A brief note to say thanks to readers who have emailed in recent days. Technical problems have prevented me from replying but I’ll get back to you in a couple of weeks’ time (I’m away, see previous post).

Etna, the hottest destination

Sapienza Etna

Italian pro team Liquigas have had a semi-permanent base on the slopes of Mount Etna this year. Etna is an active volcano in Sicily, the large island at the southern tip of the Italian peninsula. It’s black slopes often contrast with a snowy peak and at times, the infernal glow of lava.

Liquigas’s mountain HQ is the Rifugio Giovanni Sapienza, a mountain lodge also the choice of the Astana team. A pumice stone’s throw away lies the Hotel Corsaro, as used by two more teams, Lampre and Katusha.

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How to retire

I’ve covered how to turn pro in the past so with the news that Lance Armstrong has again announced his retirement, some thoughts about ending a pro career. Without dwelling on his case, I think Armstrong effectively left the sport last July and only really appeared for the Tour Down Under in order to collect … Read more

The holidays are over

Now that the racing in the pleasant, even scorching, climes of Australia, Qatar and Oman has come to an end, it’s back to work. No more sand, blue skies and, in the case of the Tour down Under, the eucalyptus perfumed air. Now it’s time for Flanders, where the roads are in bad repair after … Read more