Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays

The Christmas is almost here and so is the New Year, and this is the last post on my blog for this season.

For me was my best season, in every way. For this I have to thanks a lot of people who helped me, supported me, made me smile and feel that the life can be amazing if you want it too.

First of all I have to say a big thank you to my parents and Simona for being next to me and supporting me anytime. Gabee made a lot of things to get me up on the podiums. My sponsors offered me the chance to race the best bike and with the best parts available on the market so thanks a lot to the guys from Cannondale for having such a great bike, thanks to MarosSport for getting me to the races, Continental offered the necesary grip, Met Helmets and 661 the protection we all need, Selle Italia made me feel confortable on my bike, VDO measured all the miles that I've spend on the bike, Sapim made me the best wheels. Also I was amazed that with Xpedo pedals, the things were moving faster, but without the control from Syntace , Kool Stop and the power from Sponser, I couldn't do anything - That's why I've prepared the Christmas tree for them

For the next year I'll have also new sponsors which I'll present you in the next post (so stay tuned)

I also have to say a big thank you to my team mates for everything, to everyone that helped me to organise the Cluj Winter Race, the only winter race in Romania and to everyone that is watching this blog even if like or hate me.

I hope that the Santa will bring you, and your families all the nice presents that you wish and the next year to be better the this one !

Ride hard or die tryin'


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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cluj Winter Race - last race of 2008

Hello again,

<- Like in 2007 the start was "Le Mans", something that riders and spectators loved :-) I come to post another article after the last race of the year: Cluj Winter Race. I must admit that is pretty hard to organize alone a race, and is harder to do it well. But I've made it. I've organize it, I race it, and I won it. I'm pretty happy with it. I managed to get at the start of the race more riders than any other cross country event of 2008 - 56 riders (ok, may not sound to much, but for a cross country race are a lot).
<- Me in the first lap

commented the race, and made it really well, the Stanciu brothers got the sound equipment, MarosSport and Sport Bike Center sponsored the race, Realitatea Tv, Pro Tv and NCN were the tv's present at the race, more news papers and sport magazines, more people than I've expected and a pretty warm day (13 degrees Celsius). Was the first time when I was riding in December only in shorts :-). An after party was set in the Ex cafffe with the help of Bogdan Cator and the day finished as it started: great.

I've decided to race because the course was so nice and Simona was also there to support me. I've stayed with my team mates all race long and in the last lap I've attacked.

I would like with this occasion to tanks to all my sponsors for helping me to get the proper race material: Cannondale, Maros Sport, Continental, Met, Selle Italia, VDO, Xpedo, Sapim, 661, Kool Stop, Syntace and Sponser. I am happy with the 2008 results, I know that in 2009 I can do better and I hope that I'll have their support the next year too. Also hope that my new sponsors (which I will present soon) to trust me that I can do better, because I am motivated to get good results, which will promote them also. I also would like to Gabee for training and preparing me for the races, to my parents for the support, to my team mates, to my friends and everyone else that supported me one way or another.

The news from Realitatea TV can be seen HERE. They got me an interview regarding the race. Please check it out.

The full gallery from the race is HERE.

Wish you the best and I'll keep you all updated.


PS: bellow are another photos from the race. Thank you Simona for them. If I'll post anything related to CWR you'll find out.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cluj Winter Race - 3rd edition

On the 6th of December, me and the guys from Maros Sport Club will organize the 3rd edition of the Cluj Winter Fun Race. We wanna gather together for the last time every year the riders, for a winter race, to promote the cyclist movement even if it's cold outside, to have fun.

I hope that the local authorities will approve our request and will let us to make the race in a park, much more visible than the last years.

If you wanna see some photos from the 2007 edition click HERE

The race blog is HERE. I am sorry that the blog is only in Romanian

Also it will be a funny suit prize, the start will be Le Mans type. I hope that at the race will have a lot of riders and a lot of spectators. Until now our only sponsor for the race is MarosSport which is also the Cannondale official dealer for Romania. Also there will be an add on the Mbike Magazine. Hopefully more publications, televisions, radios and web sites will promote this race, the only in it's kind in Romania (in the future I expect that other winter races to be organized).

I'll keep you informed.

Pedal 'till you'll freeze out :-)

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More than feelings on Cannondale Tube

A few time ago I have wrote a short article on the Cannondale web site :D and I am pretty happy to see that they have posted it.

If you would like to see it, please click

See you at the Cluj Winter Race.


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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Friendship Cup a.k.a. Regional Championships

As the other riders I find out Monday in the afternoon that on the next day Vointa Club is organizing a race, that was officially programed on the 12th of October but delayed due to some unknown reasons. (But until now I didn't heard about MTB race on Tuesday)

So I go in the morning at the school and after that I come home and prepare for this 'race'. I won't tell how many riders were at the race (because it was Tuesday every one was at school or work). I also won't tell you about how the course was organized (was not a private race, so what do you expect?
Our luck was that we knew the course from the
WINTER RACE), but I can tell you that I've enjoyed the time with my
team mates. I also won "this" Regional Championships at U23 (second at Men Elite) but is not something that I can very proud because there weren't all the riders here... I am also happy with the money prize that I got it (bigger than the prize at the National Championships and National Cup).

We also had a few unusual spectators :-))

I'm happy that I had a good riding day. Now I am resting pretty much and am making a training plan for the next season.

I would like to say a big thank you to Mihai for the photos.

See you on the trails (until it gets colder)

The whole photo gallery from this event can be found here

PS I've updated the gallery from the Maros MTB Marathon. Please CHECK it out.


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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Maros MTB Marathon

So on the 28th of September was the Maros Mountain Bike Marathon. The 2nd edition of this race, but on special new location. The Apuseni Moutains, near Cluj, the city where I live.

But everything started wrong... The week before the race was cold, raining and so on... Due to some old medical issues I didn't had the perfect training week so I was pretty tired, but I was hoping for a good result.

<- Here I am with Razvan Juganaru (Jughi) and Sebi the day before the race after a short ride. I guess that the organizers talked with someone for a sunny day on the race day and so it was ... Cold but sunny day.

<- Voicu and me. Both of us with: Cannondale bikes, Met Helmets, Continental Tires, Selle Italia Saddles, Sapim spokes, Xpedo Pedals, VDO cycle computers, Kool Stop pads, 661 gloves, Syntace posts and handle bars ... We both choose only the best !

<- Here, next to me is Cioc another biker riding Cannondale !

So the race started very well. I was in front in the first kilometers. After that a few riders pushed out the pace but I didn't try to get them. It was only the start. After the first climb, I was almost 2 minutes behind them, but a 9km downhill was coming. I knew the course so for me was pretty simple. I pushed it in the corners as hard as I could, because I wasn't worry that I can loose my grip with my Continental Speed King 2.3 Supersonic tires.

I won a few seconds on the descend and after something like 2 km of road we started the hardest climb on the race: in 3,5 km we had to climb 750 meters. There I started to feel dizzy, but I thought that with some water and a gel everything will go ok. Another long, fast and technical downhill section got me near the leading riders, but there was my last good moment. After that on the last climb, a pretty long one, I lost the power, I was feeling much dizzy and I couldn't push the pedals even if I didn't felt my legs tired.

I lost there 3 positions and even if I push it to the limit on the last descend wasn't enough to improve my result, so I've finished on a disappointing 5th place. Disappointing for me at least.

Another reason for this failure was this year schedule... I didn't respected all my recovery plans and the fatigue was installed in my body. What I need now is a break from the races at least until the Cluj Winter Race. I'll try to recover, I'll get my bike o trails, but I'll eat and sleep well and try prepare the next season. I prepare for the next season because in Romania there are no races left until the Winter Race in December.

I'll try to get over it and I will think for the upcoming season. I am still motivated to ride the bike, to race as good as I can and to promote the bicycle trend in my circle of friends but also to let them know about my sponsors.

So for this race I want to congratulate the organizers for what they have done. I would like to thanks my parents for being there at the finish supporting me even if I crossed the finish line and I was more dead than alive, I would like to thanks Simona for supporting me and motivating me, I would like to thanks to all my sponsors for offering me the opportunity to race with their amazing products, I would like to thanks to Gabee for training me and also to apologize that I didn't respected his recovery program and also to thanks to all my friends that are behind me and support me in this.

Thank you very much too all of you.

Please check also the marathon web page: Maros MTB Marathon

Here is one of the news that appeared on the tv: Realitatea TV @ Maros MTB Marathon
You can see me in their movie, but also you can see Eli, one of my best friends, and the one that tried so hard that this event to be the best in Romania.

On you can see another article from the race, but also from CityNews.

You can see my whole gallery of photos from this race HERE
With this occasion I would like to thanks to all the photographers from the course.

I'll keep you updated guys.

Push the pedal hard until the winter is here.


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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Salzkammergut Trophy in MBike Magazine

The 9th number of the MBike Magazine appeared.

There are also 2 pages dedicated to the Salzkammergut Trophy where me and two of my team mates participated (Eli and Oli). You can see there also a picture with Eli and one with me, but also a few impressions from the race.

On this 9th number you can find also informations about TransAlpt 2008, a touring course in Apuseni Mountains, but also a few advices in the maintenance of the bike and an article about Marco Pantani.

Don't forget that from 20 to 28th of September is the European Week of Mobility and on the 22nd of September is the European Day Without Cars !

Soon I'll post also an article about the Maros MTB Marathon. The event will take place in 28th of September near Cluj Napoca. Stay tuned for more information

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Reviews - Part 1

Hi there to all of you,

I promised that I will write some reviews for some of my bike parts and equipment. I was really busy with training, some medical issues and with the Eurobike so only now I have found some time to write you more.

So I will start with the frame set

Cannondale Taurine Carbon + Lefty Speed Carbon SL 110 DLR2

For this season I use the Taurine Carbon frameset. I guess that is normal to start with the weight. My frame in L (18,7") size is 1248 grams (headset included - 60 grams and also the seatpost clamp 12 grams). The Lefty is 1224 grams with a 110 mm travel - if you don't know is the lightest 110 mm travel fork on Earth (but wait to see the 2009 Cannondale bikes, you will be even more surprised).

Each tube for the frame is optimized for a reason so the shape for it is not just a design one. You can see the downtube that is oversized and round for the best power transfer and the toptube is ovalized to improve the climbing and the sprint. From my own experience is the best choice until now.

Great bike for climbing, for technical sections on a cross country course, but also really fast even on longer courses. On the trail it's so easy to control and you gain confidence with it so you can push your limits on every escapade.

Rocks? Roots? Small jumps? Lefty doesn't know the meaning for these words. Is performing so well that you even don't realize that the
obstacles are there. The carbon structure make it really stiff.

The rebound control can be set really easy even during the race. The light weight and the lock out helps to climb easier and increases the speed at sprints too. The Lefty is also balanced, stiff, stronger and durable than any other fork in it's class. If you are searching for more stiffness, low weight you should combine your Lefty and Cannondale frame with a Lefty XC3 SI Stem. The Sistem Integration (SI) makes a bike to become one body, not a frame with parts added to it.

But (there is always a "but") if you wanna have a light and fast bike, you should search for light, fast and durable tires too, don't you think so? For me the searched stopped at the Continental bike tires.

Continental Speed King Supersonic 2,3
This is the ultimate marathon tire. Light as a semislick (425 grams at 2,3 supersonic version) and with grip like for an all around tire this should satisfy every rider. It performs awesome on hard and loose pack, but also on wet (not really muddy conditions) even if he has a small rolling resistance.

Continental Mountain King Supersonic 2,2
You can rule the mountain only with this tire. It's a great all around tire. A lot of grip on every condition. From hard pack, loose pack, roots, rocks, wet soil, everything. The design of the spiky tread improve the quality of the control on the bike. If you are a freerider it was designed also a 2,4 version, but nothing is complete without the 29er version, so the Mountain King really is for everyone who is searching the perfection.

Race King World Cup 2,2 - Limited Edition This tire won already a World Championship title and some other World Cup victories. Low profile tread that is not only increasing speed but you can test it an see that is great all arounder. The control is amazing, but he prefers the hard pack. From now you can have your own futuristic Race King tire in a Supersonic or UST version. It's not a problem if you are riding big wheels. A 29 x 2,2 version will be available very soon.

You have a good bike, but you must have a comfortable and light saddle. The correct answer is Selle Italia !

One of the most refined saddles is the Selle Italia SLR Titanium. With only 135 grams is yet light but comfortable and durable. The real leather and the titanium rails increases durability. There is also a Carbon rails SLR saddle available, if you would like to save some extra grams. For me was incredible comfortable on long road trainings but also for marathon and cross country races. This is my dream saddle.

If you ride a bike you have to wear a helmet for your protection. Wearing a helmet can save your life and can prevent from serious injuries ! MET has the supremacy.

The clear expressive lines, the compact and harmonious shapes, and in particular the luminous colors of MET products, are classic examples of this rich tradition.

The Stradivarius 199. Thanks to the use of our ULTIMALITE fibre composite, it was the first PRO Team helmet in the world to weigh less than 200 grams. Put it on and you will forget that you even wear it. Really good vented, perfect fit, this is what a good helmet means ! This helmet is used by the Cannondale-Vredestein Team, Cofidis Team and a lot of other amazing athletes. Soon I will make a review about another Met helmet so stay tuned for more information !

If you wanna get off some grams, you should start whit the wheels, and then you should start to think about the spokes. After that the first name that comes in your mind is Sapim.

They have right now the best spokes on the planet ! The CX RAY is the best spoke that you can find even if you are using it for road races, triathlon, cross country or downhill. Unbelievably high fatigue test ! more than 3.5 millions revolutions. For best results you should you Sapim Alloy Nipples.

The weight is comparable to the titanium spokes - 278g (64 x 260 mm) so if you are searching for perfection you must stop because the perfection is here.

If you want that all the power to be transfered to the wheels you should have some good pedals.

When you race or simply ride on the trails you have to be attached to your bike. The weight is also important, then you must choose Xpedo pedals. The mission of Xpedo is to develop the finest high performance pedals in the world. The first thing you'll notice about the Xpedo line up are the complex castings and intricate machining on these precision components. The MF4Titanium is one of the lightest pedals in the world that is resisting for every cross country or marathon race ! At only 230 grams this model is stiff, with a great mud clearance, easy to adjust and to take care of it. Hitting rocks and roots is not a problem. The pedals will last more than you think !

So you got a light, strong, durable and stiff bike, but how fast are you going? how about your hear rate?? Don't know? Well, you should get a VDO HC12,6.

It shows you everything you need about the speed, time, distance, selectable heart rate training zones, current hear rate, maximum heart rate.

It has a 5 years warranty, it's water resistant and you can get for it a lot of accessories. This little gadget will certainly improve your training !

For now this is it. I will continue with other products pretty soon I hope and you will find out more. if you have any questions feele free to ask and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Catch you soon. 'till then rock hard !


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