Posts Tagged ‘ned boulting’

Podcast: Issue 39

June 6, 2013

In an edition of the podcast recorded entirely in the Welsh Borders, Jack Thurston talks to photographer Robert Wyatt about his first bike racing assigment, following Russell Downing at the 3 Days of De Panne. Ned Boulting talks about his interview with Chris Froome, hot favourite for this year’s Tour de France. Also in the mix, Speedplay pedals, Henri Desgrange and the beauty of ugly riding.

The Rouleur podcast is brought to you by Mosquito Bikes, London’s custom made bicycle specialists. The latest summer collection from french clothing company Cafe Du Cycliste is now available in the shop and online. Designed on the Cote D’Azur and manufactured from the latest Sportwool blends, Cafe Du Cycliste brings together performance and style in one package. Mosquito is at 123 Essex Road, London N1 2SN or on the web at mosquito-bikes.co.uk.

Issue 39

Podcast: Issue 37

March 11, 2013

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Jack Thurston travels to Ludlow, foodie capital of the Welsh Marches, to talk about the terroir and heritage of the great bike races, with William Fotheringham, veteran cycling journalist, regular Rouleur columnist and author of best-selling biographies of Tom Simpson and Eddy Merckx. They discuss the strange attraction of the Arenberg Trench, Team Sky’s strategy for winning at this year’s cobbled classics, how the UCI is unwise to tamper too much with the established race calendar, and why it ought to be doing more to promote women’s bike racing.

Issue 37

The Rouleur podcast is brought to you by Mosquito Bikes, London’s custom made bicycle specialists. Mosquito Bikes is proud to announce that it is the UK’s first & exclusive retailer of Alchemy custom bicycles. You can see them in the flesh, along with all Mosquito’s other brands, at the Bespoked Bristol hand-built bicycle show show between the 12th-14th of April. Mosquito is at 123 Essex Road, London N1 2SN or on the web at mosquito-bikes.co.uk.

Troublesome Child

January 31, 2013

Ever get that feeling, having entered an event weeks in advance, that it was all a horrible mistake? That the upcoming pain will far outweigh the endorphin high?

I go through the same ridiculous process every time, even though, deep down, I’m aware that the chances of enjoying every single moment of the ride – or certainly the feeling after it’s all over – are high.

Fretting is the default position, even when there is entry on the line. There are chimps on both shoulders, arguing the toss over the merits and demerits of racing, while I sit helpless between, like being on the night bus to Peckham when it kicks off. The spat soon gets ugly, but there is no point in intervening. What will be, will be.

It’s the same deal with the magazine. We send off the finished article to the printers, then the doubts set in: what if it isn’t as good as the last issue? How do we know we have got it right having pored over the content for weeks and become blind to its charms?

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The reason struck us is the strange chain of emotions running through the office as we went to press. The editor and myself had concluded issue 36 was not one of our best efforts, and had resigned ourselves to improving next time round. Let it go and move on.

Then the publisher, Bruce, and the ad man, Andy, called us to say it was one of our finest. And the early response from those who had got the issue was the same: it’s a beauty. We are happy to stand corrected.

What the editorial and design team strive for is originality, quality and balance – and it was the balance part we were unsure we had got right. Too much historical and Rouleur becomes a museum piece; all contemporary and we have left our core values behind.It’s not until we get the magazine in our hands, having watched it take shape on a computer screen over the shoulder of our designer, Rob, that we can truly say whether it has worked or not. Thankfully, we all agreed: it has worked, and then some.

And what is contained within the covers of this troublesome child, you ask? Ned Boulting opens with a fabulously written piece on the Revolution track series, with suitably wonderful images by Taz Darling. Guy Andrews, a man with a penchant for a steel frame himself, follows the development of the new Madison Genesis team, who will (whisper it) ride steel frames this season. Retro or forward thinking?

Herbie Sykes, a man who loves a good barney, sits down with Paul Kimmage, not averse to a heated debate himself – ask Lance… It is a fascinating feature on where the sport is now and where it’s heading. Our man Jordan Gibbons goes to Germany to discover one of the finest carbon wheel producers in the world making very expensive hoops from Heath Robinson machinery. And even Lance has to pay to get a set. Superb.

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We have two writers new to Rouleur this issue: Olivier Nilsson-Julien talks to Dutch author Herman Chevrolet about his fascinating book on dirty deals and double-crossing in the peloton; and David Sharp spends time with time trial wunderkind Tony Martin, talking over a year of extreme highs and lows, with the always-excellent Timm Kölln recording the scars.

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David Curry accompanies Rouleur regular photographer Olaf Unverzart to the Czech Republic to discuss cyclo-cross with Zdeněk Štybar as the former World Champion converts to a career on the road with Omega-Pharma –Quick Step.

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Plus columnists Paul Fournel – with Jo Burt’s illustration as usual –  Matt Seaton and William Fotheringham, winners all.

Enough of the hard sell. We’re happy enough, but we’re not the readership. Let us know what you make of it.

Short Circuit

June 15, 2011

Words: Ian Cleverly Photos: Wig Worland

All this circuit racing is exhausting. And that’s just from a spectator’s perspective. The riders are hauling themselves all over the country at this time of year, putting on the style in possibly the best free entertainment around, hitting phenomenal speeds for an hour or so, two or three times a week, to earn their crust and keep us entertained. Hat, as Ned Boulting might say.

Crit racing is something I have never got to grips with, even when young and relatively fit. Gaps mysteriously appear between myself and the wheel in front. Other riders, sensing a rank amateur in their midst, surge past unchallenged. Lightly-feathered brakes (at least in my mind) on tight corners leave me chasing a bike-length deficit every time. Counting down the weeks until the ‘cross season starts is my only coping strategy…

But watching criteriums is another matter entirely. I love it. A chance to natter with old friends over a pint of beer while others suffer on our behalf is infinitely preferable to actually riding the darned things. Ability goes a long way towards enjoyment in your chosen discipline, which is why competing in circuit races is low on my list of priorities, but waffling and supping ale I have innate talent for.

Last week’s spectating duties took me to Stoke for The Tour Series, a fine start with young Scott Thwaites of Endura powering up the finishing drag to take the individual honours. Former cyclo-cross riders are always high up in my estimation: tough as old boots, even the young ones.

Next stop was the London Nocturne in Smithfield Market, where a massive crowd was entertained with an eclectic mix of events, every one a gem. Alex Dowsett lapped the field in an amazing display of solo riding. The longest skid has to be seen to be believed: how anyone can lock up their back wheel and keep going for 100 metres is beyond me. The folding bike race is always a hoot, besuited gents and ladies tearing round the market, but was that 15-year-old Germain Burton (see Rouleur issue 23) I saw in the runner-up position? Ringer! And the winner of the penny farthing race had the surname Brailsford…

The Rouleur stall at Smithfield was busy all evening, due in no small part to the 1,000 cowbells we gave away. The sight of grown men pleading for the last little branded freebie, designed for kids to make some noise with, was quite worrying. We were the Gerald Ratners of Smithfield.

There are two more circuit races for me to attend in the next week, starting at the final round of the Tour Series at Canary Wharf on Thursday, which should be fun, with Endura making a late charge to wrestle the overall from Rapha-Condor-Sharp. Then it’s North to the 26th edition of the excellent Otley Cycle Races, previously won by the likes of Mark Cavendish, Russell Downing and Jeremy Hunt.

Should you find yourself in front of the TV this Friday (June 17) evening, it’s a two-hour extravaganza of circuit racing starting on Sky Sports 3 with the Nocturne at 19:00, followed by the Tour Series on ITV4 at 20:00.

But do make an effort to attend the races in person. Nothing beats it. And by all means come and say hello if you spot me in the crowd. Just don’t ask for a cowbell.