Blazin' Saddles

  • Can you spot the cyclists in this picture? Tinkoff-Saxo unveil camouflage kit in the Canaries

    Their new kit might be raising eyebrows and laughs in equal measure, but Blazin' Saddles says that Tinkoff-Saxo seems to be a pretty good place to be right now.

    <a href=http://www.tinkoffsaxo.com/news/tinkoff-saxo-unveils-innovative-training-kit/ target=_blank>Pic:www.tinkoffsaxo.com</a>

    With Kilimanjaro successfully scaled, Tinkoff-Saxo arrived in Gran Canaria  this week for their traditional winter training camp with a new camouflage-inspired training kit.

    Saying the fluorescent yellow, light and dark green kit is the most alarmingly disgusting in professional cycling would be doing scant justice to the short-lived tan and black Footon-Servetto kit of 2010 (which, quite literally, had a black foot on it) or the garish rainbows of Neri Sottoli last year or any number of bright cyan numbers in the Astana (Boo! Hiss!) back catalogue.

    But let's be honest - Oleg Tinkov's kit

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  • Everything you do and don't need to know about Velon

    Blazin' Saddles takes a look at the cycling organisation that is taking the world by storm. Or at least trying to.

    Cycling is promised a better future by Velon. But what exactly is it? (Reuters)Cycling is promised a better future by Velon. But what exactly is it? (Reuters)

    Everyone who's anyone has been taking about Velon this week.

    But what - or who - is it? Why is the logo purple? And can on-bike cameras really solve all cycling's woes?

    If the advent of the sport's newest organisation has passed you by then fear not for here are some of your potential questions answered...

    In a nutshell, what is Velon?

    It's a new range of the popular Velib hire bikes in Paris brought out in association with the famous French actor Alain Delon.

    Enough of your joking, my friend - be honest now.

    In a nutshell, Velon is a joint venture between a raft of Pro Tour teams - promoting

    Read More »from Everything you do and don't need to know about Velon
  • Yanto Barker launched Le Col whilst competing as a professional cyclist, notably riding for Wales in the 2006 Commonwealth games and has made numerous appearances in the Tour of Britain.

    This year, Yanto was crowned the number one rider on the British circuit.  

    “There are always time constraints when running a business, training and racing full time", he said.

    "I learnt quickly that it is vital to implement a strict schedule to allow me to manage both effectively. I treat Le Col and riding as two separate businesses, this enables me to maintain focus and deliver both on the road and for the

    Read More »from Yanto Barker: Why juggling sports and business can be done
  • Australia celebrates a century in the Tour de France

    This year, Australia will celebrate their personal 100th anniversary in the Tour de France – a century after Donald 'Don' Kirkman and Iddo 'Snowy' Munro became the first Australians to take part in 1914.

    Cadel Evans of Australia celebrates after winning the 98th Tour de France (Reuters)Cadel Evans of Australia celebrates after winning the 98th Tour de France (Reuters)

    In 2003 we had the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France - fittingly won by Asterix (or was that an asterisk?). A decade later there was the Centenary Tour with its celebratory double ascent of Alpe d'Huez, a race almost entirely dominated by Britain's Chris Froome.

    This year it was the opportunity for Australia to celebrate their own personal ton milestone in the world's biggest cycling race - a century after Donald 'Don' Kirkman and Iddo 'Snowy' Munro became the first Australians to take part in the Tour in 1914.

    Munro's back story was particularly compelling: in 1909 the diminutive

    Read More »from Australia celebrates a century in the Tour de France
  • Birthday boy Bernard badgers bad-boy Lance

    In defence of Lance Armstrong (sort of)

    Bernard Hinault rides on the Champs-Elysees ahead of the 2012 final stage of the Tour de France.Bernard Hinault rides on the Champs-Elysees ahead of the 2012 final stage of the Tour de France.
    Five-times Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault has taken the occasion of his 60th birthday to further twist the knife into the rotting carcass that is Lance Armstrong.

    Speaking to French media ahead of his landmark on Friday, Hinault - the last Frenchman to win the world's biggest cycling race, way back in 1985 - could barely disguise his disgust when the American's name was brought up.

    "Him? He no longer exists. We put a big line through his name. Au revoir Monsieur! Get out and don't come back! We don't need to talk about him any more," snapped Hinault before - presumably - hawking loudly

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  • As Lampre wield the axe, what now for Chris Horner?

    USA cycling star must re-evaluate career again

    Chris Horner at Lampre (IMAGO)Chris Horner at Lampre (IMAGO)

    Less than a year after Lampre-Merida gave then-Vuelta champion Chris Horner a lifeline, the veteran American finds himself looking for similar goodwill after his employers refused to prolong his contract into the 2015 season. 

    The snub from Lampre means 43-year-old Horner is scrambling to find somewhere to ply his trade for a second consecutive year - much like a poor freelancer looking for their next gig. 

    Unlike most of us poor freelancers, however, Horner is not exactly poor - although he may find himself having to reduce quite substantially his lofty financial demands. He already had to

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  • Blazin' Saddles: Sagan, Roche, Mollema... 2015 Transfer Round-Up

    Here are the main ins-and-outs of the cycling's major teams - in alphabetical order.

    Cannondale team rider Peter Sagan of Slovakia cycles during Point Race 1 at the Tour de France Saitama Criterium race in Saitama, north of Tokyo October 25, 2014Cannondale team rider Peter Sagan of Slovakia cycles during Point Race 1 at the Tour de France Saitama Criterium race in Saitama, north of Tokyo October 25, 2014

    With the dust settled on the 2014 cycling season it's time to look at who's coming and who's going ahead of the next campaign.

    The biggest wholesale shake-ups involve the Garmin-Cannondale merger, Giant's hair-raising new co-sponsor, the addition of a second national lottery to the pro peloton and Omega Pharma's three-year sabbatical (with something/someone called Etixx quick-stepping into the fold).

    Here are the main ins-and-outs of the cycling's major teams - in alphabetical order.

    AG2R-LA MONDIALE
    IN: Jan Bakelants, Johan van Summeren
    Out: Yauheni Hutarovich, Davide Appollonio, Maxime Bouet,

    Read More »from Blazin' Saddles: Sagan, Roche, Mollema... 2015 Transfer Round-Up
  • Tour de France supremo Christian Prudhomme (Reuters)Tour de France supremo Christian Prudhomme (Reuters)

    While race director Christian Prudhomme demonstrated his ability to get down with the kids at the 2015 Tour de France presentation in Paris, next year's route has Chris Froome very much questioning his participation.

    Nevertheless bullish in an accountant's grey suit, Prudhomme - all 1.90m of him - took to the stage to wax lyrical about the exponential growth of cycling the world over.

    "The bike is trendy and fashionable," the 53-year-old Frenchman said. "Some of the younger generation might say that the bike is 'swag'," Prudhomme added with a smile - no doubt sparking a surge of hits on the

    Read More »from Prudhomme's Tour de France swagger leaves Froome unimpressed
  • Thor Hushovd during this year's Arctic Race (AFP)Thor Hushovd during this year's Arctic Race (AFP)

    Who's the odd one out - former world champion cyclist Thor Hushovd, wily Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde or chunky goal-shy footballer Wayne Rooney?

    The answer, of course, is Hushovd - the only of the three to have had a successful hair implant.

    In fact, Norway's most famous recently-retired rider has had two of them - or so he admits in his autobiography, 'Thor', which was released in Norway on Wednesday.

    Cycling blogger Blazin' Saddles looks at how this bombshell - in an alternative world - may have played out for the man known as the Bull from Grimstad...

    - - -

    Hushovd's Hair

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  • Contador, Quintana, Froome and NibaliContador, Quintana, Froome and Nibali

    Cycling's holy quartet have been made an offer they surely can't refuse - or can they? Blazin' Saddles investigates...

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    Flamboyant Saxo-Tinkoff owner Oleg Tinkov has promised to stump up €1 million to cycling's crème de la crème if they commit to riding all three Grand Tours next season.

    Speaking at the unveiling of the 2015 Giro d'Italia route in Milan this week, the bouffant billionaire wisecracked: "If [Nairo] Quintana, [Chris] Froome, [Vincenzo] Nibali and [Alberto] Contador all agree to ride all three Grand Tours, I'll get Tinkoff Bank to put up €1 million."

    In his latest bid to turn

    Read More »from Crazy billionaire throws down €1 million gauntlet to Froome, Contador, Nibali and Quintana