Dan Martin – Is he the first Irish rider to….?

On the first day for two years that an Irish rider wins a stage of a Grand Tour…I decided to skip the cycling and go to the pub to watch the football. Murphy’s law!

In fairness, there are worse games I could have chosen to watch instead of sitting in and watching the cycling. Arsenal’s humiliation was fantastic enough but then I heard the news that Dan Martin had won the mountain stage of the Vuelta and taken the king of the mountains jersey. And as a born and bred Dub, if I was inclined to get excited about the Gaelic Football, then it was just about the most perfect day of sport imaginable. ~ Continue reading ~

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If there’s a man who has a right to be tired…

Mark Cavendish had a chance to make a bit of history this week. There have only been three riders in the history of the sport who have won a stage in all three Grand Tours in the same year, Miguel Poblet (1956), Pierino Baffi (1958) and Alessandro Petacchi (2003). Having already won two stages of this year’s Giro and five stages at the Tour, Cavendish had only a stage of the 2011 Vuelta to cross off his list to complete the hat-trick.

But, as we now know, Cavendish abandoned and in doing so forfeited his chance of joining the trio of riders who have achieved this remarkable feat. But the question is, should we really be all that surprised? ~ Continue reading ~

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UCI World Championships selection criteria

The number of riders that each country are allowed to select to take part in the World Championships is most certainly not straightforward. So the following is an attempt to shed some light on how many riders Ireland can expect to bring to the World Championship road race in Copenhagen towards the end of September.

The criteria include UCI WorldTour rankings, each of the separate UCI Continental rankings, the number of riders contributing to a country’s points tally as well as a number of other odd exceptions and stipulations. I’ll ignore the criteria that don’t apply to Ireland and just stick to the ones that do. ~ Continue reading ~

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The Curse of the White Jersey

There has been much made of the supposed ‘Curse of the Rainbow Jersey’ over the years. The story goes that the rider who becomes World Champion often has a bit of a stinker throughout his year in the Rainbow Jersey.

But what of the White Jersey as the best young rider in the Tour de France? Unlike the World Champion, the winner of this prize doesn’t carry the jersey with him for the following 12 months, but he does carry with him a weight of expectation; that his performance in the Tour is the start of something good. ~ Continue reading ~

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