Category Archives: Cycling Events & News

2014-08-13 19.09.33

BMC Team Night? More Like BMC Dream Night

Last night we were lucky enough to host the Men’s BMC Pro Cycling Team who had just wrapped up a successful campaign in our very own Tour of Utah. The team was gracious enough to come by, hang out, talk about racing a little bit and answer some questions from their adoring public.

Standing room only last night as Team BMC stopped by Contender HQ.

Standing room only last night as Team BMC stopped by Contender HQ.

Among the BMC attendees was Michael Schär, who not only pulled off an impressive TOU win on Stage 2, a 130 mile suffer-fest that included 10,162 feet of climbing over four KOMs, but who also caught the eye of our favorite new staff member, Katie Houser:

“When he walked in, my jaw pretty much dropped. I was like, who’s that tall drink of water? Then we started talking about our favorite chamois and I knew that was it -he likes chamois, I like chamois, he’s the one.”

- Katie on her run in with BMC greatness and future hubby.

Turns out Katie has a soft spot for tall, slender Swiss men. The fact that he rides a bike is, "just icing on that beefy cake", she said.

Turns out Katie has a soft spot for tall, slender Swiss men. The fact that he rides a bike is, “just icing on that beefy-quaded, handsome cake”, she said.

The team not only spent time answering questions but they also were awesome enough to shake some hands and autograph hats, bottles, jerseys and posters.

 

Peter Stetina chatting with some fans and signing memorabilia last night during our BMC Team Night

Peter Stetina chatting with some fans and signing memorabilia last night during our BMC Team Night

Our Thanks to the BMC riders, Peter Stetina, Michael Schär, Brent Bookwalter, Rick Zabel, Ben Hermans, Yannick Eijssen and Martin Kohler for coming out and saying hi!

Next stop for the team is Colorado for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Plenty of BMC schwag kept the kiddos happy

Plenty of BMC schwag kept the kiddos happy

You can check out BMC’s Flickr album from the night HERE

Cycling Crazies and Tour Toes- It’s Tour of Utah Time! (VIDEO)

Cycling fans, let’s get real.  Utah’s roots in bikes and bike racing run deep. So it’s no wonder the Tour of Utah is a big deal a really big deal to all of us crazy cyclists that call Utah home.

I’m here to rally the troops. I’m here to insight a movement of pure cycling super-fan madness. Let’s paint our faces. Let’s lose our voices. Let’s wear weird costumes. Let’s have questionable amounts of our bodies visible in said costumes. Why? because we all know the second best thing to actually riding in a tour is standing on the side of the road with no shirt and a red clown wig ringing a cow bell like the cow has a gun to your head.

I think we’re off to a good start with this: Our good friend Martin Cole decided to show his TOU fever by painting his frickin’ toes!

This is what I'm talking about! Pretty sure where these toes go, the party follows

This is what I’m talking about! Pretty sure where these toes go, the party follows. Well played, Martin.

But I want to see some of this too:

El Diablo would be a solid addition to our TOU

El Diablo would be a solid addition to our TOU

And definitely a bit of all this:

Obviously this needs to happen in the TOU.

Obviously this needs to happen.

Questioning this man's taste? Don't. He's spot on. PHOTO: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Questioning this man’s taste? Don’t. He’s spot on. PHOTO: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

 

These young men are a prime example of perfect TOU attire. Well done, little sirs.

These young men are a prime example of perfect TOU attire. Well done, little sirs.

we applaud these gentlemen for their commitment. A prime example that you don't necessarily need to show skin to prove your cycling fandom.  But isn't their a part of you that's thinking this wouldve been funnier if the dude's were shirtless? Yep. Us too.

We applaud these gentlemen for their commitment. A prime example that you don’t necessarily need to show skin to prove your cycling fandom. But isn’t there a part of you that’s thinking this would’ve been funnier if the dude’s were shirtless? Yep. Us too.

Now, we definitely don’t want to see any of this:

 

But hey, if the great Jens Voigt says he loves us, then we know we’re doing something right:

“I’ll never forget my first day in Utah. I was still jetlagged—yes, I am pretty good at that— and on Stage 1 I have to go to the front with Joost Posthuma and a couple of Garmin riders. I still hadn’t adapted to the altitude and finally on the last climb I just blow. I mean it was a spectacular detonation! So there I am dead last going up this climb. I couldn’t even hold the wheels of the sprinters. I just wanted to find a ditch to crash into until an ambulance came and picked me up. But the fans kept yelling, “shut up legs,” and they just cheered me up. So I kept the faith. That is real fan support.” -Jens Voigt in Bicycling Magazine on his experiences in the TOU.

We’ll see the racers up here in Salt Lake this Saturday, August 9th for stage 6, the ‘Queen Stage’ -where the racers will be suffering climbing up Emigration, Big Mountain, Guardsman and then finishing in Snowbird. It’s a little over 12,500 ft of elevation in 107 miles. Which also means it’s a little over ridiculous.

You can get a spectator guide or download the official Tour of Utah mobile app HERE.

And I better not be the only one out there in a speedo.

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2014 Tour Wrap Up: Nibali Didn’t Crash (But He Also Won)

 

Vincenzo Nibali, stepped down from the podium in front of the Champs-Elysees on Sunday a champion.

He had lead the 2014 Tour for every single stage less two, he’d won four of it’s 21 stages, and his lead of 7-minutes and 37-seconds was the biggest margin of victory held in the Tour since Armstrong’s win (now officially not a win) in 1999. Nibali is also now one of only a handful of riders that has won the Giro, the Vuelta and the Tour –all three of the Grand Tours.

Regardless of all this, some look at Nibali’s win as simply a result of better rider’s bad luck with crashes and injuries early in the Tour.

Bradley Wiggins, who won the Tour in 2012 was passed over by Team Sky because they wanted to focus on Chris Froome, the 2013 Tour winner. When Froome crashed out along with Alberto Contador, it was suggested that Nibali was just the best of what was left in the peloton.

However, even before their unfortunate crashes, Nibali had a two-second lead on Contador and Froome after he won Stage 2. When Froome crashed out in Stage 5, Nibali put more than 2 minutes between himself and Contador. When Contador’s unfortunate crash occurred on a downhill in Stage 10, Nibali went on to win the stage as it climbed to a ridiculously steep mountain finish atop La Planche des Belles Filles. Nibali then went on to win two more mountain stages across the Alps and Pyrenees.

It’s pretty obvious that Nibali didn’t simply ‘slip’ into a spot made empty by the unlucky crashes of some talented riders. The Italian is a true talent himself. Maybe now he’ll get some respect.

AP Photo/Christophe Ena

AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Point is, we’re excited to see him next year. Complementi Vincenzo Nibali!

The Tour’s official website popped out this little video highlight reel of the 2014 Tour. Take a look:


EN – Best of 2014 – After the race by tourdefrance

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Need a New Helmet? Have We Got A Deal For You!

Come in to Contender this Thursday, July 17th from 5pm until 7pm with your old, beat up (or beat down) helmet and get 25% off any Lazer helmet.

Look, we know a few of you have some nappy helmets. This is your chance to turn that embarrassment in to cash!

Our good friends at Lazer are going to be taking all the helmets traded in and completely recycling them.

That’s right! Any helmet that’s cracked, faded, or just ridiculously worn out can be traded in to be recycled and you get 25% off a gorgeously brand new Lazer Helmet.

We have old Lazer favorites like the Genesis and Helium as well as the brand new, super posh Z1

Even if you’re not in the market for a new lid, this is a great way to get rid of an old helmet and make sure it’s recycled.

So go grab your nasty old helmet and come see us this Thursday, from 5PM to 7PM!

contadorcrash

The Tour So Far: Crashes, Casualties, and Unrequited Love (VIDEO)

PHOTO: Christophe Ena/AP

There’s a reason they call a rider’s attempt at the Tour a campaign, it can get bloody.

Already this year the Tour has suffered some heavy casualties. No doubt before the peloton rolls past the Champs-Elysees in a couple weeks, there will be more.

With Mark Cavendish crashing in the first stage, defending champion Chris Froome retiring his campaign during Stage 5 after having three crashes in two days and Alberto Contador out yesterday from a wreck that resulted in a broken tibia, it looks like current race leader, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali is staring at a very possible Tour de France win.

-If he doesn’t crash or lose some crazy time in the Alp stages ahead.

Nibali’s two-and-a-half minute lead in the GC means a lot of folks are calling the Yellow Jersey his to lose.

Vincenzo Nibali is the current leader of the Tour. Photo: courtesy of London Evening Standard

Vincenzo Nibali is the current leader of the Tour. Photo: Courtesy of London Evening Standard

Since the focus of the Tour so far has been crash after crash after crash, we might as well take a look at some of the Tour’s biggest crashes in the past couple years:

Now, if the Italian does succeed in finishing first in Paris, there are already rumblings that he wouldn’t have really ‘earned’ his championship because of all the mayhem that plagued the first part of the Tour and the key riders that were taken out to let him slip into that yellow jersey a little more easily.

Nibali must be feeling like he gets no respect.

A feeling crystallized when he was denied a kiss by one of the podium girls after winning Stage 2:


Who doesn’t want to kiss an Italian?? Maybe if he wins the Tour she’ll give him a hearty pat on the back.

I guess we’ll see how well Nibali climbs in the Alps.

MartynAshton2

Paralysed Martyn Ashton Inspires Homage (Video)

PHOTO: Courtesy Bike Magazine

Last September, Martyn Ashton, the legendary UK mountain bike trials rider and former World Champion, was finishing work on his second short film of trials style riding on a road bike, Road Bike Party 2 (embedded below), when a fall from a platform ten feet off the ground left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Falling backwards off a platform during a trials demo at the Animal WD40 Action Sports Tour, Ashton was airlifted to a local hospital where he spend the following six weeks recovering from the accident. In the interim, he grabbed some friends to help him finish the stunts in the video, which he edited and released earlier this year.

It’s pretty #$%&ing rad:

It turns out Ashton’s awesome stunts have inspired some folks out there. Especially a dude from Italy named Vittorio Brumotti, a trials star himself, who’s done his best to pay homage to the infamous Ashton by putting together his own little piece of road bike insanity that he just released:

Pretty amazing stuff to be riding around a working quarry, jumping onto bulldozers, and not even having to wear an orange safety vest. Italians are the coolest.

Brumotti is a big fan of Ashton. In fact, Brumotti says that, “Martyn was one of my inspirations and I was a huge fan of everything he did on Road Bike Party. My new film is my dedication to Martyn’s work.”

Brumotti is right to pay the man such high regard. All it takes is one look at Martyn Ashton’s Facebook posts, where he’s currently inspiring folks to try something that gets them out of their comfort zone before July, or even reading over a couple quotes about his accident and how he’s dealt with the aftermath, to realize he’s a particularly rare person. I’ve long held the belief that trials riders have a supreme ability to look at something -whether it’s terrain, an object, or a ridiculously precarious drop- and allow themselves to think positively enough about it that they pluck up some courage and go for it! Where most of us see an absolute no-pass-nightmare and go pedaling in the opposite direction, our heads full of self-doubt and negative talk, trials-minded folk will smile, hop on their bike and give it a shot. How would it be to have that outlook on things? I can’t help but think that attitude is helped Ashton during his recovery from the fall. It seems like it’s continuing to serve him well now with his new endeavors.

No doubt it’s been an adjustment, but judging by the photos of him hitting a velodrome on a hand cycle, swimming, rowing or trying out some canoeing, you can’t really say Ashton has slowed down.

All of us at Contender are huge fans of this guy. We’re excited to see what he does next.

Throwback Thursday – Giovanni Pinarello

In 1951, Giovanni Pinarello was racing in the 34th Giro d’Italia which was won by Rosa Fiorenzo Magni. Giovanni came in last place in the race, which in that time was not a dishonor, instead, a competition to wear the Maglia Nera (Black Jersey) which was awarded to the rider in last place overall. Cyclists would purposely hide out or give themselves flat tires in order to finish last in a stage. While not practiced anymore, this victory was recognized just as much as winning the Giro overall. Upon arriving in Milan on the final day of the race, Giovanni Pinarello rode a “lap of honor” with the winers in the Viogorelli Velodrome.

The photo below is from the Pinarello Family Store in Treviso, Italy. In the store, a quote from Gino Bartali (a good friend of Giovanni) is visible and says: “The Black Jersey of Cycling … but the Pink Jersey of Life.”

The history of Giovanni Pinarello in the Pinarello Family Shop in Treviso.

The history of Giovanni Pinarello in the Pinarello Family Shop in Treviso.

 

Picture: Sarah Reingewirtz Source: AP

A Premature Celebration At The Tour of California (Video)

Picture: Sarah Reingewirtz, Source: AP

Eloy Teruel was leading the pack during the seventh and last stage of the Tour of California on Saturday when, after just crossing the finish line signaling one more lap to go, he realized that he had made a pretty serious error in his lap count.

The Spanish cyclist, thinking that he had just completed the final lap of the stage and had out-sprinted his competitors for the stage win, began celebrating by pumping his fists in the air and pounding his chest. It took the announcers and fans trying to get his attention shouting, “One more to go!” as well as the pack of riders gaining quickly on him from behind for Teruel to gather that he had made a mistake in thinking it was the last lap.

 

You can actually see the elation of winning leave his face as he slowly realizes that he’s got another lap to go, and the pack is coming up quick. No doubt exhausted and finding himself misplaced by his early bird sprint, Eloy ended up finishing 56th, while lovakia’s Peter Sagan went on to win the stage.

Pretty embarrassing stuff. But we’ve all been there. Maybe not in front of a massive crowd during the last stage of a major tour, but hey, we’ve all had our moments.

Most embarrassed I’ve ever been on a bike: 

I was flying west down 4th South right here in majestic Salt Lake City, trying to race my friend back to his home at the end of a very long ride. It was a Sunday afternoon and there wasn’t too much traffic out; we hit mostly greens as we started to ramp up our end-of-ride sprint through downtown. I had pulled ahead of my friend across a couple city blocks when I noticed two particularly attractive girls perched at the corner of 4th and Main waiting for the light to change so they could cross the street.

Now, am I hot dog? No. Do I usually embarrass myself? Yep. Is it worse when girls are around? Most definitely. But since I knew I was going to fly by these beautiful birds and because I was feeling pretty damn good about out-sprinting my buddy for three blocks, I had taken my eyes off the road in front of me and was putting in some solid time throwing out the mojo to the babes. I decided the best way to impress them was to fly past in my spandex and shout a wazzup; knowing that I would go by like a shot and they’d be left wondering who that devastatingly handsome blur was. Perfect friggin’ plan. I’m a genius.

It went pretty well. Up to a point. Basically the point where I shouted out my greeting, “What’s up, ladies!” and they turned their perfect heads of cascading locks to see the human bullet preparing to pass them. As soon as I had herald my compliments, I heard my friend scream my name as loud as he could from behind. I instinctively looked up ahead just in time to see the light had long since changed and a Trax train was passing right in front of me.

I grabbed my brakes as hard as I could and skidded to a stop just feet from the passing train. My friend pulled up leisurely behind me, called me an idiot in between chuckles, and then I had to endure sitting there as the girls passed in front of us, making serious efforts not to acknowledge the giant douche who just screamed at them and then almost hit a train. As they crossed, I put my helmeted head down. realizing my matching team kit didn’t really impress anyone but me.

At least Eloy was actually in a race.

Radar Devices that detect bicycles waiting at traffic signals

New bicycle symbols and radar sensors were installed on roads in Southern Utah by the Utah Department of Transportation Wednesday. This means no more waiting endlessly at intersections waiting for the light to turn green!

 

Bike sensors being installed in Southern Utah.

Bike sensors being installed in Southern Utah.

Despite what most people may think, traffic signals are activated by the metal content of cars, not weight. Cyclists don’t have enough metal on their bikes to trigger a magnetic field in the ground (too much carbon fiber). Thanks to this new change, cyclists will be detected on the radar and the light will turn green. Lastly, the painted bicycle symbol is a reminder to all motorists that they need to share the road. Hopefully we will see more of this new technology incorporated on our roads here in Salt Lake City and other areas throughout the state.