First, Wildflower: killer weekend last weekend. Too much fun with great people. I got to piggyback my wife’s association with TeamTBB, which is sponsored by Avia shoes—which also served as Wildflower’s title sponsor. So Avia was there in full force, and looked after its athletes with a killer team environment for all its athletes, a great spread of food (cooked up by grillmaster Kenny Souza) and even the live pay-per-view broadcast of the Pacquiato-Hatton fight on Saturday night after the long-course race. It was “roughing it” in a cool way. Donna finished 10th, a great result given that she was two weeks removed from taking fourth at Ironman China. Trooper.
On to some other stuff.. namely, gear:
I received a press release from Shimano that Craig Alexander is fully-sponsored by Shimano for the year, meaning he’ll not only be running Shimano parts, but he’ll also be running the new Di2 Electronic tri group. I’ve had a chance to play with the electric shifters, and it’s pretty wicked.
But what caught my eye was the attached image of Crowie. Check this out:
What stands out? How about the deep-section wheels?
I contacted my peeps at Shimano for some comment, and none was forthcoming. Shimano’s Devin Walton said that indeed, Shimano is working on some prototype products, a full-Shimano product (they are Shimano's own rims, not Zipps or anyone elses) that Crowie is testing, but that none of that means it will actually see the light of day in terms of production.
From what we can see, it’s about a 75mm rim, and as with their existing Dura-Ace wheelset, is set on Shimano’s silky D-A hubs. If there’s one thing the public has wanted from Shimano in their wheel line, it’s a deeper, more aero race wheel. (They already have a disc in the PRO line).
What does this all mean? Well, selfishly I hope to see those wheels become production—a deep-sectioned wheel on Dura-Ace hubs will be among the silkiest race wheels on avail. Those hubs are bad-ass. But more importantly, it shows that Shimano is really recognizing the tri market. They’ve slipped as SRAM has come on strong the last few years, but by actually prototyping with the reigning Ironman World Champ, hell, by hiring him on to ride all their products full-time, means they are making an investment.
An aside: for those looking at my previous blog post about Shimano’s new brake levers, the Dura-Ace levers will price at $185 while the alloy one I’m trying to track down pricing for.
Those wheels lead us to our next debut. On the fortnight of the team time trial at the Giro d'Italia, Scott sent the press some info on the new Scott Plasma. I'm gonna read up on it (as I just got the link), but wanted to post not only the below photo but a link to a presentation about the bike, which you will find at http://www.scott-sports.com/download/PlasmaTT/start.html
We'll be getting into this one as things settle down to see if and what the application is for triathlon. From my talks with Scott marketing manager Adrian Montgomery, the existing Plasma is still earmarked for triathletes geometrically. So this may be a TT-specific product, built within the handcuffs set forth by the UCI. Stay tuned.
Rotor Cranks is also using the Giro to debut its newest crankset, the 3D. They're doing a Giro version (with some pink accents) for reigning Tour de France champ Carlos Sastre. I was at the tunnel in advance of the Tour of California, and Carlos had a sort-of drillium crankset they were testing. It seems they are moving away from that and going into this new 3D direction. It seems to make a lot more real-world sense on its face. See the press release below;
Cervélo TestTeam and ROTOR collaborate on new 3D Cranks Product to debut at the Giro
Cervélo TestTeam riders will be using the new 3D Cranks from ROTOR Bike Components, when they start the 09 Giro d’Italia.
“The 3D cranks are the first cranks to have been designed with the input of a pro cycling team together with our ROTOR engineers,” said Ignacio Estellés, President ROTOR Bike Components. ”Drawing on a wealth of technical experience, this innovative product was developed collaboratively with Cervélo’s engineers, TestTeam riders and the TestTeam’s mechanic staff. We are passionate about supporting the riders, because they need these products in order to do their job well.”
“We have a four step protocol for product development with the TestTeam,” explained Damon Rinard, Cervélo TestTeam Race Engineer. “A partner, in this case, ROTOR develops and tests the proposed new product. We then review it and check the in-house data, testing it in different riding situations. Then the Cervélo TestTeam mechanics install it and the riders try it in training; both provide us with their feedback. Once it’s been approved at these three levels, the product is then available for the fourth level: use in races.”
The result is the 3D Crank - extremely stiff, to meet the high demands of Thor Hushovd and the TestTeam’s sprinters, yet lightweight enough to satisfy the needs of Carlos Sastre and the climbers on the team.
Utilizing a special manufacturing process, named the “Trinity Drilling System,” an extruded aluminum bar is intricately CNC machined with three drilled holes through the length of the crank. The result is a unique triple hollow crank arm that enables ROTOR’s engineers to remove the excess aluminum in the core while still maintaining the structural strength of the crank. With this new system ROTOR has significantly improved the Hollowminum technology they developed for their Agilis Evo cranks.
No attention to detail has been missed by ROTOR; even the graphic design on the 3D Cranks is unique with their impressive laser graphics. A special limited edition version of the product, with pink stripes along the crank (in a nod to the Giro) has been created for Carlos Sastre, with a special symbol that Sastre contributed etched with his name.
Off gear, onto nutrition: I was just sent some of the newest Nuun flavor: Banananuun. (please excuse the soft iPhone image).
Very, very good stuff. same as the rest of the line in terms of operation (drop in a bottle of water and suddenly you have instant electolyte drink with 180mg of sodium and 50mg of potassium) and ease-of-utility. I dig it, but still like Kona Cola best among their lot. Will have to try it with rum, maybe a bit of Mai Tai mix. Certainly worth trying.
Finally... the Giro on Live TV! his is great news-we can follow the Giro on TV. Below is the stage-by-stage broadcast
schedule for Universal Sports...
LOS ANGELES – May 8, 2009 – Universal Sports announced a multi-year deal today to broadcast the Giro d'Italia as
the race celebrates its 100th anniversary, starting tomorrow. Lance Armstrong will make his debut in this race as he
returns from his retirement. Coverage of the race begins with a team time trial on May 9 from Lido di Venezia on the
Universal Sports Network and live online, all broadcast times available at UniversalSports.com.
Universal Sports continues to solidify its commitment to broadcast top cycling events with the multi-year broadcast
agreement. As part of the deal, Universal Sports will provide television and online coverage, including archived video
and television re-airs, for the 2009–2012 Giro d'Italia races. Previous to this agreement, the race was available on a
limited basis on the Versus network, and through pay-per-view on Cycling.TV. In addition to the Giro, Universal
Sports has had a long-term agreement with the International Cycling Union (UCI) to broadcast world cups and world
championships in Road, Track, Cyclo-cross, Mountain and BMX, as well as the Tour of Basque Country, Tour of
Missouri, Tour of Georgia and the Deutschland Tour.
COVERAGE ON UNIVERSAL SPORTS: Universal Sports, available in 45 million homes, will present same-day
coverage of the 2009 Giro d'Italia, with nightly re-airs at 9 p.m. ET and 11 p.m. ET. The Universal Sports broadcast
team consists of Steve Schlanger and former professional cyclist Todd Gogulski, with Scott Ogle on the ground in Italy.
Date Events Time (all times ET)
May 9 Lido di Venezia 12 p.m.
May 10 Jesolo to Trieste 12 p.m.
May 11 Grado to Valdobbiadene 12 p.m.
May 12 Padova to San Martino di Castrozza 12 p.m.
May 13 San Martino di Castrozza to Alpe di Siusi 12 p.m.
May 14 Bressanone to Mayrhofen 12 p.m.
May 15 Innsbruck to Chiavenna 12 p.m.
May 16 Morbegno to Bergamo 12 p.m.
May 17 Milano 12 p.m.
May 18 Rest day
May 19 Cuneo-Pinerolo 12 p.m.
May 20 Torino to Arenzano 12 p.m.
May 21 Sestri Levante to Riomaggiore 12 p.m.
May 22 Lido di Camaiore to Firenze 12 p.m.
May 23 Campi Bisenzio to San Luca (Bologna) 12 p.m.
May 24 Forli to Faenza 12 p.m.
May 25 Pergola to Monte Petrano 12 p.m.
May 26 Rest day
May 27 Chieti to Blockhaus 12 p.m.
May 28 Sulmona to Benevento 12 p.m.
May 29 Avellino to Monte Vesuvius 12 p.m.
May 30 Napoli to Anagni 12 p.m.
May 31 Roma 12 p.m.
COVERAGE ON UNIVERSALSPORTS.COM: UniversalSports.com will provide exclusive, live
coverage of the entire Giro d'Italia, starting with the Stage 1 team time trial
Saturday at 9 a.m. ET. Full schedule, as well as full-length videos, highlights, stage
maps, photos and breaking news available at UniversalSports.com/cycling.