Friday, April 22, 2011

This Sunday is Liege Bastogne Liege also known as the La Doyenne – translation means the oldest; this race is run in the beautiful region of the Ardennes in Belgium. It goes from Liege to Bastogne and back… hence the name. This is the southern French speaking half of Belgium and the race began back in 1892. It was won by Leon Houa an amateur, because at the time it was an amateur race run from Spa to Bastogne and back. It wasn’t until 1894 that it was for professionals, but again Houa won. Actually Leon Houa was a three time winner. The Great Eddy Merckx has the most victories with five, Moreno Argentin was close with four. Since its inception Belgians have dominated this race with 57 victories. If you look at the list of winners they are part of cycling burly boys, those who are aggressive and willing to take chances, but yet calculating at the same time. This race is probably the toughest classic IMHO: the climbs are long, most of them are pretty steep, and they come up with depressing frequency in the final kilometers, so you’ve got to have the legs in the end. I think Moreno Argentin said it best: Li├Ęge is a race of trial by elimination, where it's very unlikely that a breakaway can go clear and decide the race before the final 100km. You need to be strong and at the same time clever and calculating - in this sense it's a complete test of a cyclist's ability. Who will the winner be this year? Any guesses? My money is on Philippe Gilbert especially after his performance at Amstel Gold. But who know? That’s the great thing about competition you never know until the race is over.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The images above and below are copy right material of Castelli USA and its partners.

This photo is property of Castelli. All Rights Reserved

A few weeks ago Veloforma, & Corsa Concepts and a few of our rider ambassadors took part in the 2012 Winter/Spring Castelli photo shoot in Antelope, Oregon. It was a whirlwind weekend of riding in new High tech garments from one of the coolest, most technically advanced cycling clothing companies in the world.

You can check out the weekends action on flicker here -

You can also follow them on Facebook -

“Motor Moon” aka Miranda Moon-Duff in action on an amazing descent outside of Antelope, Oregon.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

U23 Tour of Flanders – Saturday April 9th

U23 Tour of Flanders – Saturday April 9th Our favorite U23 racer Carson Miller (now on Jelly Belly Pro cycling), is back in Europe and gearing up of the U23 Tour of Flanders. Carson is in Europe racing for the National team. He flew in last weekend (skipping Redlands) and has already gotten in his first good training block since landing, recon is tomorrow; so hopefully some shots of what the cobble sections are looking like. As always I expect the racing to be full stick, it’s a 169।9 Kilometers with 14K of cobbles. I know I will be cheering on Carson as he tackles the cobbles and bergs of this year’s U23 Tour of Flanders. Enjoy Carson, I know you will…

I am planning on doing this in honor of U23 Flanders on Sunday if anyone is game - can’t wait for the official unofficial version coming to a berg in the west hills soon।

You can check out Carson at his blog or follow him on twitter.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Stage racing has begun and two really cool stage races happened this past weekend. The Cherry Blossom classic stage race in the Dalles, Oregon, and the Redlands Bicycle Classic in Redlands, California.

It was the first race of the NRC calendar in Redlands, CA - aka the Redlands Classic. For the first time in 4 seasons I was not Directing a Veloforma squad, which I had mix feelings about. It felt weird to not be fielding a team which will be the case all year. But after the prologue was finished, I found myself check prologue times and looking at last year’s times to see how things were panning out for Alice Pennington and Christina Gokey Smith. Then the wheels started turn about race tactics for stage 1 and so on... but wait I’m in Oregon… turn the brain off Mark. I am proud to say that both Alice and Christina raced for our elite program so I take pride and seeing them do well.

For 2011 Christina is Riding for Texas based Rouse Bicycles Elite team and Alice was guest riding for the same squad. How did it turn out, well they kick some major BUTT, helping Christina win the overall Sprinters Green jersey. Which is establishing herself as one of the top sprinters on the women’s pro circuit. It’s definitely going to be a big season for her and her new team, and hopefully Alice will get more guest rides at stage races while not racing her Mtn bike for Eric Tonkin and Kona/SM program. It’s going to be a fun filled year for these two as they travel and race with the best. I for one will be following them both along with Whitney Schultz as the tackle yet another year of NRC racing. You can find out more about Redlands and team Rouse at the links on the bottom of the page. Even follow Team Rouse on facebook!

Here in Oregon we had the first stage race on the ORBA schedule – Cherry Blossom Classic it’s a must do if you have not raced this early season stage race. It has filled the shoes of Oregon’s other long and maybe forgotten epic early season stage race known as the Tour of Willamette. CB had a new night time Criterium, which looked to be a crowd pleaser and think it adds something special to the venue. So next year if you have the early season form and put in the winter miles this is a must do. I’m not going to go into detail about the racing, but I do want to congratulate Megan Chinberg of Upper Echelon Fitness for getting the win in the Women 1/2’s. You can check out all the action on Oregon Cycling Action.

We are also thinking positive thoughts for OBRA’s Criterium champion Leia Tyrrell of Sorella forte, wishing her a quick recovery and all the best as she recovers from injuries sustained this past weekend while racing at Cherry Blossom, please be careful out there folks. Heal up young lady, I know you’ll be back at it soon enough.

Want to also congratulate Captain Dave and the Ironclad squad for a job well done this weekend.

You can check out all the racing action at the links below…

Cherry Blossom results -

Cherry Blossom website -

Oregon’s best race coverage website -

Team Ironclad and victory -

Christina’s new team - like them on facebook.

Podium Insight for great Redlands coverage!