The Moment The Race Was Won: Paris – Tours

Avenue de Grammont

Marco Marcato wins Paris-Tours from a three man sprint. The trio held off a surprise attack by John Degenkolb, the German sprinter went rogue with 10km to go and almost caught the leaders in the final straight.

Dutch champion Niki Terpstra launched the sprint and Marcato has swept across the road, forcing Laurens De Vreese to change direction. This briefly robbed the Belgian of momentum and gave Marcato time to sit up and celebrate as he won the fastest ever one day classic, averaging 48.629km/h. This was the moment the race was won.

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Sunday shorts

Well done to Gustav Larsson of Vacansoleil-DCM for his win in Paris-Nice. The windtunnel work paid off as he won by just one second over Bradley Wiggins. It rained for the later contenders and some said Larsson would not ordinarily have won. But I suspect the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Levi Leipheimer will have their chance for glory later in the week. Above all Larsson was given his departure time, rode his best… and won.

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Wouter Mol picked by Australian fans

The Tour Down Under begins in a few days’ time and the last two editions have seen Australian fans adopt an “obscure pro” and give him special encouragement. In 2010 they chose French neo-pro Arthur Vichot and last year it was Angel Madrazo of Movistar. This year Wouter Mol of the Vacansoleil-DCM team is the pick.

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2012 UCI Pro Teams

Professional cycling teams are ranked into three tiers. The top level is UCI Pro Team and the 18 teams here have automatic and obligatory access to the big races on the UCI’s World Tour calendar. In addition, there is a range of rules governing these teams that aim to ensure sporting and financial stability.

You’ll find the top-18 teams below, their sponsors explained plus riders and staff listed.

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The UCI shoots itself in the foot (again)

The Swiss voted recently on a referendum for tighter gun controls. They rejected the proposal. The small Alpine state has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, a figure especially high for Europe. I can’t help wonder if a ready supply of firearms explains why the UCI is limping. The Swiss-based governing … Read more

The State of Shock

The clip above is from the film Casablanca. When the police swoop on Rick’s Café, the police chief Renault expresses his shock to find gambling happening on the premises, using this breach of the law as a pretext to close down the bar. But only after he picks up his winnings. Beware of people expressing … Read more

What to make of Ricco

Riccardo Ricco’s move to Vacansoleil is not without its controversy. The Dutch team wants to step up a level to enter the ProTour, it also wants to take part in the big races like the Tour de France. Is signing Ricco a good way to go about this?YesRicco has proven he can win and he’s … Read more