The early season action continues to come thick and fast with races in the south of France, the Middle East and southern Spain.
Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe discuss the Tour de la Provence, Tour of Oman and the new gravel race in Spain as the focus starts to switch to the 'holiday swing' as we're dubbing it, with the start of the Ruta del Sol in Andalusia and the Tour of the Algarve. The sun is shining and you can almost smell the sardines and sangria. It won't be long now until focus shifts to the grit and cobbles of Belgium.
It was a week of Covid cases, sprint relegations and a disqualification and in part one we delve into the racing to ask whether Nairo Quintana's win in Provence means there's still hope for the 32-year-old Colombian in the grand tours. We discuss Filippo Ganna's bike change and the continuing Cofidis revival. Then we discuss the new Clasica Jaen Paraiso won by the current gravel king, Alexey Lutsenko. Does this mean there's a new leader in The Cycling Podcast's Performance of the Year powered by Cassoulet classification?
We also discuss Chris Froome's recent comments questioning whether time trial bikes have a place in road cycling and in the final part we hear from Jumbo-Visma's manager Richard Plugge about Primoz Roglic and from George Bennett, the Kiwi climber who has swapped the Dutch squad and a role supporting Roglic for UAE Team Emirates where he'll ride with Pogacar.
There's also some droning on about drones, a terrible Smiths joke and an inaccurate football analogy. If UAE Team Emirates are the Manchester City of cycling, what does that make Jumbo-Visma? All this and more in a bumper episode.
Cycling Podcast history was made because, with Richard making a brief visit from northern France, this was the first episode recorded in Lionel's spiritual home town, Watford.
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