Wiggins: Lance Armstrong Is The “Perfect” Tour Winner – Seriously?! | The Cycling Race News Show

Wiggins: Lance Armstrong Is The “Perfect” Tour Winner – Seriously?! | The Cycling Race News Show


(countdown beeping) – Welcome to another edition
of GCN’s Racing Show, with news and results
from the pro peloton, including transfers, the Tour of Hainan, more cyclocross, the 2019
Tour de France route. But firstly though, Wiggins and Armstrong. Bradley Wiggins is set to
publish a book this week, detailing 21 of his cycling icons, one of whom is Lance Armstrong. Now, Wiggins has been quoted
in the press as saying that Lance “is the perfect
winner” of the Tour de France, a position he justifies
by saying that he embodies the ideals of the founder
of the Tour de France, that is, a super athlete
who could overcome everyone and everything. Well, I mean, he did, but at what cost? You can kind of see Wiggins’ logic, but a lot has changed
since the 19th century. And furthermore, Desgrange, the founder, was a stickler for the rules, remember, going so far as disqualifying
Eugene Christophe in 1919 for outside assistance, which amounted to someone
pumping the bellows whilst he re-welded his
own forks during the race. So one might think that Desgrange wouldn’t look too kindly on, well, much of the ’90s peloton, Lance included. But what do you think though? Has Wiggins got a point? Let us know in the comments section whilst we crack on with
the rest of the news. The route of the 2019 Tour de France was announced last week, and it looks like one for the climbers. Three summit finishes at over 2000 meters bring an ability to cope
with altitude into the mix of necessary skills
required by the contenders. The route also has a record
number of classified mountains, although with more
tricky Cat 2s and Cat 1s than the biggest all-category ascents. Fewer kilometers of time trials, though there are two
short individual ones, and a short team time
trial complete the mix. So it looks like the organizers, A.S.O, have done what they can to
create an unpredictable race, something clearly high on their agenda, as race director Christian Prudhomme even reaffirmed his call
for a ban on power meters. Unfortunately, it’s out of his hands. But his voice does now
lead a sizable chorus, ourselves here at GCN included. Now, what is undeniably upsetting though about A.S.O.’s announcements
is that La Course, the women’s race they
host, remains just one day. This time it takes
place on the same course as the 27-kilometer men’s
individual time trial, only with five laps instead of one. Now, given the success of La Course over the years, particularly last year, you do have to wonder
why this is the case. Now, if you’ve been
watching our live coverage of this year’s Tour of
Hainan over on Facebook, then you will know that
it has proven to be a strong showing for
Italian riders so far, with five of the first seven
stages being shared out amongst Jakub Mareczko, Manuel Belletti, Andrea Guardini, and Marco Benfatto. However, the general classification is still an extremely close affair, with less than a minute
encompassing the top 21 riders ahead of the final two stages. Now additionally, one
of the most interesting observations from that race
is that of prize money. A total pot of $350,000 is
a significant opportunity for teams to target
this time of the season. And you would have thought it should be a nice boost going to the off season. Now staying with road
racing, it looks as if change is afoot among the ranks of Team Sunweb, as last week saw further departures, in the way of coaches Morten
Bennekou and Adriaan Helmantel. This follows in the wake of Edward Theuns terminating his contract early, Simon Geschke ending his 10-year
association with the team, and Grand Tour veteran Laurens ten Dam moving onwards as well. So could so much change prove detrimental for the ambitions of
team leader Tom Dumoulin, especially with the Tour
de France course looking less appealing with each
glance of the par core? In a world of high-profile,
high-value signings, team structure is often overlooked as one of the keys of success. So hopefully this doesn’t rock
the boat too much for them. Perhaps the biggest transfer
of last week was the departure of Fernando Gaviria
from Quick-Step Floors, the Colombian choosing to
end his contract a year early in order to make the move
to Team UAE Emirates. Another coup for them
came this week as well by securing the prized signature of 20-year old Belgian
rider, Jasper Philipsen, who’s finally been bagged by a team after much interest from the top ranks. He is undeniably an exciting talent who’s previously finished runner-up at the under-23 Tour of Flanders, fourth at the under-23 Paris-Roubaix, and secured stage wins at
the under-23 Giro d’Italia. He is, of course, another graduate of the Axeon Hagens Berman squad, overseen by former
professional, Axel Merckx. And he’s sure to be one to follow as he joins the ranks of the World Tour. Now whilst in the process of recovering from Epstein-Barr Virus, Mark Cavendish has announced
that he’s chosen to extend his contract with Team Dimension Data, as has his long-time
lieutenant, Bernie Eisel, who’s been task with
helping to bring through the next generation of riders. In the world of cyclocross,
at the weekend we witnessed another dominant performance
by Mathieu van der Poel, to secure his third victory at the 2018 Superprestige Series, beating arch-rival Wout
van Aert into second place, once again after forcing a gap early on. Toon Aerts followed home
in third place on the day. And in the women’s race,
Marianne Vos returned to the top spot with a polished performance, executing her attack
perfectly to beat runners-up Annemarie Worst and Kim van de Steene. The weekend also saw the first
round of the Soudal Classics, raising the curtain upon the
five-race series at Neerpelt. with at thrilling contest
which proved to be an unpredictable affair in
the men’s race for once. A group of favorites emerged at the front. And when Vantornout caused a gap to emerge amongst the group, Laurens Sweeck did not
hesitate to take advantage. Having accelerated hard to cement his gap, he did not let up for
the rest of the race, his strong showing securing
him top spot by 13 seconds, his third consecutive Neerpelt victory. In the women’s race, Denise
Betsema took the victory from Ceylin Alvarado, and
Laura Verdonschot in third. Now something which has had plenty of us debating the answer to
is this insightful thread from Daniel Friebe last week on Twitter. He said the last 10 years has seen a relatively consistent
number of riders racing for over 14,000 kilometers at
UCI .1 rank races per season. However, that’s changing. This season concluded with only a single rider having achieved it, that breakaway specialist,
Alessandro de Marchi. A result of larger teams, perhaps training programs,
or just a freak event? Tell us your thoughts in the
comments section down below. Right, that is all for this week. Do make sure you stay tuned to our Facebook page for live racing. We’ve got more cyclocross and
also the Saitama Criterium to round out the road season. For another video now though, why not take a lesson from
Emma in how to test your bike or your position scientifically. We’re taking notes as well.