The NTT Pro Cycling team has announced it is seeking a new title sponsor after title sponsor NTT, a Japanese telecoms and IT services company, announced it will not be renewing its sponsorship beyond the end of this year.
Under leaden skies and high on the Cima Gallisterna climb of the chalky Apennine foothills Julian Alaphilippe places a late attack towards the top of the Cima Gallisterna. Nobody else can follow but a few can chase and there’s a tense descent to Imola.
It’s not Martigny but it’ll do nicely. Italy has swept in to replace the Covid-cancellation of the world championships in Switzerland and the substitute course heads to the hills with a tough circuit, a viable replacement that opens up the title to a wider cast of characters. In an unusual year this is one of the few races post-lockdown to keep its habitual spot on the calendar. Only with much of the field coming out of the Tour de France and large portion lining up for the Giro it’s attracted plenty of star names who are in top form rather than flaming out after a long season. Sit back and enjoy…
The annual look at the UCI’s finances, never the most exciting read but it’s a chance to follow the money behind the governing body. You can download the full report from the UCI website. As well as the dry numbers there’s also a look a few other stats like falling TUE requests and the success of the Tramadol ban.
The winning moment? This could be a quick blog post but there’s more to the Tour than the Planche des Belles Filles time trial and in order to overhaul Primož Roglič that day, Tadej Pogačar had to match him all the way around France. He rode like Jumbo-Visma’s ninth man.
The contest for the yellow jersey only came alive right at the end of the race but there was plenty of entertainment before. This was an enjoyable race in a strange year. The Tour donned its mask, moved to September and sucked us into its bubble.
The race reaches Paris with a parade that turns into a criterium, once again the riders of the Tour de France get the Champs-Elysées closed for them, a privilege usually reserved for visiting heads of state.
A time trial to cement the overall classification. Primož Roglič has a good chance to leave his mark on the race with a stage win in the yellow jersey and Richie Porte’s got a shot, perhaps a long one, at hauling himself onto the podium.
A sprint stage course despite the hilly profile but the today’s the very last chance for a breakaway to stick so there’s a good chance we get a strong move going clear rather than the forlorn “4×4” move.
The Tour isn’t done with the Alps yet and today’s stage is packed with climbing. It should be a day for the breakaway hunters rather than the overall classification.
A small digression into language inspired by today’s so-called “Queen Stage” of the Tour de France. There are many French words that are used in English coverage of the sport, terms like maillot jaune, flamme rouge or rouleur usually don’t require translation. But there are a few French words that are “false friends”, they’re French words used in English but not used in French coverage of the sport.