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All roads lead to Aigle: Pro Cycling 2020

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    #51
    Tour de Yorkshire route out. Certain parts of the region certainly see more of the race than others out of that, although there is plenty of climbing and none of those boring flat stages around East Yorkshire farmland. Skipton in particular does alright - starts for both races on the Friday and the men's race passing again on Sunday. They go up that steep climb out of Otley again on the last day, the final climb of the race which in the past couple of years has seen the decisive move go. The Leyburn and Huddersfield stages comprise the women's race.



    Amanda Spratt won the TDU stage overnight, thus continuing the theme of this embryonic season that if Hosking doesn't win Spratt will.

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      #52
      Attilio Viviani wins the first stage of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo. He's seven years younger than big brother Elia and this is his first season on the World Tour - both are at Cofidis now.

      US national champion Ruth Winder won the women's TDU. I don't know why that's not on the WWT though - is it logistical?
      Last edited by Kevin S; 20-01-2020, 14:43.

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        #53
        Worth noting that Spratt failed to win Down Under for the fourth time in succession, as she couldn't catch US road race champion Ruth Winder of Trek Segafredo on the uphill finish of the third stage. It's the first time that Mitchelton Scott have failed to win the women's race.

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          #54
          It only got promoted to 2.Pro status this year, so I guess the organisers are trying to grow the race up gradually. Last year was the first time it was a standalone event separate from the men's race. That race kicks the men's World Tour off tonight, presume that as usual Richie Porte will win on Willunga Hill while finding an imaginative way to find second overall, it'll all be quite exciting because it's bicycle racing taking place and then no-one will remember a thing about it in a month's time.

          MVdP's Alpecin - Fenix team have been given a wildcard to Roubaix. Ooh.

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            #55
            First day of racing for Sam Bennett at Deceuninck

            First win for Sam Bennett at Deceuninck

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              #56
              Watching a clip of the finish I found myself wondering "who's that team in the white" before remembering Deceuninck have changed their kit. Also see Gab Cullaigh getting 11th for Movistar on debut.

              I note Mads Pedersen lost 1:20. Curse of the rainbow jersey!

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                #57
                Fuck yes. Belgian broadcaster RTBF will be showing at least some of the women's Fleche Wallonne and LBL this year. Getting better.

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                  #58
                  All of the Women's World Tour races are now required to have at least 45 minutes a day of live video.

                  It is great

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                    #59
                    Not sure if the Fleche is WWT, think it might be like the TDU? I can't get a handle on why some races are different to the men's WT.

                    Think the TDU may have joined Ride London-Surrey in offering equal prize money to the women, unless I imagined it (this is why I don't slag off Ride Surrey-London even though it is an unappealing race and I can never be arsed to go and watch it, mind you it's usually pissing down).

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                      #60
                      Fleche and LBL are both WWT this season.

                      ASO (who run them) were bitching about the television coverage requirement, but eventually got on board (having to some extent been shamed by Flanders Classics, which has added Gent Wevelgem to the WWT).

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                        #61
                        Fuckers'll shut up when loads of people watch them, hopefully.

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                          #62
                          There was a story last week that the live coverage requirement is an issue for the Women's Tour. Given that I've grumbled about about the absence of said for years I have no sympathy for the organisers whatsoever. Presume this is also why the race wasn't in the list of events on ITV4 this season (although they have added daily highlights of Paris - Nice)

                          Powerful jump from Caleb Ewan saw him win the second stage of the TDU. There was a big crash towards the end, Yates hurt his knee and Porte gained a "superficial graze". Several of the sprinters caught up too, most notably Vivani who was apparently in some pain afterwards. Cofidis gonna Cofidis.

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                            #63
                            Eee, I might be going to Amstel Gold Race! Has anyone been?

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                              #65
                              I can't remember which year's Giro it was when Astana rode on the front at high pace for days on end. More intense even than anything we'd seen from Brailsford's team. Was Fuglsang in the squadra that year?

                              Anyway, sad as this would be, it wouldn't surprise me too much. There's always been something of the Andy Schleck about Fuglsang's performances.
                              Last edited by Kevin S; 03-02-2020, 09:05.

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                                #66
                                It was the one right after they'd been cleared of a doping allegation, it was like a big 'haha, look what we can do'. 2015 or 16, I reckon.

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                                  #67
                                  Fuglsang has always been at a fairly consistent level through over time then he went and had a career year at the age of 34. You could identfiy legitimate reasons behind his big wins - Liege was a redesigned course, Dauphine was a rubbish race over less high mountains than usual - but it did raise the eyebrow a little given that he got consistent results throughout the season which continually represented improvement on previous. Anyway he's denied ever having met Ferrari so now we'll see where this goes.

                                  Pidcock was runner up in the world cyclocross yesterday, MVdP won the thing by a mile as expected.

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                                    #68
                                    Mark Cavendish has missed out on a track spot for this summer's Tokyo Olympics after not being named in Britain's squad for the World Championships in Germany.

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                                      #69
                                      Speaking of riders not participating in events, Tom Dumoulin has withdrawn from both Tirreno and San Remo as he's "still not 100%" and not able to attend an altitude training camp. He still hasn't raced since withdrawing from the Dauphine last June.

                                      EF rolled back the years today in winning the team time trial at the Tour of Colombia. They've gone off like a train this season, that's five victories they've managed already. Some of this is through the old trick of putting big name riders in small races, which makes me wonder if Vaughters has got a(nother) hole in next year's budget and is trying to get some early wins on the board to make them attractive to sponsors. Smaller teams winning races seems to be a bit of a theme so far, NTT have had a few decent results, Sunweb's young line up dominated the Herald Sun Tour and Cosnefroy has got a couple of wins for Ag2r.

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                                        #70
                                        I've just found as-live coverage of the Tour de la Provence on Freesports, channel 64 on Freeview. There's not much happening but, hey, it's cycling on the telly.

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                                          #71
                                          It's on GCN as well.

                                          Bouhanni already has two more wind than I thought he would get this season. It was surreal to see Nairo among the first to congratulate him.

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                                            #72
                                            Astana bossed the final climb of stage 2, young Aleksandr Vlasov got off the front and then they marked all the attacks behind which were also stymied by racing into a headwind. Think that's Astana's first win of the season. Lutsenko may have got the time bonus for second, the sprint was between him and Wilco Kelderman. Queen stage tomorrow, they go up Ventoux to finish at Chalet Reynard. Racing up Ventoux in mid February feels a bit silly really.

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                                              #73
                                              They could race up Ventoux mid apocalypse and I'd still watch it.

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                                                #74
                                                Ventoux stage on YouTube

                                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyZIRZUInYw

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                                                  #75
                                                  For some reason they've got Kirby on comms today. He's as tactful as ever with comments like "Wilco Kelderman hasn't been in hospital for a while"

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