The Spin – Stage 6

The last of the sprint stages, today’s race will sweep across the champagne region of France before the fizz of the finish. Again this looks like a day for the sprinters but with the first summit finish looming tomorrow the GC contenders will try to ride in economy mode.

If it is a sprint finish the final kilometre has a dangerous narrow point followed by a sharp turn turn.

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The wealthiest men in cycling

I wrote about the wealthiest men in cycling back in March 2010, but fortunes can come and go, and now there are new names to add to the list and some names to delete.

If you thought the likes of Alberto Contador, Mark Cavendish or Philippe Gilbert were the best paid in cycling, time to think again. It is the people behind the scenes who fund some of the pro teams that are the wealthiest. Read on and you will find the missing link between Damiano Cunego and Jennifer Lopez.

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Shorts: Ballan’s long arms and more

A few snippets and observations this morning.

Ballan in arm warmers

BMC’s clothing
I get plenty of press releases from teams and suppliers these days. Many are useful and informative for the news they bring. Some can include fake-sounding attributed quotes and a few are borderline spam along the lines of “X won Y race because of Z” product. No they didn’t.

But there’s a helpful one from BMC’s kit supplier Hincapie Sports. The US company will continue its sponsorship of the squad for 2012 and their press release stated as such, including beaming quotes from those involved. So far, so normal…

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Paris-Tours preview

Paris Tours

Luckily there’s more to the sport than out of control sports officials. This Sunday’s Paris – Tours is one of the autumn classics and often known under the label of “the sprinters classic”. The race doesn’t actually start in Paris, but outside the French capital in a small town called Voves. Nevertheless the distance of 230km is exactly the same if you started in central Paris and rode to the city of Tours. This is because the route snakes, especially with a kink in the final to borrow some hillier terrain, the potential launch pad for attacks.

Today the race enjoys the status of a classic, the term used to describe a prestigious international race that has stood the test of time. It’s fashionable for organisers of new races to name their event a “classic” for example the one-off Olympic test race was branded the London Surrey Cycle Classic. But Paris-Tour is authentic, with the first edition held in 1896. Nevertheless the history has been uncertain, with cancellations for war and for a while the route was modified as a loop in the region. The list of winners includes many sprinters but it remains one of the few classics that Eddy Merckx never won.

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UCI discriminates against Aussie wines?

Sailing close to the wind With the World Championships starting in Geelong, no doubt plenty of business is being done over bottles of fine Australian wine. Only there’s a little-known UCI rule on the desirability of sponsors that could block Australians from backing the sport. Here’s the relevant rule: 1.2.030 bis SponsoringWithout prejudice of the … Read more