Froome’s Emergence from the Shadows

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Chris Froome used to be bad at cycling. He joined the Barloworld team in 2008 and from then until the 2011 Vuelta he managed only one victory, in the Giro del Capo in South Africa.

‘Bad’ is all relative of course. He was good enough to be a professional cyclist and he was also good enough to be signed by Team Sky. But the story goes that before that 2011 Vuelta the team were done with him. They wouldn’t be renewing his contract because he wasn’t worth paying anymore.

But then he finished second in the Vuelta, a Grand Tour, ahead of his team leader Bradley Wiggins. If time bonuses weren’t awarded during the race, Froome actually would have won. He had clocked a faster time around Spain than eventual winner Juan José Cobo.

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Christmas Quiz 2016 – Answers

Here are the answers to the Christmas Quiz I set last week. Almost 100 entries, some journalists in there as well as a couple of professional riders and (I’m almost certain) lots and lots of Googling!

The winner was Doug Hart who got his entry in with just a couple of hours to spare. Doug got all 20 correct, the only person to do so.

Congratulations Doug! A copy of the latest Soigneur magazine is all yours. I’ll be in touch via email.

1. Dimitri Konychev

1991 Tour de France – Stage 22

It’s the famous tumble taken by Djamolidin Abdoujaparov on the Champs Elyssés with Olaf Ludwig sprinting beside him, but it was Dimitri Konychev who won the stage.

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Christmas Quiz 2016

The winner takes it all, right? Well, in cycling that often isn’t the case. Some of the most iconic moments in the history of the sport have involved riders who did not win. The identity of the actual winners often gets forgotten with the passing of time.

So the question for each of the following 20 photos is simple: on the day that the famous incident occurred, who won?

For stage races, I’m looking for the winner of the stage that day, not the winner of the overall race.

Send me your answers via email only please to mail@irishpeloton.com. Let’s not flood the comments below by giving away answers to potential rivals.

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An Inconvenient Truth

via independent.ie

Irish journalist David Walsh was interviewed recently by Matt de Neef on the CyclingTips podcast. All the topics you would expect are covered – Armstrong, Team Sky, TUEs, Wiggins, Froome.

It’s well worn ground at this stage but the interview was interesting nevertheless. Not least given the context of Walsh’s stated belief that Chris Froome is a clean rider.

Thus far, there has been no tangible evidence to suggest Froome is not clean. But why Walsh deemed it necessary to publicly declare his belief in him has been a source of bafflement for many. He speaks about having a ‘choice’ on whether to believe in him or not. However, journalistically, beliefs are not a prerequisite. What are a prerequisite are facts, which Walsh was alarmingly loose with throughout the course of the interview.

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Yellow and Green – The old one-two

Stage 15 - 1972. Merckx celebrates prematurely as Guimard takes another win.

On Stage 11 of this year’s Tour de France we witnessed something on the streets of Montpellier which is extremely rare in the history of this great race. We were treated to the sight of Peter Sagan winning the stage in the Green Jersey ahead of Chris Froome in second place wearing the Yellow Jersey. The leaders of the two most important classifications finishing first and second on a stage of the Tour de France is something which has only happened on six previous occasions.

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The Big Red Button

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Monica: And Ross, if it weren’t for Rachel’s rumor, I mean, no one in high school would even know who you were. She put you on the map!
Ross: As a romancer of the elderly!

Imagine you’re staring at a big red button. If you push this button it would mean that all doping would be magically eradicated from cycling’s past, present and future. If you pushed it, it would mean there was no Operation Puerto, there would have been no Festina affair, Lance Armstrong would have ridden clean for his whole career. So would everyone else. There would have been no doping up until this point and there would be no doping from now on.

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