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11 April 2013 No comments

Brooks - All Things To (Almost) All Cyclists.

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Brooks - All Things To (Almost) All Cyclists.
Strong beer. The Retro Ronde is just one of a host of events Brooks is sponsoring this year. As a matter of policy, at Brooks we set aside time and money each year in our dedication as enthusiastic and hands-on sponsor of a large number of cycling- and cycling-related events. Here at the blog recently, we've touched on the details of a couple of the celebrations of the two-wheeled and human-powered that we plan to be involved with in 2013. Funding, prizes and publicity tend to be things that organizers need in advance of an event, and we gladly give all three when possible. When the talking is over and the hammer goes down, however, it's also often the case that someone from Brooks finds themselves happily manning a race checkpoint, for example, or announcing the Free Bar as officially open. The Vélo Vintage has prizes for well turned out Monsieurs and Madameoiselles. In the past, we have helped out where we can with events as diverse as the Bicycle Film Festival, the Intelligence Squared debate series and the inaugural Belgian Single Speed Championships, to name just a few. We look today at some of the places you can find us in the coming months, in some cases as return visitors and in others as first-timers. For Throwbacks who prefer their vin rouge to their vino rosso, it can only be the Anjou Vélo Vintage. The smaller cousin of Gaiole's l'Eroica is on again this year in the west of France with a choice of three riding distances and beaucoup de surprises magnifiques. So get your retro maillot on and point that front wheel in the direction of the Loire Valley. Pointy, mucky, cobbly, slippery, icy mayhem probably not in store for Retro Ronde riders. The Retro Ronde is on at the end of May, and we're as excited about our involvement in this homage to the cult of the Flemish Hard Man as anything else we have in our spring calendar. Its dates this year have been set to coincide with the hundredth anniversary of the first ever Tour of Flanders. So in that spirit, it will hopefully be very cold and wet for our Retro Ronders, and there'll be lots of muddy pile-ups on the Koppenberg. In consolation, there's as always a prize for the most fittingly attired racer. Swiss winners have been the rule rather than the exception at European and World cycle courier championships over the past decade. So it's probably fitting that Lausanne is the 2013 host of CMWC. The city whose rather, um, hilly streets have produced serial winners like Dominique Metz, Raphael Faiss, Raphaël Pfeiffer and Joséphine Reitzel is rumoured to be pulling out all the stops for a very special championships on the last weekend in July. We're happily on board, and will also be doing something special to commemorate it. Watch this space. Last year's WCR Grand Tour champion Mike Hall is coordinating the Transcontinental this summer. An unsupported competitive ride between London and Istanbul will see racers tough it out in the Alps en route to Turkey under a doubtless blazing August sun. We disclosed the details of our likely involvement earlier in the year, and are happy to report that around 40 racers are already confirmed, among them Juliana Buhring, who as a WCR rider last year set the Guinness record for circumnavigation by a female. Fancy the trip? Transcontinental racers ride London to Istanbul this August. Rumours are also emanating from the Mill that said WCR Grand Tour will once again happen in 2014. Our scale of involvement in 2012 went from releasing a Limited Edition commemorative saddle, to providing rolling race news reportage on the blog, to locating nearby beds and bike shops for riders. When they roll over the start line, we'll be there to let you know how things progress.   The IG Markets Nocturne has continually proven itself to be a fantastic evening out for fans of all sorts of cycling disciplines. Under its auspices, Smithfield Market in London will again be the location for our Brooks Penny Farthing Race. As a spectacle our event is unchallenged, with High Wheelers tearing around the fast and tight Smithfield track, typically against the fine backdrop of a red sun setting slowly over the English capital. The Brompton World Championships have taken place at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire over the past few years, but in 2013 the event moves to become part of the Orbital Cycling Festival at Goodwood Race Track in July. The ability to "Brompt Promptly" will once be at a premium. Available spots for the chance to ride l'Eroica have, as per usual, long since filled up. The event in Tuscany has rapidly become a global phenomenon over the past couple of years. And Team Brooks is proud to have been there or thereabouts since the event's inception. This time out, we're delighted to be able already to count such luminaries from the world of cycling journalism as Maurice Tierney (USA - Bicycle Times/ Dirt Rag Chief Editor), Bill Strickland (USA - Bicycling Chief Editor) and Simon Smythe (UK - Cycling Weekly Editor) on our provisional team sheet. Retro Ronde - May 25-26 Anjou Vélo Vintage - June 19-23 London Nocturne - June 8 Brompton Worlds July 27-28 CMWC Lausanne - July 29-Aug 4 The Transcontinental - August 2 L'Eroica - October 6