Wednesday, 30 January 2013

One To Watch: Peter Kennaugh

This is the first in a new series highlighting up-and-coming riders to look out for in 2013. Not all of them will be new faces, some will be looking to 2013 as their year to come of age and prove their worth. The first rider to watch out for in 2013 is: Peter Kennaugh.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Cycling, Qatar And The 2016 Worlds...

In 6 days time riders will once again find themselves in the desert for a week of racing as the Tour of Qatar begins. Not renowned for it's love of cycling the middle east seems an unusual place for WorldTour cycling to venture. Money obviously talks, but is it purely commercial? With the announcement that the 2016 World Championship Road Race will take place in the desert, just what is the cycling scene like in Qatar and what does it have to offer the sport?...

Friday, 25 January 2013

Tour Down Under: Queen Stage - Willunga Hill

So far the Australian tour has been it's usual crash riddled self as riders find their feet after the winter break and get used to riding in a fast moving peloton once again, but the first WorldTour race of the year is drawing to it's conclusion and tomorrows queen stage is likely to provide some explosive entertainment and decide the overall winner. Tomorrow will be a battle decided on the slopes of Willunga Hill.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Tour Down Under Stage 2 Highlights: Geraint Thomas

A couple of months ago Geraint Thomas spoke of his desire to emulate team-mate Bradley Wiggins: ditch the track, shift some weight and become a genuine Grand Tour contender. If anybody is in any doubt about how well Geraint can rediscover his road form after a year focusing on the track, then these highlights of todays Stage 2 in the Tour Down Under should put any notion to bed. He looks sharp, lean and hungry and with his main goal of the spring classics only months away, victory today definitely bodes well...Enjoy.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Picture This: Mirador del Sol

The Tour de San Luis kicked off today in Argentina and for a race so early in the season its not one for the faint hearted. The above picture is the climb to Mirador del Sol on this years penultimate stage 6. Averaging 8% over 7km it ramps up in places beyond 15% and is likely to decide the winner of the race. While some riders - many of them sprinters - take to the flatter roads of Australia for the Tour Down Under, the likes of Contador, Rodriguez and Nibali will hit their preferred terrain and there's plenty of climbing throughout the race. Note though that Mark Cavendish finds himself in Argentina too - there are 3 sprint stages and a time trial, but the race will certainly be a bigger early season test than usual for the Manxman...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

2013 Begins: Tour Down Under / Tour De San Luis

Finally! It's been a long time coming but now we can put the off-season and it's dark days of doping and Oprah behind us, today we can once again focus on some actual bicycle racing. Things kicked off in Australia today with the Peoples Choice Classic, the Tour Down Under will start officially on Tuesday and Argentinian Stage race the Tour de san Luis has some big name riders hitting the road tomorrow...

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Lance Armstrong, Oprah And The End Game

Today, cycling fans and non cycling fans alike will gather in front of their television sets for Lance Armstrong's confession on Oprah Winfrey. You may or may not have noticed that I haven't really delved into this subject on the blog since the news broke, it's been covered widely elsewhere. I will not be staying up to 2am to watch it live, and by the time I wake up in the morning most cycling blogs across the land will have already covered it in depth. I can stomach Eastenders, but this soap opera will be a bitter pill to swallow...

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Picture This: Lance Armstrong To Blow McQuaids Cover?


UCI Chief Pat McQuaid looks quite at home with a pistol in his hand, what with his shady, ruthless, gangster-like mindset. Perhaps it's just the thing he needs to silence Lance Armstrong, who it's claimed is ready to 'out' figureheads at the UCI who were complicit in his doping and the covering of such. The New York Times reports that Lance is ready to testify against "officials from the International Cycling Union, the worldwide governing body of cycling, about their involvement with doping in cycling, but he will not testify against other riders." One things for sure, if Lance's whistle blowing is imminent, there are going to be a number of people struggling to sleep at night in the coming days... 

Monday, 14 January 2013

Cooke Retires With Some Strong Words...

Finally a seasoned pro has spoken out with a blunt turn of phrase against the systematic doping of the last decade and the Armstrong saga - and it's comes in the form of Britain's most accomplished female road cyclist Nicole Cooke who called a press conference today to announce her retirement from the sport along with some other 'choice' words...

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Saturday Shorts: Saxo The New Sky?, 2013 Vuelta Route Revealed, Africans In Europe Debut, Giro d'Italia Irish Send-off?

When it was announced that the 2014 Tour de France would start in Yorkshire there was definitely excitement building in Britain as the cycling boom took hold, now it looks like 2014 could see two Grand departs as L'equipe suggests the Giro may start in Ireland. The Vuelta 2013 roue has been announced and if we thought 2012 was tough, then there is certainly no let-up in 2013! A very happy bunch of African riders will be hitting European shores this year and as De Jongh announces a deal with Saxobank - are they the new Sky?...

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Film Thursday: Garmin's Edge

Last year Garmin gave us this gem of an advert featuring Christophe Le Mevel in winter training mode and now they have done it again promoting the new Garmin Edge 810. If you havn't seen it yet (really?) then here it is in its full 4 minutes of glory, this time featuring our very own Dan Martin and David Millar and the masterful Bond villain-like Jonathan Vaughters...Enjoy.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Picture This: Colombia-Coldeportes - The Giro

So today we discovered the winners of the Giro d'Italia wildcard invites: Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, Fantini Vini–Selle Italia and my favourite pro-conti outfit: Colombia-Coldeportes (that team kit oozes cool). Finally we get to see the team 'Inspired By Climbing' in Grand Tour action which should make for some fun and games in the high mountains. (The Colombians are famed for their solo attacks when the road heads skywards). Good or bad news for Bradley Wiggins, my 'tip' for this years Giro? Their craziness in the mountains may force the pace on and not play into the steady rhythm of Wiggins, but with no real GC contenders this shouldn't be too much a problem, in fact, if Wiggins takes teammate Rigoberto Uran with him to Italy, it could work in his favour - The colombian national trains with the Coldeportes riders in winter, maybe he could call in a favour. Bradley Wiggins would gladly accept the help of 9 Colombian domestiques in the high mountains...

Monday, 7 January 2013

Monday Shorts: Armstrong To Confess? Tour For Contador, Stars Go Down Under, AICAR Exposed.

Another week and another Lance Armstrong story and if tedium is starting to grip the whole affair then the latest story could bring closure on the matter. Elsewhere riders plans for the coming year are being finalised as they get handed their season schedule, many of whom will see the Santos Tour Down Under listed as their first outing whilst French Television focuses their attention on the PED known as AICAR and a new test that could stop riders in their tracks...

Friday, 4 January 2013

Omega Pharma-Quickstep: Who's Boss?

The above video displays a very deliberate show of unity between Omega Pharma-Quicksteps biggest players Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen and Cavendish certainly looks pleased to be out of the blue and black of Team Sky but is everything really that simple? and just exactly who is the boss?...

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Picture This: Brits In (new) Kits

So, the long awaited Rapha/Team Sky kit is out and modelled here by Bradley Wiggins, though its almost difficult to see any difference from the 2012 Adidas kit - though that could be because both are pretty minimalist in style and both were produced by MOA (who produce quite a few of the pro team kits). Here's a few more Brits sporting their new kits...

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2012: The Podium Review

As moves into it's second year of existence and 2013 has officially begun, now is the time to look back at what was a remarkable 2012 season. This 'Podium Review' should be pretty self explanatory, it's what we have judged as the 2012 'top 3' over various categories. Here's to a final look at 2012 and the memories it gave us...