Beware the wounded Schleck

WoundedSchleck

Which rider won the Tour de France in a year in which he did not even take part in the race?

The answer, unsurprisingly, involves a disqualification and a subsequent default winner. The answer is also going through the worst year in his career thus far as a cyclist. The answer is Andy Schleck.

Earlier this year, Alberto Contador was banned and stripped of several victories including the 2010 Tour de France in which Schleck finished second. As such, in May of this year, Schleck was officially awarded the yellow jersey as winner of the 2010 Tour. So far this has been his only victory this year.

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Bono at the Vuelta a Espana

Ernesto Bono, winner of a stage in the 1962 Vuelta a Espana.

In what year did Bono stand atop the winner’s podium at what was a great day for Ireland at the Vuelta a Espana?

The answer is 1962. Bono, Paul Hewson, of U2 fame, was but a 2 year old drawing on the walls in his house in Glasnevin in 1962. But, the Bono who made it on to the winner’s podium of the Vuelta 48 years ago was the little known Italian rider Ernesto Bono who claimed the biggest victory of his career by winning Stage 12 of that year’s race into the city of Logrono. The reason Ireland had cause to celebrate was that Seamus Elliott had retained the Vuelta race leader’s jersey. Elliott would go on to wear the jersey for a total of nine days that year only losing the jersey three stages from the end to eventual winner Rudi Altig of Germany.

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The Roches in Romandie

Nicolas Roche has had a solid season so far which has seen him rise to 40th in the UCI rider rankings. He’s had eleven top 10 finishes which include stages which finished in a bunch sprint and much more mountainous stages. He is proving his ability on a wide range of terrain. He placed 8th, 6th, 4th and 3rd on stages in Paris-Nice back in March, he also finished 9th, 8th, 6th and 3rd on stages in the hilly Volta a Catalunya where he also finished 5th overall. In addition, he took a 3rd place at the Swiss one day race, the GP dell’Insubria. But, unlike his compatriots Martin and Deignan he is still missing a big win on his palmar├ęs.

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