Blazin' Saddles

  • Schlecks get Punk’d

    Saddles never thought the day would come, but he has to
    admit that both Andy Schleck and his brother have this week soared in his
    estimation.

    In a hilarious Japanese-style spoof interview filmed back in
    August but only just recently aired on Dutch TV, Andy deals with being labelled
    "a skinny man person" and interrogated about his sexuality while
    Frank manages to keep his cool despite being accused of taking drugs and being
    his brother's security blanket.

    The premise for the weekly TV skit - entitled Ushi & The
    Family - seems to be quite simple: seasoned blonde Dutch presenter Wendy van
    Dijk

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  • Being human

    Spain's
    Alberto Contador insinuated over the weekend what we had always suspected: that he is in fact some kind of robotic and entirely inhuman being.

    Speaking
    at the unveiling of the 2012 Giro d'Italia route on Sunday, the defending corsa
    rosa champion admitted that "the course is good for me" before
    opening up the possibility of an AC-verses-vital-body-organ tussle: "If I
    went with my heart, then I'd certainly race it."

    Despite
    all this graphic imagery, Contador then confirmed that he would nevertheless not
    be present at the start on 5 May.

    Without
    stating whether or not the following was as

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  • ITTour de France

    It's been a rather tasty week for Team Sky after a
    leaked 2012 Tour route
    revealed more time trials and flat stages than recent
    years. But will it be enough to keep both Bradley Wiggins and new arrival Mark
    Cavendish happy?

    Yes, the close season's worst-kept secret was finally
    confirmed this week: world champion Cavendish will ride alongside Dave
    Brailsford's men
    next season - much like he did in the streets of Copenhagen a
    fortnight ago. Joining the Manx Missile is Teutonic lead-out chum Bernie Eisel,
    making it a picture perfect double swoop.

    With Cav and Sky's (previous?) team leader Wiggins

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  • Pie in the Sky

    As expected, riders from HTC won gold in both the men's ITT and road race world championships in Copenhagen - but the rainbow stripes worn by Tony Martin and Mark Cavendish will run underneath different sponsors' logos next season.

    Martin will take his long neck off to QuickStep where he will continue being the best against-the-clock racer of his generation, but he'll have less lead-out work to do when Cav completes his likely transfer to Sky.

    Although Saddles likes the idea of Skittles jumping in with a 13th Hour rescue package and rebranding HTC under the catch phrase 'Taste the Rainbow', it

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  • Cobo’ Selecta!

    Superhuman Juanjo Cobo threw a Spanish cat amongst the British pigeons on Sunday after brushing aside the fearsome Angliru climb as if it were a mere mound.

    Geox's Cobo roared into the red jersey to complete a magnificent turnaround after he seemingly disappeared from cycling following the demise of his former team Saunier Duval back in 2009.

    While Cobo, wearing those fetching black socks of his, juggernauted his way up the steep 20+ per cent sections of an infamous final climb that's invariably described as barbaric, ridiculous, pitiful, brutal etc. - British pair Bradley Wiggins and Chris

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  • The Worlds are not enough

    History rewrote itself in Copenhagen on Wednesday
    with Germany winning Worlds War One ahead of Britain, while Switzerland was
    neutralised into third.

    The time trial done and dusted, focus now switches to the big one as Britain bids
    to bounce back with a bang in the Second Worlds War, for which Mark Cavendish
    is clearly one of the danger men.

    But first, let's forget Cav and his bejewelled moonboots as Saddles takes a
    look at the German Giraffe Tony Martin's supreme showing in the ITT.

    Saddles was given an earful last month during the Vuelta when he referred to
    Martin as the time triallist of

    Read More »from The Worlds are not enough
  • Fat Tuesday

    Fans of this humble cycling blogger's ramshackle Twitter
    feed
    will know that Saddles is currently enjoying his own
    tour Down Under.

    On the back of his good friend Rob the Cog's wedding
    in Melbourne, Saddles decided it would be a neat idea to try and get to the
    bottom of this whole GreenEDGE malarkey.

    So, touched down in Sydney after his 22-hour flight
    from London (during which Saddles embarrassingly passed out during the gruesome
    arm-severing scene in the film 127 Hours), BS thought he'd do some nosing
    around.

    It all started rather ominously with a dream that
    Saddles was once again in ancient

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  • Frandy: an apology

    Saddles
    is going to be a man and put his hands up and admit he got it wrong about
    Frandy.

    After
    Frandy's one-two on the Galibier - which came after an early, measured and
    highly accomplished attack - how can anyone not shower Frandy with praise?

    Frandy,
    the way you took everyone by surprise on the Col d'Izoard, with an attack when
    nobody expected it, was a masterstroke; the kind of aggressive
    all-in-at-any-cost riding we no longer seem to see amongst our overly cautious
    GC hopefuls.

    Granted,
    Saddles thought it was a bit rich for you to ride a thoroughly decent descent
    after all those downhill

    Read More »from Frandy: an apology
  • Vuelta wrap

    If you were to order a "Vuelta wrap" from
    your local sandwich shop you'd probably expect something with a rather tired
    and dry filling.

    It would be made with the remnants of the kitchen
    cupboard, throwing in bits from the back of the fridge together with some
    ingredients which had clearly seen better days, alongside others that were
    undeniably tasty - but unproven in the sandwich wrap stakes.

    The whole thing would be a totally maverick operation
    - the chef would be making things up as he went along, while the waitering
    staff would often change orders at the last minute depending on who was on

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  • Blazin’ Saddles: Scraping the barrel

    There's no denying it's been a terrific race, but the Vuelta's penultimate stage underlined just how much the race has been whittled down to its last dregs.

    Let's give him his dues: Daniele Bennati is an accomplished sprinter who has notched stage wins in all three Grand Tours. In this day and age of super-fast finishing, however, he's hardly Usain Bolt on two wheels. Heck, he's not even Mark Lewis-Francis on a tricycle.

    But Bennati was the pick of the bunch on Saturday's stage 20, winning at a canter ahead of two other non-descript Italians. It's a sign of the times: no one's anyone in the

    Read More »from Blazin’ Saddles: Scraping the barrel