Cycling Thread - The French are good now!


#1

Next year’s Tour route has been announced:

It looks brutal, with a finish on the Tourmalet, the Galibier involved and a raft of other rarer climbs like Val Thorens, which looks like a beast.


#2

Massive news as Sky announce that next season will be their last sponsoring a team:

Assuming this happens, the sport will be way more interesting.


#3

I guess everyone knows already but it should be noted that Paul Sherwin died last week.
Along with Phil Liggett, he was the voice many of us drifted off sleep in the early hours of a cold July morning too.
As much as I prefer Matt Keenan & Robbie McEwan now, like Martin Tyler with football & Murray Walker with F1, those 2 are the voices I’ll always associate with cycling.


#4

What percentage of this decision is due to Froome’s salbutamol Case? ( I haven’t read the story)


#5

Sagan takes TDU stage 3. Who’ll take GC? Richie? Impey? Bevan? Anyone been to SA for the TDU? Looks like a great few days for cyclists (whilst the Family does other stuff).


#6

I loved Luis Leon Sanchez & Sagan’s interaction after the sprint. LLS spent, angry & disappointed as a fresh Sagan wheels up next to him and starts chatting. You could see LLS realise that although the result was close Sagan had plenty in the tank and had only done enough to beat him while he was full out. They’re probably my 2 favourite riders in the peleton, Sagan for obvious reasons but LLS because he’s just always there. Sprints, hills, always finding the right breakaway in transition & mountain stages, ITT, classics & stage races, I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. Whether it’s due to team orders (earlier at Astana), bad luck (hasn’t won a GT stage since 2013, plenty of 2nds 3rds & 4ths though), the golden era of riders of his ilk (Sagan, Van Avermaet, Alaphillippe, Valverde, Gilbert etc.), Quick Steps recent 1 day domination or Sky shutting down stage after stage, he hasn’t won as many races as maybe he should have but I think he’s still one of the greats of his generation.

As for the TdU I’ve backed Pierre Latour to win. 13th overall last year only 24 seconds back and was only 14 seconds behind Porte up Wilunga Hill.
A few who finished ahead of him aren’t here this year. He’s the undisputed #1 of his team for the race unlike last year. He’s had a long lay off since last years TdF and doesn’t race again for 2 months until he starts his TdF build up where he will be #2 to Bardet so may not get a chance to win another race until the 2nd half of the season. He’s one of the few riders who can match Porte’s (how fit is he?) explosiveness and natural progression should have seen his ability improve. My only concern is his long lay off.
I don’t think Porte will win. New team, long illness after his crash and La Vuelta, a lack of a clear plan heading into the TdF and all of his teammates well off the pace, I see him being isolated and attacked up Wilunga. Pantano winning that stage in a breakaway is more likely for mine with Richie riding as he did in La Vuelta.
Diego Ulissi, Michael Woods & George Bennett are my other big name picks with Eduard Prades being my smokey.


#7

It’s fucking annoying that none of the Eurosport content is on Kayo. I’ve not jumped in yet for the A-League because I already had a year of the My Football App paid for, but was considering getting it given that the ACL games coming up will only be on Fox. But if the cycling isn’t included then that kind of sucks.

Has anyone had experience with the UK Eurosport Player through a VPN? It’s a shame they don’t offer the same thing here. Now, despite the rest of pay tv sport in this country finally banding together to offer something approaching a convenient and affordable streaming platform, cycling is left ailing on the old platform behind the higher paywall of the bundled entertainment packages. It’s particularly galling for the Italian races, which are Eurosport exclusives so made completely unavailable to SBS even if they wanted them.


#8

I’ve not used the Eurosport player before but I’ve never really had trouble finding a stream when I really want to.

My biggest disappointment is that SBS don’t do highlights packages each day of most races any more. I don’t have time to watch 2 hours of coverage of every stage of the Dauphine, but I’d love half hour packages I can watch on the way to work.


#9

Yeah fair call. I think they can only do half hour packages when they are actually rights holders. They do tend to do a short package each day for the World Tour races at least. See the 3 min packages for the UAE tour this week for example. Nice win for Caleb Ewan overnight on a short uphill sprint. Very happy for the guy after a pretty shitty year last year.

ICYMI I just noticed SBS put out their cycling broadcast schedule for the next couple of months the other day. Just Paris-Nice during March, then Flanders, Roubaix and the Ardennes week. I think I will give the Eurosport player a go for the month of March. It’s such a good month for cycling starting with the opening weekend this week, then Tirreno, Strade Bianche, Milan-Sanremo and all the other early cobbled classics.

Particularly excited to see how Michael Matthews goes on the cobbles. If he can stay upright he will be a chance in any race he enters. I’m looking at the transition made by Michael Valgren last year from an Ardennes guy to a Classics all-rounder and thinking if he can do that then Matthews can do the same.

Edit: Just as I post, Cycling News put up a nice piece on Matthews.


#10

Matthews should be well supported in that team. He has the right physique to succeed on the cobbles as well.