Sky has announced it is pulling out of sponsorship of the pro team and 2019 will be the last year for the UK media firm in the peloton. Now the team faces a race to secure funding for 2020 with realistically only months to do this. It’s yours for £30 million a year.
In the fourth of five picks, here’s La Course which provided action, attacks and a twist in the final.
There’s a big UCI gathering in Montreux, Switzerland at the moment and the seminars are reviewing the state of pro cycling, yesterday was for women’s cycling, today it’s the men’s side. There’s little news so far, official or leaked but one item is the extension of the video commissaire to all World Tour races according to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad who’ve spoken to Philippe Marien, a UCI commissaire who officiates at a lot of big races. Friday update:: it’ll be extended, but not to all races.
As part of the series looking at roads featuring in major races, here’s a look at Yamabushi pass. Neither household name, nor familiar in the peloton, this is the first major climb of the 2020 Olympic road races and an ideal day’s ride out of Tokyo too.
A few tech problems with the website at the moment so it’s readable but just, especially if you’re browsing via a desktop computer or big screen. It’ll be on and off this weekend as the mechanics get to work, hopefully with a tweak of a torque wrench rather than the hammer.
The Road Book, edited by Ned Boulting
This is a yearbook of the 2018 pro cycling season which contains the results of every race, listings of all the teams, their riders and more including some essays from guest writers and statistical and data nuggets. It’s an analogue effort in a digital age, a luxury good even.
Is this cycling’s sixth Monument? No but just asking the question is a clue to this race’s sudden prestige and beauty. The established list of five classics can stay as it is but the Strade Bianche has become a compelling race and the 2018 was a glorious vintage.
Who is the best rider in the UCI World Tour? Peter Sagan, Chris Froome, Alejandro Valverde… it’s Simon Yates according to the UCI rankings. The point here is any ranking is subjective but it’s especially so in cycling where, unlike other sports, the notion of a league table or a points-based ranking is almost redundant. It might even be having an effect on the racing.
Suspense, revenge, reversal, renewal, the 2018 Lombardia had it all.
Are your socks the right length? The UCI used to regulate sock length but the rule vanished. Now it’s back for 2019 and the handy image above sets out the maximum permitted length in graphic terms rather than the dry text of UCI Rule 1.3.033 bis. We’ll see if commissaires are running after riders with tape measures…