Tour de France: Thomas’ predictions, Brailsford’s astonishing press conference

July 24, 2018

After the final Tour de France rest day on Monday, the race kicked back into gear with the first stage in the Pyrenees and a finish in Luchon. Julian Alaphilippe took the honours after Adam Yates crashed while leading, and the GC battle flickered but never burst into flames.

 Earlier in the stage, the race was neutralized after police were forced to use pepper spray on a group of protesters - with some of the chemicals reaching the riders and forcing a break in proceedings.

In this Tour de France podcast, brought to you in association with Prendas CiclismoPinarello and Floyd's of Leadville, Daniel Benson and Ed Pickering hear from Adam Yates, Geraint Thomas, Steven Kruijswijk, and Heinrich Haussler on the stage, and take a look ahead to Wednesday's decisive 65km mountain stage.

 We also wind the clock back 24 hours to Team Sky' press conference and play the recording from Dave Brailsford almost 10-minute long question and answers session. During the press conference, Brailsford was asked about Gianni Moscon - thrown off the race for punching a fellow competitor - the DCMS report and the hostile environment Team Sky have raced under during this year's Tour.

 Brailsford responded by saying, "It's interesting. We raced in Italy, and Chris' case was open when we were at the Tour of Italy, and the Italians were fantastic, to be fair to them. The Spanish, fantastic. It just seems to be a French thing.

 "It's like a French cultural thing really, isn't it? That's it. I'm not sure that they would have liked their football players spat at in Russia [at the World Cup -ed]. I'm sure that there would be a word or two about that. But it's OK to spit on us and our staff."


Tour de France: Transition stages in review featuring Thomas, Froome, Southam

July 22, 2018

It’s Sunday evening and the Tour de France heads into its second rest-day with the race pausing in Carcassonne until Tuesday morning. The last two stages have been decided by breaks, with Astana winning on both occasions. Behind the stage honors lies the delicate battle for the GC with Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome sitting ahead of Tom Dumoulin.

 In the latest Cyclingnews podcast we hear from both Team Sky riders on the environment they’ve faced at the race with pockets of fans booing the yellow jersey and his team. We also hear from Tom Southam on how EF Education First are hoping to bounce back from losing Rigoberto Uran – their hope for the overall standings.

And we also hear from former footballer Frank de Boer, who is at the race for Dutch television. De Boer talks about the Ajax philosophy, entertaining football and if the same ethos can be transferred to cycling.

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



Tour de France: the Alps in review

July 19, 2018

In the latest episode of the Cyclingnews podcast - brought to you in association with Prendas CiclismoPinarello and Flyods of Leadville - we look back at a pulsating stage 12 of the Tour de France that culminated in Geraint Thomas winning the stage to Alpe d'Huez and extending his lead in the overall. The Team Sky rider now leads defending champion and teammate Chris Froome by 1:39, with Tom Dumoulin a further 11 seconds in arrears.

In the episode, recorded at the summit of today's finish, we hear from Thomas, Dumoulin and surprise package Primoz Roglic. Ed Pickering from Pro Cycling, and CN's Daniel Benson run through the action from the stage and evaluate the important performances from the Alps. The last three stages have seen the race shift and alter each day, and the podcast team look over the likes of Movistar, AG2R and of course discuss the growing leadership debate at Team Sky.


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.