Friday Feature: 10 things I love about cycling – Kitty

After the last few weeks, we at VeloVoices were feeling a bit jaded about all the news from the US. So we decided to revisit why we love the sport in the first place – a renewal of vows, so to speak. Over the course of today, we’ll be posting up our ten reasons why we love cycling. Here is Kitty’s list, in no particular order!

1. Small teams who punch above their weight and take the big ‘super-teams’ out for a spanking.

Degenkolb of the Argonauts (Image courtesy of Argos-Shimano)

2. The feeling of liberation when you’re riding your bike on a beautiful day.

3. Tough riders who wouldn’t think of quitting, riding to the end of the stage bloodied and torn.

4. The fact that cyclists seem like very down-to-earth guys, for the most part, always ready to engage with their fans, whether it’s at the start of a race, the end of a race, at cycling shows or on Twitter.

The Gilberts (Twitter picture courtesy of Philippe Gilbert)

5. The fact that a race can change on a dime.

6. The really great people I’ve met (both in person and on Twitter) just through our mutual love of cycling.

7. Winners getting big bouquets of flowers, cuddly toys, tridents, floppy hats, their body weight in beer, cows …

8. The fierce joy of Jens Voigt.

#LiveJens (image courtesy of RadioShack-Nissan)

9. The history and beauty of the iconic races: Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, Milan-San Remo, the Grand Tours.

10. The schnozz and haunches of Fabian Cancellara.

Cancellara at the Worlds, 2011 (Image courtesy of Danielle Haex)

Friday Feature: 10 things I love about cycling – Sheree

After the last few weeks, we at VeloVoices were feeling a bit jaded about all the news from the US. So we decided to revisit why we love the sport in the first place – a renewal of vows, so to speak. Over the course of today, we’ll be posting up our ten reasons why we love cycling. Here is Sheree’s list, in no particular order!

1. Freedom of the road. I can ride when and where I want, including the same roads as the professionals. In fact I get a huge kick out of seeing them race on roads I’ve ridden on.

he view from the summit of Col d'Eze (image courtesy of Eze Tourist Office)

The view from the summit of Col d’Eze which features most years in Paris-Nice and was my first Cat 1 climb (image courtesy of Eze Tourist Office)

2. Riding on my own but I’m never lonely as fellow cyclists make a point of acknowledging one another.

3. The friendships I’ve made with all sorts of people connected to the sport.

G4’s Petra and I pull a couple of Yeti (image courtesy of G4)

4. It’s high speed chess on wheels. I love trying to figure out teams’ race and stage tactics – the intrigue, the races within races.

5. I have so much admiration for those competing at the top level in such a tough and dangerous sport for relatively little reward and who make it look so easy, when I know it isn’t.

Image courtesy of Leopard-Trek

6. I love hanging around for hours on the finish line chatting to other fans, watching the action unfold on the screen and then seeing the peloton cross the finish line in a technicolor blur.

Jose Joaquin Rojas winning stage 1 of this year’s Vuelta al Pais Vasco (image courtesy of Susi Goetze)

7. Poetry in motion: Alberto en danseuse, Cav lunging for the line, Cancellara powering around a time trial course, Sky ascending at a set pace, Boonen dominating the cobbles, Samu swooping down a technical descent.

8. Cycling – both watching and riding – has taken me to some wonderful places I might not otherwise have visited.

Peloton on the Jaizkibel Arkale circuit

Peloton on the Jaizkibel – Arkale circuit (image courtesy of Susi Goetze)

9. The history and romance of cycling and its sporting superstars such as Fausto Coppi and Jacques Anquetil.

10. It keeps me fit.

Vuelta a España: Stage 13 preview

Stag13: Santiago de Compostela to Ferrol, 172.8km

In anticipation of the next three stages, the GC boys will almost certainly let a break get away and force the sprinters’ teams to chase it down if they want a bunch finish. They’ll just look to stay out of trouble and conserve energy for the mega-weekend ahead. This stage, which goes through the wilds of Galicia, is bumpy but fairly innocuous. It does, however, have a stretch on the coast, which means there could be a split in the peloton. Note to Alejandro Valverde: pay attention to those crosswinds!

There are a few tricky uncategorised climbs to negotiate in the last 15km which could upset the pure sprinters, the last of these just over 5km from the finish. Nonetheless, odds are this will end in a bunch sprint. There are the usual roundabouts and bends to negotiate in the closing kilometres, but the finishing straight is more than 1km long which will give the sprinters’ trains plenty of opportunity to line themselves up. Everyone will no doubt fight over John Degenkolb‘s wheel as they try to prevent him from winning one for the thumb. Securing his wheel is one thing, but actually passing him is quite another, though …

Link: Vuelta a Espana official website