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

Friday Feature: Lies, damned lies and statistics

Being of an analytical nature – my best friend at school was an Excel spreadsheet – I’ve been pondering about how best to quantifiably rank sprinters. The result of my various investigations? There is no one definitive ranking. Every method I tried led me to a ranking order which fell apart under even the slightest scrutiny.

It reminded me of the famous expression commonly attributed to former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli:

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.

He was a smart fellow, old Ben.

Continue reading

Challenge Ciclista Mallorca preview

The Spanish racing season kicks off with the 21st Iberostar Challenge Ciclista Mallorca – down this year to four rather than five single-day races – raced around the island of Mallorca, the home of many a pro-cycling training camp during the winter months.

According to the organisers, Unisport Consulting, the costs saved from the reduction in length have allowed them to broadcast the race on Spanish terrestrial television.

Continue reading