Thursday Shorts

The accounts are out for the Critérium du Dauphiné. Breaking down the revenue sources and costs for a World Tour stage race would be a fascinating exercise but it’s commercially confidential for starters and the accounts for the Dauphiné are so economic on detail that there’s no chance of writing much about them. All we know is the race budget is around €2 million and for 2014 the race generated a profit €46,383, down from €64,734 the previous year.

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Wednesday Shorts


Congratulations to Flanders Classics for changing the route for the Tour of Flanders. De Ronde had adopted a finishing circuit that included the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg climbs but crucially a large open section in between that seemed to encourage riders to huddle together in a bunch. For me the jury was out on this, it hadn’t worked so far but a change of weather could alter things. But the race hasn’t bothered to wait and see, it’s scrapped it to bring in a more lively finish where the cobbled climbs will come thick and fast in the final hour. Here’s a comparison of the profiles:

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Book Review: Land of Second Chances

Land of Second Chances Tim Lewis

Land of Second Chances by Tim Lewis

Enjoy bike racing? Like coffee? Here’s a story that combines both and much more. It’s a true story rather than a fairy tale which makes it a compelling read as it ranges from development and discovery but also failure and frustration.

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Tuesday Shorts

The Vuelta is French now, at least in the sense that the race is now 100% owned by ASO, the owners of the Tour de France and other races. ASO bought 49% of Unipublic, the company that runs the Vuelta back in 2008 and now bought the remaining 51% from Atresmedia Televisión.

Now there’s talk of a two week race. Loyal readers will have seen this back in August but for now it seems an exploratory idea. If anything the race could explore a four week format just to get one over the Tour de France and Giro…

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The Moment The Race Was Won: Milan-Sanremo

Milan Sanremo sprint

Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) throws his bike to the line to finish ahead of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack). In a race so full of suspense it was suspended the outcome of the race was not certain until the last few seconds when the German proved the fastest from the group of six that reached Sanremo. This was the moment the race was won.

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A Team With a Difference

Saturday sees the Trofeo Laigueglia race, now the season-opening race in Italy now the GP Etruschi has vanished. Only it’s not just the start of the Italian season but also the arrival of a new team from Africa MTN-Qhubeka. Each term has a story to tell behind the kit and branding but this one stands out.

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2013 Pro Cyclist Age and Nationality

Cedric Pineau

Think of a pro cyclist and who you think of? Alberto Contador, Philippe Gilbert or Mark Cavendish? Well they’re amongst the obvious picks. But if you wanted to pick the typical pro, think of a 27 year old Frenchman instead because that’s what the numbers say.

Having looked at the World Tour stats across 18 teams, now it’s time to take a broader view across all the 38 teams in the World Tour and the Pro Continental circuit plus to look at the differences between these two groups.

Overall there are currently 914 riders with an average age of 27.7 years. France just beats Italy as the largest supplier of professional cyclists but there are some surprising results from some countries, for example did you know Colombia has more pros than Britain or Denmark? Or that the US has more pros than Germany?

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Sunday Shorts

Tropicale Amissa Bongo

AICAR test in place – Dutch doping amnesty – Steven de Jongh passes go – Europcar to quit? – Big teams for Bongo – Grand Tours and breakaway cities – ASO vs RCS

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Rising From Ashes Film

6,000km away from the UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland lie the red roads of Rwanda.

If it’s been a heavy week of revelations, rules and more that takes us too far from what cycling should be about, the film trailer above is a reminder that there so much more. It feels a million miles away from the troubles of pro cycling.

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Saturday Shorts

Thomas Voeckler got played yesterday. Shortly after finishing Liège-Bastogne-Liège the Frenchman made his way to Frankfurt airport to fly out to Gabon. Once a French colony, today an oil-rich state on the west coast of Africa with exceptional wildlife, Gabon also has an annual bike race, the Tropicale Amissa Bongo. Named after a member of the Bongo family that rules the nation, the race has a diverse field of teams with Europcar.

Sadly the results are hard to come by. I can’t see them on but instead the superb has coverage (in Russian) because the Astana development team are riding, and with some success. The photo above by Elena Ryabovol shows the conditions for one of the stage transfers with riders, staff and media loaded into a military transport plane.

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