One of the best things about watching the Tour is witnessing the pleasure it gives to everyone involved in the race. Whether it’s the excitement of the massive crowds on mountain stages, the joyous celebrations of a rider winning a stage or comfort that @nyvelocity gets from the Tour de France inspired tractor art by French farmers. The role the Director Sportifs who manage the … Continue reading Tour de Past, Stage 8. 2012, Marc Madiot Losses It.
Team Sky came into the 2011 Tour with a lot of hope and expectation. A difficult race the previous year, where their top GC rider Bradley Wiggins only finished 24th, was put down, in part, to the fact that it was the teams debut year and mistakes were bound to be made. Now though they thought they were ready to mount a serious challenge at … Continue reading Tour de Past, Stage 7. 2011, Britain Not Ready For A Tour Win Yet.
All sports have hero’s and villains. Their presence adds to the spectacle of what you’re watching and changes it into theatre. Unfortunately in cycling many of the heros are actually villains and when you find out you realise that you’ve been watching a tragedy. David Millar was one such hero of mine. Being Scottish I had always been a fan of his namesake Robert but … Continue reading Tour de Past, Stage 6. 2009, David Millars Redemption?
This was one of the most action packed stages of the Tour de France in my memory. Pre-race it was described as a mini Paris-Roubaix and had been talked about as the old “Stage where the Tour won’t be won but could be lost”. It is remembered for the contrasting fortunes of the ‘Big Three’. Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome were considered … Continue reading Tour de Past, Stage 5. 2014, The Cobbled Stage.
Looking over the editions of the Tour de France which I have followed has shown me that stage 4 is the most dull stage of each Tour, though yesterday was very much the exception to the rule. Hardly anything has happened on a stage 4, which have either been flat sprinters stages or some form of time trial. No significant crashes or abandons, no drugs … Continue reading Tour de Past, Stage 4. 2011, Cadel Lays Down His Marker.
Lance Armstrong’s return to cycling in 2009 seemed very strange at the time. Sure, he probably couldn’t stay away from the sport and a few other clichés but at 37 he surely couldn’t achieve what he had in the past. Was he going to be happy playing a support role for Alberto Contador in their Astana team? After enjoying taking part in the Tour Down … Continue reading Tour de Past, Stage 3. 2009, Contador gets double crossed in the cross winds.
First published 3rd July 2016. This year is Fabian Cancellaras last as a pro rider meaning that the position of Patron of the peloton will become available. It is difficult to see who will take over. Chris Froome is too nicey nicey, Quintana comes across as too quiet and none of the riders seem to like Vincenzo Nibali. Maybe there is no need for … Continue reading Tour de Past, Stage 2. 2010, Cancellara the patron.
First published July 2016. Today the Tour de France starts with what can only be described as a sprint stage. The route from Mont-Saint-Michel to Utah Beach is similar to many first days of the race. But as well as sprint stages kicking off the Tour in recent years there have also been time trials and short hilly finishes meaning the first yellow jersey … Continue reading Tour de Past, Stage 1. 2006, Thor Hushovd gets a paper cut.