The Tour Down Under is done and feels like watching a repeat with the identical venues, the same cast and a familiar story. View it as prologue to the season ahead and it’s a successful format.
Would you buy a team jersey and ride in it? Probably not, and that’s a problem. For all the success of the likes of Deceuninck-Quickstep, Jumbo-Visma and Bora-Hansgrohe might enjoy, their team kit doesn’t fly off the shelves and if the teams want to look exciting, their kit is traditional to put it kindly.
A look ahead to the Tour Down Under with the stages, contenders, TV coverage and more. It’s billed as the hardest edition yet but this is a matter of degree, it’s still a fine race where time bonuses often shape the final result as much as any climb.
A dozen riders to watch for 2020, some could break though, some will feel the pressure to deliver and others could surprise.
Bjarne Riis is back, in a press conference today he and colleagues Lars Seier, the founder of Saxo Bank and Jan Beck Andersen, chairman and owner of Brøndby IF, a soccer club have bought 30% of the NTT Pro Cycling, formerly the Dimension Data team.
There will be some online outrage at Riis’s return but some of this is misplaced. Instead surely the problem is the sport can’t seem to attract or promote new faces.
The route for the 2020 edition of Paris-Nice is out and, you guessed it, it goes from Paris to Nice. It’s what’s in between that counts and here’s a closer look at the route of one of the early season races that’s often a highlight of the season. The race will be held between Sunday 8 and Sunday 15 March.
The final invitations have gone out and B&B Hotels – Vital Concept and Arkéa-Samsic get the last two places for the Tour de France. They’re obvious picks but there’s a little bit of detail to explore.
Socrate à Vélo by Guillaume Martin
Two unusual teams ride the Tour de France, one Greek and one German, made up of thinkers like Socrates, Nietzsche, Epictetus and Machiavelli. That’s the premise “Socrates on a Bike” but it’s also an autobiographical account from Guillaume Martin, 12th overall in the last Tour de France and with a masters degree in philosophy in his back pocket. It all makes for one of the most original cycling books going and one written by an active rider too, so much so that even if it’s in French it’s still worth exploring in an English-language blog.
A new year, a new season and some things to look forward to around the corner.
Happy New Year, here’s the calendar of all the major pro races for the year ahead, free to download for your diary or if you want a page online, just remember inrng.com/calendar.
There’s also quick explainer on how to subscribe to the calendar, the meaning of the UCI labels and more.