The Roar
The Roar

Felix Lowe

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Joined January 2012

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English cycling writer and author of Climbs and Punishment: Riding to Rome in the Footsteps of Hannibal. Felix has covered the major cycling races in the pro calendar for Eurosport for the past decade and finally took up the sport himself in 2012, at the ripe age of 31.

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You’re right there – both Yates brothers are great prospects. Exciting times. Although you kind of expect the Yateses to gravitate towards Sky and Porte to go the opposite way… not now, but at some point.

So far so good for Tuft, Matthews and Orica-GreenEDGE

Porte’s obviously a good fit for GreenEdge, given his background, nationality etc and the team’s need to make the step up for GC. That said, unless they made a number of signings alongside Porte, I wouldn’t see him being a genuine GC contender while at OGE. Clarke is a solid rider – but hardly your key mountain lieutenant. We’ll see. Porte’s best chance at winning a GT is still at Sky – he’d have been one of the clear favourites in the Giro had things not gone so wrong in the spring.

So far so good for Tuft, Matthews and Orica-GreenEDGE

Evans has been let down by his ITT riding in recent years so that’s no given. Very, very solid start. I’m a big fan of him – don’t get me wrong – I just wanted to make a bold prediction. And you can’t judge a three-week Grand Tour on the performance of one opening TTT. Terrible luck for Martin and Hesjedal yesterday…

Ten key questions about the 2014 Giro d'Italia

Good top ten there. Jury out on Arredondo – it’s his first GT and so maybe it’s a bit much to expect a top ten. Not sure about Caruso and Santaromita in there too, plus Keldemen is a prospect, but is eighth too much this year? Time till tell. I think Niemiec will lead Lampre – Cunego’s days as a GC rider in a three-week race are long gone. Majka is a real talent and Uran should easily be in top ten providing he doesn’t have an incident. Scarponi is old, but Astana are surprisingly strong, with the likes of Aru, Landa, Brajkovic etc. And Scarponi is consistently in the top ten of the Giro. That said, time will surely catch up with him some time – and perhaps this year that will be that. Dario Cataldo would spring a surprise – there’ll be no pressure. And it will be interesting to see how Rolland fares. He may alter his targets should be be in a strong position towards the end of the race – much like Evans last year.

Ten key questions about the 2014 Giro d'Italia

A trifle harsh to say I have no credibility. Predictions are all hot air anyway. Should Quintana crash out in Ireland, would it be fair to say that anyone who predicted him to win was away with the fairies…?!

Ten key questions about the 2014 Giro d'Italia

You’re right… it’s a gamble on my part, but you have to be bold on predictions. The way I see it is that should Cadel crack, Sanchez would fill the void (much like van Garderen a couple of years ago at the Tour). That said, I have Evans in my fantasy Giro team and so even I’m not wholly convinced that he’s a write-off. Time will tell. Going to be a fascinating race – and I reckon we’ll see many surprises.

Ten key questions about the 2014 Giro d'Italia

Great comment – thanks Bones. Tracking one rider in the finale of a race is adds a whole new dimension to a race – multiply that by however many are still in the main group and that gives you a idea of how intricate races can be, despite the relative simplicity of the appearance of the top ten. As you say, Gerrans is a real talent when it comes to positioning. He’s not the most exciting or entertaining, for sure, but he has a real skill and uses it to deliver. For it to work, though, a strong team is a prerequisite – so he’s lucky to have such riders as Weening and Clarke, who were superb.

Simon Gerrans makes Liege history for those still awake

Precisely, Tim. Thanks for the comment. Hope you managed to get some sleep in the end – although I imagine Gerrans’ win was about as much help as a double espresso…

Simon Gerrans makes Liege history for those still awake

Ah, finally some sense – thanks Bobo!

Simon Gerrans makes Liege history for those still awake

le blanc – see above. When in the piece did I criticise Gerrans, or his team, or Australia? On the contrary. I said it was a masterful end to an otherwise poor race. Look at the fireworks we saw in Roubaix and Flanders – my Aussie cycling journo colleagues delighted in staying up all night for those races. They would have felt rather short-changed had Gerrans not pulled one out of the hat with his expert finish yesterday.

Simon Gerrans makes Liege history for those still awake

Hi Stevo! Thanks for the comment. I criticised the race, perhaps, but not Gerrans, who’s win was superb. It’s possibly to have a pulsating finale to an otherwise dour affair – and that seems the be the general consensus to yesterday’s Liege-Bastogne-Liege. I was covering it in the Eurosport main office with Sean Kelly, and even he said he was bored. It was the 100th edition and fireworks were expected, but until perhaps the penultimate climb, not much happened bar the world champion crashing and both Joaquim Rodriguez and Andy Schleck withdrawing. And hey, the win was awesome for both Gerrans and Australia. The Brits didn’t even feature, bar a few turns on the front by BMC’s Steve Cummings. Froome didn’t even start the race! But this piece was never about nationality-bashing, so it’s shame that you saw it that way…

Simon Gerrans makes Liege history for those still awake

I don’t. Perhaps not even in top 10.

Excited or worried by red-hot Horner?

Doped and doping is different. Believe me, I definitely have my suspicions and I’m fully aware of how things were earlier in his career – I think that is alluded to numerous times – but just trying to put it in context and take a step back. Before Horner takes a step back: today will surely be his last day in the red.

Excited or worried by red-hot Horner?

To do a Degenkolb he really needed to win yesterday… not many more opportunities for the sprinters – certainly five stages is beyond any of them. Besides, after seeing Martin’s ride yesterday, perhaps Fabian Cancellara will go for a long one today… haha. He’s been there or thereabouts in the sprints so far, has old Spartacus. Matthews is a great talent – def one to watch. Sprinters’ jersey will go to a climber though – that usually happens in the Vuelta. Nice piece.

Vuelta Bling: can Matthews do a 'Dengenkolb'?

Tim – you’re right. Hats off to Morkov, but it’s like he’s stolen sweets from a child. It would have gone down as one of the greatest solo rides in Vuelta history has he held on – as it is, it will be a mere footnote. Although, given the response, Morkov’s win could well be forgotten quicker than Martin’s exploits.

Horace – yeah, sorry about that, you’re right, it was the red polka dots and not the blue ones. The point remains the same – Morkov isn’t exactly renowned for his sprinting, which made the finale all the more bizarre. There aren’t enough chapeaux to go round for Tony!!

Majestic Martin goes from heaven to seven at Vuelta

Orica-GreenEdge’s sprint options look to be different than I had initially expected: Allan Davis is not going to Spain, instead the in-form Michael Matthews has got the nod, and will form an interesting sprint duo with Leigh Howard. Together, they make a far better combo than Davis on his own. Should be exciting to watch.

Five reasons to be excited about the Vuelta

CORRECTIONS: Many apologies, a few things to highlight – Michael Albasini won the Volta a Catalunya last year, so that was two stage race victories for GreenEdge. My bad. And also, there will be no Australian team in the Tour of Britain this summer… (abject humiliation in the cricket is clearly enough). Sorry about those – and thanks to @PelotonWatch for pointing them out.

Matthews, Weening and Keukeleire give Orica-GreenEdge a boost

Nice piece, Lee – great to read a different perspective and you’ve clearly done your homework. I wasn’t aware of Grappe’s findings on Lance Armstrong, which makes you think twice about his report on Froome.

Did Dave Brailsford and Team Sky let us down?

Some ridiculous comments here. Froome cheated on the Giro in 2010? Chuck out the whole peloton then. The context of that motorbike hold had been completely lost – he held on to get to the top of a climb, where he was going to get medical treatment before retiring from the race. He and Brailsford were angered about the principal of getting kicked out of the race – but he was going to retire anyway. Slanting the facts like that is as bad as the pseudo-scientists using the (estimated) numbers and then skewering them…

Froome has the world at his feet - and on his back

I guess the best way to treat cycling is to treat it as a piece of entertainment. Or a piece of gritty fiction. One day, it may be a real-life documentary or a piece of non-fiction. Maybe it is now. But for the moment, we can’t tell.

Lack of faith in Froome leaves us breathless

Cofidis – the sharpest kit in pro cycling…

Have you been at the bottle again, Tim?

Tour de France 2013: team leader special - part I

Good spots Stu. Yeah, first one was a mistake and the second a typo. Thanks for the heads-up – and well done for paying attention.

Has Bradley Wiggins raced his last Tour de France?

Nice article – but it’s dated 2008. Since it was written, you can’t deny the link between the two races. Contador was 3rd in Dauphine in 2009 and won the Tour. He was 2nd the next year and won the Tour (before the sanctions). Wiggo won Dauphine in 2011, with Evans second. Evans won the Tour after Wiggo crashed out. Wiggins won both races in 2012. Seems a pretty good guide to form judging by these results!

Kelly: Contador clear favourite for Tour de France

You make it sound as if Alpe d’Huez is the most fearsome climb known to man. It isn’t. The organisers wouldn’t have included it twice in one day if they thought half the pack would finish outside the time limit. Since establishing himself, Cav has never failed to make it to Paris – and has a remarkable record on the Champs Elysees (four in four). The question is more whether he’ll arrive in Paris in green than whether he’ll arrive at all.

Kelly: Contador clear favourite for Tour de France

Three Aussies in the top four!

Friends Froome and Porte fast forming a formidable duo at Team Sky