The Bikes Are Racing On T.v Again
Finally after what seems to me like the longest winter ever it is nice to be able to have something to get excited about in cycling terms. I’m talking about the bike racing on the telly of course.
As the New Year gets under way, every year I eagerly await the start of the racing season. There are some races that start early such as the tour down under and the tour of Oman but what I’m really talking about is the racing in Europe.
I am by my own admission a bit of a Francophile so I love the Paris-Nice and the beautiful scenery that comes from the camera crews as well of course the racing itself. For me it is a good indicator of who is really on form at the start of the year in what can be some very difficult weather conditions. This year’s race didn’t seem to me to have the real big hitters as in previous years. Sure there were some names in there but a lot of the big names had opted to go for the Tirreno Adriatico which started a few days after it instead.
On both races the weather on some days was awful, which does make for some exciting viewing and really sorts the men from the boys.
Then there are the spring classics, starting tomorrow with the Milan-San Remo, a tough day on a bike by anybody’s standards. I’m not going to start listing them all but I do have a favourite, The Paris-Roubaix. If you have never sat down to watch this race and you are into cycling then you have missed something very special. This race is tough, really tough, not only on the riders but the bikes too. A lot of the bikes run much chunkier tyres and some of the riders prefer to use cyclocross bikes because unlike a lot of normal road races the Paris-Roubaix has sections of cobbles or Pave as they are known.
If the weather is bad they are incredibly slippery and difficult to ride on, with huge potholes and other obstacles. The potential for disaster is always close by. This year’s race is on April 7th, definitely one for your T.V diary.
I have to say that some T.V channels have really championed the cycling in recent years in particular Eurosport on Sky which now calls itself the home of cycling. Also ITV 4 has excellent coverage of the bigger races like the grand tours.
This year should see some interesting racing with Bradley Wiggins apparently going for the Giro while Chris Froome has his sights set on the Tour de France. If I were you I would keep an eye on Peter Sagan. For me he is the most exciting rider around at the moment. He has an amazing amount of self-confidence and swagger but has also got the power to back up this up. He is a real character and definitely no shrinking violet, just what the sport needs a young gun who is flexing his muscles and shaking up the field a bit, great for the sport.
We will have to see what Cav has to offer this year too now he is riding for Quick step. I don’t think he was very happy at all riding with team Sky and I get the impression that he is not very enamoured with British cycling as a whole.