Pedal Dancer® - an online cycling blog, sport and travel guide for cycling enthusiasts. Bike and Travel Topics include: Tour de France, Spring Classics, Giro d' Italia, Vuelta a España, Tour of California, USA Pro Challenge, Sports and Travel Photography, France Travel, Colorado Travel, France Cycling, Colorado Cycling, Road Bikes and Cycling Equipment, Cycling Events, Cycling Races, Cycling Routes, Cycling Maps, and Bike Tours.

31 March 2012

Big Day tomorrow

Where should I be?
I think this question should be posed as where will I be? In a maze of parcours and fans I will be happy simply seeing any part of the race. It might be more likely the Kwaremont, and less likely the Paterberg or the Koppenberg. Although the Paterberg had fantastic atmosphere and the Koppenberg is a wonderful place to be. The Kwaremont might be a VIP zoo, but the access is much easier. I'll let you know how it went ....
Kwaremont
©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Paterberg
©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Koppenberg
©Photo by PedalDancer.com
This sign means that 10% of the population of Belgium might be out on the roads on Sunday until at least 6:00pm. This race is a big deal in Belgium and I am thrilled to be here for it.
©Photo by PedalDancer.com

Hanging with the teams

Just another fan in Belgium

Yesterday on my second day of crazed rally car driving in the countryside, I was thrilled to visit many of the major bergs in the area. I have laid my eyes upon the Paterberg, Kwaremont, Koppenberg, Eikenberg, and Molenberg. I have also laid my feet and car tires upon these climbs as well. I witnessed others laying their bodies upon the climbs; I happily stayed upright. 
I have now pulled U-turns and stopped along the road, to check my map, in nearly every small town in Flanders, or so it seems. After ditching my phonetic speaking Garmin car GPS for traditional Michelin paper maps, I have lowered my getting lost feeling from 75 times a day to a manageable 22. I have also discovered that the best way to manage hydration (and therefore having no need to take a break in the countryside) is to not drink water all day and then enjoy 2 Triple Karmeliats in the evening. Add to that my day's diet of stroopwafles and an apple and you can guess I am not in training mode while on this vacation.

I am somewhere between I can't believe I am actually here to see this in person and I think I have already seen that building 2 times before - does this mean I'm lost again! This morning I was going to go watch the Cyclosportif to see real humans tackle the famous climbs, but realizing that 20,000 people stood between me and a good parking space, I instead decided to rest the car clutch and my nerves for a few hours ... what to do, what to do.... hmm, since 20,000 cyclosportivees (or is it cyclosportivians) are peppering the hills of Flanders this morning, chances are the ProTeams will be nearby and out on local rides this fine Friday morning before the big race on Sunday.... why not mosey on over to the team hotels marked on my custom made FMVC Hotspots in Kortrijk map (thanks to my friends at Frites en Mayo Velo Club) ..... commence moseying with map and camera in hand ....

Well lookie there the BMC team bus and mechanics right where the map said they would be. Why not ask if I could take some pictures and introduce myself, "Hi, I'm Karen from Colorado." "Oh ColorAdo," they replied, everyone was super nice as I positioned myself in wall-flower mode. It is a bit awkward standing around watching people do what they do best, but they are so gosh darn good at it and I always learn something. Absolute perfectionist mechanics worked on bikes to spec, cheery men filled bottles and loaded the coolers and cars for what seemed like 50 riders, merry personnel came and went giving interviews for cameramen, and sponsor representatives were there to deliver Bell helmets (dream job). Only a couple of us "fans" were there to witness it all.

I felt quite privileged. I started the morning with BMC and Lampre, then walked to Hotel Messyne to see SKY, then to the Park Hotel where Katousha and Saxo Bank were located. All within an easy walk. And it was pretty much me and the teams. Score. I have wonderful pictures from the morning, I'm back at the hotel waiting for my battery to recharge - it was a big morning for Pedal Dancer portrait photography. 
Thor Hushovd  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
George Hincapie  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Philippe Gilbert  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Alessandro Ballan  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Manuel Quinziato  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
Greg Van Avermaet  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
I have hundreds of photos now ... will post more on the climbs and the teams later. All I can say is I am having a BLAST in Belgium!

Many more photographs from this morning with the BMC team can be seen at: BMC solid through 2016

30 March 2012

The Mur de Grammont

It was better than I imagined

The Mur de Grammont is one of those sites we have all seen on TV and dreamed of walking upon. Yesterday I was one happy fan as I walked the steep cobbles to the familiar site of the chapel that rests upon Mur de Grammont (Muur Kapelmuur en néerlandais) (Muur van Geraardsbergen).<
Mur in English means wall, this wall is more like a path to heaven. It is longer, with more bends, then I had imagined. 


Would you believe I met these cyclists earlier in the day standing in the passport line at Brussels Airport? They are here for a "long weekend" to tackle both the Tour of Flanders Cyclosportif on Saturday, and the Paris-Roubaix Challenge on Sunday. From New York, Wisconsin, and California these riders were as happy as I was to be standing on a monument of cycling.


I marveled at how the earth around this cobbled lane had been pressed into the ground over years of fans standing and cheering. One could see the footprints of fans. Even on this quiet day with only occasional riders passing by, it is easy to imagine the excitement of being a fan on the Mur de Grammont (which will not be included in the 2012 Tour of Flanders).


Much more to come about traveling to Belgium and the sites from my first day (yesterday), for now many more bergs (which will be in the Tour of Flanders this Sunday) await ....

25 March 2012

Travel Lists for Cyclists

Guess what I am doing - packing for an adventure

Time to pack! What to bring, what to bring? I have two big trips coming up this year, my first trip is to Belgium, Italy, and France. This fun journey is focused around being a fan at the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix in April. It also includes a quick side trip to Florence, Italy, to visit my niece Kristina who is studying architecture for the year in Italy and Switzerland.

I had a romantic notion of traveling unencumbered to Europe as a simple fan, with a camera and one small bag. Concentrating on packing light but right for a mix of country mud and city cobbles, with no bicycle. That is right - no bike. This is the first trip in a long time when I will not be bringing a bike with me to Europe. Although I admit my small romantic bag grew in size when I was given the added task of exporting Belgian beer back to the United States for friends in Denver (FMVC). Oh well, beer is romantic - right?

My second adventure will be to France in July for the Tour de France. This will be the typical bike case, suitcase, backpack type of trip. I have a friend who claims he only brings one carry on bag on his bike trips to France. I was mighty impressed. I've never been able to pack that light for a cycling + hiking + city tourist adventure. Here I offer what I have learned about packing lists for cyclist travelers to help you decide what to bring on your next adventure. Bon voyage.

Travel Checklist for Cyclists : 1 CARRY-ON | 1 SUITCASE | 1 BIKE BOX
*Luggage Tags on all bags

CARRY ON rolling carry-on or backpack (in 3 parts)

CARRY-ON bag (main bag)

  • Cycling shoes
  • Bike pedals (I carry them on in case the bike case is lost in flight)
  • Sun Glasses – x2 pairs (cycling and casual)
  • Eye Glasses/contact lenses / Rx (eyes)
  • Medications / Rx (meds)
  • Camera /extra memory cards & extra battery
  • Travel Documents: Travel Book / Maps / Itinerary / Contact List / Directions
  • All battery chargers / cords / adapters
PURSE or moneybelt, secure inside CARRY-ON (keep inside carry on at all times or on your body)
  • Phone
  • Airline tickets
  • wallet
STUFF SACK stored inside CARRY-ON as you get on the plane, remove this bag for in-flight access near your feet and store the main bag up top in overhead storage.
  • Book/magazine, i/pad or reader
  • Laptop
  • water bottle (empty through security)
  • Food
  • ear plugs / eye mask
  • Tylenol / Meds / Chapstick
  • Mints / toothbrush / eyedrops
  • small tissue pack / travel wipes / liquid soap

SUITCASE with strap to attach rolling bike box

Miscellaneous
  • All personal sundries (toiletries)
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Light weight power strip (to charge all devices)
  • Alarm Clock/or phone
  • Plastic multiple hanger / clothesline (cord) and clothespins (for washing clothes)
  • Large plastic bags x2 (groceries)
  • Small plastic baggies for food storage (picnics and food while cycling)
  • Small flashlight/headlamp
  • Wine opener, beer opener
  • Extra napsacks (for later storage)
  • Photocopies of essential information: passport, credit card contact #s (hidden in suit case) (in case of theft of backpack/purse)
  • Locks/ lock keys for later storage (for storage at hotels and train stations)
  • small gifts for your hosts (optional)
Clothes
  • Plane: pants, shirt, lightweight fleece or cashmere sweater, compression socks >
  • pants / capris / skirts / dresses / shorts (x3-5)
  • Shirts for hot and cold weather (layers) (x5-8)
  • Sweater or vest
  • Rain jacket
  • Jacket for cool nights (city) (get a nice one that can be used on or off the bike)
  • Shoes x2-3 pairs (lots of walking in mixed weather conditions), and sandals
  • Underwear, socks (x5-7), compression socks (for plane)
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit (optional)
  • Jewelry – very simple
  • Hat for sun, and hat for warmth
  • Scarf / gloves (for cold weather)
*tips on packing clothes:
I pack by purpose, not everything needs to match, because I will not be wearing everything at the same time. I need a comfortable outfit for plane travel, 2-3 outfits to change into after riding or for being a tourist, 1 to hike in, 1-2 for dinner out, 1-2 city outfits (black is safe). Mix it up. 3 outfits should be adaptable to cold and 3 adaptable to hot weather, including warm rain. If you go for black in the cities, color in the countryside, you will fit in.

*tips on washing clothes:
Most of the time I am able to do laundry in the hotel at least every 3 days, so bring at least 3 days of cycling clothes. In the summertime cycling clothes will dry in 1 day (not always for the next morning), in spring and fall seasons allow 2 days to dry, in winter 3 days. You can also find laundromats to wash and dry clothes quickly, located in cities or sometimes next to markets in France.

*tips on TDF fan clothing:
In winter or cool months, a hat, scarf, gloves, and long ski socks or running tights will keep you warm when standing outside for long periods. During the hot days of summer remember it gets cold on mountain tops, bring a rain jacket, cap, and knee warmers. Bring a very light pair of flip-flop sandals to carry with you for standing around at TDF stages so you will not have to wear your cycling shoes for hours.

Cycling clothes
  • Helmet (I usually carry-on)
  • Cycling jerseys – x3
  • Cycling shorts – x3
  • >Cycling socks – x4
  • Arm Warmers
  • Knee Warmers
  • Vest – x1
  • Cycling rain jacket – x1
  • Gloves ½ x2
  • Gloves – full x1 (winter if cold)
  • Skull cap (mtn top finishes)
  • bike shoes (carry on plane)
  • *check weather – for colder layers, shoe covers, tights, warm jacket, etc.
  • Road I.D. - order one for national and one for international riding
Cycling Supplies
  • Chamoix crème, embrocation
  • Replacement drinks (optional)
  • Road I.D., identification, money
  • Water proof bags to carry phone and small camera
  • bike lock (optional)
  • Bike pump (small pump on bike, large pump - buy or barrow at location)
  • Extra inner tubes
  • Allen wrench, tire lever, pedal wrench, bike lube, rag (as needed)
  • Extra cleats (optional, or change prior to departure)
  • New tires, or tires in very good condition
  • Bike geometry measurements (optional)
  • *complete bike check to be done before departure
  • Road chalk, flags, hats, etc. (optional for fans)
BIKE BOX
  • ID tag on outside; also label inside case with name and address >
  • Bike (see link to packing instructions above)
  • 2 empty water bottles
  • Foam /foam tubes /rags /plastic zip ties for packing
  • *any tools used to disassemble the bike
  • *remove pedals and carry-on, or tape securely inside bike box
Seat Bag
  • Tubes x2
  • tire tools
  • copy of ID/passport in seat bag
  • (*remove air cartridges, not allowed in any airplane luggage)
Supplies to buy at destination (if staying longer than 7 days)
  • Shampoo, soaps, or any heavy liquids (bring 1st night's supplies with you)<
  • Baby wipes, small wash cloth (to rinse off immediately after riding)
  • Laundry soap (for hand-washing)
Optional supplies (for longer stays or camping/picnics)
  • Spoon, fork, knife, glasses (for picnics and drinks)
  • Cooler bag (day storage of food)
  • Floor pump (better tire pressure)
  • Sponge to clean bikes
  • 1-2 light cheap blankets to cover luggage/bikes while stored in car
  • Air cartridges for bike
*It is a safe idea to leave a full itinerary, contact information, medical and financial information at home with family member. Also give your family contact information to your travel companions.

Packing a bike case: Pedal Dancer: How to pack a bike box for Travel
Travel tips for cyclists: Pedal Dancer: Packing Tips for Cyclists
Dressing in layers (by temperature, for cyclists):

22 March 2012

I foresee a muddy Paris-Roubaix

Tut-tut it looks like rain
This year I am predicting mud. Forget the recent years of hot dusty racing on the cobbles in Belgium and France, it turns out that the talk of not including the famed Arenberg forest and the fuss over cleaning the slippery moss off the cobbles in the forest may have been prudent indeed. The early weather forecast for the 2012 Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix calls for rain rain and more rain. Ah springtime in Flanders!
I have thus revised my packing list, which now reads: rain coat, rain coat, and an extra rain coat in case the first two get wet. All these years I've watched the hardy fans waiting for hours slogging through the gutters and muddy fields of Flanders, thinking I want to be there among those hardy fans - well I might get my wish and then some. Please allow me at least one whimper from Belgium by the fifth day of rain, rain, followed by rain. 
Update 27 March, 2012. The weather report in Belgium is looking bright!
Weather forecast for Oudenaarde, Belgium - the finish village of the 2012 Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen) on April 01, 2012 (cloudy sunny 52°F):
Weather forecast for Roubaix, France - the finish village of the 2012 Paris-Roubaix, on April 08, 2012 (cloudy/sunny 50°F/10°C, chance of rain):
And lastly for those 20,000 special cyclists attempting their own Tour of Flanders by riding the Ronde van Vlaanderen for cyclotourists on Saturday, March 31, 2012, they will have cool weather only a chance of rain!
I am also predicting much discussion among riders and mechanics about wheels and tires for the races. Bring in the Ambrosio wheels. Related reading: Race tech: Wheel and tire choices at Paris-Roubaix 2011 By BikeRadar.

An Ambrosio wheel  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
"Queen of the North" Ambrosio rim  ©Photo by PedalDancer.com
How to recognize an Ambrosio wheel (even if the rims have been painted over to avoid Sponsor issues)
What's a little rain? I prefer to look on the bright side - the rain might result in more muddy George Hincapie epic photographs. For now see: Can we get some mud for George. This could be George's 17th Tour of Flanders, and it very well could be a muddy one.

For more race information read: 2012 Race Dates and Routes or visit CLASSICS 

19 March 2012

I LOVE CYCLING

Beauty, passion, knowledge, achievement, connection

The counter on Pedal Dancer, which tallies all you wonderful visitors from 15,634 cities around the world, just sailed by 250,000 and kept right on going. It took my breathe away when I looked at the figure representing individuals from all over the world who love cycling as much as I do.
Without a specific purpose I wanted to share with you what was on my task list as Pedal Dancer reached this landmark. Every week, every month, most days, I try to work on a task to build Pedal Dancer into the future. I want to be a different type of resource for cyclists, not only reporting on what the riders will do or have done in races, but a resource for information that will stick over time, making the world of being a fan that much more fun. 
This is what has been on my mind ...
BEAUTY
When I noticed that big 250,000 number I had been anticipating for months, I came onto the site this afternoon to add an old video to my new Classics resource page. Do you remember the black and white video of the riders jostling across the cobbles in the 2011 Paris-Roubaix? Well here it is again, the video that many will agree is one of the best cycling videos ever made:  

Parijs-Roubaix van dichtbij by on Apr 11, 2011
PASSION
I have spent recent days trying to learn the steps in applying for a press card, which is needed to cover the races in Europe. Not an easy task; I don't have an assignment from a magazine or news organization. I have no desire to compete with or add another news source for cycling. I am trying to build a resource for fans, a way of providing information, not only news. I have so many ideas for creating a different approach. Even when a project is sparked from enthusiastic passion, it still requires a lot of hard work.
KNOWLEDGE
There is so much to learn! As I read more in preparation for my travels to Belgium I am awed by the tradition of both the racing and the fans in Belgium. I want to be there, to experience it fully. Set aside the time and money to make a trip like this happen, I feel a desire to know and learn as much as possible before I go, to earn the going. I also want to keep the fuel burning long after I return. I never know a place until I've walked the streets, read the signs, gotten lost 4 times, met a person with whom I have a commonality, and had an unexpected experience bad or delightful. That is travel.
ACHIEVEMENT
Yesterday I walked my dog around beautiful Balboa Island, California, as the wind rattled the rigging lines on the boats moored in the harbor. Every so often I fall back to the simple fact that the world of cycling is all about connecting people in hopes of having a faster better day on a bike. No matter who you are, we are looking for that good day, that fast ride, where all the preparation and hard work comes together. When we are better than we were before, when we have achieved. 
CONNECTION
As I walked I found myself reflecting on a photo I had seen on a blog months ago, to me the image made this great big crazy world of cycling seem so much more personal. The image below is of the sign-in sheet from Stage 6 of the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. On the sheet are the signatures of every rider who mounted his bike that morning in Golden, Colorado, to give his best at competition. 
To me these signatures are a symbol of riders who built on their dreams day after day, never giving up hope, always believing that they could win or get a win for a teammate. Step after step until their steps took them up to the sign-in stage of a professional bike race where they stood before all to say "here I go, I am going to go get that good day, that fast ride, watch me fly."
Sign-in sheet  Photo by Dude...Buddy blog 
Click image to enlarge
ABOUT THE IMAGE: The photo was taken at the stage start area in Golden during the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado by Brian at Dude...Buddy blog. When I contacted Brian to ask about the photo, he told me his story from the day: "All stage races have riders "sign in" for each stage.  It's an official way to have the riders say they are continuing with the race.  It's an unofficial way to parade the riders out before the race.  My four year old and I had been up on Lookout Mountain for the race.  Afterwards we rode back down to Golden.  The main street where they started was all blocked off for cars and we rode through to check it out.  At the start they were displaying the sign in sheet.  I wish I could have seen the sign in but it was cool to see all the signatures.  So I snapped a photo with my phone.  Then we went to the park for the rest of the stage, we watched on a big screen they had setup. I didn't know they displayed the sign in sheet at the start, but it is pretty cool."
All these years I've seen the riders sign-in at races and this was the first time I had actually seen how and what they were signing. Very cool. 

The sign-in sheet is a marvel of tradition in the sport of cycling. Often used to insure that riders did not skip over the route by taking shortcuts, riders were required to sign-in at various points along the stage, today they of course only sign-in at the start. In the historical book of the Tour de France titled The Tour de France, author Christopher S. Thompson writes, "The newspaper L'Auto had an obsession with assessing the beauty and elegance reflected in the racer's handwriting at the check-point sign-in sheets. A regular feature in L'Auto from the very first tour, Racers' signatures often received prominent coverage. Racers photographs were often accompanied by their autographs, suggesting that a racer's signature was as representative of him as his face." They used to have competitions and award small cash prizes to riders with the best penmanship. Glad that tradition is over, what is most notable is the dreaded line through the box of those who abandoned the race. Their dreams will continue another day.


Thanks for reading! Keep on pedaling.

17 March 2012

Live from Italy

Completely worth waking up early
Who else watched Milan-San Remo this morning in the wee hours of the morn? I love the tradition, and have to admit that I still prefer to keep things traditional in how I watch races in far distant lands.
Thanks to the go to source of Steephill.TV, who offers links to live video in one quick visit. The link matters - La Gazetta camera coverage was ahead of Sporza, which was far ahead of Eurosport. I usually keep two browsers up because the cameras cover different angles, and I can watch one or the other through any commercials. Today the English audio from Eurosport lagged behind and is mostly filler with little real race information, sometimes I prefer to listen in Italian or French. 
I was happy to again pull up the live race feed report on CyclingNews.com for real information. When I still can't get the full information I turn to Twitter, but mostly focus on @Inrng for race tweets. Most of the rest are a waste of time in reading and take my eyes off the real experience of watching the race (but fun to scan post race). It is amazing how much misinformation gets spread on Twitter and how much of the content is just people thinking out loud. Yes Tom Boonen fell, anyone watching La Gazetta live coverage could see his fall clearly. Nicholas Roche said the fall was due to a low-flying helicopter on the last turn, but I was wondering why that moto was among the riders in the final sprint turn. 
Lastly I like to add to my race watching enjoyment the usual texts to my brother. He was watching the race live with our parents. It's a family affair, and I was thrilled to be watching the first Monument of 2012 live. A bike race is always a good race when the winner is unexpected, and so visibly recognizes his achievement and shows his excitement on the podium. I hope you enjoyed it as well.
Simon Gerrans

It is of course St Patrick's Day, another day of tradition for my family. Last night I baked my Grandmother Julia's Irish bread, today I celebrate with family and friends. Have a wonderful day yourself.

16 March 2012

Recommended Viewing: Boonen's McLaren Venge

If you win a few races - you get one of these
So you can win more races. Last year at this time, Matt Goss won Milan-San Remo on a Specialized Venge, shorty after Mark Cavendish was given the first McLaren Venge bike. This year Tom Boonen is the lucky recipient to receive his new bike. I can't wait for Milan-San Remo - tomorrow!

One fast bike + one fast rider = one fast sprint finish

Discover the interesting details on this Omega Pharma-Quickstep custom painted bike. View an image gallery (20 photos) of Tom Boonen's new Specialized McLaren Venge: Pro bike gallery: Tom Boonen’s McLaren Venge By VeloNews.com

Tom Boonens new McLaren Venge bike   Image by VeloNews.com
Related posts: Update on the Classics
Read and see more images of Specialized Bikes on Pedal Dancer.

15 March 2012

Recommended reading: Pedal Stroke

What exactly is efficiency?
Watching Dave Zabriskie pedaling at the 2011 Tour of California  Photo by PedalDancer.com

Breakaway from Cancer® Champion

Nominate a Hero 
Do something nice for someone special today. Do you know someone who has overcome Cancer or contributed to overcoming the disease? If this person currently lives in Santa Rosa, Livermore, Clovis, or Los Angeles, California, you may nominate them as the Breakaway from Cancer® Champion for the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. Nominations (survivor, patient, caregiver, or advocate) are being accepted through March 23rd, 2012, for each of these 4 stages of the 8-day stage race. 

  • Santa Rosa - May 13
  • Livermore - May 15
  • Clovis - May 16
  • Los Angeles - May 20
Breakaway from Cancer Champions will be granted special access to the 2012 Amgen Tour of California, be recognized on stage, and lead the Breakaway Mile through their community. Read more about the Criteria for nominees. Then use the Online Nomination Form.  Online voting will take place to select the Breakaway from Cancer Champion in each community from April 9 - April 24. [check back for a link]
Read more at: www.breakawayfromcancer.com/champions.

14 March 2012

Update on the Classics

2012 Cycling Classics
Four Sundays in a row of great racing ahead from Italy, France, and Belgium. More race information about routes (parcours) and teams. Last year an Australian won in Italy, and three Belgians became national heroes by winning the 2 big 'Cobbled Classic' races in Belgium and the one 'Queen of the Classics' in France. You won't want to miss these - the heart of the Classics.

Did you know Paris-Roubaix was first run in 1896? Milano-Sanremo since 1904, Tour of Flanders since 1913, and Gent-Wevelgem since 1934. The term "Monuments" is used to refer to the oldest five races considered to be the most prestigious, these include: Milan – San Remo (Italy) in March, Tour of Flanders (Belgium) in April, Paris–Roubaix (France) in April, Liège–Bastogne–Liège (Belgium) in April, and Giro di Lombardia (Italy) in October. Only three riders have won all five 'Monument' one-day races during their careers: Roger De Vlaeminck, Rik Van Looy and Eddy Merckx, all three Belgians.

Below you will find links to the race websites, routes, profiles, time schedules, list of teams, rider start lists, and a reminder of who won in 2011.

Milan-San Remo  - Italy! (Milano-Sanremo) (La Primavera) (Sprinter's Classic)
Date: 17 March 2012
Race website: Milano San Remo official website or http://www.milansanremo.co.uk/ 
Organizer: La Gazzetta dello Sport 
Preview of the race: Milan-Sanremo - preparations meet tactics meet luck By Pedaling the Road, and Analysis: The real favorites for Milan-San Remo and what March says about July By VeloNews.com
Race History: How To Win Milano-Sanremo, By Fausto Coppi By Pez Cycling
Milan-San Remo Route: Milano - Sanremo Total: 298 Km 2012 Route Map 
Milan-San Remo Profile: Profile and Time Schedule (tabs) 
List of riders for Milan-San Remo: 2012 Startlist of riders
List of teams for Milan-San Remo:  
Acqua & Sapone (ITA)
Ag2r La Mondiale (FRA)
Astana Pro Team (KAZ) 
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Colnago - CSF Inox (IRL)
Colombia - Coldeportes (COL)
Euskaltel - Euskadi (ESP)
Farnese Vini - Selle Italia (GBR) 
FDJ - Big Mat (FRA) 
Garmin - Cervelo (USA) 
Greenedge Cycling Team (AUS) 
Katusha Team (RUS) 
Lampre - ISD (ITA) 
Liquigas - Cannondale (ITA) 
Lotto Belisol Team (BEL) 
Movistar Team (ESP) 
Omega Pharma - Quickstep (BEL)
Project 1T4I (NED) 
Rabobank Cycling Team (NED) 
Radioshack - Nissan (LUX) 
Sky Procycling (GBR) 
Team Saxo Bank (DEN)
Team Type 1 - Sanofi (USA)
Utensilnord Named (IRL)
Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team (NED) 

Go to Steephill.TV for links to live viewing
Milano-Sanremo 2012 is Saturday March 17th
Start time: Saturday 9:45 CET (1:45:00 AM MST); Current Weather in Milan
Earliest live video: 14:40 CET (6:40:00 AM MST); Live video, audio and text options
Approximate finish 17:00 CET (9:00:00 AM MST); Current Weather in San Remo
2012 Milan-San Remo route map
Last km map of Milan-San Remo
2011 winners: 
Milano-Sanremo 2011 results:
1 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad 
2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek 
3 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
Cancellara, Goss, Gilbert Milan San Remo 2011  Photo by Steephill.TV/sirotti

Gent-Wevelgem - Belgium!
Date: 25 March 2012 
Race website: Gent-Wevelgem official website 
Organizers: Flanders Classics
Gent-Wevelgem Route: 2012 Route (click and then zoom in map for greater details)
List of riders for Gent-Wevelgem: roster start list Definitieve deelnemerslijst 2012.pdf
List of teams for Gent-Wevelgem:
FDJ-BIG MAT
GARMIN-CERVELO
VACANSOLEIL-DCM PRO CYCLING TEAM
OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP
LOTTO BELISOL TEAM
BMC RACING TEAM
GREENEDGE CYCLING TEAM
RABOBANK CYCLING
TEAM SAXO BANK
SKY PROCYCLING
RADIOSHACK-NISSAN
ASTANA PRO TEAM
LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE
KATUSHA TEAM
AG2R LA MONDIALE
LAMPRE - ISD
MOVISTAR TEAM
EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI
ACCENT JOBS - WILLEMS VERANDA'S
LANDBOUWKREDIET
TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN - MERCATOR
PROJECT 1T4I
COFIDIS, LE CREDIT EN LIGNE
TEAM EUROPCAR
FARNESE VINI - SELLE ITALIA
TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN - MERCATOR



Route of 2012 Gent-Wevelgem
2011 winners: 
Gent-Wevelgem 2011 results: 
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step 
 2 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard Trek 
3 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Cervélo
Finish of 2011 Gent Wevelgem  Photo by Steephill.TV/reuters

Tour of Flanders - Belgium! (Ronde van Vlaanderen) (Flanders's Finest / Vlaanderens mooiste)
Dates: 1 April 2012 
Race website: De Ronde van Vlaanderen official website 
Organizers: Flanders Classics
2012 Ronde van Vlaanderen route: 2012 Route (zoom in map for greater details)
2012 Tour of Flanders Elite Mens time table: RVV 2012 Elite Men Timetable
2012 Tour of Flanders map of the order of the climbs: RVV 2012 Pressmap 
Citizens race:  Cyclotourists Tour of Flanders
List of riders for Tour of Flanders: roster 2012RVVHerenDeelnemers.pdf
List of teams for Tour of Flanders:
Omega-Pharma Quickstep
Lotto-Belisol
Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator
Landbouwkrediet
Veranda’s Willems-Accent
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
Rabobank
Project It4i
Team Argos-Shimano (new team name April 2012)
FDJ-BigMat
AG2R La Mondiale
Europcar
Lampre
Liquigas
Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli
BMC Racing Team
Garmin-Barracuda
Euskaltel
Movistar
Radioshack-Nissan Trek
Astana
GreenEdge Cycling Team
Katusha
Saxo Bank
Sky Procycling
Team Netapp

2012 Tour of Flanders parcours
Final laps of 2012 Tour of Flanders
Tour of Flanders video of final climbs for 2012:

2011 winners
Tour of Flanders 2011 results:
1 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Saxo Bank Sungard
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep
3 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek
Chavenel, Nuyens, Cancellara at 2011 Tour of Flanders  Photo by Steephill.TV/reuters


Paris-Roubaix - Belgium! (Hell of the North) (Queen of the Classics)
Dates: 8 April 2012 
Race website: Paris-Roubaix official website 
Organizers: A.S.O.
2012 Paris-Roubaix route (parcours): .letour.com Paris-Roubaix parcours
Citizens race: Cyclotourists Paris-Roubaix Challenge
News: Paris-Roubaix: Arenberg Trench Gets Approval
Start List of riders for Paris-Roubaix: 2012 Paris-Roubaix rider roster
List of teams for Paris-Roubaix:
The following eighteen teams have been selected in compliance with International Cycling Union rules :
AG2R – La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana Pro Team (Kaz)
BMC Racing Team (Usa)
Euskaltel – Euskadi (Esp)
FDJ – Big Mat (Fra)
Garmin – Barracuda (USA)
Greenedge Cycling Team (Aus)
Katusha Team (Rus)
Lampre – ISD (Ita)
Liquigas – Cannondale (Ita)
Lotto Belisol Team (Bel)
Movistar Team (Esp)
Omega Pharma – Quickstep (Bel)
Rabobank Cycling Team (Ned)
Radioshack – Nissan (Lux)
Sky Procycling (GBR)
Team Saxo Bank (Den)
Vacansoleil – DCM Pro Cycling Team (Ned)

Seven other teams, invited by the organisers, will make up the field for Paris-Roubaix 2012 :
Cofidis, le crédit en ligne (Fra)
Saur – Sojasun (Fra)
Bretagne - Schuller (Fra)
Team Europcar (Fra)
Team NetApp (Ger)
Project 1T4I (Ned)
Farnese Vini (Gbr)


2011 winners
Paris-Roubaix 2011 results: 
1 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Cervelo 
2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek 
3 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank
Johan Vansummeren 2011 Paris-Roubaix

Where are these races? (click map to enlarge)
Results of the Monuments from the past 8 years:

Year Milan – San Remo Tour of Flanders Paris–Roubaix Liège–Bastogne–Liège Giro di Lombardia
2004  Óscar Freire (ESP)  Steffen Wesemann (GER)  Magnus Bäckstedt (SWE)  Davide Rebellin (ITA)  Damiano Cunego (ITA)
2005  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA)  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ)  Paolo Bettini (ITA)
2006  Filippo Pozzato (ITA)  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP)  Paolo Bettini (ITA)
2007  Óscar Freire (ESP)  Alessandro Ballan (ITA)  Stuart O'Grady (AUS)  Danilo Di Luca (ITA)  Damiano Cunego (ITA)
2008  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)  Stijn Devolder (BEL)  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Alejandro Valverde (ESP)  Damiano Cunego (ITA)
2009  Mark Cavendish (GBR)  Stijn Devolder (BEL)  Tom Boonen (BEL)  Andy Schleck (LUX)  Philippe Gilbert (BEL)
2010  Óscar Freire (ESP)  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)  Fabian Cancellara (SUI)  Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ)  Philippe Gilbert (BEL)
2011  Matthew Goss (AUS)  Nick Nuyens (BEL)  Johan Vansummeren (BEL)  Philippe Gilbert (BEL)  Oliver Zaugg (SUI)

Related Posts: 2012 Spring Classics Schedule and Nicknames of the Classic Races
Pedal Dancer Resource Page: CLASSICS