28th Edition Miguel Indurain Sportif 2019
On Friday 19th July 2019 four of us left the shop at 5.30 am , our mechanic Harry Morrow, Martyn Stone and Stepson Mathew Moth Robertson all set to travel the 700kms to Pamplona in Navarre for the 2020 Pinarello roadshow and the 28th edition Miguel Indurain Sportif. It was an early start and a long journey however without any problems and quiet roads we arrived at our Hotel safely at 1pm where we immediately noticed the change in temperature, it was a lot colder up here. This was a different hotel this year and was right in the centre of town which was great. We unloaded our bikes and checked in to our rooms then proceeded to the dining room for lunch as we were absolutely famished. After lunch we drove 10km to Pinarello’s factory just outside Pamplona where we were treated like royalty by the staff. We had cheese and wine and were shown round the factory before seeing the exciting new 2020 Pinarello range, including e-bikes, the reborn Prince and the new F12 superbike. All dealers were given a 2020 model Pinarello Gan Disk with Ultegra DI2 groupset especially designed for the event which one of us had to use during the Sportif along with special commemorative cycle top and shorts. We had a good chat with the Pinarello staff and learnt more about the new aerobics and design of the Dogma F12 which team Ineos ( formerly team Sky ) are going to continue to ride. We returned to the hotel at 4pm, got washed and changed and made our way down to the bar for a drink and to watch the highlights of the Tour de France. The meal was in the hotel this year which was great and meant a lot less travelling and more time to relax. The dining room was beautifully set for our 6 course evening meal with Miguel Indurian’s Pinarello Time Trials bike and his Pinarello road bike both on display – these were the bikes that he used when he won the Tour De France on 5 separate occasions, 1991, 92, 93, 94 and 95. During dinner Miguel Indurian gave an excellent presentation about his life and cycling in general (I’m glad that we had Harry to translate). At midnight it was all over and time to hit the sack as it was an early rise the next morning with breakfast at 6am followed by a photo shoot with all the Pinarello dealers in Spain on Pinarello bikes in front of the hotel.
Moth was testing the new Gan Disk DI2. We left the hotel at 7am and cycled en mass for 30 minutes to the centre of the town in Vallava where again we had our photos taken with Miguel Indurain and Pinarello. All riders had to sign on just like the start of every stage in the tour before making their way to the start line where we got to start right at the front with Miguel as we were guests of Pinarello.
There was 2 separate routes again this year 160km and 100km, Harry, Martyn and Moth all opted for the short one whilst I was just going on a short 50km cycle round the area as I had been advised by my surgeon not to participate in any large events in case I got knocked off. The race started promptly at 8.00am and the 4000 riders were soon underway. There were police outriders to the front and rear and at most junctions, the roads were completely closed for the first 50-60km after which the groups had thinned out considerably, the whole race was also televised by helicopter which followed most of the way. The group were soon passing through all the small towns and villages it was amazing to see all of the inhabitants out cheering them on, this has been a major event for this area for the last 28 years. There is 2 category 3 climbs and one category 2 climb on the route giving a total ascent of 1500metres with a total distance of 100kms and the temperature was now above 28 degrees which was great for us. After 2hr 58 Harry crossed the finish line just in front of Moth meaning both had secured Gold medals for their class, Martyn finished in 3hrs 20 meaning he also got a Gold medal. I had numerous cups of coffee at different villages and was at the finish line waiting on the guys. The event was well sponsored with live music at the end, food for the competitors and many of the large sponsors had tents and were displaying bikes and accessories. There was secure parking for all bikes, free food and drink, and also massages for anyone willing to queue. The weather was great, 2 weeks before hand Pamplona was flooded by the heavy rains. The prize giving unfortunately was not until 4pm and as it was only 12 noon we decided to cycle back to the hotel for a gin and tonic. We were staying overnight again so quickly packed up the bikes got showered and changed and made our way to a town centre bar to watch the Tour de France, at 7pm we met up with Steve and Julie Buckley for drinks and something to eat they had also done the Sportif as they were heading back to the Uk for 4 weeks and it was on their way. After another great night it was back to the hotel and bed. Sunday morning we were up early refuelled the van after loading the bikes and hit the road.
This was a fantastic weekend which was exceptionally well organized from the start to the finish, it was so nice to meet Miguel Indurain again and also get the opportunity to cycle with him on the Saturday morning, he is a really nice guy. Pinarello did us proud with their commitment to their own road show and to the Sportif making sure everything went smooth and was a success. We are all looking forward to next year’s event already .
Team “Cyclogical” meet every Tuesday and Thursday night at 5.30pm and Sunday mornings at 8am and cover between 90 and 120kms at a moderate to fast pace so if you fancy a challenge come along and join us. Looking to improve your fitness, riding ability and speed and also have a new group of friends to train with then why not come along and give it a try or call Gary on 637487377.
Shimano Cycling Components
Established in February 1921 by Shozaburo Shimano in Sakai City Japan to produce free wheels for bicycles all by himself, within a few years he had expanded greatly and by 1940 was employing over 300 people. Sakai City was a legendary blacksmith centre well known for making swords and gun barrels. Now in 2019 Shimano is the world’s largest multinational manufacturer of bicycle components with 75% of the world market leaving America’s S-ram, Suntour and Italy’s Campagnola to share the remaining 25% and now employ over 12000 people worldwide. They not only make cycling components but also make fishing tackle and rowing equipment and also made Golf supplies and Snowboard gear until 2008.Shimanos market place domination in the 90s was based on the fact that Shimano became oriented towards integrating all of their components with each other, with the result being that if any Shimano components were to be used, then the entire bike would need to be built from matching Shimano components. The alternative perspective is that by controlling the mix of components on the bicycle, a manufacturer such as Shimano can control how well their own products function. Shimano’s competitors, Campagnola, S-ram and Sunrace also make proprietary designs that limit the opportunity to mix and match componentry. However in 2007 Shimano decided to move back to making separate braking and shifting components fully available in addition to dual control components a move to satisfy riders that wished to use Shimano shifting with other brands of disc brakes. Shimano now make all parts / components for bicycles as well as many accessories and clothing.
In early May Harry and I travelled up to Madrid on the High speed train to participate in our annual Shimano Technicians training course organised by Macario Spain who are the main dealers in Spain for Shimano products. This year’s course was all about the Shimano Steps e-bike system. The day started very early so we had to travel up the night before and stay in a hotel, on arrival at Macario’s huge warehouse we were greeted by the Shimano team with coffee and cakes and then it was straight to the classroom to get stuck in. We were each given a Shimano Steps E-Bike engine and shown how to strip and rebuild it. After an excellent lunch at a local Tapas bar we went on to program and tune the E-bikes using our laptops and mobile phones. The Shimano technology nowadays is excellent and we now each have access to Shimano’s training centre where we can access information and videos on all Shimano products including stripping and assembling. This information package is only available to qualified Shimano technicians where we can also sit course’s online for further Shimano accreditation. Unfortunately the day came to an end, we said our farewells and we made our way back to the train station to catch our return train to Alicante and arrived home at midnight. Great day.
Team “Cyclogical” meet every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 5.30pm and Sunday mornings at 8am and cover between 90 and 120kms at a moderate to fast pace so, if you fancy a challenge, looking to improve your fitness, riding ability and speed and also have a new group of friends to socialise and train with then why not come along and give it a try or call Gary on 637487377.
Moratalla Sportif , May 2019
Here we go again another 5.30am start from the shop on a beautiful Sunday morning in May, this time 12 of us in 4 vehicles are heading to Moratalla in the North of Murcia to participate in the 21st Moratalla cycle Marcha (Sportif ). I have just had a new Titanium hip fitted and although I’m back cycling with the group I am not ready to stand up and cycle uphill yet so today I’m spectating and have a special guest with me my 91 year old Dad who has come to watch his first live cycle Sportif.
There are 2 routes to choose from today 110km or 180km both great routes with some cracking steep hills thrown in. We arrived at 7am and found the perfect parking spot right next to the start line which was already being set up. We located the only open restaurant after a nice walk around the town and had our coffee and tostadas. We then made our way to the sports centre and registered, collected our numbers, goody bags and snacks before walking back to the cars to prepare our bikes. At the cars everyone unloaded their beloved bikes attached their race numbers, pumped up the tyres and got changed into cycling gear. We were soon on the start line along with 600 other riders of all ages and abilities, all out to achieve the same as us, to try and beat each other and successfully finish with a good time.
At 9am sharp the gun sounded and off they went, following the safety car for the first 25k at quite a brisk pace passing through the beautiful picturesque town of Carravaca de la Cruz. It wasn’t long before the car sounded its horn which meant ‘Trama Libre’ (free ride) and they were off straight into the first climb of the day which lasted for 7k with an average gradient of 8%, this sorted everyone out and our team were already split into several little groups with the fast guys making a rapid getaway, there was quite a lot of under 23 semi-professional Spanish riders taking part and you could see how good they were by the speed that they left everyone behind. The route was excellently thought through with everything from gentle climbs to tough climbs, switchbacks, downhills and level sections, as usual in this part of Spain the scenery was fantastic especially as they gained height. The weather was great with hardly any wind.
Dad and I walked round the town until we found a little tapas bar where we stopped and spend some quality time together over a few tapa’s, coffee and a beer. We walked back to the finish line where there were 2 lanes, the lane on the right was the finish for the 110km riders but the lane on the left was for the 180km riders to continue on. As always I tell the guys it’s not about the winning it’s about the competing and doing your best along with 600 other like minded individuals. Dad and I waited at the finish line taking pictures of all our guys as they crossed the line in ones and twos exhausted. Everyone of our riders did well with good times but not good enough to get on the podium.
There was pasta and beer for everyone at the finish line which was enjoyed by all. Another great sportif, well organized, well marshalled and plenty of water stops, well done again Murcia Region. Everyone now looking forward to our next one Tour Of Juguette in Alicante region.
Team “Cyclogical” meet every Tuesday and Thursday night at 5.30pm and Sunday mornings at 8am and cover between 90 and 120kms at a moderate to fast pace so, if you fancy a challenge come along and join us. Looking to improve your fitness, riding ability and speed and also have a new group of friends to train with then why not come along and give it a try or call Gary on 637487377.
Hip! Hip! Hooray.
A lovely Sunday afternoon in September 2017 and I’m almost finished another sportif but this time I’m starting to feel my legs and hips not wanting to do any more without giving me grief. As soon as I stand up in the saddle I start to get a grinding feeling in my right hip, never had this before, what is it ? What’s wrong? Anyway I just put the pain behind me and got on with it finishing yet another great Spanish Sportif. I had soon forgotten all about it until a couple of weeks later I started to get a sore hip when walking or standing for long periods of time ( all day in the shop ). I was cycling with the guys as usual 3 times per week with no pain until I stopped, it was sore and difficult to get off the bike.
We regularly walk Chico along the beach at la Marina in the winter and this particularly cold Sunday I found I couldn’t walk far at all as my hip was in agony giving me sore knees as well. We finally reached the cafe had our coffee and cake and went back to the car, boy was I glad to get there. Christmas that year seven of us had hired a wooden cabin up in the hills outside Valencia where we always go hill walking with the dogs. It was boxing day and we were up early looking forward to our walk which I had all marked out on the map. We had only gone 2km when my hip started playing up and I was in excruciating pain, we all stopped for a rest and I told the others to continue that I was returning to the house to rest, Mathew also came back with me as he had caught a cold. The others went off with Martin leading, 6 hours later they called me to go and get them as they were totally lost and miles off the planned route, just as well I hadn’t been drinking.