Big money doesn't necessarily mean big results, as we've seen from BMC Racing and RadioShack-Nissan, but Sky has proven that it doesn't hurt
Fabian Cancellara should back off and take notes from Cavendish's tactical stage 2 win
Dan Wuori, author of Velo magazine's "At the Back" column, provides his insights on Le Tour 2012
UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani raised eyebrows in late August with comments that seemed to imply that points accumulated by Astana’s Alexander Vinokourov during 2011 could be applied toward his squad’s 2012 WorldTour license application, independent of whether he chose to continue riding for the team. The Kazakh was (until recently) believed to have announced his retirement in July after crashing out of the Tour de France during stage 9’s descent of the Pas de Payrol.
In 1969 the producers of the now-classic sitcom, Bewitched, faced a difficult choice. When Dick York, (who co-starred as Elizabeth Montgomery’s husband, Darrin Stephens) suffered a debilitating back injury, executives took the unusual step of replacing him mid-series. Without explanation, the show’s sixth season debuted with a new leading man: actor Dick Sargent. The casting change — in which York was quietly replaced by a lookalike — has become the stuff of pop culture legend and may just be providing the blueprint for a situation comedy now playing out in Kazakhstan.
Thor Hushovd won’t be riding the Vuelta a España with Garmin-Cervélo. Nor should he. The reigning world champion has had a strong 2011, topped by an amazing Tour de France (during which the multiple stage winner was a part-time bearer of the maillot jaune and a full-time badass). But that wouldn’t have made Jonathan Vaughters any less a fool to drop him into the team’s Vuelta mix.
Does anyone know the Heimlich maneuver?
After two weeks of watching and waiting, a bike race broke out Thursday as Andy Schleck took the most important stage of his career.
Costa Rica’s Andrey Amador (Movistar) spent Monday in quiet reflection after learning that he is professional cycling’s only rider not rumored to be joining BMC Racing in 2012.
A RadioShack team car driven by Johan Bruyneel was pulled over during Tursday’s stage 12 — apparently on suspicion of drunk driving.
... Voeckler retains a GC lead of 1:49 over Frank Schleck, 2:17 over Andy Schleck, and a devastating 13-day gap over their little-known brother, Ruprecht ...
ESPN commentator Michael Smith entered treatment Wednesday for what network executives have identified as Cranio-Rectal Syndrome. The rare condition is characterized by impaired vision, a heightened sense of smell and the ill-advised use of smart phones.
... Thursday looks to be the 2011 Tour’s first true GC selection day as the peloton begins the first of 3 days in the Pyrenees. Covering 211km from Cugnaux to Luz Ardiden (best known as the site of Lance Armstrong’s brazen 2003 attempt to snatch a spectator’s purse with his handlebars) the stage ends with a pair of killer HC climbs ...
A record-low 16 riders began Tuesday’s stage 10 after a crash-filled rest day served only to further decimate the peloton. Notable abandons included Team Sky’s Rigoberto Uran (who swerved to avoid a litter of kittens during his team’s recovery ride), AG2R’s Blel Kadri (who attempted to change his bib shorts while on a gently sloping descent) and Liquigas-Cannondale leader Ivan Basso (who was momentarily distracted by his own handsomeness). Also scratched were all nine members of the Saur-Sojasun squad, whom race officials now admit have actually been missing since stage 3.
Stage 9 will almost certainly be remembered as one of the Tour’s most bizarre and gut-wrenching.
Sunday’s stage 9 from Issoire to St. Flour is both lengthy (208km) and difficult – with five substantial climbs within 55km of one another. Don’t look for any high-profile GC changes to occur, however, as Contador, Schleck and Evans have again agreed to complete the stage on a three-seat tandem bike.
Under pressure from sponsors accustomed to his now-aging squad’s dominating victories of the past, Radio Shack’s Johan Bruyneel adopted a novel approach to selecting the members of his 2011 TDF squad (average age: 53).
A 12-year-old German spectator suffered a broken nose after failing to catch the once-in-a-lifetime souvenir tossed to her by Saxo Bank-Sungard leader Alberto Contador during Wednesday’s stage 5. The rider — eager to improve his image amongst increasingly hostile roadside fans — decided to up the ante on the traditional water bottle toss, hurling a $10,000 S-Works Tarmac at the girl as he awaited his team car following the first of two unexpected crashes. The frustrated Spaniard refused questions at the finish, muttering only that “she catches like a little girl.”