A closer look at the points competition and the sprinters in the Giro d’Italia.
Here’s the Giro d’Italia guide. There’s a concise preview of every stage as well as explainers on the rules for the mountains and points competitions; TV guide and more.
A quick look at the Tour de Romandie in two parts. First the history of this race, it was meant as a one-off but was a success from the start and has become a fixture ever since, with some vintage UCI meddling not long ago. Then a look at one of the hidden functions of the race, where teams give leadership or protected roles to up-and-coming riders in the hope they can handle themselves and progress to more.
“Les jeux sont faits, rien ne va plus” said the croupier at the top of the Roche-aux-Faucons climb. The wheels were spinning but which of the five riders in the winning move would land the jackpot in Liège?
The oldest of the classics is saved for last, we’ll see if it’s one of the best. The Ardennes classics have changed in recent years, what was once “uphill sprint week” is now more varied and the still novel finish in Liège is part of this.
Mur, Mur, up the wall, who is the fastest of them all?
The good news is this Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race is happening, an improvement on last year when the race was cancelled, where even an autumn slot was off the cards. The bad news is that the compromise to enable the race is that the course is a circuit race that avoids many of the sharp climbs and small roads that make the race so hard.
A look at which teams have won the most races so far this season and the big names come to the fore already, more than ever they’re squeezing out the others with the top three WorldTeams have half the wins so far this season. Rival teams wanting to challenge this, or just maintain their spot in the World Tour, are now in the busy season for recruitment.
The new rules against littering surprised some over the weekend, with the case of Michäel Schär being disqualified from the Ronde van Vlaanderen for throwing a bidon to waiting spectators provoking outrage online. However the incident with Kyle Murphy in the GP Miguel Indurain could be the real cause for concern.
It pays to read the rules as there’s still an easy way to gift bottles to spectators. The good news is that away from hiccups adjusting to the new rules over a weekend cycling is finally resolving its litter problem.
Kasper Asgreen leads Mathieu van der Poel over the Paterberg. The Dutch cyclo-cross specialist had tried every trick to find the smoothest path up the climb but Asgreen just rode over the cobbles and beat him to the top, a sign he had more power in the final hour.