Francesco Chicchi (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) started his season well with two stage victories at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in February and the opening road Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen last week, and he continued his great form with a superb sprint victory in Nokere - Koerse 2012 today
Steve Beech has ridden two Milk Races and ten 12 hour races, so when he tells you that this year's Scottish '12' was the hardest one he's ever ridden, he knows what he's talking about. He's also held the Scottish record, with 275.258 miles - set in the Glasgow 12 in 1991, until Joe Wilson updated it; that distance is however, still the Scottish vets record.
Lotto Lottery Ticket... There are three definite bunch sprints forthcoming in the Tour: the traditional Champs Elysee final stage, and the stages directly before and after the Alps. Today's relatively short stage may also be a bunchie. It's a very lumpy part of the world: virtually no flat, and no straight stretches of road make it an exhausting, but beautiful, area to drive through (let alone ride).
Getting to Flanders yesterday for the kuurne Brussels Kuurne was painful - a two hour delay at Prestwick, then a battle through the rush hour traffic on the Brussels ring road. Dave and I are getting good at indiscriminate lane changing and not indicating, but we really have to brush up on our tail-gating technique if we want to drive in the authentic Belgian fashion.
The Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association announced Wednesday that Team Novo Nordisk’s Sam Brand would represent Team Isle of Man at the 2018 Commonwealth Games when it kicks off in April in Australia’s Gold Coast. The Manx native will compete as part of the six-man cycling road team. This serves as his first Commonwealth Games appearance.
Brad Wiggins and Chris Froome have shown that they are by far the best two riders in the Tour de France, being untouchable on both the mountains as well as on the time trials. Liquigas and Vincenzo Nibali set the race up, giving it everything they could to make the race tough in the hope that the Sky boys would crack, but in the end, that just meant they had less work to do and could do more damage in the finale.
Up there on the list of ‘cult’ races is the GP Plouay, now known as the Bretagne Classic Ouest France; not a race that’s high in the cycling public’s consciousness outside of Brittany but always hard fought on a tough parcours by a quality field since 1931. This year the winner was Belgian hard man Oliver Naesen (AG2R) who shrugged off the rain and took the laurels.
It’s been a grim spring for pro bike racing; Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Nokere Koerse had to be cancelled due to foul weather and Sunday’s Milano-Sanremo was compromised by snow. One recent race featuring Alex Wetterhall which did go ahead despite savage climatic conditions was the UCI 1.1 196 kilometre Ronde van Drenthe in The Netherlands.
Six seconds, that was the margin between five times previous champion, gold medal winner and former World Hour Record Holder, Alex Dowsett [Katusha] and silver medallist, Scotland’s John Archibald [Ribble Pro Cycling] in last week’s British Cycling Time Trial Championship in Norfolk. There's a 'but'...