Blazin' Saddles

  • Blazin' Saddles: Sagan, Roche, Mollema... 2015 Transfer Round-Up

    Here are the main ins-and-outs of the cycling's major teams - in alphabetical order.

    Cannondale team rider Peter Sagan of Slovakia cycles during Point Race 1 at the Tour de France Saitama Criterium race in Saitama, north of Tokyo October 25, 2014Cannondale team rider Peter Sagan of Slovakia cycles during Point Race 1 at the Tour de France Saitama Criterium race in Saitama, north of Tokyo October 25, 2014

    With the dust settled on the 2014 cycling season it's time to look at who's coming and who's going ahead of the next campaign.

    The biggest wholesale shake-ups involve the Garmin-Cannondale merger, Giant's hair-raising new co-sponsor, the addition of a second national lottery to the pro peloton and Omega Pharma's three-year sabbatical (with something/someone called Etixx quick-stepping into the fold).

    Here are the main ins-and-outs of the cycling's major teams - in alphabetical order.

    AG2R-LA MONDIALE
    IN: Jan Bakelants, Johan van Summeren
    Out: Yauheni Hutarovich, Davide Appollonio, Maxime Bouet,

    Read More »from Blazin' Saddles: Sagan, Roche, Mollema... 2015 Transfer Round-Up
  • Tour de France supremo Christian Prudhomme (Reuters)Tour de France supremo Christian Prudhomme (Reuters)

    While race director Christian Prudhomme demonstrated his ability to get down with the kids at the 2015 Tour de France presentation in Paris, next year's route has Chris Froome very much questioning his participation.

    Nevertheless bullish in an accountant's grey suit, Prudhomme - all 1.90m of him - took to the stage to wax lyrical about the exponential growth of cycling the world over.

    "The bike is trendy and fashionable," the 53-year-old Frenchman said. "Some of the younger generation might say that the bike is 'swag'," Prudhomme added with a smile - no doubt sparking a surge of hits on the

    Read More »from Prudhomme's Tour de France swagger leaves Froome unimpressed
  • Thor Hushovd during this year's Arctic Race (AFP)Thor Hushovd during this year's Arctic Race (AFP)

    Who's the odd one out - former world champion cyclist Thor Hushovd, wily Spanish veteran Alejandro Valverde or chunky goal-shy footballer Wayne Rooney?

    The answer, of course, is Hushovd - the only of the three to have had a successful hair implant.

    In fact, Norway's most famous recently-retired rider has had two of them - or so he admits in his autobiography, 'Thor', which was released in Norway on Wednesday.

    Cycling blogger Blazin' Saddles looks at how this bombshell - in an alternative world - may have played out for the man known as the Bull from Grimstad...

    - - -

    Hushovd's Hair

    Read More »from Thor Hushovd makes hairy revelations in tell-all book
  • Contador, Quintana, Froome and NibaliContador, Quintana, Froome and Nibali

    Cycling's holy quartet have been made an offer they surely can't refuse - or can they? Blazin' Saddles investigates...

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    Flamboyant Saxo-Tinkoff owner Oleg Tinkov has promised to stump up €1 million to cycling's crème de la crème if they commit to riding all three Grand Tours next season.

    Speaking at the unveiling of the 2015 Giro d'Italia route in Milan this week, the bouffant billionaire wisecracked: "If [Nairo] Quintana, [Chris] Froome, [Vincenzo] Nibali and [Alberto] Contador all agree to ride all three Grand Tours, I'll get Tinkoff Bank to put up €1 million."

    In his latest bid to turn

    Read More »from Crazy billionaire throws down €1 million gauntlet to Froome, Contador, Nibali and Quintana
  • Bradley Wiggins, Sir David Brailsford, Michal KwiatkowskiBradley Wiggins, Sir David Brailsford, Michal Kwiatkowski

    The old adage about waiting all day for buses and then three coming along at the same time is not so shrewd if the waiting is done outside the local bus depot.

    But try telling that to our cycling blogger, Blazin' Saddles, who chose to go on a cycling holiday in Italy during the World Championships and was subsequently amazed with the torrent of news piling up during his absence from the armchair.

    Here, Mr Saddles looks back at the main races in Ponferrada and sieves through the main news stories of the week - including Team Sky's raft of new arrivals, Alberto Contador's ticket to Beijing and

    Read More »from Blazin' Saddles: Rainbow round-up, Sky's signings, Astana drama
  • The Road Cycling World Championships in Ponferrada, north-western Spain (AP)The Road Cycling World Championships in Ponferrada, north-western Spain (AP)

    The autumn leaves are preparing to fall and after chunks of the season dedicated to the pursuit of pink, yellow and red, it's now time for the pro peloton to chase the rainbow stripes at the UCI world championships.

    So our blogger Blazin' Saddles decided to talk a wholly imaginary fan through the intricacies of this week's racing at Ponferrada in north-west Spain.

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    Hello, Mr Saddles. What have I missed so far?

    Hi there, fictitious cycling fan. Don't get too worried - you've only missed the most recent component of the world championships: the team time trial event.

    So... fill me in. Which

    Read More »from The 2014 World Championships: Everything you need to know
  • Members of Colombia's women's cycling team (Reuters)Members of Colombia's women's cycling team (Reuters)

    The woman who designed the controversial 'nude' Colombian cycling kit has defended the outfit after a massive online backlash.

    Pictures of the flesh-coloured kit that made Colombian team IDRD-Bogota Humana-San Mateo-Solgar look naked below the waste, went viral around the world this week.

    The cries of derision were such that the English president of the International Cycling Union Brian Cookson even came out and said they were "unacceptable by any standard of decency."

    However, 22-year-old Angie Tatiana Rojas, a member of the team who also designed the kit, has spoken of her dismay over the

    Read More »from Designer defends her 'nude' Colombian cycling kit
  • Jens VoigtJens Voigt

    Cycling legend Jens Voigt will make an assault on the iconic world one-hour record on Thursday - an event that will be broadcast live on British Eurosport.

    But can he do it?

    Voigt is hoping to break Ondrej Sosenka's record of 49.7km.

    The motivation for Voigt? For immortality - and the "Chuck Norris" of cycling said: "There are only 32 names on the list. Not too many have tried it and you have Jaques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx."

    What a way to bring down the curtain down on his illustrious career.

    How has he prepared for such a momentous attempt? Well, by training. Lots of training.

    Can he do

    Read More »from The Hour Record: Voigt's journey
  • There were very surprising images in the final few yards of the Grand Prix de Wallonie, won by Greg Van Avermaet, on Wednesday.

    As the cyclists began their final sprint in Namur, Belgium, a woman was casually riding along without a care in the world.

    Before she knew it, she was caught up in the pack racing for the line in a frantic final finish.

    Eventually, she realised and hastily darted to the side without causing a pile-up, but it could have been very dangerous.

    How inconsiderate of those racers to spoil her lovely afternoon ride!

    Very surprising finish (Eurosport)Very surprising finish (Eurosport)
    Read More »from Random woman finds herself in dramatic race sprint
  • The flesh-coloured kit that makes a Colombian women's cycling team look naked below the waist has been described as unacceptable by the sport's governing body.

    Photographs of the Bogota Humana team were taken at the Tour of Tuscany, showing six women wearing red and yellow kit with flesh-coloured material immediately above and below the waist.

    [WOMEN'S CYCLING TEAM'S KIT CAUSES QUITE A STIR]

    After the pictures went viral on social media, Brian Cookson, the English president of the International Cycling Union, wrote on Twitter:

    Among leading riders criticising the outfits was the

    Read More »from Women's 'nude' cycling kit slammed as 'unacceptable'