2010 Teams Review – Part 1

I picked up the March 2010 issue of Cycle Sport the other day, it was the season preview issue. In it, each of the major cycling teams, via one of the team managers, laid down three major season goals which the team would aim for over the coming year. The following is a breakdown of how each team fared in achieving their three goals:

AG2R-La Mondiale

1. Win more races than last year.
Not that hard considering the team only racked up five victories in 2009. This year they managed to almost quadruple that haul with 19 wins, the most prolific rider was Anthony Ravard who won five races. ~ Continue reading ~

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It all started with a win

Dan Martin wearing the Irish National Champion's jersey which he won in 2008. He would wait two years until his next victory.

I know an Arsenal fan, who for years, has bemoaned Arsene Wenger’s attitude towards the last few Champion’s League group games once Arsenal have just about qualified. When Arsenal reach nine or ten points in their group, Wenger tends to start resting key players and giving young(er) players a run out in a proper competition (unlike the rather flacid League Cup). However, by tinkering with the first team and playing experimental starting lineups Wenger is greatly affecting his team’s chance of victory. He did it last week. He made seven changes to the team that had beaten West Ham, and they went on to lose 2-1 to Shakhtar Donetsk. ~ Continue reading ~

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World Number 1 ≠ Best in the World

Joaquim Rodriguez has finished the year as the leader of the UCI World Rankings. Naturally, one would assume that a world ranking is an indication of who the best rider in the world is. As an article in this month’s Cycle Sport magazine declares, “it doesn’t take a genius to work out that, no matter what the rankings say, Joaquim Rodriguez is not the best rider in the world“. The article goes on to state ‘the UCI World Ranking is fine if you want to find out who the most consistent rider in the world is. It’s not so good if you want to find the best“. ~ Continue reading ~

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Green Jersey Shakeup for Tour 2011

The Tour of Lombardy brought the 2010 racing season to an end on Saturday, and all of two days later our attention is already turning to 2011 with the unveiling of the Tour de France route. As it’s 100 years since the Alps were included in the Tour, the organisers have concocted a route which will come to an Alpine climax with three uninterrupted consecutive mountain stages. Although the route is paying homage to the route of 1911, the 2011 peloton will actually only ride over two of the seven Alpine mountains which were crested 100 years ago, the Col de Galibier and the Col de Télégraphe. In fact, the 2011 route and the 1911 route have more Pyrenéan climbs in common than Alpine, as both routes include the Col d’Aspet, Col du Tourmalet and the Col d’Aubisque. ~ Continue reading ~

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The Falling Leaves are here

So the Tour of Lombardy takes place this coming weekend. It doesn’t seem right that we’re already at the end of the season. Cadel Evans attacking during the Tour Down Under while wearing the Rainbow Jersey really doesn’t feel like ten months ago. But ten months ago it is as we reach the final monument classic of the season, and indeed the final classic of the season.

The penultimate classic was raced last weekend, Paris-Tours, and was won by Oscar Freire. As Fit Tech Eric from BikFit pointed out to me recently, Freire is the first person ever to win both Paris-Tours and Milan San Remo in the same year. As both races are considered sprinter friendly, this is quite a shocking fact. Although there is perhaps more scope than usual to unearth surprising facts when Paris-Tours is involved seeing as it’s the only major race which Eddy Merckx never won. ~ Continue reading ~

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Drugs, Pubs and Cycling

The majority of posts on Irish Peloton tend to incorporate plenty of past race results, trivia and random facts. Many of the sentences begin with ‘he was the first rider to win’ or ‘only three riders have ever…’, etc. etc. Amongst the barrage of doping stories that have emerged over the past couple of weeks, it’s hard to stay motivated to write such relatively unimportant sentences. Alberto Contador, Ezequiel Mosquera, Riccardo Ricco, Oscar Sevilla, Roy Sentjens and Kirk O’Bee have all contributed to a very gloomy period for the sport. Suddenly, posts filled with stats about who won what back in the eighties or nineties seem irrelevant and insignificant. ~ Continue reading ~

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