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LEE'S BLOG

Lee's Blog No 5

It's October. Up and down the country, thousands of cyclists are being struck with nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, burning limbs and blurred vision. This is not some weirdly selective early winter virus – all these symptoms are self-inflicted. October is the month for hill climbs and suffering is what hill climbs are all about.

Cycling clubs in the UK traditionally end the racing season by holding hill climbs. A vertical time trial, these races involve groups of riders gathering at the bottom of a hill and then, at one minute intervals, riding up it as fast as they can to see who can set the quickest time. Some of the hills are legendary, with names like Monsal Head or the Rake, names that bring most cyclists out in a cold sweat. It's the absence of the long mountain passes prevalent in the Alps that has given British hill climbs their unique flavour. Short and brutal, they test riders like no other race.

"A good hill climb has to be no longer than two miles, and steep, very steep" says Simon Warren, author of 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs.

"It needs a corner, maybe some geographical drama for a backdrop and most importantly, it must attract a large crowd of spectators, there's no joy in suffering in silence."

Those crowds generally flock to the better known hills for "open" events. These races attract large fields of up to 150 riders to compete for cash prizes. For amateur riders, the special atmosphere of these events is perhaps their only chance to get a feel of what the professionals experience on the famous climbs of the Tour de France. Spectators line the road, sometimes up to three deep, screaming encouragement to all competitors.

The Cycling Time Trials website lists 70 open events in 2011, 49 of them in October. The National Hill Climb at the end of the month is the biggest draw, featuring the cream of British climbing talent.

In 1998, 2000, 2001 & 2003 Jim Henderson was crowned the RTTC National Hill Climb Champion, riding on a pair of petematthews.com wheels and a Pianni Frame exclusively made and designed by Pete Matthews.

 jim-henderson-rake-b-muir

Good Luck to all the competitors riding this years event, and remember....If you need that special pair of light, strong hand built custom wheels for your next event,Petematthews.com is the only website to visit.

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Lee's Blog No 4

Petematthews.com wheels were used in past world championships on the road and track. The 2012 UCI Road World Championships is set to take place from September 15th-23rd in Limburg, the Netherlands. The event involves the usual titles for events such as the road race, time trial and for the first year ever, a UCI team time trial where riders take part with their trade teams rather than national squads. This will give trade teams the opportunity to fight for the privilege to wear the rainbow stripes during team time trials throughout next season. This event hasn’t been featured in a World Championships since 1994 and even then it was national teams competing. The TTT will kick off events in Limburg this Sunday with races being held throughout the week with the big finale coming in the form of the Men’s Elite Road Race which will cover 261km of Dutch tarmac.

The Race Time Table

  • Sunday 16 September – team time trial uci teams womenWC-Banner thumb180x75
  • Sunday 16 September – team time trial uci teams men
  • Monday 17 September – under-23 time trial
  • Monday 17 September – junior men time trial
  • Tuesday 18 September – junior women time trial
  • Tuesday 18 September – elite women time trial
  • Wednesday 19 September – elite men time trial
  • Friday 21 September – junior women road raceUCI  Worlds 610x376
  • Saturday 22 September – under-23 men road race
  • Saturday 22 September – elite women road race
  • Sunday 23 september – junior men road race
  • Sunday 23 september – elite men route

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Lee's Blog No 3  

 
petematthews.com are proud and honoured to have had custom hand built wheels built for numerous Tour De France riders. Such as Robert Millar ( KOM 1984), Sean Yates ( Yellow Jersey 1994 ) and Jeremy Hunt ( Team Sky ). All of these riders wanted something special to ride other than their standard Team Issue Wheels, so petematthews.com was their first choice to enhance their performances, make us your first choice !!Le Tour 2012 Image 241x209
 

The 99th Tour de France has been elaborated to include two long time  trials and 'only' three summit finishes, so this year's winner will have to be an even more complete rider than in previous years.

The first week of racing, starting in Belgium, will have plenty of  opportunity for the fast men to shine after the traditional prologue in  Liège. But stage three to Boulogne-sur-Mer will also carry some  challenging hills for opportunistic attackers to the liking of race  director Christian Prudhomme. A first test day for the climbers and GC  contenders will come on stage seven, when the Tour hits the medium  mountain range of the Vosges in Eastern France and its ski station La  Planche des Belles Filles at 1,148m of altitude.

This first summit finish comes after a 5.5km climb at an average  gradient of 9.5 percent, with some parts exceeding 15 percent - a short  but steep climb that should reveal the state of the favourites' legs.

After a tricky stage eight to Porrentruy, again perfect for  breakaways, the next decisive day will be stage nine's 41.5 km time trial  from Arc-et-Senans to Besançon, setting up the potential candidates for  the overall victory on a hilly parcours.

Stage 10 in the medium mountain range of Jura will feature the  difficult Col du Grand Colombier, located 40 kilometres from the finish. Then, the second of the three summit finishes will take the riders to La Toussuire - Les Sybelles on July 12 via the mythical Cols de la  Madeleine et de la Croix de Fer.

Coming down the Alps,  the bunch will cross Southern France via  another certain bunch sprint finish in the Mediterranean seaside resort  Cap d'Agde on Bastille Day before entering the Pyrenees. There, the Cols of Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin and Peyresourde on stage 16 could shake  up the classification even one day before the third and final mountain  top finish in the ski station of Peyragudes on stage 17.

Moving up north again, the Grande Boucle will stage a second time  trial, this time covering 53km, in Chartres on the penultimate day.

This parcours should see even more fireworks from the climbers on the mountaintop finishes to gather a maximum advantage over the better time triallists on GC. A total of 25 climbs will count for Cat 2, Cat 1 or  HC points for the mountains classification. Again, Prudhomme has  elaborated a route which he hopes will "expand the riders' possibilities and give more importance to the medium mountain ranges."

There will be nine flat stages, four medium mountain stages  (including one summit finish), five mountain stages including two summit finishes (one on stage 11 in the Alpine La Toussuire, and one on stage  17 in Peyragudes in the Pyrenees), two individual time trials and one  prologue.

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Lee's Blog No 2

Now it looks like the sun has finally come out for the summer, here at petematthews.com we are planning some summer special offers on our hand built custom wheels. Keep checking our News Page for updates.

What a final week of the 2012 Giro !! And still we have the Tour De France and the Olympic Road Race to come. The English riders did themselves proud once again, and congratulations to Canada for winning their first Grand Tour.

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) became the first Canadian rider to win a grand tour when he finished 47 seconds ahead of overnight leader Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) in the final time trial in Milan to claim the Giro d’Italia title by a mere 16 seconds. Hesjedal finished sixth in the 28.2km Milan test, which was won by Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing), ahead of Sky’s Geraint Thomas and RadioShack’s Jesse Sergent.

Hesjedal  cleared all but two seconds of his 31-second deficit on Rodríguez by the first time check and continued to gain time on the Spaniard, who had  admitted beforehand that he would need a miracle to hold on to the pink  jersey. Apart from a couple of dicey moments when his bike slipped as he went through two tight corners, Hesjedal was always on course to  achieve his goal, although Rodríguez finished strongly and did not lose  as much team as many had expected.

Third place on the podium went to Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM),  who built on his stunning Stelvio victory yesterday. The Belgian  finished fifth on the day and relegated defending champion Michele  Scarponi to fourth place. De Gendt’s elevation to third meant that there was no Italian on the final podium for the first time since 1995.

 

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This is the first attempt at writing a Blog here at petematthews.com - Custom Handbuilt Cycle Wheels, I just hope you enjoy reading it.

The 'Dust' may have settled on this years Tour Of Flanders and Paris Roubaix races, but that shouldn't stop you buying a pair of Flanders / Roubaix Pianni Special Wheel Sets for this season or next.

Local favourite Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) won the 2012 Tour of Flanders on Sunday afternoon, holding off Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) and Alessandro Ballan (BMC) in a three-man sprint to the line to secure his third win in the popular Belgian race. Boonen became the fourth rider in cycling history to win the Tour of Flanders three times.

The much-anticipated battle between Boonen and Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) failed to materialise after the Swiss rider crashed out dramatically with 62km to go.

Boonen, Pozzato and Ballan were left to provide the finale's drama in front of fanatical and generous crowds. The trio made a decisive move by pulling clear with 18km left, and the Belgian prevailed in the end, continuing in the brilliant form that he has sustained so far in 2012.

In the final kilometers, the efforts of the three riders resembled a three-up match sprint on a velodrome as they played cat and mouse games toward the finish.

Just a week later Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) rode into the record books with a dominant solo victory at Paris-Roubaix. The 31-year-old Belgian rode the final 52km alone to win by 1:39 over a five-man chase group led across the finish line in the Roubaix velodrome by Sébastien Turgot (Europcar). Alessandro Ballan (BMC) rounded out the podium for third place in a photo-finish with the Frenchman.

With the victory Boonen equals Roger De Vlaeminck's all-time win record of four victories in the Hell of the North, and for the second time in Boonen's career he's claimed the Tour of Flanders/Paris-Roubaix double in the same

I have added a picture of the wheel set Boonen used during this years edition of Paris - Roubaix, our very own 'Pianni Paris- Roubaix' rims / wheels are very similar to Boonen's. Please read our Paris - Roubaix and Tour Of Flanders product page regarding our wheel sets that are ideal for the cobbles.

Boonens Paris Roubaix Wheels

 

Thanks for reading Lee's First Blog, I hope you enjoyed it. Please keeping checking for my regular blog updates.

 

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