Andrew Hood recalls his first year covering the Giro d’Italia, 1996:
The old man had his hat in one hand and his rake in the other. I wasn’t sure how long he was standing there, but I suppose it was a rather odd sight to see an American sleeping under one of his olive trees. I waved “bongiorno,” quickly stuffed my sleeping bag into my rental car, and sped away. I wasn’t quite sure where I was, but I knew where I was going: Ostuni.
Stage 15 to Formigal was the end of Froome’s Vuelta. The stage was an illustration of a Sky without firepower. It was proof that the most exciting stage racing occurs when things spiral out of control, and proof that the lack of a dominant team instigates that spiral.
Hey, I get it — once in awhile you get a slow news day. But tell me, esteemed editors at The New York Times, did you really need to trot out a “Cycling is the new golf” story” this week? After all, we’re now in decade No. 2 of these stories. Everyone here at VeloNews has simply lost count, but Google returns about 11.9 million search results for the term.
So how do we unpack the implications of this crash? I don’t know about you, but nothing helps me understand a wacky sports moment better than breaking it down into its basic strange components, and then placing alongside its peers in the pantheon of stupid or strange sports moments. Let’s analyze the Ventoux crash.
Did you watch Peter Sagan power away from the peloton in stage 3 of Tour de Suisse, navigate the rainy roads, reel in a breakaway, and then win his second straight stage at the Tour de Suisse? If you did, you might be wondering: Is there anything Sagan can’t do?
After the wild Peyresourde descent and the sneak attack with Peter Sagan, we started to think: This isn’t the Froome we thought we knew. Spencer Powlison, for one, was so struck by his aggressive riding that he decided to pen an open letter to the yellow jersey wearer.
Well, you did it, Chris Froome. You managed to turn me into a bona fide fan. And there’s still over a week to go in the Tour de France. As someone who has a professional obligation to watch nearly every major bike race (it’s not hazardous duty), you were hard to root for.
John Bradley, the former editor-in-chief at VeloNews, writes about the motor cheating scandal that engulfed the 2016 cyclocross world championships:
The more people thought my sport was a joke, the harder and farther I rode. My hobby made me an outsider, but it also gave me a sense of self that lasts to this day. I’ll be damned if Femke Van den Driessche — or anyone else — gets to take that away.