After two weeks of tired legs ….
Colle Dell’Agnello – stage 19
The Colle Dell’Agnello marks the Giro’s passage into France for a couple of days and they’ll have to work hard to get up to the border.
While the Strava segment shows it as a nine kilometre climb, the riders go uphill for around 70km from Saluzzo to the border at the top of the climb.
The toughest gradients come near the top of the Agnello, maxing out at 15 per cent and holding at over nine per cent for much of the nine kilometres, with riders reaching the highest point of the whole race.
And that’s just the first climb of the day…
Risoul – stage 19
When the riders get into France it’s downhill all the way to the foot of the climb to Risoul, where stage 19 finishes.
It’s not the hardest climb in the world but the legs and bodies of the climbers will be cold from the very long descent from the Agnelle.
It maxes out at 10 per cent in the first third of the climb and from then is a steady 8.5 per cent to the top. With the GC still up for grabs it’ll likely to be a battle ground all the way up, with attacks likely to come on the preceding descent.
Col de Vars – stage 20
At just six per cent in average gradient, the Col de Vars shouldn’t cause any problems, but it’s the fact that it comes immediately at the start of stage 20 which makes it hard.
The riders will have to get their warm-ups done before the stage if they’re to be in any state to be up at the front of the peloton in the first 20km.
There’s not a metre of flat on the entire stage, making it one of the toughest in the whole race, so if there’s still anything to play for in the general classification, expect to see some action in these opening exchanges.
Col de la Bonette – stage 20
Once they’ve descended from the Col de Vars the peloton hits the even longer and even tougher Col de la Bonette, taking the riders up to over 2,700m.
It’ll be a long, cold descent down to Isola at the foot of the third big climb of the day, with almost 40km of downhill, interupted only by a little flat bit after 25km.
With the stage only 134km in length we could see attacks on the pink jersey wearer on the early climbs, just like we did on stage 16 on Tuesday.
Colle della Lombardia – stage 20
As if two 20km ascents weren’t enough, the organisers have chucked in a third one near the end to really test the climbers’ resolve.
The Col de la Lombarde brings the riders back into Italy for the final assault up to Sant’Anna di Vinado, where the finish line is located.
Like the first two climbs on the stage, the Lombarde isn’t particularly steep, it’s just relentlessly long, especially after the climbs that have come before.
It’s last chance saloon for GC contenders to launch their attacks, with the climb to the finish not really long enough to make up minutes of time.
Now this is up because a friend of mine rode the cape epic and was raising money for this charity. I sponsored him and it is good to see the money is being put to good use.
With my pro video head on though I would say the video is a bit schmaltzy (think that’s a Yiddish word for over sentimental) but then it caters to an American audience – trek video – so you have to get past that. Anyway my point is good charity.
Loved this so reblogging and trying not to feel guilty about being the odd Strava zone out man
What is the measure of a great bike ride?
For some, it’s hills. It’s metres of height gain, steepness of gradient, and likelihood of heart beating itself loose from your chest in mid-struggle.
I have friends who have no concept of a bike ride which involves even the shortest section of flat tarmac. They don’t understand the pleasure to be had from spinning the legs for the simple joy of it, or rattling along for mile after mile at twenty miles an hour. To these mountain goats a flat road is avoiding the issue. It’s taking the easy option.
Admittedly, these people tend to be Cumbrians. In Cumbria, geography and topography demand that tarmac slopes up, or down, and usually steeply. To them, a flat road is eyed with suspicion.
Quality Roads (Image: pixabay.com)
Others measure a bike ride in average speed, and are only truly…
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So N+1 time ….. The latest itch is to get something between the titanium 29er and my titanium road bike ….. So titanium gravel grinder surely.
Pickenflick currently hitting the value for money button and a moots routt 45 hitting the silly sausage spend part of the brain.
As for bits I have been looking at tyres and this road.cc tyre review looks spot on.
Schwalbe G-One tyre.jpg
The lack of a tube means no pinch punctures, which means you can drop the pressure for more grip and comfort. Schwalbe states a range of 45-70psi but for the most part I ran them at the bottom of that range, or below. On the road, 50psi was good for back lane riding and 60psi was the most I ever put in them. For off-road and mixed surface rides I ran them at 30psi with no problems at all.
And they’re fast. I mean, really fast. Not just fast for a big tyre, fast full stop. If you’re battering around on well-surfaced A and B roads then you’d expect them to be a fair bit slower. In reality, they’re not: my best time on this 50km/h smashfest of a segment (link is external) on a proper road bike on 25mm tyres is just under four and half minutes. My best time on the G-Ones was only 15 seconds off that. And that’s on a gravel bike with a more upright position – you could argue that the extra drag from the rider is easily worth the difference.
Once you’re off the good roads and onto the average ones – and we have plenty of them – any conceivable difference in rolling speed is easily outweighed by the comfort of the big air chamber, and the fact that you don’t have to ease off and pick your line: just batter on through. I’ve not managed to put a hole in them that the sealant hasn’t immediately coped with. And that’s with some deliberately risky line choices through all kinds of back-road detritus.
I’ve taken them off road too, and they’re great for unsurfaced fire roads and farm tracks, blasting along with aplomb. The more technical things get, the more you’re thinking that a bigger air chamber might give you a bit more margin for error, but even crashing into rocks with enough force to ding a rim didn’t manage to flat them, and on most off-road surfaces they still offer fantastic levels of grip. Once things start to get really claggy the tread fills up and you’d be better off with a proper off-road tyre, but you can get away with most conditions.
The only downside, really, is the wear rate, but that’s a double-edged sword: it’s the soft tread compound that gives the excellent grip and it’s not as hardy as some. Personally I’ll take the longevity hit for the feel and grip while they last. And it’s not like they’ll be done in a couple of weeks, I’m six months into this test pair and they’re still going strong.
I know plenty of people who’ve tried these tyres now, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love them. Try them. You’ll love them.
Fantastically capable all-rounder tyre for roads, ruts and rocks
Make and model: Schwalbe G-One
Size tested: 700x38C
Tell us what the product is for, and who it’s aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Schwalbe says: “The Schwalbe One family provides the perfect tire for the latest gravel bike trend. The smooth rolling G-One profile and Tubeless Easy technology make it a pleasure to ride over forest paths and rolling fields.”
If your frame has enough space, select the 40mm version. Larger volume is always an advantage when riding off-road.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
We at SCHWALBE believe that tubeless is the tire technology of the future!
Tubeless Easy MicroSkin
Tubeless is the tire technology of the future. Tubeless tires bring clear advantages in speed, comfort, grip and puncture protection.
Our best and most sophisticated compound.
Triple compound. Perfectly adapted to the specific purpose. MTB (PaceStar, TrailStar, VertStar), Roadrace (OneStar), Tour (RoadStar, TravelStar)
The very best possible.
Highest grade materials.
Rate the product for quality of construction:9/10
Rate the product for performance:9/10
Rate the product for durability:7/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)7/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)10/10
Rate the product for value: 8/10