Blazin' Saddles

  • Froome’s Sky blue after Saxo-Tinkoff rogering

    Well, that was unexpected. We all had stage 13 down as the most boring of the Tour - but it ended up being the most explosive so far of the 100th edition of the race.

    Where to start? Well, what about Mick Rogers. The powerful Australian was the difference - for two quite simple reasons.

    Firstly: he no longer rides for Sky.

    Secondly: he's now one of Alberto Contador's Saxo-Tinkoff team-mates.

    Sky had their moment in the sun last Saturday en route to Ax 3 Domaines. One day later it was Movistar's turn in the firecracker of a stage to Bagneres-en-Bigorre. Then, on Friday the Thirteenth, it was a

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  • It’s party time for loved-up Argos speed king Kittel

    High and drei: Germany's Marcel Kittel celebrates his hat-trick

    If there's a crash in the final few kilometres in this Tour de France then you can be sure that Marcel Kittel will be there to mop up the pieces and take the win.

    Following victories on the opening day in Bastia and on Tuesday in Saint-Malo, the Argos-Shimano speedster secured his hat-trick in Tours with the best yet: a head-to-head win over the fastest urinal on two wheels, Mark Cavendish.

    Before the Tour, Argos-Shimano made a series of videos with each of their riders giving a glimpse at "the person behind the rider".

    Kittel's video is particularly interesting. You find out how he was

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  • Cavendish in another wee bit of bother

    Pocket Hercules Mark Cavendish may be quite a wee man in stature - but he'll never stoop as low as one fan who put the 'p' into prick during stage 11 of the Tour.

    It was Cavendish's team-mate Jerome Pineau who broke the news that would disgust the world of cycling. "Yesterday I was proud to be riding through my home region and to hear all the support," tweeted Pineau, "but today I'm ashamed because my friend Mark Cavendish told me that he was booed and even sprayed with urine during his time trial!! It's scandalous!!!"

    For his Anglo Saxon followers, Pineau (who's clearly from the Jens Voigt

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  • ‘Was it your fault, Mark?’

    It's the kind of question you'd expect after clipping an opponent with your elbow and sending him sprawling across the road inside the last 200 metres of a fiercely contested bunch sprint.

    But it was also the question which was the straw that broke the camel Cav's back.

    "What was what?" replied Cavendish while grabbing the American journalist's dictaphone and throwing it inside his team bus.

    "Mark, I want my recorder back," whined the American reporter, as Cavendish stood up to his Trans-Atlantic inquisitor to blow off some steam.

    Ah, Cav... what a day, eh? It just goes to show how easy it is

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  • Eurosport Cycling Podcast: Week one in review

    The Eurosport cycling podcast is back for another episode with Scott O'Raw and John Galloway pouring over an eventful first week at the 100th Tour de France.

    Click below as the latest edition has some fun with the Orica-GreenEdge bus debacle and debates the big issues arising from cycling's most prestigious race.

    How To Listen:
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    Listen in one click

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  • Movistar write great script but forget happy ending

    It started with the action coming thick and fast - much like the opening sequence in a Bond film.

    So much happened in the scene-setting segment of the film - with the CGI count (Chaos Garmin Input) hitting overdrive - that, when Adele finally started warbling the lyrics to 'Skyfall', Chris Froome's team-mates had done just that.

    Garmin really got their jaws stuck in. David Millar, Jack Bauer, Ramunas Navardauskas, Tom Danielson, Andrew Talansky, Ryder Hesjedal and Dan Martin - that's seven riders, or 007 if you will - all made repeated attempts to break away.

    It was as if they were still

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  • Can people not just accept that Sky are better?

    Look, the title of this blog is not a statement and nor does it necessarily reflect the author's full, measured opinion. It's a rhetorical question that should be asked - especially on a day that seems to have inevitably left a bitter taste in the mouths of many.

    Someone once said, "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" (The more things change, the more they stay the same). It's a phrase uttered often in the world of cycling with its litany of doping scandals through the ages.

    After Gewiss it was US Postal and Discovery. Then when Sky began to dominate races in a way - pointed out by

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  • Cannondale’s crash course in causing chaos

    "Kind of knew what Cannondale would do today but there was no way to prevent it. They rode faultlessly. Congratulations to Peter Sagan. He's a machine."

    This was Mark Cavendish's Twitter reaction to being at the receiving end of a right rogering from Cannondale during stage seven of this increasingly intriguing Tour.

    On the second of four categorised climbs in the long and undulating stage from Montpellier to Albi, Cannondale suddenly ramped up the pace. This wasn't a mere leg-stretching exercise - this was a full-on distance-all-rivals operation.

    The boys in green, with their man in green,

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  • Impey makes history as Gorilla pooh-poohs Sagan

    Six stages in and we've had six different winners - although one thing has remained pretty constant: if there's a sprint at the end, Peter Sagan will finish second.

    Last year, the Slovak tyro in his pre-podium molesting days notched three stage wins en route to nailing the green jersey in his debut Tour; this year, Sagan's still sitting pretty for the points classification, but he's stuck in a rut of three bridesmaids' finishes.

    One more runner-up berth, and Sagan will have managed to mirror, in this year's Tour, his spring classics wedding campaign - that's to say 2nd in Strade Bianche, 2nd

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  • Cavendish keeps green dream five alive

    Tour organisers could well bring forward the Alpe d'Huez as early as stage five in next year's Tour de France and Mark Cavendish would still probably win it.

    They could get a spectator wearing a red t-shirt to throw Tony Martin under a bus driven by a white dog - and still the German would dust himself off, organise an efficient lead-out train and then pass the baton on to his erstwhile Omega Pharma-Quick Step team-mates to finish off the job.

    If Pierre Rolland is further up the road on the 15th hairpin bend, then fine - they'll just get Sylvain Chavanel on his bright orange bike to reel him

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