Sunday, September 25, 2011

World Champs: Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas interviews

World Champs: Mark Cavendish takes the Rainbow Jersey Ahead of Matt Goss

Mark Cavendish becomes the first male British Road Cycling World Champion, since Tom Simpson did it in 1965, after a tense sprint to the line.

Cavendish already has two Madison World Championship titles and came in to this year’s event as one of the clear favourites. There were some tense moments as his lead out men Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard looked frantically around for the Manxman. Thomas has to drop down the field, as they were heading around the final corner, to find him, but the Welshman delivered him to the front on time.

The Manx express then had to do the work for himself, with none of his teammates around; he clung to the back wheels of his rivals. He finally launched his attack with around 200 metres to go and beat his, soon to be former, trade team teammate Matt Goss, by half a bike length. With the demise of HTC Goss will be moving to Green Edge and is looking to make his mark on the sprinting world. The Aussie got a good lead out from, his German-born, teammate Heinrich Haussler, but he couldn’t quite manage to stay ahead of Cav.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

World Champs: Bronzini and Vos interviews

World Champs: Bronzini retains her title while Vos settles for another second

Giorgia Bronzini rode to her second consecutive World Road Championship, while Marianne Vos had to settle for second yet again.

Bronzini and her Italian team timed the sprint to perfection, as she launched herself off the front and beat Vos by a mere half a wheel. Vos ran out of road, as she chased the defending champion, and had to settle for her fifth silver medal in a row. The Dutch rider tried to move out from behind the bunch, but Teutenberg was also beginning her sprint and momentarily blocked her. This is now Italy’s fourth women’s title in five years, only interrupted by Nicole Cooke in Verese.

Teutenberg’s attack faded towards the line and she was passed by Vos, but still managed to hold off Cooke. It looked like it was going to be an exact repeat of the podium in Geelong, but Cooke timed it slightly wrong and couldn’t catch up with the German. Her teammate Lizzie Armitstead was, for many, one of the pre race favourites, but she could only manage seventh.

Video: Pat McQuaid "Cycling has an anit-doping culture"

World Champs: Fabian Cancellara Pre-Race Interview

World Champs: Thor Hushovd Pre-Race press conference

Friday, September 23, 2011

World Champs: Elite Men's Road Race 2011 Start List

1 Thor Hushovd NORWAY
2 Kurt Asle Arvesen
3 Edvald Boasson Hagen
4 Gabriel Rasch

5 Carlos Barredo Llamazeles SPAIN
6 Imanol Erviti Ollo
7 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni
8 Oscar Freire Gomez
9 Juan Manuel Garate Cepa
10 Pablo Lastras Garcia
11 Vicente Raynes Mimo
12 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil
13 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil

World Champs: Elite Women's Road Race 2011 Start List

1 Giorgia Bronzini ITALY
2 Monia Baccaille
3 Noemi Cantele
4 Elena Cecchini
5 Tatiana Guderzo
6 Elisa Longo Borghini
7 Valentina Scandolara
8 Alessandra D'Ettorre

9 Chantal Blaak NETHERLANDS
10 Lucinda Brand
11 Martine Bras
12 Loes Gunnewijk
13 Annemiek Van Vleuten
14 Marianne Vos
15 Kirsten Wild

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

World Champs: Top-Three Elite Men Interviews

World Champs: Tony Martin Destroys the Field to make it two for Germany

Tony Martin destroyed the field, to take his first World Time-Trial championship, by over a minute to Bradley Wiggins in Copenhagen.

Martin went out of the blocks full steam ahead and passed two riders on the way to the finish line, including, the man who beat him to silver in 2010, David Millar. He has had a good run in to the world championships, taking the ITT in the Vuelta in a similar fashion, which many people saw as a sign of what was to come. Nothing seemed to faze the German and defied expectations, by keeping up his high pace on the second lap of the city. Many riders had made the mistake of going out to hard, before fading quickly, but Martin just went faster.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

World Champs: Judith Arndt talks about her Gold Medal Time-Trial

World Champs: Judith Arndt finally takes Gold in the Women's TT

Judith Arndt stormed to victory in the Elite Women’s time-trial, in a wet Copenhagen, beating Linda Villumsen and Emma Pooley to the top spot.

Arndt has only one second place to her name, for 2011, but showed form in a recent invitation race.  The German looked like she had the race under control from the start, passing the first check point only a handful of seconds down on the current leader Clara Hughes. She managed to keep her high pace up and benefited from other riders completing a slower second lap.

World Champs: Elite Men Time-Trial Start list 2011

12:30:00 LAGAB Azzedine Lagab
12:31:30 Tyron Giorgieri
12:33:00 Ivan Mauricio Casas Buitrago
12:34:30  Ioannis Tamouridis
12:36:00 Pavol Polievka
12:37:30 Michael Morkov
12:39:00 Vitaliy Popkov
12:40:30 Semere Mengis
12:42:00 Carlos Oyarzun
12:43:30 Martin Kohler
12:45:00 Jesse Sergent
12:46:30 Thomas de Gendt
12:48:00 Matias Medici
12:49:30 Eugen Wacker
12:51:00 Maciej Bodnar
12:52:30 Gediminas Bagdonas
12:54:00 Dimitri Champion

World Champs: Women's Elite Time-Trial Start List 2011

14:00:00 Kathryn Bertine
14:01:30 Elena Tchalykh
14:03:00 Seba Alraai
14:04:30 Liesbet de Vocht
14:06:00 Monrudee Chapookham
14:07:30 Melodie Lesueur
14:09:00 Rhae-Christie Shaw
14:10:30 Aleksandra Sosenko
14:12:00 Valeria Muller
14:13:30 Olena Pavlukhina
14:15:00 Alenka Novak
14:16:30 Michelle Lauge Jensen
14:18:00 Eneritz Iturriagaechevarrua Mazaga
14:40:00 Verónica Leal Balderas
14:41:30 Nontasin Chanpeng
14:43:00 Claire Fraser
14:44:30 Martina Sablikova
14:46:00 Julia Shaw
14:47:30 Dinah Chan

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vuelta a España - Exciting or Trying too hard

The Vuelta a España has been one of the Grand Tours and a regular on the calendar since 1955, but many people think it should hang it’s cycling shoes up and give the sport for another race.

Bing or Bust?
So what did the 2011 edition of the Vuelta a España do to quell its critics and was it exciting or just trying too hard. It certainly wasn’t the easiest, in a year where the Grand Tours have really challenged the riders in the extreme. The 2011 Vuelta was not one for the light hearted and I think it produced some of the most exciting racing this year. None of the “flat stages” were ever really flat and with gradients that reached 23%, you had t dig deep.

Video: Final Stage of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana

The first video is the peloton and the support vehicles going through after to finish their third lap of the Madrid circuit.

La Vuelta a España 2011 - Stage 21 - Gallery


A collection of my photos taken during the final stage of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana. Sorry there are only descriptions for some, but I will get around to updating them all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Video: La Vuelta 2011 - Stage 21

So I popped down to Madrid and took in the final stage of this year's Vuelta a Espana and I wasn't dissapointed. Juanjo Cobo's fans were out in force, with their drums and cowbells, making a brilliant atmosphere. I even managed to find a few of the riders after the stage and took a lot of pictures. So here are a few of the pictures I took, set the the Vuelta's theme tune Como Yo, by La Fe de Manuela. I am currently uploading my pictures to Flickr and they should all be on the blog by tomorrow, so enjoy the video.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Video: Juanjo Cobo wins on the Angliru (interview/entrevista in Spanish)

VaE: Cobo takes red as Sky falter on the Angliru

Juan Jose Cobo assumed the lead of the Vuelta a Espana, after a solo attack up the very difficult Alto de l’Angliru on stage 15.

Cobo went off the front, with 6km left, and never looked troubled, even on the 23% sections. The Spaniard kept pedalling at a constant rate, which enabled him to gradually pull out a big enough gap to take the red jersey. In contrast Bradley Wiggins struggled and even began to weave across the road, on certain sections.  By the time he reached the finish line, he had been distanced by his teammate Chris Froome.

Nobody was aware of the distancing until they came to the line, as the camera bike following them succumbed to the gradient and fell over. With the time bonuses taken in to account, Cobo now sits at the top of the GC with Froome 20 seconds behind him and Wiggins down to third. The directors at team Sky will have a tough rest day, deciding who will assume the race leadership. Wiggins may now be forced to work for Froome, to try and ensure Sky leave the race with the red jersey.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Video: Interview/entrevista Juan Jose Cobo (In Spanish)

Video: Rein Taaramae "I have cramp in my legs, but I'm happy"

VaE: Nibali blows as Wiggins confirms his Vuelta lead on Stage 14

Bradley Wiggins may not have won the stage, but he looks like he may have just won the Vuelta, after a superb ride by himself and Chris Froome, on Stage 14.

Froome really put the hammer down, with two kilometres to go and immediately began to shell riders off the back of the peloton. Wiggins made sure to keep a tight hold of his Kenyan-born teammate’s back wheel and even took a few turns on the front. Next came the unexpected and Vincenzo Nibali popped and fell off the back.

The Italian was probably regretting not making a go of it on one of the several descents, which preceded the final climb. Joaquin Rodriguez couldn’t keep up with the pace either and was quick to join Nibali’s pity party, further down the mountain. When the finish finally came Wiggins had put a huge 1 minute 16 seconds, between himself and the defending champion. The effort really showed on the red jersey holder, after the finish line, as he slumped on to the front of his handlebars.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Video: Bradley Wiggins just about retains the red jersey

VaE: Albasini wins in Ponferrada, as Nibali moves closer to red

Michael Albasini took, probably, the Vuelta’s slowest sprint finish and the biggest stage victory, of his career on stage 13.

Albasini finished in a group of 18 riders and had the legs on all of them, bringing the bike home around two lengths over Eros Capecchi. The big Swiss rider, who won last year’s Tour of Britain, sprung out of the group with about 500 to go and was uncatchable. Daniel Moreno gave Katusha a boost, with yet another stage victory for the Russian outfit. Nicolas Roche couldn’t manage the sprint, but still rode over in 5th place. He now sits just outside the top 10 and with the times so close at the moment, he could find himself in there very soon.

A few tight bends towards the end cause some trouble, but nobody was injured. Jan Bakelandts came unstuck at a roundabout, after he misjudged the bend and lost control of his back wheel. The Belgian was still clipped in to his pedals, as he tried to get off the ground. Saved by the padding over the road furniture, he was able to finish 15 seconds down on Albasini.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Video: Sagan wins stage 12

VaE: Sagan wins again

Peter Sagan continued his Vuelta to remember, by winning Stage 12 and his second of this year’s Vuelta.

Sagan, who is only riding his debut Grand Tour, powered up the uphill finish and beat John Degankolb by over a bikes length. The Slovakian showed he is one to watch, by winning the Tour of Poland and moved himself closer to the sprinter’s jersey in this race. Unlike his first victory, the Liquigas rider was lacking in teammates and had to rely on his pace to get to the line.