Vuelta al Pais Vasco review

Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) won the queen stage and the final individual hilly time-trial to take the overall win (and the points jersey) in Vuelta al Pais Vasco, earning himself an even larger place in the hearts of the Basques. He became only the second Euskaltel winner of the stage race after Iban Mayo in 2003.  Miguel Madriaga, the Euskaltel team manager was delighted – just the boost he needs in his search for further sponsors. I’m sure the local bank Sabadell Guipuzcoano – who stepped in at the last moment to save both this race and the Clasica San Sebastian – will have been pleased with the return on their investment.

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), also a double stage winner, rode the time trial of his life to finish second overall and win the prize for ‘most elegant rider’. Continue reading

Paris-Roubaix preview

The dramatic landscape of Paris-Roubaix doesn’t share the beauty of the setting of a race like the Strade Bianche, but it’s certainly no less poetic. The dark clouds and the equally grey scenes of industrial northern France complement the endless stretches of cobbles through past battlefields, making it one miserable affair for the riders.

George Hincapie has spoken about how he feels the same after riding Roubaix as he does following a whole three weeks of the Tour de France. It’s a tortuous course, in which the strongest does truly emerge the winner. After all, it didn’t earn its nickname of the ‘Hell of the North’ for nothing. Continue reading