Giro shorts: Stage 1 review

Stage 1: Herning to Herning, 8.7km individual time trial

Stage profile: An 8.7km individual time trial around the streets of Herning, the home-town of Saxo Bank team owner Bjarne Riis. The first part of the course is twisty and technical, while the second half is more flowing and favours more traditional powerful time trial specialists.

Top three: 1. Taylor Phinney (BMC), 2. Geraint Thomas (Sky), 3. Alex Rasmussen (Garmin-Barracuda).

How the stage was won: The stage was always tipped to be a battle between Geraint Thomas and Taylor Phinney in this opening ITT and they did not disappoint. Phinney smashed Thomas’s time by nine seconds and Alex Rasmussen came in just four seconds off Thomas’ time. Continue reading

Giro d’Italia: Teams and sponsors (part 1)

The Giro d’Italia, the first of the year’s three Grand Tours, kicks off on Saturday with 198 riders representing the 18 WorldTour teams and four wild-card entries set to take to the start line.

Many fans will be familiar with the main riders in the peloton, but have you ever wondered who are the mysterious sponsors whose names are plastered all over every available square inch of the riders and their equipment? As the opening instalment of our race preview, here’s the first of a two-part overview of the 22 teams and their title sponsors, which reveals an eclectic mix of bike manufacturers, financial services providers, explosive manufacturers and even countries! Continue reading

Examining the WorldTour rankings

After last week’s Vuelta al Pais Vasco and Paris-Roubaix, the cycling season is effectively one-third of the way through, with 10 of the 28 events comprising the 2012 UCI WorldTour now complete. Cycling fans may not obsess about the WorldTour rankings in quite the same way that, say, English football fans do about the Premier League table, but you can be sure that the riders and teams do, given that they lay down a marker for securing new contracts for the former, and provide the gateway to the commercial riches of the Grand Tours for the latter. With that in mind, here’s a quick look at the latest rankings to see who the winners and losers are so far in 2012. Continue reading