2020 season getting closer…

Even though the end of 2019 doesn’t feel that long ago and the cyclo cross season has been keeping us entertained, despite Mathieu Van der Poel dominating, its now time for the road season to restart with racing in Australia and in the next few weeks Argentina and Columbia.

The Tour Down Under is hurtling upon us with the Australian Nationals now out of the way and the racing starting in 2 days with the Ladies and on the 21st with the men.

I have been quick to criticise the Tour on previous blogs and podcasts feeling its a bit too synthetic and trying too hard.

I am no Richie Porte fan either but you have to say that his brilliant record on the races queen stage to Willunga Hill will be reason enough to pay some interest.

Maybe its my old age but I am starting to warm to the TDU as I have the Tour de Yorkshire. On the dark winters nights there is nothing better than watching some sunshine and bike racing.

It will also give those of us in the Northern hemisphere time to reflect on the terrible tragedy unfolding down under through the bush fires.

I can hardly wait to get going!

The Dutch are coming

Its been a while in coming, but the Dutch are coming back.

As a kid I grew up watching John-Paul Van Poppel dominate sprints whilst the twins, Gert-Jan Theunisse and Steven Rooks soared through the mountains. 

Greg LeMond won the most exciting Tour in history in 1989 but one of the best stages for me was the mountain time trial to Orcieres Merlette where Rook won. 

It was in part down to those two that Alp D’Huez was christened the “Dutch Mountain”. 

Despite a few false dawns recently the golden era seems to be returning. 

We had Tom Dumoulin going close in the Vuelta last season before an equally late race collapse by Steven Kruijswijk in the Giro. Bauke Mollema was up there in the Tour de France and despite also faltering in the final days the trend was still up. 

I think we will see a grand Tour winner flying the horizontal tricolour before we do that of a Frenchman, but it will be close. 

The old country’s are coming back into cycling rapidly and we had better watch out.