cycling

Isle of Wight to host Tour of Britain final stage in 2022

Tour of Britain 2019

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Getty Images


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The 2019 event started in Glasgow and finished in Manchester

The UK’s biggest cycle race, the Tour of Britain, will finish on the Isle of Wight in September 2022.

An agreement between the race’s organisers and Isle of Wight Council that its final stage will be held there was signed in Ryde on Saturday.

The council’s leader Dave Stewart said the stage was “just what is needed to help boost the local economy”.

The authority previously said hosting the stage would cost about £340,000 but could generate as much as £4m.

Mr Stewart said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the stunning landscapes of the Island to an international audience, attracting spectators locally and from afar to enjoy world-class cycling.

“Just as the Isle of Wight is synonymous with sailing, so too I hope we can become a Mecca for all things cycling with Tour of Britain and other exciting cycling events in the pipeline.”

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Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com


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This year’s Tour of Britain has been cancelled because of coronavirus

Hugh Roberts, the managing director of race organisers SweetSpot Group, said: “We are delighted to be officially confirming in two years’ time we will be bringing the world’s best cyclists to the Isle of Wight for the final stage of the Tour of Britain, in what I am sure will be one of our most memorable stages.”

This year’s Tour of Britain, which was due to take place in September, has been cancelled because of coronavirus.

The 2019 event, from Glasgow to Manchester, was won by Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel.

The race has previously attracted world-class riders including Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas and is broadcast in 190 countries worldwide.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-53290716

Nairo Quintana out for two weeks after being hit by car in Colombia

Nairo Quintana speaking to police
Quintana was pictured speaking to police after being hit by a car in the Bocaya region of Colombia

Former Giro d’Italia winner Nairo Quintana is to rest for two weeks with a swollen knee after being hit by a car on Friday.

The 30-year-old Colombian was training in his home country when he was knocked down by a car attempting to overtake him and his support team.

Quintana’s Arkea-Samsic team initially feared a more serious knee injury.

“The medical report is in and my knee is swollen but luckily they have told us that it’s nothing serious,” he said.

“Of course, now I’ll have to take two weeks off to rest and wait for it to heal.”

He is expected to return to racing at the Tour de l’Ain on 7 August.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/53290261

Nicolas Roche: Irish cyclist named in Sunweb’s Tour de France & Giro d’Italia line-up

Nicolas Roche
Roche led Team Sunweb at last ear’s Vuelta a Espana

Ireland’s Nicolas Roche has been confirmed as part of Team Sunweb’s line-up for the 2020 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia races.

The Tour de France starts on 29 August having been pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Giro d’Italia, postponed from May, will take place from 3-25 October.

The Sunweb team, including 32-year-old Roche, will undertake socially distanced altitude training in Austria prior to heading to France.

As part of this, they will stay at a hotel in Kuhtai in the Austrian Alps, which is open exclusively for Sunweb riders.

To minimise risk of infection, the team will operate in multiple bubbles for rider and staff, with these bubbles being kept separate during travel.

All riders must return a negative Covid-19 test before travelling to camp.

This will be Roche’s 10th appearance at the Tour de France, with a best finish of 12th in 2012, and his fifth time racing the Giro d’Italia.

The France-born rider, who signed a two-year contract extension with Sunweb in 2019, is joined on the team by Soren Kragh Andersen, Nikias Arndt, Tiesj Benoot, Cees Bol, Marc Hirschi, Joris Nieuwenhuis, Roche and Jasha Sutterlin.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/53240774

Geraint Thomas on Chris Froome’s future

Geraint Thomas says it would be “nice to continue” being team-mates with four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, who has been linked with a move away from Team Ineos.

READ MORE: Thomas on Froome’s future and Tour leadership

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/cycling/53154523

Tour de France: Geraint Thomas ready for battle to lead Team Ineos

Geraint Thomas says it would be “nice to continue” being team-mates with Chris Froome

Geraint Thomas was meant to be preparing for Saturday’s opening stage of the Tour de France, the start of a gruelling three-week crusade to reclaim the title he won in 2018.

But now cycling’s most prestigious race has been postponed until late August, Thomas and his Team Ineos colleagues are adapting to their new reality at a training camp near Nice.

In some respects, the life of an elite cyclist has not changed too drastically.

“Lockdown is kind of how we live our lives anyway in a sad way,” Thomas tells BBC Sport Wales.

“When we’re training, we train on the road, we go home, we eat, we rest, we sleep and we do it again.”

And while social distancing and other coronavirus-related measures have altered their working environment, the essence of Team Ineos remains.

Whether the Grand Tour season is in full swing or a global pandemic has put cycling on hold for three months, the sport’s rumour mill is dominated by speculation about Ineos’ leadership.

The expensively assembled ensemble, formerly known as Team Sky, have produced seven of the Tour’s past eight champions, with Chris Froome claiming four of those victories.

His most recent was back in 2017, with Thomas triumphant in 2018 and Colombian prodigy Egan Bernal winning last year’s edition with Thomas in second place.

Froome missed that race after severely injuring himself in a crash but he is fit again now and ready to reclaim his crown, which poses an interesting – and familiar question – about who will lead Ineos at this year’s Tour.

“For me, it’s the same as always,” says Thomas. “Try to get there in the best shape possible and, if one of the boys is better than me, then that’s the job we’re in and you do what you and you’ve got to help them – and vice versa.

“That’s going to start up again and it’s been bubbling away for the last few months anyway – contracts, this and that, who’s going where and team dynamics and stuff. Hopefully, once we start racing, we can forget about everything else.”

‘The road will decide again’

Chris Froome (left) and Egan Bernal (right) with Geraint Thomas at the 2018 Tour de France
Chris Froome (left) and Egan Bernal (right) helped Geraint Thomas win the 2018 Tour de France

Thomas faced similar questions before last year’s Tour, when he and Bernal were named Ineos’ joint leaders, even though the Welshman was the defending champion and his then 22-year-old colleague was only competing in his second Tour.

Regardless of that gulf in experience, Thomas’ motto was “the road will decide”, that each rider would get a chance to prove his worth and earn the support of his teammates.

Froome eventually ceded to Thomas in 2018, and Thomas had to do the same for Bernal a year later.

Even with three champions vying for the leadership this time, Thomas believes that meritocracy will stay intact.

“I think everyone will get their fair chance because I think everyone can have a bad day and that doesn’t mean their Tour is suddenly over,” the 34-year-old says.

“We’ve done it many times now in the Tour. Not the best example but the first time was Brad [Wiggins] and Froomey [in 2012] and it could have been managed better – there was a bit of a fall-out there as we all know.

“But after that we’ve been able to do what’s needed and we’ve all been professional about it. I’m confident that can continue to happen.”

Froome’s future has been under scrutiny during cycling’s months of competitive inaction, with Israel Start-Up Nation reportedly leading the list of teams hoping to prise him away from Ineos.

Thomas was similarly sought-after following his Tour victory in 2018 and, while he can dismiss the transfer chatter as background noise, he would rather Froome stay.

“It does affect me indirectly but, at the same time, I’m not sat in bed at night thinking about that,” Thomas adds.

“I’ve been a team-mate of his since 2008 so obviously it would be nice to continue that. We get on well, we work well with each other, we’re honest with each other – brutally honest sometimes.

“But what will be will be and I just leave that to him, and just worry about going up the next hill as quick as I can.

“To see him riding his bike and doing efforts is really good to see because it was a horrendous crash he had. It’s great to see him back.”

Whoever it is leading Ineos at the Tour, this race will be unrecognisable from previous editions as cycling enters its post-coronavirus era.

It remains to be seen whether or not spectators will be allowed to attend, while the riders will need to apply their new socially distanced training methods to competitive racing.

“It’s strange,” Thomas says. “I don’t know what the plan is but maybe the start and finish areas will be completely different.

“I’m not sure how it’s all going to work. Fans on the side of the road – I don’t know how you police that.

“It would be a shame if we’re racing up those climbs without the normal frenzy and colours and noises and smells. That’s part of the Tour – that’s what makes it special.

“The Tour is still the main goal for me. The Criterium du Dauphine, which is the traditional build-up race to it, is on as well.

“It’s only five days instead of eight and it’s a bit closer to the Tour. We’ve got a three-day stage race before then which finishes with the same stage finish as the Tour, which is good.

“We’ll have two days off, then the Dauphine, a few more recons, a week off at home and then the Tour.

“So suddenly it will be boom and we’re back in it. I’m really looking forward to that.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/53129886

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