There was a lot in the 2015 Tour de France route unveil to take in. Al Hinds takes a look over some of its critical points.
Apparently sick of Peter Sagan winning the maillot vert at a canter, ASO has rebalanced the points system in a move that tries to reposition the classification. A massive 50 points is now on offer for the first over the line in any “flat” stage, with a quick drop-off to second (30) and third (20), putting a premium on winning stages over high finishes. The last two years has seen one solitary stage victory and a lot of seconds, thirds etc. deliver Peter Sagan the maillot vert, meanwhile Marcel Kittel, who notched up eight in the same period, finished fourth. The sentiment of the new system is good, the green jersey should be a sprinters classification to retain its relevance, but while the revisions will likely shake things up, there’s every chance Sagan could still win.
Time bonuses return to the Tour for the first time since 2007. The 10, 6, 4 bonuses on offer at the finish and 3, 2, 1, at the intermediates aren’t dramatic amounts but they do allow yellow to move around in the first week. A good move, and less chance of Fabian wearing yellow for the entirety of the first nine stages.
A need to remember, pitted against a need to forget... The tide has only just turned for the better, but the dance inside our heads that goes back and forth will long continue, writes Anthony Tan.
Why do we continue to talk about him?
Off the back of Cycling Central editor Phil Gomes' latest blog, 'Too soon to get the band back together?', Al Hinds, Rob Arnold and myself mused over him in this week's podcast (go to the 30:40 mark to listen).
Completing the Crocodile Trophy is less about superhuman feats of courage and fitness, and more about curiosity and determination, writes Kath Bicknell.
The Crocodile Trophy is an event I’ve followed from afar for years. Its current format sees riders take on nine stages over nine days, most of them around the 100km mark.
I’ve always imagined that if I did the Croc one day, I’d do as much as I could beforehand to reduce the suffering. I’d train the house down to give myself the best chance of covering that many kilometres in a reasonable time. I’d spend a heap of money on a comfortable, light weight race bike. I’d invest in the best knicks on offer to get my backside through all the sweat and corrugations…
When is it a good time to get the old band back together again? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself when I heard the news that several members of the 1999 Tour de France winning U.S. Postal Service (USPS) team would be riding together at the 25 October Gran Fondo Hincapie.
USPS alumni George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong Christian Vande Velde, Kevin Livingston, Michael Barry and Tom Danielson will be joined by the likes of fresh faced Tejay van Garderen and Alex Howes in the annual event.
We can be cynical jokers about this. I know I’ve already thought up a few not so funny zingers about blood bags and Motoman. It’s great fun for about ten seconds but I’m tired of making sport with these guys.
2014 Hincapie Gran Fondo jersey is actually graphical representation of GH's July hematocrit levels 1994-2012 pic.twitter.com/vNomN9qeaT
If we're "genetically hard-wired to eat" as the experts say, it follows that parents should be hard-wiring their children to exercise, too. Asks Anthony Tan, aside from walking, what easier way is there than to start with a bicycle?
"Australians are getting fatter, more quickly, than just about any other country in the world."
That's what ABC Four Corners reporter Geoff Thomson told the audience in last week's episode, 'Fat Chance', which focused on the Victorian town of Ararat - once one of the "fattest" towns in Australia - to see the effects of an ongoing community intervention to promote weight loss and improved health.