Ride Velo’s Robbie Broughton gives the inside story of Carlton Kirby’s new book, Magic Spanner: The World of Cycling According to Carlton Kirby. Find out how Eurosport’s language -mangler and pun-master came to pen this long-awaited tale of crazy fans on the Tour de France, life on the road with Sean Kelly and Greg LeMond and an expert’s behind the scenes view of what it’s really like on a Grand Tour.Read More
The younger generation may have dropped Facebook and Twitter in favour of Instagram and Snapchat ages ago, but Twitter remains at the heart of cycling gossip, banter and news. Check out this selection of Twitter accounts for some of the best chat, jokes and laughs as well as one or two more serious accounts that challenge the cycling establishment.Read More
Carlton Kirby has commentated on the Grand Tours for Eurosport for over a decade. Over that time he has devised a way of recording what happened on each stage of a 3 week race onto a single piece of A4 paper. It’s an extraordinary document that any bike fan will spend hours poring over as they remember each stage of the race. Here’s Ride Velo’s guide to what all those symbols denote and mean.Read More
As dawn breaks over the city of Pau I wake up with eager anticipation and look out across rooftops to the peaks of the Pyrenees that loom over this town. After two flat stages this is where the Tour will be headed tomorrow, promising a tussle among the GC contenders at last. I imagine the likes of Quintana and Aru licking their lips at the prospect of finally having an opportunity to challenge Froome for yellow. But they'll have to wait: today is another long, flat stage.Read More
It’s an oft-quoted fact that the Tour de France is the biggest sporting show on earth. TV Audience figures are hard to quantify but they vary from the modest 1.5 billion to a bullish 4 billion people watching at least a few minutes of the three week race.
And it’s from the TV compound at the finish area of each stage that the race is broadcast to 190 different countries. The logistical miracle of packing up, transporting this whole village and setting it all up again some 200 kilometres away on a daily basis is astounding.Read More
“I always heed the words of the Queen Mother: never turn down the chance of a cup of tea or a pee.” It’s the first of many golden nuggets of advice, quips and bon mots from my avuncular host behind the scenes of the Tour de France 2017. It is of course none other than the Eurosport commentator, Carlton Kirby, as he shimmies his way into the urinoir outside the commentary box in Bergerac for a quick one before he takes up his post.
Stage 10 and 11 of this year’s Tour may have been two pan flat stages that featured hours of televised chateaux, vineyards and fields of sunflowers with little else to entertain the viewer. But for me they were a dream come true when, for two whole days, I had unfettered access to the behind scenes goings on of Le Tour.Read More
As Eurosport’s main man Carlton Kirby prepared for his three week stint commentating on the Tour de France, he interrupted his packing to give us a few last minute tips on what to expect. It’s shaping up to be an unpredictable one with a route that is a little lighter on the climbs than in recent years and the main contenders showing variable form. Here are some of Carlton’s thoughts.Read More
Tomorrow sees the 52nd edition of the Tirreno-Adriatico, a seven-stage race in Italy, sometimes known as ‘The Race of the Two Seas’. Drawing a high quality field, it has arguably become more prestigious than Paris-Nice which started at the weekend. We spoke to Eurosport’s Carlton Kirby who will be commentating on it to find out who the favourites are and why he’d rather be in Italy than France this week.Read More
With political turmoil and the sad death of some of the greats of the music, art and entertainment world, 2016 seemed a bit bleak at times. But, as HG Wells once said, “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair of the future of the human race.” So, while the year had its tricky moments, we were lucky enough at Ride Velo to see plenty of adults (and children) on bikes as well as ride a few ourselves. Here are some of our highlights of the year.Read More