As Tom Dumoulin lost two minutes of his lead in the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday as a result of a mistimed ‘comfort break’, fans and commentators were up in arms about the fact that his rivals took advantage of him being caught short. To many it seemed that the likes of Nibali, Zakarin and Quintana were breaking some of the age-old unwritten rules of professional cycling - that you don’t exploit a rider’s mechanical (or other) misfortune, especially when they’re wearing the leader’s jersey.Read More
Tomorrow sees the Tour of Britain set off from Glasgow to Port Douglas on the first of eight stages that cross Scotland, the Lake District, Cheshire, Wales, South West England and a finale on the streets of the Capital on 11th September. No less than eight medalists from Rio’s Olympics are taking part, 21 teams, 11 of which are UCI outfits: this is now a highly rated, prestigious and important race in its own right that attracts some of the best cyclists in the world.
It’s come a long way from its humble origins when, in 1945, a group of disgruntled cyclists who’d been banned by the National Cyclists Union set up the Victory Cycling Marathon to celebrate the end of the war. A stage race from Brighton to Glasgow, it was, by all accounts, a disorganised shambles with riders sleeping in barns and sheds in between stages. That first race was very much a French affair: 6 of the top ten finishers were Frenchmen as was its winner, Robert Batot. But it was also hugely popular with as many as 20,000 spectators watching the race set off.Read More
If you watched John Degenkolb, Warren Barguil and Tom Dumoulin of Team Giant Alpecin on the Tour de France this year, you may have noticed a difference in the team kit they were wearing. Their special edition July white kit symbolised a new start after a terrible pre season training accident which saw their key team members badly injured and unable to compete for months afterwards. Look even more closely, however, and you may notice that their shorts, although still the traditional black, feature a mesh design that claims to protect the riders if they find themselves skidding across the tarmac.Read More