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Sports Then and Now

A Cyclist’s Guide to Training Like a Tour de France Contender 1

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Natalie Ige

Tour de FranceSome people are cyclists and some people are serious cyclists. Up until last year, I definitely fell into the former category, but this year I decided that I wanted to up my game when it came to my bike riding, and so I turned to the people who manage to turn cycling into an endurance art form, those people who I would never want to be in the shoes of, but would love to be able to ride like: Tour de France cyclists. They’re truly incredible. They slog it out, rain hail or shine for twenty-one days on thankless terrain, in the toughest and most prestigious cycling race in the world. So of course, who better to learn from about how to get a better cycling technique? I have combined the workout which I followed when I was training this year, and I am very happy to say that I managed to get a far better time on my daily commute and have smashed all of my previous best times on Strava. Not too bad, really! Take a look to see how I did it.


Set a benchmark for yourself

When you’re training, there’s really no way to know if you’re doing better unless you set up some benchmarks for yourself. You can do tests in order to figure out where you’re standing, and these are usually one, five or 20 minute tests which are going to determine your best power. In order to do these tests, you pelt it out on your bike for the requisite times, and while they may be mentally and physically exhausting, they’re also the best way to get a benchmark of where you’re at. If you don’t have a power metre on your bike, you can map out a course that usually takes you around one, five or 20 minutes and then track your progress on these. You’ll know how you’re doing by how long they take you! Read the rest of this entry →

The Rising Popularity of Cycling in the UK 2

Posted on September 29, 2013 by Daniel Lofthouse
The Tour de France victory by Bradley Wiggins has helped spur interest in cycling in England.

The Tour de France victory by Bradley Wiggins has helped spur interest in cycling in England.

Historically, cycling has always been something of an unfashionable sport in the UK. This has began to change in recent times, however, thanks largely to the efforts of Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and the impact of the London Olympics in the summer of 2012. Wiggins not only became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France, but he also claimed time trial glory at the Olympics before being crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December. This unprecedented success has triggered a rise in popularity for the sport, as youngsters nationwide look  to participate both competitively and as a way of keeping fit.

The Course of Cycling Since 2012: Embarking on an Upward Curve

While Wiggins’ victory in the Tour de France was historic, it was his success in the Olympic Games that really brought cycling into the mainstream conscience. Although the debate continues to rage concerning the cost of the Olympics and the value that it has delivered, there is no doubt that it has inspired the future generation of sports enthusiasts and potential stars. The actual financial cost of the Games came in under budget at £8.92 billion, and the individual cost of £142 per head may be a small price to pay for developing a more active and health conscious generation of children.

Bradley Wiggins’ gold medal at the Olympic time trial marked something of a watershed for British cycling, as it was played out against the backdrop of passionate support and widespread acclaim. This is arguably the first time that a British cyclist has been exposed to such adulation, as the Olympics provided Wiggins with the ideal platform on which to promote both his skill and the sport as a whole. The subsequent reaction has been significant, as a growing number of children look to engage in individual sports and pursue potential careers in cycling, tennis and athletics. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rocky Colavito: Super Slugger
      March 30, 2020 | 7:24 pm
      Rocky Colavito

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to have 11 straight seasons with 20 or more home runs, yet could not sustain that greatness long enough to earn a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      In some sense, the legend of Rocco “Rocky” Colavito Jr. began long before he ever started pounding home runs at the major league level.

      Born and raised as a New York Yankees fan in The Bronx, Colavito was playing semipro baseball before he was a teenager and dropped out of high school at 16 after his sophomore year to pursue a professional career. The major league rule at the time said a player could not sign with a pro team until his high school class graduated, but after sitting out for one year, Colavito was allowed to sign at age 17.

      Read more »

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