5. The racing heats up

Feb 25, 2015, 09:45 PM

February 26 | The end of February and beginning of March is when the cycling season heats up and in the latest Telegraph Cycling Podcast Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe look ahead to the first cobbled classics of 2015.

The ‘heating up’ is strictly metaphorical, because the focus moves from the Middle East and south of Spain to Belgium. Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, held on Saturday and Sunday respectively, provide the riders with their first taste of the cobbles ahead of classics such as the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

We also look back at the recent stage races in Andalucia, the Algarve and Oman, with Team Sky enjoying a great run of form. Chris Froome had a ding-dong battle with Alberto Contador to win the Ruta del Sol in southern Spain and Geraint Thomas was the overall winner of the Volta ao Algarve, where Richie Porte also won a stage. And there’s an interview with new Team Sky recruit Nicolas Roche, with the Irishman having played an important role in helping Froome to his victory.

There is analysis of the world track cycling championships, Britain’s first without a gold medal since 2001. What has gone wrong with the all-conquering team of the Beijing and London Olympics, and can they arrest the decline before Rio in 2016?