Even though anything can happen at any moment throughout three weeks of racing, it comes as no great surprise that Chris Froome has just marked his fourth win of Le Tour de France. Clearly he’s one of cycling’s greats, as talk of five and more is already underway. I merely wish he were a bit more interesting of a personality; Peter Sagan he is not, after all. (And didn’t we miss him?!) In any case, the 104th Tour de France is now in the books, and next year will come!
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Tags: 2017 Tour de France, Chris Froome, Paris, Peter Sagan, Pro Cycling, Tour de France winner
Luckily for France, the one and only French stage win of this year’s Tour finally came on the third-to-last day, as young Romain Bardet climbed to victory on stage 19. Even luckier for France, this significant time gain pushed the 25-year-old Frenchman up into second place overall. As it turns out two days later, as a record 174 of the starting 198 riders crossed the final finish line of stage 21, and while Peter firmly retained the green jersey for his fifth consecutive year, France saw one of their own on the podium in Paris, right behind now three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome. Another one, come and gone. C’est Le Tour, encore!
Tags: Chris Froome, Peter Sagan, Romain Bardet, Tour de France, Tour de France 2016 winner
Stage 11- Two for Peter
Stage 16- Three for Peter
The second rest day down, the final difficult days toward Paris underway, and the numbers continue to climb. The man in green who hadn’t won a Tour de France stage since 2013 has now won three, thanks to stage 11 and stage 16. The “missile” has more than solidified his second-place overall TDF stage victory record, hitting his 29th on stage 6, and then his 30th on stage 14, for a total of four stage wins in this year’s Tour.
Stage 6 – Cav’s 3rd for 29.
Stage 14 – Cav’s 4th for 30.
In a three-week race that did not see its first withdrawal until stage 8, a relatively few 19 of the starting 198 riders have now abandoned, among them Alberto Contador, Thibaut Pinot, and– not surprisingly considering the upcoming Rio Olympic Games, Mark Cavendish himself.
No Tour would be complete without at least one surprise mishap– what might be called a catastrophe if not simply a ridiculous turn of events. Luckily for Chris Froome, after a suddenly halting motorcycle caused him and others to crash on the climb toward the famous Mont Ventoux in stage 12, he maintained his overall lead and stayed in yellow, after an apparent panic run and much official deliberation no less. Now days past this unfortunate moment, Froome seems to remain non-threatened– as his time gap widens and Le Tour gets a little closer to Paris.
Tags: Cavendish 30th stage win, Chris Froome, Froome Tour catastrophe, Mark Cavendish leaves Tour, Sagan in green, Sagan Tour stage wins
The jersey winners (Photo: ASO/X.Bourgois)
It all comes down to Paris, and then it’s over. A fourth stage win for Greipel, Sagan in green a fourth straight year sans stage win this time, and Quintana in white on the second place podium, altogether behind the first British two-time champion, bring to an end a three-week, 2088-mile journey for 160 of the starting 198 riders to reach stage 21 on the Champs-Elysées.
What was probable becomes certain. Chris Froome is the man– in not only yellow but also polka dots. With this, as 2013’s winner retakes his place two years later, the 102nd Tour de France takes its place in history. And so we close the latest chapter of professional cycling excellence.
2015 Tour de France Champion Chris Froome (Photo: ASO/B.Bade)
Tags: Champs-Élysées, Chris Froome, Tour de france 2015, Tour de France Paris finish
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.”
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.
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!
Tags: 2015 Tour de France, Alpe d'Huez, Chris Froome, Peter Sagan, Tejay van Garderen, Thibaut Pinot, Tour de France
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’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.
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!
Tags: 102nd Tour de France, 2015 Tour de France, Andre Greipel, Chris Froome, Col du Tourmalet, Peter Sagan, Tour de France GC
As we’ve already known for a while now, it will begin in the United Kingdom. While not a first, it’s all the more fitting this time around, given a defending champion of the same nation of course.
Behold, the route for the 2014 Tour de France has hereby been unveiled, avec distinctly British spin.
Tags: 101st Tour de France, 2014 Tour de France, Chris Froome, Tour de France, Tour de France 2014 route, UK start Tour de France
With the reigning Tour de France champion having crossed the Atlantic to “challenge” this week’s defending titleholder, among all others, the USA Pro Challenge is off and hammering once again throughout Colorado. Just over a week now since the Tour of Utah closed shop, “America’s Race” wrapped day one with a stage win by Mr. Wheelie himself— sans green goatee and atypical (for him) altitude notwithstanding. However the next six days unfold, Phil Liggett will of course keep us in the know. Meanwhile, kudos to our favorite Peter!
Peter Sagan wins Stage 1 of the 2013 USA Pro Challenge.
Tags: Chris Froome, Christian Vande Velde, Peter Sagan, Peter Sagan Colorado, Phil Liggett, Stage One USA Pro Challenge, Tour of Utah, USA Pro Challenge, Wheelie
From a chaotic beginning to a first-time evening end, along with everything good, bad, high and low spanning three weeks time, the 100th Tour de France has reached its always much-celebrated final destination. With the major standings in place, one big question of course remained to be answered at the last moment of stage 21: Would the Missile get his beyond record-breaking fifth consecutive win on Le Champs-Elysees?
The peloton arrives in Paris on a perfectly picturesque evening.
Yes, his goatee is green too!
Peter has his green, Nairo has his white AND his polka dots, the U.S. got a top-ten overall win even without any stage victories, and as we knew for a while would be the grand result, Chris Froome keeps yellow as the winner of the Tour de France. On the other end, fun-themed Orica GreenEDGE— seeing all nine teammates to the finish– includes 36-year-old rookie Svein Tuft in last place overall– a distinction Phil Liggett quickly reminded us today that for the feat of completing this 3404-kilometer journey, carries no disgrace whatsoever.
The final finish in Paris ends the 100th Tour.
As for Cavendish, certainly no disgrace for him either. It was close– very close— as his four consecutive Paris stage wins stand as a record not about to be broken, yet not to be added to today. He lost his would-be fifth by a bike length to none other than “new sheriff” Marcel Kittel.
Chris Froome takes the first-place podium on this Paris night.
The leading color of the evening’s celebration!
Altogether, another spectacular French summer display of professional cycling prowess has now come and gone, all the more colorfully concluded with Paris’ well-planned Centennial year celebration. Personally, I’m happy to have been able to stay in the cycling spirit with my own rides on every day of this Tour. More than ever I look forward to my own miles to come in the saddle– as well as those of the awesome pros!
Tags: Champs-Élysées, Chris Froome, Chris Froome 2013 Tour de France winner, Marcel Kittel, Mark Cavendish, Orica-GreenEdge, Phil Liggett, Sagan's green beard, Svein Tuft, The Missile's Paris stage wins, Tour de France, Tour de France 2013 Paris finish
France might just have done it again, as another victory du jour looked promising for a long stretch of the day with Pierre Rolland in the lead. As it happened though, Rui Costa stole his own encore performance— all alone to cross the finish line once more– in a water-logged stage 19 finish.
Le Tour seems always beset by interestingly timed natural challenges. Today it was torrential rain in the stage’s final miles, just enough to create a soaked and all-the-more dangerous last descent to the line. With no wet-road wipeouts fortunately, and the main breakaway group kept huddled together, the general classification remains mostly unchanged at the end of this penultimate day in the Alps. Just one more, Chris!
The man in yellow maintains his position.
This drenching day’s end killed any chases.
Tags: Alberto Contador, Chris Froome, penultimate mountain stage, Pierre Rolland, Rui Costa, Rui Costa second stage win, Tour de France, Tour de France heavy rain, Tour de France stage 19
France is one happy country today.
Not once, but twice it was on this most difficult day of Le Tour– an arduous climb up the famed Alpe d’Huez, followed by the obvious descent, and then to reach the finish of stage 18, encore! The much-anticipated second zigzagging ascent of the same mountain clearly put the D in difficulty.
Overtake on the final stretch.
Capping off unpredictability aplenty, this iconic Tour leg finally earned France its first stage victory of the year, following the near miss in Lyon. For a good stretch it looked like it might have been this Tour’s first American winning day with Tejay Van Garderen in the lead up that wall-hitting final climb. At just two kilometers to the line however, the result made itself clear, and a French win could not have come on a more celebrated day than this. Christophe Riblon is France’s well-deserved hero du jour.
France’s very own stage 18 winner!
What was I just saying earlier this week about spectators? Today’s extremely crowded finish has to exemplify cycling fans at their craziest, so much so that in sections without barricades, thousands of overly amped onlookers consume nearly the entire road! While this is not new of course, it leaves me pondering the detriment to riders such as Van Garderen in this case, who might have better maintained his line and his concentration if not for getting chased, slapped and screamed at in the face by such “spirited” fans. Their passion and energy notwithstanding, should not a bit more control in such crucial moments be imposed?
A hard day in yellow.
In any case, now second-place Contador still can’t catch the leader, even with Froome’s 20-second penalty today. Le maillot jaune remains on the same shoulders with a now more than five-minute gap and two remaining climbing days before the ride into Paris. As always, anything could happen yet– even France shouting “encore” for another stage victory!
Tags: Alberto Contador, Alpe d'Huez, Chris Froome, Christophe Riblon, crazy Tour de France spectators, double climb up L'Alpe d'Huez, TDF French stage winner, Tejay van Garderen, Tour de France, tour de france stage 18
The so-called “sunshine tour” came to an end today. After more than two weeks of dry weather throughout France, the rain arrived on stage 17, just in time to make the mountain time trial a bit more interesting.
As it happened, the Tour leader held off his main rival both today and overall, winning this second and final individual trial by a sizable nine seconds while increasing his yellow jersey lead by a significant 20 seconds. What was looking good for Froome is now looking even better!
Tags: Alberto Contador, Chris Froome, Individual time trial, Stage 17 mountain time trial, Sunshine Tour, Tour de France, Tour de France weather in 2013, yellow jersey lead time
Train stops riders in their tracks. (Click for video)
Rarely does the peloton come to a standstill, but today it did so momentarily for a passing train!
Stage 16 victory
In a single-man breakaway from the breakaway, Team Movistar’s Rui Costa scored a solo stage 16 win, 42 seconds ahead of his closest threats and more than 11 minutes ahead of the yellow jersey group. This does nothing however to change Chris Froome’s overall standing– his more than four-minute hold on le maillot jaune– despite apparently increasing efforts by his biggest rival, two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador. Even with the Alps to come, it’s obvious the leading riders are beginning to see Le Tour’s end.
Tags: Alberto Contador, Chris Froome, Costa wins stage 16, Froome vs. Contador, General classification in the Tour de France, Movistar Team, Rui Costa, Stage 16 finish, Tour de France, Tour de France 2013 Stage 16, train stops peloton
On this Bastille Day, some 300 thousand die-hard spectators lined the path of what’s considered cycling’s most difficult climb. The fact it came at the end of Le Tour’s longest stage didn’t make the feat any easier.
Froome takes Mont Ventoux on Bastille Day.
As it happened, overall leader Chris Froome ascented to a first-for-Britain win atop the feared Mont Ventoux, not only retaining le maillot jaune which he snagged a week ago, but also earning the polka dot jersey while re-stretching his lead time to more than four minutes. Paris is clearly looking good for him, though of course an entire week remains. In any case, after the collective exhaustion of reaching this stage 15 summit finish, tomorrow’s second rest day must for everyone look as good as Froome did today.
Tags: Bastille Day, British win on Mont Ventoux, Chris Froome, Froome Tour de France lead, General classification in the Tour de France, Mont Ventoux, Tour de France, Tour de France Stage 15
It’s a solo chase of time, racing against nothing but the clock. And thus emerges one individual among individuals in such a time trial. Definitely a different game it is, seeing as yesterday’s winner now finished near last in stage 11. Today the victorious man– beating Le Tour’s current yellow jersey wearer by a significant 12 seconds– is the defending world time trial champion, Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Tony Martin.
Today’s winner of the first of two Tour de France individual time trials.
Tags: 2013 Tour de France ITT, Chris Froome, Individual time trial, Time trial, Tony Martin ITT winner, Tony Martin world champion, Tour de France, Tour de France Stage 11
Stage 8: Let The Climbing Begin!
One down, two to go– referring to weeks, that is! And some will say the real Tour began today, if of course you equate “real” with the battle for le maillot jaune as intense climbing got underway with stage 8 in the Pyrenees.
A suspenseful, spectator-filled climb it was to the high point of Le Tour 2013, Col de Pailheres. Silly me for turning away from the television for a few minutes this morning to get ready for my own 70-mile ride, because before I knew it the leader of the day’s biggest climb was overtaken on the final climb to the finish.
In the end, we’re left with another stage winner and another passing of said maillot. Way to go Froome!
Chris Froome wins stage 8 and takes yellow!
Tags: Chris Froome, Chris Froome yellow jersey, Col de Pailheres, Daryl Impey, General classification in the Tour de France, Pyrenees, Tour de France, Tour de France 2013 stage 8
Twenty days of racing complete, 153 competitors still in the game, and but one stage remaining– this of course tomorrow’s grand finale. The third week of Le Tour de France has magnificently come and gone, leaving behind yet one more batch of remarkable accomplishments and impressive finishes.
And now it’s on to Paris, for the Tour’s big finish on the Champs Elysees. Considering the men in first and second place overall are both riding for Great Britain– Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome respectively– it’s a “British One-Two” as Tour commentators put it. Then, if “The Missile” Mark Cavendish from The Isle of Man wins tomorrow’s final stage once again, perhaps it will be called a British One-Two-Plus. We’ll see!
Tags: Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish, Tour de France 2012, Tour de France British wins, Tour de France Champs-Elysees, Tour de France finale