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                  > Vuelta a España



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. Bergamo has hosted the Tour of Lombardy before, finishing there between the years 1995 to 2003, in fact in 2003 the route was the same in title - Como to Bergamo, but it was a very different route entirely.



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.


World Road Race Championships

Ponferrada, Spain.
Sunday 28th September, 254.8kms

RuiCosta-wcThis has been one of my favourite races for years now and I have had three very profitable years in a row betting on it. Starting with a big bet on Cavendish at 6/1 in 2011, followed by the 1-2-3 with Gilbert, Boassen-Hagen and Valverde in 2012 and a massive 50/1 winner in Rui Costa last year. The pressure is on then in what is a ridiculously open race!  


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. 


World's Individual Time Trial

Ponferrada, Spain.
Wednesday 23rd September, 47.1kms

tony martin WCThe opening two days of Time Trialling has seen BMC crowned top dogs in the Team Time Trial, Lulu-Lemon take the Womens Title and Campbell Flakemore deny Ireland's Ryan Mullen by less than a half a second in the U23 Individual Title. The Programme moves on to the Junior TTs on Tuesday and the Elite Men's TT on Wednesday. 


World Championship Team Time Trial

Ponferrada, Spain.
Sunday 21st - Sunday 28th September

ponferrada2014 logoThe world Championships of 2014 kick off on Sunday the 21st with the Women's Team Time Trial at 10am local time. That's followed at 2pm by the Men's Team Time Trial over 57.1kms, an event that has been only been going for two years and has been won both times by Omega Pharma Quick Step. 


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.. 


Vuelta a España St. 21

Santiago De Compostela
Sunday September 14th, 9.7kms 

santiagoI think most were hoping to see some sort of battle on the final TT for the GC, not that 9.7kms would have made a great difference to the finishing positions, but with Contador 1'37" ahead of Froome, the TT is a dead rubber with regards the General Classification. There is of course the stage battle to win and it should be a close battle between some top Time Triallists.  


Vuelta a España St. 20

Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil to Puerto de Ancares
Saturday September 10th, 185.7kms 

Vuelta14-st20-ancaresSo this is it then, it could all come down to this final stage in the mountains - Contador seems to think he has enough in hand to take the overall, Froome seems to think he can still win it. This stage is quite similar to a stage in the 2012 Vuelta when Rodriguez won from Contador, Valverde, Moreno, Froome and Talansky. We're sure to see some of these feature at the finish today too. 


Vuelta a España St. 19

Salvaterra Do Miño to Cangas Do Morrazo
Friday September 12th, 180.5kms 

cangasFriday's stage could be the last big chance for the breakaway experts to try to take something from the stage with just a mountain top finish and the TT to come. If the break doesn't make it, the Cat2 climb 15km from the finish should make the final selection. It is sure to be fast and furious for the opening half of the race until the break and counter attacks settle down a little. 


Vuelta a España St. 18

A Estrada to Monte Castrove. Meis
Thursday September 11th, 157kms 

vuelta14 st18 lastkmsSo after a flat stage for the sprinters on Wednesdsay we hit a stage on Thursday that is mostly flat but has a nice little stinger at the end with a double ascension of the Monte Castrove. There's barely a bump in the road for 125kms until they pass through Pontevedra and then hit the Monte Castrove for the first time. With this being the second last uphill finish of the race we should see a big battle once again!


Vuelta a España St. 17

Ortigueira to A Coruña
Wednesday September 10th, 190.7kms 

degenkolb vuelta14So there are five stages left and it looks like the GC is done and dusted now with Contador's powerhouse performance today. He is now 1'36 ahead of Rodriguez and a further 3" ahead of Froome, who once again put on a show. Stage 17 sees them back on the flat roads and it looks like a day for the sprinters,  the few of them that are left in the race.


Vuelta a España St. 16

San Martín Del Rey Aurelio to La Farrapona
Monday September 8th, 160.5kms 

vuelta14 st16 farraponaThe queen stage of the race unfortunately comes on a Monday when most fans are going to struggle to watch what looks like being an incredible stage. Stage 15 lived up to its billing as a potential classic with a relentless series of attacks on the last climb with Warren Barguil, Alberto Contador and Katusha the main aggressors.


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. 


Vuelta a España St. 15

Oviedo to Lagos De Covadonga
Sunday September 7th, 152.2kms 

vuelta14 st15 lastkmsA short stage, a pretty sedate stage, but one with a nasty sting in the tail on the climb up to the Cavadonga Lakes. This stage will really only become interesting you would think with about 40kms to go as they turn right in off the coast and head towards the hills. But with some 75kms along the coastline there is the possibility of echelons and splits to keep things interesting. 


Vuelta a España St. 14

Santander to La Camperona. Valle de Sabero
Saturday September 6th, 200.8kms 

La camperonaAs Celine Dion once sang 'This is getting serious, are you thinking about you, or us?' Well it is getting serious for sure in the Vuelta - but who will we be thinking about at the top of the GC come the end of today's stage? It's sure to cause another reshuffle in the top 10 and possibly even in the red leader's jersey if Contador suddenly and unexpectedly falters. 


Vuelta a España St. 13

Belorado to Obregón. Parque de Cabárceno
Friday September 5th, 188.4kms 

vuelta14 st13 finishStage 13 takes the riders almost to the north coast of Spain and the city of Santander, but they stop short of entering the city by taking a right turn off the CA-142 and up in to the Parque de Cabárceno, where there is a nasty little climb up the hill to the park to stretch things 2.5kms from home. 


Vuelta a España St. 12

Logroño to Logroño
Thursday September 4th, 166.4kms 

logronoStage 12 is quite an unusual one for a Grand Tour in that it is like a large Crit race - 8 laps of a 20km circuit in a loop around the outskirts of the city of  Logroño. There's a small little lump to get over at the southern point of the circuit but other than that it is a pretty flat and boring looking profile, almost certainly going to end up in a sprint finish. 


Vuelta a España St. 11

Pamplona to Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar
Wednesday September 3rd, 153.4kms 

santuarioAfter a dramatic Time Trial on stage 10 which indeed saw a major re-shuffle of the GC we move on to a tricky little stage with a hard finish to the Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar. Nairo Quintana is going to be feeling sore, Froome is looking worse by the day and Contador is going to be cock-a-hoop after a strong TT when he wrestled the red jersey off Quintana. 


Vuelta a España St. 10

Real Monasterio De Santa María De Veruela to Borja
Tuesday August 2nd, 36.7kms 

monasteriaStage 10 comes after the first rest day of the Vuelta, which followed the most significant stage so far in terms of the GC. The pre-race predictions were that Froome would blow away all his GC rivals in this TT, but after his performance on Sunday when he was dropped by Contador and Quintana, what can we expect? 


Vuelta a España St. 9

Carboneras De Guadazaón to Aramón Valdelinares
Sunday August 31st, 185kms 

valdelinares signStage 9 takes the race in to Aragon and up to a mountain normally more famous for it's skiing, being a winter ski station. It's a long tough stage with three classified climbs to get over, increasing in difficulty as they near the finish, from a Cat 3 to a Cat 2 to a Cat 1 at the finish. 


Vuelta a España St. 8

Baeza to Albacete
Saturday August 30th, 207kms 

albaceteStage 8 is back to being a sprinters stage after a few days in the hills which showed us just how well Alberto Contador and Chris Froome have recovered from their injuries, Froome in particular showed today just how much he is up for the fight, stealing 2" from Contador and co. 


Vuelta a España St. 7

Alhendín to Alcaudete
Friday August 29th, 169kms 

vuelta14 st7 lastkmsStage 7 follows hot on the heels of our first summit finish to La Zubia with another summit finish after an up and down day in the 'medium mountains' north-west of Granada in the province of Jaen. A lumpy stage sees them going up and down all day but over only two categorised climbs and only a Cat 2 and 3 at that. 


Vuelta a España St. 6

Benalmádena to La Zubia
Thursday August 28th, 167.1kms 

vuelta14 st6 verdesStage 6 finally gives us a real chance to see how the GC favourites match up to each other, who has good legs and who hasn't as they hit the first summit finish of the Vuelta. After a dead flat opening 50km or so it suddenly rises upwards with 5 climbs to crest (three categorised) on the way to La Zubia. 


Vuelta a España St. 5

Priego de Córdoba to Ronda
Wednesday August 27th, 180km

RondaStage 5 sees them head back down to the south-east corner of Spain as they leave Priego de Córdoba and pass through the Parque Natural Sierras Subbéticas heading in a south-west direction to the finish in Ronda. Ronda is a spectacularly beautiful city, perched on the edge of a cliff, one of Spain's most important tourist destination. The city that's known as 'The cradle of Bullfighting' will see a fight on the roads today. 


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