I’m finally here….my first Tour de France! We’ve been in the Swiss / French Alps for a couple weeks now waiting for the Tour to come to us. As much as I would have loved to have seen the first week, you’d have to be mad to follow around the tour all over the countryside. It would be a logistical nightmare. I’ve been having just as much fun doing my own Tour of France and watching the race on TV most days at a civil hour of the day.
I was advised that a great place to base ourselves for a few days would be Morzine. Stage 8 finished in this small French town, today is the rest day, and tomorrow we’ll see the riders off for Stage 9. That means we get to stay in one beautiful mountain town for 3 days, get some sensational riding in, mingle with the tour riders, and see both the start and the finish of a stage.
During the morning of Stage 8 I decided to ride up the final climb from Morzine to Avoriaz. It’s 13.6km at 6.1%. Those numbers don’t do it justice. I used every tooth of my 26T cassette to grind my way to the top. The highlight of the climb in-between my self-inflicted pain was bumping into Phil Anderson and having a good chat with him. Amazingly nice guy with some stories I wouldn’t believe if they were coming out of anyone else’s mouth. I was riding with a true legend who had ridden some historic stages on this exact same road. I had to pinch myself.
Any of you have have been to the Tour de France will know that the race is only a small part of the whole event. With the race brings the excitement, the anticipation, the engagement, the star power. The festivities and people surrounding the Tour make up the biggest part of the event which makes it phenomenal to be a part of. There’s a whole lot more I could say but my photos should describe it much better than words ever will. I’d only ruin it to try to explain it. Enjoy!
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BMC – In the very near future I’ll be doing a post on their 2011 product line and their new flagship bike, the Impec. BMC is the whole reason I’m here in Europe at the moment and I cannot thank them enough.
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Bike Force Docklands: Keep an eye out for their weekly Tour de France promotional offers. This week you get a $100 gift certificate with every $500 spent.
Cycling Edge: Long time supporters of Cycling Tips and top shelf products. Moots, Independent Fabrication, Parlee, Edge Composite and Topolino Wheels.
Avanti Plus: Click here to find out more about their Tour de France promotions and deals.
Scott: Enter to win a Scott Addict R3 road bike valued at $3500.
Ride the Worlds: A once in a lifetime opportunity to ride the same closed course as the PROs will be racing on for the 2010 UCI World Championships in Geelong.
The winner of the BMC replica jersey and knicks from Friday’s trivia competition is ***Jii*** Congratulations! Please get in touch with me so I can get you the details. (cyclingtips at gmail dot com)
Today’s prize will be an Apres Velo women’s clothing pack worth $220. It contains a long sleeve hooded T shirt, a V-neck T-shirt, a semi fitted crew neck tee, a watterbottle, a coffee mug, and a pair of low cut socks. (Click image for larger picture).
The prize will go to anyone who gets the trivia answers correct or provides a winning caption for one of the photos (mine are horrible since it’s 2am and I have a drunk Brit talking my ear off next to me).
1. Under an agreement between the UCI and Tour organisers, this year 16 teams are automatically selected by UCI world rankings, with the balance given a wild card from the organisers. Name a team invited because they were not automatically selected?
2. Only 5 riders in history have won all 3 Grand Tours, who was the last to do so?
3. True or False – Andy & Frank Schleck’s father is famous as a politician and former Olympic speed skater in Luxemburg.
4. In the 1971 TdF, Eddie Merckx refused to wear the yellow jersey. Why?
A. It clashed with Merckx’s team nicks.
B. Merckx was protesting at the officials’ heavy handling of his actions in the previous stage sprint.
C. Luis Ocana crashed heavily losing giving the lead to Merckx, who refused to wear it when Ocana pulled out after the stage.