Tour de of Britain, Stage 8. Worcester to Cardiff.

Finally after a tough week and a day we arrived at the grand finish in Cardiff, the biggest city in South Wales. As everyone knows the final stage always ends up in London but cycling there has been in lock down since the journalist Adam Boulton wrote a brilliant and well researched piece for some newspaper calling for an end to the “senseless worship of … Continue reading Tour de of Britain, Stage 8. Worcester to Cardiff.

Tour de of Britain, Stage 7. Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham.

Today was probably the hilliest of this years route. I managed to get the Strava KOM on the final climb of the day, The Winchcombe, known as the Col de la Coix de Fer of the Cotswolds. Unfortunately this created quite a storm on Twitters. The previous holder of the record time was a Mr Bob Pilchard and unbeknownst to me he has openly talked … Continue reading Tour de of Britain, Stage 7. Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham.

Tour de of Britain, Stage 6. Newmarket to Aldeburgh.

Today’s stage started in Newmarket which is more known for its horse racing than cycling, though Tony Gallopin or Laura Trott would feel at home there! Also, this is a sprint stage so there will be no horse category climbs! Seriously though, it has been lovely talking to so many new riders this year. At my last Tour de of Britain I spent most of … Continue reading Tour de of Britain, Stage 6. Newmarket to Aldeburgh.

Tour de of Britain, Stage 5. Clacton Time Trial.

Today’s stage was held in the beautiful town of Clact-on-Sea. The peaceful atmosphere of this typical British seaside town ensures that plenty of day trippers visit the area for a stroll along the pier or perhaps to sit on the beach licking an iced cream and wonder what time the amusement arcade closes. This is a far cry from the Clact-on-Sea of over 50 years … Continue reading Tour de of Britain, Stage 5. Clacton Time Trial.

Tour de of Britain, Stage 4. Mansfield to Newark-on-Trent.

Today’s stage started under a cloak of secrecy and the feelings of nervousness which engulfed the peloton have never been seen at that level since David Brailsford-Sir watched Shane Sutton at the Parliamentary Select Committee. We snaked around the deserted streets of Mansfield, some keeping an eye on what was ahead of us and others watching the sky above. The experience reminded me of my … Continue reading Tour de of Britain, Stage 4. Mansfield to Newark-on-Trent.

Tour de of Britain, Stage 3. Normanby Hall Country Park to Scunthorpe.

Well, before I ¬†update you on today I should update you on yesterday. I reported that Edvald Hagen-Boss had won the stage but after the umpires reviewed the finish they quickly came to the decision, after 3 hours 17 minutes, that “Eddie” should be declared OUT. Team Skye riders Elia Viviani was declared the stage winner and overall leader of the race. I’m not sure … Continue reading Tour de of Britain, Stage 3. Normanby Hall Country Park to Scunthorpe.

Tour de of Britain, Stage 2. Kielder Water & Forest Park to Blyth.

Blimey! The name of the start town is a bit of a mouthful! And that’s exactly what I got from a fellow who turned out to be a, David Brailsford-Sir of Team Skye! On the way to sign in this morning I tripped over a pile of rowing oars piled lazily next to a lake. Wanting to tidy them away properly so nobody came to … Continue reading Tour de of Britain, Stage 2. Kielder Water & Forest Park to Blyth.

Tour de of Britain. Stage 1, Edinburgh to Kelso.

It’s jolly good to be back at the Tour de of Britain after two years. I had a smashing time riding for, and alongside, Bradley Wiggins-Sir in the 2015 race and after taking some time out of the sport to do some research for a book I will be bringing out with someone going by the name of Bikegob Glasgow I thought it was time … Continue reading Tour de of Britain. Stage 1, Edinburgh to Kelso.

Tour de of Britain Announcement

I am delighted to announce that the well known cyclist and historian, Giles Ripwell, will be writing for the website and telling tales from within the peloton during the upcoming Tour de of Britain. The ‘Gentleman On Two Wheels’ shared his insights here during the race in 2015 but has since been out of the sport to research a book with Bike Gob Glasgow about … Continue reading Tour de of Britain Announcement

Tour de Past, Stage 18. 2004, The Omerta Stage.

Stage 18 of the 2004 Tour de France between Annemasse and Lons-le-Saunier should have been a routine day. It was sandwiched in between the final mountain stage and the penultimate day’s time trial, the wearer of the yellow jersey Lance Armstrong had a good four minute lead over Ivan Basso and the terrain was hilly. You wouldn’t have got very good odds on there being a breakaway and the GC men staying quiet before rolling in together at the finish. However, the day ended up becoming the definition of the omerta which helped keep the ‘EPO era’ running.

The inevitable breakaway was established early on in the day and contained six riders. As the gap grew the Italian rider Filippo Simeoni decided that he wanted a piece of the action and broke from the peloton and started bridging over to the group. Bizarrely though so did Lance Armstrong. The two eventually made it up to the head of the race but once Armstrong started taking turns the peloton, lead by T-Mobile, started the chase. They couldn’t let Armstrong gain more time so it seemed that the breakaway was doomed. Soon Armstrong and Simeoni started arguing and¬†Vicente Garcia Acosta, who was in the original break, joined in the heated discussion. The upshot of the debate was that Armstrong and Simeoni dropped away from the break to rejoin the peloton and the attackers were allowed to go off and contest the stage win.

What was all that about then? It was explained by many at the time as the consequence of a long term rift between two men. Filippo Simeoni had testified in a court case against Dr Michele Ferrari in 2002 where the ‘infamous doctor’ was defending a charge of sporting fraud ans the abuse of the position of pharmacist. During the trial Simeoni confessed that Ferrari prescribed him with products such as EPO and Human Growth Hormone while he was in his care.

Continue reading “Tour de Past, Stage 18. 2004, The Omerta Stage.”