Showing posts with label The Green Jersey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Green Jersey. Show all posts

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Farrar - in Green


Farrar is in Green at Oman. Damn he looks good in that colour. For the full report skip on over to slipstreamsports website to get the full skinny. There is something I like about Tyler Farrar and here is my list.
  • He lives in G(h)ent. Unlike many US Pro's he favours the tough playground that is Flanders. Who'd bet against him winning one of the Classic or Semi Classic races that criss cross his training roads. Gent-Wevelgem must be close to his heart and he has just a good a chance of winning it as Cavendish.
  • He's a big sprinting unit who is developing at a very nice rate, maturing like a fine wine.
  • On the bike he has a great position. I know this is really sad but having fitted many riders over the years I really enjoy observing someone who sits well on a bike. I know it's geeky.
  • As a fellow red head I have that affinity that you can only have if you have it.

I hope he has a great year and thankfully in the cyclesport arena you don't have to be Nationalisitc about which riders you like. He's on my to bag list, I reckon he'd make for a good interview and for some reason even though he has had some great late season success last year he is largely left alone by the press. Not sure why, but if I was in their position I'd try to grab some of his time.

So Good Luck Tyler, hope you have a great season and maybe one day you can exchange the Green Jersey of Oman for the one in France.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

King Kelly

Sean Kelly is one of the few PRO's that I have ever got star struck over (along with Eddy Merckx). I met him a few years ago and like a star struck groupie I managed to say hello and that's about it. Irony is that he's one of the more approachable guys out there, according to those who know him well.

As a PRO he rode through three decades and saw many changes in both the technology of bikes (and equipment) and how racing changed. I bet 1/2 a hour with him would provide many useful soundbites and thoughts on racing then and today. It's difficult not to like Kelly, as a rider we won many of the important races, and some more than once. I like him because he's earthy, hard working and even today still loves to ride his bike.

AN Post may not be the biggest of Teams but you have to respect a guy who is busy with commentating and charity duties while at the same time being involved in the team. On the subject of the Team, they will be using CRAFT baselayers (or underwear if we are thinking Euro speak) for next season. The CRAFT kit is excellent and are currently my favorite for moisture management.

Some of the UK magazines have been talking about Cavendish as the greatest Sprinter of all time. This maybe true, but it is difficult to compare generations to one another, although we can't help ourselves. Is he the fastest, probably Yes, but this season will see many of the famous lead out train on different teams and this will no doubt influence the speed he is delivered to the last 250m.

Kelly is harder to pigeon hole. It would be easy to call him a Sprinter, winning the Green jersey four times (and the Vueltas Blue jersey 4 times as well) and Milan San Remo twice. But is Kelly the last of the 'Great Ones', able to win Classics (Paris Roubaix, L-B-L and Tour de Lombardi), Grand Tours (Vuelta) and short stage races (Paris-Nice and Tour de Suisse). I am unsure if we'll see this kind of rider again. For me this is a shame as the true all-rounder is what lifts riders such as Merckx, Hinault and Kelly into that 'Great arena'.

I'm not going to waffle on about his results but these great clips shows more than I can say in words. Hopefully at some point I'd like to interview him, then I'll have something to write about.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Now the Dust has settled

It has been a few weeks since the Tour de France has finished. I have had time to take stock of it and here are my ramblings.

This year I have enjoyed the Tour more than any other since 2003. Of course other Tours will always have a favoured status but looking back this years Tour was great for one reason alone. The battle for the Green Jersey. So often called the "Sprinters Jersey', it really is the jersey that rewards consistency, courage and great tactics.

As an Englishman many would be expecting me to be waving the flag for Cav. Don't get me wrong, he is truly an awesome athlete (and I expect him to win it next year), my heart was yearning for a Thor win. As both athletes are great proponents of 'clean cycling', this for me was the battle that I could sit back and enjoy without those nagging questions that sometimes surrounds the GC riders.

Stage 17 produced a day that will go down in Green Jersey history. The words that a impassioned and frustrated Cavendish spoke fueled Hushovd's fire to create an epic day in the saddle. I bet that Cav wishes that he hadn't said that the 'Green jersey was tarnished'. Those words mixed with equal doses of pride helped create one of the most memorable sights at this years Tour.

A footnote has to go to Wiggin's, another great proponent of 'clean' cycling. He finished fourth which was as an amazing feat as Armstrong's first win. He has transformed himself from one of the world's greatest Track riders to a genuine Tour contender. I've met him once and he strikes me as a nice guy and I do hope he take's one of cyclings greatest prizes.

This Tour has shown that riding clean can produce the most exciting racing, be that in the sprints or the mountains. It gives this jaded fan hope for the future. I am sure PED's will always be there, but lets hope that it's use is in a smaller minority and our sport can hold it's head high.