Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Colombia-Coldeportes And The 2013 Grand Tours?

 
2012 wasn't the year that Pro-Continental team Colombia-Coldeportes would have hoped for. Results were thin on the ground and though they got asked to a few Italian races like the Giro Del Trentino, they didn't receive invites to any of the three Grand Tours - not a great move for a new and ambitious team of Colombians. 2013 looks like it could be a much better year though - photographed above is Coldeportes star rider Esteban Chavez with Christian Prudhomme at the unveiling of the 2013 Tour route which may be a hint of whats to come...

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

5 Cycling Related 'To Do's' In The Off-Season

 
Now that the racing has finished for 2012 and we are all growing bored of the Armstrong/US Postal affair it would be easy to let our minds wonder away from cycling - which can be a critical mistake, especially for new fans of cycling having watched the pro's for the first time this year or who have been drawn to the sport thanks to the success of Bradley Wiggins. So often I've seen fans interest wane so much through the winter months that cycling isn't really on their agenda anymore when the new season comes around and then cycling is resigned to the 'fad' and 'phase' section of our lives. The dark nights and cold weather don't exactly help to stimulate the mind into thinking about outside activity either. Here's 5 cycling related things to do over the winter to help keep the off-season blues at bay...


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Sean Yates Leaves Team Sky

 
According to tomorrows Telegraph front page, Sean Yates is parting company with team Sky after admitting to previously doping. It was entirely predictable that Yates would be one of those on the 'leaving' list at Sky. It is, however, a shame that he was playing the 'I didn't see or hear nuffin' guv' game only just last week - which begs the question that if Sky and Brailsford hadn't issued the 'Sign or Exit' plea, would Yates have kept the truth to himself? Hats off to Team Sky for sticking to their guns though.

EDIT: Full Telegraph article here and it looks as though Steven de Jongh has left the team in his role as coach, also as a consequence of the 'Sign or Exit' statement.

Weekend Roundup: 2013 Tour Route Unveiled, Bobby's Sky Exit, Kittel Speaks Out, Domestic Doping?

 
With no racing to talk about the worlds cycling media has been focusing heavily on the Lance Armstrong affair and other related doping news. It's hard not to let the off-season combined with huge doping scandals turn fans off to the sport but there is some good coming of it with signs of a younger generation of rider speaking out against the old guard. The revealing of the Tour de France 2013 route this week was also a timely reminder that bicycle racing does still exist beyond doping...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Pro-Cycling And The Dirty Doctors

 
With all the recent US Postal saga grabbing major headlines much of the onus is being placed on riders and team management to come out of the woodwork and condemn those involved and vow to help make the sport cleaner, for good. This, in many cases is just and we all expect those representing the sport to have a hand in putting things right, even those who have not done anything wrong in the past. Whilst all of the attention is on riders, it is often the team doctors who have been responsible for doping programmes and regimes in the past and as little is seen of them in the public eye, many of these Doctors are still at the very core of professional road cycling...

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Cycling And The Truth About 'Finish Bottles'

 
Last week I highlighted an article in which Taylor Phinney spoke out about widespread use of painkillers and caffeine supplements within the modern peloton (here) where he questioned the ethics behind using painkillers to 'enhance' cycling performance, but another phrase in that same article caught my eye and left me feeling a little horrified: 'Finish Bottle'. So what exactly is a finish bottle?...

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Thursday Shorts: Cavendish Joins OPQS, Armstrong Dropped, Team Sky Interviews, Phinney On Pain Killers...

 
It's been a busy old few days in cycling once again, an unusual scenario for this time of year though most of it is once again down to Lance Armstrong. Sky have been at the fore again this week, partly thanks to the departure of Mark Cavendish but more so an untimely reiteration of the anti-doping mission from Dave Brailsford. Here's all the latest...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Nike, Armstrong, UCI And The $500,000 Cover Up

 
"This is my body and I can do whatever I want to it. I can push it and study it, tweak it, listen to it. Everybody wants to know what I am on. What am I on? I'm on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?" These are the words of Lance Armstrong in a 2001 advertisement for Nike. It's easy to laugh at this now, the irony, the lies, the arrogance and audacity to casually deny the truth in an advert that would reach millions upon millions of viewers worldwide and the embarrassment it 'must' have caused for one of the worlds largest sporting goods companies. Except, far from being embarrassed it appears today that Nike were in fact part of the problem at the very heart of the most 'sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.'...

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Sunday Shorts: Pro-Cycling Season Over, Cavendish To Rabobank?, Armstrong Saga, No Tour For Cancellara? Dick Pounds Attacks UCI, The Hog Quits...

 
The week has been dominated, as suspected, by Lance Armstrong and everything that entails but I can assure you that other things have been going on in cycling. Here is a round up of all the latest news and gossip in the world of professional cycling...

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Peloton: Slow Reaction To USADA File

 
Today could have been one of the biggest in cycling history. Today could have been the day the peloton finally said: "Enough". It could have been the day cycling turned over a new page and started afresh. It could have been the day the peloton admitted its mistakes, its misdemeanours, its pitfalls, its lies. Today could have given the fans what they deserved. Today, the peloton, new and old, have let us down...

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

USADA Delivers Report: Forget #LanceGate, What About #BrailsfordGate?

 
So today we finally get our hands on the report we all knew was coming, and which we all knew was going to be damning - for Lance Armstrong and for the UCI. While the details trickle through throughout the night thanks to the unveiling of the USADA's 200 page summary (the version they sent to the UCI is more like 2000 pages!)  it's easy to forget this is about more than Lance Armstrong and US Postal. Already through the USADA's opening statement (HERE) we know that 11 witnesses admit to doping and will serve bans, but amongst them is a certain Michael Barry of 'clean as a whistle' Team Sky, herein lies a problem for Dave Brailsford to add to his recent woes...

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Vélo: Book Launch And Exhibition

 
Here's one for cyclists, cycle fans, book and art lovers. Starting with a second edition book launch at the now famous and uber cool London cycling cafe Look Mum, No Hands! this coming Saturday which will include live music from Kraftwerk promoting a limited run of 100 casebound copies of photo artbook 'Vélo - Adventures of the Peloton', an exhibition of 10 large prints from the the book will be on display at the cafe until October 26th. Here I'm taking a look at the book, the art and the artist with all the details of how to get your hands on a copy and get yourselves down to the launch and exhibition in the coming weeks...

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Cyclings Last Crusade: Tour of Beijing 2012

 
For many today saw the final race of the season in what was a good edition of Paris-Tours and for many cycling fans this one day classic still constitutes the end of their season interest. But there is one more WorldTour bike race left and its a 5 day stage race. Use these five days to treasure the remaining road cycling action of 2012 because when the race end, the mourning for what has been a 'vintage' year in cycle racing will begin. The Tour of Beijing starts on Tuesday...

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Tiernan-Locke Signs For Sky: What Does His Future Hold?


It's hardly been the worlds best kept secret but today Team Sky finally confirmed the signing of 28 year old Jon Tiernan-Locke who over the last 13 months has been a rising British star and a breath of fresh air. I'm going to take this opportunity to remind you that rumblings that Locke was heading to Sky first appeared right HERE before anywhere else on the interweb! Ive written about Tiernan-Lockes rise through the ranks earlier this year here - but how did he finally get on the Sky roster and what is the future likely to hold for the Brit...

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

1921: A Very Different Paris-Tours


French classic 'Paris-Tours' will be the the last one day classic of the 2012 season and though the race has fallen out of favour in recent years and is no longer a WorldTour race, plenty of riders will be looking to put on a show here in a final bid to secure a ride for 2013. Known as 'The Sprinters Classic' due to its usually pan flat nature, this years route will see a few lumps, bumps, twists and turns in the closing kilometres to make it a more exciting spectacle. Some things are for sure though - Sunday's race will not be 342 Kilometres long, It will not be raced through blizzards and more than 8 riders will finish - here is the story of the 1921 Paris-Tours...

Monday, 1 October 2012

Transfers: Ins, Outs And The Rumour Mill - Part 5


This time of year (Paris-Tours, Tour of Beijing) sees riders without contracts for next year bust a gut to show themselves at the front of the race in a bid to get noticed by potential employers - but the transfers will keep coming right through the Autumn and Winter months. Here is the latest amongst the movers and shakers since part 4. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)