Yet another black themed kit

19 Jan

Team Sky started it all. A predominantly black themed kit. It looked cool, classy and best of all, the riders looked good in it. That also made the team quite visible in the peloton. Then the rest followed. Since the 2011 professional road cycling season has kicked off with the Tour Down Under, all the teams are now sporting their new 2011 kit. As we were watching the videos on TV, we can’t help but seem to notice that while the black kits really are stunning, it’s quite hard to differentiate one team from the other especially in a crowded peloton. But other than that, we love these black kits.

So here we have Team Leopard-Trek’s 2011 kit. This new team made headlines when it featured cycling stars Cancellara and the Schleck brothers. Moreover, the unveiling of the kit revealed yet another black themed kit but was good in its own right. The minimalist approach is very appealing. The kit overall has very limited use of colors and even the colors seem muted. The sponsors are brilliantly placed in a neat corner above the light blue bar in the jersey and they are wonderfully arranged despite the asymmetrical shapes of the logos. The shorts part are good too with the Leopard branding visible and the overall crotch area looking very clean. Some people hate this kit because it looks boring, bland and unoriginal. But we love this kit. It even trumps Team Sky’s!! Here are more photos of the team and the kit.

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Red Bull Mini Drome Event

19 Jan

Now here is one event that is quite novel and fresh. It’s kind of like mini track cycling. Mini in the truest sense of the word. The event isn’t taking place on a velodrome but rather in a minidrome, a specially constructed banked track. The Red Bull Mini Drome was held last week and here’s a video of how everything looks like. Looks a bit gimmicky and silly but we wager this is so much fun.

Off the track

18 Jan

Dianne Manson is one of our favorite photographers from the NZPA. You see, photography as a hobby is fairly easy and fun. Photography as a career is hard and unfortunately unforgiving but quite rewarding. We’ve learned a lot from sports photographers covering track events and while their claim to fame is the superb and splendid shots of fast moving objects such as cyclists, motorcycles in the MotoGP, cars in an F1 race, a lot of them are also known for producing superb portrait and so called ‘candid’ shots of the athletes. Moving objects are spectacularly hard to shoot and photographers go through lots of bad shots and rigorous editing before submitting to their employers. Simpler photos such as podium shots, and off the track scenes are easier to shoot but are less dramatic hence usually fail to go in print.

These set of photographs by Dianne Manson shows elite track cyclists from New Zealand during the Cycling Carnival in Invercargill, off the track. You may find familiar faces including Jesse Sergent, Sam Bewley, Sam Webster, Marc Ryan Myron Simpson, etc. It shows the life of a track cyclist inside the velodrome but off the track. Very few exciting things happen in between races of most track cycling events with the very notable exception of the 6 Days which features booze, boobs, music, and food. So you can just see cyclists chatting with each other, their team mates, photographers, and fans. Others would get a good massage, sleep, exercise in the rollers, analyze their videos, tinker with their bikes, etc. It all is a simple life before mounting in their bikes and heading into battle. Dianne Manson has beautifully captured that in this photo album.

The 6 Days by Horst Brozy

16 Jan

We’ve already featured Horst Brozy’s works in this blog before and we can’t emphasize enough how stunning it all is. Here is the world of track cycling viewed in a completely different light and no less than through an eye of a brilliant artist. We’re already loving his works and can’t seem to get enough of it. View more of the artworks in the gallery below and try not to drool so much.

2011 and the Kit Wars

16 Jan

So you might be wondering where we were for the past few weeks. As you might have noticed it’s been weeks since our last post, and we haven’t even made a post for the new year. The future of this blog is already in question as we have now returned to the US of A doing other jobs as well as returning to school. Also, we’ve been doing a lot of trips despite the freaky weather. We were only able to catch up with the latest cycling news in the past few days and we’re still in the process of making sense out of it all. We have dozens of cycling events to review and the odd thing is, we’re very excited more for road cycling than for track cycling. Actually this isn’t odd as January usually marks the start of the new professional cycling season which generally translates to a much more exciting time for the sport.

So since we’re still in the stage of planning on what to do with this blog. We came across this article (The good, the bad and the ugly: 2011 team kits by Jane Aubrey) from Cyclingnews which talks about the new 2011 team kits from the various pro cycling teams. Do take note of their choices since they mirror most of our views (but we’re tired of the quickstep kit). Our picks include:

The Liquigas Team kit

The Leopard Trek kit

Team Radioshack kit

Our previous favorites still remain which include Team Sky, and the Rabobank kit, though both kit designs are starting to show its age. The freshest has to be Radioshack’s. We really love the minimalism of the Leopard Trek kit.

ILT Festival of Speed

10 Dec

Way back during our time in New Zealand, we spent much of our work in Invercargill. This place, considered by many as the southernmost city in the region is known for having the only indoor velodrome in the country. Thus this is where the best of New Zealand’s track cyclists are formed and developed. One velodrome for a country brings both advantages and disadvantages but needless to say in a country as small as New Zealand, a single velodrome allows an amazing sense of community for the track cyclists. Heck, this must be the most tightly knit internationally competing world class track cycling community we’ve ever seen. The velodrome is maintained by the Invercargill Licensing Trust thus the ILT which sponsors this event along with Cycling Southland. The event was held last December 7-9 and despite the humble beginnings as chronicled HERE the support it got was pretty good which goes to show New Zealand is very supportive of this sport. Moreover, the events of the past few days have showed that New Zealand track cyclists are definitely one of the best in the world. Barely days after the Track World Cup (and winning some events) these same cyclists endure 3 more days of intense racing yet still deliver some impressive performances, one of which is the amazing dead heat between Eddie Dawkins and Simon van Velthooven (who BTW just recently celebrated his birthday last December 8 Happy birthday Simon!) shown by the photo below which ultimately ended with both being declared joint winners. More on the story with video HERE.

This would have been a very interesting event to attend were we still in the lands down under, and we fervently hope this event would grow into something bigger the same way Revolution grew up to be now (which also had very humble beginnings). We also wish such events will be held locally in the U.S. hoping it would grow into something bigger. Oh well, yeah T-town is exciting stuff and so are the Track Worlds but we think it’s better for our cyclists to be able to engage in more racing events so as to develop them better. Training is good, racing is better is what a lot of cyclists would think and we tend to agree. But anyway, back to the ILT, we’re really very excited at how Myron Simpson and Aaron Gate have developed as madison riders. We remember them as junior cyclists who had a very promising career and that promise has come. Their performance is indeed exemplary and we can’t wait to see more of their races in the future.

Here’s a photo gallery of the events. (Photos by NZPA’s Dianne Manson)

Track World Cup Melbourne Part 2

8 Dec

Day 3 of the Melbourne Track World Cup recently concluded with an amazing sprint match which ultimately ended up with crowd favorite Shane Perkins bagging the gold, while GB sprinter Jason Kenny had to settle for silver and Teun Mulder of the Netherlands with bronze. In the team pursuit, the Australian team of  Jack Bobridge, Michael Hepburn, Leigh Howard, Cameron Meyer rode spectacularly to beat the Russians for the gold. Team GB ended up third against a very strong New Zealand team. It was quite the spectacular closer for this round of racing and for the 2010 season. It will be incredibly tough next year with both Australia and GB proving to be exceptional teams with the New Zealand team closing in and proving to be a very strong dark horse which could at anytime deliver an upset. Other teams to look out for are the Germans and the Dutch who are still riding extremely well despite being overshadowed by the Aussies and the Brits lately. Full results HERE. Video highlights for Days 2 and 3:

Veeral Patel has some amazing photographs of the event mostly in sensational black and white, definitely the classiest set of photographs of the event we have seen. Moreover, at Cycling Tips, he shares his first time experience in the velodrome and the sport of track cycling. It’s a very good account of a first timer and excellently recounts a very exciting sprint match. (From Ride the Black Line)