The Cycling News Podcast
Tour de France gears up to the sound of boos

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

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

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.