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
3.RODRIGUEZ J.KAT112 pts
4.DE MARCHI A.CAN66 pts
5.VOECKLER T.EUC61 pts
6.PÉRAUD J.ALM57 pts
7.VISCONTI G.MOV54 pts
8.PINOT T.FDJ49 pts
9.VALVERDE BELMONTE A.MOV44 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."



Monday, July 21, 2014

Le Tour de France & Bicyclegifts

Tour de France
by
Michael Valenti





I'd like to thank bicyclegifts.com for their ongoing sponsorship to my blog. And, yes I would also like to direct you to their website for an amazing array of gifts for every cycling fan. The biggest cycling race of all time is entering it's last week and will be exciting to the end. Have a look at artist, Michael Valenti and his unique way of interpreting La Grand Boucle. He has a fine selection for sale. For more incentive the Tdf poster prints are on sale - save 20%, use checkout code TDF2014. 

Enjoy Le Tour!



Saturday, July 19, 2014

In The Alps With Purito & Majka






Joaquim Rodriguez is a man on a mission. No not to win the Tour, he's not back in form to do that. Since May, when he abandoned the Giro due to crashes he's back and earning the right to wear the polka dot jersey. Today, he grappled the coveted dotted jersey back from Nibali winning the Souvenir Henri Desgrange, first up the epic Col d'lzoard. On this hot day in the Alps, he pocketed a cool 5000 euros to share with his Katusha team and gained 35 points. Purito is in 55th place overall, more than 1 hr 40min behind Nibali. Crucially, he'll have to gain more points in the Pyrennees to win the KoMs.


"I know it will be tough but I'm happy because for me the Pyrenees are easier and I'll feel better there."

- Purito Rodriguez



KoMs Classification:

1.RODRIGUEZ J.KAT88 pts
2.MAJKA R.TCS88 pts
3.NIBALI V.AST86 pts
4.PINOT T.FDJ49 pts
5.VALVERDE BELMONTE A.MOV40 pts





Champion ride...

Chapeau to Rafal Majka.



"This is my first pro victory. I was always coming second, third, etc. I needed to win some big stage at the Tour de France."

- Rafal Majka, winner of stage 14 the hardest stage in the Alps.





The riders were not the only ones climbing in the Alps.





Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday File: Hot Weather Riding, Allez Les Francaises, Chef Tom, Vader Loves Le Tour, Sean Kelly Knows How Sagan Feels & The Road Holland Way

Hot atrocious weather? Use the 
'Team umbrella'.






Hot, brutal, high mountains summed up stage 13 finishing up to Chamrousse (Cat HC). Whilst The Shark took a bite out of everyone, he didn't looked too faze by the heat. It was so hot the tarmac was reportedly reaching 50C. Now, I can't find that video of a worker driving a special water truck spraying the roads to cool the tarmac from sticking so here's an post-stage image of Laurens Ten Dam trying to cool off ...



Laurens Ten Dam mercifully dons an ice vest.
photo Tim De Waele




I don't wish to spoil the French applecart but it's good news that Romain Bardet (3rd), Thibaut Pinot (4th) & Jean-Christophe Péraud (6th) are in sitting well on GC. The mountains are welcome territory for these guys and I like the long attack from Pinot with 12kms remaining. Let's hope these guys hang in there and come up with the goods in Paris. Allez les Francaises!




Madiot praise for Pinot power.





Chef Tom





It's ok, Vader loves Le Tour.





I suppose Peter Sagan can find some solace in the fact that he may not win a stage but know he will secure the green jersey. Sean Kelly, during the 1989 Tour, won the green jersey and no stage wins...








Finding time to ride and relax...

photo Mario Bartel



Yes it's true. I'm finding time to ride - in between creating custom cycling caps and watching Le Tour. Last Tuesday, on a hot (30C) ride with Mario and Brian -we rode over to scenic Stanley Park, UBC and to a pleasant, covered outdoor cafe outside of Chinatown. No, it's not beer that I'm cooling off with but a root beer and showing off my cool Ultrecht jersey from Road Holland. And to complete the ensemble,  I'm wearing the custom cap we made exclusively for Road Holland (you can read the story here).  



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