If perfection is a 10/10, and the attainment of perfection is impossible, then GreenEdge have had a 9/10 first month of racing. They have won both the road and TT Australian jerseys for the year, and have won the overall on their first ProTour race. Simon Gerrans is top of the UCI World Rankings, and GreenEdge are 3rd (see the full lists).
The Big Gorilla didn't pack his climbing legs for this year's TDU. Translation: Andre Greipel couldn't stay with the peloton as it went up the very tough Mengler's Hill at warp speed.
Oscar Freire, however, did, and he led a good-sized bunch over the line in Tanunda today. It was a very good result for the race as much as anything: processions tend to put the fans off.
After the W Clarke bolt from the blue of yesterday, there was no way that Stage 3 of the TDU was going to be anything but a bunch sprint, and all of the key teams worked together to guarantee this today, with Andre Greipel from Lotto again the winner.
The big man can sprint! Will he finally threaten Cav this year?
And so they're off! Once again Andre Greipel has won a stage at the TDU, once again there is a bit of controversy about sprinters not holding their line, and once again the accused sprinter has taken the classic "What! Me?" stance. The season is underway.
The pro cycling season kicks off today with the Tour Down Under. Finally! It feels longer and longer between the end of the previous season and the start of the next. But thankfully the wait is over and we are away.
The Tour Down Under 2012, alrighty! We’ve had the little teaser of a crit race around a park on the edge of Adelaide’s CBD, which Andre Greipel emphatically dominated, we’ve had head knocks and called cops for GreenEDGE riders.
As a web site which tries to keep its readers in touch with what’s happening on the winter boards; it’s remiss of us not to have spoken before now to Britain’s greatest ever Six Day rider – Tony Doyle, MBE. Other ‘Brits’ rode the ‘races to nowhere’ – Tony Gowland even managed to win two Six Days (off 31 starts); London (with Patrick Sercu) and Montreal with (Gianni Motta).
In Part One of his account of ‘running’ at the SKOL Six Days in the early 70’s Pip Taylor told us about the 1971 race. For the 1972 race he’d moved up the strata and was ‘running’ for a bona fide ‘Blue Train’ pairing.
Them sprinters are big guys-I passed them in the tunnel tonight, they looked cool, cocky, stylish. The public here love the sprinters; at intro time, they actually get their big build up from Daniel Mangeas after the Six Day riders. Bauge did a standstill for more than half-an-hour, in Gent there would be bricks getting lobbed at him, but in Grenoble-they love it.
The last time we spoke to NetApp-Endura’s Scott Thwaites was in the spring of 2013, just after he’d finished in fifth place in the Handzame Classic and seventh spot in le Samyn – both hard races in brutal conditions. For 2014 he’s already back in the groove again with a podium place on stage one of the Three Days of West Flanders.
At his ninth attempt, Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes' Gary Hand finally 'done the business' in the Scottish road race championship; timing his move to perfection on the final climb inside seven miles to go and holding off a desperate chase from reigning champion James McCallum (Rapha Condor JLT) and David Lines (MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling) to win on his own.
We caught up with the man who eats the miles - but not much else - on the Monday morning after his win.
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