Blazin' Saddles

  • 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

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  • 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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  • 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.

    How To Listen:
    iTunes, iPads, iPhones, iPods
    Android and others - RSS Feed
    Listen in one click

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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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