In the opening week of the Giro d’Italia, or Tour of Italy, Feargal McKay joins Jack Thurston to cast a historian’s view over the race, looking into its origins, its rivalry with the Tour de France and where the race is heading in the years to come.
1987 was an annus mirabilis for Stephen Roche, one of a wave of world class Irish athletes that rose to fame that decade. He won the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the World Championship road race. The only other rider to have accomplished this feat, know as the ‘triple crown’, is Eddy Merckx. Roche has a new book out called ‘Born To Ride’ and talks about his life in cycling, winning the triple crown, as well as his thoughts on today’s peloton, the scourge of doping and his own implication in an EPO doping conspiracy.
His new autobiography, Born to Ride, is out now, published by Yellow Jersey Press.
Studio discussion of four great lives in cycling: Kuklos, the prolific journalist who documented British cycling scene in the first half of the twentieth century; Brian Robinson (pictured, above), the first Brit to win stages in the Tour de France; intrepid cycle tourist Anne Mustoe; and Laurent Fignon, perhaps the last truly great French professional bike racer.
Expert guests are Graeme Fife, author of a newly published biography of Brian Robinson, and Tim Dawson, columnist on the Sunday Times and editor of the Cycling Books website. Plus a chance to win a set of Gavin Turk Les Bikes de Bois Rond postcards. Answers by email to email@example.com.
Of Wrigging – Kuklos. A 1927 essay taking on John Ruskin’s opposition to cycling.
As the Giro d’Italia enters its third week, we discuss Italy’s great stage race with Lionel Birnie of Cycling Weekly, in an experimental live broadcast from Look Mum No Hands, London’s newest and best cycle-cafe. Sam Humpheson shows us around the premises. The show also features a look back at Fausto Coppi, one of the biggest stars of the golden era of cycle racing, with a visit to the exhibition of Coppi-related memorabilia at the Rapha Cycle Club, just down the road and a chat with bicycle collector Kadir Guirey. Simon Rose, who put together Rapha’s new Giro-inspired compilation CD also puts in an appearance.
Listeners may notice slightly sub-optimal audio in parts of this broadcast. These should be fixed in future live broadcasts.
In an off-season podcast-only extended episode, Lionel Birnie of Cycling Weekly joins me to talk about the year ahead in professional road racing. We talk about the season-openers in the Gulf, the Monuments and Cobbled Classics and of course the Grand Tours, where Britain’s Team Sky is hoping to make a big impact in its debut season. We round off the discussion with a look at the explosion of amateur cyclo-sportives. Many of the big sportives are already sold out but there are plenty of others to choose from. Cycling Weekly maintains a very comprehensive sportive calendar.
Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycle Works urges us to get on our bikes for sub-twenty four hour overnight camping trips. Plus a visit to a fantastic new ‘anti-bike shop’ in Finsbury Park, specialising in classic English and Italian steel road bikes. The shop doesn’t have a name yet, but you can drop in at 74 Mountgrove Road, Finsbury Park, London N5 2LT – MAP. Some photos below, more here:
Play on links below. Other file formats (Ogg Vorbis and 64k MP3) over here.