10 Riders That Got Me Hooked on Pro Cycling

I’ve always endeavoured to blog about old races when gaps appear in the current racing calendar. For some time I’ve wanted to write about my favourite riders or the ones I remember cheering when I watched my first Tours.

My appreciation of some riders has waned after sins were confessed or discovered over the last decade. I grew up through a horrible era for pro cycling and possibly one of the most tarnished eras in sport. Thankfully, rife doping didn’t stop the racing from being enjoyable and I hold fond memories of several performances from the 90s and early 2000s. Here are ten riders that led to my cycling obsession.

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Tom Dumoulin: Grand Tour Winner

At what point in this year’s Giro d’Italia did Tom Dumoulin become the favourite? He certainly looked a threat on Blockhaus, catching and passing Vincenzo Nibali before piling forty seconds into the reigning champion. He immediately looked every bit as strong a climber as his compatriots Bauke Mollema and Steven Kruijswijk (the latter having a particularly bad day). He received big praise for his typically measured ride but we all wondered if his time trialling prowess had taken a hit as a result of his leaner build. By the time he handed everybody a thorough beating in Montefalco these concerns had been swept away. The transition was almost complete.

DUmoulin Giro win.jpg

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What Won’t Happen In The Giro This Week (3)

The Giro d’Italia in an alternative universe.

Belt up. The final week is here. Today’s stage is a monster with a trifecta of huge ascents in the Mortirolo, Stelvio and Umbrail Pass. Wednesday is weird with a long false flat to the line posing no real difficulty. It’s non-stop climbing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday before Milan hosts a 30k time trial to bring proceedings to a close.

Tom Dumoulin’s flying, Vincenzo Nibali’s still playing poker, nobody can gauge Nairo Quintana and Thibaut Pinot hasn’t fully popped yet. The only thing we can be sure of is Victor Campenaerts’ ability to secure a date.

Pinot

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What Won’t Happen in The Giro This Week (2)

The Giro d’Italia in an alternative universe.

The Giro d’italia trundled through its first week proper with Bob Jungels seizing the Maglia Rosa on Mt.Etna and holding it for four days before cracking on Blockhaus. Boredom reached channel-switching levels on Stage 7 as approximately nothing happened for 223km before Caleb Ewan, Fernando Gaviria and Sam Bennett took part in a three-man drag race. Things heated up on Stage 8 and the route from Molfetta to Peschici served as fantastic antipasti for the following day’s big summit finish. On Blockhaus, Geraint Thomas was involved in a terrible crash (a moto was involved, again) before Nairo Quintana danced away for victory and Tom Dumoulin hauled himself into contention.

But what’s going to happen this week…

Foliforov ITTRead More »

What Won’t Happen At The Giro This Week

The Giro d’Italia in an alternative universe.

This week’s Giro d’Italia has plenty in store. Today’s rest day sees riders travel from Cagliari down to Palermo. You could be forgiven for thinking there was no need for a full day’s rest but the two Island capitals are further apart than you’d think. Flying seems the only option with the Tirrenia ferry company promoting an eleven hour boat trip. Surely one of the remaining 195 riders would moan about a possible day at sea?

Nibali InterviewRead More »