Race Report: Thibaut Pinot claimed his second stage win at the Tour de France in the mythical Alpe d'Huez three years after his debut at Porrentruy. Pinot resisted to the return of Nairo Quintana who attacked Chris Froome just as he promised to do but the Kenyan-born rider kept an advantage of 1.12 over his arch-rival in the overall classification on the eve of the conclusive stage in Paris.
Race Report Stage 15: As sprint wins go, this was as cool and as gutsy as they get. Lotto Soudal played a blinder, putting total faith in Andre Greipel and the German fastman powered to a third stage win. We had a great breakaway group, but with so little left for the sprinters, their teams wouldn't countenance blowing a chance like today's finish.
Race report: It's win number 26 at the Tour de France for ace sprinter Mark Cavendish as the Manxman … finally … gets the sprint finale he's been hoping for. Etixx-QuickStep produced a great team ride, especially by Michal Golas to keep the break in check, and Cav finished it off perfectly.
Roadside Stage 5: The run from Arras to Amiens roughly follows the old Western Front line in the First World War, through several battlegrounds, including the Somme, and past the too-many cemeteries in this part of the world. Thousand of soldiers died here including Brits, Canadians, New Zealanders, and 46,000 Australians. It was a sombre start after 4 days of intense fighting on the road.
Roadside St. 4: I wrote about anticipation on Saturday, that feeling when the race is about to start. Today is different: there are already so many scenarios at play, and so many people either out injured or compromised by time, that we know the stories being written. The Tour is alive and its coming to us on the cobbles, we just have to wait.
Roadside St.3: City of diamonds, Antwerp hosts the start of stage 3. Our hotel was close to the line, so that made checking out the riders' departure a simple choice before the dash to the Mur de Huy. Calm and smiling, those same riders came rolling home battered, burnt and bruised, in ones and twos a few hours later after another crazy stage.
Roadside St. 2: The cheese capital of the world might seem like an odd choice to visit when covering a bike race, but with Gouda on the route of stage two for this year's Tour de France, we reckoned it was worth a look. As the biggest bike race in the world rolls into town, it was fitting to check out a town at one with status symbols...
Roadside St.1: Anticipation comes in many different forms: nervous, expectant, pressured, feared. The first Saturday in July 2015 sees dreams fulfilled for some, the next obvious step taken by others, and for a select few the seemingly impossible coming true.
Roadside Report: The Team BMC & Bora-Argon18 press conferences are contrasts, that would probably be an ideal situation for an aging party king – the day starts off early in what resembles a nightclub, and ends a hundred feet up in the air with some hi-tech gourmet cooking. Not my regular Friday … but then, it's a long time since I could ever dream about calling myself a nightclub god.
Roadside Report: We could just go and get all the same pictures as everyone else today, but as we're in Utrecht for the first time, let's have a look around instead. Not the smartest idea as the mercury soared, but sometimes you've got to hurt a little to live a little, to appreciate what's around you.
A hugely successful Aviva Women's Tour rolled to a high-speed and tightly-fought finish in Hemel Hempstead last Sunday, and Gord was there to check out the happenings on stages 3 to 5. It was an experience that seemed to transport people back a little, to the era before the men's Tour de France got so massive.
The Aviva Women's Tour hit the ground running in 2014, with a fantastic race in front of huge crowds. 2015 will try to better that great start, and a star-studded line-up is in place to thrill the fans. Top-class international racing on home soil? It was too good an opportunity to miss for Gord as he headed to England to check it out.
Race Report: If you're going to have a bad day, you might as well have it when the Giro is all but won. Alberto Contador proved that he has a champion's head as well as heart and brains, hanging tough through a crisis on the Colle delle Finestre. Fabio Aru gave it everything but came up a good two minutes short. The Giro is won!
Stage 19 Race report: After a couple of bad days, when Alberto Contador looked around and saw just how much Fabio Aru was suffering, the young Sardinian romped away in the last few kilometers to win a brutal stage. For Aru the day's spoils, and up a place overall, but Alberto Contador was as comfortable as could be on a lightning-fast ride to Cervinia.
Race Report: Just when you thought this Giro couldn’t provide another high-octane thrill ride, the first-category Monte Ologno, fuelled a further chaotic stage. We had it all: breakaways, chases, races within races, dropped chains and thrown-down gauntlets. The maglia rosa on the charge. It was perfect.
Stage 13 Race Report: On a day no one expected much of anything... Lampre's Sacha Modolo out dragged Trek's Giacomo Nizzolo for a wet weather win, while just outside 3km to go a crash caused GC chaos - another typical day at the Giro.
Race report: We've had 'shoulder-gate' and 'puncture-gate', so we weren't sure what scandal-based pun awaited us this afternoon on the road from Forlì to the motor-racing circuit finish at Imola. In the end, there was nothing to get the polemicists too fired up, but we did get a new, young winner.
From broken-boned tears of frustration to racing through her blue and yellow-painted Flemish home-from-home in just three weeks. For one of the most stunningly consistent female riders of the last 6 years, recovering from a broken collarbone is just one of many victories.
Race Report: Society has a thing against pickpockets; you don't want some little chancer coming along and dipping your hard-earned dollars when you're distracted. In cycling, you could say it's encouraged. Movistar's Benat Intxausti gave an object lesson today in the art of stealing a win.
Race Report: After his suspension, Lampre-Merida's Diego Ulissi returned to the winner's circle with a perfectly-executed sprint finish in Fiuggi. It's not a result that will cheer everyone, but that's the way it is. The still-young Italian got a perfect lead-out from Sasha Modolo to score the win.