Taking the Long View of the Giro d’Italia

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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.

Feargal’s new book is The Complete Book of the Tour de France, and is out soon.

Listen to an interview with John Foot, author of Pedalare, Pedalare: A History of Italian Cycling from The Bike Show in 2012.

Image credit: …some guy (Flickr, creative commons)

Lance Armstrong: My Part in His Downfall

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New York Times reporter Juliet Macur has covered the Lance Armstrong doping story for almost a decade. Her bestselling new book Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong, reveals how he won a record seven Tour de France victories and how the truth about his team’s doping finally came out. We discuss whether cycling is cleaning up its act and the risks of sports journalists becoming over-invested in the success of the stars they report on.

Spring Season Opener: Iron Horse, Steel Condor

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Mary Erskine of the band Me for Queen talks about their forthcoming album ‘Iron Horse’, inspired by cycling. And Grant Young, MD of London’s Condor Cycles explains why steel bikes are selling like hotcakes, and how the London firm is helping breathe new life into the Italian bicycle manufacturing scene. To help with the crowd-funding of Iron Horse, visit the band’s Pledge Music page.

The Healing Machine

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What makes a 40-year-old man take up bike racing? Jack Thurston talks with Bill Strickland, American cycling journalist, author of a clutch of cycling books including a memoir, Ten Points, which tells of how his quest to make a mark on his local amateur bike racing scene helped him come to terms with his own inner demons caused by the torture he suffered as a child at the hands of an abusive father. Bill also talks about the fallout from the disgrace of Lance Armstrong, the state of doping in today’s pro peloton and his #CapsNotHats campaign. Plus Jon Spencer tells of his journey to become a Super Randonneur.

Going the Distance

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For many cyclists, breaking through the 100 mile barrier opens up a whole new world of long distance cycling. Kieron Yates, a two time finisher of the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris ride, joins Jack Thurston to talk about the allure of going the distance, with advice from a handful of members of the global randonneuring scene. For more on randonneuring in the UK, check out Audax UK’s calendar of events.

High on a Mountain Top

Since the very earliest years of the bicycle, adventurous cyclists have been unable to resist the allure of the mountains – the challenge of riding up and the thrill of freewheeling down the other side. Mountains are also the crucible of many of the most dramatic moments in professional bike racing. Daniel Friebe and Pete Goding, the authors of Mountain Higher: Europe’s Extreme, Undiscovered and Unforgettable Cycle Climbs join host Jack Thurston to talk about the quest for ever more exhilarating climbs and breathtakingly beautiful places. I

In a podcast-only extra, Bill Chidley reports back from the Annual General Meeting of the London Cycling Campaign, where important details of the Space For Cycling campaign were agreed.

Photo credit: Pete Goding

C’est Magnifique! C’est le Tour de France!

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This year’s Tour de France was the hundredth edition of the world’s biggest and best bicycle race – and it proved to be a race to remember. Jack Thurston talks with ‘Buffalo’ Bill Chidley about three weeks of outstanding bike racing. Next year the Tour will begin in Yorkshire and cycling journalist Peter Cossins is already excited about the race passing right by his house in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

Image credit: ironmanixs via Flickr Creative Commons