Learning About Racing

Marjory Stewart BAxtor
edited April 2008 in Road beginners
I've just finished reading Lance Armstrong's autobiography and I've come to realise that cycling racing is very complicated and there's a lot to it.

Where can I go to read more before the season starts about how all the races fit in together? What the teams are and are like? what races are the classics? etc etc etc

Is not really like football where everyone knows everything so I'm a bit short of people to kind of get me started in following the sport!
Train hard, ride easy


  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Sign up to www.cyclingnews.com and the like and make sure you follow the race coverage. The likes of Cycle Sport and Procycling magazine also provide excellent, in-depth coverage of races and riders - cycling has a fantastic heritage and even the history of some single races goes back over 100 years, so the amount of information may seem overwhelming. At the highest level, there are the three Grand Tours, or GTs, of France, Italy and Spain plus the 1-day classics: Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Hamburg, Zurich, San-Sebastian and Tour of Lombary. There are countless other 'short' tours such as Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Asturias, Romandie, Switzerland, ENECO and 1 day semi-classics that means riders can race for 200 days a year. Obviously the mainstream media is mainly focused around the Tour de France. These days, riders tend to specialise in terms of one-day races, GTs or even individual disciplines i.e. climbers, sprinters, TTs.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Bronzie
    Bronzie Posts: 4,927
    Hang around in the "Race" section of the forum and feel free to ask as many questions as you like - lots of very knowledgeable people on there (not including myself in this :oops: ).

    There is of course the ugly spectre of the drugs side of the sport (which you'll see plenty of in there), but if you are talking pro bike racers, it goes hand in hand I'm afraid although I do believe the situation is improving now.
  • that's cool cheers.

    are races televised anywhere?
    Train hard, ride easy
  • Bronzie
    Bronzie Posts: 4,927
    that's cool cheers.

    are races televised anywhere?
    Most of the big races are live on British Eurosport. Sky also show a few races, but rarely live. The Tour is shown on ITV3 or 4 (highlights show).

    The Telegraph tends to have the best coverage of the national papers.

    This weekend there is a really big one day race - the Tour of Flanders or "Ronde van Vlaanderen" in Flemish - it's one of my favourite races of the season held over northern Belgium and featuring 20 or so rough cobbled climbs to test the riders. Beg, borrow or steal a place in front of someone's Eurosport enabled TV this Sunday afternoon! The whole of Flanders comes out to watch and support their local rider - it is a really big event for them.

    More info here:
  • Bronzie
    Bronzie Posts: 4,927
    Bronzie wrote:
    Beg, borrow or steal a place in front of someone's Eurosport enabled TV this Sunday afternoon!
    Or maybe not...............the coverage was pathetic. Biggest one day race of the year and they showed the last 20km recorded with 15-5km to go strangely missing, including the last cobbled climb (the Bosberg). Truly hopeless Eurosport. :roll:
  • works out rather well that I don't have sky then.lol
    Train hard, ride easy
  • terongi
    terongi Posts: 318
    You can get all the essentials about the big races of the season and how team tacics work from the Appendix to a Lance Armstrong biography called "Tour de Force" by Dan Coyle.

    The book itself is very well written and full of clever humour and wit.