This article shouldn’t take you more than four minutes to read.
In those four minutes, Contra Le Monde can catch you up on everything that’s been happening in World Cycling.
To blow your mind immediately…DISC BRAKES ARE ALLOWED NOW…I know, right?
Whilst it feels like the cycling calendars are closely synced with primary school term-times right now – as in they finished up just before Christmas with the Giro and have started almost immediately again – everyone is back at it. Riders have switched teams, the rider hierarchy is all over the place after a tumultuous 2020 season and cycling’s equivalent to Dave Grohl (Chris Froome) is still making sweeping statements about his new LP being the best he’s ever written.
Hang on…What’s changed?
Well, Team Ineos have kept their hilarious brand-awareness-product-placement team name of Ineos Grenadiers, and have signed a raft of new riders, from the U21 bad-boi of cycling, Tom Pidcock, who isn’t really that much of a bad boy, but he has an ear-piercing. He’s not exactly Gianni Moscon. Bigger signings have seen Adam Yates (of the Yates brothers fame) leave Michelton-Scott (finally), Laurens De Plus from Jumbo-Visma AND Richie Porte rejoins what was formally Team Sky, as well as some other lads who give it all the legs on two wheels.
Grand-Tour destroyer, Chris Froome joined Israel Start-Up Nation as team leader, switching his Pinnarello for a Factor. Since posting on social media about his return to form since a potential career-ending crash last year on a recon for the Dauphine, he’s back and genuinely seemed to have good numbers. Since the opening cross-wind heavy opening stage of the Tour of UAE, which saw almost everyone lose eight minutes on the GC, the jury is still out on whether he can keep up with the young blood coming through.
British sprint legend Mark Cavendish rejoins Quick-Step, hoping for a return to form from a faltered season with Bahrain-McLaren. ‘Superman’ Lopez has picked up where presumably Mikel Landa left Movistar last season, for the aforementioned Bahrain-McLaren. Tadej Pogačar has renewed with Team UAE, after an unprecedented win at Le Tour last year, taking pretty much every single jersey apart from sprinters green. He currently leads the Tour of UAE, and potentially safe money would be on him taking the young riders jersey at Le Tour this year, if nothing else.
What else is happening in cycling?
Not much…just some of the most exciting riding that’s happened since EPO-doping was brushed under the carpet for absolutely years.
With that, comes the ban on the ‘super-tuck’ (where riders sit on the top tube to get better aerodynamics and less wind resistance). The UCI has banned the super-tuck, but hasn’t banned a race in a country where the princess of that country has been missing for years. They haven’t allowed for hugely rapid testing for all riders and team coaches, so teams are dropping out, because a soigneur catches COVID from his girlfriend.
They’ve also all but banned Bradley Wiggins from doing tour commentary on the back of a moped too, which frankly, was hilarious. UCI – go home, you’ve had too much to drink.
Cycling in 2021. It’s going to be mental.
Written By Greg Arthur @mondesportifsportblog