maandag 20 juli 2015

Tour de France. Stage 16.

Green Giant.

Somewhere between the Col de Gabre and Gap, I became a Sagan fan. The fact that he was in the breakaway for the third day straight, like getting tired is something he just doesn't feel like, the fact that he did most of the work and the fact that he threw himself down that hill into Gap like a kamikaze pilot on a carrier. That made me realize that I love his style of riding, combine that with his relaxed attitude and hey, I'm a fan.
A bit disappointing the other riders refused to do any work, afraid of going to the finish with Sagan. By just sitting on a wheel like that you're never going to win, at least give it a shot.

Shame that he gets almost no support from his team, understandable with Contador in the ranks. But still, Sagan really should have a team built around him.
Not even that, just give him half a team and he'll probably win half of the races he starts in.

So, then there was the incident with Barguil. It's probably hindsight talking, but during the 'cow-descent' I was thinking Barguil must have had quite the amount of adrenalin rushing through him, descending like he did. I was glad nothing bad happened then, today was different unfortunately.
Maybe he just gets overexcited when the road goes downhill. Anyway, he'll probably learn from this.
Like yesterday, it's been an interesting stage..

Tour de France. Stage 15.

This agression will not stand, man.

Now was that really necessary? As if there isn't enough negativity in the Tour already.
We already witnessed the Team Sky riders warming up under extra police protection, it's a pity to have to say that it was probably a good thing after what happened to Froome and Porte.

So it was a shame that on a day the teams could make a stand against the appaling behaviour of certain individuals, someone needed to throw a waterbottle at a cameraman.
The worst thing about it was that it was someone from one of the teams. What a great way to show the public how to behave. And to do it to someone who, in a way, helps you to earn a living. No cameramen, no money.

Sure, it was a heat of the moment thing. But you know that is the last thing cycling needs right now.
At least it provided some more excitement for this stage, not that it needed any more. Boy is that Greipel fast!

zaterdag 18 juli 2015

Tour de France. Stage 14.

Despite all of the negativity that is present in this years Tour, today's stage had another gem for those who wanted to see it.
A great final climb, with a pair of French riders wanting to make something of a failed Tour, ultimately being beaten by an Englishman riding for an African team.

While everyone seems to be talking about doping like it's 2005, some truly great racing is going on.
Seemingly coming out of nowhere, someone made it up to the two Frenchmen.
Throwing himself into corners in a do- or die way, he earned himself first place. His first stage win in the Tour, and his teams first win in the Tour.

Tv-commentators everywhere must have been talking about how great this victory is, and how much it means. And they are right, it was even on Mandela day..

vrijdag 17 juli 2015

Tour de France. Stage 13.

No seconds.

What a feeling it must have been for today's winner. After so many almost-wins finally there's this one really big triumph.
Sure, he won twice before this year. But those wins are nothing like a win in the Tour.
Third in the Tour of Flanders, third in Roubaix, second in the Strade Bianche. All fantastic results, but they are no wins either..

How hard must that be mentally, to keep missing out on that one big win. To have a cyclingcrazy nation watching you, wanting you to cross that line first. But to keep coming in just behind someone else.

It must be hard, very hard. But to keep going when maybe you and the people around you are losing hope is probably one of the marks of a champion.
Let's hope that the rider coming in second today will have his big triumph one of these days. He earns it as well.

Oh, and that poor Peraud...

donderdag 16 juli 2015

Tour de France. Stage 12.

Reactance Theory.

Did you see it? The Cannondale-Garmin guys missing the break, followed by two of their riders chasing down the lead group? Did you see the Sky guys coming up, telling them to stop chasing?

Did you see the guy from Sky, giving the Lotto-nl guy the deathstare when he got up to the front?

I saw it, and i wondered why it is that the non-Sky riders seemed to follow these 'orders'.
I would have loved to see a different reaction from these non-Sky riders, 'It's not your road!', or, 'We can chase whatever we want whenever we want!'

Why is it that Sky seemingly hase a huge influence on other teams? Of course, they have the yellow jersey, but still..Is it because their campervans are the biggest, are they frustrated after being booed so much at the start?

Whatever reason it may be, I hope to see a rider doing the opposite of what Team Sky tells him to do.
Reactance Theory, basically doing just the thing you're told not to do.

Tour de France. Stage 11.


A grown man, wearing a red bathingsuit and a wig while standing halfway up a mountain.
He's probably been there all day, waiting for the riders to come by.
And when they do, he's going to run with them, yelling and shouting while carrying a life-saving device.

The riders, some fighting for the win, some fighting for their top ten place in the classification, and some just struggling to get up that mountain in time.
Do they enjoy the shortlasting company of this man? Does it help you when your heartrate is through the roof? Does is help you after all those hours on the bike when you just feel empty?

Or does it make them think: 'Get away from me, how can you be happy when i'm suffering like this?
Don't you know I am trying to do my job here? Just go home..'.

Why does he do it? I don't know, I don't understand. And maybe that's a good thing.

dinsdag 14 juli 2015

Tour de France. Stage 10.

C'est quoi ca?

July 14th, Bastille day. France is having a party.

It's been ten years since a French rider won a stage on Bastille day, and today hopes are high.
But while F├ędrigo is still in a break, France's new 'chouchou' Warren Barguil takes a tumble. For a moment it's unclear if he will continue, and when he finally does he looks like the loneliest man in the world. Alone, no teamcar in sight, he drafts his way back to the peloton with the help of a racedoctor.
Still, a French rider could win this stage.

Then, on the climb to the finish, it's first Bardet who can't keep up. Soon after Pinot suffers the same fate, so does Peraud. Peaked too soon? Bad legs after the rest day?  Anyway, all hope is lost.

France will have to do with two riders finishing in the top ten, yet again no win..
Does this kill the party? No way, there's more to life than cycling.
Party on France, party on..