“..A lot of us have been humbled by it and I think we’ll be more selfless now. I think everyone is more willing to give more and help each other more.” Chris Williams, Team Novo Nordisk
The premise was simple: Break the team physically and mentally in order to re-build it up stronger than before; then build something that would make a real difference. Team Novo Nordisk’s management knew it was not within their powers to truly do this..and so, they turned to the US Special Forces. New article over at Always Riding
I’d not planned to document today’s race. Plan was to just drive the 5 or so miles down to Holme Pierrepoint with a few friends to cheer on a few other friends and assorted hardy souls as they slithered across the off camber banking next to the National Water Sports Centre’s water-skiing lake in round 7 of the SRAM NDCXL . We’d packed beers, cowbells, a Lion of Flanders flag and a bluetooth boombox, pumping out the Euro-Beats, to create a little corner of Superprestige atmosphere to stand in as the tail end of storm Abigail presided over proceedings. As we watched the Vet’s race trudge through its final throes in the deluge and mud I questioned the sense and motivation- of everyone present’s sense and motivation- behind our choice of afternoon entertainment on such a day. Maybe the answer to those questions are to be found in the faces in these images by Ciclissimo! snapper Shawn Ryan. Either way, I know I’ll be back again once more next year..
All pic credits Shawn Ryan (except the ones that he’s in!)
This is the bike upon which Servais Knaven slipped under the radar, over the mud covered cobbles of northern France and away from the field to take the 2001 Paris Roubaix. The mud remains unwashed from the bike, shrouding it for ever more in the very essence and history of that fabled race and of that classic edition. It is this mud from which the true Paris Roubaix vintage is derived, for which every devotee cannot help but pray for in the days that preceed the running and which fizz with anticipation at the meerest rumour of rain..
This picture was taken by my friend on a trip to Amsterdam and posted to his timeline. That it was one of two possible bikes was immediately apparent, the clues quickly assessed and deciphered to discern for certain which one. And then came the flood of memories: of the warmth seeping back into my thighs and fingers as I settled into the sofa to watch the race, warm tea in hand, the outer layers of kit having been discarded after three hours in the Vale of Belvoir with Mapperley CC; a cafe stop at the beloved and now long gone Margaret’s Cafe, the guy with the Spinergy wheels and Peugeot frame in Festina colours. The picture of the bike brought that day back, the memories vivid – so vivid that for a moment, paused looking into the image, that mud was, for me, still yet to dry..