The season finally started, according to Lionel Birnie, with Belgium’s “Opening Weekend” comprising Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday followed by Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday.

The racing was thrilling, but there has been a lot of other news in the cycling world, from coronavirus and its possible effects on the upcoming races, not to mention the four teams still in quarantine in Abu Dhabi, to Gianni Moscon’s latest transgression and disqualification at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

Lionel, Daniel Friebe and Richard Moore discuss all this and there are interviews with Moscon’s Team Ineos sports director, Gabriel Rasch, as well as Allan Peiper of UAE-Team Emirates and Rik Van Slycke, whose Deceuninck-Quickstep team managed a win and a second place at the two Belgian races.

We hear from young riders Fred Wright and Quinn Simmons, making their debuts in the Belgian races. And we have exciting news of our own – a new title sponsor, iwoca, who we warmly welcome to The Cycling Podcast.

News of the sudden and tragic death of Nicolas Portal, the Team Ineos sports director, broke after we recorded this episode. We will have a full appreciation of Portal in next week’s podcast.

The Cycling Podcast, brought to you by iwoca and supported by Science in Sport

iwoca is title sponsor to The Cycling Podcast.

Over the past seven years iwoca has grown from a small start-up to one of the fastest-growing business lenders in Europe. Now they’re a team of more than 300 in London and Frankfurt working towards the goal of funding one million small businesses, including cafes, spin studios and bike shops. They can lend between £1,000 and £250,000 and make it quick and easy to get a decision. If you are interested in finding out more about what iwoca can do for small businesses go to: iwoca: Fast, fair and flexible business funding

The Cycling Podcast is supported by Science in Sport. For a 25% discount on all your Science in Sport sports nutrition products go to www.scienceinsport.com

This week’s episode is supported by Hello Fresh.

HelloFresh makes cooking from scratch easy and convenient. As well as delivering fresh, quality pre-portioned ingredients to your door, they now have 21 different recipes to choose from each week. From Family Favourites and Balanced recipes under 600 calories to recipes that are on the table in ten-minutes flat, there’s something for everyone to try. And to make mealtimes even more memorable, you can also add extras like desserts and artisan bread for extra convenience.

For the simple way to cook fresh, HelloFresh is offering you 50% off your first box and 35% off your next three boxes. Head to hellofresh.co.uk and use the code CYCLING to receive 50% off your first box and 35% off your next three today.

BECOME A FRIEND OF THE PODCAST
Signing up as a Friend of the Podcast has never been easier. Our new system will get you connected in just a few clicks. Why sign up? Apart from getting access to our special episodes throughout the year – there are five online already – you will be helping us to keep The Cycling Podcast’s team car on the road to provide daily Grand Tour coverage. Sign up at thecyclingpodcast.com/subscribe. We’ve frozen the price again – it’s just £15, which will work out at less than £1 per special episode. If you want to pay more we’ll send you a copy of our new book, The Grand Tour Diaries.

2020 FRIENDS OF THE PODCAST EPISODES SO FAR…
1. The Stage That Didn’t End – Stage 19 of the 2019 Tour de France
2. The Cycling Podcast On Tour – The best bits from Belfast and Edinburgh
3. The Grand Tour Diaries Audiobook – Part one, 2019 Giro d’Italia
Bonus from the archive: The Rise and Demise of HTC-Highroad
Bonus from the archive: The Revenants
4. The Grand Tour Diaries Audiobook – Part two, 2019 Tour de France

THE GRAND TOUR DIARIES
Available now at thecyclingpodcast.com/book. All Friends of the Podcast can get a 20% discount.

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