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Today’s Greatest Three Minutes Of Cycling Video Ever

- The first in an occasional series highlighting the architecture that helps make the world’s most beautiful races just that, beautiful. We kick things off with a photo from one of America’s toughest mountaintop finishes. The Snowbird Ski Resort is becoming as synonymous with the Tour of Utah as Geelong Heights is to the Tour of Langkawi (please note I did not make an analogy to a European race, thank you.)

The dizzying mountains of the Little Cottonwood Canyon provide plenty of drama. But things look that much more otherworldly on race day due to Snowbird’s Brutalist architecture. Let’s be Euro, shall we? Béton brut — raw concrete — is a famous way of describing the aesthetic. Or, as a friend once said, staying in one of Snowbird’s bunkers lodges when the ski patrol is throwing dynamite for avalanche control is as close to being in a blitzkrieg as one would ever want.

Snowbird - Tour of Utah

-For every mention of American racing must come penance through two European racing references –

Italy

Eddy in Belgie colors

- Today’s greatest three minutes of cycling video ever:

- The best training rides almost always share one factor. They take you through the ‘hood. And with the ‘hood comes pawn shops. And with pawn shops comes the daydream that always accompanies the mid-ride sight of them. The hope is that among the locked up bikes for sale in the rack out front there will be a Colnago Master Piu with Campy Delta brakes, perhaps stolen, hopefully <$200, that I’ll buy with only light turbulence to my conscience.

I had that dream again

Props, by the way, to the Fyxo Instagram feed, doubtlessly one of the more PRO things since Phil Anderson to come from Australia. It posted the photo of the Colnago, and it shook loose the pawn shop fantasy, something that’s been banging around in my subconscious for 20 years.

- Is the Strade Bianche quickly becoming the best one-day bike race in the world? Yes, that’s heresy. Just like when we posited that Jered Gruber had dethroned Graham Watson as the essential photographer of the professional peloton. Essential? By that, I mean his race-day images outlast the facts of the races themselves.

The final 10km of the Strade Bianche, especially the final 2km, was riveting stuff. Jered’s imagery befitted the drama of the day. And, perhaps most importantly, wristwatch intrigue resulted. It appeared that ‘Tony’ Flecha’s celeste watch wasn’t just a perfect match for his Bianchi frame and its eminently tasteful celeste bar tape, but that perhaps he was committing an act of outlandishness PROness by riding (solo, off the front, no less) while wearing an analog watch –

Flecha one

Time zone be damned, the sight of this photo required urgent communication with Jered. Could it be….might it be….oh God please let it be…analog? Please reply ASAP! And to Jered’s credit, he replied nearly immediately with this crop and his heartfelt sympathies. Crestfallen, I am. Digital. Damn.

Flecha two

- It’s time for some follow up on last week’s haiku contest. We received entries galore. There were so many quality entries that choosing only one winner was impossible. Rather, we’re stoked to offer $50 Competitive Cyclist gift cards to each of these four poets –

From Scott LeMond (yes, scion of the most royal family in all of American cycling) –

DAYS BEFORE FLOYD FOUND OUT

sit in my kitchen.
darach mcquaid calls my father up.
floyd is positive.

From Bill Fournell –

HOW THE DEED WAS DONE

Dropped & left for dead.
T/E 11:1
Ball cap on backwards.

From Ryan Wikane –

Gone Camping Upstate.
Young and naive, can’t be true.
Paid Floyd Fairness Fund.

From Jon Linkov, who in fact will get a Gift Certificate for $60 because he wrote a haiku not about Floyd, but about something much more vital to the cycling scene: The subject matter of What’s New, in last week’s case, domestic eco-terrorism –

paper sandwich bags
do they keep out the cold air
over frigid toes?

To score your currency, email andrew at competitivecyclist dot com and he’ll get you fixed up. Literature is eternal. I love all of you.