The Roar
The Roar

Tim Renowden

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Joined January 2012

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Tim Renowden has been following professional cycling closely since Indurain won his first Tour. An ex-runner, now a club grade bike racer, Tim tweets about sport at @megabicicleta.

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Let me tell you about the Australian javelin thrower who served a two-year ban for an athlete whereabouts violation because the team hotel he was staying in didn’t properly record his room number. Jarrod Bannister.

Now tell me that the Essendon players were treated harshly after admitting to receiving injections, claiming to not know what they were injected with, and failing to mention the injections in their ASADA reports. “I didn’t know what I was taking”, “I was just doing what I was told” and “I was under a lot of pressure from management” have been trotted out by every crooked dope cheat since day dot, which is why they cut no ice with WADA and they shouldn’t with us. Just because they’re footballers? Please.

Jobe Watson speaks out after CAS bans Essendon players

“We are struggling to come to terms with this decision, and feel it does not support the players’ firm belief that we are innocent.”

Laughable. Delusional.

Jobe Watson speaks out after CAS bans Essendon players

True – Adam Hansen (for example) certainly looked like he’s still a fair way off Grand Tour shape, if you know what I mean – but with TDU coming up the top Aussie guys are usually in pretty good shape at Nationals. Not absolute peak, but they do come to Buninyong to win.

Reading some quotes from other riders today it seems pretty unanimous that they thought Bobridge would crack himself, but he just kept going. In that heat, you can see why people thought he’d blow up, because riders were suffering right from the early laps. It was just a magnificent ride to watch.

Jack Bobridge gives the performance of a master

Could the race promoters have done better? I don’t think so.

Froome's Melbourne visit will be pure gold all round

It’s the mantra of “play your natural game” which gets us into this sort of debacle time and time again. Stop it! Play the match conditions! Play the situation! Not every situation requires aggression. If everyone’s nicking to slips because the ball is moving around, MAYBE JUST PUT AWAY THE DRIVES FOR A BIT?

Stupid and arrogant doesn’t even come close, Paddy.

Ashes: Where does arrogance end and stupidity begin?

Not surprised if that’s true. He was bloody well placed.

What happened in le Tour last night? Tejay is van Goner-en

Maybe, but this leaked power data has done the opposite, because people analyse it and then pick apart his W/kg and see him riding at close to 400W for an hour with a heart rate of ~150 and wonder how it’s possible. Sky is between a rock and a hard place.

His response last night seems to have been “I’ll show them!” but I’m pretty sure it will just encourage his critics.

Rest day drama strikes, as the Tour gets serious

Haven’t seen any flat batteries yet.. There are a few riders who still prefer mechanical shifting, that’s true. Fabian Cancellara is one who prefers mechanical.

Simply Clever: Mechanics in le Tour de France

Bikes are like a lot of things – once you get over a certain point, the increase in quality and performance is not proportional to the increase in cost! As you say, the rider is by far the most important thing.
You can get a perfectly good carbon fibre bike with strong wheels and a reliable mid-tier groupset for a couple of grand in AUD, and that’s more than enough for most riders, even for racing. Of course, it won’t be as sexy as a high-end beauty from an exclusive manufacturer…

Simply Clever: Mechanics in le Tour de France

Rohan “Drop Bear” Dennis. He looks friendly but he’s actually a vicious killing machine.

Give Dennis the 'Oppy' and a new nickname

Hi Nick,
With Barguil I consider him a climber on the basis of his stage win in the Vuelta a couple of years ago on a big climb, and his 8th overall in the Vuelta in 2014, with his best results on big mountain stages. True he’s not on the top rung and he won’t be a GC threat this year, but he is young and improving and I think he can win a stage with a bit of luck.

Simply Clever Riders: The best in the field in the 2015 Tour de France

Hi Tom – as you say, Nibali did defend his Italian champions jersey, which makes his preparation look nearly identical to 2014. This piece was written during the Dauphine, so he hadn’t won it yet. I think Nibali knows exactly how to time his form peaks.

Simply Clever Riders: The best in the field in the 2015 Tour de France

Hi Joe,
I was on the Champs Elysees in 2007 and 2008, the years Cadel rode into Paris in second place. Mostly proud (and couldn’t quite believe I was there) but also disappointed for him being so close.
I know what you mean about living in England and it not being the same, too. I was in the UK from 2007-2010 and was forced to listen to the audio feed from the TV coverage because I was stuck in the office. We used to sneak down to the Rapha pop-up cafe in Clerkenwell Rd to watch the last 5km, but it’s not such an event as the late-night camaraderie you get in Aus.
Of course back in the day we used to make do with half an hour of highlights on SBS at 6pm, so things have improved a lot.
Enjoy stage 10!

Simply Clever: How to watch le Tour de France like a pro

I reckon this is partly right. Trying to boss the race will be much harder this year than in 2012/2013, but I think there’s still a place for the ‘Sky Train’ (or the Astana Bus’ or the Tinkoff err… Tram). The difference is it will be deployed only on stages that particular teams see as being critical opportunities. Sky will have to be more strategic about where to spend energy or they will get blown to pieces.

It’s not that Sky has gone backwards in terms of ability to ride high tempo in the mountains, it’s that others have caught up, so the tactic is less effective (although still works, as Astana showed at the Giro – another day in the mountains and they might have cracked Contador for good). So I reckon we’ll still see teams (Sky, Tinkoff, Astana especially) lining up and TTTing up major climbs, but it won’t happen as often as we’ve seen in the past.

That’s my prediction, anyway.

The 2015 Tour de France contenders: Chris Froome

Hi Tom, I reckon you’re right, but gee the teams hate it when they’re not allowed to use radios!

Simply Clever: Tour de France road captains

Gianni Meersmann (EQS) on May 12th: “I crashed in the final downhill because of a puncture. Had to wait for 10min to get another front wheel. Thx @TeamSky for the help #fairplay”

Porte penalised for tapping a deep tradition of sportsmanship

It is good to have contrary points of view.
To be fair, Clarke never said he would help anyone in that situation. He said he helped Richie because they’re friends. But you don’t have to be a saint to perform good deeds, do you? And I think your example of Paolini probably wouldn’t raise too many eyebrows: the Bearded One does have a reputation as a loyal team man, But I do think your point – what if it was someone else? – is worth making.
Personally, I can’t see myself getting upset by a rider being given a wheel. Receiving wheels is (generally) allowed, because it’s just bad luck to get a puncture, not a moral or skill hazard – that’s why the UCI generally turns a blind eye to riders getting a nice draft through the convoy after they flat, and most people think it’s reasonable. The rules are bent because it mitigates dumb luck.
If a rider wants to clearly disadvantage himself and face the wrath of his own DS by mitigating the dumb luck of someone from a rival team, it should not be penalised, IMO.
There are millions of examples of riders helping/not helping each other in ways that definitely affect the outcomes of races, based on their personal friendships and enmities rather than simple team orders, and most of them don’t require the dumb luck of a puncture.

Porte penalised for tapping a deep tradition of sportsmanship

True, and this was written in a blaze, sandwiched between a training ride and getting ready for work. I will admit I didn’t take the time to read the UCI’s rulebook regarding sharing of food.

Porte penalised for tapping a deep tradition of sportsmanship

Rules are rules and they’re routinely ignored when the UCI decides that there are more important things at play than the wording in a booklet nobody reads.

Porte penalised for tapping a deep tradition of sportsmanship

That’s right. The penalty came from the UCI commissaire, not from the Giro organisation.

Porte penalised for tapping a deep tradition of sportsmanship

“Non-regulation assistance to a rider from another team”.

https://twitter.com/giroditalia/status/600730617756721155/photo/1

Porte penalised for tapping a deep tradition of sportsmanship

If the UCI wanted to show it is applying its own rules, surely a fine would’ve been sufficient?

They’d better be handing out penalties left right and center for the rest of the year, though.

Porte penalised for tapping a deep tradition of sportsmanship

I am in total agreement.

Richie Porte is on fire, but will he burn out before the Giro?

Thanks.

I am just trying to keep a lid on things! Agree Contador is always a massive threat, and the fact that he hasn’t won many races so far this year doesn’t mean much, because we know he’s building to a later peak. But I say the field is weaker because apart from Contador and Uran, I don’t see many riders who can beat Porte head-to-head. There are always surprises in the Giro, but there’s not a lot of GC pedigree named so far.

Nibali would be one. He lacked top end at LBL last night, but that’s no surprise. He knows how to peak when it matters. If he rides the Giro it would be a huge knock to Richie’s chances (but I still think they should hold him back for the Tour).

Richie Porte is on fire, but will he burn out before the Giro?

It looks like he’ll have David Lopez, Leopold Koenig and Sebastien Henao – all very capable in the mountains (Koenig was 7th in the Tour in 2014). I also expect Kosta Siutsou to be added to the squad (he rode well at Giro del Trentino).

So, a different train but still powerful.

Richie Porte is on fire, but will he burn out before the Giro?