"The likelihood that the team remains in existence is quite small," Hanegraaf told ANP. "I go from there to say that the end is nigh. It is disappointing, most of all for the ten riders who have still not found a team for next year."
After some time off the bike at the end of the season, Geslin sat down with Stéphanie Langlais to talk about how things are going so far, the magic that is the Tour de France, and where his career can go from here.
When checking the track profile, I found out that my heavy free-riding bike was perhaps not the best choice yet it was too late to turn the car back to pick a lighter one, which would suit the 123-km-long trail with 4,500 metres of altitude better.
Stoneman Taurista participants are free to split the whole distance into as many parts as they like, based on their skills and weather conditions. The only limitation given is the capacity of mountain lodges, which we had to book ahead to provide us with overnight accommodation. Anyone registered gets a card and is obliged to collect stamps at checkpoints to prove they completed the route without cheating or taking advantage of any shortcuts.
The start was climbing torture. One thing I could not refrain from noting after several hours of sweating was that Stoneman Taurista is not a holiday destination you want to experience with a girlfriend unless you date a national XC cup champ. Every other girl would throw the bike on your head after a few kilometres of the initial 12% climb or after pushing it up to the Oberhutte Mountain lodge. I am not a fan of climbing either but I did not want to moan since everyone has to go through this part.
Since we decided to squeeze the itinerary in mere two days, there was no more time to waste. Our next goal was to climb some more hills and get our cards stamped at each checkpoint alongside the route. For some reason, most of the checkpoints can be found on the highest peaks and ridges so it cost us lots of energy to reach them one after another. With the number of stamps in our cards growing, we learned that the end is nigh yet the biggest challenge was still about to happen.
Now children were in parks exposed to fresh air, the sun's UV rays and facing the inherent dangers of kicking balls and riding bikes. Adults struggled with the "new normal" even visiting shops as EBay was offline, youngsters forced to be charming as dating apps were no longer working. No prediction could have foreseen the unbearable pain of a family with no dinner and no Love Island!
The question is even more pertinent now that both series have been taken under the wing of Dorna, much to the consternation of World Superbike fans and, to some extent, the WSBK paddock as well. It was feared that Dorna would either kill off World Superbike entirely to strengthen the position of MotoGP, or impose such stringent technical regulations on the series as to dumb it down to Superstock spec.
Carmelo Ezpeleta has skirted around the issue of exactly what kind of regulations he would like to see in World Superbikes, goading the argument in a particular direction with a few barbed comments. The aim, it is clear, is to cut costs to help make the series sustainable. How is it possible, he opined at the end of 2012, that a WSBK team could run through 39 engines in a season, when MotoGP is limited to just 6?
Those numbers are hotly disputed, as World Superbike teams like to point out that they do not burn through 39 engines every year. Instead, engines are given a top-end refresh at the end of each race weekend, and stripped down for a complete rebuild every three or four race weekends, with bearings checked for wear and replaced where necessary. Teams have only three or four engines for each rider, which are rotated throughout the season.
Ezpeleta has made it abundantly clear what he expects World Superbikes to cost. World Superbike teams should have to spend no more than 250,000 euros on a bike, complete with sufficient parts to cover a complete season, excluding the costs of crash damage. How to accomplish that is up to the factories, the Dorna boss told reporters, and the teams and factories would be holding regular meetings to discuss how to achieve this goal.
Can it be done? A good friend of mine with deep roots in the World Superbike paddock believes it can. The factories will find a way to build bikes to meet the cost requirements, while still retaining sufficient freedom of modification to balance the needs of the various homologated bikes. A Superstock-style regulation would make the series unattractive to some; BMW, Kawasaki and Ducati have dominated Superstock classes, while Honda have struggled and would almost certainly pull out.
If the BMW is quick, the Aprilias are not too shabby either. Davide Giugliano set a pretty scorching pace on the satellite Althea bike at Jerez, fastest in the wet on the first day, and just a tenth off the time of Melandri on the BMW in the dry. Giugliano has taken to the RSV4 extremely well, and the Althea squad has made the switch with ease.
Both Suzuki and Honda struggled in WSBK last year, with bikes that badly needed an update. Organizational changes look to pay dividends for both brands in 2013; at Suzuki, Yoshimura is taking a small step back, focusing on engine preparation back in Japan, while Crescent focus on running the team, and making the bike competitive on the track. With a 4th quickest time for Leon Camier, that approach looks to be paying off.
The move is to pave the way for 2014, and the arrival of the Honda V4 superbike which will replace the CBR1000RR in WSBK. Road riders hoping to get their hands on one the V4 bikes should not hold their breath, however: the V4 will almost certainly be made in just sufficient quantities to homologate for WSBK, with a price rumored to be higher than that of a top-end Ducati Panigale.
Both Ciabatti and fellow WSBK refugee Julian Thomas, now press manager for Ducati Corse, are returnees to Borgo Panigale. The two men worked for Ducati in World Superbikes, before leaving the brand to work for series organizer FG Sport (which then morphed into Infront Motor Sports, and has now been subsumed into Dorna, prompting the departure of Ciabatti and Thomas). Andrea Dovizioso joins Nicky Hayden as the other factory rider, a risky position given the recent history of Italian riders in the Ducati factory team.
But Pedrosa did offer a glimpse of something really important. He admitted, in response to some skillful prodding on the part of Luis Nieto, that his motivation had suffered in previous years, as he collected injury upon injury. But a full year without being hurt, and on a bike which got better and better as the season progressed, and Honda adapted to the modified tire construction and the extra weight added, had seen his confidence grow and his pleasure in racing grow.
After an outstanding year in 2012, where the former World Supersport champion looked like a constant podium threat, Crutchlow must fear that the gap between the factory bikes and his satellite machine will have grown over the winter. Catching the front runners will be hard in 2013. Beating them will be nigh on impossible.
Whether you are new to the sport, or need a few more laps, now you can enjoy night skiing at a low price. Ride the park at night and put your freestyle skills to the test. Lapping North Bowl at Boston Mills and Outer Limits at Brandywine has never been more accessible. Recharge your legs in between runs at our Café areas at both resorts to keep you fueled for a memorable time on the slopes. Grab your friends and family for an amazing night under the stars.
The DDI is open in a temporary configuration with three lanes open for motorists in each direction (East-West). A fourth lane in each direction will be opened once drainage installation and additional work is completed. Additionally, two 7-foot bike lanes will be open for cyclists in each direction. To ensure pedestrian safety, the norther sidewalk will remain closed, and pedestrians will be rerouted to the southern sidewalk at Airport Road and Renaissance Way.
For the safety of our guests, the roadways must be cleared, prior to vehicular access. No pedestrians, motorized bikes, or vehicles will be allowed for the safety of bikers. All bikes must enter at 4 Friedreichs Avenue and follow the designated route.
Even though residents of Barrow, the northernmost town in Alaska, won't see the sun for 67 days come winter, they enjoy the midnight sun all summer - over 80 days of uninterrupted daylight. Anchorage enjoys a more modest amount of daylight in summer than Barrow - but that's still a good 19 hours between sunrise and sunset on the longest day of the year, Summer Solstice.
Since the end of January is nigh, that means payday is close too. January can be a poor month for us all after Christmas. The sheer length of January and being paid earlier in December means the last few weeks of the month can be a little tough on the purse strings but hold on for a little longer because it's coming and it's going to feel amazing.
The weather suddenly dips in January and those darker nights are compounded by the fact it's colder and drearier than before. However, the end of January means we're closer to spring - official springtime starts in March, only a month away.
Don't get me wrong; last summer was lovely - the weather, the long outdoors runs, the bike rides, beer gardens, balmy summer evenings. However, there's nothing wrong with a little indoor time in winter and January is the perfect month to revisit your inner hermit. Having friends around for dinner, nights in catching up on books, films and TV in your PJs... marvellous! 2b1af7f3a8