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Tag Archives: 2015 Tour de France

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And Now, On To Paris!

The second rest day arrives just in time for “gorilla” Andre Greipel to recharge following his third win du jour of the Tour in stage 15, while Peter Sagan is forced to rest with that same old number after the historically dangerous descent of the Col de Manse takes him to the line of stage 16 in– you got it– second.  That’s now five #2 finishes for the points-leading “green machine.”

Stage 16 Stage 18

Then come the Alps, along with further losses to the overall field.  As American Tejay Van Garderen had been sitting in third place overall, on stage 17 he meets an illness-induced end before reaching this Tour’s highest elevation point on the Col d’Allos.  Meanwhile, other-American Andrew Talansky (of only three in this Tour) notably finishes the day in second with a GC 12th place.  A French 1-2 closes stage 18 in Saint-Jean-de-Maurine, as Romain Bardet takes his first-ever Tour de France stage win, with Pierre Roland shortly behind.  The GC standings and Froome’s longstanding 3:10 lead still don’t change, that is until the following day.  Defending champ Vincenzo Nibali, nearly written off in the first week, proves he’s back by attacking on the Col de la Croix-de-Fer, winning stage 19, and moving himself up to fourth place overall, while second place Nairo Quintana pulls ahead to narrow the gap on le maillot jaune by 32 seconds.

Stage 19 Stage 20

This feeds into the penultimate finish atop Alpe d’Huez, at the end of a final climb long predicted to shake up the Tour even further.  A great day it proves for the French, as Thibaut Pinot ascends to a remarkable stage 20 victory, holding off the young Colombian in white who crosses the line in second while erasing another big chunk off that GC gap.  As such, to keep it interesting if not exactly shaken up, Chris Froome begins the Tour’s last day with a lead of 1:12, down from 2:38, down from 3:10, certainly a humbled presumed winner.

As always, it all comes down to Paris.  The champagne soon again shall flow!

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2015 in 2015 Tour de France

 

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After Two Weeks: Yet Another

Stage 10

Froome propels to victory in stage 10.

This year’s first French victory du jour in stage 8, followed by the team time trial of stage 9, close chapter one of the Tour leading into the first rest day, just in time for the wearer of le maillot jaune to gear up for the Pyrenean mountains ahead.  And more than geared he proves by the end of stage 10 with his not-to-be-caught solo win on La Pierre-Saint-Martin, reinforcing Chris Froome’s general classification (GC) lead by almost three minutes.  Meanwhile, in green, out of green, and back in green again, Peter Sagan keeps a not-so-tight hold on his best color.

Stage 11

Stage 11’s Col du Tourmalet

Stage 11 to the top of the Col du Tourmalet keeps Froome on top overall, far ahead of defending champion Vincenzo Nibali who’s clearly not having his greatest Tour. If that’s not enough, what some consider the hardest climbing day comes in stage 12 to the Plateau de Beille, amid extreme weather variations from dry heat to hailing downpour–  but ultimately still no shakeup in the overall standings.  Stage 13 into Rodez offers up the most exciting and unpredictable finish of the week, as Sagan propels to yet another almost-win but must settle for yet another second place du jour. At least he propels ahead in his points total after a momentary mid-stage loss, again showing he actually has to work to keep the green jersey for a change, courtesy of Andre Greipel of course. Still meanwhile– no GC shakeup.

Stage 13 Stage 14

Two-thirds of the 102nd Tour de France close with stage 14, seeing the first win for the first African team in Tour history, renewed points dominance for the “green machine” amid yet another top five stage finish, and in addition to a 2-3 switch in the GC, now an overall lead of more than three minutes for the man in yellow.

It might seem by now that le maillot jaune is wrapped up for this Tour– but then, is it?  As always, we shall see.  So comes and goes yet another July week across France.  Next up, the Alps!

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2015 in 2015 Tour de France

 

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The First Down & Out

Photo Courtesy:  Doug Pensinger

Photo Courtesy: Doug Pensinger

After a record-breaking individual time trial in stage 1 through Utrecht, and following some quickly shifting weather across Holland in stage 2 en route to a sprint finish in Zelande, comes the first dose of heavy carnage in the 102nd Tour de France– this massive high-speed pile-up in stage 3 to the Belgian town of Huy, big enough to halt the entire race for almost 20 minutes!

The first three days down and the first seven riders out, including today’s yellow jersey holder Fabian Cancellara who did valiantly finish the stage, comes in advance of tomorrow’s treacherous cobbles– not to mention French soil.  Altogether, this day clearly beckons that annually uttered classic phrase: “C’est Le Tour.”

Watch the crash video here.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in 2015 Tour de France

 

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On The Eve, Encore!

And now once again, for the 102nd time in fact, the eve has come.  The 2015 Tour de France is ready to roll tomorrow!

And now once again, for the 102nd time in fact, the long-anticipated eve has come. The 2015 Tour de France is ready to roll tomorrow, with new technology to boot!

 
 

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Video

In Four Minutes…

With last week’s official unveiling of the 2015 Tour de France route comes a virtual summary of sorts, a video tease if you will– altogether, the entire journey in four minutes!

2015-tour-france-route-map

Click image for close-up and further details.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Cycling, Media

 

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