So, according to VeloNews, what cycling needs is more races in shrinking markets with shrinking capital investment, not new races in growing markets with growing capital investment:
“With cycling pinched by recession across much of Europe, coupled with a growing fixation to “internationalize” cycling by shoehorning the sport into untapped markets, this weekend’s Italian romp should serve as a…
"Pantani’s audacious attacking style left both his fans and rivals breathless. An iconoclast who expressed himself best on his racing bike, he is still adored by cycling fans worldwide." Thus spake Rapha about Marco Pantani.
I can think of nothing iconoclastic about a tiny climber who couldn’t time trial, was mentally fragile and whose doping was extensively documented throughout his professional career in an era where talent was about half as important as knowing how much EPO you could get away with taking without stopping your heart. If anything Pantani confirms every single mythology both of cycling in general and of that era in particular.
Unless of course Rapha believe that he was iconoclastic because he helped sweep away every last semblance of moral order in the sport through his rise to fame and the shameful way in which the sport’s authorities first scapegoated him and then venerated him after he found his own way into an early grave.
“The size of the challenge in Team Sky has grown over the last few years. Having won the Tour twice, it has put us on the map globally, and it feels like a bigger challenge.” - Sir Dave Brailsford to rethink British Cycling role after Track Worlds
" Walter Godefroot is a stud.
Paris-Roubaix 1969: Is he riding on the shoulder of the road, away from the pave? No, “The Bulldog of Flanders” is riding right down the middle giving them a good spanking.
Is he wearing gloves on what is one of the most brutal days of racing? No, he didn’t seem to ever wear gloves. Why should Paris-Roubaix be an exception?
Is he off the back? No, quite the opposite. See that group of chasers off in the distance in the upper left? The 5 riders in hot pursuit included three big names: Eddy Merckx, Felice Gimondi and Roger De Vlaeminck. Even those guys could not pull back Godefroot that day. Walter rode everyone into the ground and finished alone at the Roubaix Velodrome 2 minutes 39 seconds ahead of the final chase group of four riders. Merckx ended up 2nd on the day, Gimondi 4th, and RDV 5th.
I had read and heard several explanations as to why Godefroot rode without gloves. A few year back I asked Walter about why he chose not to wear gloves, particularly at races like Roubaix. His response was quite simple: he could feel the road surface better without gloves. My next question was to ask if after using that strategy over so many years as a pro, did he have any functioning nerves remaining in either of his hands? He just gave me a smile and chuckled.
I am acquainted with Walter only on a very casual basis. Nevertheless, any time he and I are ever in the same area, be it at a race or a social gathering, he will always make the effort to come over and say hello. What a prince of a guy! “
There’s plenty to look forward to in 2014, including the possibility of this podcast happening more than last year. So here’s a run down of ten things, in no particular order, that you should be looking forward to in cycling this year.Nicole Cooke’s…
The Giro unveils its jerseys for 2014. Things might look the same from afar but there a few differences to note
- - the design is by Irishman Fergus Niland, appropriate given the start in Belfast
- - the pink, blue and white jerseys all retain the same sponsors in Balocco (biscuits), Mediolanum (banking) and Orsini (fruit) respectively
- - the red mountains jersey has a new sponsor in Algida, an ice cream brand owned by Anglo-Dutch consumer products company Unilever
- - the Giro has a charity partnership with Oxfam, an umbrella group of various aid and development charities