Tour de Past, Stage 15. 2010, Chaingate.

Andy Schleck was my favourite Tour rider for a while. It’s always good to see young riders come through and especially if they are gifted climbers. By 2010 he had won the previous two white jerseys and finished 2nd in 2009. He just needed another small step up to become overall champion but near the top of the Port de Balès on stage 15 he succumbed to the rotten luck, indecision and poor judgement that plague his career and rob him of a glittering palmarès.

At the start of the day, The second of four Pyrenean stages which would decide the race, Schleck had a stage win and was in yellow with Alberto Contador 31 seconds behind. With the next best rider Samuel Sánchez a further 2 minutes back it seemed the the winner of the Tour would be either Schleck or Contador, who were close friends.

As the French Champion Thomas Voeckler who had attacked out of the days break neared the top of the Port de Balès Schleck attacked out of the group of favourites. It was a strong move and he quickly put a gap on his rivals but he quickly came to a sudden halt. His chain had jumped off his drive-train and soon rider after rider were steaming passed him as tried to continue, unsure what to do. He got off his bike, tried to sort out the issue, got back on, got off again, managed fix things before getting going to chase down Contador. After his pursuit up the rest of the climb, down the other side and along the valley to the finish in Bagnères-de-Luchon he lost 39 seconds and the yellow jersey to his Spanish pal. He was now 2nd and the top two positions would remain the same all the way to the finish in Paris where Contador won by, 39 seconds.

Continue reading “Tour de Past, Stage 15. 2010, Chaingate.”

Tour de Past, Stage 5. 2014, The Cobbled Stage.

  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.

Tour de Past, Stage 3. 2009, Contador gets double crossed in the cross winds.

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.

Tour de France Preview.

The first Saturday of July is almost upon us. A date millions of sports fans across the world have been yearning for, as nothing major has been happening since the start of the summer. Le Tour de France starts and while it is back in its traditional spot on the cycling calendar the location of the Grand Depart is highly irregular. Unfathomably the race begins … Continue reading Tour de France Preview.