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]
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]
And then we went off to the mountains. Finally, some mountains! Really, we could not wait? It almost drove us crazy… [By: Britney Spears]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
This man is the winner though. It is all yellow for Chris Froome. Again. For three years in a row now. [By: Coldplay]
Copyright photos: steephill.tv / Sirotti / Reuters /
ASO / Flockton / Tim De Waele
Posted in Ride-a-long
Tagged Chris Froome, Cycling, Lyrics, Mark Cavendish, Mountains, Music, Nice, Peter Sagan, Rain, Romain Bardet, Running, Song, Songs, Team Sky, Tom Dumoulin, Tour, Tour de France
24 July 2016
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
21 June 2016
This week you are training for your biggest goal of the year. It is nothing less than the Tour de France. Right now you are somewhere in the mountains. Alone. In a few weeks you will be in the mountains again. But then you will not be alone.
You belong to a generation that has to beat Froome. We all know that this is almost impossible. You cannot have one bad day in the mountains, your time trial has to be magnificent and you cannot lose any time in the first stressful week. Do you really want to put yourself through all this trouble?
What is your goal this year, Bauke? Top five? After place six in 2013, place ten in 2014 and place seven last year my guess is that you will aim for a place in the top five this year. Let go of that dream. Even if you do make the top five, not many people will remember it. What will they remember? A stage win? The mountain jersey? Other goals, still goals to look forward to. I mean, you would be proud of a heroic win in one of the mountain stages, right? I think stage eight is just the stage for you. Deep in the mountains, in the Pyrenees, leading you over the Tourmalet and the Col de Peyresoude. That is your stage. Mark it somewhere, in your agenda or your smart phone. In your head. Saturday the 9th of July.
It is just an offer. Think about it when you are training in the mountains. And know that you will be in the mountains again in a few weeks. Alone or not alone, that is up to you.
© Bauke Mollema (@BaukeMollema)
Posted in Dear...
Tagged Bauke Mollema, Chris Froome, Cycling, Mountains, Pyrenees, Stage Victory, Stage Win, Tour de France, Tourmalet, Training, Trek - Segafredo
20 June 2016
In less than two weeks the Tour de France will start again. In the past few weeks we saw the candidates for the podium in Paris prepare themselves. Froome won the Criterium du Dauphiné, Contador showed his climbing skills there. Others, like van Garderen and Barguil, tested the legs in the Tour du Suisse. Yet one favorite was missing in both of these races. It was Nairo Quintana. Last week he came back to Europe. He spent several weeks at home in Colombia. He wasn’t sitting around doing nothing though, he trained on altitude. He made long days on his bike, with one thought on his mind: the Tour de France. It was a pity that we could not witness some heroic fights already with Froome in the Dauphiné. Quintana avoids his ‘enemies’ in the weeks before the biggest race of the year. He does not want to compete against them until it is really necessary. After all, why should the others know what he is already capable of?
Nairo Quintana started in La Route du Sud, a race in the south of France. An excellent test for his legs. He was one of the best in the mountain stages and showed that his time trial skills have improved. He won the overall classification. That must give him confidence for the upcoming Tour de France. Also, Alejandro Valverde has sworn that he will help Quintana in the Tour, rather than going for his own chances. That would be a big relief for Quintana, having to compete against the famous ‘train’ of Team Sky. Froome will enter the Tour de France with eight mountain riders. That is frightening, but the Movistar Team will also go to the Tour with some capable riders for the mountain stages. The riders that will have the privilege to join Quintana in the Tour, will move mountains for him if they have to. José Joaquín Rojas even said on Twitter that they were like a family. And we all know that to beat a family, you have to come from a long way.
© José Joaquín Rojas (@jjrojillas)
Posted in Column
Tagged Alberto Contador, Chris Froome, Critérium du Dauphiné, Cycling, Family, José Joaquin Rojas, La Route du Sud, Movistar, Nairo Quintana, Team Sky, Tour de France, Tour de Suisse
25 April 2016
The 6th of July, 2012 is a day in the life of Wout Poels that he will never forget. It is the third stage in the Tour de France. With 25 kilometres to go, there is a big crash in the peloton. Wout Poels lies on the ground. He is in pain. His chest hurts like hell, but he is determined to go on. After 10 kilometres on the bike again, he stops. He is unable to ride on. In the hospital the doctors discover that his injuries are bad: a ruptured spleen and kidney, three broken ribs and bruised lungs. Dutch doctors told him that his career was over. But ‘Woutje’ is a tough one. After three months of recovery he got on his bike again. Just like he had to learn to walk again, he had to learn to ride a bike again. In the year after his crash, he fought to get back at his level again. However, at the end of 2013, his team Vacansoleil announced that they could not find a new sponsor. Poels moved to Omega Pharma-QuickStep for a year. In the Giro d’Italia he was riding solid in the mountains. Team Sky saw it too. In 2015, Poels went to the team of Chris Froome to support him in the Tour de France and to ride for himself in small races. He went to a training camp with Chris Froome himself and learned a lot of his teammates at Team Sky. He proved that he was getting in shape with a stage win in Tirreno – Adriatico in 2015 and the overall win in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana a couple of weeks ago. Poels was almost there where he wanted to be. Back on a high level again, racing with the best riders of the peloton.
The 24th of April, 2016 is a day in the life of Wout Poels that he will never forget. It is the day of his breakthrough. It is the day that he wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He almost cannot believe it, but after a heroic race with sun, rain and snow he wins the sprint of three other riders. Wout Poels wins his first Spring classic. He smiles on the podium, polite and friendly as always. After the ceremony, he goes to the press conference and after that he takes a shower. Then he leaves in a car. Alone. He likes to be alone for a while. He will think about the crash, his comeback, his first Monument, how proud his dad would have been. He will know that this is his breakthrough in his comeback story.
© Graham Watson
© Han Cock