Shrinking Time Trials

The Tour de France’s route was out and one of the features of the 2019 course was the lack of time trialling, both in the number of stages and the few kilometres on offer. It’s part of a trend as the chart above shows. One frequent response in the comments and by email in recent days is that more time trials, whether more stages or just one long time trial, would “balance” the Tour’s course and give time trial specialists and others more of a chance against the pure climbers. It’s an idea that sounds right… only recent evidence suggests otherwise.

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Highlights of 2017: Part III

How was the Giro for you? With hindsight the “fight for pink” to borrow the race’s awkward strapline wasn’t vintage stuff. Tom Dumoulin was climbing so well he kept Nairo Quintana within seconds on the Blockhaus and took minutes from him in the time trials and if it wasn’t for the imbroglio over his bowels on the Umbrailpass then he would have cruised to the win. But circumstances combined to give Quintana a shot on the final mountain stage where he, Pinot and Nibali and others put Dumoulin on the spot.

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World Championships Time Trial Preview

A duel between Tom Dumoulin and Chris Froome, this season’s grand tour winners? Wednesday’s course features the tricky climb of Mount Fløyen with steep slopes and tight hairpin bends.

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The Moment The Giro D’Italia Was Won

The winning moment? It’s hard to distil three weeks of racing into one instance, the story of so many roads, places characters into one snapshot but Tom Dumoulin’s stage win at Oropa stands out. He didn’t just control his rivals, he beat them on their terrain and took a prestigious stage win while wearing the maglia rosa.

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Giro Rest Day Review

The Giro needs a rest after a busy opening week with many stages that have seen the script ripped up. Climbers went backwards on mountaintop finishes and took time in time trials. It’s been a week of skirmishing with riders battling for seconds. The race is heading to the Alps this week and the promise of real battles among the top riders. So far so good.

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Sunday shorts

Don’t worry, Sunday evening’s collection of short pieces is family and workplace safe. But you’ll find two stories where speaking out can land you in trouble, even prison. And if you enjoyed the Tinker, Tailor, Cyclist, Spy piece, there’s an appetiser for an upcoming story.

GP d’Ouverture – La Marseillaise
Samuel Dumoulin of Cofidis won the race in a sprint finish. Wearing full-fingered gloves and a long-sleeved top he beat Marco Marcato who sported a headband to keep his ears warm.

The Etoile de Bessèges stage race starts on Wednesday and even colder gear will be needed. Weather forecasts are predicting a deep freeze for France and snow is expected for most of the country, including the south.

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Dumoulin wins


A quick post to point out that Samuel Dumoulin won in the Volta Catalunya today. He’d already won twice but this time last year the Cofidis rider was the most prolific winner in the bunch. He admitted that he rushed things last year, peaking early in the season and not carrying it through after April.

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The best rider so far this season?

A run of the mill moment for Dumoulin He might be one of the smallest riders in the bunch and he might ride a compact chainset but Samuel Dumoulin collected his sixth win of the season so far yesterday in the Circuit de la Sarthe. He’s now equal with André Greipel on six wins but … Read more