Blazin' Saddles

  • Roche joins Kelly in support of Contador

    Contador's all smiles ahead of the Tour

    A week after this blog EXCLUSIVELY revealed that Sean Kelly was backing Alberto Contador over Chris Froome for Tour de France glory, Blazin' Saddles can now bring you another EXCLUSIVE titbit: namely, that Kelly's compatriot and fellow Eurosport pundit Stephen Roche thinks exactly the same thing.

    Speaking to Saddles after the first stage of the 2013 Hot Chillee London to Paris event in a motorway service station car park in Folkstone, south east England, Roche said that Spanish two-time Tour winner Contador would be "the man to watch" when the Tour gets under way, probably not in a motorway

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  • Kelly backs Contador to trump Froome in Le Tour

    Chris Froome may have told The Times of his intention to target the Tour de France "for the next six or seven years" but he will not hand back-to-back Tour wins to Britain this summer, according to one cycling legend whose dulcet Irish tones are familiar to anyone with access to Eurosport's superb cycling coverage on TV.

    Speaking at a special Tour de France preview lunch hosted by Eurosport in central London on Thursday, four-time green jersey winner Sean Kelly told this here humble internet cycling blogger that he had made the calculation and was tipping Spain's Alberto Contador for the

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  • Germany's Tony Martin has branded the decision to send Tour de France riders over the Col de Sarenne as "irresponsible".

    The 2013 edition of the famous race, which is celebrating its centenary this year, will see the peloton tackle the notorious Alpe d’Huez twice in a day.

    To facilitate that, organisers opted to include the previously never -used Col de Sarenne on stage 18, three days before the race concludes in Paris.

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Martin got a taste of what lies ahead when he tested the arduous climb - and lengthy descent - during stage seven of last weekend's Critérium du

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  • How was nobody seriously injured amid this cycling chaos?

    Crazy footage has emerged from a woefully disorganised cycling race just outside Washington DC that miraculously saw nobody seriously hurt.

    The footage comes from the Crystal Cup – a race that is open to both professional and amateurs - and one particular dangerous part of the course sees the riders loop around and back on to the same street which can see cyclists riding in opposite directions at the same time.

    This is all well and good if nothing goes wrong but chaos can ensue if somebody has an accident.

    That is exactly what happened in this video filmed this weekend. While watching the

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  • Where’s Wiggo?

    This time last year, Bradley Wiggins was on his way to winning the Dauphiné ahead of what would prove a double winning assault on the Tour de France and Olympics.

    A year on and it's Wiggins's Sky team-mate Chris Froome who leads the pack in the eight-day stage race in France... and it's Froome who will spearhead Sky's – and Britain's – bid for a second successive Tour victory.

    Just a couple of months ago, Wiggo was bullishly talking up his chances of becoming the first Briton to win the Giro d'Italia and then carrying that form into defending his Tour crown in July. That was before a chest

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  • 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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