Friday Feature: A to Z of the Tour de France

A = Alpe d’Huez. The legendary Alpine climb with its 21 hairpin turns will be climbed twice in one day for the first time in Tour history this year. (It has appeared twice in the same Tour once before, in 1979.) It last appeared in 2011, when Europcar’s Pierre Rolland won the stage. Continue reading

Tweets: Bisons, bubblegum and Tour fever

Strangely, the Twitterstream isn’t as fertile as it usually is. Maybe it’s because there’s no Sky-fighting or Lance is taking a break from his ‘schmoozing the sceptical’ campaign, but there hasn’t been anything too contentious from the past week. Being the consummate professional that I am, though, I have still tracked down a few goodies for you. We have some tweets from the Dauphine and Tour de Suisse, food worthy of a pro peloton, and the start of the ramp-up of excitement to this year’s Tour de France. Let’s begin … Continue reading

AntBanter: What makes a great sprinter?

There are few scenes in sport which can match the frantic, head-down, balls-out charge to the line that is a bunch sprint. Watching from afar, it resembles a wave powering in to shore, wiping out anything in its path with an all-consuming fury. Slow it down, focus in, and the wave becomes a mass of snarling riders, straining to channel every remaining drop of power from muscle to sinew, to pedal, to road, to speed. Look more closely, and you can start to make sense of the mayhem. The different kinds of rider emerge, different styles, different body shapes and different tactics. This is the complexity that makes it hard to claim that one rider is a greater sprinter than all others. Hard, but not impossible! Continue reading