Velon Means Business

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


11 of the World Tour teams have linked up to create a company Velon. It’s the public launch of a private project that’s been on the go for at least 18 months under the label of Project Avignon.

We don’t have much to go on. Today has seen a co-ordinated media campaign to mark the launch, it’s gone from a project to corporate reality. Whether it now goes from a start-up to an established business will be the more interesting story to follow.

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Should Nibali Leave Astana?

Monday, 24 November 2014

Play word association and many would link “Astana” to “positive test” rather than the capital of Kazakhstan or the Tour de France triumph. The Iglinskiy brothers and two riders few had heard of, Ilya Davidenok and Victor Okishev, riding for the Astana Continental team, a separate development, team have been caught recently.

It’s bad for the World Tour team and its reputation. The UCI has said the team’s licence application for 2015 is going to be looked at more closely. But what of the riders on the team? I’ve seen several saying Vincenzo Nibali should leave the team and readers have asked about this by email too. If only it was so easy.

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Roads to Ride: The Ghent Velodrome

Friday, 21 November 2014

Gent Velodrome Kuipke

Not a road but a track and not a place to ride but a venue to visit. Still this series is about exploring legendary locations so here is the chance to look at the most famous of six day races. Or alternatively one of the last few surviving winter track contests.

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A Two Week Tour de France?

November 20, 2014

A two week Tour de France? Non. Or to use the phrase beloved of many a French hotelier, c’est pas possible. Still it’s good to question established ideas and tenets. There’s no rule that says the Tour de France must be three weeks long and if there were, we should question that too. It’s a […]

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Switzerland, Land of Governing Bodies

November 18, 2014

For years cycling was the whipping boy of sports administration. Turf wars, doping problems and other concerns beset the sport and the UCI’s HQ in Switzerland had a siege mentality. Now it’s the turn of FIFA, soccer’s governing body. There are allegations of cronyism, whistleblowers being blasted, talk of breakaways and a bizarre President who […]

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Into The Waste Zone

November 17, 2014

The pro peloton’s existence is predicated on imitation. You can buy the same bike as the world champion, you can have the same clothing as the yellow jersey. “What the pros ride” is the sporting equivalent of “as seen on TV”. There’s one aspect nobody should be copying: the practice of slinging used bottles, wrappers […]

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Lowlights of 2014

November 14, 2014

After the highlights, the lowlights. Sport is meant to have its drama but pro cycling often crosses the line from pantomime villainy to worse. Here’s a round-up of some of the lows.

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Highlights of 2014 – Part V

November 12, 2014

For the final of five pieces picking highlights from 2014, it’s been hard to choose an episode to celebrate, remember and review. It’s not for the lack of racing, there have been plenty of action-packed races and that’s just the ones we can see on TV, a lot of the sport still takes place beyond […]

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War, What is it Good For?

November 11, 2014

Think of the First World War and you might conjure up black and white images of trench warfare from Northern France. This year has seen centennial commemorations for the anniversary of the outbreak of war in Europe. We saw the Tour de France take part with a route that passed memorials and battlefields. The dutiful […]

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Roads to Ride: Col du Glandon

November 8, 2014

We celebrate the summit finishes and often forget the roads the roads that preceed them. Today’s the chance to venerate a climb that’s used en route to many a Tour de France stage finish and it’ll be scaled twice next July. It’s worth riding for its own sake and ideal to combine with other high […]

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