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Cyclist Magazine Podcast: Episode 1 – Italy's mystery mountain and Eddy Merckx bikes

Cyclist magazine
7 May 2020

Welcome to episode 1 of the Cyclist Magazine Podcast, be sure to subscribe

Hello and welcome to episode 1 of the Cyclist Magazine Podcast. Grab a cup of tea, a couple of bourbons and settle in for the ride.

Along with the latest news and gossip from the cycling world, we’re here to bring you stories about the people who race bikes, make bikes and, most importantly, love bikes.

In our first episode, digital writer Joe Robinson and deputy editor James Spender make a mental escape to one of Italy’s wildest yet unknown climbs, discuss the history of Eddy Merckx bikes and reveal why Ferrero Rocher chocolates could never contain alcohol. 

Used only once in the Giro d’Italia, the Colle Fauniera in the Cottian Alp is one of Italy’s hidden treasures, steeped in tragedy and triumph, and even the scene for Cyclist's Issue 100 Big Ride. Joe gives the inside track on why this 33km giant has a statue of Marco Pantani at its summit and why it’s the perfect destination for a cheesy alternative to parmesan.

Meanwhile, the nearby city of Cuneo happens to be quite the place for a sweet treat or two, home of the world-famous chocolatier who brought us Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Tic Tacs.

Hopping a few borders to Belgium, it’s on to Eddy Merckx bikes as James discusses why he fell in love with the bikes bearing the legend’s name, from owning cheap secondhand racers to finally visiting the factory - and meeting Eddy himself - to see the bikes being made.

But it’s not all roses - the brand has experienced ups and downs, from the heady heights of Jan Ullrich’s Team Telekom and Tom Boonen’s Quickstep, to the forgettable lows of mass manufacture and corporate takeovers.

Oh, and do forgive Joe's nerves for mistaking Jose Maria Jimenez's name for Juan Miguel Jimenez. Like you, we also don't know who Juan Miguel Jimenez is. And QuickStep only managed five victories in 2011, not 11. How far that team has come!

Make sure you leave us a comment and review the podcast. We'd also love to hear what you want discussing too!

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