Geraint Thomas - slow starts, staying British & a few extra pounds
Our special guest this week is reigning Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas, so there is a definite theme on the podcast this week. Our panel is also made up of our team heading to France this summer - Gareth Rhys Owen is joined by the Guardian’s Jeremy Whittle, former pro rider Rob Hayles and commentator Simon Brotherton. We talk about his aspirations this season, the upcoming battle with teammate Chris Froome and his thoughts on Team Sky becoming Ineos, but staying British. We also review Paris-Roubaix after Sky rider Luke Rowe said he felt as though he'd 'been in a tumble dryer' after the race and look ahead to the Ardennes Classics.
Ropey airports, cobbled roads and retirement
Olympic gold medallist Dani Rowe joins Gareth Rhys Owen on the podcast this week to discuss life after the peloton; Dani retired from road racing in November. Rob Hayles returns from the Tour of Flanders having witnessed one of the worst airports in Europe but one of the best post-race interviews you'll hear. They discuss the pressures and strains of being a professional cyclist in light of British rider Peter Kennaugh announcing this week he'd be taking a break due to mental health reasons, plus they look ahead to the most punishing weekend on a bike: Paris-Roubaix. A race that Rob started three times but never finished.
The greatest race of all?
Tom Fordyce is joined by cycling writer Sadhbh O’Shea and BeSpoke veterans Gareth Rhys Owen and Jeremy Whittle to battle up the steep cobbled climbs and narrow roads of the Tour of Flanders, a race like no other. World no.1 Annamiek van Vleuten tells the team what it takes to win Flanders and reveals why a happy rider is a successful rider and reveals she can't tell the difference between her Mitchelton-Scott teammate twins Adam and Simon Yates. Plus Tom pressurises his guests into predicting a winner and is then blindsided by Gareth in return.
The near-death story of cycling's great survivor
Tom Fordyce is joined by the Guardian’s Jeremy Whittle and former pro rider Rob Hayles – eventually – as they hear the remarkable story of veteran rider Bernie Eisel’s near-fatal accident and his remarkable recovery. Bernie spills the beans on the strange habits of his team-mate and long-time room-mate Mark Cavendish and offers a tantalising prediction of what the superstar sprinter might do next. Plus the team discuss the cavalier charms of part-time drummer and full-time peloton maverick Julian Alaphilippe, and make a series of poorly-considered Grand Tour forecasts.
BeSpoke's end of year awards
What a year it’s been. A clean sweep for British riders of the three Grand Tours in Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and Simon Yates, but who will the BeSpoke team pick as the best rider of 2018? Tom Fordyce gets the band back together and is joined by Rob Hayles, Jeremy Whittle and Gareth Rhys Owen – the team that covered the Tour de France for BeSpoke. As well as rider of the year, awards are also dished out for the best day’s racing, most thrilling moment, and biggest inspiration.