V-Sprint rider James Locker talks about about the romantic link between cycling and Espresso coffee.
Café por favour. Café si’l vous plait. Caffe per favour. All ‘so called’ cyclists know there is only one way to drink a coffee and that is in its most simplest and pure form, an espresso. Since the beginning of time cycling and coffee have had a romantic relationship. The iconic pictures of old pro’s leaning against a counter in one of the tour’s picturesque depart villages sipping a thimble cup of espresso, concealed by a fine layer of crema, preparing for the battles that lay ahead. If you ever witness a ‘so called’ cyclist ordering anything but a straight up espresso you may no longer ride with this amateur. For those who order a latte or even worse a flavoured latte, they should be banished from the world of cycling altogether. Whilst sipping an espresso enhances that ‘euro pro’ look we all strive for, it also has performance related benefits. Caffeine is a performance boosting drug that is so effective it was once limited by WADA to only eight shots a day. Since, that limit has been removed and cycling has never been cleaner thanks to the crackdown on banned drugs, however if coffee ever found its way back onto WADA’s banned list, cycling would be an incredibly dirty sport. Some pro’s consume way over eight espresso’s a day, maybe that’s why Jim Varnish is so quick…who knows.
Caffeine runs even deeper in cycling’s veins. Back in the 60’s Italian espresso manufacture Faema sponsored a pro cycling team in order to promote its innovative E61 machines. The iconic jersey emblazoned with ‘Faema’ in large black letters was worn by star riders such as Eddy Merckx, Rik Van Looy and Vittorio Adorni. These cycling greats were all coffee connoisseurs, it was a rite of passage to become a fully-fledged pro.
Recovery day coffee shop spins are compulsory after a hard weekends racing in the gutter, battering yourself into ferocious headwinds and coming nowhere. Nothing makes more sense than a gleaming road bike adorned with V-sprint carbon wheels parked up outside a small coffee shop in a Majorcan village, waiting as its owner, tanned and lean, sips an espresso reliving the epic ride he/she has just been on with friends.
If you would like in any way to achieve the ‘euro pro’ look after reading this I suggest you head over to v-sprint.com and order a set of espresso cups and saucers to start your transformation from amateur 4th cat to elite pro.
Disclaimer: I’m not saying that drinking a perfectly formed espresso made by a stunning Italian barista will make you ride any quicker but it will certainly make you look better. Remember, never sacrifice style for speed.