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  • winkybiker

    I was in Eritrea for a few days during the tour and I can confirm that it was a huge deal for the people there. I was lucky enough to catch a bit of the tour with some locals in the TV room at the mine I was visiting. Just nuts.

    • What were you doing in Eritrea? I had barely ever heard of the country until learning more about Daniel Teklehaimanot.

      • winkybiker

        I’m a mining consultant. We were doing a project at a mine there. It’s a very interesting place. Cycling is a big part of life for many. It’s both a way of getting around, as well as a competitive sport.


        • jules

          apparently cycling is a legacy of Italian colonisation.

          • winkybiker

            I think that’s partly true. Eritrea is a poor country and private automobiles are relatively rare. Cycling is primarily a way to get around. Pedal powered trikes are used for commerce. The competitive aspects of cycling may have Italian heritage, and the main road out of Asmara (where much of the training is done) is a legacy of the Italian colonisation. It looks to be an excellent road to cycle (although I’ve not done it). Twisting, hilly, and not too busy, although what traffic there is can be a little chaotic.


            An epic adventure would be to (mountain or ‘cross) bike the old rail line from Asmara to Keren and beyond.

            The popularity of cycling in Ertitrea is in contrast to Ghana (for example), where I’ve also spent some time. Ghana is more developed, and therefore completely car-f%$#ed like every developed country. Very little cycling to be seen.

    • Gordon

      I work with a guy from Eritrea and he confirmed the Italian history and the importance of cycling.
      No crazy parties for him during the Tour as he was observing Ramadan.
      My work mate is a classic example of how immigrants can fit into “our” way of living. One of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

      • winkybiker

        Every Eritrean I have met has been great. A very friendly country for visitors, politics notwithstanding.

  • Kieran Degan

    Gee it looks like a size mismatch with Kittel and Ewan. He’s a plucky little dude, coming into the corner like that.

    Astana at the Vuelta!! Strong team but who is working for who? We saw at the Giro that a two pronged attack is only good for a the two lower steps on the podium. I’d say they’d back Aru. Landa is leaving them and Nibbles may not have the legs. If they play it right it is theirs for the taking.

    • just a guy

      Try again.

      “We had a strong one at the Giro, but not a big champion to finish it off against Alberto Contador”

      Aru and Landa were at the Giro. Nibali is the big champion they’re signalling will lead.

      • Kieran Degan

        Yeah, only skimmed it before and missed that. Interesting to see how it plays out.

  • Dave

    Interesting developments in the transfer season over the weekend.

    RideLondon saw the first race of Fernando Gaviria with Etixx, he came in eighth while Cav finished in 44th place and didn’t even sprint to lead his pack home despite being on home soil. No coincidence that Etixx still hasn’t renewed with him.

    Orica signing up Amets Txurruka would make it look like Simon Clarke is headed elsewhere. I assume that move would be one initiated by Clarke to leave, we all know how much Ryan and Bannan love their Victorian riders.

    • Billy

      I heard Simon Clarke was going to either Drapac or Avanti.

      • I’d be extremely surprised if that was the case. There are uncomfirmed rumours that Clarke is heading to BMC like Porte but we’ll have to take a wait and see on that one.

        • jules

          Clarke has been pretty ordinary last couple of seasons hasn’t he? I can’t recall him doing much this year

          • Don’t be surprised to see Leigh Howard return domestically next season.

            • Sean

              That would be a real shame, but expected considering he doesn’t seem to have kicked on like we all thought he would have. At least he’s still young enough to resurrect his career on the bike.

          • Sean

            yeah yeah, his year hasn’t bee too bad. 1st stage one giro, 2nd on stage 4, pink jersey for a day and don’t forget a 2nd in the cadel road race.

            Julie, you’re out of line making brash comments like that :-P

            • jules

              I forgot about the Giro actually. still, his pink jersey was on the back of the TTT win. is he riding La Vuelta?

              • Tim Ashton

                There was about 175 other riders who didnt pull on the Pink jersey at the Giro.

                • jules

                  I’m not trying to talk down Clarkey, but it really belonged to OGE as a team. I can’t see Clarkey fronting up to contract negotiations with “how about that pink jersey I won in May!” “Simon that was the team time trial, we let you cross first” :)

                  • Dave

                    He didn’t cross first, that was the other Simon.

                    Clarke inherited it when the others couldn’t get over a medium hill stage.

                    • Sean

                      dave, whats with the hate on us victorians?

      • “Bring Me Clarkey” is the destination

        • Dave

          Would be a good Plan B rider for BMC to go for stage wins in breakaways during the second half of a grand tour once Porte drops out of GC contention.

      • Dave

        I’d also be surprised if that happened. He’s way too good for that.

        I’d expect him to be swapping to another WorldTour team at roughly the same mid-pack level as Orica – think Lotto-Soudal or Ag2r.

  • justanotheropinion

    If Ewan was able to hit that corner just slightly different and not having to back off like he did, he would have won that sprint to the line. Instead Kittel won it out of Ewans mistake or misfortune.

    • That’s down to Caleb. His own fault. It’s great that Caleb’s earning his wins, but a fully functioning Kittel sprinting & Caleb won’t finish in the same time zone

      • Dave

        He’s still a kid with a lot to learn over the 6-8 years before he hits the traditional sprinter’s peak age, it’s probably good for his ego that he didn’t beat Kittel so early on.

    • Paolo

      Canny move like that was the only chance for Caleb to beat Kittel. In a straight forward sprint Caleb won’t be able to hold Kittels wheel.

  • Arfy

    The Eritrean polkadot convoy is crazy cool. Shows up the reception for Cadel in 2011, all we had was yellow cabs.

  • Sean Doyle

    I have thought for a long time that the motorbikes are just getting too close. A lot of times during the Tour you could hardly see the riders amongst the vehicles. Time to pull back and give them space. We don’t really need the cameras to be that close really.

    Simon Clarke to BMC would make that team a big GT power house with out having that outright top step contender. Will be interesting to see how it pans out if he does go there.


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