Inside the Peloton – Nicolas Roche

Written with Gerard Cromwell. Published by Transworld Books.

This book takes the Grand Tour diaries Nico Roche wrote for the Irish Daily Star and the Irish Independent and weaves them around his life story to date. It was last year’s prestigious Bord Gais Energy Irish Sports Book of the Year, beating off some highly reputable contenders such as Paul Kimmage’s Engage, Ronnie Whelan’s Walk On and autobiographies by jockey Tony McCoy and Irish rugby star Donncha O’Callaghan.

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Giving it the full Cancellara

A handful of peloton phrases in one picture! (image courtesy of Leopard Trek)

I overheard a conversation between a couple of weekend cyclists a few months ago and one of them said, “I just gave it the full Cancellara and left them in my dust.” Of course, anyone who knows cycling knows that “giving it the full Cancellara” means that you ride with the heart of a lion, leaving everything on the road and, usually, at some point making a move of such audacity that it leaves the kitten-hearted mewing by the roadside as you roar away. An attitude for life, not just cycling, I say.

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Tour of Qatar review

Tom Boonen continued his rehabilitation after a disappointing 2011, claiming his fourth overall win at the Tour of Qatar. His performance at the race continued Omega Pharma-Quick Step‘s outstanding start to the season, having also dominated at the Tour de San Luis a fortnight ago. World champion Mark Cavendish took two stages on his Sky debut, but the Manxman started and finished in the wars, having been ill before the race and then crashing within sight of the finish on the last stage.

Qatar is a long way from being the most scenic race on the calendar. The parcours consists exclusively of pan-flat stages on long, straight highways scything through a featureless desert landscape. Continue reading