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Cycling In the News ...

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Sun, 26 Nov 2023 11:00:16 GMT

Call of the cobbles: the joy of cycling in Flanders
Posted on Sunday November 26, 2023

The notorious pavé leaves this rider shaken and stirred, but the the gorgeous scenery of Belgium’s cycling heartland more than makes up for it

The Belgians love their cycling, but the Flemish worship it. The Flanders half of Belgium is laced with dedicated cycle routes carefully delineated and signposted. Whole towns close for road races. Bike sculptures lurk in fields. Posters of famous riders pepper high streets. Cycling runs deep in the culture here: that background hum you can hear? It’s the ceaseless whirr of oiled chain on metal cog.

As a result, cyclists from this part of the world, dubbed Flandriens, are deemed among the toughest on the planet thanks to their years of endurance in the wind and rain that tears across this open, flat country during the chill months, and for their ability to stay upright on the painful, treacherous cobbles.

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Fri, 17 Nov 2023 22:15:26 GMT

Ineos Grenadiers confirm departure of deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth
Posted on Friday November 17, 2023

  • Ellingworth will leave British team at the end of this year
  • Coach behind development of Cavendish, Thomas and Wiggins

Rod Ellingworth, the coach behind the career development of Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins, and also a pivotal figure in the era of British domination of the Tour de France, has left the Ineos Grenadiers team.

In a statement released on Friday evening, the British team, owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, confirmed Ellingworth’s departure. “The Ineos Grenadiers can confirm that deputy team principal, Rod Ellingworth, will be leaving the team at the end of the year. No further comment will be made at this stage.”

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Tue, 07 Nov 2023 16:00:45 GMT

Future for Tour of Britain men’s race in balance over dispute with promoter
Posted on Tuesday November 07, 2023

  • British Cycling terminates agreement with SweetSpot
  • Governing body claims £700,000 owed in unpaid rights fees

The future of the men’s Tour of Britain is hanging by a thread after the governing body, British Cycling, terminated its agreement with SweetSpot, the race promoter, in what they claim is a financial dispute over unpaid rights fees.

The ending of British Cycling’s deal with SweetSpot means that, unless a new promoter can be found in the immediate future, the race is effectively cancelled and risks being removed from the 2024 programmes of the world’s leading riders and teams.

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Sat, 04 Nov 2023 23:00:02 GMT

Italian ultra-endurance cyclist returns to Antarctica crossing where isolation is the enemy
Posted on Saturday November 04, 2023

In his first attempt to traverse Antarctica last year, Omar Di Felice was prepared for minus 38C temperatures and gale force winds — but not extreme loneliness

In his attempt last year to undertake the first coast-to-coast crossing of Antarctica by bicycle, Italy’s Omar Di Felice thought he had prepared for everything. The experienced ultra-endurance cyclist had a customised, wide-tyred steel bicycle, known as a “fatbike”, enough supplies for an unsupported, 60-day crossing and clothing to keep him warm through temperatures as low as minus 38C.

Only he had not reckoned with the mental challenges of undertaking such a journey – especially as his family went through personal problems back in Italy. Last December, eight days and almost 100km into the expedition, Di Felice decided to pull the pin.

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Fri, 03 Nov 2023 13:05:46 GMT

Sports quiz of the week: South Africa, Ballon d’Or and Tyson Fury
Posted on Friday November 03, 2023

Have you been following the big stories in football, rugby, cricket, pool, cycling, boxing and tennis?

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Sat, 28 Oct 2023 10:04:04 GMT

Elite cycling the target of Saudi-backed Champions League-style calendar
Posted on Saturday October 28, 2023

  • New format could be in place by 2026 with PIF backing
  • Tour de France organisation remains resistant to proposal

Cycling could be on the verge of a LIV Golf moment after Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) was linked to a wholesale restructure of the European racing calendar.

As the 2024 Tour de France was launched in Paris this week, speculation increased that a multimillion-euro Champions League-style format would be in place by 2026, with PIF cited by sources as a possible investor. The Saudi investment in several sports has been controversial and created rifts in golf after the establishment of the LIV Series, which harvested marquee names from the long-established PGA Tour.

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Wed, 25 Oct 2023 16:00:30 GMT

Nice finish to tough Tour de France 2024 route as race misses Paris for first time
Posted on Wednesday October 25, 2023

  • ‘It’s so hard’ says Mark Cavendish of challenge to sprinters
  • Women’s race begins in Netherlands, ends at Alpe d’Huez

The margins of success in the men’s Tour de France grow slimmer every year and the defending champion, Jonas Vingegaard, knows he will have to be at his very best to take a third win in 2024, given that Tadej Pogacar, Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel – all Grand Tour winners in their own right – will also be targeting final victory on the French Riviera on 21 July.

The 2024 men’s Tour starts earlier than usual, on 29 June, to allow a week between the end of the race in Nice, for the first time in history outside the capital, and the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Paris. The Grand Départ in Florence heralds three stages in Italy, before the convoy heads across the Alps into France, racing from Piedmont to the climbs of the Haute Savoie.

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Tue, 24 Oct 2023 12:04:14 GMT

Geraint Thomas: ‘I still feel I’ve got it, and I’d love to make it to a fifth Olympics’
Posted on Tuesday October 24, 2023

The 37-year-old explains he has not signed a new two-year deal with Ineos Grenadiers to make up the numbers and has big plans for the year ahead

“The main reason for carrying on is that I’m still enjoying it,” Geraint Thomas says as, at the age of 37, he considers the new two-year contract he has just signed with his struggling team Ineos Grenadiers. Thomas won the Tour de France in 2018 and, this year, he narrowly missed winning the Giro d’Italia when he finished second after leading the race until an agonising time trial on the penultimate day.

Thomas now plans a further big tilt at a grand tour as well as chasing another medal in his fifth Olympic Games in Paris next summer. “Why not?” he says cheerfully. “I’m still riding well.”

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Fri, 20 Oct 2023 11:31:26 GMT

Clare Harris obituary
Posted on Friday October 20, 2023

My sister, Clare Harris, who has died aged 63 from cancer, was a remarkable fell runner, triathlete, cyclist and inspirational individual.

Clare worked as a buyer for companies including Regatta, Lakeland and Lancashire Wildlife Trust, but her work was very much a means to support her active life outdoors. Later on she took up cross-country skiing and cycling and had many trips around Britain and Europe with her husband, Nick Harris, whom she met in 2003, and married on a Scottish hillside in 2013, with the couple wearing matching running tops and shorts.

Born in Leicester, to John Sutton, a lecturer in printing, and Carol (nee Walker), a radiographer, Clare grew up in Plymouth, where swimming, sailing and walking on Dartmoor were family activities. At Plymstock school she was in sports teams for athletics, cross country, hockey and swimming.

After studying chemistry at Trent Polytechnic, Clare moved to Lancashire and became a member of a number of fell running clubs, including Kendal, where she was a ladies fell-running champion. She won numerous medals, including First Lady in the Manx Mountain Marathon in 1999, and completed her Bob Graham Round (42 Lakeland peaks in 24 hours) in 1989 - only the 32nd woman to achieve this.

In 1994, Clare visited Nepal to take part in the Everest Mountain Marathon, raising £7,000 for Water Aid, and then in 1996-97 she embarked on a (very) late gap year and travelled around the world by bicycle with a friend. She was a member of the Calder Valley Fell Runners women’s team during the golden period from 2003-08, when they won 11 British and English team medals. In the 2006 British relays, which Calder Valley were hosting, Clare ran the anchor leg after jumping out of the commentary box to grab the baton for the winning run, then returning to it to announce the win. In recent years she started cycling and taking part in triathlons, and in April 2022 she won a Female Vet 60 triathlon trophy and cycled the 170-mile Way of the Roses from Morecambe to Bridlington.

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Tue, 10 Oct 2023 18:00:16 GMT

Alex Dowsett: ‘Professional cycling is fragile – billionaires come in, invest and get blown away’
Posted on Tuesday October 10, 2023

The former Team Sky rider on the state of the sport, the Richard Freeman revelations and rooming with Bradley Wiggins

“The world of professional bike racing is a total shitshow,” Alex Dowsett suggests in a wry observation, “and I am grateful and privileged to have been a part of it for so many years.” Dowsett raced professionally for a dozen years, winning two stages of the Giro d’Italia and becoming a six‑time national time trial champion before his retirement last October.

Now, in his immensely readable and revealing new book he also explains that road cycling is a business where the suffering rider leaves his chances for glory “in the shaky hands of teams that are both state-of-the-art and shambolic”.

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Fri, 06 Oct 2023 13:35:49 GMT

Primoz Roglic leaves Jumbo-Visma for Bora-Hansgrohe in blockbuster switch
Posted on Friday October 06, 2023

  • Slovenian moves after eight years at dominant Dutch team
  • Tour de France is the primary title that still evades rider

Cycling giants Jumbo-Visma are losing one of their trio of Grand Tour winners this season after Primoz Roglic announced his transfer to join Bora-Hansgrohe on Friday.

Roglic’s move, despite a Jumbo-Visma contract through 2025, will let him focus on the 2024 Tour de France as a team leader and was confirmed at a Bora-Hansgrohe news conference before the Tour of Lombardy race.

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Wed, 04 Oct 2023 12:31:56 GMT

'Just one more year, hey?': Mark Cavendish announces he will continue to race – video
Posted on Wednesday October 04, 2023

Mark Cavendish will continue to compete for Astana-Qazaqstan in 2024 despite announcing his retirement in May. The 38-year-old is targeting a record-breaking 35th Tour de France stage win. The 38-year-old had announced during the Giro d’Italia in May that he intended to end his glittering career this winter. He went into this summer’s Tour seeking the stage win that would move him clear of Eddy Merckx after he equalled the Belgian on 34 stage wins in 2021 but he fell a few metres short of victory and suffered injury a few days later. Cavendish has now released a short video in which he said he had been persuaded to race on by his family.

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Wed, 04 Oct 2023 08:30:29 GMT

‘I just love riding my bike’: Mark Cavendish announces he will race on
Posted on Wednesday October 04, 2023

  • 38-year-old had planned to end his career this winter
  • He needs one more Tour de France stage win to set record

Mark Cavendish will postpone his retirement plans in order to race on in 2024 and target a record-breaking 35th Tour de France stage win.

Cavendish confirmed the long-rumoured news in a short video on Wednesday morning, saying, “Just one more year, hey?”

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Fri, 22 Sep 2023 13:39:47 GMT

Sports quiz of the week: Johnny Sexton, Solheim Cup and a strange sacking
Posted on Friday September 22, 2023

Have you been following the big stories in football, rugby union, golf, F1, cycling, rugby league and the NFL?

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Mon, 18 Sep 2023 08:00:22 GMT

Sepp Kuss brings back a GC victory – and likability – to US cycling
Posted on Monday September 18, 2023

The 29-year-old ended a long American drought with victory in the Vuelta a España. And he did so with a very different style to his predecessors

After a long wait, an American is once again at the center of the cycling universe. For three weeks, Sepp Kuss, the 29-year-old climber from Durango, Colorado, navigated the Pyrenees, the rampas inhumanas of Asturias, and threatening attacks from outside and within his own team. And he has emerged as the winner of the Vuelta a España.

This is the first grand tour win for an American since Chris Horner’s stunning victory over Vincenzo Nibali at the 2013 Vuelta. In the intervening years, no American man has won a world championship or a monument either; Kuss is the only American to even lead a grand tour since Horner, and the only American since 2011 to win a stage of the Tour de France.

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Sun, 17 Sep 2023 19:26:02 GMT

Sepp Kuss wins Vuelta a España with Kaden Groves taking sprint finish
Posted on Sunday September 17, 2023

  • Kuss the first American to win one of Grand Tours since 2013
  • Jumbo-Visma dominate with Jonas Vingegaard second

Sepp Kuss became the first American to win one of Europe’s Grand Tours since Chris Horner in 2013, arriving in Madrid on Sunday evening as champion of the 2023 Vuelta a España.

As the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider Kaden Groves won the Vuelta’s final sprint finish in the Spanish capital, Kuss’s Jumbo-Visma team took their third Grand Tour of the year, after winning the Giro d’Italia, through Primoz Roglic, and the Tour de France, through Jonas Vingegaard.

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Sat, 16 Sep 2023 16:05:22 GMT

Sepp Kuss set to win Vuelta a España as Wout Poels takes stage 20
Posted on Saturday September 16, 2023

  • American rider leads but without help from teammates
  • Rider flanked by Vingegaard and Roglic at finish line

Wout Poels of the Netherlands took victory in the penultimate stage of the Vuelta a España in Guadarrama, as, with only the ceremonial stage to Madrid remaining, American climber Sepp Kuss will complete an unprecedented Grand Tour grand slam for his sponsors, Jumbo-Visma.

Yet for all the high fives, warm hugs and fist bumps from superstar teammates, Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic during this year’s Vuelta, Kuss may still have spent much of the race expecting to pull a knife from his back.

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Fri, 15 Sep 2023 16:40:57 GMT

Vuelta a España: Kuss closes on glory as Dainese avoids crash to win stage 19
Posted on Friday September 15, 2023

  • Kaden Groves involved in late crash on day for sprinters
  • Kuss relieved to avoid spill as race becomes ‘stressful’

Alberto Dainese of Team DSM-Firmenich narrowly avoided a massive crash in the final kilometre to sprint to victory in stage 19 of the Vuelta a España, while Sepp Kuss of Jumbo-Visma finished safely in the peloton to retain the overall lead.

As the Vuelta enters its home stretch, riders left the mountains behind for a flat 177.5km ride from La Bañeza to Íscar, speeding through countryside at 80km/h at one point. A breakaway group of four were caught with 20km to go before the teams set themselves up for the sprint, with Ineos Grenadiers, Movistar and Bahrain Victorious driving the bunch.

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Thu, 14 Sep 2023 17:07:37 GMT

Vuelta a España: Jumbo-Visma steady the ship for Sepp Kuss after storm
Posted on Thursday September 14, 2023

  • Vingegaard and Roglic support leader after prior attacks
  • Remco Evenepoel solos to spectacular third win of race

Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel claimed his third victory in this year’s Vuelta a España with a solo attack on a mountainous stage 18 and Jumbo-Visma’s Sepp Kuss moved a step closer to winning his first Grand Tour.

Evenepoel blasted out of a breakaway group on the first of two climbs of the Puerto de La Cruz de Linares late in the 179km ride from Pola de Allande and was in a class of his own. The peloton, featuring the Jumbo-Visma trio of Kuss, Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic, finished nearly 10 minutes back, with Kuss emerging still in the maillot rojo after surviving the last big day in the mountains unscathed.

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Wed, 13 Sep 2023 17:26:27 GMT

Primoz Roglic climbs to Vuelta stage 17 win as Vingegaard cuts gap to Kuss
Posted on Wednesday September 13, 2023

  • Roglic outguns teammate Vingegaard to take mountain stage
  • Sepp Kuss’s lead cut to eight seconds in Jumbo-Visma top three

Primoz Roglic won a gruelling mountain stage 17 of Vuelta a España ahead of his teammate Jonas Vingegaard, as their Jumbo-Visma colleague, Sepp Kuss, retained the overall leader’s jersey by eight seconds.

The 124.5km course started at Ribadesella and featured two category-one ascents before finishing through the clouds on Altu de l’Angliru, with Jumbo-Visma again showing strength to last the distance.

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