Monday, July 28, 2014

Post Tour de France Thoughts & Enjoying My Birthday

King of the Champs-Élysées: Marcel Kittel

Plenty to celebrate today as it's my birthday! As I enjoy my morning coffee and decide how to spend my day, I'm also in Tour de France withdraw. This morning, I found myself looking for an online feed, by reflex by the way, and found nothing - so I'll have to wait until next year. So, it's time to have a look at stage 21 to Paris...

-Marcel Kittel

Vincenzo Nibali joins an elite club: 6th rider to win all 3 Grand Tours. First Italian in 16 years
to win the Tour. Marco Pantani last won in 1998.

Chapeau to our Canadians: Svein Tuft (131st) & Christian Meier (121st, riding his first Tour)!
via Orica GreenEdge

New: The Grand Départ cycling cap by Red Dots Cycling...

Two handmade versions to honor le Tour: Yellow and Vintage white ribbon including
the French tricolor.
photo Red Dots Cycling

I'll be enjoying a dram or two today...

photo Cycling Art

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Honey Badger Nails It, Tuft Day In The Saddle & Pinot's Celebratory Soak

Chapeau to Ramunas Navarduauskas!

Sweet redemption for Garmin Sharp after the near-miss from Jack Bauer and Andrew Talansky's early exit.

Backstage Pass looks at Svein Tuft's TT. It wasn't to be but a very good effort all the same...

Tony Martin blasted a huge TT - but he wasn't the only gladiator riding a 
58 X 11!

After today's TT, Thibaut Pinot takes a well-deserved celebratory soak.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday File: French Revolution, Mountain High, Shark Bites, A Likely Story & Café Roubaix Custom Cycling Caps

French Revolution...
The ageless, Péraud & young, Pinot.

Stage 18 was the final day in the Pyrenees ending on top of the Hautacom. Vincenzo the Shark Nibali looks set to become the overall winner after sealing it attacking on the final mountain winning in spectacular fashion. The race is still undecided for second and third. Pinot (2nd), Péraud (3rd) and Valverde (4th) is too close to call. Only 15secs are separating these guys as it goes right down to Saturday's TT. Of the three, the ageless Péraud (37yrs) is the strongest time trialist and the scale tips in his favor to ride a scorcher of a TT.

Romain Bardet, stage 14.
Currently 5th overall, 9:27.

Stage 1 KoMs for Jensie.
photo Graham Watson

The ever-popular Jens Voigt is glad that his last day of racing in the Pyrenees is over. He's due to retire at the end of this season. I'll remember him for his tireless attacking efforts, on numerous occasions telling his legs to Shut Up! He wrote an article for Bicycling, 'My Last Mountain Stage' that's worth reading. After stage 18s hellish stage he said, " Fuck I'm happy this shit is over!"

However, Friday is a flat stage - a welcome relief for him (and for the rest of the riders). So, will he be in the breakaway?  Oh yeah he will!

In the Pyrenees...

Avoiding a possible accident,  Nibali strong arms a fan attempting a selfie. When will folks learn to stay attention?

Fan favorite, Jack Bauer pulls a wheelie on today's stage 18...

Via Castelli

Stage 17

Didi, stage 17
Cors Vos

Majka and Purito, stage 17
Cors Vos

Stage 17
Cors Vos

A likely story.
photo Graham Watson

You all remember Luca Paolini was caught using his cell phone on stage 8 by Graham Watson on twitter. Paolini responded with an apology for breaking the race rules, explaining he wasn't texting and emailing but accidentally left the phone in his jersey pocket and was merely turning it off before handing it to the team car. Initially, he was given a warning, but the organizers later charged him a fine of 50 Swiss Francs.

New custom Café Roubaix cycling caps made by Red Dots Cycling...

photo Red Dots Cycling

May I direct your attention that a new batch of Café Roubaix custom embroidered cycling caps are now available to purchase here.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rafal Majka Climbs To KoMs, Daniel Mangeas, Tour de Shove & Pou Pou

Wink, wink say no more.

An amazing second day in the Pyrenees as Rafal Majka wins his second stage and gives boss Oleg Tinkov another reason to howl in happiness - and probably a raise in his salary. The young Pole holds firmly onto the KoMs with a commanding lead...

1.MAJKA R.TCS149 pts
2.NIBALI V.AST118 pts
6.PÉRAUD J.ALM57 pts
8.PINOT T.FDJ49 pts
10.SERPA J.LAM36 pts

Majka's climbing is spell bounding...

... so is the spectacular scenery!

The 'voice' of le Tour is Daniel Mangeas who will retire at the end of this, his 41st consecutive Tour.  I haven't been to the Tour (not yet) but listening to his distinctive voice gives a certain credibility to it all. His encyclopedia knowledge of cycling is vast and he doesn't use any notes to help him. Enjoy this video of the voice of le Tour - Daniel Mangeas!.. 

Backstage Pass over the Pyrenees, Sveino calculates the grupetto &...

...find out what Luke Durbridge said after the stage de shove.

French hero, Raymond Poulidor was in on the Pyrenees 
festivities because he first won on Pla d'Adet in 1974.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Allez FDJ - A French Resurgence & Backstage Pass.

Allez FDJ!
photo Daniel Benson

This four legged fan of FDJ is the perfect cheerleader on today's stage 16. Thibaut Pinot turned on the after-burner jets on the final climb of the Port de Balès accelerate away from Nibali and Valverde to show the  French are making a threat on podium. He's currently 3rd overall just 29 secs from second place. I like his attack as a result 'pushing' Romain Bardet off the podium and taking over in the young riders classification. I don't believe Nibali has anything to worry about ...but Valverde does.

" My big objective was to gain time on Bardet... and on Van Garderen. Seeing that I could drop Valverde, too, at the same time is a huge boost to my morale. We'll see what happens (tomorrow). I'll keep on trying."

- Thibaut Pinot.

French Bulldog in the Pyrenees.
photo Lionel Bonaventure

Rui Costa abandoned due to severe bronchitis. His is the best quote of the day...
"I feel like I've been run over by a lorry."

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