L’Etape UK’s top 5 websites for professional cycling nerds
Of course, you don’t have to have the slightest bit of interest in professional cycling to enjoy taking part in Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales or ICAP L’Etape London, Le Tour de France’s official UK sportives. But with the events taking their inspiration from the world’s greatest race, we know many entrants proudly identify as full scale professional cycling nerds. Here’s L’Etape UK by Le Tour de France’s top five website for those so inclined…
This one’s for the hardcore professional cycling fan. If a rider so much as pops out for a pint of milk (skimmed, no doubt), you’ll read about it here. During the season, the site hosts kilometre-by-kilometre live text for all but the smallest races. So, even if you’re stuck at your desk, you won’t miss a pedal stroke as the breakaway attempts to go clear in the early stages of E3 Harelbeke. Elsewhere, the site provides regular scoops, extensive rider interviews, in-depth analysis and behind the scenes and tech photo galleries. If you’re looking for insight into which gear ratio a promising young Luxembourger is planning on running during the Paris-Nice time-trial, this is the site for you.
Pro-Cycling Nerd Rating: 7/10
If Cycling News is the hard stuff, the Cycling Weekly website is more of a gateway drug for the pro-cycling fan. With short, easily digestible articles and a nod to the lighter side of the sport, the site is perfect for catching up on the big stories from the peloton over your lunch break. And if you’re looking for a break from the world of the professionals, there’s always the endless videos of altercations between drivers and cyclists to tut at.
Pro-Cycling Nerd Rating: 5/10
On the face of it, this is just another forum for cycling chat. But hiding on the headache-inducing homepage is a link to a goldmine for the ardent pro-cycling fan. Click on ‘Latest Roadbooks’ and you’ll be taken to a thread with pages and pages of links to PDFs of the documents race organisers give to riders and team staff. From the details of the hotel where the Astana riders will be staying during the second rest day of the Tour to where to fill up your car en route to the finish town of stage 15 of the Vuelta, roadbooks are essential travel reading if you’re using up all your annual leave to follow races next summer.
Pro-Cycling Nerd Rating: 8/10
THE pro-cycling blog. With staggeringly well-informed analysis on a daily basis from what appears to be a single contributor, this is a true labour of love. Taking a different angle from the mainstream news sites on the topics du jour, Inrng writes about pro cycling like no one else. It’s so good, we can’t even think of a pithy comment for this paragraph. During the season, there are great previews of major races which should be on the curriculum of any student of professional cycling.
Pro-Cycling Nerd Rating: 8/10
Fed up with the football fanatic in the office who just won’t stop telling you how many times Glenn Hoddle (he still plays, right?) has been caught offside for Chelsea this season? They’ll realise they’ve met their match once you start digging around on ProCyclingStats. Whether it’s with the winner of the mountains classification at this year’s Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta or the squad details of the Safi-Pasta Zara-Manhattan team for the 2006 season, you’ll be sure to out-bore all-comers!
Pro-Cycling Nerd Rating: 10/10