Giro Monaco Mitts Reviewed

Giro Monaco Mitts

Giro – Monaco Mitts

I know that mitts can be somewhat of a personal thing and that is certainly true for me. I have being pursuing the perfect set of mitts ever since I bought my first pair of classic crochet backed leather palmed road mitts in the 1980’s.

To be honest not a single pair of modern gel inserted synthetic mitts have ever cut the mustard in comparison to my first pair of classic mitts, that is until I bought a pair of Giro Monaco’s from www.sportspursuit.com, the discount online sports clothing company.

The top of the Giro Monaco’s may not be the longed for crochet cotton but rather a modern nylon/polyester mix, for which I can forgive them, as the mitts are very comfortable. But the, hands down, wining feature has to be the sheepskin leather palms, with no gel inserts but slightly thicker padded areas in the key contact points of thumb, heel of hand and base of fingers.

The mitts have been comfortable from the moment I slipped my hands inside, dare I say they fit like a glove, well a fingerless glove! But seriously they have been the most comfortable pair of mitts I have owned, even twelve months on and over 2000 km of riding in mixed conditions they are providing a far superior level of comfort. As time has passed they have become just like that pair of favourite trainers or slippers the ones you know you will be gutted when they finally give up the ghost. There are some limited signs of wear on the palms but the leather is not splitting or cracking even after the soakings in the rain they have received.

I suspect that they have another 12 months or more left in them but I think it is time to buy another pair to give me time to gently say good bye to a comfortable old friend while taking time to introduce myself to my new friend.

GiroMittsCSReviewRatingWhat will I replace my old friends with? Yes you’ve guessed it another pair of Giro Monacos. They get aCyclingShorts.cc Star Buy Rating!

Rating 95%

 

Giro Monaco Mitts at Amazon

 

Giro D’Italia Rest Day

 
To coincide with the early mountain stages, Multipower Sportsfood, the sports nutrition partner of the Giro d’Italia, have provided Cycling Shorts with a series of  four technical, nutritional and physiological infographics depicting the challenges undertaken when competing in the mountains.
This is the forth and final in the series of four.
 

Multipower Rest Day InfographicRest days have been a part of the Giro since its inaugural edition in 1909. Back then, riders would ride one stage and then have two, sometimes three, days between the next stage. It’s not hard to see why: in 1909, the average length of the eight stages was 306 kilometres, as opposed to 162 kilometres across 21 stages in 2013.

This year’s Giro will have two rest days – the first after stage nine, the second follows stage 15. Two rest days have been customary in the race since 2002, although as recently as 1998, the Giro was held without a single day off across the three weeks.

Although riders will not be racing on the rest days, they will still ride their bikes for one or two hours. This prevents muscle stiffness and will help flesh out metabolic waste from the previous day’s stage. In recent years, some teams have opted to ride on their turbo trainers as opposed to heading out onto the road.

Riders will continue to eat foods high in carbohydrates and proteins on rest days, although some teams in the past have been known to give their riders a treat if the final rest day falls after the last decisive stage on the general classification. Burger and chips is a favourite within the Garmin-Sharp team.

 

Throughout the three weeks of competition (3-26 May) Multipower Sportsfood, is also offering cycle fans the chance to get their hands on a variety of prizes in an easy to enter daily prediction competition. Prizes include signed race jerseys, Giro d’Italia drinks bottles and the ultimate prize of a Cannondale Pro Cycling Super Six EVO Team Edition professional race bike worth £6,499.
To take part in the competition entrants simply need to visit the Multipower website, www.multipower.com/uk/giro , and vote for their stage favourite before the 10km to go marker.
 
 
 

Individual Time Trial Stages of the Giro D’Italia

 
To coincide with the early mountain stages, Multipower Sportsfood, the sports nutrition partner of the Giro d’Italia, have provided Cycling Shorts with a series of  four technical, nutritional and physiological infographics depicting the challenges undertaken when competing in the mountains.
This is the third in the series of four.
 

Multipower Time Trial InfographicThe last five editions of the Giro have ended with a final day time trial, although only in 2012 did the race leadership change hands, as Ryder Hesjedal took the maglia rosa away from Joaquim Rodriguez to become the first Canadian Grand Tour winner. The 2013 Giro breaks away from the recent tradition and will end with a road stage from Riese Pio X to the old Roman city of Brescia.

The 2013 Giro features 75.4 kilometres of individual time trialling, which is more than the 2011 and 2012 races combined. 2008 was the last time the race included more kilometres against the clock (80.7km).

Five-time Giro champion Alfredo Binda was the winner of the first time trial in the Giro in 1933. The Italian won the 62-kilometre stage from Bologna to Ferrara en route to the last of his overall wins in the race.

Ever wondered why some riders have energy gels hanging out of their shorts during time trials? Because of the intensity of time trials, the top riders will not have time to take any food from their team cars during the stage. Also, the skinsuits they wear for improved aerodynamic performance will not have any pockets, so putting them under their lyrca is the most convenient place.

 

Throughout the three weeks of competition (3-26 May) Multipower Sportsfood, is also offering cycle fans the chance to get their hands on a variety of prizes in an easy to enter daily prediction competition. Prizes include signed race jerseys, Giro d’Italia drinks bottles and the ultimate prize of a Cannondale Pro Cycling Super Six EVO Team Edition professional race bike worth £6,499.
To take part in the competition entrants simply need to visit the Multipower website, www.multipower.com/uk/giro , and vote for their stage favourite before the 10km to go marker.
 
 
 

The Challenge of the Giro D’Italia Mountain Stages

 
To coincide with the early mountain stages, Multipower Sportsfood, the sports nutrition partner of the Giro d’Italia, have provided Cycling Shorts with a series of  four technical, nutritional and physiological infographics depicting the challenges undertaken when competing in the mountains.
This is the second in the series of four.
 

Giro Mountain Stage InfographicOnly 43 riders completed the gruelling stage 18 in the 1956 Giro that finished on the Dolomite climb of Monte Bondone. Temperatures were well below freezing (with some estimates saying it was as cold as -10°C), and after heavy snow began to fall, race leader Pasquale Fornara abandoned the race and found refuge in a farmhouse. Luxembourger Charly Gaul won the stage, but it is claimed that he stopped during the stage for a coffee and had to have his clothes cut from his body afterwards.

The 1987 Giro famously came down to a battle between two team-mates: Ireland’s Stephen Roche and Italian Roberto Visentini. The latter lead on stage 15, but Roche disobeyed team orders and attacked on the descent of the Forcella di Monte Rest climb. Visentini got the remainder of his team to try and chase him down and team manager Davide Boifava even pleaded to Roche to end his attack. Nonetheless, to the dismay of the Visentini, Boifava and thetifosi, the Irishman went on to win the race.

Hydration plays an important role in cycling, and if it is ignored, it could lead to a number of problems such as severe fatigue and even heat exhaustion.Domestiques will have the job of fetching water bottles for their team leaders throughout the Giro, and normally they will do this by picking the drinks up from their team cars. However, the roads on a handful of mountain stages in this year’s race (most notably stages 14, 15, 19 and 20) are so narrow that a neutral motorbike will be on hand to supply them with bottles.

 

Throughout the three weeks of competition (3-26 May) Multipower Sportsfood, is also offering cycle fans the chance to get their hands on a variety of prizes in an easy to enter daily prediction competition. Prizes include signed race jerseys, Giro d’Italia drinks bottles and the ultimate prize of a Cannondale Pro Cycling Super Six EVO Team Edition professional race bike worth £6,499.
To take part in the competition entrants simply need to visit the Multipower website, www.multipower.com/uk/giro , and vote for their stage favourite before the 10km to go marker.
 
 
 

A Quick Peek at the Ultimate Domestique

 

Team Time Trial--2009 Tour de France Image ©Copyright AFP

 
Who are these riders who give their all in support of the team and its superstar cyclists? Who are the domestiques?

Let’s make no mistake here, all pro-peloton domestiques are super talented riders. They’ve won races throughout their careers and show great promise.

Of course, they have to be that good. If they weren’t great cyclists, they’d never come anywhere close to being considered for a Pro-Tour team. Nor would they be part of that chosen few who support the team in the big races, the Giro, Vuelta, the Tour de France. It’s the pinnacle, the place where all great cyclist aspire to be.

On Cycling Shorts I’d like to spotlight these riders, look at some history of how domestiques and tactics have developed, and profile current and retired domestique riders. In the meantime, maybe we can also get a few to talk about their experiences as professional riders and domestiques.

First though, I really want to start with an ideal, a model of what I think has evolved into the Ultimate Domestique. This is the rider with exceptional, star talent who choses to ride in support of the team instead of inflating his own palmarès.

Yes, it is true. Most of cycling’s superstars started their careers as domestiques-carrying water bottles, blocking the wind, protecting the star rider, then they developed. Lance did, Boonen did, even Contador did, and some of today’s top riders still play both roles, in a sort of super domestique way: stars in some races, support in others.

But occasionally, through circumstances of team or timing, a rider will fulfill the supreme supporting role; that of the Ultimate Domestique. An outstanding rider, one who could easily be a superstar on a different, lesser team, yet he is someone who choses to be part of something bigger. The Ultimate Domestique is that star cyclist who choses to ride and give his all in support of another and help the team win a major Tour!

So, who is my choice? Which rider epitomizes that role of the Ultimate Domestique? Hands down, it’s Andreas Klöden.

 

Photo Courtesy of Team RadioShack

An outstanding rider in his own right, Kloden’s individual talents on the bike are really pretty darn impressive. Twice he’s finished second at the Tour de France (2004, 2006), won at Paris-Nice (2000), and brought home a Bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Yet, he’s chosen time and time again to spend his career with the some of the world’s best teams (Team Telekom/T-Mobile, Astana) riding in support of the most heralded superstars of this generation–Ullrich, Armstrong, and Contador. And much to the frustration of those covetous Team Directors who would love to pay him to come be the big star on their teams.

Klöden has used his talent and stamina to support his team leader through the mountains, in the time trials, and through the grueling weeks of a Grand Tours with the focus on the Tour win for the team. Once again it looks like Klöden will quietly operate away from the intense glare of the spotlight and continue to play his role as the ultimate domestique, this year with his new Team RadioShack.

Having seemingly been dropped from the media’s tentacles, Klöden rarely gives an interview anymore–which is a shame, because among other things he seems like he’d be a pretty fun guy to get to know. Instead he allows his performance on the bike to speak for itself, but that probably says more than dozens of interviews ever could.

So, while I think we may get lucky and see a few more individual accolades before Klöden retires from professional cycling, one thing appears to be certain, he’s discovered his place and he seems happy. Andreas Klöden has found his cycling balance as the ultimate team player — the Ultimate Domestique.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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