Sunday Shorts

Albert Bourlon

Pierre Cogan died just days short of his 99th birthday. He was eleventh in the 1935 Tour and seventh in the 1950 Tour, his career cut in half by war. But he’d been known for an alternative longevity, that as the oldest Tour de France rider.

Now the title falls to 96 year old Albert Bourlon (pictured). It can’t be something to celebrate, as if you’re next in the starting hut for a time trial and there’s a clock ticking, only hopefully this time the ramp goes upwards.

But Bourlon could be an eternal rider for he holds the record for the longest solo breakaway in the Tour de France. He was away for 253km across the South of France, from Carcassonne and Luchon, to win Stage 14 in 1947.

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The Moment The Race Was Sold

Vinokourov Kolobnev 2010 Liege

The UCI is investigating allegations that Alexandr Kolobnev sold the 2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège race to Alexander Vinokourov after an apparent chain of emails between the riders was past to them by judicial authorities in Italy.

Fixing the result of a sports event is a criminal offence in many countries and Russia is due to pass a law on the matter soon. But in cycling there’s a different attitude, a cultural tolerance that can allows riders to trade results and agree deals in a race. Is this acceptable?

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Olympic Road Race: The Moment The Race Was Won

With 8km go go both Rigoberto Uran and Alexander Vinokourov attacked at the same time. They came round a ninety degree bend and both jumped out of the saddle, one going on the left and the other on the right of a wide road. It looked like happy coincidence, both riders went clear and found themselves able to cooperate. But this dual effort seemed to confuse the others and gave them the chance to get a small lead and co-operate. It was the moment the race was won.

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Sunday shorts

Tour of Rwanda
The overall classification was won by the USA’s Kiel Reijnen of Team Type 1 but Joseph Biziyaremye deserves a mention too. That’s him above in Pierre Carey’s photo, just look at the crowd’s reaction as he crosses the line. L’Equipe’s Philippe Le Gars tells the story better than me but if you want it in English, here goes.

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More questions than answers over Kireyev, Astana and the UCI

Astana team

The photo above lists Astana’s official team line up this year (click to enlarge). They started with 27 riders. In May they signed veteran Andrey Mizurov, making it 28 riders. On 1 August they added four stagiaires who can ride in addition. Then on 2 August, Andrey Kascheckin joined, meaning a rule-busting 29 riders. On 22 August Roman Kireyev disappears from the team.

Today there is news that Kireyev has suddenly retired due to a back injury. Having recruited one rider too many, Kireyev’s retirement is very convenient.

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UCI and Astana in circular firing squad

Circular firing squad

A story from L’Equipe that’s worth translating. There’s now a power-struggle inside the Astana team to decide its future.

It begins with the inclusion of Andrei Kasheckin, the Kazakh rider had a mid-season transfer from Lampre to Astana in order to ride the Vuelta. But L’Equipe claims the move should never have happened as Astana’s roster is full with 28 riders, the maximum allowed under the rules. Adding Kasheckin would mean 29 riders, more than allowed. Yet the UCI approved Kasheckin’s transfer and racing licence a few days ago.

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Highlights of 2010

I’m not a fan of all those end of year reviews, the countless lists and retrospectives. So it’s with a bit of contradiction that I want to revisit what was my best day’s racing of 2010 and during the week, a few look backs at other events. My only justification is that what’s below isn’t … Read more

Vinokourov the filmstar?

Playing the fool Alexander Vinokourov is to star in a French-produced film backed by Kazakh money. Vino will play… Vino, in this case Alexander Vinogradov, the tale of a champion making his way from Kazakhstan to France and then onwards and upwards through the hierarchy of the sport. According to French website, the film … Read more

Revenge: a dish best served hot

Whilst the tar was melting, sun irradiating the riders and the race hotted up, revenge was on the mind of several riders. I attacked first and he beat me for the gold medal in Beijing. This is revenge. So said Andy Schleck after beating Samuel Sanchez for the stage win. Also when several riders hit … Read more

"If the President phones?"

The RTL L’Equipe podcast is a good listen, one of the best podcasts going. Monday’s edition included a telephone interview with Astana’s Yvon Sanquer, the DS imported at the end of 2009 to replace Bruyneel and his entourage. Stuck in the middle with you When asked who was the team leader, Sanquer was firm that … Read more