Blazin' Saddles

  • Peter Sagan hit the headlines a couple of weeks ago after pinching the bottom of a podium girl after the Ronde Van Vlaanderen.

    The incriminating pictures went well beyond the cycling world, and drew condemnations, as well as a debate about whether in the 21st century there is still a place for podium girls.

    Sagan, perhaps realising how many people were offended by how he treated Maya Leye, chose to issue a contrite message of apology by video soon after the incident.

    "I sincerely apologise to Maya for what I did on the podium after the race. It was wrong of me and I didn't think when I was up

    Read More »from Peter Sagan says sorry with flowers to the girl whose bottom he pinched
  • Ouch!! The hellish Hell of the North

    Paris-Roubaix is the queen of the one-day cycling classics but it is also known as the Hell of the North and Sunday showed just why.

    The 111th edition of the race was raced over 254.5km - that in itself a test of endurance - but that included 52.6 kilometres of bone jarring cobbles to test the bike handling ability and sheer toughness of the riders.

    And our video shows that the rough terrain caused a quite few casualties.

    Frenchman Yoann Offredo failed to even reach the pavé as he crashed heavily after hitting a traffic island in the middle of the road.

    The riders managed to avoid calamity at

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  • Is Cancellara a safe one-way bet for Paris-Roubaix?

    2013 Tour des Flandres Fabian Cancellara

    Trying to predict a Tom Boonen-free Paris-Roubaix is like picking a winner for the Grand National at Aintree – you know, the annual British homage to equine cruelty where half the horses fall over and break their necks or have to be put down behind one of those sinister white tents usually reserved for major crime scenes and gristly murders.

    Of course, trying to predict a Paris-Roubaix featuring a very much on-song and in-form Fabian Cancellara shouldn't, in theory, be too hard – especially in the absence of podium deviant Peter Sagan and the Prince of Pavé himself, the boy Boonen.


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  • Sagan incident raises questions over podium girls


    Fabian Cancellara won the Ronde Van Vlaanderen in some style on Sunday, but his moment of glory was somewhat overshadowed by the man who finished second.

    Peter Sagan, on the left of the picture, drew attention for pinching the gluteus maximus of one of the podium girls as she celebrated with Cancellara.

    The public response was mixed. One British cyclist, Michael Hutchinson, tweeted his distaste.

    "Shame that Peter Sagan has so much class on a bike and so very little off it,'' he said.

    But he later had to add: "I'm a little surprised that probably 50% of the Sagan-ass-grabbing-gate

    Read More »from Sagan incident raises questions over podium girls
  • Pasta la vista, Schumiche

    Cycling was left in a state of shock this week when Stefan Schumacher likened his career-long intake of performance enhancing substances to eating "a plate of pasta after training".

    This came as a surprise to fans of the German mushroomed-headed ace, who always presumed their idol's stellar performances to be powered by "pan y agua" alone – that's to say, 'miche' sourdough bread and Gerolsteiner fizzy water.

    While news that Schumacher's diet went beyond the basic dietary staples to include daily bowls of post-training pasta is a hard enough pill to swallow, subsequent revelations that these

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  • ‘Scumbag’ Tyler Hamilton sympathises with Wiggins

    "We would have wanted to invite Tyler Hamilton for other reasons. But he has done a lot of wonderful things for a very wonderful sport and he has to be applauded for his courage to act."

    It wasn't perhaps the most unanimously positive endorsement of his career but Tyler Hamilton could hardly bear any ill will towards the lady who welcomed the shamed former cyclist to the stage at the American School in London last week.

    After all, this was a prestigious school whose mission is to encourage students to "develop integrity and strength of character by learning to make good choices and by taking

    Read More »from ‘Scumbag’ Tyler Hamilton sympathises with Wiggins
  • Corsica getting ready for first ever Tour de France start

    The island of Corsica is already getting excited about playing host to the start of the Tour de France – with there now being less than 100 days until this year's race begins.

    Director of the Tour, Christain Prudhomme says the terrain in the island will make for a great spectacle.

    "The setting of the Island of Beauty will definitely offer a terrain and roads designed for attacks and we are already thoroughly looking forward to enjoying the magnificent scenery boasted by the sea and the mountains," he said.

    You can see how Corsica's plans are coming together in the video below.

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  • Riders forced to take buses on snowy Milan-San Remo

    A Sunday bike ride from Milan to San Remo sounds like the stuff of movies.

    We like to imagine Audrey Hepburn and her beau rolling dreamily through the foothills of Lombardy before sharing a bottle of chilled prosecco as the sun sets on the Mediterranean coast.

    The reality: not so enticing.

    For a start, it's 298km (185 miles) - an exceptionally long day in the saddle, even for the pros.

    Secondly, the March weather in Northern Italy isn't all it's cracked up to be. In fact, it can be downright arctic.

    Conditions on the two biggest climbs of this year's edition on Sunday were so inclement that

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  • Andy and the Great Farce Elevator

    Andy Schleck's troubled season took another turn for the worse this week all because he shared an elevator with a French socialist politician who wasn't wearing his glasses.

    Details are sketchy, but in the early hours of Wednesday morning it appears that a reportedly inebriated Schleck entered the same lift as Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' in a hotel near Munich airport – sparking the most unlikely of scandals to have hit the sport in recent years.

    The politician took it upon himself to update his Facebook status accordingly, posting the following message at 1:44am: "Late check in at a hotel at

    Read More »from Andy and the Great Farce Elevator
  • Basso’s eating habits laid bare

    Your humble cycling blogger is a big fan of The Wire, the hit US drama series in which a motley bunch of maverick cops are given access to snoop over the cell phone calls made between a bunch of nefarious drug dealers of the Baltimore underworld.

    Should any bored and misinformed policemen in the UK ever suspect Saddles of running some kind of illicit Pot Belge ring, they'd be somewhat disappointed with the quality of voicemail messages left on his contacts' phones.

    For instance, a couple of weeks ago they would have picked up this succinct zinger: "Pal, be there in five. Mine's a four cheeses

    Read More »from Basso’s eating habits laid bare