Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

July 22, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Froome beats Dumoulin to win Tour de France TT as podium battle tightens; Rivera wins final stage as Cecchini claims overall at Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt; Gidich takes second stage win at Tour of Qinghai Lake; BMC leadership questions answered: Porte seeks Tour de France podium, Van Garderen into support role; Stats and storytelling: how Dimension Data is breaking down the Tour de France; Froome in control, but behind, five riders in contention for podium finish in Paris; How Mark Cavendish got his Tour de France mojo back; Young cyclist talks about team pressures to dope; Tour de France Tech: The new FSA electronic groupset; Archbold suffered through crashing to finish Tour stage; A Day On The Side of The Road; Scientists take a fresh look at what makes a bike stable; Tour de France, stage 18 recap; Tour de France, stage 17 on-board highlights; Tour of Qinghai Lake, stage 4 highlights; Sondre Hols Enger ‘celebrates’ on the team bus; The absolutely most-epic mountain bike video ever!

A Day On The Side of The Road

by CyclingTips

What is shown on TV is only the tip of the iceberg that is the Tour de France. From the publicity caravan to the road construction workers to the millions of fans that line the roads, there is a lot to see at Le Tour.

The publicity caravan has an array of unique and entertaining floats. Photo: Cor Vos

The publicity caravan has an array of unique and entertaining floats. Photo: Cor Vos

The Inner Ring disects a day on the side of the road at Le Tour. Here is an excerpt:

Most often the caravan workers aim their goodies at the people. A packed of Haribo sweets here, a hat there and a bunch of key rings. 14 million items in total. It’s junk, collected in the cold light of day it’s underwhelming but the crowd go wild. It’s astonishing as people fight to get a free product sample from a multinational and don the green caps of Skoda or the yellow hats of LCL seconds after catching them. Unloved companies like Monsanto, Goldman Sachs or Halliburton should take note. There’s politics in the caravan too as the trade unions and the French employers federation take part in the parade.

1.30pm: It’s noticeable how there’s an exodus once caravan has passed. The race might be next but a few people simply are not interested and came to see the weird vehicles and collect freebies. Among those that remain there’s an indifference too. Many aren’t following the race too closely and just want to see the maillot jaune without necessarily knowing who is wearing the jersey let alone how they came to lead the classification. Few are listening to radios or checking their phones for the latest info on the race.

2.00pm: There’s a lull after the caravan as race vehicles pass, a mix of soigneurs driving to the feed zone and the media keen to drive the course. Cars come past blaring messages warning people to stand back and for parents to hold onto their children.

2.44pm: The police bikes appear and the helicopters signal the race is close. The red Skoda car appears and the riders flash by. It brings to mind the quote from the film Amélie, “luck is like the Tour de France, you wait a long time for it and then it rushes by“, the cultural expression anchored in French minds is apt. The race is fleeting and there’s barely time to spot the riders. There’s Froome in yellow and his angular elbows. Thomas De Gendt. André Greipel looks pale. They’re gone.

Click through to read more at The Inner Ring.