Cookson’s Challenge

It’s been all over the newspapers on Monday and it is expected to be confirmed on Tuesday that British Cycling’s Brian Cookson will stand for President of the UCI, challenging the current President Pat McQuaid.

Whilst we wait to hear what Cookson’s got to say, there are a few things to look out for. For all the talk of a challenge, Cookson is a senior UCI insider. But this is how the system works.

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Sunday Shorts

Yorkshire Tour de France

When the French think of “le Yorkshire” most often it is the dog breed that takes its name from the English county so the decision to start the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire could help promote a more rugged image.

Yorkshire fought off competition from Scotland, northern France and Italy in part thanks its bid of €14.5 million. Cash isn’t everything but it goes a long way to winning the bid. ASO will be pleased to offer its sponsors exposure to the large British market. But it is said host towns quickly recoup the money in promotion, hotel bookings and more

Remember the media circus arrives in town several days before the race starts, a grand départ is more than a weekend. Rotterdam hosted the start in 2010 and claimed 800,000 visitors. A separate study showed the €11 million spent on the grand départ generated over €20 million back although of course the net gain still means winners and losers, for example residents pay taxes whilst, say, a hotel chain gets 100% occupancy. Often these studies depend on assumptions made, the outcomes desired and who is paying for them.

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British Cycling’s Secret Weapon Unveiled

Ed Clancy

The success of the British Cycling team on the track is making many jealous. Today L’Equipe reports the French are wondering just what the secret is, are the British using special ultra-low friction ball bearings in their wheels or perhaps exploiting new theories on energy and power?

If there is a secret technology it is staying hidden. However there’s a special machine which spins and helps give the British team an advantage that other squads don’t have. A lottery draw machine.

Here’s a look at this advantage plus a focus on some of the technological advantages used by the British track cycling team.

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Olympic Shorts

There’s a pause in the Olympic cycling program with the time trial not until Wednesday and then activities start in the velodrome on Thursday. Remember you can download an iCal file for your electronic diary for the dates and timing of all events.

The Olympics are very different from everything else we are used to. A rider who makes a mess of the Tour of Flanders can hope to make amends in Paris-Roubaix. Have a jours sans in the Tour de France and you can hope it’s someone else’s turn the following day. Even if things go wrong in the world’s there’s always next year. But the Olympic road race? It’s not until 2016 and the Rio race promises to be very hilly.

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Tour TV Audiences Down as British Bike Sales Rise

Tour de France Television

Ok, the headline exaggerates wildly but that’s half the point of the story below. TV audiences in France fell for the Tour de France, in part because there was no big battle for the yellow jersey throughout the race. Meanwhile Bradley Wiggins’ Tour triumph is claimed to have boosted bike sales in the UK. Are both stories true?

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The Extraordinary Rise of Bradley Wiggins in 21 photos

Atypique. That’s the word most often used to describe Bradley Wiggins by the French media, meaning atypical, unusual and special. It’s a reference to his character, whether his London sarcasm, the fluent French or his taste for things far beyond the bubble of pro cycling. But his whole career has been unusual, making him perhaps the most unique winner of the Tour de France.

Here’s a look at his cycling career via 21 photos and a video clip.

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Pirate racing

A strict application of the rules would see the top riders banned from the upcoming Jayco Series in Australia and forbid Britain’s top teams from competing in their domestic Tour Series races. Hopefully it won’t come to this but here’s the explainer…

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BOA vs. WADA (both are right)

The British Olympic Association (BOA) is locked in a fight with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). I wanted to cover this story earlier in the week but there’s been too much other news to fit it in.

In case you’ve missed it, the BOA has a rule saying anyone banned for doping forfeits the right to represent Great Britain in the Olympic Games. But WADA say the ban for a doping offence is two years and that the BOA, in adding an effective life ban, goes beyond this. Consequently WADA has declared Britain a “non-compliant nation”. An embarrassment given the country is set to host the Olympics in 2012.

The risk though is that in seeking to punish British dopers WADA and international efforts to tackle doping are underminded .

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The moment Cavendish won the Worlds

Project Rainbow Jersey

Mark Cavendish won the World Cycling Championships in Copenhagen by crossing the finish line first. But the route to victory was more than the 14 laps and 266km around the northern suburb of Rudersdal.

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