Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Spring Classics-Bike Racing At Its Manliest:Paris-Roubaix

For most casual bike racing fans, the Tour de France is likely the only European pro cycling that is worth following, and even though it is one of the world's premier sporting events, enthusiasm among Americans is slight in the post-Lance era. With that, TV coverage of cycling in the USA has also waned.

Where the hard men reign 
The Spring Classics are one day races that are deeply rooted in the history of competitive cycling. Remember, there was a time when bike racing was a huge spectator sport worldwide. From the roads of northern Europe to the track in Madison Square Gardens, cycling as as big as NASCAR in its heyday.
Where leading contenders in the Tour often go for days at a time sheltered by their team as they drone through the predictable pattern of breakaways, the catch, and then getting the hell out of the way for  a frenetic final kilometer or two by the sprinters' teams, there is no hiding in the classics.
Here is a link to the last 14k of last week's Tour of Flanders where Fabian Cancellara battles with world champion Peter Sagan to the finish. This is bike racing at its pure best.

Race your bike on this! Cobbles of Paris-Roubaix
They are races of survival and glory. They a built of cobblestones, mud, cow shit, and pain, and the most revered among them is Paris-Roubaix. Ask a Belgian bike racing fan (that could just say "ask a Belgian". This is a country with dozens of daily bike racing publications) what the most important races of the year are, and you'll likely hear "Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders".

Live Coverage this Sunday on NBC Sports!!

Remarkably, this will likely not appear in their programming guide, but NBC Sports will cover Paris-Roubaix this Sunday at 8:00AM. My Comcast guide shows Premier League Soccer at that time, with a 3-hour rebroadcast of Paris-Roubaix at 3:00PM.

Check this out: Paris Roubaix 1988


Justin Jones said...

While NBC Sports has the rights to Paris-Roubaix, don't forget that many other races can been seen live via Livestream (http://livestream.com/watch/search?q=cycling). Last weekend I watched the Sunny King Criterium's live as well as the full Tour de Flanders (start to finish).

Also, if you subscribe to BEIN Sports via your cable or satellite provider, check out their "connect" app. You can often watch European races live on their other channels that are available only via the Connect app or website. (They has the Tour de Flanders too)

JBar said...

That is good info. I'll try them all!