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30 Sep

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Rapha Supercross Weekend: Gloucester, MA by Andy Bokanev Part 1

September 30, 2014 | By | One Comment

We were over the moon to be joined by Andy Bokanev for Rapha Supercross in Gloucester. This is the first half of the ‘Holy Week’ of Cross here on the East Coast and it was exceptional in every way apart from the continued heat and dust bowl of the season so far.

Despite the race being such a highlight of the season it’s almost overshadowed by the fun times in MA that accompany it having Andy there this year really added to it. Read last years account from our cat 4/5 perspective here.Part 2 of black and whites to follow tomorrow.

26 Sep

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Charming

September 26, 2014 | By | No Comments

Charm City was eh charming… the course was challenging, with flyovers, 4 sand pits and bottleneck corners instantly after the hole shot and it was hot, oh so very hot. The words on everyone’s chapped lips and dusty mouths was that it was harder than Nittany.. which was unforseen. Ryan brought home our best result in 12th on the Sunday race and we had the pleasure of hanging with Master of the High Seas, Team Yacht Club’s Cassidy. Next up Gloucester.

Photos by Chris Pino & No Flim Photography

Ride London-Surrey 100 2014 by Daniel Slotte

August 13, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

Last Sunday was the 2nd edition of the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 event. Despite the complicated name this event is growing in size and stature, and is now the UK’s biggest sportive with 24,000 participants. It follows roughly the same route as the 2012 Olympic road race, starting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London and then venturing south west into the Surrey hills, before returning to London for a sprint finish on The Mall, all over closed roads. The distance is 100 miles / 161km as the name implies, although it turned out not to be the case this year — more on that in a moment.

Click read more below to read Daniel’s report about the event.

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16 Jul

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Neversink Invitational 2014 Race Report + Photos by Donalrey

July 16, 2014 | By | No Comments

Sunday saw the biggest team outing since Battenkill as the revered Trimble event ‘Neversink Invitational’ brought us out with its heady mix of good times, good people and unbelievable roads. Don was in amongst the mix of photographers sweeping the course with their lenses and capturing the suffering and elation in equal measures. Check out his full set here and click read more for the full race report. Huge props to Ryan who brought home the 3rd place podium for The 5th Floor NYC and for Malcolm to rounding of the top 10 for us too. Results posted here.

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09 Jun

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London Nocturne 2014 by Erik Jonsson

June 9, 2014 | By | No Comments

Another great London Nocturne was held yesterday and our man Erik Jonsson was there on the side line taking some great shots. Head over to his site for more photos.

It was nice to see so many friends racing and to see loads of familiar faces at the track bike crit, even Mr. Red Hook Crit aka David Trimble who was in town for business had a go at the race and this is what he has to say from his experience:

“It was great to line up on the start line with thousand of spectators surrounding the course. I was in exactly the spot on the front row where (if this was the RHC) the fastest qualifier should start. Of course with a fast field of RHC stars and being years away from racing shape I was only a spectator inside the race once the flag dropped. Even finishing mid pack the sensation of racing a track bike at speed around a tight technical circuit reaffirms that this format has so much potential in the world of cycling.” 

It was also nice seeing our friend and ex-team mate Kendal Noctor doing really well and coming 5th in the Leigh Day Kermesse race.

We ‘5th Floor LDN‘ took part in 3 events, the Leigh Day Kermesse road criterium, the Condor Track Bike Criterium with an amazing effort by George Garnier who came 3rd just behind last year’s winner and the Barclays Cycle Hire Race with Leo Tong coming 2nd.

Make sure you catch the TV highlights are on Sky Sports 2 (Tuesday, GMT 10pm), British Eurosport 2 (Friday, GMT 7.30pm) and Channel 4 (Saturday, GMT 5.30am).

07 May

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Race Roundup Gallery

May 7, 2014 | By | No Comments

One of the joys of racing in New York is the sheer volume and variance of races it’s possible to compete in. This Gallery is a round-up from the last week or so featuring Flyod Bennett field images from Victor Chan, CRCA Orchard Beach from here, and lastly Seth Mud Plugging from here.

Special shout to Nik for his 3rd place at Orchard Beach Cat 4 and Chris for 4th place after incredible solo efforts out front. To Seth of his 6th place and then 3rd place the following weekend in Waywayanda state park. Cat 2.

 

 

07 May

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California Dreaming: By Ryan Fisher

May 7, 2014 | By | No Comments

I headed out to Los Angeles for work last week and after the beautiful winter we’ve had in NYC it was a shock to the system to be in 70 degree heat and sun for seven days straight.

I haven’t spent a lot of time in LA but seemingly everyone there is at least a double threat. I met a lot of very talented people, there were a few actor/models, an actor/model/producer, and an actor/producer/model. I felt pretty pathetic only having one job so I started telling everyone I was an employed person/bike racer, or if they were a good looking female I just told them I was jobless/homeless – it’s the ultimate double threat and it gets women to stop talking to you quickly.

I don’t like talking to women when I’m on the road because my wife reads this blog.

When I wasn’t working I headed out for a few really good training rides up to the Griffith Observatory, it was a great place to ride, was close to my hotel in Korea Town, and it provided some amazing views of the city (my inner tourist was also really pumped to be near the Hollywood sign).

I was sick the entire week with a really bad cold but I fought through it with medication and didn’t miss any of my planned workouts which I was pretty proud of – insert something here about pride being man’s greatest downfall.By the time Saturday rolled around I was feeling terrible but I had signed up for the San Luis Road Race and I wasn’t going to miss it.

I’m not sure if this is a west coast thing but the race started off like a semi-cross start with a semi-sprint and the pace didn’t slow down for over an hour. A break got away really quickly which was confusing as hell because normally there’s so much negative racing that no one lets a break get away in the first 15 minutes of a race, but they were gone and we weren’t going to catch them. I felt like I was struggling to keep up with the group for large parts of the race and sent a post race report to the guys saying the race was crazy hard, but after looking at my power numbers it turns out the race was actually pretty easy and I was just really sick with walking pneumonia.

I’ve been bed ridden this entire week and will now have to miss Orchard Beach, Hunter and Bear Mountain. I’m looking forward to getting healthy and I learned a valuable lesson, don’t go to LA, the flakiness in the air will get stuck in your lungs and give you pneumonia.

29 Apr

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2014 London Nocturne Track Bike Criterium

April 29, 2014 | By | No Comments

For the second time ever Face Partnership and London Nocturne are holding a Track bike criterium race in their race programme for 2014. Places are limited to 50 riders and the race format is 20 minutes plus 3 laps. London Nocturne is an amazing event with thousands of people watching and cheering. From Penny Farthings and Folding Bikes to Track Bikes and Elite races, Smithfield market will be buzzing on 7th June. Don’t miss out. Click here to find out more or here for full race schedule.

Click here to register for the Track Bike Crit. The following selection criteria will be applied in order of priority: Recent results, Part of team and Date of registration. Entry closes on Wednesday 28th May.

Photo: Erik Jonsson

2014 Good Friday Meeting by Erik Jonsson

April 22, 2014 | By | No Comments

Last Friday Rudy Melo took part at The 2014 Good Friday Meeting at Lee Valley VeloPark. After SO MANY years the GF meeting went to the new velodrome in London and there were over 140 riders taking part on the event. Rudy raced the Elimination and Scratch race, coming 12th and 9th. Great experience for him and lets hope there will be more of us at the next event there. Our man Erik Jonson was there taking some amazing shots. Make sure you head over to his site for the full sets. Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3.

12 Apr

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Paris – Roubaix by James Hyatt

April 12, 2014 | By | No Comments

Paris Roubaix is the poster boy of the spring classics season with 260km of hard, fast & attritional racing interspersed with 50km of hellish ‘pave’ (cobbles). The fact that it is largely flat is token conciliation for the sheer brutality these cobbles inflict on your body. In short, GC guys HATE this race. That is why it is one of the rare occasion’s in a year where being a larger set powerhouse (Boonen, Cencellara, Phiney) actually puts you at an advantage. 2014 is set to be a vintage edition with dry + dusty conditions forecast and a multitude of contenders knocking on the proverbial ‘Roubaix velodrome’ door.

In the modern era, two names are as synonymous with this race as the very cobbles them self. Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen have shared a love affair with Roubaix that has spanned 2 decades and with 3 + 4 wins apiece; there dominance is already draped in legendary status. Tom Boonen’s 2012 win where he rode to solo victory from 50km out was one of the most impressive things I have ever seen on a bike and the only man in the world who could match this feat is of course Spartacus himself. 2 of his 3 wins have seen him to arrive in Roubaix blissfully alone and the Belgium die-hard fans often come to the race adorned with messages for him to “PLEASE HAVE MERCY”.  Perhaps surprisingly, 2008 has been the only year where both riders were in the wining break. Boonen took the win that year in a sprint finish but to say one is stronger then the other would be a great injustice. These two have, and continue to define the classics season and it has been a privilege to watch history unfold before our eyes these past 10 years.

Smart money inevitably looks no further then here, with Cancellara the slight bookies favorite following last weeks Flanders win. However I feel we could see one of the most open races in recent times with both riders showing signs of fragility. Fabian’s win last week was in many regards one of his finest; relying on finesse and race craft over pure power, he grinded out a win when perhaps he wasn’t at his absolute best (near unthinkable at Flanders). However, the fact he came to the finish with a group of 4 and having to rely on his good but not excellent sprint finish speaks to me that he is not as strong as he once was. With Devolder out following a crash last week, I expect to see multiple teams blocking, targeting and beating Fabian to bits throughout this race and if he is able to secure that illustrious 4th Cobble, it will have to be (another) one of the greatest rides of his career.

So many names come to mind when we look at the depth of this race. Sep Vanmarke is very much the future of Belgium’s classics racing and with an outstanding year already, he will be desperate to make a jump to that so far out of reach top step of the podium. BMC’s Greg Van Amvermart is another rider who is craving a victory that he to be fair probably deserves. A perennial ‘nearly man’, last weeks Flander’s 2nd place was a coming of age and I would love to see him go well tomorrow. Quickstep are of course at the service of their man Tom Boonen but what makes this team so strong, is that they have multiple riders who could lead a team in their own right. Terpstra, Stybar and Vandenburgh have all been in the final group in recent years and if Boonen misfires, one of these men is more then capable of stepping up in his place.

After receiving a message from the 5th Floor’s new favorite rider, Mr. Alexander Kristoff post Milan San Remo, we have to give a shout out to our man from Norway here as well. His form this year has been exemplary and at only 26, he looks set to feature in not just this year’s edition, but many more to come.

Another interesting feature of this year’s race is the ever controversial presence of Sir Bradley Wiggins. As he sets aside his grand tour ambitions he has purposefully gained some weight in order to target this race, the first TDF winner to target Roubaix since Greg LeMond back in 1992. His pursuit background along with his ferocious talent could well see him feature in the finale of this race, however his self confessed inability to position at crucial points could see his chances compromised. The run in into the infamous Arenberg Forest has been compared to a Tour De France sprint and equally dramatically is many riders claim that if you are not in the top 40 at this point your race is over.

Paris Roubaix counts down from 28 to 1 cobbled sections, with the first starting at kilometer 100 and the last within 1000m of the finish. The ‘pave’ is given a rating between 1 & 5 stars and is defined by the length, quality of the cobble and general condition of the road. It has been said by past victors they had ‘flown over the cobbles’ on route to victory but the reality is far from it. Entering each section at close to 50km an hour, the peloton explodes into a fit of dust, dirt and in some cases, limbs and is invariably where the race is won and lost. Bernard Hinault famously described this race as idiotic due to the unique blend of skill and luck required to succeed. This comment may not be wholly inaccurate but the truth is that whilst this race may need luck to win, it cannot be won with luck alone. Since it’s first showing in 1896 only the strongest have conquered and long may this continue as so.

With race Depart less then 24 hours away I implore you take the time to watch this race. Never short of a quote or two for the media, Wiggins just yesterday mentioned this will be the only race he watches when he hangs up his wheels and much like our very own Red Hook Crit, this truly is a gateway view into the sport. So with that, I invite you to sit back and watch in awe for 2014’s one and only ‘Hell of the North’.

Words: James Hyatt
Image: Cycling News