Cavendish Hits Car

Mark Cavendish car crashLess than two weeks after Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and Shane Sutton, Head Coach at Team Sky, were both involved in separate accidents on the road, Britain’s Mark Cavendish has also had an altercation with a car. Cavendish, who recently left Sky for Omega Pharma-Quickstep, was training in Italy when a car ahead of the 2011 Road Race Champion hit the brakes without warning. Escaping relatively unscathed, Cavendish tweeted, ‘Went & hit the back of a car that slammed on today in training. Wasn’t ideal. Apart from a bruised arm, I’m relatively ok. If anyone cares.’


For his part Wiggins was released from hospital after one night with a broken index finger and fractured ribs, whilst Sutton suffered more serious injuries and continues to recover from bleeding on the brain caused when knocked from his bike on the A6 near Levenshulme in Manchester.


Books Featured Reviews

Bradley Wiggins: Tour de Force

Bradley Wiggins: Tour de Force by John Deering - Team SkyHard to move without bumping into another book on Bradley Wiggins – his autobiography, My Time, is out, as is an update of his In Pursuit of Glory, and the official Team Sky’s 21 Days to Glory. Then there are the books Richard Moore, Daniel Friebe, Press Association Sports, et al. Britain’s first ever Tour de France winner and Olympic hero is certainly proving a gift to publishers… We have to assume the collective noun for these is ‘a peloton’ and amongst this bunch we find Bradley Wiggins: Tour de Force by John Deering, a regular contributor to Eurosport’s cycling coverage, Procycling and The Official Tour de France Guide. The fact that Deering has arguably nabbed the best title for his book reveals something of the tabloid headline nature of his book, but where it succeeds is in perfectly balancing biographic history with a virtual day-by-day account of Wiggins’ 2012 Tour de France battle, thus splicing together several of the other viral titles available.


Deering pulls off his trick by alternating chapters between breathless present tense details of the TdF with stories of Wiggins’ childhood and rise through the ranks. Whilst the latter is really better detailed in Wiggins’ own books and words, Deering’s blow-by-blow of the Tour is both evocative and perfect for those looking to learn more about the machinations of team tactics and minutiae of life on the road. If you can forgive the tabloidisms (‘He kisses the podium girls with the relaxed confidence of a former lover’) then Tour de Force is a rewarding read that ranks amongst the best on its subject.


Bradley Wiggins: Tour de Force by John Deering is published by Birlinn Ltd, £12.99 RRP paperback (ISBN-10: 1780271034) and £8.15 Kindle Edition. Available from



Shane Sutton Injured in Crash

Shane Sutton Team Sky CrashJust as the good news that Bradley Wiggins has been released after a night spent in hospital being treated for a broken index finger and fractured ribs after he was knocked from his bike yesterday (November 7), it has been reported that Shane Sutton, head coach at Team Sky, has also been involved in an accident. The 55-year-old Australian, who is also British Cycling’s head coach, was reportedly knocked from his bike earlier today on the A6 near Levenshulme in Manchester.


A spokesperson for British Cycling said: ‘British Cycling has confirmed that Shane Sutton, head coach for the GB Cycling Team, was involved in an incident this morning on the A6 near Levenshulme in Manchester. Shane was taken into hospital where it was identified he has suffered bruising and bleeding on the brain… Shane was wearing a helmet. He is set to undergo more tests, and is likely to stay in hospital for the next few days.’



Wiggins in Hospital

Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky AccidentTour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has spent the night in hospital after being knocked off his bike whilst on a training ride near to his family home in Eccleston. At around 6pm yesterday evening (November 7) a white Vauxhall Astra car being driven by a local woman pulled out of a petrol station in Wrightington, Lancashire, hitting the 32-year-old Olympic medalist and throwing him from the bike. Initial reports suggested more serious injury although Lancashire police have told BBC Sport: ‘He was taken to hospital with injuries that are not thought to be life-threatening. His condition is stable.’


A statement on Wiggin’s Team Sky website reads: ‘We can confirm that Bradley Wiggins was involved in a road traffic accident whilst riding his bike near his home in Lancashire on Wednesday evening… He is being kept in hospital overnight for observation but the injuries he has sustained are not thought to be serious and he is expected to make a full and speedy recovery.’



Wiggins Gains a Podium Place

Bradley Wiggins, Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, UCIDespite the International Cycling Union declaring that no substitute winners of the Tour de France would stand in place of the now-deposed Lance Armstrong for the consecutive years 1999-2005, they have now announced that results from his comeback season (2009/10) will be reallocated; the upshot for Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins is that his fourth place 2009 Tour de France place is upgraded to a podium third place. The UCI confirmed: ‘In 2009 the placing of Mr Armstrong will be reallocated… Bradley Wiggins is the third-placed rider for the Tour de France, 2009.’


This will make for happier news for Sky who have had a fairly torrid couple of weeks with the departure, after their announcement of a zero-tolerance stance on historical drug use, of both Race Coach, Bobby Julich and Sporting Director Steven de Jongh. The team’s lead Sports Director, Sean Yates, has also departed although this is understood to have nothing to do with any previous (or indeed current) wrongdoing, but rather for ‘…purely personal reasons.’



Sean Yates Quits Team Sky

20121028-170221.jpgTeam Sky’s lead Sports Director, Sean Yates has announced he is quitting the team and retiring from cycling after three decades in the sport. Yates was himself a pro cyclist, the British individual pursuit champion in 1982 and 1983 and a stage winner at both the Tour de France and Vuelta a España in 1988, before retiring in 1996 to follow a management career in the sport. He joined Team Sky at their inception and is largely credited with masterminding Bradley Wiggins win at this year’s TdF.
In a statement Team Principal Dave Brailsford said: ‘After a long career in professional cycling, he has told us that he wants to move on, for purely personal reasons… Sean has been a great support to the riders on the road and a valuable colleague to us all. We wish him the best for the next step in his life.’


The news of his departure comes immediately on the back of Team Sky’s Race Coach, Bobby Julich, leaving the outfit after disclosing that he used a banned substance whilst a pro cyclist during the late 1990s. However Sky are at pains to point out that, although he was interviewed – along with all staff – about any historic misdemeanours there were ‘…no admissions or disclosures that would have required him to leave the team,’ and his exit is, ‘for purely personal reasons.’


Featured Features

Tour de France 2013

The route for the 100th Tour de France was unveiled yesterday at the Paris Convention Centre, in front of an audience of 4,000 people; as had already been widely rumored the historic centenary edition will me a monster of a climb with the kind of hills likely to rule out a second consecutive overall win for Bradley Wiggins. Indeed Wiggins has already declared it ‘more than likely’ he will play a supporting role to team mate Chris Froome and concentrate instead on winning at the more fitting Giro d’Italia (set in include more than 90km of time trial), saying simply, ‘I just want to be in a successful team.’


The 2013 Tour de France will begin, as was already known, on Corsica (June 29) with three days of racing over 511km before moving to mainland France for the first time trial – the team effort in Nice of 25km. The two subsequent (individual) time trials are set for Stage 11 (Avranches – Mont St Michel, 33km) and Stage 17 (Embrun – Chorges, 32km), a total of 65km down from the 100km of this year. The finish, as has been traditional for many years, will take place on the Champs-Elysees in Paris (July 21) after 3,360km of racing; with the twist for this celebratory edition being that not only will riders go all the way to the top of the famous boulevard and circle the Arc de Triomphe, but their arrival is to be timed for twilight too.


But it is without doubt the climbs that will define the 2013 edition; although the rumors that the TdF would finish atop l’Alpe d’Huez rather than in Paris proved – naturally enough – unfounded, the beast will still have to be tackled twice during the 168km Stage 18, and the legendary Mont Ventoux makes a welcome (!) appearance once more for 2013. Adding to the tough mix next year will be four summit finishes, not least of which is likely to be the penultimate stage’s ascent to Semnoz where the entire TdF could be won or lost.


The full TdF 2013 route is:


Stage 1 (June 29) Porto Vecchio – Bastia, 212km

Stage 2 (June 30) Basta – Ajaccio, 154km

Stage 3 (July 1) Ajaccio – Calvi, 145km

Stage 4 (July 2) Nice – Nice (TTT) 25km

Stage 5 (July 3) Cagnes sur Mer – Marseille, 219km

Stage 6 (July 4) Aix en Provence – Montpellier, 176km

Stage 7 (July 5) Montpellier – Albi, 205km

Stage 8 (July 6) Castres – Ax 3 Domaines, 194km

Stage 9 (July 7) St Girons – Bagneres de Bigorre, 165km

Rest Day

Stage 10 (July 9) St Gildas des Bois – St Malo, 193km

Stage 11 (July 10) Avranches – Mont St Michel (ITT) 33km

Stage 12 (July 11) Fougeres – Tours, 218km

Stage 13 (July 12) Tours – St Amand Montrond, 173km

Stage 14 (July 13) St Pourain sur Sioule – Lyon, 191km

Stage 15 (July 14) Givors – Mont Ventoux, 242km

Rest Day

Stage 16 (July 16) Vaison la Romaine – Gap, 168km

Stage 17 (July 17) Embrun – Chorges (ITT) 32km

Stage 18 (July 18) Gap – Alpe d’Huez, 168km

Stage 19 (July 19) Bourg d’Oisans – Le Grand Bornand, 204km

Stage 20 (July 20) Annecy – Annecy Semnoz, 125km

Stage 21(July 21) Versailles – Paris



GB Announces World Cycling Championships Squads

No great surprise to hear that Mark Cavendish is to defend his titles at the upcoming World Cycling Championships in Limburg, Holland (September 16-23), part of the nine-man Road Race team that is to comprise Tour de France and Olympic Gold Medallist Bradley Wiggins, Steve Cummings, Alex Dowsett, Chris Froome, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke. Froome will also represent GB in the Time Trials along with Alex Dowsett, something of a surprise double act which leaves out Geraint Thomas, who failed to make it beyond the long list.


The Elite Women’s Road Race squad will be Olympic Silver Medallist Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Pooley, Katie Colclough, Nicole Cooke, Nikki Harris and Sharon Laws, with Pooley also joining Wendy Houvenaghel in the Time Trial.