El Capitane by: Stevie Gee - Deathspray customs - Tour de Ville

El Capitane by: Stevie Gee - Deathspray customs - Tour de Ville

Thursday, April 30, 2009

New LCEF caps

We have some great new caps in to support the London Courier Emergency Fund. Price is £ 7.50

Get them while they last...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


We are finally getting our new shipment in from COG magazine.

Issues 2 through to 5 will be available. Next to that we will also get a bunch of the COG photo books in. Haven't seen them yet but the preview looks very good.

What COG themselves have to say about the photobook:
Over 100 pages of photographs from throughout the first four issues along with new, unseen images. Bi-lingual captions*, silkscreened hardcover signed edition of 2500 copies.
All this in a 12"×9" high-quality offset printed book.

Contributors: Andy Zalan, Tommi Hyvönen, Seng Chen, Andrew DeCoste, Yohei Morita, David R. Munson, Dani Sparrow, David Malosh, Kentaro Sugawa, Pai-commune, Tobias Romaniuk, Sexysushi, Edwin Toone, Mikey Tnasuttimonkol, Tomoaki Maeda, Kyle Johnson, Andrew MacDonald, Cate Hrobsky, Kim Ungerman, Christopher Olaf Berg, Jeff Curtes, Ed Glazar, James LaLonde, Andy White, Raymond McCrea Jones, Wille Yli-Luoma, Walter Lai, Christopher Dilts, Monmon, Teisuke Morimoto, Drew Bayley, Kay Tkatzik, Peter DiAntoni, Eric Von Munz.

*Japanese and English

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Briek Schotte

As the part of the season consisting of the spring classics ends with a bang we want to pay homage to a man who was referred to as the last of the Flandriens, Briek Schotte.

‘Iron’ Briek Schotte (1919 – 2004)

and the Tour of Flanders

Briek Schotte was the archetypal and
last of the Flemisch flandriens. A term used
mostly for Belgian riders of the period
between the first and the second world war.
Riders who were always giving all they had,
rain or shine, spare tubes round the neck,
mud on their faces and excelling on the cobbled
roads of Belgium and the north of France.
Not particularly graceful riders
but men with an amazing stamina who never gave up.

A man made out of cast iron with an amazing record in the Tour of Flanders, Schotte participated from 1940 on to 1959. A record number of 20 times, being the youngest participant in 1940 and the oldest in 1959.
In total he was represented an amazing 45 times. The last 25 in the function of team manager. As a rider Schotte won twice, in 1942 and 1948. He ‘won’ another 4 editions in his role as manager for the flemish Flandria team. Navigating Belgian riders like Foré, Godefroot, Leman and the dutch rider Dolman to victory. Asked after his racing tactics he would answer “ride fast when you have to, and don’t when you don’t have to”.

Back in the days of Briek Schotte the Tour of Flanders, and cycling in general, was a world apart from the modern editions of the tour of Flanders. There were only 3 of the steep, sharp Flemish hills on the road instead of the 15plus that the riders have to conquer nowadays. There was no need for them either. Almost half of the course led the riders over cobbled and sandy roads. The asphalt in between wasn’t much better either. Mechanical failure was a much bigger problem and drove him to give up early in several editions. There was no such thing as a team car following the riders with spare wheels and they had to carry their own tubes round their neck in case they had a puncture. He managed to ride himself onto the podium in eight editions. A record he shares as to this day with that other Belgian cycling legend Johan Museeuw.

During the second world war derailleurs, which were just invented, where to expensive and therefore prohibited. Schotte rode to victory on a fixed gear. More than 250 kilometers at a gear ratio of 49x17. A ratio which is nowadays used by a lot of urban riders and makes a pale comparison to the 53 x 11 used by most of the modern professionals.

Schotte first started racing as a professional in 1939 and his first victory was a remarkable one. In the Tour of the West in France he was leading the general classification after the first three stages. Because of the outbreak of the second world war the race was dismissed and Schotte was declared winner.
The second world war played a big part in his career. Similar to riders as Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali he was robbed of some of his best, most fruitful years during the war.

Schotte didn’t only shine in the Tour of Flanders but also won classics like Paris – Tours (1946 and 1947) Paris Brussels (1946 and 1952) and Gent – Wevelgem (1950 and 1955). He won his first world title in 1948, shouting the now famous words on the radio “Mother, mother, if you can hear me, I have won and I’m world champion”. The second world title was won in 1950 in the Belgian town of Moorslede not far from his hometown. Unleashing and unseen national celebration.

1948 was his best year overall. Becoming the first winner of the overall year classification, a prize given to the most consistent rider of the year. Having already won the final stage in the Tour de France of 1946, he finished second after the unbeatable Italian legend Gino Bartali who at his old age made a great comeback after the interruption of the second world was. This was manly thanks to the 2 apocalyptic stages in the Alpes. Schotte who wasn’t really a climber but profited under the Siberian weather conditions that tortured the riders during these 2 days. Having stages over several snowed climbs where riders had to wrestle themselves a way to the top over muddy roads. Roads that would hardly stand the comparison with goat trails, driving well established riders like Frenchman Robic (winner in 1947) to desperation. Descending from the Col du Galibier he had no less than 4 punctures and was carrying only 2 spare tubes. With the help of 2 other riders who gave him a spare tube and having to literally tear the tubes of his wheel with his teeth because of his frozen hands he continued and finished a respectable 26 minutes behind Gino Bartali at the finish in Paris.

After his active career as a rider and team manager Briek Schotte stayed a well respected figure and living legend in the Belgian cycling world. He was often present at one of the big races in Belgium like the one day race that was named after him, and never missing out on an edition of his beloved Tour de Flanders. It was during the 88th edition in 2004 just before the peloton passed by his monument on the route that he passed away, giving a final salute to his race.


Most of you will be familiar with the name Vigorelli, the velodrome in the heart of Milan. A legendary venue that also houses the evenly legendary Italian frame builder family of Masi.

Check out the current issue of ProCycling for a great article about the track and it's history.

There have been some plans to restore it or even rebuild but as of yet the future of this derelict iconic place is unknown.

Hopefully it will end up something like this

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Flemish style Tour of Flanders

To celebrate and watch in a way that only true Flemish people could come up with.

Watch the video here


Maybe we can free up some of the Team Tour de Ville budget for 2010.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Behind Bars limited edition prints

We have the new Behind Bars prints in at Tour de Ville.

There is a choice of 4 hand printed, numbered and signed limited edition prints.

Each print has a run of 50 in a size 74cm x 49cm, hand pulled two colour screen prints on 225 gsm stock paper.

Price is £ 55,-

For more info check out the Behind Bars website

Re-live the Tour of Flanders 2009

With this link you can check out videos of all the climbs of last Sunday's Tour of Flanders in hi-def stream.

We've tried it and it works excellent.

Have fun!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Ride Issue 2

Tour de Ville is receiving the new issue of the ride this Saturday. A truly excellent bit of reading just like issue 1, but better.

My favorite quote so far is from renowned American frame builder Richard Sachs;

"...These people get some tubes and a jig and they think they're instantly a frame builder. Well, they're not. Not until they make 500 frames and show, after a decade or two, that they hold up..."

Amen to that.

Find out more about The Ride on their website.

De Ronde

Are you ready? We are...