Cycling & coffee - never have there been better suited bedfellows. Its just something about a lovely silky brew during the hallowed cafe stop that tradition has not changed in all its years passed. For many a year, cyclists have rewarded and fuelled the hours of arduous training (or even those relaxed recovery rides) a coffee, be it espresso, machiato, americano etc etc, and often  accompanied by a sweet treat (rumour has it Dean Downing of Rapha Condor Sharp fame loves a caramel slice). To celebrate this relationship between rider and bean, Rocket Espresso have launched a very limited edition (only 200) Rapha marque of their famous 'Giotto' machine.

A plate on the front features the words of Fausto Coppi and the machine’s limited edition number, the quote translating to "We'll give ourselves a kick up the backside today"....
The infamous rapha pink coloured pressure gauge adds a a splash of colour and style to the machine. Bellissimo! Perhaps even think about adding a Chris King tamper or a Rapha livery Keepcup to your caffeine arsenal....

Rollapaluza Urban Hill Climb 2011

Last week saw the 2011 installment of the Rollapaluza Urban Hillclimb race. A standing start hillclimb race ascending the famous Swains Lane in Highgate, the events attracted some amazing climbing talent this year, as everyone seemed keen to smash it to the finish line. The climb is an 800m steep little bugger of a climb, rising through Highgate cemetery, resting place of people like Patrick Caulfield and Karl Marx. With gradients of up to 20%, it proved a real legburner as the finish line approached....
© Chris Keller-Jackson via
I managed 11th place in the senior womens category riding for the Rapha Condor Club, with a time of 2 mins 36 , which was a bit lame as I have gone faster than that up Swains previously. However, I failed to warm up and im not really firing on all cylinders currently due to work eating into training time, so I gave it my best, alas coming up a little short this time. It did however feel quite exhilarating to be climbing and having people cheer me on all the way up the hill. Rollapaluza printed every riders name and number in a programme, so lots of people including some excited kids were shouting out each rider by name, giving a nice little feeling of being a famous rider for about a nano second! I also decided to ride my bianchi and not the condor, mainly due to it being a shade over 7kg, and I needed all the help I could get!
© London Cycle Sport via
I saw some truly epic powering up that hill, it seems like all the competitors bought their A-game to the night, and sure enough registration sold out in the blistering time of 4 minutes this year. Iv decided im totes entering again next year to better my time! Claire put in a strong performance for 5th in the ladies category which was smashed by those whippets from Look Mum No Hands team, those girls are F-A-S-T.
Pre-climb stretch, i think my warm up needs to be more comprehensive than this in the future!
Ben powers on up!

Thanks to the guys at Rollapaluza for organizing such a great event. Free to enter, it really was cool to get timing chips etc, and the running of the event was super slick. Bravo!

Stage 12 Fame

Cadel Sprays Cav

Spesh Cross


info here

Pimp My Canon - Condor Edition


Wow. Im sure everyone felt as awful as I did watching yesterdays events unfold at the tour. To see Flecha and Hoogerland cast across the road like ragdolls left me with an awful lurching feeling in my stomach. These guys turn themselves inside out for the love of the sport - day in, day out.
The men, whether they like it or not, through their brave actions become heroes to everyone who consumes the races - the fan that emulates them on every backyard climb, or the daydreaming office worker, lost in though of battling one of these giants of the road for the finish line.
We care and we love these strongmen, applauding their most courageous acts and appreciating the style and panache they execute their craft with.
Watching the below video of Hoogerland really resonated with me, I saw a vulnerable young and BRAVE man, and what a man he is. Awarded the combativity prize after Flecha refused it as a gesture, and also the KOM jersey, he can take a small amount of comfort in the fact he was amazing. To remount and finish the stage after that crash was spectacular. Well done Johnny, and rest up today.


Wearing It Well....

Some very nice t-shirts kicking about recently, show your true cycling colours and cop one for the summer. Click the pix for the links...
Howies 'First or Last'
Howies, the small but mighty clothing company from Cardigan Bay has come up with a very nice 80's inspired tour t-shirt, available in mens or ladies fit...

Condor 'Crank'
Condor offer an old school crank diagram tee, for a shade under £15.... bargainous!

Gage+DeSoto 'Dead Flowers'
American super designers Gage & DeSoto have teamed up with NYC brand Dead Flower to create this gnarly artwork of Jacques Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor duking it out in 1964 up the Puy de Dôme. Fresh as hell!

Rapha T-shirts
Like Howies, Rapha offer a ladies and mens cotton t-shirt. Slim fitting with the usual heavyweight quality factor of a rapha jersey. Very nice indeed...


Bianchista has disappeared underground so apologies for the serious lack of updates. This past week saw me assigned to cover the royal wedding in Monaco which was hard work but rather fun. I hung out and fired some remotes and put in a hefty editing shift, so im just about back in the land of living after a mammoth 13 hour drive back from the millionaires playground. I saw a handful of cyclists, looks like a damn fine place to ride! Anyway, hang tight for some updates, il be back in the swing of things from now I promise.....

Should you be interested, check out the images from Getty of the marriage here