Sunday, 30 September 2012

Joaquim Rodriguez Brings Season To A Close

In a fantastic double triumph, Joaquim Rodriguez has ended his season on a high with Victory in the Giro di Lombardia and finishing top of the WorldTour Points Ranking leader board - which Bradley Wiggins lead until yesterday. After such disappointment in the Giro d'Italia and La Vuelta a Espana Rogriguez can hold his head high knowing that he finished as the most consistent rider of 2012. Yesterdays victory effectively though, draws the competitive season to a close...

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Wordless Thursday: Contadors First One Day Victory

Couldn't resist this arty shot of Alberto Contador taking victory in Wednesdays Milano-Torino which happens to be Contador's first One Day race victory - a stunning statistic considering he is widely believed to be the greatest rider of his generation. Milano-Torino returned to the calendar this year having not featured since March 2007 - the 'Semi-Classic' is Italy's oldest race, and indeed one of the worlds, with the first edition appearing in 1876. The 2012 revamp saw the race finish atop the Colle di Superga, which created a very lead group, with Alberto eventually beating the likes of Joaquim Rodriguez, Vincenzo Nibali, Domenico Pozzovivo and Fredrik Kessiakof. Nice confetti...

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Giro di Lombardia: Race Of The Falling Leaves

With Philippe Gilbert now crowned World Champion, any major road racing is fast becoming slim pickings. This Saturday though will see the final 'monument' of the year play out in front of a mass of fans at the Giro di Lombardia in Lombardy, Italy, with a backdrop of beautiful scenery and autumnal colour. The race has been criticised for some slow editions with racing that doesn't live up to the standard of the other 'monuments' such as Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders - but 'The Race Of The Falling Leaves' is an altogether different type of race and what it lacks in spring grit it makes up for in a glorious stunning visual display of meandering streets, steep climbs and often brutal autumn weather, though with a calendar change from mid-October to the end of September may change this...

Saturday, 22 September 2012

World Championships 2012: Mens Road Race - The Contenders

I have again be noticeable by my absence but unfortunately I have ongoing 'laptop issues' and I may have taken a sneaky two night break in the Peak District this week where there is certainly no shortage of Cauberg-esq climbs. I'm here as and when I can be and luckily I've managed to get online pre-road race. So here is my list of Contenders for tomorrows big race...

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Mens Time Trial World Championship: The Contenders

Tomorrows 45.7km hilly time trial looks to have a depleted field lining up at the start in Heerlen as Bradley Wiggins and Fabian Cancellara fail to reach the start-ramp. Far from being a TT specialist style course, the route features three categorised climbs and this race could well suit the climbers as much as the specialists. Christopher Froome could have looked good here though he has now withdrawn to 'focus on the road race' which is slang for 'because he's knackered.' So who's left in the race, and are we going to get a surprise winner?...

Monday, 17 September 2012

Monday Picture: Boonen Kicks Off Worlds Week

World Championships week kicked off on Sunday with the new Team Time Trial event (ridden as trade teams rather than nationality) and after such a dominant year Omega Pharma-Quick-Step put in another top performance to take the victory by 3 seconds and kick-start Tom Boonens 'Rainbow' week as he looks to grab the Road Race World Championship title this coming Sunday. Pictured above he is congratulated by team-mate Sylvain Chavanel, and though Boonen mopped up ALL of the spring classics Chanvanel has been no slouch - French Time Trial champion, 8th in Paris Nice, 1st Three Days of De Panne, 2nd Overall Eneco Tour, 10th in the Tour of Flanders - It's been a great year for both, and a good year for the team.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Tiernan-Locke Takes Gold

I'm feeling a little smug today. I started this blog in March and my fourth ever post was about Jon Tiernan-Locke. Since last years Tour of Britain I have followed Tiernan-Locke's progress closely and for those who are regular visitors here you will probably have noticed a fair bit of JTL related posting, I guess I am a bit of a Tiernan-Locke 'fanboy'. I was the site to link Tiernan-Locke to Sky (here) and as a result the blog got a LOT of attention. I probably owe a lot to JTL, but taking the leaders jersey in today's stage of Tour of Britain vindicates my attention...

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Transfers: Ins, Outs And The Rumour Mill - Part 4

With the season rapidly drawing to a close (hold back those tears) riders are still looking to secure their futures. Many will already have deals done but announcements are unlikely to be made until racing comes to a finish as a mark of respect for their old teams, for others this isn't such an issue and some have already finished racing for the season so can talk openly about contractual affairs. So here is part 4 with all the latest movers and shakers. (See here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3).

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Movie Tuesday: Orica-GreenEDGE - The Musical

The Vuelta was a reminder of just how difficult life as a pro is, OK there are perks - good kit, good wages, plenty of travel etc but the reality is that cyclists and indeed staff, make huge sacrifices in the shape of time away from family and friends as well as restricted diet and lifestyle. It's also bloody hard. Think you are suffering at the end of your Sunday morning club run? Think again. Suffering is training every day for long hours over tough terrain, in the gym, on the bike and off the bike and that's before we even get to race day which could well feature some steep alpine climbs just to top it all off. So how do riders and staff unwind and stay sane? Well, Orica-GreenEdge like to do it with a little song and dance...Enjoy

Monday, 10 September 2012

La Vuelta - What Have We Learnt?

So the Vuelta is over and it seems the winner was a predictable one, though the fashion in which he won certainly wasn't. It looked for a while that Alberto Contador was out of Vuelta contention and resigned to second place on the podium but thats the thing about cycling - nothing is predictable, the race can change like the direction of the wind. One bad day, or even one bad minute can turn a 3 week race on its head and just when it looks as though the podium is decided - BAM, it's all change. So what has the 2012 Vuelta a Espana taught us...

Friday, 7 September 2012

La Vuelta: Bola Del Mundo - The Final Climb

Placed at the Sierra de Guadarrama, between the Spanish provinces of Madrid and Segovia lies the Bola del Mundo - one of the highest peaks in the region where it's summit lies at around 2,255 metres capped with the antennae of a weather station. This is the final climb of tomorrows stage 20 and the final climb of La Vuelta. Although it looked just days ago like this climb might decide the race with Alberto Contador hinting that this is where he would fight tooth and nail to take time out of Rodriguez, it looks like the race end might be a little more sedate now...

Thursday, 6 September 2012

La Vuelta: Contador Makes A Return To The Old Days?

So, my laptop decided to give up the ghost just prior to the start of what has probably been the most exciting 5 days in cycling this year and though it means Ive had quite a welcome break and been able to appreciate the racing slightly more than usual it's time to round things up a little...

Monday, 3 September 2012

Blog Down

Unfortunately my ageing laptop is on the blink and as a result the blog is not likely to be updated untill Tuesday evening at the earliest. Sorry for the weekend absence and please bare with me, I should be back soon! Thanks!