Wiggins Wins the Tour of Britain

Wiggins Wins the Tour of BritainIn an otherwise disappointing year, which saw his withdrawal from the Giro d’Italia through illness and a no-show at the Tour de France (illness and injury), Bradley Wiggins has secured a decisive win at the Tour of Britain. Wiggins started the final stage – the 10-lap 88km course in London – with a 26second advantage and sealed the overall victory, despite Mark Cavendish taking his third stage win of the Tour, in a total time of 29h 45’22”.  Martin Elmiger took the second GC place and Simon Yates the third.


Post-race Wiggins admitted, ‘…at the moment it’s just relief that the job’s done. From the minute you’ve won the time trial you believe you can win the GC, but it’s not over until you’ve crossed that line. (The lead) was only 26 seconds, so if you crash before 3km to go, and all those other little things to think about. It was a pretty hectic finish as everyone wants to win the last stage.’


Commenting on Team Sky’s success Sports Director Servais Knaven added, ‘It’s been a really good race once again and I’ve had a great team to work with here. Everybody was motivated and we were able to control the race almost from beginning to end. The riders have executed our plans to perfection and they deserve a lot of praise… As for Bradley, it’s great to see him riding at his very best again and he’ll head into the World Championships now raring to take on the likes of Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara,’


Wiggins will be in action at the World Time Trial Championships on Wednesday, September 24.



Joanna Rowsell Wins Individual Pursuit

Joanna Rowsell Wins Individual PursuitMark Cavendish and Joanna Rowsell have been amongst six GB riders competing in Ghent at the International Belgian Open attempting to earn qualification for 2013/14 UCI Track Cycling World Cup series. Making her return to competition earlier than expected after a fractured collarbone suffered at last month’s RideLondon, Olympic track champion Joanna Rowsell won the Pursuit event with fellow Brit Katie Archibald taking second. Writing on her blog Rowsell said: ‘Going into the event I knew I wouldn’t be at my best, but it was about getting some points and hopefully going home job done… By the end of all the heats I was surprised and really happy to win by nearly 6 seconds! I couldn’t have asked for a better comeback and this has given me a lot of confidence going into the winter track season.’


As part of his return to track Cavendish took second in the 15km Scratch event and finished third in Saturday’s Madison all part of his campaign for qualifying World Cup points with a view to both the World Championships and onwards to the Rio Olympics.



Cavendish and Rowsell at International Belgian Open

joanna_rowsellMark Cavendish and Joanna Rowsell are amongst the six GB athletes heading to Ghent for the International Belgian Open (September 6-7) in an attempt to earn qualification for 2013/14 UCI Track Cycling World Cup series; they are joined by Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Steven Burke and Ross Edgar. Dibben will contest the omnium, Steven Burke and Joanna Rowsell the individual pursuit and Ross Edgar, riding for Scotland, the scratch and points races, whilst Cavendish and Doull will compete in the scratch race and together in the Madison.


Cavendish has twice been a world champion on the track in the Madison (2005 with Rob Hayles in Los Angeles and 2008 with Bradley Wiggins in Manchester); he also won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in the scratch race for the Isle of Man, but missed out on a medal in the madison with Wiggins at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finishing ninth. His participation at the International Belgian Open keeps alive his chances of track inclusion at the Rio Games.


Rowsell’s appearance in Ghent comes as something of a surprise, making a much earlier than expected return from injury (a fractured collarbone). But as she comments on her blog: ‘Just 2 weeks ago I thought Gent would be a long shot but with my progress last week I am now confident I will have recovered enough from the injury to compete. The advice is not to ride for 6 weeks after the operation and this event will be 4 weeks 2 days post op, but the likelihood of me crashing in an individual pursuit is so low; if I did come off something would have gone very seriously wrong!!’



Omega Pharma-QuickStep: More Signings to Come?

OPQ_jerseyThe worst kept secret in professional cycling was officially confirmed last week when Omega Pharma-Quickstep boss Patrick Lefevere announced the signing of Rigoberto Uran. In addition to Uran, who joins from Sky, Lefevere also confirmed the signing of Mark Renshaw from Belkin and Alessandro Petacchi. Uran is expected to be the squad leader and the main contender for Grand Tour success over the next two years of his contract.


Add those three to Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Tony Martin and Mark Cavendish and you have one of the strongest and most versatile squads in pro cycling. But apparently Lefevere says he may add even more. ‘It depends on the moves in the market. Some people I have to speak to still as there are four or five riders in my team who are at the end of their contracts. There’s Euskaltel stopping and so there are a few riders who’ve done well in the mountains before and I’m interested in. But I’m not in a hurry.’ Sammy Sanchez maybe?


OPQ have historically been a good team but never had a contender for the top prizes. So why the sudden change of approach? Lefevre’s explanation is that he’s been put off signing a grand tour contender until now due to cycling’s doping problems.


Well, now he’s got one in Uran, who finished second in the Giro d’Italia this year, despite losing time while supporting a fading Wiggins. As the ever quotable Lefevere said: ‘What’s for sure is that I’m not standing there with a gun in his face telling him he has to get on the podium in the Giro, Tour or Vuelta. If he does it though, of course I’ll be happy.’



Cavendish Banned from Boxmeer Criterium

Mark CavendishRace organisers at the Boxmeer Criterium in Holland have said that Mark Cavendish is no longer welcome at the event and have withdrawn his name following the controversial collision between the Omega Pharma-Quick Step sprinter and Dutchman Tom Veelers in the closing seconds of Stage 10 of the Tour de France on Tuesday. TdF organisers absolved Cavendish of blame, but heated debates have rumbled on.


Dutch news agency ANP are reporting that Cavendish will not be allowed to compete in the one-day event, which takes place on July 22, the day after the TdF finishes, with organiser Twan Poels telling NOS television, ‘I saw the images of the sprint on the television and together with the committee I decided to withdraw Cavendish from our list of participants,” organiser Twan Poels told NOS television… The jury may think that he was not responsible for Tom Veelers’ fall. We think the complete opposite.’


Despite his current performance in the Tour, not a good week from the ‘Manx Missile’ who, inexcusably, had urine thrown over him by spectators during yesterday’s ITT stage. In an attempt to laugh the incident off Cavendish subsequently tweeted: ‘Well I think the apple juice looks far from appetising for me tonight… And I’m not taking the piss. Did that once already today. #standup’


For more on Cavendish’s tweets (and responses) to the collision with Veelers click here.



Mark Cavendish on Twitter

Mark Cavendish on TwitterA bunch sprint and a terrifying looking final bend before the line was not a recipe for an event-free finish at yesterdays Tour de France; with seconds to go Mark Cavendish made contact Marcel Kittel’s lead-out man Tom Veelers, sending the Argos-Shimano rider sprawling. Kittel claimed victory, Cavendish still managed third (behind Lotto’s Andre Greipel), but the spat over who was to blame for the tumble quickly escalated, with Cav agitated enough to make a grab for a reporters recorder. Organisers have made it clear that Cav will not be penalised over the incident – effectively absolving him – but that well know court of arbitration, Twitter, has been aglow with ‘expert’ opinion. Here, for your delectation, is both Cavendish’s twitterage and some of the choicest comments that surrounded the debate…


Mark Cavendish @MarkCavendish


‘Not seen a replay of the final yet, but was involved in an incident with Tom Veelers. Whatever has happened, if I’m at fault, I’m sorry.’


‘There’s no way I’d move on a rider deliberately, especially one not contesting a sprint. I hope ?@tom_veelers is ok.’


‘Just seen the sprint. I believe I didn’t move line. I’m actually coming past Veelers & we touch elbows when he moves. Anyway, hope he’s ok.’


‘Can all sprint experts on twitter go & try flicking their bike right at 65kph without leaning your body left to balance & come back to me.’


‘If you wonder what happened to the journalists dictaphone yesterday, I gave it back literally 9 seconds after I took it #shitpickpocket’


The Best of the Rest


Colin Murray ?@ColinMurray

‘#cavendish asked was crash his fault, and he stole the journos tape recorder! So funny. He’s a one-man soap opera!! #tdf’


Wiggly Braddins ??@BradleyWiggins4

‘Breaking News! Cavendish wins ‘most aggressive rider’ of the day award.’


Callum O’Neil ?@Callum9592

‘From the grimace and extra shoulder nudge on top of additional movement for balance, can’t help but think #Cav was deliberate in crash #tdf’


Matt Goss ??@mattgoss1986

‘That was a close as u can come to going down in a sprint today! Veelers bike hit my front wheel then my leg then sent me in the air at 70kph’


Peddler ??@SecurityLog1

‘A lot of Twitter people telling Mark Cavendish how to sprint. The simplicity of instant opinion ?#ludicrous’


Stuart Edwards ??@StueyEd

‘Breaking news – French Police raiding OPQS team bus…’


‘…oh, hang on, nothing to do with doping – apparently they have a warrant to search the bus for a stolen tape recorder!’


James Lucas ??@RabAusten

‘Break away! Peloton,

fearful of an echelon.

Trains fight for space,

as Lotto set a pace.

Cav & Arg’y Bargy.

Kittel 1st to the party.’



24th Tour Win for Cavendish

24th Tour Win for CavendishBritain’s Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharma-Quick Step, expertly led out by teammates, delivered a textbook finish on yesterday’s Stage 5 of the Tour de France (Cagnes-sur-Mer to Marseille) to claim his first stage victory of the year. Claiming the win in a time of 5h 31’51” – with Team Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen, second and Connondale’s Peter Sagan, third – brings Cavendish’s total Tour haul to 24 wins, just one shy of all-time third position’s Andre Leducq and a step closer to Eddy Merckx record 34 wins.


Despite the toughness of yesterday’s stage – at 228.5km, the second longest of the Tour – Omega Pharma-Quick Step clearly had more than enough left for the end; post-win Cavendish commented: ‘I usually don’t start winning until about the 5th stage of the Tour anyway. This has been pretty on the norm, but we were really motivated today. ORICA-GreenEDGE did the chasing today which was nice, for once we could sit behind and save it for the end…’


The TdF continues today with Stage 6, 176.5km Aix-en-Provence to Montpellier. For more information on the other British riders in the 2013 TdF click here.


Want to know how the Tour de France began? Read the Cyclo feature Origins of the Tour de France.


Image ©


Featured Features

British Riders of the Tour de France

22 teams, 219 riders, 21 stages and 3,404km of road, hill and mountain. Wiggins may be missing this year, but the British riders of the Tour de France 2013 are more than worth getting to know better. With 22 TdF appearances between them, an impressive amount of Giro and Vuelta experience plus an Olympic medal or two, the six Brits tackling the historic 100th edition of the Tour will help keep patriotic hearts in the mouth…


Chris FroomeName: Chris Froome

DoB: May 20, 1985

Team: Team Sky

TdF Appearances: 2008 and 2012

Top TdF Placing: 2nd in 2012

TdF Stage Wins: 1

Team Website:

Personal Website:

Follow on Twitter: @chrisfroome



Need to Know: Snapping at the heels of Wiggins last year and likely only team tactics that held him back. Unencumbered and leading Team Sky for 2013, it’s going to be interesting to see what he can pull out of the bag, especially after such an impressive build to the TdF with wins including the Tour of Oman and the Critérium du Dauphiné.



Geraint ThomasName: Geraint Thomas

DoB: May 25, 1986

Team: Team Sky

TdF Appearances: 2007, 2010 and 2011

Top TdF Placing: 31st in 2011

TdF Stage Wins: None

Team Website:

Personal Website:

Follow on Twitter: @geraintthomas86



Need to Know: Thomas has his full attention back on the road following Olympic glory on the track in the Team Pursuit in 2012. Despite often being tagged a Time Trial specialist, he is rapidly proving himself a dependable all-rounder and he’s already proved his climbing legs during the 2011 TdF. Thomas will be lending strong support to Froome on this one.



Peter KennaughName: Peter Kennaugh

DoB: June 15, 1989

Team: Team Sky

TdF appearances: 0

Top TdF Placing: NA

Stage Wins: NA

Team Website:

Personal Website:

Follow on Twitter: @petekennaugh



Need to Know: Another rider who focused much of 2012 on the track, bagging Gold as part of GB Team Pursuit, but making his TdF debut. Despite his lack of experience through France, Kennaugh brings experience of the Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia and with four podium positions in his last four National Championships he is a massively well respected member of Team Sky. At just 24, Kennaugh is the youngest Brit taking on the TdF this year.



Ian StannardName: Ian Stannard

DoB: May 25, 1987

Team: Team Sky

TdF Appearances: 0

Top TdF Placing: NA

Stage wins: NA

Team Website:

Personal Website:

Follow on Twitter: @istannard



Need to Know: The fourth Brit riding for Sky, like Kennaugh Stannard is making his Tour de France debut but as the 2012 British Road Race Champion and his reputation as a solid domestique he will be bringing plenty to the mix. Both his TT skills and climbing ability are improving year on year, making Stannard a cliché-making ‘one to watch’.



Mark CavendishName: Mark Cavendish

DoB: May 21, 1985

Team: Omega Pharma-Quick Step

TdF Appearances: 2007 (withdrawn), 2008 (withdrawn), 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012

Top TdF Placing: 130th in 2011

Stage wins: 23

Team Website:

Personal Website:

Follow on Twitter: @markcavendish


Need to Know: With six TdF appearances to his name, despite the 2007/8 withdrawals, Cav has an impressive number of stage wins to his name and with excellent looking form going into the 2013 Tour he will surely add to them to close in on the legendary Eddy Merckx’s tally of 34. Clearly frustrated at Sky, he now effectively has a team assembled around him hell-bent on making his ambitions come to fruition. It’s hard to imagine the Champs-Elysees without Cavendish launching himself hell for leather on the final day…



David MillarName: David Millar

DoB: January 4, 1977

Team: Team Garmin-Sharp

TdF Appearances: 2000, 2001 (withdrawn), 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Top TdF Placing: 59th in 2006 (2003’s 55th place was achieved doping)

Stage wins: 3

Team Website:

Personal Website: NA

Follow on Twitter: @millarmind


Need to Know: At 36 Millar is the oldest Brit in this year’s Tour, but just look at the experience he brings – 11 TdF appearances and one of the very few British riders (and youngest of any nationality) to have worn the leader’s maillot jaune. A dark past – despite plenty of penance – make Millar a controversial figure but his time trialing skills and general work ethic always make him worth watching.


Want to know how the Tour de France began? Read the Cyclo feature Origins of the Tour de France here.


In the mood for more TdF? Tour de France 100th Race Anniversary Edition book review here.