It’s not easy being a grand tour organiser at the moment and one extra headache is which team to grant a wildcard invitation because they can only invite two compared to four before and the excluded teams could be in jeopardy if sponsors flee. It seems the organisers of all three have asked cycling’s governing body to waive the rules limiting the number of teams that can take part in order to allow an extra team in each race.
Many races have been zapped from the calendar already but the season-opener in France, the GP La Marseillaise is set to go ahead in just over two weeks’ time and better still it’ll be on TV, a first.
This blog picked a dozen riders to watch for 2020. The idea wasn’t to predict who will win the most or soar up the rankings, more to look at particular issues and challenges. So let’s revisit the piece to see what happened…
Pro cycling is blatantly commercial with teams named after flooring brands, supermarkets or lotteries. Meanwhile the rationale behind Astana, Bahrain, Israel or UAE Emirates isn’t as obvious. The UAE team seems to be breaking new ground as it is giving publicity to one of the Covid-19 vaccines and there’s a twist as the team’s backers are also behind one particular vaccine too.
The route for Paris-Nice is out. Unsurprisingly it goes from Paris to Nice but like a sandwich it’s what’s in-between that counts. Here’s a closer look at the fillings…
Here are the answers to the recent quiz.
Roger Hassenforder has died aged 90. A Tour de France stage winner, a yellow jersey wearer, a hunter, a clown, a restaurateur… he was above all a big personality and one of cycling’s first television superstars.
Happy New Year. Here’s to another lap around the sun, and with it the pro cycling calendar for 2021, free to download for your diary or phone. It’s packed with racing… but already some events have gone and more might follow.
Tough choice to pick the last of five highlights from the year but the Tour de France’s penultimate stage stands out, above all as a moment of sporting drama, but also a healthy exercise in forecasting, bias and review.
Some are obvious, some odd, most can’t be Googled and a few are fiendish. By all means have a go and there’s a Tour de France polka-dot t-shirt prize for the winner… but most will probably find fun in the answers that will appear here next week.