The Best Cycling Race You’ve Never Heard Of | The Cycling Race News Show
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The Best Cycling Race You’ve Never Heard Of | The Cycling Race News Show

October 31, 2019


(dramatic music and electronic beeps) – Welcome back to the
GCN Racing News Show. This week, the best race
that you’ve never heard of, we take a look at the amazing
Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen. We’ve also got the latest Cyclo-cross World Cup from Koksijde and a scintillating attack
from our very own Si Richardson in the GCN’s Zwiff Tuesday night race. (blues music) (record scratch) No, not that clip! That’s for GCN’s show tomorrow! First up: it’s the Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen. Now, if you watched the GCN
show around this time last year, then you may well be aware
of what this is all about, but please allow me to explain again. So the organizers found the 13 steepest and toughest climbs in the area, and they managed to squeeze
them into a 50-mile ride. The race is neutralized
between the climbs, and then you just go
hell-for-leather up each one, opening up the ultimate KOM competition with points scored at the
top of each and every climb. This year was the 36th
running of the event, organized by local legend Danny Chew, and it was as brutal as ever. Made even more brutal, in fact, by the atrocious weather
conditions this year. 37% gradients in the dry, horrific. 37% gradients in the cold and wet, next-level torture, I think you’ll agree. Those gradients appear on the most notorious of those climbs, Canton Avenue, and as you can see, to add further pain, it’s also cobbled. At the front, it’s a race, but you don’t have to go very
far back to get to riders who are just trying to get over the climbs without putting their
foot down or coming off. What’s even more annoying,
as you can visibly see now, is when you have to stop because
of somebody else’s mistake. Than man wasn’t very happy, was he? Amazingly, a man called Jeremiah
made it up all the climbs in a heavy Healthy
Bike, which is the local bike share scheme, so I
doff my cap to you, sir. Thanks by the way to Bike
Pittsburgh for that clip. Now, this is definitely type two fun, you enjoy it once you finish, but there’s something about this event that really makes you want
to go over and ride it myself so hopefully one year I’ll
get myself over there. Sunday saw the fifth round of
the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup take place on the sand dunes
of Koksijde in Belgium. There, in the women’s race,
a strong group forged clear in the first third of the race, including the current
world champion Sanne Cant, along with Brammeier, Worst, del Carmen Alvarado, and Compton. However, it was Denise
Betsema of Marlux-Bingoal that caused the big surprise on the day. Having started well down the grid, the 25-year-old had a lot of work to do just to get herself on terms. But having done that,
she then showed everybody a clean pair of sandy wheels to take her second win at the weekend and her first ever victory
in the UCI World Cup, which more than qualifies
her to be this week’s GCN Rider of the Week. Brammeier took her best
result of the season with second place, just ahead
of European champion Worst. World Cup leader Marianne Vos, though, had a bit of a shocker, and could only manage
12th place on the day, although that was enough to keep the series lead for the moment. In the men’s race, copy
script from last week. (music pauses, total silence) Sorry, I don’t think I was
supposed to read that bit out. In the men’s race, it was possibly the most dominant performance yet by European champion Mathieu van der Poel, who already had a 16-second lead by the end of just one lap of racing. And the only people who ever saw him again were the spectators on
the side of the course. Behind him, the world champion van Aert recovered from a very poor start to eventually finish second, 25 seconds behind van der Poel, with World Cup leader Toon
Aerts rounding out the podium and retaining his serious lead. The next round in the World Cup will be in Namur two
days before Christmas, but before then, there’s a
whole load of live action on our Facebook page,
including the next round of the Soudal Classics
from Hasselt this weekend, where we’ll have Marty
MacDonald and Meredith Miller giving you commentary. So make sure you head over
there to check that out and also set yourself a reminder. Sticking with cyclo-cross for just a few more moments though, former world championer
Zdenek Stybar has confirmed that he will be participating at the Superprestige in Diegem
on the 30th of December. That is yet another race, in fact, that we have live on GCN, so
make sure you don’t miss that, because it’s going to be
very interesting to see how he fares against van der Poel. Right, we’re gonna move
on to Zwift racing now, so last Tuesday was the first of the GCN race series on Zwift, and it took place on the New York course. Our very own Si Richardson
and Hank Lowsley-Williams took part, Si showing the
young one how it’s done with a blistering 338 watts average power, and an incredible attack
in the closing kilometers. Which was brought back, obviously. It’s what we call a television attack, just to get a bit of attention, and he eventually finished in 24th place. I’m only joking, Si, that
was a very good ride. Winner on the day was Gavin
Dempster of Team Draft, who outsprinted teammate Adam Zimmerman. Fourth place on that
evening was Kim Little, and incidentally, he will be joining Si in the commentary box here
at GCN for the final event in just over one week’s time. Tomorrow night, though, if
you’re watching this on Monday, is round two of three, and
it’s heading up out-do Zwift, and as such, we’ve got
our resident climbers representing GCN, not me of course, but Emma Pooley and Oscar Pujol. I’ve got very high hopes
for them, I have to admit, so you can find it live on
Zwift’s YouTube channel. Lotto Soudal, the Belgian World Tour squad have made a new sign
into their women’s team, not major news in itself, but what makes this different
is that the new signing, Marie Dessart, is the
world Gran Fondo champion in the 35 to 39 age group. So it’s going to be,
again, interesting to see if she can make her mark in the world of professional cycling. Team UAE Emirates appear to
be having a major shake-up in their staff for 2019. Last week they announced
that the Australian duo of Alan Piper and Niel Stiebens
would be joining them as sports directors next year. Last week, we also told
you that Irish champion Conor Dunne had found a
new home for next season with the Israel Cycling
Academy, though this week it emerged through Cycling
Weekly that his wages there will be covered by Rick Delaney, the ex-Aqua Blue Sport boss, has come in for quite a
bit of criticism recently, so it’s very good to see
him stay true to his word and pay out the contracts of riders he had running through 2019. And this story actually
reminded me of my own story from 2008, where I only
found a team that January, and because it was so late in the day, there was basically no budget
left to pay me any wages. So Nick Collins, the
boss of my former team, DFL Cycling News, paid
me out of his own pocket for the entire year, as
too did Barry Clarke, who’s been a long-time financial supporter of the Bournemouth Arrow Cycling Club. Neither one of them
asked anything in return, and without them, I’d
never have got to ride the biggest races in the
world, and likely wouldn’t be sat here right now, so I’ve
got a lot to thank them for. They really are some huge unsung heroes in our sport of cycling, and so although Rick
Delaney has come in for a fair amount of criticism
recently, it is great to see him staying true to his word
and covering the wages of any riders who are contracted for 2019 and who couldn’t find another paying team, something which he didn’t
actually have to do. Finally, this week, it was reported in the French newspaper La Voix du Nord that the infamous cobbles
of Arenberg Forest from Paris-Roubaix are to be made safer. Now, there may be a few
people who will be up-in-arms at this prospect, but I
for one am all for it, and I’ll tell you why. They’re not attempting
to make them any easier, only safer, through the
removal of moss and grass from between the cobblestones. I have to tell you that when
Matt and I hit that sector at half the speed of the
pros earlier on this year, I was scared shit– to death, basically. It’s been 16 years since
we had a wet Paris-Roubaix, during which time the
conditions of the cobbles has deteriorated quite significantly, and I think it would literally
be like an ice rink now, if you mixed in some rain. Maybe I’m just a wimp, in fact, I probably am just a wimp,
but I wouldn’t want to see a pro cycler’s career come to an end just because some cobbles
haven’t been cleaned. Right then, that is
almost it for this week’s Racing News Show, but before I go, a quick reminder that
you have only got until midnight on Wednesday to take advantage of some fantastic prizes
over on the GCN shop, including our metallic range
of casual and cycling gear, plus many other sale items. There will be a link to the
shop in just a few moments, and it will also be in the
description below this video. I’ll be back next week at the same time with all the latest news from the world of professional cycling. In the meantime, though, we have had some fantastic comments underneath our epic ride video from
Oman with Emma and Travolta, so if you haven’t seen that one already, be sure to do so now. You can find it just down here.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I don't know why exactly, but Dan seems the kinda guy that'd have absolutely no qualms about selling your grandparents dodgy timeshares.

  2. Thanks GCN! Here's footage from me on Canton. It took EVERYTHING I had to make it the last 5 meters.

    https://www.facebook.com/bikepgh/videos/vb.94563290388/2159137297672062/?type=2&theater

    Huge thanks to Kindred Cycles for their incredible support, UnTapped for that delicious maple fuel, Kieran Moyle for paying my entry fee, Bike Pittsburgh for chasing me around the hills, and Healthy Ride PGH for lending me the bike!

  3. all that complaint about the removel of grass @ the Arenberg cobbles: You should ride them or at least try to before you speak. I can't shake the feeling that they used a trebuchet to place the cobbles.

  4. Saturdays Dirty dozen was miserable. 30-40's F and rain. I opted to be a SAG wagon for a few of my friends. They ate terrible luck flats and general misery. A few still actually got it done, took 7 hours.

  5. Also the Redbull Bay climb.

    https://youtu.be/luU4pL8-Nd0

    And last man standing looks ace .

    https://youtu.be/TCS6HckEpHU

  6. Totally agree those cobbles should be cleaned for safety’s sake. Will make them tougher if anything so it’s a no-brainer for me.

  7. Are you going to report on the Munga in South Africa, https://mtb.themunga.com? 1070 km, semi-supported non-stop, max 5 days. Live tracking from Wednesday 12:00: http://trackleaders.com/munga18f.php

  8. Hi Dan, nice show as always. To help you with the pronunciation of Namur, it's Nahmuur, if that makes sense. With the emphasis on the a. Cheers

  9. I was there! The ask gcn training tip you gave me seemed to pay off. I won the first climb and got 4th place in the unofficial competition of the license group. It was fun but very tough, I would never do it again haha. It was worth the 2 hr drive. 34-42 was not enough, but I made it up them all. I hit a new 5 min power pr and lifted my power curve from about 1:45 through 7 minutes. The weather sucked but it still didn’t eclipse the hills as the challenge.

  10. So glad this is finally being covered by you guys! Road and finished this ride in 2014. Climbed these hills many times in the four years I lived there.

  11. hey guys there is a bike sport called bmx racing that you guys should look into. i figured that i would bring it up because of your channel name.

  12. I live in Pittsburgh… There is a mixed surface drop race through the city that goes through all of the boroughs approximately 75 miles and about 7900ft of elevation gain using most of or hills similar to these. I guess the people that created this race thought the dirty dozen was to easy…….

  13. I rode my bike over to the finish line of the Dirty Dozen in the cold and wet. Watching the riders power up Tesla st was pretty incredible. Maybe I'll enter next year!

  14. Cool GCN did a video on the dirty dozen! I did it for the first time this year. I was in the second to last group so it was a bit slower than I’d like but I still made it up all the hills and finished. Weather was miserable but it was definitely fun. 5900 feet of climbing, almost that in descending. My brake pads were running down my forks

  15. As I’m currently watching my dvr of Koksijde I’m interested as to why any cyclist would complete in a sandy race with no eye protection.

  16. Speaking of cyclocross, I was wondering if you have checked for a fact if a CX bike is the fastest on a CX track. It would be interesting to see if a mountain bike or a gravel bike or something weird construction would be the fastest (should UCI allow it….) Would be a great episode on GCN.

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