Blazin' Saddles

  • Eurosport Cycling Podcast: Giro d’Italia preview

    Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins

    The Eurosport cycling podcast is back for another episode with Scott O'Raw and John Galloway with the Giro d'Italia on the agenda.

    Click below as the latest edition also features interviews with David Walsh, Team Sky mechanic Phillip Tisma, and Vaconsoleil head mechanic Geert Van De Meulebroecke.

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  • Will Ale jet back in time for the Tour?

    The world of cycling was rocked this week when veteran sprint king Alessandro Petacchi called time on an 18-year career almost 12 entire months after his last prestigious victory in the Bayern-Rundfahrt.

    Contrary to the beliefs of many cynics, the 39-year-old Italian has not made it his new job to get as far away from Mantua as feasibly possible without the aid of a Lampre-Merida train.

    In fact, it appears that the former winner of 48 Grand Tour stages has had a sudden change of heart. Yes, just two days into his self-imposed holiday, Petacchi seems to be flip-flopping back into the sport.

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  • Monstrous crash brings down majority of field

    There are big crashes in cycling races and there are very big crashes - this was very much the latter.

    With just 500m left on stage two of the Tour of Turkey, a collision prompted an epic pile-up with a whole section of road covered with tangled bikes and riders.

    With the peloton steaming ahead at full speed as the sprint finish was being set up, it appeared that Mark Renshaw of Blanco touched the wheel of the rider in front of him at the front left of the pack as the chain reaction ensued.

    A handful of riders were ahead of the incident and were able to keep sprinting to the finish line, with

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  • Belgium’s rubbish tactics in ailing Classics season

    Gilbert 'environmentally responsible', Froome and co. 'have form'

    Venerable French sports newspaper l'Equipe reported this week that Belgian police are investigating around 20 riders who were caught on camera dropping waste and water bottles during Wednesday's Fleche Wallonne semi-classic.

    Those allegedly under suspicion include the entire RadioShack-Leopard squad – for discarding an empty Andy Schleck 20 kilometres from the finish in Huy.

    There is talk that all 20 riders in question may be banned from starting Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege after protests from local ecological groups.

    The news comes with Belgium one race away from having its worst Classics

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  • Why the world should be Europcar’s oyster

    If any team deserves to be bailed out by a co-sponsor it's Jean-Rene Bernaudeau's Europcar, whose future is once again under the spotlight as the car rental company's current deal approaches its climax.

    Cycling without Europcar the team would be a sorry place: who, under one roof, could promise the combined visual delights of Voeckler's tongue, Gaudin's swaying swimmer's shoulders and Rolland's downhill wobbles?

    Heck, who would there be to utterly dominate the Tropicale Amissa Bongo or to lead the peloton onto the Koppenberg before disappearing without a trace?

    More to the point, has any

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  • Peter Sagan hit the headlines a couple of weeks ago after pinching the bottom of a podium girl after the Ronde Van Vlaanderen.

    The incriminating pictures went well beyond the cycling world, and drew condemnations, as well as a debate about whether in the 21st century there is still a place for podium girls.

    Sagan, perhaps realising how many people were offended by how he treated Maya Leye, chose to issue a contrite message of apology by video soon after the incident.

    "I sincerely apologise to Maya for what I did on the podium after the race. It was wrong of me and I didn't think when I was up

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  • Ouch!! The hellish Hell of the North

    Paris-Roubaix is the queen of the one-day cycling classics but it is also known as the Hell of the North and Sunday showed just why.

    The 111th edition of the race was raced over 254.5km - that in itself a test of endurance - but that included 52.6 kilometres of bone jarring cobbles to test the bike handling ability and sheer toughness of the riders.

    And our video shows that the rough terrain caused a quite few casualties.

    Frenchman Yoann Offredo failed to even reach the pavé as he crashed heavily after hitting a traffic island in the middle of the road.

    The riders managed to avoid calamity at

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  • Is Cancellara a safe one-way bet for Paris-Roubaix?

    2013 Tour des Flandres Fabian Cancellara

    Trying to predict a Tom Boonen-free Paris-Roubaix is like picking a winner for the Grand National at Aintree – you know, the annual British homage to equine cruelty where half the horses fall over and break their necks or have to be put down behind one of those sinister white tents usually reserved for major crime scenes and gristly murders.

    Of course, trying to predict a Paris-Roubaix featuring a very much on-song and in-form Fabian Cancellara shouldn't, in theory, be too hard – especially in the absence of podium deviant Peter Sagan and the Prince of Pavé himself, the boy Boonen.


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  • Sagan incident raises questions over podium girls


    Fabian Cancellara won the Ronde Van Vlaanderen in some style on Sunday, but his moment of glory was somewhat overshadowed by the man who finished second.

    Peter Sagan, on the left of the picture, drew attention for pinching the gluteus maximus of one of the podium girls as she celebrated with Cancellara.

    The public response was mixed. One British cyclist, Michael Hutchinson, tweeted his distaste.

    "Shame that Peter Sagan has so much class on a bike and so very little off it,'' he said.

    But he later had to add: "I'm a little surprised that probably 50% of the Sagan-ass-grabbing-gate

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  • Pasta la vista, Schumiche

    Cycling was left in a state of shock this week when Stefan Schumacher likened his career-long intake of performance enhancing substances to eating "a plate of pasta after training".

    This came as a surprise to fans of the German mushroomed-headed ace, who always presumed their idol's stellar performances to be powered by "pan y agua" alone – that's to say, 'miche' sourdough bread and Gerolsteiner fizzy water.

    While news that Schumacher's diet went beyond the basic dietary staples to include daily bowls of post-training pasta is a hard enough pill to swallow, subsequent revelations that these

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