Africa's premier cycling team has been around in various guises since 2007. Initially, as continental team MTN, which became pro-continental team MTN-Qhubeka, before joining the WorldTour as Dimension Data and now NTT. Gerald Ciolek took their first win at Milan Sanremo back in 2013. Shortly afterwards, the team was riding and winning stages at the Tour de France. They made a splash in 2015 when Daniel Teklehaimanot took the polkadot jersey on stage six, and again on stage 14 where Steve Cummings won at Mende. The addition of riders like Edvald Boasson Hagen and Mark Cavendish to the roster made them a formidable force in the sprints and they took a total of six Tour de France stages between 2016 and 2017. However, things have since taken a downturn for the team. Marred by illness and injury, the wins began to dissipate and on the eve of the Giro d'Italia, NTT announced that they would not be renewing their sponsorship. What does the future hold for them? Kilometre 0 by The Cycling Podcast is supported by Zwift, the app for riding, training and racing at home.
In this episode we join Richard Moore and a good friend of the podcast in Belgium to review the Tour of Flanders, which featured a showdown between two riders whose rivalry began in cyclo-cross and are now destined to clash in the cobbled classics for years to come. Then it’s over to Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe to recap the first serious mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia, which saw a first grand tour stage win for Tao Geoghegan Hart, while João Almeida just about hung onto the pink jersey after a brilliant effort by Team Sunweb. But the question is, who’s the favourite for the Giro title now? The Cycling Podcast is supported by iwoca and Science in Sport.
With Daniel serving a one podcast ban (not really) for defaming an entire nation’s pronunciation of the words ‘pasta’ and ‘risotto’ it’s left to Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Ian Boswell to recap the Giro d’Italia’s time trial to Valdobbiadene in Prosecco country. Ineos Grenadiers will have plenty of reason to pop the cork on a bottle of the fizzy wine after Filippo Ganna and Rohan Dennis took first and second place in the stage. For the world time trial champion Ganna it was his third stage win of the Giro. Then came the battle for the pink jersey and Portugal’s young contender João Almeida extended his lead to Wilco Kelderman to almost a minute. But what does this mean for the Giro now and does it mean the other favourites, including Kelderman, Pello Bilbao, Vinceno Nibali and the rest have to consider being more aggressive in tomorrow’s mountain stage to Piancavallo? The Cycling Podcast is supported by iwoca and Science in Sport. This episode is also supported by Harry’s razors. To get a trial set delivered for just £3.95 go to http://harrys.com/cycle
For stage 13 of The Grandest Tour we are joined again by former professional Ian Boswell, who discusses the Giro d'Italia in the company of Richard Moore, Daniel Friebe and Lionel Birnie. There are audio diaries from Jacopo Guarnieri, the lead-out man for sprinter Arnaud Démare, and James Knox, an important teammate for Joao Almeida, who still holds the pink jersey of race leader and increased his advantage on Friday by finishing second on the stage. Who will be in pink after Saturday's crucial time trial? That was the question we asked in the final part. Most agreed that Almeida should keep it, but the stage itself is finely balanced and will set the tone for the final, mountainous week of the Giro. The Cycling Podcast is supported by iwoca and Science in Sport.
In our latest episode, discussing stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia, Richard Moore and Lionel Birnie are joined by guest presenter Ian Boswell, the former professional rider with Team Sky and Katusha-Alpecin. It was a tough day in Italy, with heavy rain and cold weather turning a hilly stage into a battle for survival. We hear from James Knox of Deceuninck-Quickstep who describes himself as "an emotional and physical wreck after one of the worst experiences of my life – it was truly awful." Nevertheless, he rode strongly, as did his team, to defend Joao Almeida's pink jersey of race leader. The stage winner was Jhonatan Narvaez of Ecuador and Team Ineos, another graduate – like Almeida and indeed Boswell – of Axel Merckx's Hagens Berman Axeon development team. Boswell tells us about his time on that team, including the day he spent at the Merckx family home in Belgium eating chocolate mousse... The Cycling Podcast is supported by iwoca and Science in Sport
Our Giro Diaries series continues and this episode kicks off with Jacopo Guarnieri recapping a day's racing while having his post-race massage. We also hear from James Knox as he continues to defend his teammate João Almeida's maglia rosa and from Cesare Benedetti on Peter Sagan's first Giro stage win and first race victory since the 2019 Tour de France. Kilometre 0 by The Cycling Podcast is supported by Zwift, the app for riding, training and racing at home.
The Giro d’Italia had a transitional stage for the sprinters and we had a transitional podcast too, with Lionel Birnie joining Richard Moore to recap stage 11. With sprint finishes in Rimini and in Schoten at the Scheldeprijs, the question is, who’s the fastest? Arnaud Démare – who took his fourth stage victory of this Giro – or Caleb Ewan, who won in Belgium? We hear from Jacopo Guarnieri of Groupama-FDJ after another seamless leadout for Démare, and from Elia Viviani, who was knocked off by a motorbike, a moment of misfortune that sums up his season. We also hear from stage eight’s victor, Alex Dowsett, who has settled back into support duties for his Israel Start-Up Nation team, and from Atilla Valter, the Hungarian riding his first grand tour. With Daniel Friebe absent, no one was available to remind Lionel of the incident at last year’s Giro when they recorded an entire episode of the podcast only to discover that the recording equipment had been on the wrong setting, meaning they had to start from scratch, which in turn meant they missed out on a sumptuous dinner and had to settle for a rushed pizza. Oh, the memories! Tomorrow night we introduce the first of our guest co-hosts for The Grandest Tour, with former pro Ian Boswell picking up the mic. The Cycling Podcast is supported by iwoca and Science in Sport.
In this episode of Kilometre 0 we hear from three of our diarists in the Giro d'Italia peloton. With Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma having to pull out of the race because of a spate of coronavirus positive tests, Joe Dombrowski of UAE Team Emirates reacts to the news, talks about the difficulty of keeping the bubble secure and asks whether the race will make it to Milan. Israel Start-Up Nation's Rick Zabel talks about the highs of his teammate Alex Dowsett's stage win but is wrestling with fact the race is continuing following several COVID positive tests. And Nathan Haas's pasta odyssey continues. Kilometre 0 by The Cycling Podcast is supported by Zwift, the app for riding, training and racing at home.
The Giro d’Italia resumed after its rest day with the news that two high profile riders, Steven Kruijswijk and Michael Matthews, had tested positive for Covid and were out of the race. The race limped on and served up a thrilling stage, won by Peter Sagan with one of the performances of his career. In this episode we hear from Ben Swift and Brandon McNulty, as well as our audio diarist James Knox, and the sports directors of two of the Covid-affected teams, Luke Roberts of Team Sunweb and Addy Engels of Jumbo-Visma. The Cycling Podcast is supported by iwoca and Science in Sport
Stretching over 1200 kilometres, from the knee of Italy’s boot to the tip of its toe, the Apennines are ‘il Bel Paese’s’ defining geographical feature - & yet many would struggle to point to them on a map. Similarly, the range’s place in Giro folklore is underplayed or even ignored, despite glorious dramas on fearsome climbs like Blockhaus, Monte Carpegna, San Pellegrino in Alpe & l’Abetone. With the dual threats of Covid & an autumn freeze looming over the Alps & Dolomites, could the Apennines of the Giro’s second week become the race’s kingmakers - & finally bring Italy’s ‘other’ mountains some overdue recognition? Kilometre 0 by The Cycling Podcast is supported by Zwift, the app for riding, training and racing at home.