Jump to content

Professional cycling


James
 Share

Recommended Posts

Thought we'd have one of these as there is more to cycling than the Tour de France every year. No doubt there will be the usual drugs bitchfest, but hopefully some good cycling chat too, as I know there are a few fellow fanatics.

 

For those casual readers here is a summary of the season to date:

 

Team Sky

 

GB Track supremo Dave Brailsford has set up a team with the eventual primary goal of a British Tour de France winner, although at the moment the team includes plenty of experience from other nations as only a handful of British riders are good enough to ride at the front and some of these had contracts with other teams. The obvious leaders are Bradley Wiggins (time trial/stage races), Edvald Boesen Hagen (Classics Sprinter), Juan Antonio Flecha (Classics Hardman) and Greg Henderson (sprinter) while these riders have good support from the likes of Michael Barry, Kurt Asle Arvesen, Simon Gerrans and Chris Sutton. Britain are also represented by Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Stephen Cummings, Chris Froome, Peter Kennaugh and Russell Downing.

 

So far with injuries restricting Boesen Hagen and Wiggins yet to stetch his legs, results mostly have come from Flecha and Henderson with a few good results from others including a sole British stage win for Russell Downing in the Criterium International - a race Le tour favourites take very seriously. 21 year old Stannard has also shown promise for the future.

 

Results have secured a place in Le Tour de France and Giro d'Italia.

 

Mark Cavendish

Cav missed much of the early season with dental problems and now struggles for form as he is behind his rivals in fitness. However no rider is at peak for the whole season, and now instead of his usual Giro, Le Tour peak, he could be looking at a stronger Tour followed by a shot at the World Championships on a route that should suit him.

 

David Millar

Millar has had a brilliant season with good showings at Paris Nice and Tour of Flanders and has won a stage at the Criterium International and won the 3 Days of de Panne. Form makes him a dark horse for Paris Roubaix.

 

Lance Armstrong

Having a shit season. Looks way behind Tour de France pace. Mostly poor results for his team too, apart from Tiago Machado and Chris Horner.

 

Alberto Contador

Won Paris Nice so looks in good shape. Typically quiet period while the hayfever season progresses but he'll be back[/b]

 

Drugs

An Italian doctor and riders he's had contact with are under investigation including former World Champion Alessandro Ballan. On the whole though less people getting caught having been under to new more stringent testing thats been going on for a year or so as a lot of cherats have been weeded out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Paris Roubaix today, always a great race especially when it rains, worth a watch if you have British Eurosport.

 

Hoping for a classic Boonen Cancellara duel like last weeks Tour of Flanders, but unpredictable this race shall always be.

Link to post
Share on other sites

RIP to Paris Roubaix legend Franco Ballerini who died 2 months ago in a rally accident aged 45. below is a picture of him after a typical Paris Roubaix win:

 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_y9R0eRo9cqQ/S29zIOT9aOI/AAAAAAAADMA/Ctnn5B452Es/s1600/merci_franco.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep good race.

 

Brit Jeremy Hunt was the first rider through the Arenberg, probably a prize for that.

 

Going on the race so far, Boonen must be favourite. Cancellara and Flecha look strong. Hammond will get the highest British placement.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

The first of the three grand tours, the Giro d'Italia starts today in Amsterdam (!), seven Brits are riding including Bradley Wiggins, although he isn't going for the overall.

 

Evans is favourite overall.

 

However Brit pair Wiggins and David Millar are considered favourites to win todays overall stage, my money will be on Millar as the weather isn't too good and he is a better bike handler than Wiggins.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guest je85

I love this time of year, lazing in front of Eurosport all afternoon. Can't see past Millar for today.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done Wiggo, suppose he was favourite today. His team have more or less said they hoped to get him in Pink today and defend it for the next 10 days and see where they are at. Don't suppose he can go balls out in this, if he is to finish top 3 in Le Tour.

 

Obviously Evans and Sastre have to be favourites for this, but i can see Vino winning it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Fantastic stage of the Giro yesterday, for the first time in years the race looks like a moderately level playing field (c.f. Cunego) and some of the noises coming out of Gerdermann are exciting.

 

Best of all though is Landis' confession about drug use by himself and Armstrong (under the aegis of Bruyneel and Ferrari).

 

Fantastic reading: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2010/05/19/2010-05-19_floyd_landis_says_lance_armstrong_others_were_involved_in_blood_doping_during_to.html

 

once the hypocrisy is laid bare, perhaps we'll see more exciting races - like this giro.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guest je85

Best of all though is Landis' confession about drug use by himself and Armstrong (under the aegis of Bruyneel and Ferrari).

 

Fantastic reading: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2010/05/19/2010-05-19_floyd_landis_says_lance_armstrong_others_were_involved_in_blood_doping_during_to.html

 

once the hypocrisy is laid bare, perhaps we'll see more exciting races - like this giro.

 

Some flat denial from Bruyneel and Lance at an emergency press confrence at ToC, arses against the wall stuff with accusations flying around everywhere now. Lance accusing Flandis of blackmailing him. Funny how in one of his books I remember him talking about taking a little Floyd under his wing as a pro-cyclist. Had a read through the letter and the accusations are bold, personally not suprising but there's gonna be a black cloud hanging even more-so over pro-cycling this summer especially as the accusations are coming out just before the 8 year investigation window.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Best of all though is Landis' confession about drug use by himself and Armstrong (under the aegis of Bruyneel and Ferrari).

 

Fantastic reading: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2010/05/19/2010-05-19_floyd_landis_says_lance_armstrong_others_were_involved_in_blood_doping_during_to.html

 

once the hypocrisy is laid bare, perhaps we'll see more exciting races - like this giro.

 

Some flat denial from Bruyneel and Lance at an emergency press confrence at ToC, arses against the wall stuff with accusations flying around everywhere now. Lance accusing Flandis of blackmailing him. Funny how in one of his books I remember him talking about taking a little Floyd under his wing as a pro-cyclist. Had a read through the letter and the accusations are bold, personally not suprising but there's gonna be a black cloud hanging even more-so over pro-cycling this summer especially as the accusations are coming out just before the 8 year investigation window.

 

For sure, you'd have to be pretty credulous not to know Armstrong was up to his eyeballs in various PEDs during his tour wins. The real revelation is the confirmation of his $500,000 donation to the UCI to cover up a positive test and the way that a governing body then became complicit with the dichotomy between Armstrong's public pontifications and his felonious acts in private.

 

The true criminals here aren't the cyclists who were forced to join the arms race just to compete, but the people who suppressed the truth, lied to the public and did everything they could to maintain a corrupt system (especially those who used cancer to satiate their avarice). I hope the UCI and USA Cycling are broken and fucked when the truth is made apparent (if you want to see how rotten the later is: http://www.sfweekly.com/2005-09-07/news/tour-de-farce/full ).

 

There might be a bit of a black cloud in the short term, but I hope the rain issuant forth from it is going to sweep away the last of the old guard – especially team managers and coaches like Lim / Riis / Bruyneel – who maintain the omerta. I am really looking forward to Gerdermann's riding Le Tour under 24 hour supervision this year to show exactly what can be done without doping. I would guess top 20, which is far better than at any point in the last decade.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Not much action in the betting markets for the TdF: I've got Friere for the green @ 25 (hoping that Cavendish wipes himself and Tyler out) and Voeckler to win a stage @ 8 (he'll be in the French national top and desperate to do so).  As for the GC, not a clue, though I think Basso will exceed expectations. Additionally, just for fair play, I'd love to see Gerdermann and Cunego to do well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Rich changed the title to Professional cycling

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...