Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Vive Le Tour!

"ain't your usual waterstation" Riders stop for a quick pint of beer on the stoop of a bar in Dalstein, 1921
Photo: scanned from krankwerkz personal mags collection (L'equippearchives)
Its time for le grand tour again, the 98th edition, also marked the 100th anniversary of Col du Galibier climb, and will be the highest altitude (2645m) in the race history.

(The tour sandwiched by the other le grandes , Giro and Vuelta, took place after Spring Classics  races, namely cobblestone heaven, Hell of the North, Liege-Bastone-Liege (La doyenne), Flandrian, etc)

This year tour highlights, will be the climb of le Galibier twice, re-visit to the 21 hairpins of  Le Alp dHuez, 10 flat stages and 2 time trials.

The Peloton rides The Col du Galibier reaching the vicious L'Alpe d'Huez
photo: kranwerkz.9f 25 July 2008 
by Jasper Juinen
With vicious mountain stages in line, the race is most likely between the Schleck Bros and Contador himself (hopefully no 'halal meat' from backhome this time..).

The two Luxembourgish will have to dance more on their bike to vanish last year nightmares, where Frank had a bad day in the cobble on the way to Arenberg (Stage 3), and Andy on the other hand, at stage 15, dropped his chain and stuck between his crank and bottom bracket (SRAM drivetrain?).

All in all, in that 2010 tour climax, Andy still got the Col du Tourmalet crown and the maillot jaune back to Contador's control after 2 years absent.

Fernand Moulet makes his way over the Col Du Tourmalet during 1927 edition. Despite encouragement from some spectators, he would abandon the race before the end of the 326km 12th stage from Bayonne to Luchon.
Photo: scanned from krankwerkz personal mags collection (L'equippearchives)

"filling up at a well in 1922" No support car, event the tube  had to be circled around the body.
Photo: scanned from krankwerkz personal mags collection (L'equippearchives) 

Vive Le Tour will be aired live on our favourite sport channel : Eurosport from 2nd to 24th July.