• La Vuelta: Release the Carrefour men in red

    August 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

    They appear as beautiful people; the purest of the pure, looking alike and raised on what must be a diet of alpine glacial water and soya beans. They’re fresh, and curiously single minded, as if programmed to detest [...]
  • La Vuelta: Tolhoek hits the (invisible) wall

    August 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

    You imagine Antwan Tolhoek had to break through some walls to get a slot on the Lotto Jumbo squad for the Vuelta a Espana. First there was the task of getting a slot on the Roompot team in 2016, then making the leap to the [...]
  • Robin Carpenter had a problem, and not just that he was laying flat on the concrete. The race was getting away from him, that much was true, but he’d banged his head and torn off half his jersey. That meant dazed, and [...]
  • The organisers of the Tour of Utah had made their intentions clear. Their race would not be ordinary, nor would it pander to convention. Instead it would suit crazy people, specifically those with maps, crayons, and an [...]
  • Like the leader of a troupe of tragedians looking for an audience, Alberto Contador started Stage 17 of the Tour ready to put on a show. Playing the famous version of himself – a bit like John Wayne in a western, rather [...]
  • The explorer Ernest Shackleton famously placed an ad in the Times of London to recruit the crew of his doomed South Pole expedition. It simply read: “MEN WANTED”. Shackleton was clear about the dangers that lay ahead: [...]
  • Pierre-Luc Perichon must have figured it would be difficult to win TV time when the race rolled through Romain Bardet country. But he wasn’t going to let name unrecognition prevent him from enjoying some limelight, at [...]
  • It’s a demanding job, soigneur. Your working day starts before everyone wakes up, and ends after everyone else has gone to bed, making the hours pretty brutal. But imbued with a team spirit, and an enviable proximity to [...]
  • It was Bastille Day on the Tour, and as is the custom French riders made sure to appear intent on winning the stage, even if their legs weren’t really up for it. One after one they hammered away at the pointy end, seeking [...]
  • Domestiques know their fate even before the race begins. The deal is there’s no glory, little chance of a stage win, and no exceptions. The leader comes first. That goes for when you’re lying wounded in the middle of the [...]