By Jon Hornbeck
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Geraint Thomas wrapped up the Criterium du Dauphine in a pretty dominant fashion. He will go to the upcoming Tour de France with a shared leadership role with Chris Froome, if Froome is there racing. Team Sky has rarely shared leadership roles with their riders during Grand Tours which makes this upcoming TDF all the more interesting.
BIKE REVIEW: 3T STRADA
Could Gerard Vroomen’s latest creation be the spark of something bigger and better?
What a difference one month makes. Our first ride on the new 3T Strada came on the steep climbs at PressCamp in Utah on a frame that was too black, too big and with gearing that was too tall. When the very first production bike hit the U.S. shores a few weeks later, it landed at the RBAclubhouse painted, medium-sized and with lower gearing.
As we rode the 3T Strada for the first time at one of Southern California’s most popular weekday group rides, the slew of comments and questions was unremitting. The disc brake and 1x-specific setup had everyone thinking it’s a gravel bike. Upon closer inspection, they realize that the tight confines of the frame and tire leave no room for a knobby tire, and even the 28mm tires it was designed for are closer than what many might think feasible.
BMC RELEASES ROADMACHINE X
Press Release: BMC Switzerland unveils a new road bike with an appetite for adventure, the new Roadmachine X, a versatile bike for riders who expect high performance in any riding situation. The Roadmachine X is engineered to deliver performance and functionality in a minimal package that renders it a fine demonstration of Swiss design.
Whether endless adventure rides, dirt road day-trips, or on the backroad commute, the Roadmachine X is a free spirit designed to explore.
“The new Roadmachine X completes the Roadmachine collection,” explains Mart Otten, Senior Product Manager Road at BMC Switzerland. “This versatile bike is tailored for those who love adventure road riding and sometimes like to go further even when the road ends, but it serves just as well as commuting companion.”
BEING PRO INTERVIEW: RICHARD HOLEC
Although you’re Czechoslovakian and have spent a lot of time racing in Europe, you now live in Southern California. How does that schedule work for you?
It’s been pretty challenging, and I’m changing it for the upcoming season. Last year I spent the first two to three months in California doing warm-up races like Chico and San Dimas before I headed over to Europe for mountain bike races and Paris-Roubaix. Then, I flew back to California to chill and prepare for the remainder of the year that would consist of mainly stage races and the European and World Championships. Traveling with bikes, dealing with time change and staying healthy upon arrival is a race by itself. I do everything possible to prevent sickness.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work all the time. I ended up racing Roubaix with a decent ear infection, preventing me to put in 100 percent. I did five trips to Europe in 2017, and it was just too much. Then, you get to a race like Roubaix and not even 48 hours before the start you’re getting antibiotics from some French healer, along with a box of other medicines—that, typically, is not how you see things playing out in your head. This year I will be making a more permanent move to Europe, at least for the main part of the season, to avoid all that hassle and chances of getting sick.
SHOE REVIEW: GAERNE VS. GIRO
For as long as we have ridden with Gaerne shoes, we have always known four things about them: One, they’re made in Italy. Two, they’re heavy. Three, they’re warm. And four, they’re built to last.
Over the years we have complained about features two and three, so we were curious whether the introduction of the new G.Stilo + Summer shoes would address either issue. The short answer is, a little bit. Previous Gaerne shoes have weighed over 700 grams per pair, and on hot days, they brought the heat like mini microwave ovens attached to each foot. The new shoes are an improvement.
Currently the shoe of choice for German sprinter Andre Greipel and the Lotto-Soudal team, the newest G.Stilo arrived with the same visible level of craftsmanship and solid construction as every other shoe that’s arrived from their small factory in Treviso, Italy.
BIKE REVIEW: BIANCHI IMPULSO ALL ROAD
Among high-end cyclists and racers, Bianchi’s signature Celeste-colored paint is a finish that warrants instant recognition. Currently the frame color used by the LottoNL-Jumbo WorldTour team, the eye-catching hue can now be seen on the dirt roads, as they have entered the world of dual-purpose bikes with the Impulso All Road.
Voted at last year’s Interbike as the Innovation Award winner, Bianchi has obviously done something right, as it turned many heads and gathered attention at the largest bicycle trade show in the U.S.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: CHAMPION SYSTEM CUSTOM
Well, that’s all for this weeks Mid-Week Report. Be sure to check back every Wednesday to see the latest news, views and products that have come our way. If you have any questions, comments or requests, let us know: letters@RoadBikeAction.com