Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the gold medal during the Men's Road Cycling race at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.
Despite the best efforts of Team GB, Alexandr Vinokurov of Kazakstan won after a head-to-head sprint with Columbia’s Rigoberto Uran Uran down The Mall, just around the corner from Buckingham Palace. Despite the British failure to win a much-anticipated gold, a long-term technical research project lead by British Cycling has laid the groundwork for the country’s stunning success in the sport over the past decade. The British aren’t the first country to look to custom bikes to gain a competitively edge in aerodynamics and weight. In reaction to these multi-million dollar projects, the UCI, cycling’s international governing body, now requires that any bike ridden in competition must be available for purchase by regular riders.
The route starts up a cliff road that can easily be seen from the Valley below – near Martigny. I had a mountain bike, and personally I wouldn’t recommend it on a road bike, but I have an adventurous friend who recently cheerfully climbed it on a road bike. Near Finault, the route rejoins the main paved road up to the Barrage (dam) d’Emosson. A very fun alternate route to the beautiful Lac d'Emosson with a superb middle section on an unpaved trail.
I’ve done the gravel section between Le Tretien and Finhault on a road bike a couple of times, as has my wife and a few friends, all without problems. Pingback: A challenging but beautiful little mountain bike ride above Argentiere ski station near Chamonix. Signed up to an epic mountain sportive like L’Etape Australia but starting to regret your decision?

Recent history suggests there is a reason for a nation to get excited if it wins a team pursuit world title in an Olympic year.
Last Sunday myself and 49 other girls from around the UK rode through Essex with Marianne Vos, Rebecca Charlton and Alice Barnes.  That’s more a statement for me, than for you dear readers, as I still can’t quite believe it myself. The word got out on the twittersphere last week that a ladies only secret twitter ride was to take place with the multiple world champion, Marianne Vos, who describes herself as a “fulltime hobby cyclist”. Vos split her time between the three groups and had plenty of advice for the girls along the way. For me personally, the special nature of the ride was that it brought together so many ladies who all share the same passion.
New friendships have been forged, ideas and tips shared, and a special day riding with the pros will be remembered forever. Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers.
The heavy favorite in the men’s cycling road race found himself out of luck after a 30-man breakaway established itself about 40 km from the finish. This is in contrast to most riders in the Olympic race, who rode bikes built by the sponsor of their usual trade teams, from companies like Specialized and Trek. On the UK Sport website, there’s a page that indicates that you can send an email to inquire about one. There is a truly amazing little road on the far side of the lake that heads up much higher to a smaller dam and lake – see the second ride link above, but currently there is construction going on and I got yelled at to turn around as I tried to cross the dam.
Make sure that you have really low gearing though, because it is steep, plus some low-speed bike handling skills and some know-how about smooth pedaling style and good line choice to maintain traction on the rear wheel all help, too.

Beth Hodge joined 49 other ladies for a spin in the Essex countryside with none other than Vos herself.
Vos was happily signing bikes and caps (thanks to the rider who brought the Sharpie!) along with posing for photos.  She was so chilled out, especially considering that she had just wrapped up a weekend of hard racing. A support car led the way with photographers sat in the boot, and the fantastic London based Les Filles racing team were allocated as ride leaders, armed with map loaded Garmins to keep us all on course.  Weaving our way through London, turning plenty of heads as we went, we soon got out into the countryside where we started rolling proper. There are big plans afoot in the world of women’s cycling led by professional cyclists including Vos. Last week, Bradley Wiggins became the first British rider to win the Tour de France, and Cavendish won the World Championship road race last year. So, add us to your ad blocker’s whitelist or pay $1 per week for an ad-free version of WIRED.
Jen was openly nervous about Sunday’s ride, but the open and friendly nature of the group gave her bags of confidence: “It was an amazing experience. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.
There was plenty of chatter about the race series, what clubs we rode with and friends were made instantly -many faces were recognised from Twitter.

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