Amstel Gold Race Preview

Friday, 18 April 2014

Giant crowds, 34 climbs and a brewery as race sponsor, what’s not to like about the Amstel Gold Race?

This is a very different race to the ones we’ve seen in recent weeks. Born in 1966 it is the newest of the spring classics and defined by suburban roads instead of medieval farm tracks. It marks a change in the season where stage race specialists compete alongside one day specialists.

Here’s the preview with the riders, the route, the TV timings, beer, weather and more.

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Thursday Shorts

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Is Philippe Gilbert back? He won the Brabantse Pijl yesterday by beating Michael Matthews in the sprint but only minutes before he was making a big solo effort off the front of the bunch. It’s only his second win since the world championship title in 2012 and his first win in a BMC jersey in his home country. We’ll know more about his form and confidence this Sunday with the Amstel.

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The Future of the Cobbled Classics

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Brabantse Pijl takes place today and marks the transition from the cobbled classics to a season of hillier races stretching from the Ardennes to the Alps and beyond. Before the peloton collectively heads for hills, time for a short look back in order to look forward to 2015.

This year’s Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix were vintage editions with excitement and action. They took place with note of history-in-the-making as Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara each had a chance to engrave their name alongside past champions like Roger De Vlaeminck and Alberic “Briek” Schotte. But what of the future? Certainly Boonen and Cancellara have a chance to win again next year but there’s a whole new generation of riders coming through who want to win and they’ll be making plans to return with a bang in 2015.

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Book Review: Faster by Michael Hutchinson

April 15, 2014

Here’s a coaching manual that’s not a coaching manual. In this book Michael Hutchinson goes on journey to explore what makes the best riders so good, from genetics to training, nutrition and bike tech. These are serious subjects but it’s all dealt with in a very readable way.

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Red Cards: Cycling’s Need For Visible Justice

April 14, 2014

The call for riders to be given yellow and red cards as warnings and sanctions in a bike race got a few laughs last week. Unlike other sports where play can be stopped you can’t stop a race unless in the most severe of circumstances so seeing officials waving cards could be a symbolic gesture […]

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The Moment The Race Was Won: Paris-Roubaix

April 13, 2014

An 11 man group with three riders from Omega Pharma-Quick Step forms with 9km to go. Niki Terpstra attacks with 6.5km to go, nobody follows and he quickly builds a lead. This was the moment the race was won.

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Paris-Roubaix Preview

April 12, 2014

The last act of madness and also the last cobbled classic of the year. Paris-Roubaix is a wild race with a touch of the circus and it’s not just because the riders circle Roubaix’s concrete ring for the finish. It’s the greatest one day spectacle of the year. Fabian Cancellara may seem irresistible but he’s […]

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Roads to Ride: The Arenberg Forest

April 12, 2014

As part of a series exploring the famous roads of cycling, here is the Trouée d’Arenberg in France, one of the rare flat pieces of road to be venerated in cycling. Despite its berg name there’s no hill around at all and you’ll see below where the name comes from. A fixture in Paris-Roubaix this […]

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The Last Act of Madness

April 10, 2014

There’s no other race like Paris-Roubaix. The severe cobbles, the velodrome finish, the bleak landscape and the soil. It seems old-fashioned but here is an event that’s made for TV and it thrives because of its exceptional character.

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Wednesday Shorts

April 9, 2014

Marcel Kittel wins the Scheldeprijs. Three is the magic number today because he wins the race for the third year in a row and because it’s the team’s third win today with Jonas Ahlstrand winning Stage 2 of the Circuit de la Sarthe and Kirsten Wild taking the win in the Energiewacht Tour.

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