Cycling families: Txirrindularitza familia – Izagirre brothers

For me, the major story from Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem wasn’t Tom and his magnificent Boonens. No, it was all about the normally cobble-shy Basque rider who spent much of his time in the leading group. Wouldn’t that have made a fantastic headline, possibly along the lines of ‘Brave Basque Bounces over Cobbles to Cop Cup’? The Basque in question was Euskaltel-Euskadi’s 23-year old Jon Izagirre, younger brother of Gorka, who’s also on the team and who also rode in the race.

This isn’t as odd as it might at first seem. Igorre in the Bizkaia-Biscay region hosts a stage in the UCI World Cyclo-Cross Cup and northern Spain has a rich tradition in cyclo-cross racing, though perhaps not quite as rich as in Northern Europe. The boys have form – they spent their formative years riding cyclo-cross, a sport beloved of and dominated by the Belgiums. Their father Jose-Ramon Iazagirre was a notable amateur cyclo-cross rider, who nonetheless recorded numerous podium spots and in 1983 was second in the Spanish national championships. It’s therefore only natural that the boys wanted to ape their father, who was very supportive of their ambitions but also encouraged them to take part in other sports.

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Tweets of the week: Pigs, pins and #unluck

Funny, cruel, odd, personal … you get it all on Twitter. Each week, we’ll have a rundown of some of our favourite tweets. Here are the tweets for the week ending 25th March 2012.

A shit day of lots of #unluck

It was quite the week of racing – and with hard racing comes hard falls and E3 Harelbeke had some doozies. Let’s start with an x-ray, shall we? Garmin-Barracuda’s David Millar went down during Friday’s E3 and broke his collarbone. So he went to get an x-ray and they found a comb, some iPod earbuds and a couple of those weird labels you used to make when you were a kid …

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