Thats correct, its the 23rd of January and summer is underway.... ok not quite, but we can get excited that it is just down the road. The first professional road race in Europe has just finished and our instagram feeds are full of images of people on training camps or holidays in warmer climes, so the optimism is real.
The Classica Comunitat Valenciana, a UCI 1.2 race, followed its usual outcome. The early stages saw the peloton race over familiar climbs, after weeks of training in the Calpe area. The usual break established, before the bigger teams closed it all down for the inevitable sprint finish. The run in was marked by a couple of twitchy early season crashes, the second on the final straight, disrupting sprint trains leaving Total Energies Chris Lawless a long way to go, before he was inevitably, but frustratingly, passed by Giovanni Lonardi (Eolo-Kometa) for the win and Amaury Capiot (Arkea-Samsic) taking second.
The road season will now really start to get going and with so much multi channel access to cycling now, we can keep ourselves entertained most days for the next few months. Yes, those weekend rides with your regular group, followed by a lazy afternoon on the sofa watching bike racing have arrived.
The lanes and cafes around FIRE HQ have come alive this weekend. From groups of experienced 'hard riders' to newly formed cycling friendships, with a wide array of enthusiastic individuals filling the gaps. The dust has well and truly settled on Christmas and those extra calories are clearly being put to good use.
So, summer is here and it's time to start planning the new bike.
Supply continues to be difficult and tales of extended wait times are still common talking points over the cafe tables. This year looks like it will continue to be challenging, but it's not all bad news. Here at FIRE we have managed to maintain stock levels and we can fulfil certain orders with a rapid turnaround, so if you haven't lined up your new bike for this summer then now is the time. If you want a specific build we will always do what we can to help so drop us a line today.
Tech wise, the year ahead looks exciting where supply chain issue ease. 12 speed is going to become increasingly common and accessible. We will start to take delivery of Ultegra 12 speed in late March (maybe alongside a new model!!) and we've already been testing Rival AXS 12 speed, which offers amazing value. Is 105 the next group to go electronic? Nothing is confirmed, but the rumours are growing.
Over the coming weeks and months we hope you will join us on a journey as we bring you our take on the latest news of all things Road and Gravel as well as the odd article on the more sensitive areas of cycling (socks over or under tights??) and a bit of nostalgia.
What ever you ride and how ever you ride, just ride.