As a linguist and a cyclist, the language of cycling has always been of interest. If you know even a little French or Italian or Spanish – the main languages of the Grand Tours – it certainly helps when trying to understand what’s going on. Indeed such is the influence of these languages that the Tour de Yorkshire – my local race here in northern England, a legacy event following the visit of the Tour de France to the region in 2014 – not only includes the ‘de’ in its name but continues to refer to its more significant climbs using the French word ‘côte’ or ‘hill’ in honour of Le Tour itself. They can sound quite comical – the Côte de Goose Eye or the Côte de Otley Chevin for example – and it must drive the Brexit voters mad that their ‘pure’ English is being ‘corrupted’ by the French. But let’s face it, that all started way back in 1066 (and long may it continue).
Usually the first of the three Grand Tours, the 2020 Giro d’Italia gets underway this month after being rescheduled amidst the coronavirus pandemic. While the startlist is still yet to be confirmed, we do know that last year’s winner Richard Carapaz won’t be defending his title, as the Ineos Grenadiers’ cyclist rode at the recent Tour de France and instead, the British team will be pinning their hopes on Geraint Thomas.
By Beth Riley The 2020 Tour de France is almost upon us and following the consistent success of British cyclists over the last decade, the expectations for continued glory remain just as high as ever. Given the Criterium du Dauphine is often regarded as an indication of current […]
Ahead of the new road racing season, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has announced an extensive and detailed range of new safety measures. This was prompted by a number of high-profile accidents at key events last year and have been met with widespread approval by teams and organisers, although not all are welcomed by professional riders.
By Ryan McDonald In cycling, the big three big races on the calendar are known as the Grand Tours. These consist of the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. They are all huge events in their own right and the world’s leading cyclists tend to […]
Today has seen some of the best cycling of the trip so far. I had, in my mind, relegated the Via Rhôna to a fill-the-gap route that I would have to endure in order to get me from the Mediterranean to the Alps. If today’s cycling is anything to go by, it’s no fill-the-gap route. Far from it… There is real geographical drama in the Rhône valley and I can only see that increasing. I (almost) feel sorry for the hoards of touring cyclists passing me heading south to that roundabout in Sète which has about as much geographical drama as your granny’s pond. I’m heading to the Alps and the drama can only intensify the further north and east I travel. After the relative disappointment of the Canal du Midi, I have embraced – and am loving – the Via Rhôna after just two days. Montélimar? Mmm… Keep reading.
There’s no mistaking that I have now arrived in the south of France. Not only has it been hot (in fairness, it’s not been in the least but cold since Brittany) but there have been a long list of things that tick the Southern Europe boxes; lavender, a lizard, terracotta roofs, parched fields of crops, hilltop villages, towns that shut down in the heat of the day… No cicadas yet but they will come in the next week I imagine.
Originally scheduled to take place in April, Belgium’s premier cobbled classic has been nudged back slightly to accommodate a new cycling calendar. Now, on 18 October, the men shall race 241 km, and the women will compete over 135 km. The final circuits including Oudenaarde, Paterberg, and Oude Kwaremont still making up the shortened Tour of Flanders.