Blazin' Saddles

  • GB Olympic legend Victoria Pendleton makes surprise sport switch

    Olympic star Victoria Pendleton has switched from one type of sporting saddle to another.

    Victoria Pendleton (Reuters)Victoria Pendleton (Reuters)

    They say sport stars never lose their competitive spirit and that can certainly be said for former Great Britain Olympic stalwart Victoria Pendleton.

    The British cycling legend appears to have been itching to get back into competition, and more specifically into a saddle again.

    Now 34-years-old, Pendleton has begun her intensive training to become a jump jockey, with the goal of competing in the Foxhunter Chase at next year's Cheltenham Festival.

    With her change of career funded by bookmakers Betfair, she has been working with National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls and Team GB's eventing

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  • Ian StannardIan Stannard

     

    As Tom Boonen shook the hand of Omloop Het Niewsblad winner Ian Stannard on the podium in Ghent on Sunday, he remarked sardonically: "It was a good team time trial, eh?".

    That it was, with Etixx-QuickStep trio Niki Terpstra, Stijn Vandenbergh and Boonen all combining to ensure that the leading four-man break held off the chasing group to the bitter end of Saturday's cobbled classic.

    The only problem? The win went to Ian Stannard - the defending Omloop champion and only non-Etixx rider of the lot.

    It was a scene that mirrored Spain's total hash of the Florence finale of the 2013 world

    Read More »from Sky setting the Stannard in early season races
  • E3 Harelbeke organisers' long history of cheeky - and 'sexist' - blunders

    Organisers of Belgian race make monumental gaffe with latest outrageous promotional poster.

    Poster promoting the 2015 E3 HarelbekePoster promoting the 2015 E3 Harelbeke

    E3 Harelbeke may be over a month away, but the organisers of the opening cobbles classic of the season are already feeling the pinch thanks to the latest in a long line of risqué promotional posters.

    Branded by its detractors as anything from 'tacky' to 'offensive', 'unfunny' to 'sexist', the offending poster shows a gust of wind catching the hem of a podium girl's dress to reveal a derriere clad in a blue pair of knickers emblazoned with the E3 Harelbeke logo.

    The final part of the marketing jigsaw comes in the form of a cyclist's be-gloved hand stretching out to pinch the girl's backside -

    Read More »from E3 Harelbeke organisers' long history of cheeky - and 'sexist' - blunders
  • Belgian cycle race forced to pull 'sexually intimidating' poster

    The organisers of a Belgian cycling race have been widely condemned for a poster.

    Peter Sagan's controversial 'pinch' on the podium (AFP)Peter Sagan's controversial 'pinch' on the podium (AFP)

    The organisers of the Belgian cycling race E3 Harelbeke have received a severe backlash after promoting their event with what has been seen as a sexist poster.

    The posters have had to be withdrawn entirely as a result of widespread criticism of the promotional billboards which are believed to be overtly sexist.

    In what was a dubious concept, the event attempted to poke fun at the incident last year when Slovakian rider Peter Sagan infamously pretended to pat the bottom of a 'podium girl'.

    Sagan, who won last year's event, was forced to issue a Facebook apology for the incident and present the

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  • Cycling enjoys Terrific Thursday as 2015 season finally hots up

    There was plenty to enjoy on a busy Thursday, according to our blogger.

    Geraint Thomas looked pleased with himself in the Algarve (Imago)Geraint Thomas looked pleased with himself in the Algarve (Imago)

    With five races overlapping on Thursday, cycling did its best impression of the kind of football Super Sunday programme that sports presenters have thrust down our throats for years.

    From three different continents the results came thicker and faster than Peter Sagan at a local pub quiz - with Britain and Team Sky even getting in on the act.

    In a week threatened to be dominated by the off-the-bike news that Lance Armstrong had been sensationally fined $10m for drugs lies in his SCA Promotions case, that Alberto Contador and Fabian Cancellara were both going to retire at the end of the 2016

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  • Oleg Tinkov promises not to slay second-place Peter Sagan

    Tinkov on Sagan: "I hope he wins two or three major classics. If he fails to do so I will be upset - but I won't kill him."

    Oleg Tinkov (Imago)Oleg Tinkov (Imago)

    In another busy week for the flamboyant Russian entrepreneur, Oleg Tinkov has backed his man Alberto Contador to do the double and has vouched not to kill misfiring Peter Sagan.

    Oh to be Oleg. To escape the current rouble crisis and the plummeting value of his assets, the Tinkoff-Saxo owner is able to travel the world alongside his glowingly-attired cycling team, taking time out to offend all and sundry on social media while occasionally turning the pedals with the likes of Eddy Merckx, Pavel Brutt and other legends of the sport.

    This week, Tinkov is on the Arabian Peninsula for the Tour of

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  • Bradley Wiggins’s £10,000 custom road bike is beautiful

    The Dogma F8, which retails at around £9,400, has smaller handlebars and a lower stem to "get as much into time trial mode as possible".

    Bradley Wiggins' bikeBradley Wiggins' bike

    Sir Bradley Wiggins' road bike features a photo of himself next to the Union Jack and a list of his honours so far.

    The Dogma F8, which retails at around £9,400, has smaller handlebars and a lower stem to "get as much into time trial mode as possible" according to Wiggins.

    Olympic time-trial champion Wiggins, who is riding for team Sky, finished third in the short time-trial stageat the Tour of Qatar on Tuesday and revealed beforehand how unpredictable the race can be.

    “I can’t remember the last time I did an individual time trial on a road bike, so it’s hard to predict what people will do.

    Read More »from Bradley Wiggins’s £10,000 custom road bike is beautiful
  • The Lance Armstrong car crash continues, Astana team manager strikes back

    Lance Armstrong's fall from grace has taken another turn for the worse after it emerged this week that the shamed doping cheat had been charged with crashing his SUV into two parked cars in the Colorado ski resort of Aspen.

    Lance Armstrong (AFP)Lance Armstrong (AFP)

    He's no longer allowed to ride competitively - and soon he may not even be able to get behind the wheel and drive.

    Lance Armstrong's fall from grace has taken another turn for the worse after it emerged this week that the shamed doping cheat had been charged with crashing his SUV into two parked cars in the Colorado ski resort of Aspen in December.

    The former seven-time winner of the Tour de France and current Wikipedia asterisk was cited for driving too fast in snowy conditions and for evading the scene of an accident.

    But that's just the half of it: Armstrong now finds himself in more hot

    Read More »from The Lance Armstrong car crash continues, Astana team manager strikes back
  • Lance Armstrong charged for car accident after 'letting girlfriend take blame'

    Lance Armstrong will appear in court accused of causing a car accident and reportedly letting his girlfriend take the blame.

    Lance Armstrong with his girlfriend Anna Hansen (Twitter)Lance Armstrong with his girlfriend Anna Hansen (Twitter)

    Lance Armstrong is to appear in court charged with allegedly causing a car accident after having "a little bit to drink" at a party, according to a police report, and allegedly then letting his girlfriend take the blame for the crash.

    The disgraced American cyclist has been charged by police for failing to report an accident after allegedly breaking the speed limit and hitting parked cars in Aspen.

    Armstrong is also alleged to have let his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, take the blame for the accident.

    The Aspen Daily News reports that Armstrong had been drinking at a pre-New Year's Eve party

    Read More »from Lance Armstrong charged for car accident after 'letting girlfriend take blame'
  • Chris Horner (Radioshack)Chris Horner (Radioshack)

    In a week that old foes Lance Armstrong and Pat McQuaid seemed to get into bed together, there was a wake-up call for another veteran American, Chris Horner.

    "I couldn't believe it," Horner told US cycling magazine Peloton after his new team, Airgas-Safeway, was not named among the 18 teams invited to the Tour of California.

    "I don't know what the promoters are thinking. They've obviously done harm to the race by not bringing me. You left the only current rider with a grand-tour résumé who was going to show up, and I'm a past champion there."

    You can understand Horner's frustration.

    Read More »from Chris Horner joins Lance Armstrong in raging against the machine