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Sunday, 23 December 2012

GUN CONTROL

The call for a ban on guns is clearly a justified and a gallant attempt to stop this haemorrhage of death in the United States.
Mass shootings are not a prerogative of the States, we've had enough of those in Europe as well as around the world but it's not comparative to scale. There have been scores of dead in a lot of countries, what worries the most in the US is the frequency. Nearly 60 schools have had some type of shooting since 1996 and nearly 200 people dead because of that. The spread is nationwide.
But most worrying is the number of people killed in gun related incidents: over 30,000 per year, and by 2015 it is set to overtake deaths by driving.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

RESPONSE TO EXPRESS "JOURNALIST"

"Perhaps it is because my late mother had an affair with a cyclist that I have never had much time for them."
This is the start of a ludicrous article against everything that is cycling by Express "journalist" Camilla Tominey. Because of a bad personal experience, she decides that anyone on two wheels is worth degrading and humiliating. It shows a journalist who is bitter, badly informed and mostly ignorant and who takes her personal issues into her business affairs...professionally this is very poor., but let's have a look at why:

Thursday, 29 November 2012

LONDON TO PARIS FOR CHILDREN WITH MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY













On May 31 2013, I will be riding London to Paris with Channel 4 News presenters Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Jon Snow and a host of friends and colleagues.
Here's my donation page: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/fabrizioviani1
The start will be at the Channel 4 HQ in London and we'll be heading to Newhaven, then by ferry to Dieppe, then another leg to Paris.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G-zzBfGBts
The reason for this ride is to raise money and awareness for the Duchenne Children's Trust: http://www.dc-trust.org/about/about-us/

Sunday, 4 November 2012

RECIPE: BRITISH BEEF CASSEROLE

I absolutely love traditional British cuisine. It is underestimated here in the UK and virtually unknown abroad. With the right ingredients it is full of flavours and colour. This particular recipe is perfect for the cold weather, it's a comfy blanket dished out from the kitchen.

Ingredients:
1 tbs olive oil
500gr Aberdeen Angus diced beef
1 tbs plain flour
200g shallots or roughly chopped onions
500g chanteney carrots (mini bunched carrots) topped
400g swede cut into chunks
400g chopped tomatoes
500ml beef stock
1 sprig of thyme
250g chestnut mushrooms roughly chopped

Saturday, 3 November 2012

NUTRITION AND TRAINING FOR CYCLING

I've attended a seminar run by Daniel Lloyd (formerly of Garmin, now IG Sigma Sport) and Dr Robert Child (worked with Cervelo, Geox and Brajkovic).
There was a lot to take in and a lot of it. The part about power meters' parameters was a bit lost on me as were some of the nutritionist terms. These are just some points I've picked up that I wanted to remind myself. Any mistakes are solely mine.


- Change in the way I eat: huge breakfast, medium lunch, small dinner.
- Because I commute on the bike I have to split breakfast in two, starting with kipper or eggs and coffee, riding, then porridge and some fruit, possibly some toast with jam too.
- Lunch: Meat/fish, veg, rice
- Dinner: Meat/fish, salad
- Good for protein: Milk and eggs (antioxidants); Fish and meat (creatine, carnosine, carnitine)
- Not good: Most dairy, white bread, soy
- Omega: Fish and Olive oil (omega 3 can be taken with 3x1000mg tablets, it reduces HR, improves mood and ventilation)

Thursday, 1 November 2012

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

A small event that eventually becomes a hurricane. Surely not.
But it does. Actually, several smaller events (Andreu, Landis, Hamilton) eventually conflagrated in Hurricane Lance. Myths crumbled, feats were re-dimensioned, dopers fell and still falling.

The use/abuse of charity in the form of Livestrong, the lies, the deceits, the threats. The systemic use of dope. The ugliness of a sport supported for its grit and  heroic exploits.

Some riders claim it was all in the past and cycling has changed.
No it hasn't. What it has though is subsided.
There are dopers even now. It's not behind us.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

REVISED TOUR DE FRANCE WINNERS 1996-2012













1996 - Laurent Dufaux (4th) SUI
1997 - Abraham Olano (4th) ESP
1998 - Christophe Rinero (4th) FRA
1999 - Fernando Escartin (3rd) ESP
2000 - Fernando Escartin (8th) ESP
2001 - Andrey Kivilev (4th) KAZ
2002 - Jose' Azevedo (6th) POR
2003 - Haimar Zubeldia (5th) ESP
2004 - Andreas Kloden (4th) GER
2005 - Cadel Evans (8th) AUS
2006 - Oscar Pereiro (2nd) AUS
2007 - Cadel Evans (2nd) AUS
2008 - Carlos Sastre (1st) ESP
2009 - Andy Schleck (2nd) LUX
2010 - Andy Schleck (2nd) LUX
2011 - Cadel Evans (1st) AUS
2012 - Bradley Wiggins (1st) GBR

Saturday, 22 September 2012

ELITE WOMEN WORLD ROAD RACE 2012

This felt like one of those iconic races which will be remembered for a long time.
It was an incredible display of grit and strength.

It all started to unfold with a break from a small group. Commentators doubted they would be able to stay away, and that might have been the case but as they reached around 37" gap from the main peloton and only a few laps left, Dutch super rider Marianne Vos attacked, closely followed by Longo Borghini of Italy. 
Once they bridged the gap the Dutch and the Italians had two riders in the break. At that point it felt like game over for the riders chasing the group.

Vos was possessed, she had the look you only see in true champions. There was no doubt and no faltering at any time.

OF CAV AND THINGS SKY...

What made it difficult at first for Cav to say yes to Sky last year was the fact that he wouldn't be riding Specialized (he likes them and they sponsored him). Then he suddenly agreed to join them.
The agreement reached in my opinion was for Specialized to let Cav go to Sky for one year so that he could prepare for the Olympics with his TeamGB teammates, then join OmegaPharmaQuickStep (Specialized bikes), then provide bikes to Sky as payback for letting him go play with Pinarello bikes in 2014. I think it was all sorted out last year.
I don't think Sky would have been happy to lose millions of pounds in compensation just to be nice.
Cav he's going to take wins from them next year (therefore more money loss for Sky), could still be wearing a rainbow jersey, and is British hero to many.
I don't see how Cav's situation could be any better at OPQS than at Sky. Won't have a big train dedicated to him as that's not how that team is set up, most riders in that team work on their own or with one or two other riders.
So, other than going back to his main sponsor I don't see the logic in the change.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

AN OLYMPIC EFFORT

When the Olympic cycling road race and TT race routes were announced I was extremely excited. I live bang in the middle of both. One of the most important races in cycling was going to be ridden near my house. Television screens would be filled with images of roads I'm familiar with, the pros will be riding my commute to work AND some of my cycling club runs' routes (Kingston Wheelers).

Friday, 15 June 2012

WIGGLE DRAGON RIDE 2012

In the graphics department at Channel4News we're all into cycling, sometimes train together at lunchtime, so five of us plus a friend who joined us there, decided to enter the Wiggle Dragon Ride in South Wales. This is a sportive, a timed road cycling event with over 4,000 participants from all over the country and beyond.
I did this event a few years back, but it was a lot shorter and not so much climbing.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

CHILTERN 100: HOW TO RIDE A SPORTIVE WITHOUT TRAINING

The short anwer is....yes, so you don't need to read any further.
Cycling has been a major feature in our graphics department at work, it so happens that all four of us (and a few more around the newsroom) enjoy cycling and we always have eurosport in the monitors next to our working stations, to the annoyance of our fellow colleagues who have to order some graphics for the evening news.
Three of us started commuting 7 or 8 years ago, another colleague 2 years ago (but road bike only a year or so) and the latest 'recruit' is the news director with only a few months of experience.
Some of us belong to cycling clubs, done sportives (including Marmotte, Maratona dles Dolomites), trips to Paris and so on, but generally we stick to simply commuting to and from work.
Cycling fever being very contagious, we decided why not entering a sportive all together, so we planned for the Dragon Ride.

To prepare for it, so to speak, I didn't do any long rides, simply the 22km each way commute to work. I guess it can be considered a good interval training session, with the stop and start at the traffic lights, couple of hills, well ok, ramps, around or in Richmond Park, and longish stretches where, traffic permitting, is possible to go at sustained speed.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

CYCLING HALL OF FAME: THE NATIONS

Which nations are more successfull in cycling history? According to results from big races and taking in consideration the 10 best placed riders of each nations from my hall of fame http://goo.gl/VPzCY the results are mixed. The top countries are unsurprisingly Italy, Belgium and France. Although France seems to live on the glory of the past, as do The Netherlands. Spain's top riders are more from recent times and is firmly in 4th place. Switzerland was a bit of a surprise for me in 5th place. Luxembourg is an amazing little enclave considering the size of their population as they manage to sit proudly in 10th place. Australia and Great Britain have the best outlook for the future, although GB doesn't quite have 10 riders in the hall of fame as yet. Ireland only have 3 riders but when they did well, they did incredibly well with 6th and 49th top positions. Countries from the East and Latin America don't seem to have had a great impact as yet.

Monday, 20 February 2012

CYCLING HALL OF FAME: THE RIDERS

This hall of fame is compiled taking in consideration only wins, this is for two reasons. One is time, the other is that this is more about the long term legacy of single riders. I have updated this with Armstrong's downfall.
It doesn't give some riders justice, namely those incredible domestiques whose effort is crucial for their captains' wins.
This is simply for fun and to give some sense of worth in the broader view of the history of cycling. I have included most big races, some, like Tour of Poland and Turkey only from 2005 and 2007, when they acquired higher UCI status. For the same reason I've included the Tour of Beijing because despite being an awfully boring race, it hosts world tour teams, therefore will grow in status.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

TOUR DE SAN LUIS 2012

The Tour de San Luis is not well known. Nevertheless is growing in status, with many pro and continental teams choosing to make the long trip to a different down under, almost at the same latitude as the Australian race. SaxoBank, Liquigas-Cannondale, OmegaPharma-QuickStep, AG2R-LaMondiale, Movistar, Andalucia, AndroniVenezuela, Caja Rural, Colnago-CSF Inox, Farnese-SelleItalia, Team NetApp, UnitedHealthCare, Christina Watches, and few other south American national teams. It's a good showcase of talent for riders who find it difficult to enter the European sphere for distance, money and infrastructure. The crowds at the presentations were enormous, one to rival any tour.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

TOUR DOWN UNDER 2012

Down Under Classic
Putting the problems I have about the name aside, the opening Criterium was a lively 50km race (shouldn't call a race a classic...that term is earned!). Greipel and the Lotto team showed to be on form. Greipel's speed towards the finishing line was breathtaking.

Stage 1
Another Greipel's victory, this time slightly more laboured as he had to start the final sprint from 20/25 positions down, thanks to a mighty crash about 900mt from the end. But it showed that with this form, Greipel can pick and choose his moments. After the race he had a go at Petacchi (rightly so) for veering dangerously from left to right, but he should know that those are the dangers if you're trying to nip from behind as noone is hardly going to leave a wide corridor.

Friday, 13 January 2012

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PUNCTURES

Went to the shed yesterday morning to pick up my bike, ready for my commute to work. And there it was in all its glory...the unexpected, sneaky and cynical morning puncture.
I am a cyclist therefore I am a puncture repair expert. I have to be.
I have been riding now for nearly seven years in the streets of London, the Surrey hills, Italian and French Alps. When I started I knew nothing about bike repairs, puncture fixing. I was given a 70s Bianchi by my uncle and it had tubs. The first time I puctured luckily it was near home, so I pushed it along the pavement all the way to my local shop. I was charged £20 and it had to be done overnight as the glue needed to set. At the second puncture I decided not to risk it anymore so I changed the wheels with clinchers I had in the shed and off I went. Inevitably I did puncture and like for anything else, took it to the shop but they asked for £10 to repair, and could I go the next day as they were busy!