From the expertsThe low down from those in the know
We have just passed the zenith of the Spring Classics season for another year. There are many great races at this time of the calendar, but ultimately it is the Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Paris-Roubaix that hold that something extra special.
News this week that Michael ‘Bling’ Matthews will ride the Giro while Matthew Goss, who was heading to Italy, will now ride the Tour of California and Tour de Suisse, poses a major question – has Goss lost his mantle as Orica-GreenEDGE’s No. 1 sprinter?
Yes, I know, I’m British so I would say that. But he can. Here’s why.
Crikey, what an edition of Paris-Roubaix that was. If you weren’t up out of your seat several times over the last 60km, you’re either terminally bed-ridden or already devoid of breath. It was that thrilling.
Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins vowed to earn his place on the Sky team to support defending champion Chris Froome in July after finishing ninth at Paris-Roubaix.
The Omega Pharma-Quick Step team live and breathe for the spring classics. Niki Terpstra’s win in Paris-Roubaix, then, was a defibrillator reviving a body flat-lining its way to oblivion.
“How can somebody be in love with Hell? It’s a contradiction. Makes no sense. Most would call it madness…”
Anyone who has ridden a bike for any length of time knows what it’s like to take a fall. For those who ride for a living, crashes are an occupational hazard.
The Tour of Flanders really was a war of attrition, and no one epitomised the riders’ bravery more than Belgian national Road Race champion Stijn Devolder. From memory, he crashed at least three times – and I don’t just mean fell, but hit the road, hard!
Australian Michael Matthews has sprinted to victory in the third stage of the Tour of the Basque Country.
“There are two races for the Kwaremont; the race to it and the race up it, and of the two the race to it is the nastiest,” says double Tour of Flanders winner Peter Van Petegem.
Australian cyclist Richie Porte will forgo a bid for individual glory in the Giro d’Italia in order to be ready for Tour de France team duties.
They hung from the trees, they craned and strained their necks and risked getting smashed to smithereens by the team cars and motos that flew past over rutted track and jutting cobbles.
It took a remarkable individual performance from a time trial champion to win the Ronde van Vlaanderen. A dominant performance combining raw power, skill over the cobbles, and plenty of panache.
Sprinter Michael Matthews gave Australian team Orica-GreenEDGE their first European victory of the season when he triumphed in a bunch sprint at the Vuelta a La Rioja in Spain’s Basque region.
There was an intriguing moment five kilometres from the end of the 98th Tour of Flanders, when Fabian Cancellara ostentatiously held an energy gel between his teeth in front of his three fellow escapees before sucking down its sickly sweet contents.
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The 2014 Paris-Roubaix is almost upon us, and what a race it promises to be. Join us right here on The Roar from 10pm AEST for all the updates from this much-anticipated race.
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The Tour of Flanders is 259 kilometres of narrow country roads, lung bursting climbs, wind and cobblestones. It is Paris-Roubaix with hills, a true Monument of cycling, and you can join us for all the action right here on The Roar from 10pm tonight eastern Australian time.
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The last Tour de France winner without much in the way of pre-Tour de France form was Carlos Sastre, who took the 2008 Tour de France from second place Cadel Evans on the back of an impressive team performance from the then-CSC team [read part one here].
It’s a good time of the season to look at the contenders for the Grand Tours and how they’ve been faring in the early season stage races.
If your attention was diverted anywhere but the television on Sunday, you missed one hell of a bike race.
It is highly unlikely that the early season form shown by the likes of Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador and – to a lesser extent – Vincenzo Nibali is sufficient enough to have caused Chris Froome any sleepless nights recently.
Ever since the Lance Armstrong drug saga surfaced, the disgraced cyclist has been angling for a return to international competition.
After coming so close previously, Amy Cure now has a rainbow jersey to herself, winning her maiden world championship title in an event she admitted was not her main focus.
Highlights of day two of the world track championships included Anna Meares missing her fifth time-trial title, taking silver, a spectacular crash by Mathew Glaetzer seeing his bike in the stands and his skin on the track and Alex Edmondson matching his team pursuit title with an individual gold medal.
When Euskaltel-Euskadi were disbanded at the end of last season, BMC made a very shrewd move in signing Olympic gold medallist Samuel Sanchez. At age 36 he won’t be a long-term fixture in the team but he may be just what the doctor ordered.
Despite missing out on a stage victory at the Tour Down Under, Marcel Kittel swept aside the competition at the recent inaugural Dubai Tour to claim three consecutive stage victories.
Sun Herald Tour defending champion Calvin Watson was certainty not the favourite 13 months ago.
The Herald Sun Tour always promises exciting racing, with an elite selection of the world’s most talented cyclists lining up to compete in Australia’s oldest stage race.
Ben Johnson of Drapac Professional Cycling will miss this week’s New Zealand Cycle Classic after a training accident over the weekend.
Thousands of fans braved the scorching Australia Day sun to come and cheer the riders on the final stage of the Tour Down Under. A German – Lotto Belisol’s Andre Greipel – may have won the stage, but the race this year belonged to the Australians
How exciting has this edition of the Tour Down Under been?
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