Can Simon Špilak Win The Tour de France?

No? Probably not? Why not? Apologies for the title which evokes Betteridge’s Law that states “any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no” but it’s a way to explore questions about Simon Špilak, the calendar and more.

After the Critérium du Dauphiné the talk was all what it meant for the Tour de France. One week later and the day after another selective Alpine stage race and all there’s none of this talk.

Read more

It’s The Economy

As the screengrab above shows Spain’s unemployment level has reached to a record high of more than six million people, a rate of 27%. Cross the Pyrenees and the story is the same as France’s unemployment has just hit a record high too.  Over the Alps and Italians are trying to form a government after months of institutional crisis, the Swiss are bringing in measures to curb immigration from out-of-work migrants in Europe and the continent’s shared currency is causing headaches from Cyprus to Slovenia and beyond.

Pro cycling does not exist in a bubble and Europe’s economic woes are causing real problems for the sport, from obvious concerns like the lack of sponsors but also creating longer-term structural challenges.

Read more

Grega Bole goes Dutch

Grega Bole

It’s all the rage these days. Alessandro Petacchi has threatened to swap the maglia azzurra of the Italian national team for that of Kazakhstan after the Italian authorities raised the idea of banning those with doping convictions from representing their country. Now Grega Bole is sporting a jersey in the colours of the Dutch national champion. Only he is Slovenian.

Read more

Hotel Valjavec

Embroiled in doping allegations, Tadej Valvavec is struggling to find a team for 2011 and is linked to a smaller Slovenian team. But he’s got a sideline going, with a hotel in the Slovenian Alps near Pokljuka in the Triglav National Park. It’s one of the last territories in Western Europe where bears roam free. … Read more