Episodes

Jonathan Vaughters on Cannondale-Drapac, 2017, Taylor Phinney and Tom Danielson  

In the latest edition of the Cyclingnews Podcast, editor Daniel Benson talks to Cannondale-Drapac team manager Jonathan Vaughters. The American relives his team’s 2016 season, which he admits was ‘quiet’ despite finishing higher in the WorldTour rankings than they ever have before. He tells us how Pierre Rolland earned his respect and the impact Andrew Talansky’s decision to miss the Tour de France had on their ambitions. Next year will see a few changes in the team’s line-up with Taylor Phinney, Sep Vanmarcke, Hugh Carthy and Brendan Canty, among others, signing for 2017. Vaughters explains that his aim had been to bolster his Classics line-up, where he sees opportunities for success next season, and expresses his regret at losing riders such as Ramunas Navardauskas and Jack Bobridge. He also talks about his hopes for Phinney, and his belief that the 26-year-old can return to top form after his crash in 2014. Finally, Vaughters discusses his team’s ambition to race clean, how close he came to leaving it all behind after Tom Danielson tested positive for testosterone and why he decided to stay.

Dekker’s diaries, Degenkolb defiant and transfer tales  

In this week’s Cyclingnews podcast the team ponder the career and revelations laid out in Thomas Dekker’s recent autobiography. The former Rabobank rider has given a full account of his doping, the murky culture he was part of and his path towards redemption. We also discuss the return to form of John Degenkolb in 2016 after a career-threatening accident earlier in the year. Can the German return to the form that saw him claim Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix in 2015? Mikel Landa and Romain Bardet have also discussed their Giro d’Italia hopes and the Cyclingnews team of Daniel Benson, Sadhbh O’shea, and Pro Cycling’s Ed Pickering, give their best guestimates as to whether either rider will be on the start line in Italy next season. And we interview SEG Cycling’s Martijn Berkhout. The Dutchman is one of the most influential rider agents on the circuit with Dan Martin, Wout Poels and Bauke Mollema on his current books. We discuss the main factors that shaped this year’s transfer market, how the marquee moves played out, before the team highlight some of the transfers they think will play a major part in 2017.

Sagan, Froome and Bardet hit Saitama and the first Bahrain camp  

Rider interviews and Tour-Giro analysis Winter might be upon us but it’s still been a busy week in the world of professional cycling with the Saitama Criterium providing the Cyclingnews teams with interviews with Chris Froome, Romain Bardet, and Peter Sagan and the first all-important camp for the Bahrain Merida team in Croatia. We hear from Froome about his Tour de France ambitions, Bardet toys with the idea of riding the Giro and Sagan talks about his Worlds win and new team for 2017. We also dissect the future of the new Bahrain Merida team and whether they can hit the ground running in 2017. The team of Daniel Benson, Ed Pickering and Patrick Fletcher also look back at the Giro d’Italia route and the merits and perils of taking on the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia double with Froome and Nairo Quintana both making noises about stepping up to the challenge in the future.

Tour de France route analysis, Froome, Sagan rules the World  

This week the Cyclingnews team analyse the Tour de France 2017 route, picking apart the key stages and a profile that could lead to the most open edition of the race in years. We speak to three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, Adam Yates, and Daniel Martin about the course, as well as their plans for next season. Martin talks about how he balances Grand Tour ambitions with the Classics, Yates discusses his breakthrough season and Froome looks at the key Tour stages. Team Sky director sportif Nicolas Portal also discusses his Team’s TUE use and the ethical merits of being in or out of the MPCC. And finally we dissect the road races from the World Championships in Qatar and Peter Sagan’s and Amalie Dideriksen’s winning rides.

Worlds coverage and Team Sky under the spotlight  

The latest episode of the Cyclingnews podcast focuses on the 2016 UCI Road World Championships in Doha, with analysis of the continuing controversy surrounding Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins thrown in for good measure. Cyclingnews editor Daniel Benson is joined by Procycling magazine editor Ed Pickering and Cyclingnews writer Patrick Fletcher to dissect the racing in Qatar, with guests Mark Cavendish and Allan Peiper sharing their most memorable Worlds moments. We also hear from Ryan Mullen, who was a surprise fifth in the men’s time trial, Annemiek Van Vleuten, who continued her remarkable comeback from her Olympic crash with fifth in the women’s TT, and Tom Steels, who directed Etixx-QuickStep to a third team time trial title. The team discuss the action we’ve seen so far, from the racing to the wider issues such as the stifling heat in the Gulf and the embarrassment of the lack of spectators and atmosphere. We also look ahead to this weekend’s road races, previewing the courses and the contenders for the rainbow jerseys and making predictions that will probably prove well wide of the mark. Finally, we examine - and bemoan the lack of transparency in - the latest developments in the controversy surrounding Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins after details emerged of a 'medical package' that Sky paid a member of British Cycling to transport from the UK to France on the final day of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine.

Bradley Wiggins, Team Sky, and the use of TUEs in cycling  

In the latest Cyclingnews podcast, Daniel Benson, Sadhbh O’Shea and Procycling Editor Ed Pickering discuss Bradley Wiggins’ TUEs (therapeutic use exemption). Wiggins’ TUE files were released as part of the Fancy Bears hack, which has seen many riders and athletes have their documents published online. The leaked documents revealed that Wiggins had received six TUEs during his career, including three for asthma medication Salbutamol and three for triamcinolone acetonide. Wiggins and Team Sky did not break any rules in applying for the exemptions but the revelations have raised questions about the TUE process and how they are used. In the podcast, the team discusses some of those questions, including whether or not the rules should be changed and if Wiggins’ image has been tarnished by the revelations. We also hear from former rider Joerg Jaksche on his experience of using corticosteroids and Jon Tibbs, chairman of JTA Sports, a specialist communication agency in international sport, about Wiggins’ credibility going forward.

Vuelta wrap, Mark Cavendish, Dan Martin and John Herety  

This week the Cyclingnews team look back at an exhilarating edition of the Vuelta a Espana, in which Nairo Quintana nudged Chris Froome into second place, and Esteban Chaves finished third. There are also exclusive interviews with Mark Cavendish and Dan Martin, both of whom have major obectives for the rest of the season. We also look back the latest action from the two Canadian World Tour races – won by Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet - as well as the key talking points from the Tour of Britain. With the build-up to next month’s Worlds, we kick-off a new series in which current and former riders go back in time and re-live their most memorable or important experiences at World Championship level. First up is John Herety. Now manager of JLT Condor, Herety was the former team director for the Great Britain men’s team. He was in charge when Charly Wegelius and Tom Southam rode for Italy in controversial circumstances. Herety lost his job as a result and Southam and Wegelius never rode for their nation again. In this exclusive interview Herety, for the first time, talks about that day, and the build up to the race and ‘mafia-style’ pressure the riders were under. Finally, we look ahead the Worlds itself with Sadhbh O’Shea, Ed Pickering and Daniel Benson offering their early opinions on who will come out on top.

Steve Cummings: I always knew I had it in me  

Steve Cummings has had a long and varied career on the road and track. He’s ridden for some of the biggest teams in the world and forged a niche in the latter years of his career as one of the most successful breakaway riders in the modern peloton. On the eve of his Tour of Britain win Cyclingnews’ Daniel Benson sat down with the Dimension Data rider at the team’s hotel just outside London to look back at his career – starting with humble beginnings at Landbouwkrediet and including stints at Discovery, Team Sky and BMC.

Vuelta a Espana rest day 2  

As the Vuelta a Espana approaches its final week, the Cyclingnews team takes a look back an action packed week of racing that saw an Alberto Contador attack turn the general classification on its head. The team asks if Nairo Quintana has the race wrapped up and if Team Sky can regroup and make up for the time lost. Can we expect more of the same from the irrepressible Contador? And what of the 90 riders that missed the time cut, should they have been thrown out of the race? The Cyclingnews team also discusses the opening stages of the Tour of Britain and Germany's enviable selection trouble for the World Championships in Qatar.

Vuelta a Espana preview: van Garderen, Boswell, de Jongh and White  

On Saturday the third and final grand Tour of the 2016 season gets underway with a star-studded field lining up at the Vuelta a Espana. Chris Froome (Team Sky), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Esteban Chaves (Orica BikeExchange) are among the big hitters and the race promises to provide a gripping showdown between some of the best stage race riders in the world. Alberto Contador comes into the race looking to extend a phenominal Vuelta record that includes three wins from three starts but he will face immense pressure with Tour de France winner Chris Froome looking to close his season on and high, and Nairo Quintana searching for redemption after a below par – by his standards – Tour de France. The race has a multifaceted feel to it with plenty of subplots woven through the start list. Can Tejay van Garderen spin French sorrow into Spanish silk? We talk to the American about his Tour and his hopes in Spain. We also check in with one of Chris Froome’s right-hand men, Ian Boswell, who is starting his second Grand Tour of the current campaign. Find out about his preparations and his dream of riding the Tour next year. We also tap up our resident correspondent in Spain, Alasdair Fotheringham, who provides his analysis from team Froome and team Contador. We then take time out with Matt White – the man who masterminded Esteban Chaves’ second place at the Giro d’Italia and Adam Yates’ fourth overall the Tour de France. This time around it’s Chaves who has the full backing of White’s team and the Colombian is targeting the Vuelta podium. And finally we speak to Steven de Jongh, the team director looking to close out his time at Tinkoff by helping Contador win his fourth Vuelta crown.

Lizzie Armitstead and the three missed tests  

This week the Cyclingnews and Procycling teams discuss the news that Lizzie Armitstead missed three out of competition tests in a twelve month period. The British rider could have faced a ban but CAS ruled that her first test should be marked void due to issues surrounding the nature of the failed attempt to test her in 2015. Now in Rio for the Olympic Games, Armitstead is fighting on two fronts - for the gold medal in the women’s road race but perhaps more importantly, to save her credibility. In the podcast we discuss her missed tests, the nature of how the story broke in the Daily Mail, Armitstead’s response, and how her reputation sits after his episode. We also look ahead and preview the Olympic Games road races for both the men’s and women’s fields.

Tour de France rest day podcast  

The Tour de France has reached its first rest day with Chris Froome (Team Sky) leading a gaggle of GC contenders after nine-days of racing. The Tour so far has seen Mark Cavendish’s return, Steve Cummings, Peter Sagan and Tom Dumoulin take memorable wins, and of course, Alberto Contador departure due to injury and illness. On the rest day in Andorra, the Cyclingnews team have an early start, attending BMC Racing’s and Team Sky’s press conferences before an afternoon that included Dan Martin, Nairo Quintana, and Giant’s new sponsor news. In between the morning and afternoon sessions Daniel Benson and Sadhbh O’Shea analysed the Tour’s three days in the Pyrenees, Team Sky’s strength, Quintana’s patience, Contador’s abandonment, and BMC’s leadership. The latest episode also contains Chris Froome, Dave Brailsford, Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen.

Tour de France: Cavendish king, Tinkoff in crisis  

Just before the race heads into the Pyrenees – at last we hear you say – the Cyclingnews team pause to reflect on the recent action from the Tour de France. Mark Cavendish is 3-1 against Marcel Kittel after a highly impressive sprint win in Montanan, and Stephen Farrand and Daniel Benson analyse the Dimension Data’s resurrection, and we hear from his director Rolf Aldag, who has worked with Cavendish through most of his career. And we also look under the hood at Tinkoff – a team that appear on the verge of collapse with their team leader Alberto Contador on his knees and his teammates unwilling to follow team orders help him. Disarray! We’ll bring you interviews from the Tinkoff team including Contador, Sean Yates, and the man at the centre of it all, Roman Kreuziger.

Tour de France: Stages 1-3 with Froome, Cavendish, van Garderen and Porte  

Three stages into the Tour de France and the race has already burst into life with Mark Cavendish’s resurrection, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) crashing back to earth - literally - and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), well, being Peter Sagan and taking an inspiring stage win and a stint in the yellow jersey. What better point for the Cyclingnews team and guest Jeremy Whittle of the Time to sift through the action, analyse the favourites and pick out their best bits from the interviews gathered at the starts and finishes. Hear from Chris Froome (Team Sky), Tejay van Garderen and Richie Porte (both BMC), and double-stage winner Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) as the Cyclingnews team gather in Angers, at the finish of stage 3.

Tour de France 2016 race preview: Contador, Froome, van Garderen and Nibali feature  

On the eve of the 2016 Tour de France Cyclingnews arrived in Normandy with a number of team press conferences on the agenda. We sit down with the Times correspondent Jeremy Whittle and talk about the overall contenders and their chances of success and hear from Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador and Tejay van Garderen. There’s also talk about rider safety and whether the race is more or less dangerous than it was 20 years ago, and Peter Stetina, now back at the Tour after his serious race-related accident also features with a heartwarming interview on his love for the sport. We also hear from Steve Cummings on his non-selection for the Great Britain Olympic road team, and there’s just about time to predict a winner for stage 1. All that and more in the Cyclingnews podcast.

The 1996 Tour de France: What to do with Bjarne Riis’ yellow jersey  - Podcast part III  

In our final instalment we look back at the final week of the 1996 Tour de France, before heading to Denmark to sit down for frank interview with race winner Bjarne Riis. We start in Hautacam, where Riis put in one of the most astonishing Tour displays in living history, riding up the final climb in the big ring and destroying a world-class field. The stage to Pamplona – Miguel Indurain’s hometown - is covered, while we also hear from several others who covered the race, including The Times’ Jeremy Whittle and the Guardian’s William Fotheringham. Finally we meet with Riis and talk about his past. It’s well documented that Riis, like the vast majority of the riders he competed against during his career were doped on a concoction of EPO and other banned substances and we ask Riis about his thoughts on that – how his yellow jersey brings up a both a sense of pride and shame and the claims of his nickname of Mr 60 per cent – a reference to his alleged hematocrit level. He once offered the yellow jersey back to race organisers but over time his feelings have gradually changed. We hope you’ve enjoyed these special editions of the Cyclingnews podcast. We’ll be bringing you more episodes throughout this year’s Tour de France.

The 1996 Tour de France: The fall of Indurain, the rise of Riis – Podcast part II  

The 1996 Tour de France stage from Chambery to Les Arcs will always be remembered as the day on which Miguel Indurain’s (Banesto) five-year reign at the race finally came to an end. The moment Indurain cracked came in dramatic fashion, not because the Spaniard was put under immense pressure or because of a barrage of attacks, but simply because it was so unexpected. And when the end came it was mercilessly exploited. Bjarne Riis would have to wait another day to assume yellow, with Evengi Berzin (Gewiss), a former teammate of Riis, becoming the first Russian to wear the maillot jaune. Riis would take yellow two days later on the shorted stage to Sestrieres and embark on a week of racing that traversed all way to the decisive stage 16 to Hautacam. In the second podcast episode of our retrospective look back at the 1996 Tour de France we hear once again from Riis and his teammate Brian Holm on Telekom’s assault on the race. The Guardian’s cycling correspondent, and former Procycling editor, William Fotheringham, also shares his vivid experiences of the race, and several other riders, including Gan’s Chris Boardman, sift through their memories of the race as well. Catch up with episode one here. Episode three will be published later this week and includes an exclusive interview with Riis about his win, his doping past, and his feelings towards his yellow jersey 20 years after winning the race.

The 1996 Tour de France 20 years on  

Inside the race with Riis, Boardman, Holm, Ekimov and Vasseur It’s 20 years since the 1996 Tour de France – an edition of the race that saw Bjarne Riis triumph, and the ending of an era as five-time champion, Miguel Indurain, was put to the sword. In the two decades that have passed cycling has gone through the mill and has been brutally exposed as former riders have been laid bare as cheats within a system that was poorly policed. Over the next three episodes of the podcast we will re-tell the 1996 race from start to finish and hear from key riders and journalists who covered the race. And we head to Denmark to meet Riis and put to him several questions over his performance, those ‘Mr 60 per cent’ claims, and his true feelings on his victory and his yellow jersey.

Lean, mean, Dauphine machine: Richie Porte podcast  

On the eve of the Criterium du Dauphine reaching the mountains, Cyclingnews travelled to the BMC Racing team hotel to sit down and talk with Richie Porte. The Australian is currently sitting in third overall, six seconds down on race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff). Porte came into the race as one of the overall contenders and has hardly put a foot wrong in the race, however he did lose 9 seconds to rival Chris Froome when then peloton split at the end of stage 4. In this exclusive interview Porte talks about his race so far, and how the mountainous stage 5 could play out. Porte also picks the Cyclingnews rider of the day. Spoiler alert, it’s one of his teammates. We also hear from Chris Froome after the Team Sky rider gained time on his rivals to move within four seconds of the race lead.

Aru flies, Contador gives exclusive interview  

Fabio Aru (Astana) reminded everyone of his ability and threat ahead of the Tour de France with a crucial and impressive win on stage 3 of the Criterium du Dauphine. The Italian dove down the descent of the Côte de Sécheras and held off the sprinters’ teams to take his first win of the season and his first victory since last year’s Vuelta a Espana title. Earlier in the day Cyclingnews were granted a rare exclusive interview with Alberto Contador and found the race leader in good spirits on the steps of the Tinkoff team bus. He talked about is rivals at Team Sky, saying they showed weakness on stage 2, and his desire to find the right team for 2016. Joining us on the podcast to analyse the stage was Marc Ghyselinck of Het Laatste Nieuws, a major Belgium publication. We talk about Aru, Contador, and their relationship as well as looking ahead to how Lotto Soudal and Etixx QuickStep are shaping up ahead of the Tour de France.

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