The close of the 2015 season will mark a significant change for Condor and former National Champion, Kristian House. After eight seasons riding for Condor's professional team, JLT Condor p/b Mavic (formerly Rapha Condor), the Brit will hand back his Condor steed and move on to a new team.
Kristian House has been a permanent fixture of John Herety's team since 2008. The 35-year-old joined the team following a spell on the Great Britain track team, and a season with the Pro-continental Navigators team. In 2008 Rapha Condor merged with the Recycling.co.uk team and became Rapha-Condor Recycling for 2008. The merger brought Kristian House and Chris Newton into the Men in Black understated colours. Kristian's tenacious riding style saw him take several victories for Condor and at the end of the year he had a spell in the polka dot King of the Mountains jersey at the Tour of Britain.
2009 saw the launch of the Tour Series, a series that enabled House to become a household name as he and the team raced around city centres up and down the country. The National Championship hadn't been a race the team had focused on, as the Tour Series final round was just three days before the race in Abergavenny. On a Sunday morning in the Welsh sunshine Kristian and the team prepared for a race where the Rapha Condor team featured well down the list of journalist hot picks.
The undulating course with narrow roads soon split the race up and Kristian rode well, managing to stay in the front group. His role was to ride for Olympian Chris Newton or Tom Southam, but when the decisive split came in the race, Kristian House featured in a select group with Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard, Dan Lloyd and Chris Froome. The small group rode hard and it looked like a four-way sprint to the line was inevitable.
"I just gambled by putting everything in the sprint, and making sure I left it 'til just before the top of the climb before I tried to go. I didn't realise I'd won until about a metre before I crossed the line. I knew I had that kind of result in me, I just hadn't expected it right then." — Kristian House.
The victory was the biggest win for Condor since the heyday of the Percy Bilton team in the 1980s, as well as putting the Rapha Condor team firmly on the map.
In 2010 the team raced in Britain and internationally. Resplendent in the white National Champions jersey, Kristian took a fine individual stage win at the Tour of Japan, 3rd at the Mi-Aout-Bretonne, stage wins at the Tour of Tobago and several victories in the British Cycling Premier Calendar.
House opened the 2011 season with a solo win at the opening stage of the Tour of South-Africa. The rider with the Texan draw pulled on the yellow jersey and his Rapha Condor team mates ensured he kept it all the way to the end of the race. Success continued at home and abroad, with a win Vuelta a Leon, and a second place in GP des Marbriers in France.
Condor handed House a development frame in 2012. Made from steel it was the first time the material would feature in the pro peloton. The bike went on to become the Condor Super Acciaio and House helped hone various incarnations of the steel race bike. 2012 proved to be another strong year for the team where house assisted Dean Downing to a stage win at the Tour de Taiwan. He rang up numerous Tour Series and Premier Calendar victories and it was a year that ended with Kristian featuring nearly everyday in the breakaway at the Tour of Britain. He was rewarded in his efforts and took home several fluffy Skoda Yetis and the King of the Mountains jersey.
Rapha Condor formed with JLT with a new focus to assist talented under-23 development riders and Kristian's role changed to become both leader and mentor. House broke his collarbone just before Christmas Day in 2013 when a deer sprinted across the road, knocking him from his Super Acciaio. Despite the injury he bounced back, leading the young team to time trial victory in the 2014 Mzansi Tour of South Africa, and supported Graham Briggs at the Tour du Loire et Cher.
Condor handed him a new test bike at the back end of 2014. The new frame was our lightest yet and House put it through its paces in America, before taking it to Australia to race the Sun Tour, beginning the season in the re-booted team colours of JLT Condor presented by Mavic.
"I will miss Kristian riding a Condor; during his eight year tenure he helped us develop many models in the Condor range. His feedback was invaluable and during that time he was a consummate professional and great ambassador. Everyone looks for new challenges to keep their drive and spark; I wish him all the best next season." — Grant Young, Managing Director
The Tour of Britain (6th-13th September) will close out the House's career riding for the Men in Black. Get out and watch Britain's great race and give Kristian a cheer in his final apperance on a Condor.
House on the podium as part of the Tour Series overall team winners in 2009
House just after crossing the line at the Tour of Japan, 2010
Taking to the podium in the Polka Dot jersey at the 2008 Tour of Britain
Kristian House solos to victory on stage 1 of the Tour of South Africa
Wearing the King of the Mountains jersey in 2012
Presented with the Stage 8 Tour of Britain combativity award in 2013
2015 about to launch one of his famous solo attacks. The move helped him him take the win in Motherwell
Selvedge (or selvage) denim is a fabric produced on a shuttle loom, as all denim was prior to the 1960s. A shuttle loom produces fabric that is 31" wide and has closed edges, which is where the term "selvedge" comes from. It's a contraction of "self edge," as in self-edging fabric. The shuttle loom and its built-in irregularities are crucial to our love of selvedge denim, because it produces a denim with more character. When factories swapped out the older, slower, and less reliable shuttle looms for the modern projectile looms, they also threw out much of the character within the denim they produced. Selvedge denim will always age in a more interesting manner than jet-loomed denim, with a patina that displays the DNA of what the fabric actually contains, including the type of cotton that was used, the type of indigo, exactly how it was dyed, and even the type of loom used to weave the denim.
Around the late seventies and early eighties the Japanese took an interest in Americana. A few forward thinking Japanese brands started scooping up the remaining shuttle looms from across the world, bringing them back home to start making jeans the good ol' way. Though some smaller America denim produces, such as the Cone Mills in North Carolina continued to make their Selvedge fabric.
Selvedge denim is always a tighter, tougher, and harder wearing. The rigidity of the fabric means that these jeans don't sit too close to the body and stretch over time. Making them perfect for cycling in. American cycle brand, Swerve have produced a limited-run Selvadge pair. Using a White Oak denim fabric produced by Cone Mills, these are 11oz, and completely made in the USA. They have a slim fit, a cycle specific cut, and a reflective strip on the inside of the right leg.
After 174 days on the road, which had seen him chased by dogs in Albania, runaway from monkeys and race an emu in Australia, Tom Davies arrived back in London where he'd started on January 17 having raised around £60,000 for charity. The 19 year old arrived home on Sunday to a street party after riding the final leg from Poole in Dorset back to London.
Tom visited the Condor store with his father last winter for a bike fit and build. He casually explained to the bike fit team that he was looking for a bicycle to cycle around the world, solo, for charity. We've followed Tom's blog and regular Twitter updates from the moment he left the Condor store last Christmas.
Tom chose a light blue Fratello equipped with Shimano Ultegra, handbuilt wheels and Brooks Cambium saddle. We build lots of bikes and the Fratello is a popular choice for lightweight tourer, Tom's aims though, were alittle different to most, he planned to be the youngest person to cycle around the world.
The trip raised money for charities including Prostate Cancer UK; Carney's Community, which works with disadvantaged young people; and the Sohana Research Fund, set up to support Sohana Collins, a teenager who suffers from recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, an incurable and often fatal illness that causes severe blistering of the skin.
The Guardian reports that Tom was very emotional when he spoke about Sohana when he arrived back in London. "I met Sohana herself and it's just inspirational what she goes through every day. I've had a hard seven months but she puts up with it her whole life."
Take a look at Tom's ride by ride log on his website, it is a fantastic read.
700km, two concerts, one festival and a stop each day to play and record a song in the Norwegian landscape. All by bike.
French musician Yann Tiersen, known for his famous Amélie film soundtrack, coaxed two band members to throw a leg over our versatile Fratello frameset and head out on an epic journey through Norway. Yann is also the owner of a light blue Fratello.
Beginning in the northern town of Alta, Yann rode south to the lake side town of Harstad. He covered 700km and stopped each day en-route to record and film a different song in the beautiful Norwgian landscape.
Although Yann and his cycling crew are at the end of their ten day tour, this is the start of something much larger. The 'Goodbye Lenin' composer ultimately hopes to travel around the world by bike playing music.
A full film will be released later this year. Watch the short teaser clip on Yann's Cycle site.
Congratulations to everyone taking part and those who have completed 2015 Transcontinental Race. One of the toughest endurance / audax events of the year. Riders race non-stop from from the Muur van Geraardsbergen in Belgium to Istanbul in Turkey. They can choose when and where to rest and there is no defined route but there are mandatory controls along the way. The controls, help bring the competitors together, and let racers share their stories, the control ensure riders visit famous European landmark. One of the control points was the top of eeary Mont Ventoux.
175 riders started the event, and so far five have made it to Turkey. The first man home was Britain's Josh Ibbett riding 4,239km in 9 days, 23 hours, 54 minutes. Riders can be followed live on the event website.
The Super Acciaio pictured, (below) belongs to Matthew Swain who is taking part in the race. He stopped to take the snap somewhere in the Champagne region.
Find out more on the Transcontinental website.
2015 saw JLT Condor team get a reboot in both kit and sponsor with French wheel manufacturer, Mavic taking over from Rapha. The team known for nine seasons as Rapha Condor became JLT Condor presented by Mavic.
JLT Condor presented by Mavic are the first UCI level team to be dressed head to toe by the historic French brand, and as the flagship team for Mavic rider equipment and gear they will signal-in the change for the soft goods division of the brand. Mavic's updated logo and 'La Bande Jaune' (yellow band) debuts on the new team kit and will be included in their autumn/winter range.
The British team will remain in their statement black jerseys with the new kit featuring a digital fade pattern under the arms and stripe detailing on the sleeves.
The new kit design will carry into the 2016 season, with Mavic producing a range of supporter's level apparel, including jersey and bib shorts, as well as team t-shirt and hoody. The new supporter's jersey will be available for £50.00 and the team bib shorts for £80.00.
We've teamed up with Allums Butchers of Yorkshire to support the London Summer Cross Series.
Cyclocross is a lively sport that welcomes all abilities, and bicycles including single speed racers and mountain bike riders. The aim of the summer series is to give riders a chance to try cyclocross and practise their skills before the start of the main winter leagues.
Race venues and start times:
Thursday 23rd July 2015 - Bethlem Hospital
Thursday 30th July 2015 - Addington Park
Thursday 6th August 2015 - Morden Park
Thursday 13th August 2015 - Herne Hill Velodrome
Under 12s: £3, 6.15pm
Youths: £3, 6.30pm
Seniors, women, juniors and vetrans: £10, 7pm
Race your bike, win an epic BBQ feast
At each event there is the chance to win Condor prime prizes, these will be given out by the race organisers on the night.
The overall winner and podium placers will win a hundle bundle of Condor goodies including jerseys, short, Mavic race shoes and a range of runners up goodies. Best of all, Allums are providing their BBQ parcels or luxury steak parcels to the winner in each category.
Allums butchers is our favourite pouveryer or fine meats. Whilst they are local to our London store or the race series, their online service means we can fuel up on one of the amazing pork pies at the click of a button (ps. you should really try one of these proper Yorkshire pork pies)
If you want to see yourself shredding summer courses, Phil Moran photography is covering each event.
An icon of Soho, Bar Italia coffee shop was opened in 1949 by the Polledri family, who still own and operate the slice of Italian culture in the heart of London's west end.
Named Coffee Shop of the Year in 2010 by London Lifestyle Awards, Bar Italia on Frith Street counts actors Rupert Everett and cyclist Mark Cavendish as regulars. This Italian-Americano bar is a diner-style all-nighter with pavement tables and frenetic quick-fix service.
You can't talk to the staff at Bar Italia without talking about cycling. In a mixture of English and Italian the staff joke about this year's action packed Tour de France while making espressos for customers who sit outside in the July heat. Original features include neon signs, chrome pedestal bar stools, mirrors and two-tone Formica striped with steel. Hams, strings of garlic, cycling shirts, signed Cavendish jerseys and pictures hang above the steaming espresso machine. The stainless steel counter top is stuffed with cannoli, bruttiboni and jars of amaretti biscuits while a giant framed poster of Italian-American boxing hero, Rocky Marciano, watches over the hustle and bustle.
Condor has been making jerseys for the bar for several decades and the latest incarnation features the Bar Italia branding styled like their neon logo that famously features on the outside of the building. "This is maybe the fifth version of the jersey. I really like the 65th anniversary emblem on the jersey – they are nearly as old as Condor!" explains Grant Young. "We've had some really varied jersey designs over the years: a cappucino coloured jersey, which I still see around London today, a Giro inspired black and pink, and a classic Italian azzuri blue jersey. Bar Italia is one of those places that – day or night – it is a great bar to be in and full of culture. Anthony Polledri, son of Nino who started Bar Italia, really loves cycling. We spend too long talking about bikes whenever I pop in!"
The jersey is available at in-store and online at Condor and Bar Italia.
|Bar Italia x Condor 2015 Jersey
A strong season continues for the HMT Academy riders. Over the weekend, Alex Braybrooke sealed his place on the podium at the Junior Tour of the Basque Country. The Condor sponsored rider was racing the four stage event which finished on Sunday with a time trail around the medieval town of Gatika.
Braybrooke rode strongly on the 12km course securing 10th place on the stage in a time of 20:16, but he was beaten to the yellow jersey by Tomeu Gelabert who won the time trial.
The second place capped a strong ride from the HMT Academy riders, with Alfie Moses picking up the white young riders jersey. Earlier in the week, Braybrooke's teammate, Karl Baillie successfully rode across to a seven man breakaway. The group of eight riders created a lead of just over 1 minute with 10km to go and the peloton chased hard to bring the leaders back. Sensing the danger of the race coming back together, Baillie attacked the group and held out to sprint for the victory on stage 2.
The race was an important learning curve for the Academy riders especially as the extreme heat added another dimension to the racing. "Rob Gray demonstrated everything that HMT Academy look for in a rider today, coming back to the team car several times to pick up SIS bars, gels and hydration to take back up to the rest of the team at the front of the peloton." explained team manager, Mark Barry.
This is the first time the academy has attended the race in Spain which forms part of the UCI 1.1 World Junior Series. The riders will return to England for the Bath CC Junior Road Race who's previous winners include Bradley Wiggins and Tao Geoghegan Hart.
The next European race for the HMT Academy, supported by JLT and Condor is Ronde van Vlaanderen Juniores on 2nd August.
1. Tomeu Gelabert, Team Fundacion Contador (Official Junuior team of Alberto Contador)
2. Alex Braybrooke, HMT Academy pb JLT Condor
3. Joan Bou, Team Funcacion Contador
10. Stuart Balfour, HMT Academy pb JLT Condor
15. Alfie Moses, HMT Academy pb JLT Condor
Here's 9 Tour de France words and phrases we dare you to drop into conversation over the next 3 weeks. How many do you know?
Win Condor prizes and celebrate the Tour de France with us. We've got weekly and overall prizes to win in our Velogames Mini League.
It is FREE to enter, click here to sign up
Velogames is a fantasy cycling game. Unlike other Fantasy Tour de France competitions, Velogames takes a simpler approach, just select the best possible team of 9 riders, no need to worry about changing riders, transfer deadlines or number of substitutions left.
The better your team of 9 performs during the Tour de France, the more points they will accumulate.
You can make unlimited changes to your team up until the entry deadline. Once the deadline has passed there are no transfers or changes allowed
The deadline for entries is 4th July 2015 - 13:00 (British Summer Time).
How to join the Condor Mini League
To win prizes you must set up a team in the game and then join the Condor Mini League.
Overall Winner - Mavic CXR Shoes, Condor Since 1948 Jersey, Condor Gilet, cap, pro socks
3rd overall - Condor Since 1948 Jersey, pro socks
Top 3 each week will win
Condor water bottles, pro socks, cap
We'll annouce spot prizes and weekly winners on the Condor blog. Good luck!
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