Team Sky take control on first summit finish

July 19, 2018

The latest Cyclingnews podcast – brought to you in association with Prendas Ciclismo, Pinarello and Floyds of Leadville – was recorded following a dramatic stage 11 from Albertville to La Rosiere.

 In it we hear from stage winner and new yellow jersey Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), and UAE Team Emirates’ Dan Martin. Cyclingnews editor Daniel Benson and Sadhbh O’Shea talk about the shake-up in the general classification and ask whether or not Team Sky can all but wrap up the GC in Thursday’s Alpe d’Huez.

 We also hear from Heinrich Haussler with his latest podcast blog from the Tour de France.


Tour de France: Team Sky leadership, Ochowicz and CCC, Dumoulin and Degenkolb

July 16, 2018

 The Tour de France may have reached its first rest day but that hasn't meant that the circus surrounding the race has come to a halt. Cyclingnews spent the day hopping between press conferences at Team SkySunwebTrek-Segafredo and BMC Racing to pick up the latest news.

We started the morning in Chambery, where we picked up the leadership question at Team Sky with both Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome discussing the options that lay ahead. Then it was over to Trek-Segafredo for a catch up with stage 9 winner John Degenkolb, before Jim Ochowicz announced to the media that CCC would step in and save his team.

Finally, we headed to Sunweb to hear from Tom Dumoulin on his challenge and his rivals. No stage but another action-packed day at the Tour with analysis from Daniel Benson and Ed Pickering.


The Festina Affair 20 years on

July 12, 2018

The 2018 Tour de France is now in full swing but 20 years ago the race was on its knees and almost failed to reach Paris due to the Festina Affair. The trauma opened up cycling’s underworld of doping and widespread cheating, with riders arrested, teams searched and several strikes disrupting the race. Festina were sent home in disgrace but as the race disintegrated even further, ethical, legal and moral boundaries were stretched to breaking point. The race was won by the late Marco Pantani but the action was overshadowed by doping that stretched throughout the peloton.

 Twenty years on and we sit down with one of cycling’s most experienced journalists, William Fotheringham, who was there in 1998 to capture the entire experience first-hand. Fotheringham discusses how the whole saga snowballed from the moment Festina soigneur Willy Voet was arrested at customs to how the race organisers were unable to keep pace with the authorities as the clampdown on doping began.

 This of course all happened in an age before social media, and Fotheringham gives a fascinating insight into how a number of parties, not least the media, wrestled with the ever-changing landscape and narrative.

 Fotheringham, interviewed by Cyclingnews’ Daniel Benson, also talks about the generation of riders who came through those times and helped to change the sport but also revisits cycling’s darkest times, the wild west and the casual criminality in which the sport often operated.

 We also discuss how much has cycling changed since those days and what lessons can the sport still learn, while there are brief cameo interviews with several riders who took part in the race.

 This Cyclingnews podcast is brought to you in association with Prendas Ciclismo, Pinarello and Floyds of Leadville.


BMC Racing TTT win, and GC analysis

July 9, 2018

 The latest Cyclingnews podcast, brought to you in association with Prendas Ciclismo, Pinarello and Floyds of Leadville, was recorded before and after the team time trial on stage 3 of the Tour de France.

 Featuring Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Richie Porte and new yellow jersey Greg Van Avermaet, the team of Daniel Benson and Ed Pickering break down the GC battle after three gripping stages.

We also look back at the wins for Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan before discussing the winners and losers from stage 3 and the team trial around Cholet.


Opening day chaos at the Tour de France

July 7, 2018

Without crosswinds and rain, the opening stage of the 2018 Tour de France was supposed to be a calm, almost predictable, affair, with the sprinters' teams set to dominate.

The biggest losers were arguably Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who lost over a minute, and Chris Froome (Sky) and BMC's Richie Porte, who both conceded 51 seconds to their closest rivals. The Tour is only a day old, but has already started to create a pecking order in terms of the yellow jersey.

We hear from Froome, his teammate Geraint Thomas, and Porte.

The stage was won by Quick-Step's Fernando Gaviria, who claimed his maiden stage on his first outing in the race. We look at his chances for the rest of the week, and hear world champion Peter Sagan's (Bora-Hansgrohe) thoughts on the stage.


Tour de France gears up to the sound of boos

July 6, 2018

The latest episode of the Cyclingnews Podcast comes on the eve of the first stage of the Tour de France, with Daniel Benson and Patrick Fletcher bringing more of the build-up from the Grand Départ in the Vendée region.

 The hot topic on Friday was undoubtedly Chris Froome, or rather the boos and jeers he received the previous evening at the teams presentation in La Roche-sur-Yvon. We discuss the atmosphere at the race and how it might develop, as well as looking at Team Sky’s handling of the tensions with the home nation, Froome having written a column in French daily newspaper Le Monde on Friday in a bid to reach out to the public.

 Friday saw another busy day of press conferences, and including Movistar, Bora-Hansgrohe, Bahrain-Merida, UAE Team Emirates and Mitchelton-Scott. We hear from world champion Peter Sagan about how he’s feeling 12 months after his early disqualification from last year’s Tour, along with Dan Martin and the. We also hear from Adam Yates and discuss the his chances, along with speaking to Mathew Hayman, who has a big role to play for the Briton in the opening week.

 Finally, in a special feature of our 2018 Tour de France podcasts, we’ll hear directly from Bahrain-Merida’s Heinrich Haussler, who is making his return to the Tour de France after his career appeared to be on the verge of collapse 12 months ago. Heinrich will be sending in audio dispatches throughout the Tour, and here you can hear his pre-race thoughts.


Tour de France podcast: Team Sky, BMC Racing and AG2R pre-race press conferences

July 5, 2018

With the Tour de France just days away and the Cyclingnews team on the ground and on location, it’s time for our first podcast from this year’s race. On Wednesday evening Team Sky held their pre-race press conference with BMC Racing and AG2R La Mondiale following suit on Thursday morning.

 Wednesday was a chance to put questions to Dave Brailsford and Chris Froome in relation to the latter’s now closed salbutamol case, while BMC Racing head into the race with Richie Porte looking to podium but the team’s future still uncertain. We hear from Porte on the race, and the BMC management on the recent departure of several key members of staff and the continued search for sponsorship.

 And we also dip into AG2R’s press conference to hear from home favourite Romain Bardet. The Frenchman has finished third and second in the Tour de France but is hoping to make the top step of the podium this time around. As ever there’s the usual discussions over form, tactics and Tour gossip from the Vendee.


Richie Porte’s Tour de France route analysis

July 3, 2018

Put aside all the talk of a move to Trek-Segafredo and the disarmament of the BMC Racing arsenal, and you'll find that Ritchie Porte and his teammates are solely focused on success at this year's Tour de France, where the Australian will be hoping to at least challenge for the podium.

Porte and BMC Racing were on song in June's pivotal Tour de Suisse, where they controlled the race from start to finish courtesy of a winning ride in the opening team time trial, with Porte then displaying his mettle in the high mountains.

At the race, Cyclingnews sat down with Porte after one of the medium mountain stages for an exclusive interview. With Procycling's Tour de France guide to hand, Porte took us through the route, at times stage-by-stage, giving his interpretation and predictions from the opening stages in the Vendée to the Alps, and on through the Pyrenees.

Porte and his BMC Racing teammates have carried out reconnaissance rides over several key stages, and the Australian details those experiences, along with picking out several key teammates who will help him throughout the race.

Back in the Cyclingnews office, we then look at Porte's chances of overall victory at the race. The former Team Sky rider has never made the podium in a three-week Grand Tour, but has constantly demonstrated that he has virtually all the necessary individual skills to succeed. Strong against the clock, powerful in the mountains, and with a strong team around him, the ingredients are all there.

However, bad luck, crashes and illness – all features of racing – have often played their part and hindered Porte's ambitions. The Australian is undoubtedly one of the most successful and consistent riders of his generation when it comes to week-long stage races, but transferring those skills into Grand Tour success remains Porte's Holy Grail. Can he finally succeed? Only time will tell…

This podcast is brought to you in association with Prendas Ciclismo, Pinarello and Floyd's of Leadville.


Tour de France team analysis with Philippa York

June 28, 2018

In this week’s episode of the Cyclingnews podcast, brought to you in association with Prendas Ciclismo, Pinarello and Floyds of Leadville, we sit down at go through a number of the squads that have been announced ahead of next week’s Tour de France.

 With special guest Philippa York joining Ed Pickering and Daniel Benson in the studio, we look at key selections for the likes of BMC Racing, Movistar and Ag2R La Mondiale – all of which have named strong and dynamic teams for this 2018 edition of the race.

 We also pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of several other teams, such as Vincenzo Nibali’s Bahrain Merida and Jakob Fuglsang’s Astana squad.

And although Team Sky are yet to announce their eight-man line up to defend Chris Froome’s title we look through a number of the possible inclusions and debate whether any weaknesses exist within the British team’s camp.


Tour de France route preview

June 22, 2018

With the Tour de France on the horizon and a volley of teams starting to announce their eight-man rosters for the race, Cyclingnews sits down with EF Education First Drapac – powered by Cannondale’s Tom Southam to analyse and pick apart the race route. The profile of this year’s Tour can be neatly divided into two halves with the first portion dominated by sprints, cross-winds, cobbles and the team time trial. The second half of the race will see the peloton – or rather what’s left of it – head into the mountains with the Alps followed by the Pyrenees. Even the transition stages could be key in the battle for the yellow jersey. There is of course the final time trial on the penultimate day but this year’s Tour de France is set to be brutally tough race with no let up through the early stages in the Vendee or as the race travels through Brittany.

 Along with looking at the route the team of Southam, Cyclingnews’ Daniel Benson, and Procycling editor Ed Pickering pick out the standout riders for the race, from the sprinters to the climbers and GC candidates. Southam also discusses what goes into picking a Tour de France roster, and provides is expert opinion on how the race might unfold.

This podcast is brought to you in association with Prendas Ciclismo, Pinarello, and Floyds of Leadville.