Tour de France: Rest Day Review with Simon Warren

Toni Rominger on Alpe d'Huez  in 1996 / (C) Piano Piano - Flickr CC

Toni Rominger on Alpe d’Huez in 1996 / (C) Piano Piano – Flickr CC

It’s the end of the second week of this year’s Tour de France, just time for us – and the riders – to catch our breaths before the final week and the showdown in the Alps.

Joining Jack Thurston for this Rest Day Review is Simon Warren, a man who knows cycling’s great ups and downs better than almost anyone outside the professional peloton. Simon is an accomplished amateur racing cyclist and author of the 100 Greatest Climbs series of pocket sized books cycling hill climbs. His latest is a guide to the greatest climbs of South East England.

3 thoughts on “Tour de France: Rest Day Review with Simon Warren

  1. Dear Jack,

    I usually enjoy your podcast, but this episode with Simon Warren moaning about Team Sky had me fuming.

    It’s almost a default for British people to criticise things, yet they completely miss the astonishing achievement of Brailsford, his staff and team. Just 6 years ago, we had nothing remotely like a team capable of winning the greatest race in the world yet here we are with two wins and hopefully a 3rd (TW).

    I’ve heard so many commentators & pundits try and belittle Sky and their methods. At least they have a method and it’s up to all the riders in a race to make that race. If the pundits think Sky are boring then all the riders are boring.

    However, I’m jumping up and down with excitement shouting for Froomey & his lads. I salute Brailsford and wish other British sports, firms and industries had half the drive that he has, then as a country Britain would be leading Europe instead of throwing their toys out the pram every 5 minutes for the slightest excuse.

    If Simon Warren had been a successful pro rider, then you could give some credence to his opinion, but it just comes across as Sky-bashing as an easy option and I wish he would keep his thoughts to himself.

    We must be proud of our British lads, Froomey, Yogi, G, Luke and Pete. They represent the pinnacle of British cycling and something for everybody to aspire to.
    Best regards,
    Joe

    • Hi Joe

      Thanks for listening, and stopping by to comment. I’m sure Simon can speak for himself but in fairness to him, he did say how he is a massive Wiggo fan and would love to see Geraint Thomas inherit his mantle as Britain’s most loved GC contender. I do see why Simon and many other have trouble warming to the Froome/Sky (there are some interesting thoughts on that here: http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2015/07/22/how-team-sky-can-put-brakes-negative-tour-de-france-coverage-and-soften-its-image ).

      What I understood Simon to be saying was that he wanted a close contest, when this year Sky have shown themselves to be unassailable. Personally, I don’t have any tribal/national allegiances when it comes to cycling (or any other sport). I am a classic neutral. I have riders that I admire and look out for, including some at Sky and many at other teams, regardless of nationality. I think that what a true sport aficionado wants to see more than their own team winning is a thrilling contest. But I recognise that for many, most? sports fans, waving the flag comes first.

      Jack

  2. I agree with the first poster …. for me it’s not about flag waving as I actually think Quintana is great (for example), but more related to Warren’s attitude to Team Sky’s training as a whole, and the idea that they should ban power meters and heart rate monitors and go back to the romantic old days of the Tour …. (said with heavy sarcasm here! As I think the romantic old days involved copious amounts of alcohol and cocaine amongst other things!!) I fully accept it’s a personal view but I think the “marginal gains” approach of Team Sky and their calculated look at every part of cycling in how to improve and win is really exciting and interesting – i.e. their mental and nutritional training as well as physical. It’s silly to dismiss all the new technology and new areas in which we can advance – and this podcast just seemed more of a rant against it all rather than properly debating why it wasn’t a good thing.

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