The Best of Cycling on YouTube

Thanks to YouTube, there are a plethora of cycling videos getting onto the net now, as well as increase in the number of cycling films. After the inspiring Chasing Legends, Overcoming and the like, we now have documentaries on Cavendish and the Schleck brothers (The Road Uphill) arriving, but in the mean time, here’s some of the best YouTube has to offer. And not one is a ‘hilarious’ film of a compilation of crashes, so sorry, sadists.

Race Promos

Play this a few times and I guarentee you’ll be humming along with ‘Varese Va, varese va, vareeeese va….’ before long. This promo for the Varese Worlds, featuring Paolo Bettini really getting into it with team mate Giovanni Visconti, but Alessandro Petacchi not looking all too keen, is brilliant for many reasons, even if the random ‘race clean’ slogan that flashes up feels a bit, well, naff really.

The best sporting event promo ever? This 2013 Giro d’Italia clip is inspiring, beautiful and captures the glorious cacophony of colour, pain and excitement that burns through the soul of cycling

The Tour also makes good promos, if not as entertaining as the Giros. This one is for 2012.

Incredible bike handling

Say what you want about Lance Armstrong, but this moment from the first centenary of the race, 2003, on the descent into Gap, truly sums up the incredible athlete and sporting machine that he was.

For some truly great bike handling, watch this from around 4:50 in, and marvel at Guardini’s bike control as he manages to bunny hop over the fallen Cavendish, all at 70kph.

Classics action

George Hincapie always wanted to win Paris-Roubaix, but, in what now turns out to be karma, he never did. Here, he loses out because he falls, exhausted, into a ditch in one of the last muddy races.

Hincapie at Paris-Roubaix again, showing why you shouldn’t buy a Trek – not only are they not Euro, but they break on the cobbles. Tsk tsk.

A whole hour of the attritional 2010 Tour of Lombardy for your enjoyment, as Philippe Gilbert wears down the field.

Paris-Roubaix 2009 wasn’t as good as the ridiculous 2011 edition (but then all the 2011 Classics where awesome) but the last few cobbled sections produced some marvelous action.

Epic descending

Vincenzo Nibali is famed for his downhill skills, having won a wet stage of the 2010 Giro on the descent, and trying to take the race to Contador at the Giro in 2011 and Wiggins at the Tour in 2012 with the aid of gravity. Here he is at his consummate best however, casually bunny hopping a crack in the road just before the braking point of a hairpin bend.

In 2009, Cancellara punctured, and had to chase back on down a descent. It seems he was aided by the weight of his testes, particularly when he barely misses the medical car.

Amazing Finishes

This stage from the 2006 Vuelta saw Olympic champ in waiting Samuel Sanchez demonstrating his impressive downhill skills in an attempt to hold off the pack. Would he manage? Clue: Everyone finishes on the same time…

The now infamous Milan-San Remo duel between Haussler and Cavendish. I remember watching this and being unsure as to who’d managed, an viewing back convinces me that of Haussler hadn’t moved across the road, he’d have a classic to his name, and Cavendish would still be searching.

Bart de Clerq of Omega-Pharma Lotto was heading for a solo Giro stage win in 2011, but the GC contenders where building pace as he lost his legs. It led to a heart in mouth finish.

Carlton Kirby confirmed his position as the loudest and most excitable commentator in cycling, screaming and interrupting Brian Smith to roar at Iljo Keisse, a man besotted by tragedy and bad luck throughout his career, after he crashed in the last kilometre with the pack just 17 seconds behind, dropped his chain, but still managed to win by mere inches in what is my personal favorite cycling finish.

For some reason we apparently have to be depressed about the Tour from 1999-2005, and arent allowed to like or find inspiration from it at all. Suspend the cynicism and pop culture hatred for a while and enjoy this sprint finish as Kloden looks to have the stage wrapped up with a kilometre to go.

Mario Cipollini

Yes, Super Mario gets a section all to himself. And when he makes 10 minute long bike adverts that take a subtle pop at Zabel and are full of utterly pointless things for effect, why not?

Defending Ghent-Whevelgem champ Mario Cipollini was somewhat annoyed in the 2003 edition, where various inidents meant he couldn’t go for the out right record of 4 wins in the rainbow jersey. Unfortunately he took out his frustration by lobbing bottles at the motorbikes, and got immediately disqualified.

Cipo sponsors a womens team, which apparently was an excuse to make this creepy/interesting video, in which he, er, shows them how to ‘stretch’, as well as pedal at one point. All of them are now with child.

Jens Voigt

We could have a whole site on Jens if we wanted, so here’s some lesser known clips, including this amusing interview from the old Saxo Bank days/

Jens was asked how Schleck could beat Astana at the 2009 Tour. His answer included bears and smoking.

This clip from the 2003 film OverComing shows just how entertaining he can be.

And finally…

We all dream of winning races, and lets admit it, we dream of what uber cool celebration we’d use as well. This bloke probably could have done with dreaming about it a bit more, as it would have been good practise for what turned out to be the worst case scenario.

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