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Zo high tech als handwerk kan zijn…

Het is de trots van onze gids van vandaag, Thorsten Lewandowski, tevens global communications manager van Canyon. We staan bij een van de tien open werkplaatsen waar bij een gloednieuwe mountainbike de laatste puntjes op de i worden gezet. Op de strak georganiseerde werkbank ligt een forse momentsleutel met een digitaal schermpje. Deze is via wifi draadloos verbonden met de centrale computer van de fabriek. Routineus scant de monteur eerst de fiets en neemt vervolgens de sleutel in handen. Op commando van de momentsleutel zet hij de verschillende schroeven met de juiste kracht vast. Na iedere schroef volgt een piepje, het…

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GRAN TURISMO

As the 100th Giro d’Italia comes to its close, and the favourites ready themselves for the finale in Milan, it’s worth considering the race’s origins. The Giro was first held in 1909, after a few cycling savants at the then struggling Gazzetta dello Sport got wind of the news that a rival paper, the Corriere della Sera, was about to launch a race in Italy that would emulate the success of the Tour de France. Knowing how well that race had captured the public’s imagination, and the number of newspapers it had sold, they set about beating their Milanese colleagues to…

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Giro100

On Friday, the world’s best professional cyclists will take to the start of the 100th Giro d’Italia, the annual, three-week celebration of Italian cycling, which brings the country, and now the world, together each May and imprints its stories on the memories of the people, as it has done from the day it was first ridden, in 1909. The summer before that first Giro, a struggling, Italian sports paper, known for its pink pages, opened with the headline, “The Gazzetta dello Sport, pursuant with the glory of Italian Cycling, announces that next spring will see the first “Giro d’Italia,” one of…

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The Strade Bianche

When the boys from Maserati Cycling descended towards Siena’s famous central square, the Piazza del Campo, Sunday morning, a dark cloud hung over the city. Raindrops battered the old stone streets, forming icy rivulets, which flowed past empty storefronts towards the sound of a PA system, black-and-silver, then, by one window, a glistening gold. A cafe was open. Inside, men and women in winter tights and jackets were huddled around tables, drinking their final coffees. It was warm and dry. The hiss and thunk of an espresso machine, excited conversation—there was half an hour before the start. For the past few…

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Elfstedentocht

The Elfstedentocht is a 200-kilometre skating race held in Friesland, in the north of the Netherlands, in the winter whenever there’s enough ice. The route links 11 Frisian cities—hence the name—and is immensely popular, with thousands of club members vying for a starting bib each year on the off-chance that the race might go ahead. The last time it did was in 1997. But each winter, whenever the temperature drops, the anticipation begins to rise. Weather reports take up more and more time on the evening news. Ice experts all over the province are consulted. People begin canceling plans and preparing to travel…

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