If there is one thing cyclists understand it is that mass media have a long way to go in reporting and commenting fairly about the sport and activity.
Few articles are balanced, many are deliberately inflammatory while others are betwixt and between, often written by journalists who simply have no idea even though they often say that they themselves are cyclists.
But as cyclists we’re used to that. Used to the misrepresentation, inflammatory comment and outright incitement.
If you think the climb up Mount Baw Baw is epic, think again! Photographer and cycling adventurer Steve Thomas shares his experience tackling six of the world’s biggest climbs.
The view from the top of Haleakala (Image: Creative Commons - Lea/Flickr)
The cobbled classic season came to a close Sunday with a fittingly climactic finale at Paris-Roubaix. Eleven riders still in contention with six kilometres to go, an uncertain outcome to the last. The race provided a spectacle worthy of the hype, but what of the riders and teams? Al Hinds assesses the impact of the riders and teams that made this year’s Roubaix the race it was.
Sep Vanmarcke, Belkin, 4th
Belgium’s new cobbled contender? Vanmarcke had one of the rides of the day, falling short only through a lack of allies and lack of road. The Belkin man was insatiable on Mons-en-Pevele, and the Carrefour de l’Arbre, stringing his rivals out on the toughest sections of road, with few able to follow. It was a display worthy of the promise he’d foreshadowed in 2013 but as the race regrouped again and again and the chunks of cobbled road petered out Vanmarcke was left with little to do but watch in frustration as the race turned procession in the final five kilometres, as Terpstra rode clear to the win. Still, a near faultless performance capping a brilliant spring. There’s always next year.
After a fast, furious, dusty and eventful day of racing the Paris-Roubaix, Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins proved he has the mettle to go further on the cobbles, if he chooses.
There were a number of questions hovering over Wiggins prior to the race; could he mix it with the best pavé riders in the world?
Even cycling’s king of the cobbles Fabian Cancellara seemed confused when asked about Sir Wiggo and cobbled classics, “Wiggins? Why?”
According to Anthony Tan, there’s little more than a one in a hundred chance that someone whose name is not Fabian Cancellara will win this year’s Paris-Roubaix. For the peloton’s dark horses, that’s enough of a carrot for a chance to be immortalised.
Barring a serious crash (or crashes), an inopportune puncture (is there ever a good time?), or a mechanical sans mechanic (waiting more than a minute for your team car happens not infrequently in this race), Fabian Cancellara will win Sunday.
It’s that simple, I’m afraid.