The Giro’s New Jersualem

Monday, 11 December 2017

The Giro’s recent route announcement confirmed the race is returning to Rome, a publicity coup for the mayor Virginia Raggi (pictured). It’s often seemed odd having a national tour that doesn’t visit the nation’s capital, more so given Rome cityscape can provide stunning images. But the ensuing story of the route wasn’t about Rome. As well as the route being presented – more of which soon – one snafu was the use of race graphics mentioning “West Jerusalem” as the start location only for the Israeli government to threaten to pull the funding if this wasn’t promptly changed to “Jerusalem”. And lo it was.

This small spat highlights the ongoing sensitivity over the territorial disputes between Israelis and Palestinians. There are plenty of other places to discuss this and the point is that the Giro’s start is so controversial this blanked out thoughts of the racing on the opening days with more focus on the labels and their political sensitivity than the actual roads.

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Highlights of 2017: Part V

Friday, 8 December 2017

Jacob Fuglsang, Plateau de Solaison

The last of the five picks is the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, a 115km sprint across several Alpine passes. These short stages are like dessert as they’re best served after other courses have been consumed and this came after a week of good racing and set things up nicely for the Tour de France… possibly too well.

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Highlights of 2017: Part IV

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Which stage of the Tour de France to pick? As the dominant event on the calendar it attracts the best riders at the top of their game but this alone doesn’t ensure good racing. What helped was the second weekend of racing as the race reached the Jura mountains where one day of superb racing set up the next.

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Highlights of 2017: Part III

December 4, 2017

How was the Giro for you? With hindsight the “fight for pink” to borrow the race’s awkward strapline wasn’t vintage stuff. Tom Dumoulin was climbing so well he kept Nairo Quintana within seconds on the Blockhaus and took minutes from him in the time trials and if it wasn’t for the imbroglio over his bowels […]

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Roads to Ride: The Emosson Dam

December 3, 2017

Switzerland’s Emosson dam has featured sparingly in pro races, more because of its location that its severity but all the more reason to explore this corner of the Alps. The Roads to Ride series here has referenced climbs all over the world but Switzerland has been skipped despite the country’s vast repertoire of stunning climbs, […]

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Book Review: Descent by Thomas Dekker

December 1, 2017

Descent by Thomas Dekker and Thijs Zonneveld, translated by David Doherty When Paul Kimmage’s Rough Ride was first published he was accused of “spitting in the soup”, of dirtying the very milieu he’d worked hard to join and profit from. Here Thomas Dekker does the same only by now the broth is unpalatable to begin […]

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Highlights of 2017: Part II

November 29, 2017

Time to look back at five highlights of the season with the luxury of hindsight. Here is the second from Paris-Nice and the final stage which saw the overall result uncertain until the very end.

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Highlights of 2017: Part I

November 27, 2017

Embed from Getty Images Time to look back at the 2017 season and pull out a few highlights. First up is the Tour of Flanders which is such a great race that the fear is the action on the day won’t live up to the high expectations. Only it did thanks to the return of […]

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Away

November 25, 2017

Even blogs get their off-season and it’s time to swap the keyboard for the surfboard; reading a palmarès for snoozing under a palm tree and where the only tweets will be from real birds. But stay tuned as a few pieces have been cued up to go online during the next 10 days.

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What Happened to the 10 Neo-Pros for 2017?

November 23, 2017

Embed from Getty Images As well as ten riders for 2017, ten neo-pros were picked in January as ones to look out for this season. How did they fare?

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