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Sunday 1st March 2015, 197kms

kuurne-logoThe second leg of the Belgian Cobbled weekend of cycling takes place on Sunday with Kuurne-Brussells-Kuurne. Whereas the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is one for the pure Classics specialists, KBK is one for the sprinters traditionally.

A sore throat takes André Greipel out of the race, but there are still a lot of quality sprinters present to do battle Sunday afternoon. 


Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Gent to Gent

Saturday 28th February 2015, 200.2kms

omloop logoThe 70th running of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad signals the start of the season proper for many. The first taste of the mud and the cobbles of Belgium and for some the first races in the cold and wet following a month in the sun of the middle-east. The Omloop can be run in brutally harsh conditions compared to the 40° heat of Qatar or Oman, and the riders often face snow and icy conditions.


Vuelta a Andalucia 2015

Wednesday February 18th to Sunday February 22nd

andalucia logo 2015The organisers of the Vuelta a Andalucia, or the Ruta del Sol as it's more commonly known, must have been pinching themselves when Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome announced they would be taking to the start line this year. Unfortunately a crash in the road nationals for Quintana means we are denied the chance of seeing the three tops guns battling it out for early season supremacy.  


Tour of Oman 2015

Tuesday February 17th to Sunday February 22nd

oman-logoAfter a training spin around Dubai, Vincenzo Nibali heads to the Tour of Oman looking to lay down a marker for the start of the season. With two-time winner and defending champion, Chris Froome, heading to the Vuelta a Andalucia this year, it will be interesting to see who steps up to challenge Nibali, with the race likely to come down to the ascent of Green Mountain again on stage four. 


Tour of Qatar 2015

Sunday February 8th to Friday February 13th

2015-qatar-logoThe Tour of Qatar has been a race for the sprinters in the past, with Tom Boonen winning it a record four times, and Mark Cavendish, Robbie Hunter and Mark Renshaw also on the honours list. Niki Terpstra won it in 2014 though on the back of a break on the very first stage, holding his lead all the way to the end from his team-mate Boonen and Jurgen Roelandts.  


Dubai Tour 2015

Wednesday February 5th to Saturday February 8th

dubai logoThe Dubai Tour returns for its second edition, having been upgraded a level to a 2.HC UCI ranking. 2014 winner, Taylor Phinney, is of course still in rehabilitation following his horrific leg injury last year so won't be here to defend his title. Instead, there are a number of world class riders here to try to pick up the bling-a-licious trophy, designed by the famous Italian car designer Pininfarina. 


Grand Prix Cycliste La Marseillaise 

Allauch to Marseille

Sunday 1st February 2015, 139.7kms

Grand-Prix-Cycliste-la-MarseillaiseI wasn't going to do a preview for this race as I wasn't sure any bookie would price it up seeing as there have been no prices for the Majorca races. But Paddy Power have priced it up so I'm going to take a late and brief look to see if there is anyone appeals. 


Tour de San Luis 2015

san-luis-2015-logoThe ninth running of the Tour de San Luis starts on Monday afternoon in Argentina. A race that was once dominated by the locals, the race has grown in importance and popularity in the last few years to now see the season launch for the likes of Giro Champion Nairo Quintana, World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski and Mark Cavendish. 


Santos Tour Down Under 2015  

TDU15 logoAnd so it begins! After months of waiting, off-season scandals, team changes and kit presentations the pro peloton are ready to roll once again with the season opener in Adelaide.

The big news from the race's point of view for the locals is the fact that three-time winner and reigning champ Simon Gerrans will not be taking part having broken his collar-bone in a mountain bike accident over Christmas. 


Australian National Road Championships

aussie-nationals-logoThe Australian national championships take place from Wednesday the 7th to Sunday the 11th January in Balarat, Victoria,west of Melbourne. Although the championships consist of a diverse range of events, I'm going to take a look at the Elite mens TT and the Elite mens Road Race as they are the only races with betting odds available. 


Il Lombardio

Sunday October 1st, 254kms

lombardia logoThe race of the Falling Leaves gets a makeover this year with a new route that finishes in Bergamo. The previous route was predominantly an east to west route that finished in Lecco, this year's route goes almost the complete opposite direction across Lombardy, starting in Como on the west and finishing in Bergamo after a loop in to the mountains north of the city.



Wednesday October 1st, 195.5kms

milano torino logoMilano-Torino takes place this Wednesday and it kicks off the post-World's set of season-closing races. This is a race for climbers and strong punchers with two ascents up the Colle Di Superga inside the last 25kms. 

Milano-Torino is a semi-classic that has been run since 1876, making it Italy's oldest bike race and one of the the oldest races in the world.


An Interview with David McCarthy

davidmac nprtWhat a year it has been for David McCarthy. When he sat down at the start of the season he could not in his wildest dreams have foreseen what lay ahead of him this year. From achieving world-wide noteriety for his selfie with Marcel Kittel, to finishing the season racing against the likes of Arnaud Démare and André Greipel, it has been an incredible year in every sense. 


Grand Prix de Wallonie 2014

Wallonie, Belgium
Wednesday September 17th, 198.2kms 

bakelants kissA short preview for the Tour de Wallonie as I am half taking a week off after a hectic week last week with the Vuelta and the Tour of Britain going on! It was a nice way to end the week though with a 14.7pt profit on Sunday to make up for a poor Saturday with the break in the TOB and Froome losing to Contador on the Ancares.. 


Tour of Britain 2014

11th to 17th August, 1067.4kms

tob2014 logo

The Tour of Britain is back and this year the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) confirmed that the Tour of Britain would be awarded Hors Categorie status, elevating it into the same league as the likes of Criterium International and the Tour of California. Brad Wiggins is back to defend his title but faces some quality opponents. 


Eneco Tour

11th to 17th August, 1067.4kms


The Eneco Tour kicks off in Terneuzen in the Netherlands on Monday and it will be an exciting week of racing across Holland and Belgium with some fantastic classic-like stages and a TT thrown in early enough in the race to ensure the last few days are super-competitive. 

There's a quality line-up this year, with defending champion Stybar back to try to fend off the likes of Dumoulin, Cancellara, Boom, Gilbert, Van Avermaet and Thomas. 


Tour of Poland

3rd to the 9th August


Hot on the heels of an excellent Tour de France we have the Tour de Pologne, a handy filler for riders preparing for the Vuelta or looking for somewhere to carry good form from the Tour. A mixed course makes it a very open race with local hero Rafal Majka hoping to continue his run of form following his memorable TDF where he took two stages and the KOM jersey.  


Clasica San Sebastian

San Sebastian, Spain
Saturday 2nd August, 219.2kms

gallopin-san-sebastianThe Clasica, or to give it its local name the Donostia-Donostia Klasikoa takes place tomorrow for the 34th time. As classics go it's a pretty new one but has built a reputation as a tough race, favoured by climbers and puncheurs. It contains a mix of riders who are tired after a hard TDF, riders in form from the TDF and fresh riders who didn't do the TDF!


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