The Spin: Vuelta Stage 18

The longest stage of the 2012 Vuelta but it is only 204.5km, a sign that this has been a race of short and sharp stages. With no categorised climbs this looks like a sprint finish or a long range breakaway… but after yesterday’s tactical coup, who knows?

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Mont Faron, first summit finish of the year

Mont Faron

The first summit finish of the season? It depends if you include Willunga in the Tour Down Under but the Tour of the Mediterranean tackles Mont Faron today- snow permitting – and it is an indisputable mountain top finish.

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Tour de France wildcards?

The Giro d’Italia announced the four teams invited to take part in the race last week. The choice of Team NetApp caused some controversy but that’s all part of the fun and I was pleased to see race direttore Michele Acquarone setting out the conditions before and explaining the timing and then commenting on the picks afterwards. And today we’ve learned of the six teams invited to the Tour of Flanders in April.

By contrast the wildcard picks for the Tour de France are a mystery. I’m told we’ll hear some time in February and the criteria for an invitation to the world’s biggest bike race are a mystery. Is a French exam involved?

Jokes aside, we can guess organisers ASO want some French riders in the race and also to invite some exciting teams for the race. With this in mind, here’s a look at the candidates for one of the four golden tickets this July.

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David Moncoutié and the good news

Fans of cycling have every right to feel a bit hard done by right now. But it’s not all bad news. I bring you David Moncoutié and his win on Mont Faron, taking the stage and the overall of the Tour Méditerranéen. He joined Cofidis it first started in 1997 and has been with the … Read more