Quit When You’re Winning

Andre Greipel maglia rossa

What are you doing this evening? André Greipel is packing his bags and leaving the Giro with exit manoeuvre that’s been so well planned his flight home was probably booked weeks ago. It’s shocking as he leads the Giro’s red jersey points contest and is perfectly healthy. But there’s a refreshing honesty to it all too.

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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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Tour Stage 16 Preview

201km and the first of the Alpine stages. The Col de Manse is the highlight, one of the rare mountain passes celebrated and feared for its descent rather than the climb. Several riders have come undone here.

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Tour de France Stage 2 Preview

A mountain stage for the second day of the Tour? There are three mountain passes and the race climbs from sea level to 1163 metres above sea level.

But what if the descents were more important than the climbs? The twisting roads have been a worry for some time given the pressures of the Tour de France where riders state there’s less room than any other race.

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Tour de France: Who will win the Green Jersey?

Mark Cavendish Napoli

A straight battle between Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan? That seems to be the settled view. But how does the route suit each rider and what of other contenders?

The more you look at the 2013 Tour route, the more chances Mark Cavendish will have but if he’s good, he’s got plenty of competition from others. The Tour de France is arguably the only race of the year where we get to see all the top sprinters in competition.

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2012 in Statistics

André Greipel Cavendish sprint

I enjoy cycling for the suspense, drama and action. But analysis sometimes means using cold numbers and hard data and often these  confound what we think. Here’s a look back at 2012 via some numbers, from the most victorious rider of the year to the nation with the most pro wins as well as other stats from the season.

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Photo: Ster ZLM Tour

Greipel Ster ZLM

A heavy week with the recent news dominated by a triathlete. But the racing goes on and so here’s a mention of actual sport for balance. Earlier today Andre Greipel outsprinted Mark Cavendish and Mark Renshaw in Stage 2 of the Ster ZLM Tour in the Netherlands. Look closely and you can see team mate Greg Henderson celebrate. Cavendish might have finished second but he is now in the overall lead after finishing third yesterday.

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Here come the cobbled classics: weekend preview

vanmarcke garmin

The season started in January, collarbones have been snapped already. We’ve had racing in the Middle-East and the shores of the Mediterranean too. But this weekend marks the start of racing in Belgium and the intensity of the racing goes up and the quality of the road surface goes down.

No more six star hotels or posing for photos with a koala, it’s back to winter, narrow lanes, mud and cobbles.

On Saturday there was the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Sunday has Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Here’s a preview with maps, profiles, favourites and info on TV schedules (updated after Saturday’s racing).

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André 2004

I’ll let the picture do most of the talking. Look at the star rider of amateur team TEAG Team Köstritzer, the one given the seat in the middle and holding the bike. It’s André Greipel.

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