A society on wheels: Observing the rules of the peloton

Tour of Oman 2010, stage four

There are times when the professional peloton takes on the appearance of a class of tired pre-school children, ratty, irritable, quick to lash out at each other, but without a teacher present to keep the peace.

But if you were racing full-on in all weathers, day after day, cooped up in a hotel at the end of each stage, spending far too much time than is healthy reading what people think about you on internet forums, you'd be tetchy too.

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Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.