Five Weird Pro Cycling Disqualifications

In recent years we’ve been treated to the stickiest of sticky bottles and the most ridiculous of car tows but nothing to challenge the great disqualifications of yesteryear. We did see Eduardo Sepulveda hitch a ride from a team car – nope, not his own – whilst searching for a spare wheel but many felt this was an innocent act of panic. Some race removals are even harder to believe especially with many not taking place on live feed cameras. Here are five of the, erm, best.

*Spoiler* – Sagan not included!

Sagan 2

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Paris-Roubaix: L’enfer du Nord

It is around this time every year that Paris-Roubaix arrives. It’s one of the races that riders will circle in their diaries or in the case of Bradley Wiggins this year- the only race. It’s a race so expansive in history that it carries an aura that the other Monuments can’t quite match. They may be longer, hillier or older but they don’t take riders from Paris to Roubaix and they aren’t referred to as the ‘Queen of the Classics’. This year’s race is likely to crown a new champion- unless holder Niki Terpstra can repeat his 2014 effort.

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Tour of Flanders Preview

Tomorrow morning 238 riders will start the 99th Tour of Flanders, or Ronde Van Vlaanderen to give the race its proper, untranslated name. The race is the second Monument of the year and the first on the cobbles of Belgium. Unlike Paris-Roubaix the cobbles and race length provide only half the challenge with hilly sections also testing the riders’ abilities. Racing cobbled climbs is a completely unique riding discipline and these ‘hellingen’ are either loved or hated by the Pro Tour riders. Famous hills include the Paterberg and Koppenberg- expect race defining moves on both. With triple winners Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara both missing out through injury, let’s take a look at the 2015 contenders.

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Catalunya, E3 and Wevelgem: Thomas impresses on the cobbles

Chris Froome, returning from illness, may have gone to Volta a Catalunya as team leader but it was team-mate Richie Porte who underlined his fantastic start to the season with another World Tour win. The first Girona climbs confirmed Froome was just riding for fitness and when Porte was given the chance to lead he showed strong legs once again. A stage eluded him, but he put himself in the right moves and came out on top- a total contrast to his performance at last year’s Tour. Triple stage winner Alejandro Valverde ultimately lost out for one bad stage but ended up just six seconds behind the Tasmanian. Elsewhere, the classics riders hit the cobbles of E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem.

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Tour of Qatar: Two-times for Terpstra

Niki Terpstra has defended his Tour of Qatar title, making it eight wins in ten years for his Belgian based team at the windiest race of the year. He produced an excellent time-trial to see off his rivals, but Alexander Kristoff applied late pressure by collecting back to back wins and earning 20 bonus seconds. The Norwegian ended up third, 9 seconds adrift, with Tinkoff rider Maciej Bodnar finishing between the two.

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