Tag Archives: Esteban Chaves

Bonjour! It Is Le Tour In Photos (1)

Bonjour! Here we are again, another year gone. The Tour de France has just begun and the riders entered France today. The race started in Germany, where thousands of people came out and cheered for the riders. Last Thursday, the riders were presented and on that day the biggest circus of the whole cycling year officially began. Three weeks Le Tour de France. Three weeks in photos.


These are the riders from Team Movistar. They are ready for another Tour de France. But first they have to present themselves to the German crowd. Hola!


Bauke Mollema from Team Trek – Segafredo tried to make a selfie with his team just before the team presentation, but it was teammate Koen ‘rockstar’ de Kort who stole the show in this picture.


While waiting for the team presentation Esteban Chaves from Orica-Scott thought about some new goals to achieve in this year’s Tour de France. Although no one is really expecting that he will make that goal…


The riders of Cofidis are ready for another Tour de France. The team received a wildcard again and with sprinter Nacer Bouhanni they hope for a win in one of the sprint stages.


Roy Curvers from Team Sunweb just before the team presentation. There is no way back now. Three weeks of sprints, rain, crashes, bad days, climbs and hopefully some good days for his team.


Meet the oldies of the Tour de France.  Daryl Impey (on the left) is ‘just’ 32, but Mathew Hayman is one of the oldest riders participating in the Tour the France this year. He is 39 and with all his experience he will be of good help for the young boys in his team Orica-Scott.


Michal Kwiatkowski thinks he can beat his teammate Chris Froome. He will be faster in the sprints, but I am not so sure about the climbs. He will definitely not beat him there.


Simon Yates has some news for us. He thinks that he can run faster than Chris Froome. Who does not remember the running of Froome in the Tour of last year? Lets all hope that none of the riders has to run on the climbs, because that was one of the most awkward moments in the history of the Tour de France.


Before the race starts, every rider gets his own number. Simon Clarke from Cannondale – Drapac is showing his numbers and seems pleased with it.


The race took off on the first of July. The Tour started with a time trial around Düsseldorf. It is the first Tour de France for Thomas Boudat. He is only 23 years old, but the team management of Direct Energie decided to let him start the biggest race of the season. He is very talented and also very excited.


This is another great story. Taylor Phinney crashed hard in the year 2014, recovered and is now riding his first Tour de France. With already a great time trial (12th place) on the first day, he went in the breakaway in the second stage and scored enough points for the polkadot jersey.


He took too many risks, Alejandro Valverde. The time trial was ridden in the rain and the roads were wet. In a corner he crashed hard and in a split second the Tour de France was over and out. No podium chances for Valverde this year and a long recovery ahead. At least he can still smile in his hospital bed.


The team Wanty-Groupe Gobert also received a wildcard for this year’s Tour de France. After the third stage they were the best overall team. They were all happy with the cute cows and were glad that these cuddle toys are present again this year.

Pizza Time

Column

12 September 2016

Every year after the end of the Vuelta there is this feeling of sadness. Not because the Vuelta was boring. Not at all. The many attacks in the mountains, the strong comebacks of Froome and Chaves and the exciting sprints made this Vuelta one of the best grand Tours of the year. No, the feeling of sadness sets in, because there will be no grand Tour anymore this year. Also, the end of the Vuelta means that the season is almost over. Only a few more weeks to go. But most of the riders are looking forward to the end of the season. Some of them were even riding their final ride yesterday. For instance, Chris Froome is not coming in action anymore this season. So now I understand why he was already eating a pizza with Esteban Chaves from Orica-BikeExchange. It is because he can.

vuelta-pizza-time

The final grand Tour is over. That means that also the final big ceremony is done. The organisation of the Vuelta a España sure did everything to make it a perfect one. They even made the riders ride one extra lap in the last stage, so that the ceremony would be in the dark. Now that is insane. Not that the thousands of Colombians along the roads minded. They were happy to see their heroes pass by one extra round. Two Colombians on the podium, they can be very proud.

vuelta-podium-watson
© Graham Watson

Well, who would have thought? The BMC Racing team beats the Movistar Team and goes home with the award for best team of the Vuelta. What an achievement. If I were them, I would go party and have a couple of drinks. Or a pizza. Or both. Ask Christopher Froome for more details, he knows where to get one!

vuelta-bmc-team

The Vuelta is here!

Column
18 August 2016

Doesn’t it seem like yesterday that Christopher Froome won the Tour de France? In reality, it is already four weeks ago. Don’t we all agree that it was a boring Tour – again. The first week was still exciting, but after that bizarre descent from Froome and all the running on that mountain, it was all done and dusted. Froome showed for the third time that he was the strongest rider of the field. Almost all the other classification riders could not or did not attack. Scared of their own position. The ‘all or nothing’ attitude seems to be missing in the last editions of the Tour de France. Boohoo!

Well, it is time to sit up straight again, because the Vuelta a España is about to start. The Olympics were also very entertaining, but cycling fans want to watch cycling again after a while. And this race is the most relaxed grand Tour of the three grand Tours. Slow days are allowed, there are spectacular sprints, mountains are covered in clouds, there are sheep and many cows everywhere. And there are attacks! Over and over again. It is the most romantic race of all and… Blow out the candles and get rid of the romantic stuff now. It is time for the facts. Because who do we need to follow in these three weeks in Spain? Do not miss out on these ten guys right here:

1. Tejay van Garderen. He messed up the Tour de France again. So he wants revenge. Winning the Vuelta might be hard, but he wants to go for a top-five or stage win.

2. Nairo Quintana. With a place in the top-five last year (fourth) and the disappointment of this year’s Tour de France, Quintana’s goal is to make it to the podium. Maybe he is thinking of winning his first Vuelta, but then he has to be in a better shape than a few weeks ago.

3. Louis Meintjes. He was there, in the Tour de France. A top-ten classification. But he is not going to the Vuelta for a top-ten, he is here to claim some stage victories. Better watch him in the mountains.

4. Esteban Chaves. Watch this little fellow. With two stage wins last year he is back to claim more than that. Podium? Why not? Claim his first win of a grand Tour? It is possible, especially after his second place in the Giro this year.

5. Steven Kruijswijk. He was so close in this year’s Giro d’Italia. But he took too much risk in one of the descents. And gone was the pink jersey. He has learned his lesson. And now he is back. Pink is his favorite colour, but red might suit him just as well.

6. Christopher Froome. The winner of the Tour de France starts in the Vuelta. And he is there with only one goal and that is the red jersey. After two second places, in 2011 and 2014, Froome thinks it is about time to show the world that he is not only a ‘Tour de France guy’.

7. Alberto Contador. What a shame that he did not finish the Tour de France due to two crashes. But he is pain-free, he races again and he is ready for the Vuelta. We can expect some early attacks from him in the mountains.

8. Philippe Gilbert. He is always strong in the Vuelta, so I bet he will go for a stage win this year. There aren’t many sprinters in this edition of the Vuelta, so that means that the chances to win a sprint stage increase for Gilbert.

9. Simon Gerrans. We all remember his crash in the Tour de France. That was a nasty one. But he has recovered and the Vuelta starts with a team time trial. His team is good in that kind of stuff. He wore pink and yellow already, so why not red for a change?

10. Omar Fraile. Does this name ring a bell? He is the winner of the mountain classification of last year. I don’t know if he is able to do it again this year, with so many good climbers participating, but you never know what he is capable of, so keep a close eye on him too.

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Eight Different Stories

Column
29 May 2016

Tom Dumoulin from the Netherlands of Team Giant Alpecin celebrates winning the first stage of the Giro d'Italia 2016 at Apeldoorn, Netherlands, 06 May 2016, an individual time trial over 9.8km through Apeldoorn. ANSA/LUCA ZENNARO

10-05-2016 Giro D'italia; Tappa 04 Catanzaro - Praia A Mare; 2016, Etixx - Quick Step; Kittel, Marcel; Catanzaro;

Giro pink Brambilla

Giro pink Jungels

Giro pink Amador

Giro d'Italia 2016. ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO

Giro d'Italia 2016

Three weeks of cycling. Three weeks of hard work, suffering, joy and pain. Three weeks fighting for pink. Eight different riders wearing the maglia rosa. Eight smiling boys on the podium. Eight different stories.  Only one of them takes the jersey home. It all started in the Netherlands. Tom Dumoulin (TGA), the local boy, made the Dutch people proud by winning the first stage and thus claiming the pink jersey. In the third stage he lost the jersey to his old teammate Marcel Kittel (EQS). Nevertheless, in the fourth stage in Italy he got the jersey back. In stage eight Gianluca Brambilla (EQS) took over the pink jersey, but after two days his teammate Bob Jungels (EQS) showed that he was stronger in the mountains. The young rider from Luxembourg wore the jersey for three days. Then Andrey Amador (MOV) was lucky enough to feel how it is to wear the leaders jersey. Just for one day. The next day he could not follow the best climbers of the peloton, Esteban Chaves and Steven Kruijswijk. Kruijswijk (TLJ) took over the pink jersey. This was in stage fourteen. He gained more time in the next stages and it seemed like nothing could go wrong anymore. Until Friday. A nasty crash made an end to the dream of becoming the first Dutch winner of the Giro d’Italia. Esteban Chaves (OGE) took over the pink jersey and apologized to Kruijswijk with a ‘sorry, mate’. In the last mountain stage Chaves fought to keep  the pink jersey and bring it home to Colombia, but Vincenzo Nibali was very strong during the last couple of days. Chaves could not keep his wheel and had to let him go. And with that he also let go of the pink jersey. Vincenzo Nibali (AST) is the one that takes the pink jersey home with him.

Giro d'Italia 2016

 Copyright photos: steephill.tv / Sirotti /RCS

Wonderful


The Giro d’Italia. It is almost over. After the incredible start in the Netherlands, the magnicifent sprint stages and the amazing stages in the mountains, there are only a few days left. If you are still in denial that the Giro d’Italia is not one of the best races in the world, then change your mind right now. You have not change your mind? Then I will present you ten photos that were taken in this year’s Giro to show you why the Giro d’Italia is such a good  and wonderful race.

Giro Tom GiroGelderland
© Giro Gelderland

1. The start in the Netherlands. What a start was that! The weather was nice, the people were kind, the riders were happy. Lots and lots of people aside the roads. Beat that, Tour de France! And Holland got what it wanted: Tom Dumoulin won the first stage in Apeldoorn and got to wear the pink jersey. As you can see for yourself, he and his team Giant-Alpecin were happy with it too.

Giro bus OGE Brian Nygaard
© Orica GreenEDGE

2. Bus drama. Oh no, Orica – GreenEDGE again! They probably thought that it was also allowed in the Giro d’Italia. Stuck under the finish line in the Tour de France, stuck under the finish line in the Giro d’Italia. In Australia they would say: ‘it happens, mate.’

Giro Zoidl Trek Segafredo
© Trek – Segafredo

3. New bus drivers. Riccardo Zoidl already has a job when he decides to quit cycling. He will become the new bus driver. Well, my point is that there is plenty of time to joke around in the Giro d’Italia.

Giro Rojas
© José Joaquin Rojas

4. Bed scenes. Sleep tight! Or otherwise together? The boys from Team Movistar thought that it was a good idea to sleep in one bed. It seems that it is the bed of Andrey Amador and it looks like the other boys crashed into his bed. Bed scenes also let us discover what the riders are wearing when they are sleeping. Purple pants? Lovely.

Giro BBQ Lotto Soudal
© Team Lotto – Soudal

5.  Rest days. Lots and lots of photos on the rest days of this Giro. And this year we have three of them. Photos of riders on their bike, photos of riders on the massage table (why?) and photos with kids and dogs. Team Lotto-Soudal thought on the third rest day that it was time for a barbeque. And why not. If the meat is there and the mood is good, bring out the food!

Giro Lupo Wolfie Team Sky
© Team Sky

6. Lupo Wolfie. A mascotte in a Grand Tour? That is new. But Lupo Wolfie has managed to get into the hearts of the fans of the Giro d’Italia. And the riders like him too. In fact, who does not love Lupo Wolfie?

Giro Sacha Modolo
© Valentina Saccon

7. Weird faces. Sacha Modolo. Do I need to say more? This can only happen in the Giro d’Italia. Riders are relaxed and almost always in a good or goofy mood.

Giro Sam Bewley
© Sam Bewley

8. Every number counts. The Italian people cheer for every rider in the peloton. They don’t care if you are in second place or in the 138th position. So Sam, don’t be jealous. The press will come to you… in a minute. Or ten.

Giro Simon Clarke
© Simon Clarke

9. The view. Old Italian village. Mountains. Blue sky. Do I need to repeat myself?

Giro Bob TDW sport
© Tim de Waele

10. The podium. It is classic. The riders have to walk through a wall that opens up and then they have to stand on a little podium. It is all glitter and glamour, there is champagne, there are red lip marks on the cheeks of the riders. It is fun to watch, so dear Giro, do not change this protocol.

Ten good reasons why the Giro d’Italia is a great race.