausragenden Eigenschaften sowohl bei heißer als auch bei kalter Witterung. Eignet sich jedoch eher weniger als T-Shirt (außer vielleicht bei einer langen Nacht im Club…).
Im Hochsommer, aber auch bei kälterer Witterung in Kombination mit einem dickeren Trikot und/oder einer Außenschicht bzw. Jacke.
Alle, denen schnell heiß wird, die aber die synthetische Haptik des Pro Team Base Layer weniger mögen. Fahrer, die intensive Trainingseinheiten im Winter absolvieren und dabei maximale Atmungsaktivität sowie höchsten Komfort benötigen.
Passt perfekt zu:
Long Sleeve Pro Team Jersey / Winter Jersey / Hardshell Jacket / Pro Team Jacket / Classic Jersey und Armlinge.
Den Short Sleeve Merino Mesh Base Layer anschauen »
Den Long Sleeve Merino Mesh Base Layer anschauen »
Rollkragenpulli aus Merinowolle, der als Baselayer, Midlayer oder Alternative zu einem Trikot unter einer Jacke oder einem Gilet getragen werden kann.
Kalte bis extrem kalte Temperaturen. An einem milden Tag vielleicht auch als Außenschicht/Pullover.
Ambitionierte Allwetterfahrer, die auch im Winter und bei niedrigen Temperaturen aufs Rad steigen. Zudem alle jene, denen sehr schnell kalt wird.
Passt perfekt zu:
Long Sleeve Brevet Jersey / Hardshell Jacket / Softshell Gilet / Rain Jacket.
Den Winter Base Layer anschauen »
Turtle neck merino long sleeve number with women’s specific tailoring. Works as a base- or mid-layer, or as alternative to a jersey under a jacket or gilet.
From cold to freezing temperatures. Perhaps also on a mild day as an outer layer/ pullover.
A Fahrer who feels the cold more than most, or someone who puts in long miles in the winter months.
Passt perfekt zu:
Women’s Long Sleeve Brevet Jersey & Gilet/ Connie Carpenter Jersey/ Women’s Souplesse Jacket / Women’s Classic Softshell Jacket.
Buy the base layer »
Stark isolierender Baselayer für extrem schlechtes Wetter. Eine eng anliegende Kapuze und lange Ärmel mit Daumenlöchern sorgen für optimalen Kälteschutz.
Eiskalte, arktische, „post-apokalyptische“ Temperaturen.
Anyone who knows the true meaning of winter.
Passt perfekt zu:
(Deep) Winter Collar / Long Sleeve Jersey / Hardshell Jacket / Pro Team Race Cape / Rain Jacket und Winter Glove System.
Buy the base layer »]]>
The Elite Women’s field was the first of the evening’s main events. The kit selection was generally the same apart from a few changes in teams and sponsors. This race continues to serve as a space for racers and sponsors alike to roll out their new wares. Both Gabby Durrin (Neon Velo) and Meredith Miller (Noosa Yoghurt) — contenders in their own right — sported new clothing to the start line.
However, once the racing was underway it seemed to be more of the same — the stars and stripes jersey of National Champion Katie Compton were off in their familiar fever pitch. But wait. Could it be? With attacks from fan favorite Katerina Nash and her LUNA teammate — newly crowned Cross Country Mountain Bike World Champion Catherine Pendrel — the sharp end of the race was the excitement that the neon lights of Vegas demanded. Then a crash, a split in the field and Nash, Miller and Compton were away for the remainder of the race.
Surprise came in the final meters when Meredith Miller, a once renowned road sprinter, took advantage of those skills and sprung ahead of Nash and Compton for the win. She was all smiles and thrust her fist in the air for the well deserve win of the evening.
The Elite Men’s race was a thing of patience and beauty. Each nation that was represented took a turn at the front in something akin to a UN Summit. Even the nation of Boulder, Colorado let their promising young racer, Allen Krughoff, light up the action at the front of the race. But when it came down to business, the Euro Pro’s were just too good…
As the lap counter started to dwindle, the speeds at the front of the race started to pick up. The fresh-faced American stars of our favorite sport were removed from the action. Except for one man.
If Jeremy Powers has learned anything in the past few years racing with his European counterparts it is that patience pays off. Well, that, and waiting long enough to be the instigator himself. With three laps to go Powers charged up and over the slight rise in the final straightaway across the finish and eliminated all but former World Champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) and last year’s World Cup overall winner Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano). From there it was up to the two Europeans to put their heads down (presumably to avoid the spraying beer) and make it their race.
In the end Nys would take his second Cross Vegas win while Jeremy Powers (Aspire Racing) would bring home the bronze medal, wow the fans of cyclocross and at the same time debut his new team livery (designed by guess who) for the season.
If this is to be our indicator for the season to come, it is a going to be a great one. With a new team — Aspire Racing — and a fresh National Championship jersey to get muddy, the time is right for Jeremy Powers to continue his dominance and growth in the sport of cyclocross.
Read more about the 2014 Rapha Cross season »]]>