Aug 1, 2015

I won, but I didn't know I had won

Great victory for Yates, sad ending for GVA.

It took the final climb of the day and Greg Van Avermaet's crash from a moto that gave Adam Yates what he needed to ride away to win Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian. The live feed was interrupted  only to resume for the final finish when Yates was as surprised, as I was, to win. I never picked him and predicted Gilbert to win (he finished 2nd). 

'Incredible. I won, but I didn't know I had won. I spoke on the radio to my sport director but because of the crowds the radio was too quiet. On the final climb there was a breakaway still up the road. Then there was a lot of carnage on the climb, there was a crash with a motorbike, and so I just went full gas. At the time I didn't know if I had reached the lead or not.'

- Adam Yates

Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian. 1. Adam Yates 5:30:22, 2. Philippe Gilbert 0:15, 3. Alejandro Valverde st.

Jul 31, 2015

Friday File: Lucky for some unlucky for others, Bahamontes and Clascia

Jean Christophe Peraud's unlucky 13th stage fall put him far behind in the hunt.
photo Lionel Bonaventure

Some of the lucky and unlucky riders in the Tour is featured along with some interesting data from Dimension Data who may step in to replace MTN (departing sponsor at the end of this season) as sponsor for MTN-Qhubeka.

Daniel Teklehaimanot was outstanding becoming the first African rider to wear the polka dot jersey for the first South African based MTN-Qhubeka.
photo Doug Pensinger

So close yet so far for Peter Sagan.


Some interesting data from Dimension Data...

The big stars are enjoying the lucrative post Tour criteriums...

Now that's my kind of beer:
celebrating at the Nato Ur Criterium Aalst.

Classic Cool...

1959 Tour de France.

The Eagle of Toledo, Frederico Bahamontes is the first Spanish rider to win the Tour. Here's a wonderful portrait of the great climber who was the first to be KoMs in all three Grand Tours...

Tomorrow is one for the climber's or strong rouleurs...

Clasica de San Sebastian.

My prediction: 1. Philippe Gilbert, 2. Julian Alaphilippe 3. Purito Rodriguez

Jul 29, 2015

The love for the race is so strong

I dedicate this post to a remarkable fan of Le Tour... Lucien Blyau. You probably know of him, or not, as the 89 year old fan who hands small cans of coke to the riders at every stage. He has been doing heartfelt gesture this since 1975. A fine article of this respected gentleman is here by James Startt. I'm a fan of this super fan!

Jul 27, 2015

I thought I was too far back, Champs Champs & the lighter side

The Gorilla... by half a bike length.

The final stage down the 'Champs' was anything but usual for Le Tour. To start, hours before, a car crashed into the barricades and fired upon by the cops before it managed to drive away. News today is that the driver have tuned himself in to police and the second occupant is in hospital. Rain soaked conditions especially on the cobbles of the Champs Elysees led officials to neutralize the final 10 laps. The final times were taken at the crossing of the finish line at km 41. And, finally, 2.2km to go a misfit protester stood in the middle of the road, amazing no one was injured. And like a sign from the heavens, the sun shone on the final gallop for the Gorilla, with a remarkable turn of speed holding off Bryan Coquard by half a bike length for his fourth stage win...

'The moment of my career. I thought I was too far back.'

- Andre Greipel

The protester


Anna van der Breggen wins la course female cycling race
photo Peter de Jong

Our Canadians: Ryder Hesjedal 40th, Svein Tuft 159th ('losing' the Laterne rouge to Sebastien Chavanel).

I'm going to miss watching Le Tour, if not for the intense racing but for the quirky side of it all...

What it takes for the Gorilla to win.

Laurens Ten Dam has a last shave before Paris.

Adam Hansen is always welcome to Dutch corner.

Jul 25, 2015

Epic l'Alpe: So it has to be next year. We'll see tomorrow, nothing is impossible.

Adding to the today's epic stage.
photo James Starrt

What a stage! Cannondale Garmin or more exactly Ryder Hesjedal almost pulled of a miracle on the l'Alpe d'Huez, and it was very close to happening. The 21 hairpins provide the most dramatic backdrop and I was literally screaming for Hesjedal to pull it off. Third was an amazing feat to a podium finish and personally, it was as emotional as watching him win the 2012 Giro. Ryder seems to be the type of rider to get better in the last week of a grand tour. His 5th in this year's Giro is proof. 

'I think we finished if off in our style, and really pushed the race right until the end. You cannot ask for much more than that, almost winning on Alpe d'Huez.'

- Ryder Hesjedal

Way to go Ryder!
Third place @ 41".

Second place @ 18"

Trying to dethroned King Froome wasn't an easy task. It was left in the mighty legs of Quintana as he tried and repeatedly tried with wild accelerations putting Froome on the ropes. I was hoping he would and win like Lucho Herrera did back in 1984. One day he'll win the Tour, that's for sure. 

'Sad not the win one stage. I lost the Tour on the second stage in Holland. I have a great team. So it has to be next year.'

- Nairo Quintana

'Winning on l'Alpe d'Huez, for a French rider, is fantastic!'

- Thibaut Pinot

Zany and Epic!


Inside Lotto Jumbo's musette bag...

Classic Cool...

Lucho Herrera, first Colombian rider to win l'Alpe d'Huez 1984.

Paris beckons...

'We'll see tomorrow... nothing is impossible.'

- Peter Sagan

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