Tag Archives: UCI

MMT’s Analysis of the TDF 2016 – Part 2

Dear Rouleurs,

This is part 2 of MMT’s analysis of the TDF 2016.  Last time MMT focused on those that didn’t finish the TDF.  Afterall, its a hug achievement to finish, even if a rider finished in the bottom ten.  Which segues nicely into this blog, the analysis of the race for the lantern rouge, otherwise known as last place.  So first a few facts and figures about the big race.

Nationality of riders finishing in the bottom 10 of any stage

Nationality of riders finishing in the bottom 10 of any stage.

36 riders from 20 different teams featured in the bottom 10. France had the best representation with 7 riders, which is hardly surprising as 38 starters were French.

Teams with riders finishing in the bottom 10 of any stage.

Teams with riders finishing in the bottom 10 of any stage.

Only Astana and Trek-Segafredo had no riders finish in the bottom 10 of any stage.

Only 1 rider managed to start, stay and finish in the bottom 10, take a bow Lars Ytting Bak of Lotto Soudal.

So here’s the bottom ten as they finished on stage 21:

1 174 Sam Bennett (Ireland) BORA-ARGON 18 +5:17:14
2 173 Lars Ytting Bak (Denmark) LOTTO SOUDAL +5:01:18
3 172 Leigh Howard (Australia) IAM CYCLING +4:55:13
4 171 Bernhard Eisel (Austria) DIMENSION DATA +4:51:07
5 170 Daniel Mclay (Great Britain) FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT +4:50:14
6 169 Marcel Sieberg (Germany) LOTTO SOUDAL +4:40:24
7 168 Davide Cimolai (Italy) LAMPRE – MERIDA +4:39:37
8 167 Vegard Breen (Norway) FORTUNEO – VITAL CONCEPT +4:38:27
9 166 Marcel Kittel (Germany) ETIXX – QUICK STEP +4:35:06
10 165 Jacopo Guarnieri (Italy) TEAM KATUSHA +4:34:45

Congratulations to Ireland’s Sam Bennett who entered the annals of cycle sport history by finishing last in the 2016 TDF.  He can quite rightly claim that he was better than the 22 riders who didn’t finish.  Keep in mind he had a horrible stack on the first stage which left him bruised and most tellingly for a sprinter, a broken small finger.

The unlucky Sam Bennett shortly after a horrible crash on stage 1.

The unlucky Sam Bennett shortly after a horrible crash on stage 1.

So lets look at how this race for the lantern rouge progressed for these ten riders over the 21 stages of this years race.

This is how the bottom 10 got there.

This is how the bottom 10 got there.

No surprises that most of these guys were sprinters. I feel a bit for Marcel Kittel who couldn’t take a trick on the spirit stages and then limped home on the final stage. Leigh Howard must be considering himself lucky as he nearly went the double, backing on his last place in the Giro this year.

Well that’s enough pretty graphs and sniping 😉 until next time ride safe.


Zoom, Zoom, Froome…Apologies to Mazda


Dear Roulers,

Alas work and other parts of my life have been interfering with New Year’s resolution to blog weekly.  Rats………

However, MMT was very excited to watch the recent Herald Sun Prolog held last Wednesday 3rd February.  For some reason MMT has managed to miss this event in previous years, but not this time.  Located between 50m to go marker and the finish line, I managed to take a few reasonable photos as the riders zipped by.

The 2 km course, was very technical and had a mix of surfaces, acute corners and proximity to the crowd that some of the riders would have found disconcerting.  Nevertheless, last year’s winner Will Clarke and and runner up Caleb Ewan were again first and second over the same course.


However, my favourite moment was watching Chris Froome sprint past, which I managed to capture in this sequence of photos.  I’m guessing that this is about as close as I will ever get to a Tour de France winner, without being tackled by a security guard.


MMT is relived that no blatant breach of copyright will occur in this latest blog, for a change.

Until next time, ride safe on the roads



The end of the Magic Spanner??

Dear Roulers,

I was reading a recent article in Cycle Sport July 2015 edition, talking about the end of the ‘magic spanner’. Apart from terse warnings from the UCI Commissaries, the article was a showcase for a number of nostalgic photos demonstrating the bravery of team bicycle mechanics.  Leaning out of vehicle traveling at 40 to 50 Km/h looks like an easy way to end up in hospital.   Unfortunately there is no easy way of directing you to the article, as far as I can tell, there is no online copy…boo 🙁

For those of you that have no idea what the magic spanner or its close relative the ‘sticky bidon’ are, its occurs when a rider drops out of the peloton, on the pretence of requiring an adjustment to brakes, cleats, cables, whatever, and catches a presumably well earned rest hanging on the team car.  Here’s an example of an intrepid FDJ mechanic braving life and limb. Impressive core strength, young man.


Its close cousin is where a rider seems take a very long time to secure their grip on a bidon ie 1 or 2 minutes, before taking a drink.

Neither of these ‘tactics’ should be confused with hanging on to a motorbike…


….which is just plain cheating.

Nor is Richie Porte’s ‘wheelgate’ fiasco, which basically cost him any chance of maglia rosa in 2015.

So, naughty, naughty, very naughty, which is no doubt why the UCI issued a reminder just before the 2015 Paris-Nice race and fined a couple of team  a 1000 Swiss Francs. The article’s author seems to make great sport of team Sky who have a number of photos included in the article.  Oh well…….

As the sole rider on Team Marv I have to say that I want one of these magic spanners.  I’ve had 3 punctures in 6 weeks and having a Team Marv support vehicle would be just awesome. My personal pick would be the Team Sky jag that’s been going around in the ‘hot lap’ that’s been going round on SBS’s Bike Lane.


I’ll be passing the hat round shortly. Don’t be shy, chip in 🙂

Until then ride safely


Caffeine assisted cycling


Dear Roulers,
I can’t imagine going for a ride without having a good coffee before and after the event. I would class myself as a functional addict, although my wife may dispute the “functional” part of that description.  Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant of the methylxanthine class of psychoactive drugs. It is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug and unlike most other psychoactive drugs, it is completely legal.  The actual caffeine molecule looks the picture below.

caffeine molecule

Regardless, it’s the magical properties of caffeine, to ward off tiredness, that makes it the average office workers and cyclist’s best friend. It’s also been proven assist fat oxidation and reduce glycogen depletion. Both of which are very useful for the long distance cyclist.

The downside is that it is a diuretic and can cause dehydration. For that reason, it’s been treated suspiciously by anti-doping authorities who regard it as a masking agent for other performance enhancing drugs. Too much of the stuff results in overstimulation with anxiety and rapid heart heat. So it’s worth not overdoing it. While the UCI don’t ban the drug, the IOC still do.

I can remember Alex Watson, the Australian pentathlete, who found himself turfed out the Seoul Olympics in 1988 for imbibing way too much of the stuff and the tough battle he had to clear his name.  At present the UCI allows up to 12 micro grams of caffeine in a litre of urine. WADA has been lobbying UCI to ban caffeine, which no doubt irritate many cyclists. To get above that level, you would need to have about 6 cups of instant coffee or 10 expressos to hit that level.

So for those of you that are serious competitive cyclists, keeping an eye on your intake is a sensible approach, lest sharing the same fate at Alex Watson. Here’s a list of drinks that contains caffeine that a cyclist should be aware of:

Source Milligrams per a cup
Ground Coffee    80 – 90
Instant Coffee    60
Decaffeinated Coffee      3
Tea    40
Can of Cola    40
Caffeine Pills    100 to 200

I haven’t bothered with the energy drinks that may or may not give you wings, as I don’t consider those to be drinkable 😉

Happy coffee drinking and cycling