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Backcountry Hits the Trails

BackCountryOnline retailer Backcountry.com has announced that it is launching its first pro mountain bike team, which will include a four-person squad to race in cross-country and stage races across North America this year. The team, which will race on Niner bikes, and consists of rider-manager Jason Sager, Chloe Woodruff, Evelyn Dong and TJ Woodruff, also expects to compete at the Mongolian Bike Challenge.

“Mountain biking is at the core of who we are as a brand and being able to extend our expert gear knowledge to the trail and support the sport is a priority,” said Jill Layfield, Backcountry.com’s CEO. “Assembling a pro team of this caliber that possesses the tools to compete at the highest level is a natural extension of our cycling brands and culture.”

Besides Niner, other team sponsors include: Geax, Clifbar, Louis Garneau, FSA, WTB, Chris King, ENVE, SRAM, Crankbrothers, Eureka, Jet Boil and Gore Bike Wear. The team kit shows the Backcountry.com logo and trademark mountain goat on the front and legs. The company’s bike-specific e-commerce site, Competitivecyclist.com, is featured on the shoulders.

Backcountry.com Official Website

Protective Cap

isoBLOXIn baseball the catcher is padded up, and the batter wears a helmet. However, the pitcher has generally been left with little protection. For the upcoming Major League Baseball season pitchers can wear a padded cap, which should provide increased protection from batted balls.

This cap will be optional however, so not every pitcher to take the mount will be wearing one.

The newly approved caps, manufactured by 4Licensing Corporation subsidiary isoBlox, have been made available to pitchers for the ongoing spring training. We’ll have to see if pitchers will sport them for next month’s opening day.

[Via MLB.com: MLB approves padded cap for pitchers]

California Touring – Tour of California Route Announced

Tour-of-CaliforniaThe Organizers of the Amgen Tour of California have announced this year’s route for America’s highest ranked stage race, which runs north to south from May 11 to May 18. It will cover 740 and organizers have said that the toughest and most critical stages occur on the first few days as a way create a new dynamic in the battle for the overall title.

The peloton will face the longest stage, the fast and flat time trial, and the hardest stage in the first three days of racing. In past races, the time trial and Queen stages – which typically shape overall standings – came late in the race, and the leader after that point had to defend his top position for only one or two remaining days. This year, with several days of difficult racing to follow, it is likely 2014 race fans will see the coveted yellow leader jersey change hands throughout the week with top performers in close contention and challenging each other until the very finish,” a race press release said. Read the rest of this entry »

HelmetsLast week ESPN addressed that there are many different safety helmets on the market and these protect the head in very different ways. It is true that a military helmet for example needs to stop bullets whereas a ski helmet is meant to protect the wearer from injury in a crash.

However, in this insightful piece ESPN noted, “(motorsport) racing helmets are designed to redistribute the force of an accident, skiing helmets are designed to prevent skull fractures, and have not been designed with potential brain injuries in mind.”

The article also added, “Brain injuries are not restricted to Formula One, yet the FIA is the governing body that has done the most research on how to reduce the impact of high-impact head injuries on its competitors.”

With this in mind, perhaps it is time that the governing bodies for various sports start to consider the research that other bodies are doing. Thus football – which has only in recent years started to take head injuries seriously – could learn something from motorsport as well as winter sport helmets and so on.

These should all do the same thing at the end of the day, and that is to protect the wearer.

[Via ESPN: In the pursuit of safety]

Boxing Gambling: How does Fury get fighting fit?

Tyson-FuryIn the boxing world, the upcoming clash between Tyson Fury and Joey Abell will be one of the most one sided fights of the year, that’s if you believe the bookies. Fury is the bookmakers’ favorite, with some placing him at 1/20 for the win. But how does Fury get himself to the top of his game before a big fight? Does his training regime make him the formidable favorite? Read the rest of this entry »

Concussion Avoidance

Football-HelmetOne of the best ways to avoid a concussion is to stay clear of activities where you may hit hour head. That seems to be the opinion of a quarter of parents, who said they will not let their kids play in football due to concerns over concussions, according to a recent Truven Health Analytics and NPR Health Poll. Read the rest of this entry »

Sky Suits Up

SkyIf you thought existing cycling apparel was already a little revealing Rapha has introduced a new Road Race Mesh Skinsuit that takes it up a notch. The skinsuit is meant to breathe and then some. It is designed for ultra hot weather locations such as Qatar and Oman, but it does leave little to the imagination! Read the rest of this entry »

Super Shoe

Nike-Vapor-Carbon-2014-ElitJust in time for the big game – and by that we mean the Super Bowl – Nike has released a special edition of its Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Eliteb football cleat. It features a low profile and a combination of bladed and conical cleats that mean less weigh but better grip on the field. These offer dynamic Flywire that wraps the foot and provides superior – yet lightweight – support. Super indeed!

Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite Super Bowl Edition Football Cleat Official Website

POC is all Blue for Garmin

POCSwedish helmet and eyewear maker POC is all blue over Garmin. The company has signed on a sponsor for the Garmin-Sharp Pro Team for the next three years, and as such will supply helmets and eyewear to the team. Riders will reportedly be outfitted with Octal, Octal Aero and Tempor TT Helmets, and will be able to choose from a variety of POC’s different eyewear frames. This is a big move for the helmet maker, which first released a ski and snowboard helmet in 2005.

[Via Bicycle Retailer: POC goes blue for Team Garmin-Sharp]

The Lying King Comes to Home Video

The-Armstrong-LieIn 2009, Gibney was given unprecedented access to both the Tour de France and Armstrong, one of the most prominent figures in sports, to document the athlete’s return to cycling following his 2005 retirement. However, the story ended up being much more than a comeback tale. After years of denying allegations of doping and condemning ex-cyclists who were guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs, Armstrong became the center of a federal criminal investigation and an investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency. As a result, the “ultimate comeback story” came to a halt.

Given this new information, the filmmakers decided that instead of chronicling the athlete’s comeback, The Armstrong Lie would be filled with new interviews from Armstrong himself, his former teammates, as well as cycling experts, emerging as an insider’s view and chronicle of Armstrong’s collapse.

The Blu-ray and DVD include exclusive commentary from the Director, as well as a Q&A with Gibney, Frank Marshall, Bill Strickland, Jonathan Vaughters and Betsy Andreu. Both releases also come with more than 40 minutes of deleted scenes.

The Armstrong Lie Official Website

Fast Lane Indeed

At-SpeedMark Cavendish is fast. Known as the world’s fastest sprinter he’s penned his second book, At Speed: My Life in the Fast Lane, which chronicles his days as a “fat” kid to his winningest Tour de France sprinter. It also offers up a personal look that at his screaming fights with teammates, his rancorous contract negotiations, crushing disappointments and his often testy relationship with the media. But it also shows that for Cavendish… winning is always the cure.

Velo Press: At Speed – My Life in the Fast Lane

Weekend Reading List (12.14.2013): Back to Boston, Future Sports, Banned Foods

Back to Boston

Boston

From Runner’s World: Defending Champs Will Run 2014 Boston Marathon
Lelisa Desisa and Rita Jeptoo return for April 21 race. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend Reading List (11.09.2013): Lance Comes Clean, Student Board, Race Circuit

Lance Comes Clean

LanceFrom Cycling News: Lance Armstrong exclusive interview: Part 1
A year on from USADA’s Reasoned Decision, Lance Armstrong swivels in his desk chair as he talks at length about the last 12 months and many aspects of his career starting from when he turned professional back in 1992. The now disgraced Texan has agreed to sit down with Cyclingnews Editor Daniel Benson for a face-to-face interview in his new temporary home in a sleepy suburban district of Austin. Read the rest of this entry »

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