6 WALLPAPERS – Tour de France 2017
ASO, C. Flockton and Sirotti (Sirotti.it)
Bonjour! The first week of the Tour de France is already over and the riders are on their way to the Pyrenees. Although some people call the first week boring, we can all conclude that Marcel Kittel is the fastest guy in the sprints. In the mountains there is nothing decided yet. We saw some nasty crashes, but also some beautiful wins by a few young riders. The photos will tell it all.
Last Saturday it was Lilian Calmejane (DEN) who won the mountain stage in the Alps. He came solo over the finish and at the dinner table he celebrated the win with his teammates. Some of them were even more excited than Calmejane himself.
This is not how Marcel Kittel looks after a sprint stage. This is how he looks after one of the hardest mountain stages in this year’s Tour de France. Sweaty, tired and in need of a good drink. And take a look at his hair too…
Team Cannondale – Drapac ‘hopped’ happy on the flight to the other part of France, because their rider Rigoberto Uran was the winner of Sunday’s stage. It was a close sprint and at first Warren Barguil was pronounced as the winner, but not much later the organisation announced that it was Uran after all.
This does not look as a proper ‘Tour de France’ breakfast. You won’t get over the mountains with a breakfast like this. It is the breakfast of Richie Porte (BMC), who did not wake up in a hotel, but in a hospital. He made a nasty crash on one of the descents and ended up in hospital with a lot of injuries.
A week of full gas on the roads of France and no flat tires. Maurits Lammertink (KAT) got lucky in the first week of the Tour, but when he went out on a bike ride on the rest day, he got a flat tire. At least he has time to fix it himself now.
André ‘the Gorilla’ Greipel (LTS) was tired after the first week in the Tour and he chose to sleep a lot on the first rest day. He is saving energy for the next sprint stages, but it will be hard to beat Marcel Kittel.
In the year 2008 German television dropped the live coverage of the Tour de France. There were too many doping scandals and the German broadcasters thought it was the right thing to do. German rider Erik Zabel had announced the year before that he used doping during his career and in 2008 Bernhard Kohl and Stefan Schumacher both tested positive. In 2011 the decision was made to not broadcast any footage of the Tour de France anymore.
However, German riders were doing quite well in the Tour de France after 2011. There were three stage wins for Andre Greipel in 2012 and in the year 2013 there were four stage wins for Marcel Kittel, one for Greipel and one for Tony Martin. In 2014 there were four stage wins for Kittel, two for Tony Martin and one for Greipel. The public television broadcasters, ARD and ZDF, started to doubt their decision. These riders stated that they were racing without doping and would do anything to make cycling attractive again for the people in Germany. In 2015, the German broadcasters announced that they would be present at the Tour de France and even start to broadcast live again.
At this point there are hardly any professional cycling races in Germany. One of the biggest races of the country, the Deutschland Tour, got cancelled in 2008 due to the many doping scandals in Germany. It is strange to note that in one of the largest countries of Europe there are practically no WorldTour races. In a country with beautiful flat areas, great rivers, historical cities and wonderful high mountains. Hosting a cycing race in Germany would not only be good for cycling itself, but even better for the German tourist industry.
A change has come since last year. The German Cycling Federation (BRD) and the ASO are working together since 2016 in order to promote cycling in Germany. In a statement they released, it was said that they have signed “a long-term agreement to revive the Deutschland Tour and establish it as a top event over a ten-year horizon. Both partners are aiming to put the Deutschland Tour back on the calendar over the coming two years, as soon as all the key assets for a great stage race and a top-notch organisation are put in place.”
With new German sponsors entering the cycling world (Bora, Alpecin) in the last couple of years, it was only a matter of time until it was announced that the Tour de France would take off in Germany in 2017. Although many expected that the city of Berlin would host the Grand Depart, it was the industrial city Düsseldorf that made the right bet at the right time. The riders will start on Saturday with a time trial, a day later the riders will leave Germany and make their way from Düsseldorf to Liège. The hosting of the Tour de France this year is the first step to the goal of the ASO and the BRD to make cycling huge again in Germany. For the German people, the start of the Tour de France is not only just a couple of ‘cycling days’, it is a celebration of the re-birth of cycling in Germany.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
29 June 2016
Does it feel good to start in the Tour de France? I can imagine you missed it since you were left out of the selection last year. But let us not talk about that. Last year is finished and done. You have started with a clean sheet. A new team, a new chance. Will you be able to win four stages again? You did that in 2013 ánd 2014. Quite impressive, I must say. And you also know that the yellow jersey is in your reach again this year. The Tour de France does not start with a prologue or a time trial. The first stage is a flat stage to Utah Beach. And it is just the stage for you.
There is one obstacle. His name is André Greipel. You might be in a good form, but so is he. And it is Greipel that is wearing the national jersey of Germany and not you. You lost the sprint last Sunday in Germany. Still, André Greipel knows that the Tour is way different from a one-day race. You could take revenge for losing the nationals on the very first day of the Tour.
Wait, there is another obstacle. His name is Michael Matthews. Yeah, it is the curly one from Australia. He is fast, you know that. His train is absolutely one of the best trains and their goal is to win the first stage and take the yellow jersey.
But apart from those two, I would say the others do not stand one chance. I have seen you sprint in the Giro d’Italia and that was absolutely stunning. You know that another stage win in the Tour is two steps away. Step one is Matthews and step two is Greipel. I cannot wait for the sprints in this year’s Tour de France.
29 May 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.
Copyright photos: steephill.tv / Sirotti /RCS