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Friday, September 30, 2011

Nice one Bradley

Winning gold on the back of winning the Tour would perhaps put me into a different bracket as an athlete,' says Bradley Wiggins.

Bradley Wiggins is targeting both the Tour de France yellow jersey and Olympic gold next summer and believes British Cycling will decide in the next few weeks which events he should target at the London Games.

Fresh from winning silver in the world time trial in Copenhagen and helping Mark Cavendish to gold in the road race, Wiggins said he believes more strongly than ever that securing an unprecedented double is possible.

"I've done the Olympics, this will be my fourth, I've been there and got the golds. They haven't changed my life but winning the Tour would certainly change my life," he said. "Winning gold on the back of winning the Tour would certainly change my life and perhaps put me into a different bracket as an athlete."

Wiggins said it was the prospect of combining a serious challenge in the Tour, in which he finished fourth in 2009 but had to withdraw with a broken collarbone this year, with an Olympic challenge that had fired his enthusiasm for the Games.

"It's never been done so I think if I wasn't doing the tour next year and I was just going back to do the team pursuit and I had the winter to look forward to of going back on the track, the World Cups, the world championships in March and all that it wouldn't excite me at all," said the six-times Olympic medallist.

"I would really not be looking forward to it. The only way I'd ever do the track now is by coming back off the road. It's got to excite you to be able to do it."

The Team Sky rider – who has three Olympic golds, a silver and two bronzes in his collection – said he saw winning the Tour and securing a medal at the Games, which starts days after the Champs-Elysées finish to the Tour, as two halves of the same challenge.

"As crazy as it sounds to everyone, I don't see it as compromising one for the other. That's what I want to do – it's not a case of justifying why I'm doing it either," said Wiggins. "This is what I want to do, follow me and see what the results are and we'll talk about it afterwards. I'm doing it."

He said completing the Tour of Spain after breaking his collarbone and completing "the time trial of my life" at the world championships proved he could compete in both disciplines.

Wiggins said that given the choice he would compete in "everything" at the Olympics but he is likely to target the team pursuit on the track over the time trial on the road. "I'll ride the event I've got most chance of winning gold in and at this stage that will probably be the team pursuit, I imagine," he said. He said his coach, Shane Sutton, and others at British Cycling had "probably" already made the decision and expected to hear in "the next few weeks".

Wiggins, who set Cavendish up for his momentous victory on the final lap, hailed a "fantastic team performance" that helped the Manx rider to gold.

"Our plan worked perfectly. We always knew if we got him to that finish straight he'd be the fastest rider there. That's part of the belief the whole team had, that's why there was such commitment from everyone because knew Mark was going to finish it off," he said. "It's like a football team with the best striker in the world. Our job was quite easy in some respects in that we knew there was a 99% chance he was going to finish it off. It was an incredible day."

Wiggins said being able to hit the front with a lap to go was the "dream scenario". "It was like a relay race and we handed on the baton in perfect position each time until the home straight where I was able to give Mark the home stretch. It was phenomenal really," said Wiggins.

"I was always expecting the shit to hit the fan. I was like a dog on a leash who kept being held back to take over the reins with a lap to go. It couldn't have gone better really."

Displaying the focus that has been a feature of the evolution of British Cycling over the past decade, Wiggins said home advantage would not be a factor.

"It could be in Baghdad or anywhere it shouldn't change the performance in that velodrome," he said. "I haven't seen the velodrome, I don't really want to see it. That sounds dull but I don't want it to have any bearing or impetus on it. It shouldn't change the performance that day because the crowd's made up of more Brits or your family is there."

Owen Gibson guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 September 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tour de Pink






Whilst the Anglo Mules were engaged in Beer tasting at the Corner House in Beverley our US Counterparts were taking part in Tour de Pink.

Paddy says 'It was an eventful ride which saw the patricipation of three MULES
(Actually 1 Mule & two stallions). We galloped out at the start leading the
whole ride after 8 Miles, but a check on our speed saw us clocking 26 mph + . We
let others do some work for the next 25 miles but then it got crazy with riders
bunching at three & four deep at 24-26 mph and rain threatening. Lots of quick
turns had us loose Christian who we never saw again to the finish. SHawn and I
dialled it down after some cramping on my part followed by a wobbly back wheel.
A great ride though.


Well Done Guys


Monday, September 19, 2011

You can Take a Mule to water..................

After my America trip I came back to England with new vigour about riding and being a Mule.
It was great riding with so many Red white and blue shirts and having people 'holla' when the Mules cycled past. The perceived problem of transporting my bike on a plane did not pan out. It was simple, my bike arrived how Id packed it and I would recommend it to all.
After unpacking my hoofed steed in Beverley I had to 'Trot on' because I had another ride to attend to within 48 hrs. The Manchester 100. It was to be my forth time and I was joined by Mark who was eager to multiply his Century rides.
We managed to get set in a number of Chain gangs and even did some pulling. Although the course is relatively benign there are a number of annoying hills in the first section which did there best to shake me out of Rhythm and send my hearty rate into the 170's.
We eventually finished in just under 6 hrs. 5hrs 58 mins to be precise.
With the ride completed our journey home was accompanied with mixed emotions.
High with a post event rush yet sombre in realisation that this was our last formal ride of the year. It had been a great one.
6 century rides (including the Hottest one in recorded history)
112 mile race
24 hour ride
Coast to coast
A sack load of money for charity
Lots of laughs, smiles and tears.

In order to cheer ourselves up we turned our attention to Next Year.
Before the endorphins had left our bodies they had surely influenced our discussions.
Flat out in the Fens?
Of course........
Big G?
That was a real ****ker....
Exactly....... and we should aim to get Silver standard
Mmmmmmmmm.........you mean shave an hour or so off?
Yes....we will just have to train harder
Ok.............I Guess so
What about Coast to Coast again?
Again .........Boring ....... we have done that.......
Not in one day we havent...........(Belly laugh) that a real challenge)
I see.....ok Im in
Ok then lets do a triathlon as well
You mean run and swim as well as cycle?
Thats what they usually do in a triathlon. You cant Ride, drink and sleep. Thats just your life and does not count.
But you would look ridiculous in a Tri Suit.......
I wont by the time I have to wear one
I didn't know you can run
I cant...not with my new 'one pack'
or swim.
Cant do that much either although I can do 63 different variations of the Doggy paddle.
So you will come last !!!!!!!
(Big Smile) No I wont, ill beat you
Ha ha
The fear of me beating you will push You on, the fear of coming last will do the same for me.
Are you serious????????
When its posted on my blog as an event I am entering there is no backing down.
So you can take a Mule to water and Make him Swim
You bet you can.........As soon as the dates are published Im entering. Paddy le Patron of the MULES has asked me if I could use my blog as the official blog for The Mules website which I have agreed to. So as well as the usual ramblings I will be reporting on events state side.
To start off I am joyed to introduce three new Mules to the stable

Greg Macarelli (USA)


One of the elder statesmen who belies his age with a fitness and cycling ability that somebody half his age would be proud of.

Shawn Chmil (Canada)

Powerful rider who can spin the big rings all day and is often pulling the pack.

Christian Clark (USA)
Each team has to have a flier and Christian is ours. Whatever the terrain he is champing at the bit. Totally able to sprint to the finish and ensure that the stable is full of beer for their thirsty Mules.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hotter than Hell 2011 Part 2

Texas in August is hot every year but in 2011 it was one of the hottest on record, with days of contiuous 100 degrees plus reaching double figures. For this reason Joanne and I decided to arrive in the 'Lone star state' ten days before the Hotter than Hell. We were later followed by our fellow Anglo Mules Simon and Karen. Apart from wanting to empty my brother wine cellar we wanted to ensure our lungs were not too scorched with some gradual aclimatisation.











Tragically on our first ride together, with a full compliment of Anglo Mules - Karen had a horrific accident. She had to be flown by helicopter to Herman Memorial Hospital with serious head injuries. (Thankfully she is now well on her way to recovery and on behalf of the Mules we all wish her a speedy recovery)



As a cyclist you are constantly aware of the risk of being on a bike.



Cycing can be a dangerous in all its forms and accidents can and do occur anywhere and at anytime. Every year hundreds of cyclists take part in the Tour de France knowing that some of them will not finish due to some serious injury. I am sure Antonio Fletcha did not expect to have his tour ended by the reckless driving of an impatient French Television Crew.



I am ceratin that some TV producers are more interested in recording the carnaage than the cadence at times.



I think that when you are involved in a serious accienent or have witnessed one as was the case with Karen then you fully appreciate the potential for risk in all its forms.



In Karens case it was a pace line 'wheel touch', but as we all know acccidents can be caused by a variety of things. Mechanical faults, Road surface, other road users and your reactions to all of them.



In true British Spirit Simon and Karen wanted 'The show to go on' so we hitched up the Mule Trailer and headed out of town.





When I was 7 years old I lived in Fort Worth for three years as my father was there with work. last year we revisited on our way to the ride having luch in the old stock yard area.



We loved it so much that it was inevitable that we would revisit. With saddles for bar stools, great beer and fine food it was the perfect lunch stop.









After lunch we headed north and as we did so the teperature rose from an already scorcing 103 degrees.



............... 105 degrees the surrounding land was brown where the lush grass had been burnt many months previous



............107 degrees the ocaisional wooded or forrest area were populated with chared black trees, burnt to the truck by fires and giving the appeareance of hundreds of Totem Poles



............109 a constant mirage appeared in every distant hollow where I was half expecting to see Bing Crosby and Bob Hope






112 degrees ...................that enough I shouted to Kenny asking him to stop at a gas station for a drink. I was not thirsty but wished to drink out of respect for natures heat.



As we got closer to Witchita Falls the lanes became full of assorted vehicles carrying bikes. It was a truly fine sight although I have to admit there was no other convoy which could compare to the Mule wagon Train.



Once at Witchita the Mules required water and hay before rest. That translated to water and Pasta for most but for Kenny and I it was Shiner and more shiner with some strange food chucked into the mix. I was hydrating myself after all.



We elected to start at 6.15 to avoid the heat of the day........well as much as we could. The Mules set off at a blistering pace of 20 mph which in traffic was quite remarkable.



We all wore pink ribbons on our helmets to acknowledge that our thoughts and prayers were with Katren and Simon.



With the combination of speed and congestion and the associated fear of crashing Joanne was our first casulty SAGGING after 35 miles leaving me the only Anglo Mule left.






As the sun came up the suffering started and having our progress hampered by a succession of punctures the temperatures were soon over 100 degrees. Although cycling jerseys have three pockets at the rear I have only ever used one however I soon realised that if you filled the others ful of ice and did the same with your helmet at each stop then you could manage to keep your core temperature from rising too quickly.



By mid day the heat was attacking from two directions. The sun 109 degrees and bouncing off the road at over 120 degrees.........Some of the Mules were wilting.





At Hells gate we stoopped at the garage to 'Re Ice' only to discover one of my blog readers anticipating our arrival to provide moral support for the second year in a row, this time he had brought his grandson..............I was quite chocked








Eventually we made it in a very respectable time averaging 18.1 mph........Some hours later the sag wagons were still bringing riders in. Those who did not quite make it.



This year was ceratinly hotter than Hell and the hottest ride on record.