Riding is Life


Our favourite Stories: Dane Cash is, mostly, pretty serious about bike racing

Anyone who can masquerade a Belgian Beer tasting session as research for a race preview is a friend of mine.

Welcome to our year-end Favourite Stories series. To pick the best of our over 1,000 stories published this year, we assigned each of our staff and core contributors to write about someone else. Today, Ronan Mc Laughlin gets technical about Dane Cash’s approach to covering bike racing.

You know what I like about Dane Cash … he’s pretty serious about bike racing. Yes, he hosts a podcast by the same name, but besides that, he has an appreciation, an understanding, and a passion for the less-obvious aspects of professional racing and why they matter.

Dane will explain at length the importance of Mikel Landa’s move to Soudal Quick-Step or the minutia of the strategy and tactics that lead to any number of victories. He reports on professional racing, and he’s also an uber fan. That’s a great combo in my books, and it means the back catalogue from which to pick my favourites from his work this year was pretty vast. Here’s what I came up with:

A bike-racing soap opera, en Español

Not only is Dane a man after my own heart with his obsession with the finer details of professional bike racing, but he is also the only member of staff to speak Spanish, and as such, was tasked (he volunteered, enthusiastically) to watch the Rigoberto Urán telenovela.

Not speaking Spanish, despite studying it for three years in school, this made me happy. The RIGO show intrigued me, and Dane stepped up to tell me what I was missing.

Read “Rigoberto Urán’s life is now a telenovela” here.

Arkéa-Samsic, kit reveals, and Arthurian legends collide

Arkéa-B&B Hotels riders in their new kit.
Arkéa-B&B Hotels riders in their new kit.

If you’ve listened to a single episode of the Pretty Serious Bike Racing podcast, you’ll already know all of that about Dane. What you might not know is that Dane is also a huge history nerd, often explaining to me the historical importance and centuries-old tales of places just a few miles down the road from my house, or in other words, the opposite side of the Atlantic from Dane.

As such, it was probably no surprise that Arkea’s kit unveil, which featured an adaptation of Excalibur, was a gift for Dane, and his coverage of it, although recent, was one of the first of his pieces to make this list.

Read “Why is Arnaud Démare wielding a sword in Arkéa’s wonderfully ridiculous kit reveal” here.

A prescient prediction of Sepp Kuss’ Vuelta win

Dane might get writing about a heck of a lot more on the importance of random transfers and happenings in the WorldTour if it wasn’t for Jonny Long’s fantastic twice-weekly Spin Cycle newsletter. Those two battled it out mid-Vuelta when the idea of Sepp Kuss winning the final Grand Tour of the season was debatably still a long shot.

Of course, we all know how that one turned out, and nobody could have predicted the fireworks that ensued, but the pair’s opposite takes added to the excitement of that time, and thankfully, Dane called it … Sepp Kuss can win the Vuelta.

Read “Can Sepp Kuss actually win the Vuelta a España?” here.

Race previews with everything you need to know, and some things you didn’t know you needed to know

Finally, there’s Dane race previews. I could pick any here; they are all so full of insightful details and plenty of stuff you didn’t really need to know but are so much better off for knowing.

I’ve picked Dane’s Men’s Tour of Flanders review purely and simply because crucially the reader leaves the preview understanding the difference between a Duvel and a Dubbel. Better yet, he actually went as far as a Belgian Beer-tasting session in researching that preview so that we, the readers, have all the most essential information ahead of “De Ronde.”

Read Dane’s Tour of Flanders preview here.

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