The climb of Valdepenas de Jaen may be a short one at just 1km, but the pain it causes is plain for all to see on the faces of FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot and Cofidis’ Yoann Bagot. Both finished around a minute down on stage winner Dani Moreno.
We’re still not quite ready to say farewell to the cobbles, even though the Ardennes classics are well under way. Here’s another behind-the-scenes report from Sophie Chavanel, physiotherapist at French WorldTour team FDJ, who has kindly agreed to share her experiences and insights with us. Her first report explained how the team coped with sunburn, heat, niggling injuries and the wildlife, her second showed how the team and support staff overcame problems in a rain-soaked Tirreno-Adriatico, and her third focuses on the cobbled classics – hard races for everyone. Continue reading
Before she headed off to the Tour Down Under, I sat on the VeloVoices terrace and shared a cup of coffee and a chat in the warm winter sunshine [not in the UK, then –Ed] with Sophie Chavanel. Sophie is a physiotherapist with French WorldTour team FDJ, and is also married to Europcar’s Sebastien Chavanel, the younger – and, in my opinion, the better looking – of the two Chavanel brothers. Continue reading