Highlights of 2017: Part II

Time to look back at five highlights of the season with the luxury of hindsight. Here is the second from Paris-Nice and the final stage which saw the overall result uncertain until the very end.

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Highlights of 2016 – Part II

There’s a lot to be said for one week stage races. The good ones are concentrated versions of a grand tour with a varied mix of terrain and stage types. The brevity of the contest means every mountain stage counts and there’s rarely time to recover from mistakes. This year’s Paris-Nice was a textbook example and the final stage saved the best for last.

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Critérium du Dauphiné Preview

The Critérium du Dauphiné has delivered some of the best racing in recent years, a fine race in its own right while the Tour de France looms large and adds to the intrigue. There’s the prospect of a battle between Chris Froome and Alberto Contador and behind them is a long list of riders in need of a win.

Here’s a look at the overall contenders for the race which begins on Sunday. There will be daily stage previews here during the race.

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Highlights of the Year – Part IV

The Giro d’Italia had plenty of action including a lively opening week where the main contenders and their teams were already trying to take control of the race. Among the three weeks of action was Stage 16, the Mortirolo stage from Pinzolo to Aprica.

Albert Contador had already taken control of the race and wore the maglia rosa but he used the hardest climb in the race to stick it to Fabio Aru and make a point.

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Double Trouble

Can Alberto Contador do the Giro d’Italia – Tour de France double? It’s the big question right now. With the Giro in our minds and in his legs, much of the talk is of managing the fatigue and peaking again in July. Surely Contador’s biggest problem isn’t the success he’s just enjoyed nor the tapering and training, it’s the challenge of trying to beat Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and others in July. Talk of “the double” implies a parity between the Giro and Tour that doesn’t exist.

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The Moment The Race Was Won: The Giro

Monte Ologno

Was there a winning moment? Alberto Contador won the 2015 Giro d’Italia after beating his rivals day after day, both out on the roads and in their minds. There were moments where he could have lost the race but these were used to muddle his rivals. Take the climb of Monte Ologno where Contador attacked not because he needed to or because there was a stage win waiting, he went because he wanted to teach Astana a lesson.

Contador wins the Giro after winning the Vuelta last year and now bids to win the Tour de France which starts in five weeks.

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10 Predictions for 2015

Alberto Contador

Cycling’s never a predictable sport, it can’t be in a contest where 200 riders can start together as opposed to the binary contests in other sports between two teams or just two players. Add to this the varied of geography, extreme weather and other variables and picking winners is difficult. Plus there’s all the activity outside the races, from tech to politics, business to doping scandals. With these excuses in mind, here are 10 predictions for 2015.

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Highlights of 2014 – Part IV

Contador Guardiagrele

Seeing the day’s breakaway get reeled in and beaten resmebles a nature documentary where the predator inevitably catches and consumes its prey. Only this day in Tirreno-Adriatico was different as a carnivorous Contador joined with the breakaway riders to help escape those in his pursuit.

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Who Will Win The Vuelta España?

A star-packed field contenders and pretenders for the Vuelta with seven grand tour winners and a long list of rivals. But as any astronomer knows, look up at the stars and you’ll see powerful blue giants also a few white dwarfs.

We watched the Tour de France to see a duel between Chris Froome and Alberto Contador but were denied, now they’re back and there’s Nairo Quintana to contend with. Time to point the telescope to Jerez for a look at who can win the Vuelta.

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Who Will Win The Tour de France?

The closer the race gets the more uncertain the outcome. The year began with Chris Froome as the nailed on certainty but gradually Alberto Contador’s results made people take notice and his ride in the Dauphiné means we could have a three week duel. But now Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde are on the up too and the more names we throw into the mix, the closer the contest.

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