A Christmas quiz with 50 questions, some are obvious, some odd, most can’t be Googled and a few are fiendishly difficult. By all means have a go and there’s a prize for the winner but most will probably find fun in the answers that will appear here in the coming days.
1. Can you name the joyous Noël pictured above, he’s now a sports director with a large team?
Noël Dejonckheere who was world points champion on the track and now a DS at BMC Racing.
2. Jesus H! No, nothing blasphemous, just the first name and initial of two World Tour pros. Name them.
Jesus Herrada (Movistar) and Jesus Hernandez (Tinkoff-Saxo)
3. Which Danish pro has a name that sounds like Christmas?
Christopher Juul-Jensen, Jul being Christmas in Danish.
That Was The Year That Was
4. One Hour: who was the first rider to break the UCI Hour Record in 2015?
Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) achieved 52.491km in February
5. Minutes: What was the biggest winning margin for the overall classification in a grand tour?
Alberto Contador won the Giro d’Italia with 1m53s over Fabio Aru; Aru won the Vuelta by 57s; Chris Froome the Tour by 1m12s.
6. Seconds: Which Monument had the biggest group finishing on the same time as the winner?
7. Sour grapes: what’s just happened to make Jürgen Roelandts look so miserable?
He’s just finished second to Preben Van Hecke of Topsport Vlaanderen in the Belgian national championships.
8. Beer: Name two pro races where the podium featured some beer drinking antics.
The Amstel Gold Race and the Bayern Rundfahrt will do.
9. High: Name the highest altitude finish of the World Tour this year.
Stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse finished by the Rettenbach Glacier above Sölden in Austria at 2,700m above sea level. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) won the stage.
10. Slow: Which World Tour team was the last to win a race this year?
11. Stop: Which pro team was first to test disc brakes in a World Tour race?
Team Roompot with Tim Kerkhof the rider.
12. Pink: the Giro d’Italia launched a new mascot. What is its name?
Lupo Wolfie and it supports efforts to protect wild wolves in the Italian Apennines.
13. Red faces: which team was the first ever to get a collective suspension under the UCI’s new anti-doping rules?
14. Red: who was lanterne rouge in the Tour de France?
Easy to search but worth taking the time to think about given Sébastian Chavanel finished 4hr56m59s down on Chris Froome. A long way yet little after three weeks of racing.
15. Yellow: Name two riders who retired for good this year – not Bradley Wiggins – who’ve worn the yellow jersey.
Cadel Evans stopped earlier this year while Rinaldo Nocentini couldn’t find a new team, he had a long spell in yellow during the 2009 Tour de France.
16. Polka-dotted: Daniel Teklahaimanot wore the Tour de France mountains jersey for four days. Which race did he win a mountains competitions outright?
The Critérium du Dauphiné and it was this ride that made MTN-Qhubeka pick him for the Tour and the rest is history.
17. Erik de Vlaeminck died this year. He won the cyclo-cross world championships seven times. Which rider is alive today with the most titles?
You could have picked Renato Longo, Alberto Zweifel or André Dufraisse, all have wins.
18. Which Tour de France winner was born in a village with a name that translates as “The Handlebar”?
Double victor Bernard Thévenet was born in a hamlet called Le Guidon.
“Those who created cycling as a sport went to work on their bikes from dawn to dusk. The kids who work for the baker today travel by scooter. They no longer want to pedal. Cycling is dying because poverty is coming to an end and with the end of poverty we are seeing the end of all sports of the poor.“
19. In which decade was the quote made?
The seventies or 1971 if you want to be specific.
— Marion Gachies (@MarionGachies) February 26, 2015
20. Name five languages spoken by Katarína Smolková, the new Mrs Sagan.
French, English, Czech, German and of course Slovak.
21. Name three pro cyclists who have moved to Andorra for the fresh air, the mountain roads and its 10% tax rate.
Joaquim Rodriguez, Simon Gerrans and Dan Martin will get you three, there are more.
22. Which pro has a pet dog called Colin that can often be spotted at races?
Yukiya Arashiro. His wife Miwa Iijima is a photographer often on assignment at races and takes Colin, a female Chihuahua along. Expect to see Colin in Lampre’s fuchsia tones next year.
— MIWA IIJIMA (@iimiwa) September 9, 2015
23. How many days long is the Four Days of Dunkirk?
24. The Tour de Langkawi has eight stages, how many of these are in Langkawi?
One, Langkawi is a small island off the coast of the Malaysian mainland.
25. Where does Paris-Roubaix start?
26. Taxi! The video of Vincenzo Nibali holding onto the team car during the Vuelta a España went viral. Which rider took a ride inside a team car during the Tour de France?
Eduardo Sepulveda (Bretagne-Séché) and he was disqualified on the spot
27. Unless stated otherwise what percentage of the winner’s time is the time cut?
8%. Now you know.
28. After Richie Porte’s Richard III puncture moment in the Giro hopefully everyone knows you can’t take a wheel from a rider on a rival team by now. But can a rival team’s mechanic offer assistance?
No, only your own team or neutral service is supposed to help. A rival team may share food and drink through.
29. World Tour races pay teams to take part. What is the minimum amount per team for a one day race?
€24,360 per day.
30. Saxo Bank isn’t really a bank. Name a pro team that’s actually sponsored by a bank.
How about Caja Rural?
31. Cervélo is a brand belonging to Dutch company PON Holdings. Name another of their bike brands in the World Tour.
Focus, as ridden by Ag2r La Mondiale
32. The GP Frankfurt was cancelled because of a terrorist threat. Name a race that has been bombed by terrorists in the past.
The Tour de France has been bombed before, see the 1974 edition where a group called GARI bombed the race. Nobody was killed but the damage could have been worse.
33. Lampre-Merida are Italy’s sole remaining World Tour team but which country is their registered address?
The UCI website lists their address in Lugano, Switzerland.
34. The talks over Iran’s nuclear energy ambitions leading to the Lausanne Accord this summer were briefly delayed when a cyclist crashed on a mountain pass in the Alps. Who?
Senator John Kerry crashed on the Col de la Colombière during a moment out from the peace talks.
Where in the World?
35. An old but but a new climb for racing in 2015, can you name the climb above?
The Lacets to Montvernier, also known as the Col du Chaussy
36. The picture above shows the final bends of what Gianni Brera once described as “the poor man’s spaceship” for the way it allowed someone with a bicycle to copy Neil Armstrong and go up to the heavens. It’s better known as which climb?
The Madonna del Ghisallo, also known as the Colle del Ghisallo.
When They Were Young
37. Which future World Champion is this in the picture above?
Marianne Vos beating the boys
38. Which future World Champion is this in the picture above?
39. Which future World Champion is this in the picture above?
A junior Philippe Gilbert
40. Which future French champion is this posing with Samuel Dumoulin?
Arnaud Démare on a visit to the Tour de France start village.
41. Which national team won four of the seven stages of the Tour de l’Avenir?
42. Name the rider who rode the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège but got so lost he made it to the finish four hours late and in the dark.
43. How many riders have won both the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the pro Liège-Bastogne-Liège?
None, it’s yet to happen.
44. Derailleur gears took off among cycle tourists in the 1920s. When were they first allowed in the Tour de France?
1937. An illustration of the sport’s conservative approach to adopting new technology?
45. Who went public with criticism of their team’s bike sponsor leading to tales of the company withholding its sponsorship payments?
Pierre Rolland berated Colnago for not paying for windtunnel sessions to help improve his time trial position. Understandable but quietly over the winter Romain Bardet travelled to Britain to use the McClaren Formula 1 facilities, reportedly at his own expense.
46. Lotto-Soudal are sponsored by Campagnolo and have a full groupset and wheels from the Italian firm but which one component do they swap out for a Belgian-made on their bikes.
They use C-Bear ceramic bottom brackets.
47. Which pro rode the most race kilometres this year?
Jens Debusschere of Lotto-Soudal
48. Name the road used as the finishing straight for this year’s Milan-Sanremo
The Via Roma, back for 2015 and hopefully every year.
49. Name the road used as the finishing straight on Alpe d’Huez
The Avenue Rif Nel. A great place to win but a dreary location without the crowds.
50. What’s the most used climb in the Tour de France?
The Col du Tourmalet in the Pyrenees.