The Vuelta a España might be underway but there are other WorldTour events taking place, including the one-day Vattenfall Cyclassics around the beautiful city of Hamburg. Indeed, it’s the only race of its kind at this level in Germany and, like a lot of the Classics-style races, is preceded by a number of amateur events for all age groups and abilities. Continue reading
If the riders make the race (and yes, they really do), then what is in store for us at this year’s Vuelta? Last year was a rip-roaring three-way joust for the top step of the podium and given the strong field of GC contenders and the magnificent parcours (11 summit finishes!), this year’s race should be a thriller! So let’s have a look at the field and what odds the bookies are offering. Continue reading
Scott O’Raw is Scottish and, as he’s not cooked, he’s raw so he really is what it says on the tin! He is also one of the duo who bring you the Velocast each week, he was in the room during the Change Cycling Now conference and is now best friends with Greg LeMond, much to the annoyance of his colleague, John. He is outspoken, has an intimidating vocabulary and is not afraid to wear a cravat, trendy specs and blue suede shoes – often all at the same time. Here are his wishes.
1. No more Lance stories
Seriously. Continuing to watch the festering corpse of Armstrong‘s career is about as appealing as gulping down a pint of milk that has been left on a radiator for a month.
2. An end to ‘Wiggo’
Of course, it’s not really his fault per se, but the Wiggo ‘character’ foisted upon Bradley Wiggins by the British press and taken to the great, unwashed heart of the hoi polloi is starting to resemble a Gollum/Sméagol-esque personality disorder. Hopefully the quiet, funny lad from the shire of Kilburn will win through, but I rather suspect Wiggo will come to a sticky end in pursuit of the ‘one legacy to rule them all’.
3. More TV time for Women’s Cycling
4. The Banning of Power Meters
Watching a rider, eyes glued to a nannying slab of plastic strapped to his stem, is to panache what a deep-fried Mars bar is to a healthy diet.
5. That we finally get an answer to the question: “What kind of rider is Edvald Boasson Hagen?”
In recent years he’s been touted as the ‘new Merckx’ but, unlike the Cannibal, the 21st-century Eddy seems to have as much desire to win as Frank ‘he ain’t heavy he’s my brother’ Schleck.
6. Change really happens
That the rumblings that there is genuine desire to turn around the Aigle oil tanker are true and that we see genuine reform in pro road cycling and the UCI.
7. Vino rides again (kind of)
That Alexandre Vinokourov be made to forego the Astana team car and follow races topless, riding a horse.
8. Katusha resolution now!
That a solution be found to the Katusha crisis before Vladimir Putin orders Russian forces to attack Switzerland. A defensive arsenal that amounts to nothing more than Swiss Army knives, cuckoo clocks and Toblerones would see Switzerland immediately overrun by the Russians – a bit like the fashionable bits of London are now.
9. Sagan gets his just rewards
It would seem only fitting that in 2013 Peter Sagan is finally granted his wish to be paid in podium girls.
10. And finally …
… That we look back on 2013 as a glorious vintage year full of drama, sporting conflict and superb bike racing. Too much to hope for? Hm.
10 wishes for 2013