Will the Tour be Won Today? #TDF2017 Stage 9 Moves from the Jura to the Alps

Saturday’s race saw a young French rider, Lilian Calmejane, win his first stage in the Tour de France. I was on the edge of my seat watching him climb those last few kilometers, fighting his legs as they cramped up and threatened to quit. When he crossed the finish line 30 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, it seemed as if all of France rejoiced! But that’s nothing compared to what race organizers have planned for Sunday. Check out the profile map:

Profile Map Stage 9 TDF2017
Glad I’m not riding this one! (Map: http://www.letour.com)

In all my years following the Tour, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stage with three HC climbs. In case you’re not familiar with cycling lingo, the hardest climbs are assigned a rating, with 4 being the “easiest,” 3 a bit harder; 2 harder still, and 1 among the most difficult. But then there is that last tier: Hors Catégorie (HC), or uncategorized, for ascents that are so tough they can’t be compared with the others. Continue reading “Will the Tour be Won Today? #TDF2017 Stage 9 Moves from the Jura to the Alps”

It’s Mardi Gras: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

I can’t believe we’re heading into the last week of February.  I mean, didn’t we just put away the party hats and noisemakers with which we raucously welcomed 2017?  Well, I hope you remember where you stored them because Tuesday is Mardi Gras, every penitent partier’s last chance for debauchery before the Lenten season begins.  Come Wednesday morning, we’re supposed to turn our thoughts to … Continue reading It’s Mardi Gras: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage Nineteen, Albertville to Saint-Gervais/Mont Blanc

Only three days to go until glorious Paris!  And from where things stand before Friday’s race to Mont Blanc, it looks like Chris Froome is destined to repeat as Tour champion.  But the battle for the other podium places will be hotly contested, with Richie Porte moving quickly up the ranks.  While no one seems likely to challenge Froome for the yellow jersey, second and … Continue reading Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage Nineteen, Albertville to Saint-Gervais/Mont Blanc

Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage Eighteen (Turkey-Leg Time Trial)

Sallanches to Megève Thursday’s  Race Profile Yes, we just had a time trial in Stage Thirteen.  But this one is a MOUNTAIN time trial!  Usually a TT course is flat; the challenge comes in riding alone and maintaining your fastest pace without any support.  Harder than it sounds, I assure you.  But Tour organizers have thrown a nasty twist into the race this year.  Look … Continue reading Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage Eighteen (Turkey-Leg Time Trial)