Having recently started watching what cycling I can on television I've found that what I thought I knew about cycle racing (based on watching the tour each year) isn't as much as I thought. for instance there seem to be a lot of races on around the same time with teams from the same sponsor competing in each. Why do riders compete in one race but not the other e.g. Froome in Oman and Wiggins in Andalucia. Also apparently there are 'classics' and 'grand tour' riders who may be in the same race but have different objectives. Is there a 'bluffers guide' out there which can help fill my knowledge.

p.s. since most of the action is seen from a moving motobike or helicopter and the cyclists all wear the same kit with helmets and sunglasses why don't they wear numbers to aid identification?


Him Up North [235 posts] 3 years ago

Can't help you with the definitive guide except to say, as a convert of only a couple of years myself, if you watch enough races you'll pick it up as you go. Eurosport is the shrine at which you should worship.

Websites such as procyclingstats.com are useful for who's who in the teams.

As for rider numbers, they DO wear them on their backs and on the rear of their bikes.

Charles_Hunter [149 posts] 3 years ago

Learning is half the fun.

jollygoodvelo [1625 posts] 3 years ago

It is - surprisingly enough - a journey.

Follow blogs, listen to podcasts such as the excellent Velocast, This Week In Cycling History, and HumansInvent. Read - not just 'celebrity' autobiographies, but books by lesser known riders (Charly Wegelius' Domestique being a particular favourite). Rouleur - not for everyone and let's say it has a certain 'house style' - often gives a perspective of events from other people than the riders. Over time you get a feeling for how the sport works; it's quite different to a lot of others.

The road season has various 'peaks' - Paris-Roubaix, the Tour de France, the world championships. At lesser races, some riders will be going for 'this' race, others will be using the race to train for a different target (e.g. Boonen at Qatar - could perhaps have won it, but he's mostly training for the classics so his team-mate won instead).