[25/24] This Week In Cycling

Racing settled down a bit this week after the end of the Tour de Suisse, giving all the big news websites time to publish all their back catalogue of Tour de France preview articles.

Well, I say all the big news websites.

Not all.

In fact, not my favourite.

Yes, this week saw the very surprising immediate end to the GCN website. As of right now it redirects to their YouTube channel. That’s the loss of a further 17 jobs in the cycling industry, and a major hole left in the cycling news landscape.

I guess money talks, sadly. Certainly not the outcome I expected after last week’s report of a founder buy back.

Beyond that, us mere mortals must now take the knee to Sir Mark of Cavendish KBE. On your knees, peasant!

OK, if you want to see more of last week’s stories, click here. Otherwise, let’s dive head first into an abundance of Tour de France stories.

Demi Vollering Dominates Tour de Suisse

Demi Vollering clinched her third stage victory in the four days at the Tour de Suisse, also securing the overall win.

The Dutch cyclist out-sprinted rivals Elisa Longo Borghini and Neve Bradbury in a gripping finish.

This marks Vollering’s fourth consecutive Women’s WorldTour stage race victory, adding to her wins at Vuelta España Femenina, Itzulia Women, and Vuelta a Burgos.

Neve Bradbury finished second overall, 1:28 behind Vollering, while Longo Borghini came in third, just two seconds further back.

A very dominant outing, and keen eyes may have spotted Longo Borghini riding this week’s Bike of the Week (below).

Read in full at Cycling Weekly.

Vingegaard and Van Aert’s Tour de France?

Visma-Lease a Bike may have hinted that Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert will lead their Tour de France team.

A photo from their pre-Tour camp in Tignes showcased the potential ‘Tour Eight’.

Despite a season plagued by injuries, the team appears close to finalising their lineup.

Vingegaard and Van Aert, both recovering from serious crashes, have been training intensely.

The team’s final selection should have been confirmed by the time this post is published on Sunday morning, but at the time of writing we are still waiting.

Read in full at Velo.

EDIT: WAIT, It’s official!

Tour de France 2024 Predictions

The 2024 Tour de France is set to be a thrilling race, with the top four general classification riders all vying for the yellow jersey.

Starting in Florence, Italy, the race will feature challenging stages in the Alps and Pyrenees, including the fearsome Col du Galibier and the highest road in Europe, the Cime de la Bonette.

Sir Mark Cavendish aims to make history by winning his 35th Tour stage.

Tadej Pogačar is the favourite to win, especially after his dominant performance in the Giro d’Italia, while Jonas Vingegaard’s form remains uncertain due to a recent injury.

Primož Roglič and Remco Evenepoel also pose serious threats, despite their own setbacks earlier in the season.

Jasper Philipsen is the sprinter to watch, but Mark Cavendish, Mads Pedersen, Sam Bennett, and Biniam Girmay are also strong contenders.

Debutants like Juan Ayuso and Arnaud De Lie are expected to shine, while breakaway specialists Maxim Van Gils and Ben Healy could surprise.

UAE Team Emirates is tipped to be the most successful team, with Pogačar leading the charge.

Sepp Kuss and Michał Kwiatkowski are highlighted as the top domestiques to watch.

Read in full at Rouleur.cc.

Tour de France 2024 Start List Revealed

The provisional start list for the 2024 Tour de France has been announced, featuring teams and riders gearing up for the Grand Départ in Florence, Italy on June 29, 2024.

Teams are finalising their line-ups, balancing climbers, sprinters, and all-rounders to tackle the diverse stages of the race.

Some teams focus on protecting their GC leaders, while others aim for sprint victories or opportunistic stage wins.

Notable teams include Alpecin-Deceuninck with Jasper Philipsen and Mathieu van der Poel, and UAE Team Emirates with Tadej Pogačar and Juan Ayuso.

As team rosters are confirmed, the excitement builds for what promises to be a thrilling race.

Read in full at Rouleur.cc.

Key Climbs of the 2024 Tour de France

The 2024 Tour de France is packed with iconic climbs that will be crucial in the battle for the yellow jersey.

Stage 4 kicks off with the legendary Col du Galibier, featuring a gruelling 23km ascent.

Stage 14 brings the steep and exposed Pla d’Adet, a pivotal Pyrenean challenge.

On Bastille Day, Stage 15 tackles the Plateau de Beille, known for its tough 15.8km climb.

Stage 19 showcases the highest point of the Tour with the Cime de la Bonette and the challenging Isola 2000.

The penultimate Stage 20 includes the Col de la Couillole, a consistent climb perfect for last-minute heroics.

Finally, Stage 21’s La Turbie climb could be a game-changer in the final time-trial into Nice.

Read in full at Cyclist.co.uk.

Tour de France 2024 Prize Breakdown

The 2024 Tour de France offers a total prize pool of €2,308,200, rising to €2,581,029 with an 11.82% sub to the riders’ union.

The overall winner will pocket €500,000, while the runner-up and third place will receive €200,000 and €100,000 respectively.

Stage winners, top sprinters, and the most combative riders also earn significant prizes.

The Tour de France Femmes, despite being owned by the same organisation, offers considerably lower prize money, with the winner taking home €50,000 from a total pot of €250,000.

Regular updates on team earnings, including fines, are posted by the Tour’s press office.

Read in full at Cyclist.co.uk.

Barcelona’s Tour de France 2026 Grand Départ

The 2026 Tour de France will kick off in Barcelona, as confirmed by ASO.

Stages 1 and 2 will be entirely in Catalunya, with stage 3 crossing into France.

Race details are yet to be confirmed, but the route will pass through the Pyrénées.

This marks the first start over the Pyrénées since last year’s Basque start.

Barcelona has previously hosted the Tour and other major cycling events.

Stay tuned for more details on the stage routes and profiles.

Read in full at Velo.

Arise Sir Cavendish

Cyclist Mark Cavendish has been knighted in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Cavendish, 39, from the Isle of Man, matched Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 Tour de France stage wins and aims to break it next month.

He expressed his humility and gratitude for the honour, highlighting his joy in contributing to the growth of cycling in Great Britain.

Other sporting figures were also honoured, including Graeme Souness with a CBE for his charity work and services to football, and Katherine Sciver-Brunt with an OBE for her contributions to women’s cricket and the Yorkshire community.

Read in full at BBC.co.uk.

Gordon Ramsay’s Recipe For Drama

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, known for his fiery personality, recently urged cyclists to wear helmets after a serious bike accident.

Despite his good intentions, his Instagram post ignited a heated debate.

Some supporters called for mandatory helmet laws, while critics argued helmets could increase risk or deter cycling.

Ramsay credited his helmet for saving his life, showing off bruises and a smashed helmet in his video.

The debate highlights broader issues about cycling safety and urban infrastructure.

Read in full at Velo.

GCN Dot Com Gone!

GCN+ announced the return of its documentaries, but live racing will not be making a comeback.

Most alarming for me was that the brand’s website has closed immediately, which resulted in around 18 job losses.

GCN and its parent company, Play Sports Group, were sold back to their original owners, Simon Wear and Mia Walter.

Play Sports Network will continue to deliver digital content across YouTube and other social platforms.

The closure of the website was confirmed as a financial decision and came unexpectedly.

The GCN+ streaming service and app were closed at the end of 2023, with TV rights moving to Eurosport, Discovery+, and Max channels.

GCN will now operate solely on YouTube, offering documentaries through a membership programme.

The news was shared on the GCN Show by Daniel Lloyd and Simon Richardson, who assured viewers that GCN’s video content remains unaffected.

Read in full at Cycling Weekly.

Bike of the Week

Trek Madone SLR 7 Gen 7 Shimano Ultegra Di2 Disc Road Bike 2024,

This week’s Bike of the Week is the gorgeous 2024 Trek Madone SLR7 with Chrome Ultra-Iridescent paint.

I was in two minds about this bike when I saw pictures of it, but having seen it now on the TV, I think it’s an absolute beauty.

One concern is the seat post, but I’m sure Trek know far better than I what they are doing there. If you see the male pro’s on this, they ride the post so high that, surely, they must be on something custom to ensure there’s enough left to grip?

Anyway, a truly stunning ride and vastly outside of my price range. This one was £10,000 second hand, retailing new for a frankly absurd £14,900.

A boy can dream.

OK, see you next week!

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