Archive for the ‘Motocross’ Category

Controversy Surrounds TDF Leader Chris Froome

Chris Froome image: en.wikipedia.org

Tour de France race leader Chris Froome has lashed out at sections of the media, blaming them for whipping up a frenzy of innuendo and speculation about him.

About a third of the way through the beautiful 178km stage 14 (Rodez to Mende) Froome says he saw a fan ‘acting strangely’.

“I saw this guy just peering around and I thought, ‘That looks a bit strange’.”

“As I got there he just sort of launched this cup toward me and said (in French) ‘Doper!’

“No mistake,” said Froome, “it was urine.”

The day should have been a double celebration: South African Stephen Cummings won his first stage victory, coinciding with Nelson Mandela Day.

But the day was marred by the actions of a few.

Chris Froome’s Sky Cycling teammate, Richie Porte, also claimed a spectator hit him during the race with a ‘full-on punch’ during a climb on the Pyrenees.

Both men are laying the blame on over-exuberant journalists ‘whipping up all the rubbish that they are.’

“I certainly wouldn’t blame the public for this,” said Froome. “I would blame some of the reporting on the race that has been very irresponsible.

“It is no longer the riders who are bringing the sport into disrepute now, it’s those individuals, and they know who they are.”

Froome again raised eyebrows with another super-human acceleration on a fiercely steep final climb. He raced away from his competitors, taking one second from Quintana and more from his other rivals.

Paris-Roubaix Nearly Ends in Tragedy

Image: news.com.au

The blood, sweat, and tears of the Paris-Roubaix one-day classic cycle race nearly ended in tragedy. Several riders had a near miss with a high speed TGV train as they sought to cross the line as the safety barrier was descending.

One of the rider, from the Belgian Lotto team, was actually clipped by the barrier as it descended, with the train hurtling towards him only seconds away.

Organisers shudder to think what might have happened if he’d fallen onto the track.

The incident took place about 87 kilometres from the Roubaix finish.

The race, known (almost feared) as The Hell of the North, has stretches of brutal, bone-breaking cobblestones; winding dirt tracks; tortuous, spirit sapping climbs; and leg burning open bitumen straights.

But riders are aggressive and willing to take risks in order to win this prestigious event.

The riders who chose to cross as the boom gate was lowering were, technically, breaking the rules. In 2006, three riders working together to reel in a lone breakaway (eventual winner Fabian Cancellara) found themselves disqualified after skirting a lowered railway line barrier only 10 kilometres from the finish.

Image: news.com.au

Image: news.com.au

Race organisers, however, were quickly onto the riders who had slipped through the barrier. They were told to slow down so that those behind them could catch up – which was only fair.

The riders agreed and the race officials let them off with a frown and a hard gaze.

Guy Dobbelaere, the president of the jury of race commissioners, told reporters: “It wasn’t possible for the leading riders to stop sufficiently safely.

‘By neutralising the race for a few moments to not penalise those who stopped, we respected the spirit of the rule.

“In theory, those who pass when the barrier is down are thrown out of the race. This time, that would have been unjust in respect of those riders who weren’t identified.”

Australian Toby Price Second on Sixth Dakar Stage

Toby Price. Image: commons.wikimedia.org

The 318 kilometer sixth stage of the Dakar rally in Chile saw competitors crest high mountain ridges, descend winding valleys and open up along endless sandy beach dunes.

Helder Rodriguez won the stage by less than a minute over Novocastrian 27 year-old Toby Price.

Price beat his KTM team mates home, including two-time Dakar winner Marc Coma and overall leader Joan Barreda.

Not since Matt Fish took third place in 2013 has an Australian done so well. And not since Andy Caldecott has a rider done as well on their debut.

Price now climbs into the top five in the overall classification, 33 minutes behind race leader and teammate Barreda.

“I’m stoked to be a the half way mark and get a good result today,: said a clearly euphoric Price. “I caught a bit of dust at first, but then I made my way around some of the guys and was in the clear.

“I almost missed a way point at one stage, but I turned back and got it. After that I kept motoring along and didn’t get lost once. I was pretty surprised.”

Riders receive a ‘roadbook’ with the day’s way stations marked on it. It is very easy to make mistakes; and mistakes can be dangerous and costly.

“I think the navigation is slowly coming,” Price continued. “I think we’re getting the hang of it now. I take my time with it and at the end of the day it’s better because I don’t rush things.”

KTM team manager Alex Doringer is thrilled with Price. He believes his young protégé has the potential and talent to make his mark in off-road motorcycle endurance racing.

Though Price has extensive experience with dirt bike racing he is still a rookie at navigation. But with careful tutelage and teammates like Barreda he is sure to be nursed to the very top of this grueling sport.

Barreda extended his overall lead to 12 minutes over Coma, despite both men losing time because of misdirection on the stage.

Robbie Maddison Does the Incredible – Again!

Image: www.news.com.au

Robbie Maddison is in a job with no insurance. This is the man who did a backflip on his motorcycle across London’s Tower Bridge, the same man who rode his motorcycle up a jump to land atop the Arc de Triomphe. One couldn’t think of anything more dangerous than that – but Robbie did.

This week Maddison stunned the world by riding his motorcycle down the Olympic park, Utah, bobsleigh track.

Not content with that, Maddison then rode his bike down and off the aerial ski jump – falling a from an apex of a gut twisting 57 meters. Speedometers clocked him at travelling just over 114kpm as he hit the small rise in the jump that jettisoned him into space.

To give you some idea of how far Maddison and his bike fell, 57 meters is the equivalent of Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building or Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station.

Six months later he back flipped his motorcycle from one side of London’s Tower bridge to the other while the drawbridge was open.

Not a job that comes with a pension plan.

Both bike and rider made it through both stunts without even a hint of trouble. Though one can only imagine his heart rate at the time.Maddison holds records for the most number of backflips on a motorcycle, longest motorcycle jump and a slew or motocross freestyle firsts.

Image: www.news.com.au

Image: www.news.com.au

On New Year’s Eve he went viral on Youtube after releasing footage of jumping his motorcycle off a ramp and onto the Arc de Triomphe in the centre of Paris. He then turned around and jumped off it again to land safely on the ramp and terra firma.

Equiprent and the Motocross Fundraiser

 When a Perth Cricket club recently decided to raise funds for clubhouse extensions a call was made to the members for ideas. Nothing was off limits, everything would be considered – no matter how wild.

And so the idea of a motocross rally and show was born.

Several of the members had sons or daughters in motocross clubs. Motocross, for those unfamiliar with the sport, is an exhilarating, fast-paced, viewer friendly sport. It consists of riders negotiating a hilly, convoluted circuit and breakneck speed. All the action takes place in front of the audience

operatorThe idea put to the Cricket Club Board was to transform the cricket grounds into a motocross circuit and sell tickets to the one-night event. It would certainly beat the hell out of a lamington drive.

The first problem was to construct a course.

Fortunately one of the board members had previous experience with the mining industry. “It’s not as hard as you think,” he told his fellow board members. “Places like Equiprent offer equipment for just this kind of job.”

And they do.

An engineer donated his time to calculate the volume of soil required to construct a course, operatorEquiprent was asked about equipment able to transport and move the earth. They were even asked about hiring drivers for the machinery (which they also helped with).

In fact, had it not been for Equiprent an otherwise splendid idea would have been dead in the water.

It took a lot of planning and a lot of work, but the event went ahead. It was a roaring success.