2019 Tour de Flanders Preview (Men’s)

mtnbikeriders.com

Vlaanderen’s Mooiste and the Tour de Flanders 2019 is back this April 7th in Belgium.

Sure it’s outshined by the Tour de France and other mainstream public events. But for legitimate cyclists, the Tour de Flanders is marked on the calendar in bold red. The 266-kilometer all-terrain race has a rich history stretching back over 100 different iterations is a true test of endurance and cycling technique.

Let’s look at the circuit and peek at the betting odds from top sites. As always, if you plan on taking action on your favorite riders do your due diligence and check this sportsbetting.ag review to compare outlets.

The Course and its Stages

There are 17 hills in this brutal circuit, spanning from slight to a leg burning 22% grade. In the near 267 kilometers, there are five paved sections but the star of this circuit is the infamous Belgian cobble.

The first 80 or so kilometers are fairly bland and we will mostly see a lot of pace setting and riders settling into the initial phases of their strategy. But after 80 kilometers it gets interesting. The first patches of cobbles hits and gives the riders their first bite of this uniquely challenging course.

After around 40 kilometers of gut jarring cobble intermixed with asphalt, Oude Kwaremont appears in Kluisbergen. The cobbled climb has an average gradient of 4.2% and maxes out with parts that hit 11%. Oude Kwaremont is actually a misnomer, it not the name of the hill, but the road leading up to it. The first half kilometer of the cobbled section is the most difficult. The cobbling is uneven and jagged and this takes place during the steepest section of the climb. Flemish decree classified these cobbles as monuments back in the early 90s, so you don’t have to worry about any repaving here, this challenging section is here to stay.

Another 50 or so kilometers takes the cyclists through Korteeker, Wolvenberg and then finally hits the pave cobble section at Holleweg. After various short and arduous climbs, the 170-kilometer mark ends at Ten Bosse, leading to the Wall of Geraardsbergen. The Muur van Geraardsbergen is a little over a kilometer long of steep and narrow climb at a brutal average gradient of 9.3% and sections that reach into the 20% range.

This beloved hill has been a constant in the Tour de Flanders since the 1970s but was excluded due to the logistics of Bruges race starts. Now that the circuit starts in Antwerp, its summit marks the fact that the cyclists have just 95 more kilometers to go and the most exciting sections of the race.

The riders circle back for a second attack on the Oude Kwaremont and eventually the Paterberg with gradients over 20% and a mind-numbing (and leg-numbing) average of 12.9%. After this, it’s a race for the finish!

The Favorites

Last year’s edition was taken by Niki Terpstra caught the leading group in the final 28 km after a magnificent effort on the Kruisberg. The Dutchman pulled ahead and won the race. But surprisingly, he isn’t this year’s odds-on favorite.

Terpstra is sitting at a cool +1160 (23/2). Peter Sagan is the favorite at most betting sites. HIs average price is a just +270 (or a little less than 3/1). Let’s look at the average odds for the top-10 athletes:

 

  1. Peter Saga (2.7/1)
  2. Greg Van Avermaet (4.3/1)
  3. Philippe Gilbert (9/2)
  4. Zdenek Stybar (23/2)
  5. Niki Terpstra (23/2)
  6. Oliver Naesen (15/1)
  7. Tiesjj Benoot (19/1)
  8. Michael Kwiatkowski (21/1
  9. Michael Mathews (21/1)
  10. Mathieu Van Der Poel (21/1)

 

Peter Sagan finished 6th last year. But Philipe Gilbert made the podium at 3rd and Greg Van Avermaet was in the mix at 5th. So with this year’s route, it is anyone’s race to win.

 

Don’t trust a fart when you’re over 40

don't trust a fart mtnbikeriders.com

We’ve all been there…you’re riding and you’ve got an urge to fart. Well if you’re over 40…don’t trust that fart! Why? Well for the simple reason of you being older. Your bung hole ins’t as tight as it was when you were younger. Plus you’re not as regular as you used to be. So that means you could still have some poop left over in your colon and when you fart…BOOM! It’s a SHART!

Nothing worse than having to clean out your riding shorts after trusting a fart…don’t even bother right? Just throw those $100 pair of shorts away. I’m sure you tried to hose off the skid marks..but sometimes those poop particles just stay within the padding.

Anyway, let’s get back to what we were talking about…farts at 40. Ya man, hold it in…or better yet, burp it out! I’m sure you know how to do that, right? What you do is this, when you feel the urge to fart, push it back in by doing a simple keigel exercise. This will allow your sphnicter to bounce the fart back up your intestines and you later burp it out. Try it…practice the keigel…did you burp?

 

Local mountain biker late to the Fat Tire Bike Fad

Gravity Deadeye Single Speed Fat Tire Bike

42-year-old mountain biker finally gets on the fat tire bike fad with his purchase of a new single speed fat tire bike. These types of bikes have been around for quite some time and people who live in non-snowy areas have gotten them too. Ya sure they’re gimmicky and they look fun, but this fad…well, it’s a fad. There are plenty of brands who offer fat tire bikes, but the thing is, these bikes aren’t their biggest sellers. People still love their XC or Enduro/Trail bikes. Heck, even the E-bike craze is starting to become more popular than the fatties. But don’t quote me on that, it’s not like I have scientific data. It’s a matter of what I see on the trail

single speed fat tire mountain bike mtnbikeriders.com

With that said, we’ll wait around and see how long he’ll keep this bike. When asked why he bought one, he said: “Well truthfully, I got caught up in a bidding war on eBay…and guess what, I won.” But did he really win?

4 Riders with Mad Skills On AND Off the Road

Mountain biking and road racing may come from the same DNA, but much like Snooker and Pool, there is no denying both are different sports that require different levels of skill, fitness and technicalities.

However, if you find you have certain talent for one, the likelihood is you will be able to utilise a number of those attributes over to the other code.

That is certainly the case in cycling and Mountain biking as we look at some of the most successful transitions from road to dirt and vice-versa.

Now retired, Dane Michael Rasmussen began his career mountain biking and was quite the dab hand at the sport.

So much so in fact he won the 1999 Cross Country World Mountain Bike Championship defeating runner up Frenchman Miguel Martinez and third place Belgian Filip Meirhaeghe.

In 2001, Rasmussen made the switch to the road after earning a Stagiaire with CSC-Tiscali and would go on to shine in the 2005, 2006 Tour de France winning the mountain classification with aplomb.

He clearly put his mountain biking prowess to good use as all four stage wins came in the mountain classification.

However, Rasmussen’s career was tainted by doping scandals and in 2013 he openly admitted that he had cheated for 12 years and was subsequently banned from the sport for two years.

Australian Evans was a serial silver medallist during his mountain biking years in the 1990’s and early noughties.

In fact, five silver medals followed for Evans at various Mountain Bike World Championships before making the switch to road racing in 2001 after impressing on the 1999 Tour of Tasmania.

Evans was proclaimed as a potential future Tour de France winner and achieved the feat in 2011, although one is where it remained unlike 2019 favourite Chris Froome who can be backed at 11/4 with Betway as of the 10th December to win a fifth Tour de France title.

He did, however, still go on to have a hugely successful road career outside the Tour de France as well which included a Commonwealth gold medal in 2002 as well as a World Championship gold in 2009.

However, Evans returned to his mountain biking roots in 2017 taking part in South Africa’s epic eight-day Absa Cape Epic stage race in the master’s category.

Remarkably, Evans and team mate George Hincapie won their category at the age of 40.

The Slovakian Tourminator has a fine record on the road including eleven stage wins on the Tour de France and four individual stage wins on the Vuelta a España and three World Road Race Championships.

A host of other wins aside from the grand tours have followed for Sagan but there are too many to list here.

But it is Sagan’s off-road exploits for which he has earned a sturdy reputation.

Most notably at the 2016 Rio Olympics in which were it not for a series of mechanical issues, he may well have claimed an extraordinary gold medal in the cross-country race.

At the end of lap one, Sagan was in the top three and out to spring a surprise, however, a front wheel puncture ended his hopes.

Admittedly, Sagan is a former junior World Mountain Bike champion and is well versed in the discipline and at just 28-years of age, what’s the betting on Sagan to reappear for another crack at Cross-Country gold at an Olympics coming soon?

After all, that is what we all want to see, isn’t it?

American Amber Neben got her mountain biking career underway with a two-and-a-half-year spell with the SoBe HeadShok team and achieved a second place at the 1999 collegiate US National Mountain Bike Trials.

A certain Willow Koerber as the winner that day with Kelli Emmet in third which just goes to show how talented a mountain biker Amber Neben is.

Technology has come a long way since 1999 in mountain biking but rather than stick with the progression of the sport, Neben found she has a remarkable talent for road racing after winning the Cascade Classic in 2001.

More success would follow after making the permanent switch to the road including two World Time Trial Championships in 2008 and as recently as 2016.

However, doping reared its ugly head in 2003 with Neben testing positive for banned substance 19-norandrosterone.

Despite receiving a suspension, it was determined the substance was taken unintentionally and Neben soon accepted regular tests to prove she was clean at all times.

4 Expert Maintenance Tips to Remember for Your Mountain Bike

 

If you love mountaineering, your mountain bike is definitely close to your heart! Isn’t it? Also, you’ve already spent a pretty penny while buying one for yourself. Rather, if you are planning to buy one soon, you can just go to the high-end stores like Argos.

However, when you have a mountain bike which seems to be your favorite, you always want to get the most out of it. To do that, you need to keep your mountain bike efficiently workable and always in the same brand-new look.

Now, how can you do that?

Here are the four potent mountain bike maintenance tips from my end.

Just have a look!

 

  1. Examine your brake always

 

Aren’t the brakes seem to be the most significant part of your bike? You should certainly try to keep them in a great condition to avoid losing your control while driving which could, in turn, cause serious health injuries.

disc-brake-pads

All that you need to do to keep the brakes in a proper condition is checking the brake pads. Don’t forget to use a flashlight to understand whether the brakes are wearing properly or not. If you think that they are excessively wearing, replace them.

 

  1. Keep an eye on the wheels

 

When it comes to a smooth ride, wheels seem to be actually significant! They can hold the bike’s tires in the right position. So, you need to keep them in a perfectly tuned condition.

For checking the wheels, you just have to elevate the bike and give a spin to its wheels. Both the wheels of the bike must move evenly. If you think that there is some denting or any kind of damage, just replace at that time itself!

 

  1. Scrutinize the drivetrain

 

What does the drivetrain stand for? Well, it is an amalgamation of everything starting from the chain, pedals, chainring to the derailleur, rear-wheel cassette etc. You should take special care of the whole drivetrain because it actually makes your bike to move. It transforms the power that your leg generates to the rear wheel.drive

For keeping this part of your mountain bike up, you need a bike stand to assist you. Now, just raise the rear wheel and give a spin. Don’t forget to sift through all the gears while spinning. Finally, check the chainrings, chain, derailleur, and cassette for any damage. If you find any problem, go for a replacement.

Moreover, when the problem seems to be with the chain, you should change it as soon as possible. It’s because if you wait too long, it will deteriorate the other drivetrain constituents quickly.

 

  1. Check out the cables

 

Cables do all the interconnections in the bike. So, without them, a mountain bike can’t move as expected. Thus, you ought to ensure that those cables are not having any crack, crimp, looseness, or dirt. If you think that you are not able to shift or take brake impeccably, it’s advisable that you get your cables changed or oiled at any local bike shop.

GRAVITY STEM AND BARS
GRAVITY STEM AND BARS

Summing Up

 

So, this is how you should take care of your mountain bike. Isn’t it that simple? Don’t wait anymore! Just follow these tips to keep your bike in a perfect condition and relish the heightened adventures without any obstacle.

Mountain Biker with Short Arms Finds a Solution

His friends call him “Short Arm” Steve because he’s got short arms. He’s had a hard time finding a mountain bike that has a short top tube and a short stem. He’s been known to use a 25mm stem to help his reach problem.

Here’s Short Arm with his lady friend who doesn’t seem to mind his short comings…pun intended.
short-arm-steve

Short Arm almost gave up on mountain biking until he found a solution for short arm problems through an unconventional method. Back scratchers!
back-scratcher

Short Arm Steve stated; “These back scratchers not only changed my riding life, but now I have more confidence to start racing this coming season. My wife also likes my back scratchers. Sometimes she wants me to scratch her back and that always seems to lead to some hot sex right afterwards!”

How to get big calves

If you’ve been mountain biking for a while but haven’t noticed any progress with the size of your calves. Here are some sure fire tips on how to get them bigger!

1. Ride more! Keep putting down the miles and when you are climbing, try standing up. That will get your calves working harder.

2. Do calve raises. Convince someone to sit on your back while you do this exercise. This will isolate your muscles and allow you to make some pretty big gains.

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3. Wear slim/skinny fit pants. Nothing shows off your calves like some slim pants. Got these from Old Navy for about $30, worth every penny!
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4. Genetics. If you weren’t born with good genetics, then you’ll probably be stuck with chicken legs and a balding head. Sorry, not really sure how to help you with this one.

5. Shave your legs. Last but not least. Shave them hairy legs. Porn stars do it with their genitals to make them look bigger. The same principle applies to your legs.
025429bf5cb756bbe4032fa3bacaa84f-viola-tans

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Hi Sexy!

That’s right, I’m talking to you! Yep, I called you sexy!

Now just to be clear, I’m not gay, far from it! I love vagina! But saying “Hi Sexy” to your riding buddies isn’t a gay act or saying. You’re merely acknowledging the fact that your friend is sexy. Nothing queer about that right? I mean, if you’re a male that is 100% confident in their sexual orientation, then saying such things isn’t going to be a big deal. Think of it this way, women do this all the time. They’ll talk about how some one is pretty or how someone is hot…all the time! But there’s nothing sexual about it, they’re acknowledging that the person they are talking about looks good.

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I know what you’re thinking, you may feel uncomfortable calling your buddies Sexy. Hey, that’s ok…it does take some practice and getting used to. So let’s give it a try, below are some scenarios on how you can practice saying “Hi Sexy!”

  1. Boss: “Hi Sexy, I’ve got those TPS Reports ready for you.”
  2. Father in-law: “Hi Sexy, can I borrow your floor jack?”
  3. Grocery store clerk: “Hi Sexy, I’ll take paper bags.”
  4. Priest: “Hi Sexy, I need to confess my sins…”
  5. Barista: “Hi Sexy, I would like a grande, half calf, triple shot, upside down soy, caramel machiatto with 3 pumps of vanilla and whipped cream.”

See…it’s not so hard right? So make sure you start saying this to your buddies this weekend, you’ll find that they’ll return the favor and start calling you sexy or they might even use an upgraded term, a sexy bitch!

Area man convinced that mountain biking makes women wet

Gary Parsons is an avid mountain biker and he also loves to go camping. He rides his local trails once a week. You can tell he’s a mountain biker based on his Instagram and Facebook posts talking about how he’s able to tame his demons with one mountain bike ride. Gary’s best assets would be his colorful wardrobe of expensive mountain bike clothing from brands like Fox, Troy Lee Designs, Dainese and many more. Gary believes that by looking legit on the trails, it will garner him trail-cred with the trail bunnies, or in other words, the LADIES.

Gary thinks that his pheromones that his body emits while riding his mountain bike makes the women wet. He was quoted saying; “I know that there’s an odor if you will, that my body excretes that drive the women crazy and wet.” When we asked Gary if he has proof they’re “wet” he basically said that some of the runner women he rides past are sweaty.

always-gets-amp-039-em-tips-fedora_o_5465175

When we asked him to clarify what he meant by “wet” did he mean vaginal secretions or sweat? He said “Sweat! Vaginas secrete? Eeew that’s gross! Why would anyone want that?!” So it turns out he thinks that the term “wet” means sweat. Technically he’s right, but we believe he’s using it in the wrong context.

In addition, this odor or what he likes to call his pheromones is actually BO…as in Body Odor. Gary says deodorant is for sissies and that natural body odor is man-musk, which drive women crazy.

Local 45 year old man says mountain biking is fountain of youth

Meet Brett Chad Michael Smith, or as he likes to be called, “B-Shizzle.” Yes that really is his name and if you don’t call him B-Shizzle, he would prefer you call him by his full name.older-guy Back to the subject, Brett claims that mountain biking is his “fountain of youth.” He likes that he can stay in shape, hang out with younger riding buddies and wear cool mountain bike related clothing. His favorite ensemble would be big-dark sunglasses paired with a flat billed trucker hat where he tucks in his ears inside the cap, a mountain bike brand t-shirt to show his favorite bike brand, Dickies work shorts, riding socks that has some funny saying like “BEER:30” and a pair of Converse All-Stars.

Brett likes to try and meet younger female mountain bikers while riding or when he’s shopping for outdoor gear. He often will use the pick up line, “you got everything you need?” He figures he’ll approach women who broke down so he can have a to get a conversation started. But if that fails, he’ll also say “Good morning” to women who are running by. Each time he does so, his ego grows. Little does Brett know that 90% of the women he says hi to can’t hear him since they have their ear buds on.

Going back to the fountain of youth; even though Brett continues to age each year, he maintains that this sport helps him feel young because of the new words he’s learning from his younger riding buddies. “I learned terms like fleek, on point, sick, the gram, amazeballs, baller, bye Felicia, yolo, fanboi/fangirl, hot mess, humblebrag and kicks!” Said Brett as he sips his double IPA during this interview.