I am openly a Classics fan over the Grand Tours any day – the riders who shine in the early spring and the terrain that they cover makes for much better spectating in my opinion, and it’s all on the line in the one day races. That said, yesterday’s stage 5 at Le Tour was basically the Roubaix we’ve been waiting for the past decade – wet, fast and merciless. Nothing makes for entertainment quite like slick cobbles in the North of France, and yesterday was a testament to the fortitude of the hardmen of professional cycling – find the entire stage and see for yourself, or watch the ever-infomative Cosmo Catalano‘s recap above. Oh, and take that Sky – never should have played Wiggens out as you did.
A salute to all Team Sky Pro Cycling riders by sponsor Rapha… not just another sport.
Wiggo is a living legend, indisputable at this point. His 2012 was unparalleled and unprecedented, winning everything he entered and being transparently drug-free… just an absolute machine when it comes to training and enduring the suffering it requires to be a champion. Produced by his team lead sponsor in Sky Atlantic, Bradley Wiggins: A Year In Yellow provides an all-access behind the scenes look at the Wiggins family dynamic, his training regiment, and his unique sense of (wry) humour as he deals with his coaches, teammates, and the media. A compelling watch in the same vein as Hell on Wheels, I can’t recommend this documentary enough, and look forward to following team Sky during the 2013 season for more Wiggo dominance.
Note: unsurprisingly Sky Atlantic had the full length pulled from YouTube. Watch the trailer above then go find a torrent!
Rapha turns in another amazing iteration of their Continental series, this time riding with Greg LeMond around his hometown of Carson City, Nevada. With the events of the past few months in professional cycling front and centre in every fan’s collective consciousness, it is now safe to say that LeMond is the greatest American to put foot to pedal: if you need a reminder of why, please watch the 1989 TdF final stage time trial below, a only a part of LeMond’s heart, tenacity and legend.
Thanks to Logography for the tip, and I know I’m a few days late on these, but this photo journal of Le Tour by Boston.com is just too good not to repost. This year’s tour was tops, with heated action, Lance’s comeback story vs.Contador’s dominance, and a welcomed lack of doping headlines. These shots do a great job of capturing the competition: hit the jump for a few more of my favorites, and head here for the full set.
Somehow the name Svain Tuft had managed to not cross my radar until yesterday, when Duncan tipped me off to the Canadian cyclist’s amazing backstory. Born and raised near Langley, Tuft was as rugged a backcountry BC boy as you can get. When he turned 18 he rode 600 km or so in to the interior of the province with his dog sitting on a trailer hitched to his bike (a 10 speed). He’s also ridden alone to Alaska and hitched trains across the country, and didn’t enter the realm of professional cycling until the age of 24, a considerably late age for the sport. Recent accomplishments on the road include a national time trials championship, and a 7th in the men’s individual time trial at the Beijing Olympics. Even though Ryder Hesjedal is the only Canadian currently competing in the Tour De France, look for Tuft to hopefully ride in the next year or two for his team, Garmin-Slipstream. This NYT article paints a much more heroic picture than I ever could, but I gotta give Tuft huge accolades for taking a very different route in to the sport, out of love for the bicycle, the experience, and the speed. Most people I ever knew who were really athletically competitive from a younger age were thoroughly burnt out on the grind involved by about 20, so perhaps the late entry for Svein will work to his advantage. Guys like this make me want to buy a touring bike and go ride 100 km to a lake for the night, which could only be a good thing… you can currently follow Tuft racing the Tour Of Austria.