The Tour In Ten Songs


The Tour the France of 2016 in ten songs? It is a challenge, but these ten songs are in some kind of way related to the Tour of this year.

Remember the first stage? Three weeks before today, the race was on. Or in other words: “the boys were back in town”. [By: Thin Lizzy]

Cycling - The Tour de France cycling race - Stage 1 from Mont Saint-Michel to Utah Beach Sainte-Marie-du-Mont

Let the sprinting begin. “Hey ho, let’s go!”, Mark Cavendish must have thought. He took four sprint stages in this year’s Tour de France. [By: The Ramones]

07-07-2016 Tour De France; Tappa 06 Arpajon Sur Cere - Montauban; 2016, Dimension Data; 2016, Fortuneo - Vital Concept; 2016, Etixx - Quick Step; Cavendish, Mark; Mc Lay, Daniel; Kittel, Marcel; Montauban;

And then we went off to the mountains. Finally, some mountains! Really, we could not wait? It almost drove us crazy… [By: Britney Spears]

Pyrenees TDWsport

The first attack in the mountains came from Froome. Because he felt good. And if you are feeling good, well, you just have to attack. So good… [By: James Brown]

Froomey

Rain? There was quite some rain in this Tour de France. Are you kidding me? There was more rain than ever. Some riders did not seem to be bothered though. Riders like Tom Dumoulin, for example. Let the rain just fall down. [By: Kane]

10-07-2016 Tour De France; Tappa 09 Vielha - Andorra Arcalis; 2016, Giant-alpecin; Dumoulin, Tom;

And suddenly there was a crash. Froome without a bike! Running to the finish. There’s only one song that fits that scene. [By: Kate Bush]

Cycling - Tour de France cycling race - Stage 12 from Montpellier to Chalet-Reynard

There are no words for what happened in Nice. There was a minute of silence for all people involved. A minute of complete silence. [By: Simon & Garfunkel]

Tour de France together

And the boy became a man! Three stage wins and the green jersey for Tarzan, I mean, Peter Sagan. What a legend. [By: Phil Collins]

18-07-2016 Tour De France; Tappa 16 Moirans En Montagne - Bern; 2016, Tinkoff; Sagan, Peter; Bern;

The French people thought it would never happen, but it did! Romain Bardet won a stage and becomes second in this year’s Tour de France. Here comes the sun after all. [By: The Beatles]

bardet wins le tour

This man is the winner though. It is all yellow for Chris Froome. Again. For three years in a row now. [By: Coldplay]

Tour de France 2016 - 22/07/2016 - Etape 19 - Albertville / Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc (146 km) - FROOME Christopher (TEAM SKY) - Maillot Jaune

Copyright photos: steephill.tv / Sirotti / Reuters /
ASO / Flockton / Tim De Waele

Four Different Stories

Column
24 July 2016

TDF Greg

Three weeks of cycling. Three weeks of hard work, suffering, joy and pain. Three weeks fighting for yellow. Four different riders wearing the yellow jersey. Four smiling boys on the podium. Four different stories.  Only one of them takes the jersey home. It all started with Mark Cavendish (DDD) on Utah Beach. There was no prologue. The Tour de France started with a stage for the sprinters. Cavendish was the fastest of them all and got to wear the yellow jersey. It was an emotional moment for him. He lost the jersey the next day to Peter Sagan (TNK) though. Sagan finally won a stage in the Tour de France again after so many second places. He said that he likes to wear the yellow jersey, but his rainbow jersey looked better on him. After three stages he lost the jersey to Greg van Avermaet (BMC). A heroic solo finish, also enough to take over the yellow jersey. He thought that he was dreaming. A stage win and the yellow jersey. He was overwhelmed and said that it was one of the best days in his career. Of course he would not keep it for a long time. Stage eight was a difficult stage in the mountains and for sure he would lose the jersey there. But to whom? Which of the favorites had the guts to place an early attack? Who could have thought that it was Christopher Froome himself? He went for it and left all the other favorites behind. There was no one that could keep his wheel. He went as fast as he could. It was like the devil was chasing him. He won that stage and took the yellow jersey. He kept it until now. That is class. Wearing the yellow jersey for two weeks is a lot of hard work, not only for himself, but also for the team. They showed, once again, that they were capable of doing that. Froome is the one that takes the yellow jersey home with him tomorrow. For the third time in a row.

Copyright photos: steephill.tv / Sirotti / Reuters

Tour Life (3)

We enter the last couple of days in the Tour de France. It did fly by. We can call Peter Sagan the king of the Tour already, with his three stage wins and his twinkling eyes. And will he or will he not? Will Chris Froome win another Tour de France? Or is that little Colombian guy up to something? Or maybe Mollema? That is future talk, but a lot happened in the lives of the riders in the second week of the Tour de France. Here is an update from all the past events.

Hotel view Meintjes

You wake up, you look out of your window and you see… this? Louis Meintjes saw it when he looked out of his window in his hotel room.

Team Direct Energie breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Take a look at the riders from Team Direct Energie eating their breakfast before the hard stage to the Mont Ventoux. Thomas Voeckler and Sylvain Chavanel can even smile, although some of the other riders can’t. Probably afraid of the upcoming stage…

Team Cofidis ontbijt muhaha

Then again, you haven’t seen the breakfast table of Team Cofidis. Oh my… if you can eat all that, for sure you can climb up a mountain!

Albert Timmer Barguil curtains what

And after a long day out there on the bike, riders want to sleep. So, what do you do with matresses you don’t need? Albert Timmer and Warren Barguil of Team Giant-Alpecin knew what to do with them. They used them as curtains. I think they slept like a baby that night.

Tony easy ride

Hello, I’m Tony. I have been in the breakaway all day long and look at me. I am not in pain, I feel fine. You know what, shall we do this again? What do you say, Julian? Julian?

Alessandro Tegner Julian haha

Answer of Julian Alaphilippe seems clear to me. That is definitely a ‘no’.

Mathew Hayman oh my

Mathew Hayman decided to shave his hair on the final rest day. Just to look fancy in the last days of the Tour de France. But the man who will do the shaving is Dan Jones (the man behind all the backstage passes). So if we’ll spot Hayman in the next few days without any hair, we know who is responsible for that.

Markus Burghardt what a view

Marcus Burghardt says thanks to the organisation for putting the BMC Racing Team in such a nice hotel with such a nice view. I wouldn’t complain either.

Maciej Bodnar rest day

Coffee stop for the Tinkoff boys on the rest day! Lovely.

There will be one more ‘Tour Life’ update here on the Ride On! blog, because we don’t want to miss out on the life of the riders in the Tour de France.

Pretty Boy

It is exactly 65 years ago. A Sunday in the Tour de France of 1951. Stage 15. A very hot day and the riders were facing a distance of 177 kilometers. A short stage for that time. It led them from Brive la Gaillarde to Agen. Riders were hoping for a slow day, as they knew the Pyrenees were yet to come in the following days. A young man, 26 years old, attacked with 135 kilometres to go. It was hopeless, everyone thought. The heat would break him up, for sure. They thought wrong. A week before this rider already won the time trial. The classification riders should have known better. Riders like Coppi, Bartali, Robic and Bobet started chasing him when it was already too late. They were all working together to bring back that fine-looking young man. He crossed the finish line solo, more than two minutes before all the favorites. A few hundred metres before the finish he combed his hair, to show that it had been ‘an easy ride’. The French press gave him the nickname ‘le pédaleur de charme’ from this day on. His name? Hugo Koblet.

Hugo was born in 1925 in Switzerland. He grew up with his parents and his elder brother. His father died when he was only 9 years old. His older brother took over the bakery from his parents. ‘Hugi’, as his mother called him often, worked there until he was seventeen. His job was to deliver bread and cakes at the houses of people. By bike, of course. At the age of 18, he was discovered by a former rider, Leo Amberg. Amberg became his coach and was like a father towards Hugo. It was through him that he became a professional rider in 1946. His first great win came in 1950. He won the Giro d’Italia and he was the first non-Italian rider to win it. A few weeks later he was also the winner of the Tour de Suisse. People in Switzerland saw him as one of the greatest talents of that time. He was meant to do some great things in his upcoming cycling career.

The decline came sooner than expected. His best years were in 1950 and 1951. After those two years, it slowly went downhill with his career. Koblet was a man who could not say no. If they asked him to race, he would do it. He would not give himself some rest. He also had a great heart. If he could help other people, he would do it. He gave away his team shirts, his bikes, even his money, to people who needed it more than him. He stated to a friend that he had to spent his money, because he would not live forever.

He ended his career in 1958. After that he spent his money even more. In 1964 he had so many debts, that he did not know what to do anymore. On top of that, his wife asked for a divorce. On the second day of November, Hugo drove around with his Alfa Romeo and crashed with his car into a tree. Four days later he died due to the multiple injuries caused by the accident. It was said in that time that it was an accident. Suicide was not even mentioned, for in the sixties it was a taboo to talk about this. For about ten years ago Sepp Renggli publiced a book about Koblet, in which was said that Hugo had left a note to his family and friends. Big money problems and his wife leaving him were the reasons to end his life. He was only 39 years old and he left the people in Switzerland in shock.

He kept his promise though. In 1951 he won the Tour de France. He claimed four stage wins. Two time trials, a mountain stage and the heroic solo ride of 135 kilometres. People remember him as a fine man. He would never go out cycling without his comb and a bottle of perfume. He blew kisses at girls before and after the race,  he waved at the older women and he shook hands with the men. He always did this with a smile on his face. His death was tragic and sad, but we will remember him as the pretty boy of the peloton.

Tour Life (2)


The first part of the Tour de France is done and dusted. We saw Mark Cavendish take three stages, a well deserved win for Greg van Avermaet and Chris Froome already won a stage and is wearing the yellow jersey right now. Behind the scenes a lot more happened in the lives of the riders in the Tour de France.

Inside the Lampre bus
Life in the Tour seems easy. You have breakfast, you walk to the bus, you sit down and put your legs up and off you go. Until the bus stops. That means one thing: get up and get on that bike for another four hours of cycling!

Kittel after stage 7 I mean Just No

It is a cow and… Marcel Kittel? Same sunglasses, different haircut? The presents they get on stage these days… In the Giro all the winners got this weird green thing, in the Tour they give away little fluffy cows. Kittel sure is a fan of this cow.

Greg why I mean... No

From a cow we go to the yellow lion! We all know that Greg van Avermaet was so proud to ride in yellow, but he never told us that he was also proud of the lion he got. And then he dressed him up like a rider. The things the riders do when they have nothing to do in the bus.

Mathias Frank swimming pool I know too much

After a stage in the mountains, riders want to cool down. Some riders choose to do this on the bike, others just climb in a cold bath in the team car right after they have finished. The riders from IAM Cycling have the privilege of taking their own cold baths in one of the team cars. Mathias Frank is quite enjoying his view here.

Tour de Theuns. Wow. July six

And when you can’t have a bath just after the finish, you just take one at the hotel. Edward Theuns from Trek-Segafredo thought that he could use a bath after a long stage in the mountains. He has the whole swimming pool for himself. I guess Fabian Cancellara was too tired to jump in with him.

Emanol Erviti one week cycling

This is the result of one week in the Tour de France. Imanol Erviti from Team Movistar shows his right leg. It was quite a sunny week!

Kreuziger restday

And then there was that first rest day. Finally, not a ride of more than 150 kilometers. Team Tinkoff did an easy ride and ended it with a nice cup of coffee.

Sinkeldam rest day I mean what

The riders from Team Giant-Alpecin did exactly the same. Just remember, if you take a photo of these guys, this is what you get (except for John Degenkolb, always a gentleman).

There will be more ‘Tour Life’ updates here, because we don’t want to miss out on the life of the riders in the Tour de France.

Tour Life (1)


The Tour de France consists out of 21 stages. That is a fact. We, the fans, can all watch the stages on our television,  laptop or smart phone. But the Tour de France is way more than that. It is one of the biggest commercial rollercoasters and the riders are the ones who are taking the ride. So we want to know about them. We can follow their ‘Tour Life’ on social media (Twitter, Instagram) and some of the best photos are shown here. This way, riders let us take a look behind the scenes of the Tour de France. We can enjoy the Tour in another way.

Dan Martin cushions Quickstep floor present

A day before the Tour start, Dan Martin showed us that he was pleased with the gift from his team’s sponsor Quick-Step. This sponsor gave all the nine riders participating in the Tour four different cushions. A yellow one, a green one, a white one and one with polka dots on it. We can all see that Martin’s favorites are the yellow one and the one with the polka dots.

Greg Tejay BMC relaxing after stage 1

And then the race took off. After the first hectic stage, these two boys already needed some ‘relaxation time’. They know that Paris is still a long way to go. Tejay van Garderen still smiles, but Greg van Avermaet definitely needs his shoulder to lean on. Already after stage one, that can’t be good…

Oscar Gatto after first day Sean Yates

Relaxing? Other riders, like Oscar Gatto here, were pretty tired after stage one. Oh boy, we still have 20 stages to go. Or was he just checking his phone? It seems like Gatto has fallen asleep though. One of the staff members of the team took this photo, but he doesn’t know the answer either.

mark renshaw second stage

Smile! Mark Cavendish did not only win stage one, but also took the yellow jersey. This photo was taken just before the start of stage two. Mark Renshaw is quite happy for his leading man, he just can’t take that smile of his face.

Valverde just ride the truck

Hmm… wasn’t this man 3rd in the Tour de France of last year? And now he is a truck driver? Oh no, Alejandro Valverde is participating in this year’s Tour de France. But whenever he is going to quit cycling, we know where to find him. He will probably be driving the truck of Team Movistar.

leigh howard pre post dinner no way

After some time in the truck, it is time for dinner.  And for sure, don’t we all want to know what the riders are eating? Well, Leigh Howard from IAM Cycling is thinking of us and he posts photos of the pre-race and post-race dinner every day! It looks delicious and healthy. Bon appetit!

Tom Dumoulin, that is not a hotel!

Of course the riders are sleeping in hotels. Well, hotel? This thing looks more like a castle to me. Which riders are staying here after stage three and can we call ‘the lucky ones’? Well, one of them is the ‘yawn-man’. Yes, Tom Dumoulin yawned during stage three before a camera and guess what he gets: a big castle.

For the next two and a half weeks there will be more ‘Tour Life’ updates here, because we don’t want to miss out on the life of the riders in the Tour de France.