Blazin' Saddles

  • The Criterium du Dauphine Preview

    Guest blog from Harry Maidment - on Twitter @HarryMaidment

    With the first Grand Tour of the season completed, attention immediately turns to the next as the Tour de France nears ever closer. Sitting in between the two races is the Criterium du Dauphine. The race is seen as the Tour’s younger brother, on a smaller scale and with similar characteristics, and it offers the perfect preparation for the season’s pinnacle. The race is made up of eight stages running from the 2nd to 9th June, with riders journeying 1,052km from the start in Champery, Switzerland to Risoul located in the French Alps

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  • Giro d’Italia 2013 – The Final Week Round-Up

    Another weather-affected week saw Vincenzo Nibali assert his dominance, Mark Cavendish secure the red jersey, Carlos Betancur prevail in the battle of youth – and one veteran cretin having to hitch a lift home in the snow.

    A week which begun with Danilo Di Luca bragging about wanting to use his two years left as a professional to help compatriot Nibali win multiple Grand Tours with Astana ended with Nibali doing just fine without the help of the self-styled Killer – while Di Luca no doubt had his feet up on the sofa pondering just how he managed to be made to look a fool even by Lance

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  • Danilo Di Luca

    Cycling fans were meant to be spending their Friday afternoon basking in the duel savagery of the Gavia and Stelvio for the first of two back-to-back mountain epics that would decide if not the destination of the pink jersey then at least the other minor podium places and the thrilling white jersey tussle between Messrs Majka and Betancur.

    Instead, we've been dealt a double blow.

    Not only has stage 19 been cancelled because of the unrelenting snow and foul weather that has blighted so much of the race, the UCI also announced that Italian veteran Danilo Di Luca – the self-styled "Killer" –

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  • Rider pushed off bike by rival in Tour of Norway

    Caja Rural's Fabricio Ferrari was pushed off his bike during the final stage of the Tour of Norway by an unnamed rider from a rival team.

    The incident was captured on camera 12.5km short of the finish to the stage when the Uruguayan was sent crashing to the ground by a clear push.

    Ferrari manages to escape from the group of riders, but is then pushed from his bike after pedalling next to the Topsport Vlaanderen rider, who continues to look back as Ferrari attempts to scramble back on his bike.

    Roberto Ferrari was blamed for a similar incident 12 months ago when Mark Cavendish and others were

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  • Giro d’Italia 2013 – Second Rest Day Round-Up

    The weather got worse, Bradley and Ryder called it a day, Cavendish became a centurion and Nibali strengthened his grip on the maglia rosa. Our blogger Blazin' Saddles looks back at the second phase of the Giro d'Italia and makes some predictions for the final week.

    The big story of the last six days in Italy was the persistent adverse weather conditions which brought about the withdrawal not only of the defending champion but also the peloton's most decorated rider. With Sir Bradley Wiggins and Ryder Hesjedal throwing in their snotty towels, the grip of maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali on the

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  • Spectator falls down hill while watching the Giro

    Terrifying descents are part and parcel of Grand Tours but it is usually only the cyclists that have to worry about them.

    However, one poor fan watching the 10th stage of the Giro D'Italia went crashing out of site on a descent of his own after losing his footing by the side of the road.

    The stage turned out to be a bittersweet day for Team Sky in the Friulian mountains as Bradley Wiggins lost more time to his rivals after Colombian team-mate Rigoberto Uran soloed to victory.

    The Giro d'Italia continues on Wednesday with the 183km stage 11 from Tarvisio to Vajont - a mountainous but less

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  • Bradley Wiggins, a well-known mod and musician with a love for Paul Weller and new-wave punk rock, often plugs into his iPod when on the rollers, either warming down from a gruelling stage or getting into the zone ahead of a time trial.

    But it seems that Wiggo's iPod had Bon Jovi's best-selling album from the 80s, Slippery When Wet, stuck in a loop in a week which left the Team Sky leader very much Livin' On A Prayer.

    Having lost 17 seconds in stage four when held up by a crash in apocalyptic conditions in Serra San Bruno, Wiggo showed the descending ability of an in-form Michael Rasmussen three

    Read More »from Giro d’Italia: The story of the race so far
  • Motorbike almost takes out riders at Giro d’Italia

    You'd think that the motorcycle outrider tasked with leading the field around the Giro d'Italia would have a fairly nice job.

    After all, riding around in the Spring sunshine through some of the most spectacular places in Italy for a few weeks sounds like a dream holiday rather than a job. And though the top cyclists in the world are quick, it must surely be pretty simple keeping ahead of them if you're on an 1100cc BMW.

    But for the motorbike riders leading the on the sixth stage their cushy job went sour as they crashed out on the 58th kilometre of the day, sliding to the tarmac after a sharp

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  • Pink jersey winner Cavendish turns the air blue

    Mark Cavendish may have won the pink jersey after the first stage at the Giro d'Italia but he also turned the air blue in Naples.

    The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider came from far back to pip Italian Elia Viviani (Cannondale) and Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) in an explosive bunch sprint in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.

    But when asked for his post-race reaction by Eurosport, Cav appeared to struggle with some hardware before uttering an expletive.

    Ever the gent, Cav quickly realised his mistake and turned to the cameras to say: "Is this live? Oh, sorry! Apologies."

    Don't worry, we forgive

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  • Giro d’Italia 2013: The Main Players

    The 96th edition of the Corsa Rosa has been billed as a battle between Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky and the sky blue of Astana's Vincenzo Nibali.

    Both main contenders have a healthy rivalry but they will not underestimate last year's surprise Canadian winner, Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin-Sharp. Add to that mix Cadel Evans's last throw of the Grand Tour dice plus a healthy mix of home Italian talent and explosive Colombian climbers and all the ingredients are there for a fantastic few weeks of pedal-powered action.

    With the addition of a whole Pro Continental Colombian team alongside the WorldTour

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