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Is This The Future Of Bike Racing? | The GCN Show Ep. 230

October 26, 2019


– From the sandy beaches
of the Cayman Islands, welcome to the GCN show. – From a very wet morning commute, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, welcome to the GCN show. – From Port Macquarie, Australia, – [Crowd] Welcome to the GCN show. (zooming sounds) (exciting upbeat music) – Welcome to the GCN show. – This week we are taking a look back at the inaugural Hammer Series race. We’re also taking a
look at some white kit, although you’ll be pleased to know that doesn’t include the shorts. I’ve got all our usual segments too, including some more
fantastic hacks and bodges. – We’ve got a slew of new world tour bikes spotted at the Critérium du Dauphiné, and Peter Sagan get shown up. – Yeah. – Huh? – GCN had the enormous
privilege over the weekend of live streaming the first ever Hammer Series race from Limburg, as an innovative new three day race series coming from Velon, which
aims to bring new excitement and a breath of fresh air
into professional cycling. Which let’s face it has remained pretty much the same
now for over a century. – And whether that’s a good thing and whether professional
cycling really needs that is very much over to you, but there’s little doubt
that the Hammer Series did provide a thrilling
three days of racing. If you didn’t watch it live, you can watch it on our
YouTube channel right now. We’ve got all three stages up there. But the concept is as follows. There are 16 teams of seven riders, of which five must start
each of the three stages. Each stage takes place on a small lap, day one is the climb and
day two is the sprint. And the teams are awarded points if their rows finish in the top 10 at the end of each of the
laps in those two races. – That’s right and it is
the aggregate position of those teams which determines
their starting position on the final day of
racing, which is the chase, essentially a team time
trial in a pursuit format. Now being a new format, it
does take you a little while to get your head around it. Not least me, Steve and I
apologise profusely once again for mixing up the rules on
day two of our coverage. Nevertheless, now the dust is settled. What do we think about
the format as a whole? – Well, to be honest I
found it to be three days of absolutely fascinating racing, especially the final day, the chase, I thought it was one of
the best days of racing I’ve seen all year, to be honest. It’s just because it was such a new format so I had to work out what
was going on, first of all. But a team time trial where the teams are all bunched up like they were, is just fascinating to watch. It’s carnage out on the road but I think it’s great for spectators and hopefully the teams
enjoyed riding it too. – Yea technically drafting
wasn’t allowed, was it? But it did make for some interesting view and that’s for sure. Like you, I really enjoyed it. Although I do think there
are a few small things which could perhaps be
tweaked moving forward. Nevertheless, now that the
race has been completed and the riders and the
teams have got the sense about the way that things can play out over the course of three days, I think we could see some
incredibly interesting tactics used, as well as teams selections before the race, which could
really make a difference to it. – Yea and I think that the
format, the final stage, the chase, you know we were
discussing earlier, could work really well as a final
individual all team time trial in other events too.
– Yeah. – Imagine like an individual pursuit hill climb for the top 10. – Yeah so the Giro d’Italia for example, last 10 set off in order of GC and the first person to cross the line would’ve won the Giro d’Italia? That would’ve been quite
exciting, wouldn’t it? – It’s easy to understand as well. – I think that this could
replace the one day classics and the grand tours that have been around for over 100 years, no, I don’t. I really like some of the
cycling’s key traditions, but I definitely think there is a place in the cycling calendar
for this format of racing. – Yeah I’m not sure it
needs to replace it. But what we really want
to hear is your thoughts. So tell us what you thought
of the event of the weekend, and tell us your thoughts
on the Hammer Series concert as well, down in the comments. – It’s caption competition now, your opportunity to win a
GCN Camelbak water bottle. Last week’s photo is
this one of Tom Dumoulin in the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia. Lasty is gonna let you know if you won. – Well, if your name is Nick Manfield and you commented with
this, you are a winner. Nick wrote, “Tom Dumoulin,
clearly not using ‘clinchers.'” – Yeah, I particularly like that one. Well done Nick, get in touch
of us via a Facebook message with your address and
we’ll get one of these out to you as soon as possible. This week’s photo comes from
the end of the Hammer Series. It’s Team Sky celebrating, and Lasty is going to kick you off. Not kick you a laugh, but get you started, you know what I mean. – Lot’s of pressure there. My caption for this photo, Dan, is… All eyes on the sky. – Yeah very good, I
see what you did there. If you can do better and I
have absolutely zero doubt that you will, leave your
captions in the comment section down below, and the best
one this time next week will receive a Camelbak water bottle. (comedic horn sounds) – It’s now time for cycling shorts. – We shall start cycling
shorts not with cycling shorts, but with a cycling jersey
because Team Sky will, for the first time ever,
race the Tour de France in a white jersey rather
than their usual black. They made the announcement
via social media and the model was none other than reigning Tour de France champion, Chris Froome. Now, I quite like this jersey design. I think it is very cool,
it’s something different. But, I do wonder how
visible the best young rider who also wears white at
the Tour is gonna be? – Yeah that is very true. Sticking with the Tour de France, it has been announced that
the 2019 edition of the race, will start in Brussels to
send a tribute, really, to the great Eddy Merckx. Come 2019, it would’ve
been exactly 50 years since he took the first
of his five victories at the Tour de France. So it’s a sort of fitting tribute really, from the race director
Christian Prudhomme. – Yeah, fitting indeed. I’m sure there will be
some brilliant stages on the way from Belgium to France as well. Moving from Eddy Merckx to cycling safety which is of course at the
forefront of all of our minds after a pretty grim few
months of cycling, really. A group in Spain have
been doing ghost bikes, but not quite as you know them. They’ve been using them to highlight some of the dodgiest bike lanes out there, many of which I think might feature in our top 10 worst bike lanes video. Check out this images. I think this is something very cool. And hopefully like putting
plants in pot holes, it would draw the local
council’s attention to them. – Let’s see if it works. One city which is apparently
already doing enormous amount to help us as cyclists is
Santiago over in Chile. Now this is brought to our attention on a BBC article on
their website last week. Apparently, the city,
they close 40 kilometres of its road every Sunday
morning so the cyclists can roam about without motor
vehicles getting in the way, which is fantastic idea. Not sure if you foresee
see that though happening in London or New York for
example in the coming years. – It is a fantastic idea
and hopefully one day for both of those two cities. But I can’t, not in the
next couple of years. – Well fingers crossed,
let’s hope it happens, maybe once a month for
a couple times a year in the not too distant future. One place though, where you don’t see many lorries or vans or cars, is the sea, which perhaps means that
Canyon-SRAM’s Tiffany Cromwell has found the safest place to train. Here’s a picture of her competing in a lake of the Riviera
Water Bike Challenge, which is a water bike race
taking place down in Nice. And I have to say, that
looks like immense fun and I can see a GCN
challenge coming up soon. – I’ve never heard of water
bikes in the first place to be honest.
– No, I hadn’t. – Peter Sagan has been out
away from cycling again, he’s been showing off his wheelie skills in an advert for Telekom Slovakia. But this time, Dan, I think
he was rather shown up by four incredibly,
incredibly talented ladies from the ACT 4 cycling group. They are a cycling gymnastics group. Again, GCN challenge? Maybe for Matt. – [Dan] They are very
very skilled, aren’t they? Those four, wow. Yeah they do really put
Peter Sagan into the shade. And I have lots of people asking how John “Chocolate voice” Beavan,
is getting on his preparation for the upcoming Haute Route, which is really living quite large now. So let’s move over and head over to him. See exactly how he’s getting on. – Mid-training ride. – Hi guys, while you join
me in a tranquil field in the English countryside, the birds are singing, the sun is shining, and it’s a rest day for me
on my Haute Route training. I thought I’d give you a
quick update on my progress. In a recent FTP test I did, my functional threshold
power is up to 247 watts. So I’m really pleased
with that considering back in February it was about 207. So a 40 watt improvement is
probably gonna set me very well on the climbs of the Haute Route. And speaking of the Haute Route, I’m fully aware there’s gonna
be a heck of a lot of climbing and some very long
distances for me to take on. So what I’ve been focusing
on is getting the miles in, getting some longer distances on the bike, and try to get in some hills. I mean, it’s safe to say
that the hills in England never gonna be as long as an Alpine pass. But with that in mind,
I’ve been doing a bit more threshold work, a few more
intervals on the turbo, just to kind of stimulate
those Alpine climbs I suppose. But despite all the toil, the sweat, and sometimes the tears, I’m fitter than I’ve ever
been in my entire life. I’m really looking forward
to getting stuck in to the Haute Route itself
in a couple of month’s time. Stay tuned to the GCN show for
more updates on my progress. And in the meantime, if you
want an even closer look into the kind of training I’m doing, and a few insights into
behind the scenes here at GCN, give me a follow on
instagram, it’s john_beavan. Give me a follow, give me a like, and I’ll see you soon. – We would like to finish
cycling shorts though, this week, by sending our sincere condolences
to the friends and family of Sean Weide, who unfortunately
passed away last week. Now he might not have been
known to many of you out there, but Sean, as a press
officer for Axeon Berman, and formerly, of Team BMC, was the first port of call, really, for much of cycling media and that very much
includes us here at GCN. When we launched GCN, he
was incredibly helpful in giving us access to Team BMC and he’s going to be surely
missed in the cycling community. – Racing news now and
the Hammer Series Limburg was won by Team Sky, who
outsprinted Team Sunweb in the final stage, the
Hammer chase, team time trial. And yes, you did hear that right. It was a sprint, or a team sprint, in a team time trial,
to decide the overall. It was fascinating stuff. In third place overall were Orica-Scott. – Yeah, Tom Dumoulin,
the Giro d’Italia winner, join his Team Sunweb teammates
on day one, the climb, and they finished runners up to Movistar. Then the following day in the sprint, that was won by Trek-Segafredo,
however on countback in aggregate points and placings
over the first two days, that wasn’t enough for them to finish overall in the top eight, and therefore they couldn’t
contest victory on the last day. – The Critérium du Dauphiné
is now the traditional form builder ahead of the Tour de France, and as such it has got a
slew of stars in attendance. Chris Froome, Alejandro Valverde,
Richie Porte, Dan Martin, all on the start alongside Romain Bardet, and a host of other stars. – Yeah Romain Bardet
featuring on the cover though, in spite of not winning last year, of the programme for that race. Day one unusually these days, finished with a winner
from the early breakaway, and that person being Thomas
De Gendt of Lotto-Soudal. He went clear very early
on in a group of seven and such was his strength in
the closing stages of the race, and the bunch never saw him again. Along with the stage victory,
he of course picked up the first leader’s jersey,
also the points jersey, and he’s done enough on the stage, to pick up the King of the
Mountain’s jersey as well. So not a bad all day in the
saddle for Thomas De Gendt. Stage two meanwhile ended
up in a big bunch sprint and that was taken by the
Frenchman Arnaud Démare of FDJ. – Greg Van Avermaet is a
rider who we haven’t heard or seen much from since
his very successful spring classics campaign,
but he was back in action at the Tour of Luxembourg, and he’s lost none of his classics form. He took two stage wins and
the overall victory there. – Yeah, plus don’t he finish
outside of the top five on any of the stages. It’s quite remarkable, really. Another man who is in
incredible form still is young Mathieu van der Poel, a 22 year old Dutch
cyclo-cross specialist. He continues to mix
disciplines, last weekend he was back on the road at the four day Boucles de la Mayenne in
France, although as we said, he didn’t get off to the
best of starts last week. On day one, he was only third. – Really?
– Yeah. And then on day two, didn’t
get much better for him. Second place, runner up on the day. Thankfully, he made up for that on the final two days of racing, winning both of them and
overall general classification. We jest of course, what
a remarkable talent Mathieu van der Poel is. And a stage win at the Tour of Belgium, second in the UCI Mountain bike
World Cup a few days later, and then never finishing
outside of the top three of this road race as well. It really is quite a
mouthwatering prospect to think of him at the cobbled classics, in the next year or two. – Certainly, eh? For me I think that there’s almost no race that he couldn’t win in
if he put his all into it. – You’d struggle to think
of one, wouldn’t you? – Yea you would. There was unfortunately no
women’s racing this last week but we foremost looking forward to the Ovo Energy Women’s
Tour which takes place in Britain over the next few days. – Yeah. Pretty much all the women,
best women riders in the world is taking part in that, aren’t they? (whirring sounds) – It is time now for hack forward slash, what a nasty bodge, of the week. And we’re to kick off with this one which comes in from Luke Jackson. He’s made his own SRAM eTap
Blips and Sprint Shifters, and he’s deemed it a real hack himself, which we don’t know when we’re lied to. We will decide on that. He’s chosen eTap as well, so
that he can easily convert his road bike into a TT
bike in just 20 minutes with the careful use of a tool wrench. And actually, it does look very neat and I think he’s probably right,
this make things far easier when you’re changing over
handlebars like that. So I will agree with him in this instance and deem that a hack. – [Tom] Yeah that’s definitely a hack, that’s definitely a hack. Next up is Max Thomson, who said, “This is my beautiful door super galaxy” “with a roof made of bamboo I constructed” “for an annual lap cycling tour.” “Last year it was in the UK in September” “so I thought I might need
some extra rain shelter.” “Plus I stored badminton rackets” “and breakfast essentials on it.” – [Dan] Wow. – [Tom] Hack or bodge, Dan? – [Dan] Hovis bread, badminton rackets… – [Tom] He’s got milk, full fat milk… – [Dan] All sorts going on there. It looks like sort of
like bodge, isn’t it? But I’ve got to say hack. That’s amazing. Everything that you need
for a tour on a bike. – [Tom] Have them all. All by the kitchen sink there. – [Dan] This one came on
Twitter, it is from Tim Renowden. “Spotted in the office
bike cage this morning.” “That is a three-piece
poly pipe mudguard.” There’s not any water gonna
be going up your backside with that thing, is there? – No I think it’s perfectly
angled to spray anything that’s behind you as well. From mudguard, supreme mudguard, I think the previous one
was definitely a hack, Dan, would you reckon? Well, you disagree.
– Bodge. – [Tom] To this one from Sir
Timmy of Mohawk on Twitter, “#gcnhack home made…” “Rack and part of a fence.” – [Dan] Yeah, it looks like a fence panel. – [Tom] You can tell it’s part of a fence. – [Dan] They’ve done quite a neat job, but I’m still going to say bodge. They could use a better plank of wood to start with, couldn’t they? – They could. – Finally, we have this sent in on Twitter and as you might expect,
@sci_richardson was copied in, because this comes in from Brian D and it’s a link to a YouTube
video from Park Tools, talking about their chain
keeper, check it out. – This is Ben Alver with Park Tool, and today we’re gonna
talk about the dummy hub. It’s a simple little device
that may seem kind of strange but I’m actually a big proponent of using these when you clean your bike. – So there you go,
professional cycling mechanic is a big proponent of chain keepers, which is what I call them instead, not dummy hubs as he said there. Nevertheless, feel free to
keep trolling Si on Twitter if you’ve got your own
chain keepers at home. And if you’d like to send
in any more hacks or bodges for next week’s show,
you can just use just use the hashtag #gcnhack on
Twitter or Instagram. – I think the hack, or
not the hack slash bodge, but the chain keeper conversation
is finished now, Dan? Don’t need to feature all.
– No, you can keep it going. In tech of the week,
we’re going to take a look at a couple of new bikes
which you are likely to see at ahead of affairs at the
upcoming Tour de France and possibly taking a stage
win or two along the way. – First up is Alberto Contador
at the Critérium du Dauphiné, who looks as though he’s riding on the latest iteration of a Trek Émonda. The difference is,
don’t look huge compared to the existing model,
they’re mainly in the dropouts and in the chainstays,
but Contador is a rider who pays a huge amount of
attention to detail to his kit. So you can expect him
to be using this bike, the lightest bike possible
at the Tour de France. Well we look forward to
finding out a bit more. – Conversely, we know a lot
more about the new iteration of BMC’s very popular team machine frames, that because they have officially
released it to the public. Apparently they used a super
computer’s come out with 34,000 different iterations
of this frame set before they came out with
this, the final model. As you might expect in 2017, now both rim brake and disc
brake options available. And apparently there’s also the option of a direct mount rear
mech, which largely tells me comes over from the mountain bike world. – Yeah, Shimano’s thing in mountain bike. – Right. – One final new bike, also spotted at the Critérium du Dauphiné, is Dan Martin aboard this. It looks very much like
a new Specialised Tarmac, but as with the Trek Émonda,
details are very limited and we look forward to finding out more in the next few weeks. – That one does look
significantly different, doesn’t it, to its predecessor? It is time, now, for this week’s GCN WATTAGE BAZOOKA (explosion sounds) This week’s pro wattage bazooka goes to… Tao Geoghegan Hart for his
performance at the Hammer Series at the weekend, but specifically, for his performance on the
final few hundred metres of the chase on the last day. It was basically down to
him as the non-sprinter left at the four man Team Sky squad, coming in towards the finish,
to make sure they won. He ended up out sprinting, on his TT bike, three of the guys from Team Sunweb, therefore giving Team Sky the
first ever win at the series. This tweet shows just
how much it meant to Tao, but on top of the victory,
he’s now got a wattage bazooka to his name as well, so well done to you. – Yes, thoroughly,
thoroughly deserved that. The viewer wattage bazooka was
nominated by Artis Kalveits, it goes to Arvil Vikstrems
for this incredible sprint performance, where
he puts that numbers there. To be honest if I saw
him when I was cycling, I’d probably need to
calibrate my power metre. – Yeah, that’s right. An incredible sprint there. I particularly like the
person that he passes with 30 metres to go, who looked around thinking he’s won, immediately
knowing that he’s lost. Those were some incredible
numbers, weren’t they? So again, a thoroughly well
deserved wattage bazooka. If you’d like to nominate
anybody else or indeed yourself for next week’s prize,
just use the hashtag, #wattagebazooka, like you see here. (birds chirping) Tom has chosen three tweets
for this time around, the first one comes from
Mat Hayman, Orica-Scott, “First day of the Hammer Series done.” “New, fast and hard racing.” “More than nail than the hammer.” I presume he found the
first day quite hard. – It did look rather hard. Next one is from Darwin Atapuma, who tweeted this photo saying, “¡Estos días también
estamos afinando el rugido!” – Uh today, something something rule, is about all I can get
from that in Spanish. But that is a cracking… – [Tom] It’s a good buff. – Yeah. And finally, there’s this
one from Tom Dumoulin, who tweeted last week,
“Back to normal life,” out in the garden playing with his dog. You think he picks up his dog’s um… No I’ll leave that. (Tom laughing) – Comment of the week now and
underneath quite an old video, it was our worst ever cycling
tips with Matt Stephens, was this one from
Tri-Shake-Atops, who said, “Worst advice I’ve seen: Matt’s Crocs.” – Yeah, very good point actually. Underneath last week’s GCN show meanwhile, Niels Heldens wrote, “Dan’s
hair is coming back.” Thank you very much. “Tom Dumoulin won the Giro,
GCN has got new shirts.” “Life is good.” To which we replied, “How
can it get even better?” And we weren’t expecting quite
such a long reply as we got. You can see on the screen right now. Amongst other things said
it was zipp 303 wheels, and a time trial bike, and many more there as well.
– And finally… Finally conquering Norway, which
has left me a bit confused. And then underneath the how to
improve your cycling balance, FOURV3 commented, “I feel like
Matt shouldn’t be the one” “teaching us about balance…” And 76 of you gave that one a thumbs up. – Yeah true that. – It’s quite unfair, he didn’t teach about clipping in, but balance, I think? – He’s come off a few times hasn’t he? – True. (playful music) – The next time you get… Wow! (Matt panting and falling) – Here uh… Pretty classic…
(laughing) (Matt yells) – Coming up on the channel
this week on Wednesday, we give you our guide to
riding multi stage events. And along similar lines,
on Thursday we give you our top 10 facts for
the race across America. Then Friday as ever is ask GCN I think. – On Saturday we take a
look at Patrick Konrad of Bora-Hansgrohe’s,
Specialised Tarmac pro bike. On Sunday, we explain how to dress for cycling in the high mountains. And on Monday, six pre-ride checks you should probably know about. – Yeah and then on Tuesday, we’re back in this set for the GCN show. – Episode 231. – That’s correct, Lasty, good maths. – From the top of Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii, welcome to the GCN show. (energetic rock music) – Due to popular demand,
this week’s extreme corner comes from a road rider. This is the Frenchman
Mikaël Cherel of AG2R pulling off some mighty tricks. – Really pushes things to the limit. (energetic rock music) – Umm… Well that is another bit of proof as to why we shouldn’t
use road riders too much when it comes to extreme corner. And for those of you who complained that we always use mountain
bikers and trail bikers, that is the reason. – Yeah exactly. Now before you go, there
are a few things in our shop that I think I should put you to, as modelled by yours truly and Dan, we’ve got our new Velo
Print range of clothing. So you can get t-shirts,
hoodies, and sweatshirts. They are made from organic cotton and printed using water based inks. And we’ve also expanded our
range of the very popular Camelbak GCN bottles, head
over there and take a look. There’s a link to the shop on screen now, and there’s also a logo on
screen and if you click on that, you can subscribe to the channel. – Well yeah, make sure you
do subscribe to the channel if you haven’t done so already. After which you can head head to one of the following two videos,
which are just down here. This one is how to improve
your balance on the bike, with Matt Stephens but
perhaps more importantly with Si Richardson as well. And just down here is how
to set a new PB, on a climb. – With Daniel Llyod, but more importantly with Si in that also. – Yeah. (laughs)

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