Twisted Spoke

My twisted take on the world of pro bike racing.

Archive for the ‘Cervelo’ Category

Pozzato’s tats. Porn star, comedian, genius? An Arabic tattoo for Boasson Hagen.

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Only God has this much ink.

Twisted Spoke made a snap decision, because, well, sometimes we take on a sprinter mindset: primal instinct at high speed. Is Filippo Pozzato the reincarnation of 70’s porn star Johnny “Wadd” Holmes and more importantly, is the Italian cool or pathetically comical?

Porn star Holmes

When we saw Liquigas’s Pozzato naked from the waist up with his massive script tattoo that reads “Only God can judge me” we were forced to make an immediate call.

Was Master P a promotional bozo desperate for attention or an amusing renegade, an outsized, unique personality in the generally faceless peloton of working grunts.

The envelope, please. Yes, amusing renegade (and potential porn star!) for god-sakes! Always vote for personality unless it’s relentlessly self serving and blindly self referential. Mark Cavendish, take a bow.

Pozzato, who’s just started a rider blog at cyclingnews, has gained entry to the inter sanctum of TS luminaries. I mean, the damn tattoo covers his entire back, we give him props just on tattoo square footage. The King of the mountains is also the king of ink.

Left - Right, Top - Bottom, all Latin: "While I breathe, I hope, Don't let the bastards get you down, To the stars, through adversity, I will find a way or I will make one, Forbidden and Hate the living, love the dead. Nice.

We were on the fence about Pozzato after his oddly shameless burlesque strip show at Miss Cycling 2009. One of those events brilliant Italian men invent so they can see more young women nearly naked. Chapeau, Italian dudes.

We applaud those old school euro ways: Men ride bikes, attractive young women take off their clothes, old woman cook and clean and children shut up. Thus Italian history rolls on, happy and we look on from afar, envious.

But Pozzato’s creative ink job got us thinking and this being prime time for the Tour of Oman, let’s take tats down to the Middle East. Drunk cyclists and sailors do silly things in the desert. More than one rider is sure to leave the capital city of Muscat with a super cool inked phrase in Arabic.

Twisted Spoke is happy to offer up a few examples for inspiration. Garmin’s sprinter Tyler Farrar is already covered (pun) with his buddhist tattoos but everyone else has plenty of open real estate.

Left - Right, Top - Bottom, Arabic: Holy Warrior, Forever my love, Beware the spectre of the gun, I will love my mother, sadly lost file and finally, Serenity, Strength and Courage.

Filippo Pozzato’s backside is also taken but Evald Boasson Hagen, you need to get cannibaled up, brother. Those Cervelo boys laughed when you took your baby bladder nature break. Time to serve notice and go under the needle. They can do it right in the fancy rolling Sky disco if you want, by the massage table.

Nobody is gonna mess with you in the classics if they see that bad-ass Arabic tattoo on your upper arm. The one that says “Boonen’s a fairy.” or “Allah says Cervelo sucks” Yeah, ink that, shy Norwegian boy wonder.


Written by walshworld

February 18, 2010 at 12:04 am

Neo-pro wins stage four, Boassen Hagen loses Tour of Oman. The bathroom-break breakaway.

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Howard beats Bennati.

A low blow?

The brash and heavily funded Team Sky got some humility lessons today in a hot and hot-headed day of racing in the Jabal Akhdar mountains.

Stage four of the Tour of Oman was loaded with surprises as neo-pro Leigh Howard (HTC-Columbia) won the stage while Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) paid dearly for a nature stop.

Arguments began after Sky handed the daily break almost seven minutes and then became furious when other teams refused to help close the gap. Informal rider poll? That’s your responsibility Sky, you’ve got Boasson Hagan in the red jersey so get to work.

The daggers are out.

There was no time to bring in a third party mediator or settle things with Omani khanjar daggers. Instead, Sky mashed the pedals and blasted through the feed zone, then threw everyone in the gutter with a half road echelon in the wind. Cervelo and HTC-Columbia were not amused.

It’s tribal justice in the Middle East, an eye for an eye, a flick for a flick. When Boasson Hagen stopped for a nature break 55 kilometers from the finish, Cervelo retaliated by going full gas, splitting the peloton and leaving the stunned Norwegian behind.

Cervelo TestTeam threw five riders in the split along with six from HTC-Columbia. Tyler Farrar, Boonen, Bennati, Stuart O’Grady, Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) and Marcus Burghardt (BMC) also made the now famous nature-break breakaway. Much has been said about Team Sky’s aggressive business approach to bike racing. That brash attitude, mixed with jealousy about their deep pockets, didn’t win any friends. This was a payback day in the desert.

The scene of the crime.

Team Sky eventually gave up the chase and Boasson Hagen brought home the main group 1:05 behind. His nature break dropped him 33 places down the standings. In the slight uphill finish in Nakhal, young Australian Leigh Howard (HTC-Columbia) topped Daniele Bennati (Liquigas-Doimo) and Tom Boonen (Quick Step) to notch his first big win. And so the battle of the bladder ended with Bennati taking the red jersey with two stages remaining.

However, the punches were still flying hours after the race. “That’s bike racing, the team rode well and solid, Edvald went to have a natural break, someone reacted to that, and the rest is history,” said Sky head coach Shane Sutton.

“Tension’s running a bit high after the stage, but it’s a long season and you can’t get too engrossed in one thing. We had the jersey for a few days, won a stage and the boys have done a fantastic job, we will be ready come the big classics. Now it’s time to regroup and rethink – and hit back tomorrow.” The hit back threat is the part to remember. Cervelo, bladder control will be essential!

British rider and veteran Roger Hammond (Cervelo) made it clear what he thought of British Team Sky’s tactics. “They brought it upon themselves. They can have it one way or the other. Either everyone plays the same game or they play unfairly and then they get unfairly treated,” he said.

The frankincense recovery oil.

Daniele Bennati, who benefited from the Sky-Cervelo slugfest, took the middle ground in explaining the days events. “It was an aggressive stage. Sky had the jersey and it was their responsibility to chase the break they had let go. Racing is racing but perhaps it wasn’t fair they attacked when Boasson Hagen stopped for a leak,” said the Italian.

In any case, no one is happier than Leigh Howard, who won what was arguably the queen stage of the inaugural Tour of Oman. Revered Muslim cycling commentator Abdul Al Salaam must have know something was up. Before sign-in, he was seen tapping the calves of each Columbia rider, then applying oil and frankincense to Howard’s legs. Never question the intuitive wisdom of Abdul for his lizard eyes have seen much.

Tomorrow the Team Sky daggers come out. Expect no mercy.

Written by walshworld

February 17, 2010 at 11:34 am

Team Cervelo launch: Road races out, swimming pool in.

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The Cervelo Swim Team

The Cervélo SwimTeam held its official presentation in Portugal on Sunday

Thor Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler are hoping for a big win in the 100 and 200 meter backstroke and butterfly while Carlos Sastre is to target in his training for the 1500 meter freestyle.

Cervélo co-founders Phil White and Gerard Vroomen were the first to reveal their bold new aquatic ambitions for 2010 during the presentation.

“It’s been an unbelievable first year. Some people thought we wouldn’t be back for a second year but we proved we can make the difficult first step on a long journey. And now we’re leaving cycling to take our success into deeper waters — that’s exciting.” said Vroomen.

“12 months ago, it was the riders who decided our core values: honest innovation, sacrifice, unity and success. Now we want to build on those even more. Our riders said the road races were getting boring. The pool was their idea.”

Written by walshworld

January 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm