Cycling tour in Girona. I’ll keep it brief. It was a fabulous, eventful, challenging, steep roads, long, fast, exhilarating, educational, friendship re-affirming, adventurous, caffeine filled, coffee bean roasting, culture nourished, hugs laden cops and robbers trip.

A Sommet Cycling holiday!

We loved Girona before. We are now infatuated with it, is riding and it’s the people; our friends.

Until next time! Thanks friends…

 

Magnum Photos. That in itself would be enough for me to suggest a Sommet for the Weekend. Their catalogue of work is unparalleled and I have spent many, many hours (days, months…) studying, admiring and just enjoying it’s work over the years. In all fields, including, but well beyond cycling.

A couple of days ago, they posted this blog about their work;Featured Essays. Magnum Cycling around cycling. It has been curated to be published in a new book Magnum Cycling which is winging it’s way to me as a birthday gift to myself. 

Curated by a man who loves this type of photography, former editor of Rouleur, Guy Andrews, he has put together a wonderful collection of some outstanding images, from some of the best photographers to ever cradle a camera.

It must have been an arduous task to get down to only 200 or so images. Arduous, as the body of work is so large, but joyous, as the body of work is outstanding. If you like any of or all of; cycling, photography, true photojournalism, art, history, anthropology, travel and more, you will most likely enjoy this.

It’s incredible. That’s before I get my hands on the book.

Superb work Guy and Magnum!

A true cycling heartland. An indulgence for a personal retrospective of Paris Roubaix visits. Spanning about 5 years and several rolls, of different types, of 35mm film through Rangefinder cameras, here are some happy memories from Northern France.

From an early visit on returning to living in Europe to a 40th birthday last year there is a personal narrative and hopefully an overall narrative of a cycling culture and passion that you can also enjoy.

From the obvious cobbles to the concrete velodrome. From the clambering school kids to the Mavic support mechanics looking for a home for the wheels they have changed throughout the day’s chaos.

And the moments of joy for a winner, moments of reflection for the defeated and the local neighbours reflecting on the excitement outside their kitchen windows.

It’s not just a race, it’s cycling. It’s a sport that allows us to see new places with a special perspective at just the right pace.

You probably know this spot is about stuff we like.

The weekend is long and even with excitement for Flanders simmering all weekend long, we thought you might want just a little nudge and heads up that we have a new stock of our cycling kit from Italy to our Bike Shop right now. All the way from XS through to XL so climbers and Flandrien strong riders are all covered. (Bibs and Jersey )

The same outstanding kit we launched and practically sold out of in a week. The same cracking classic design that went out the door quicker than Boonen in his pomp.

Spring is here, Boonen and Cancellara are in their last classics campaign together with the young pups around them snapping at their heals. I would love a Boonen reprise. But whoever wines, get excited about Flanders, and why not let that excitement overflow into kitting yourself out with our Classic kit.

I promise the next Sommet for the Weekend will be a none-Sommet-plug piece. Our kit really is top drawer though…

Go Tommeke!

photography: Vinyet Noguera

This weekend sadly a young rider was lost in Flanders. I thought of this post idea a while ago, but obviously I can’t go without a thought for Antoine Demoltié and his family… Regardless of this little post, make every ride a #RideForAntoine

….

 

We are in the heart of perhaps my favourite part of the cycling road race season. Flanders fever.

I time for hard men and women, muurs, bergs and pave. I don’t claim to be a hard man by any stretch, but I love riding a bit of pave, especially if it is up a berg or a muur.

 

I am hoping to encourage all and sundry to post pictures of any of your local muurs, bergs or stretches of pave. Be as lenient as you want in your definition of them all, just harness your inner Flandrien to decide.

And don’t limit it to Spring. Seek, ride and shoot em all year round.

#mymuur, #myberg or #mypave (or all three??) and pop a #mysommets as they are all a Sommet to our mind.

It was purely a selfish idea initially, as I want to see your muurs, bergs and paves and maybe come and ride them with some nice folk in the future.

A couple for starters, from here in Barcelona.

It’s a long weekend so two Sommets for the weekend. Both deserve their own stand alone piece but, just like the cycling calendar at this time of year, good things overlap. We are in the midst of La Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and the Flandrian Classics season.

So, in La Volta Ciclista corner; Volata. A Barcelona based Spanish language, global looking cycling culture magazine. I am biased as I am friends with the people behind it and many of the contributors, but it is superb. To simplify it, think Rouleur Magazine in Spanish. Not quite true, but it gives a reference point of sorts. Road, cross..cycling; each Volata has a very strong narrative, from Dan Martin to Francesco Moser, from Wiggo and London to the cycling and the Spanish Civil War. Fabulous images, illustrations and poetic, creative, incisive – always fabulous – writing.

If you aren’t blessed with the Spanish tongue, the images and illustrations are worthy on their own. For Spanish speakers, it’s superb. If you are learning Spanish, it’s great. Learning while reading about fascinating cycling related stories. All on high quality paper, coffee table stuff. If you are Stelvio (the cat) it’s apparently nice quality paper to chew…

And the Flandrian Classics corner is represented by; Flandrien by Stephan Vanfleteren. A beautiful little hard back book all about the Flandrien cycling culture and landscape. From the old ladies to the muddied Pro’s, the urban streets to the local clubs. The cobbles to Muurs and Bergs. The images are truly stunning. Peacefully powerful, no words are needed to explain the stories they tell and none are given. Every image could be worthy of a large print on any wall, I find myself lingering for longer than I expected each time I pick it up, dreaming of Flanders and wishing I could shoot so well. And it is put together as beautifully as the images and subject deserve. A timeless book which I was very lucky to receive as a 40th birthday gift.

Coffee, chocolate Easter eggs, La Volta, E3, Gent Wevelgem and these two bits of paper goodness. Hardly time to go for a ride in the Spring sunshine. Happy Easter all.

Now, we are not a cycle race review or report site, but as this is one of our local cycle races…

I didn’t get to the stage yesterday sadly, as it headed up into the mountains of La Molina and I would have loved to. However, as you know we have good friends around here and one of the La Fabrica Race Team that we sponsor and I shoot for, is a fine photographer and he went to the stage.

Meet Jordi Carruana. The bearded one of La Fab Race Team. (Perhaps to them as Geoffrey Soupe? is to Cofidis this year – third shot in the sequence…).

He was at the start in G-Town and then up at La Molina for the finishing throws and has been gracious enough to share some images with us. Muchisimas gracias amigo, nos vemos pronto. Find him on his Instagram and maybe cross paths with him on a G-Town trip…! (Warning, he is strong on the pedals as well as on the shutter release!).

Just a very small set of shots from a single spot on a lovely climb out of Girona as La Volta passed through on Stage 2.

I was a little selfish and a little pre-occupied. Riding around beforehand, grabbing a coffee and breakfast in La Fabrica, then doing some work on the bike with our La Fabrica Race Team and doing some shots with a few of them after. Which left just a little time to choose one spot and get these.

A rather nicely balanced day.