The Problem with Rule 5

Harden the fuck up.

That’s what we’re supposed to do isn’t? Stop whining. Stop complaining. Don’t even dare think about quitting.

Harden. The Fuck. Up.

Cyclists are supposed to be hard. You fall in the middle of a bunch sprint at 65 kilometres per hour and shave the skin off half of your back. You stumble over the line wheeling your bike beside you. You cry tears of self pity and pain when the cold water from the shitty shower in the flea-riddled ‘hotel’ hits your sticky bald flesh. But you are expected to take to the startline the next day, so you harden the fuck up, smile for the cameras and be thankful you are one of the privileged ones. ~ Continue reading ~

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The Grand Tour hat-trick: A stage win in each

The biggest stage races in the sport of cycling are the Grand Tours. Consisting of three weeks of racing, the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana are each more than twice as long as the next longest stage race at the top level of the sport. To win one of these races is the pinnacle of any cyclist’s career.

Only five riders have ever won all three of these races. They are Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Felice Gimondi, Bernard Hinault and Alberto Contador. No rider has ever won all three in the same year. In fact, it is relatively rare to even complete all three in the same year. ~ Continue reading ~

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Podium Finishers and the Vuelta a Espana

The Vuelta a Espana is now just over a week away, it starts on August 28th with a team time trial around Seville which is due to take place at night. There have been races staged before which took place under street lights, a stage earlier this year in the Tour of Oman comes to mind, and there are many criteriums which are raced after the sun goes down. However, a Grand Tour stage is a very different proposition. There has been plenty of peloton power exercised by the riders in recent Grand Tour stages.  In this year’s Tour after a huge amount of riders crashed on the decent of the Stockeu on Stage two, a go slow was organised followed by a neutralised bunch sprint. Similarly, in last year’s Giro, due to rider’s concerns about hazards along the Milan circuit on Stage nine, the peloton decided not to race until the last of ten laps. This year, it’s the turn of the Spanish Grand Tour to host what could prove to be a controversial stage. Although the riders will not be racing as a bunch, and therefore won’t be able to act as one, if the organisation of the opening team time trial is not perfect, there is definitely potential for grievances and complaints. ~ Continue reading ~

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