Ireland’s best World Championship performances

The cycling road race world championships takes place in Copenhagen today where the winner is awarded the famous rainbow jersey. This year’s race will be 266km and will be over relatively sprinter-friendly terrain. Ireland will have three entrants in the men’s road race, Matt Brammeier, Daniel Martin and Nicolas Roche.

Irish riders have contributed to the long history of cycling’s most prestigious one day event. Here’s five of the most notable Irish performances:

5. Matt Brammeier (2010) – Last year the road race took place in Geelong, Australia. The route consisted of an 85km stretch before entering a 16km circuit which the riders would tackle 11 times. The world championships usually takes place on a circuit and it was unusual to have such a long point to point section before commencing the laps around the start/finish line. This unusual quirk in the route design almost lead to one of the biggest upsets in world championship history.

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An apology to Jonathan Vaughters

Vaughters

A few months ago, the Garmin-Cervelo directeur sportif published a list of ten things he would do to change the sport of cycling. These suggestions ranged from rider rankings to television broadcasts, but the one that really caught my attention was his suggestion that there should be “long-term guaranteed entry to the Tour de France for professional teams“.

If this suggestion were realised, while it would be welcome news to the teams already at the elite level, it could potentially have grave consequences for teams starting out at lower levels with ambitions of progressing through to the top of the sport.

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A new world record set in the Vuelta

StageNations

A world record was set yesterday. Ten stages of a cycling race in a row have been won by riders from ten different countries. This record was set when Francesco Gavazzi of Italy crossed the line to win Stage 18 of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana.

The previous record of nine stages won by nine different nationalities in a row had in fact been achieved on three different occasions. The 2009 Vuelta, 2007 Tour and perhaps surprisingly, it happened as far back as 1989, again in the Tour de France.

It’s even more surprsing that this record has been set in the Vuelta which has traditionally been a major stomping ground for the Spaniards just as the Giro has for the Italians. Whereas allcomers tend to target the Tour de France.

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Merger, alliance, coalition – what a load of…

Radiopard

Leopard-Trek are due to merge with RadioShack to form yet another ‘superteam’ in the world of pro cycling. While it’s exciting times for all the major players in the merger such as Johan Bruyneel and the Schleck brothers, many riders are being left in the lurch.

Consider RadioShack rider Fumiyuki Beppu’s coy tweet on the day that the merger was announced:

They Don’t Care About Us”..Music By Michael Jackson

Beppu was not one of the riders announced in the press release who will be making the move from RadioShack to the new hybrid team.

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