Latest Entries

“The ribs around the lungs” – why Bike Pure is so much more than just wristbands and spacers

World Champion Rui Costa wears one. So does Nico Roche. They’ve been seen on the wrists of Jonathan Vaughters, Cameron Mayer and Russell Downing. They are the distinctive blue Bike Pure wristband that signifies an individual’s commitment to “protect the integrity of cycling and promote clean cyclesport. Cycling fans worldwide deserve heroes they can believe … Continue reading

Wild Cards, Wild Choices

After endless tweets urging us to vote for our wild card selections for the 2014 Giro, RCS have released the names of the lucky 3 who will line up in Belfast in May. And, surprise, surprise, they’re all Italian. I don’t have a huge problem with this in itself – I’ve always been of the … Continue reading

CIRC or Circus? Truth without reconciliation and learning from past mistakes

What links Alberto Contador, extraordinary rendition  and the Branjevo Farm? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is the composition of the UCI’s Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) – or UCI IC v2.0 – announced on 8th January. Set up to “investigate the problems cycling has faced in recent years, especially the allegations that the UCI has been … Continue reading

1968-1975 Days of the Cannibal

1968-1975 Days of the Cannibal

1968 TOUR DE LA SANTE It started, symbolically, in Vittel – the spa town synonymous with the water bottled there (that has, coincidentally, been one of the partners of the Tour since 2001). The directeurs and the riders, realising that heads could no longer remain in the sand after the Simpson tragedy, declared they’d be happy to submit … Continue reading

1961-1967 From Triumph to Tragedy

1961-1967 From Triumph to Tragedy

1961 RETURN OF THE MASTER It was over before it began, really. Jacques Anquetil had been saying since the winter “I’m going to win the Tour de France” and he did, wearing the Maillot Jaune from the first day to the last – though Andre Darrigade wore it in the morning of the 25 June, winning stage … Continue reading

1956 – 1960 5 Tours, 5 Champions

1956 – 1960 5 Tours, 5 Champions

1956 ROGER WALKOWIAK AND THE ECHAPE BIDON Who doesn’t love a long, lone breakaway? Picking out the red dossard of the winner of the prix de la Comabtivite? Cheering on the plucky underdog as he tries manfully, often hopelessly, to resist the might of the peloton bearing down on him? There is something extraordinary about watching the escape … Continue reading

1951-1955 Glory Days

1951-1955 Glory Days

   1951 LE PEDALEUR DE CHARME This tale can only be about one man – Wim Van Est. And of course Hugo Koblet. We’ll give a tip of the hat to ‘wrong way’ Zaaf who would emerge as the race’s lanterne rouge and lament the mass abandon of the Netherlands team on stage 14. The race would … Continue reading

1923-1929  Beyond the Hexagon

1923-1929 Beyond the Hexagon

1923 ENFIN PELISSIER! And finally it was Henri de France – the man that Desgrange declared would never win the Tour and with whom he enjoyed a love/hate relationship – who made Desgrange eat his words and carried off the first French victory since 1911. But it’s not the victor we’re here to honour, but … Continue reading

1909 – 1914 Alcyon Days

1909 – 1914 Alcyon Days

1909 EQUIPES & ISOLES Petit-Breton said that Faber would win the 1909 Tour and the Luxembourgeois duly obliged, winning 5 stages in a row to seal his place in Tour de France history. The word panache might have been coined for Francois Faber – he took one stage with a 255km echappee solitaire finishing 33 minutes ahead of his rivals, another by … Continue reading

1903-1908 Les Jours de Gloire

1903-1908 Les Jours de Gloire

1903 STARS & HANDLEBARS 109 years before the Sun newspaper gave away cut out and stick on Wiggo sideburns, the riders of the 1903 Tour de France were collectively rocking the finest facial hair seen in the peloton. The history of that first race is told well here but here’s something to ponder: the average speed for the 2,428 km … Continue reading