The final stage

The final stage of the Tour de France proved to be the usual procession. It culminated in the usual set piece for the sprinters, when Kittel again showed his superiority against his major rivals, Greipel and Cavendish.   So the world's greatest...

Last day in the alps

The penultimate stage of this year's Tour proved to be action-packed. It has also, barring accident, determined the final general classification places, as tomorrow's final stage is likely to be a mere procession.   The racing began from the...

Costa does it again

Rui Costa won the stage into Gap by getting into an early break, biding his time, and judging his attack to perfection. Today, he repeated the feat, precisely, at Le Grand Bornand.   The competition for the general classification was largely...

Something for the French

The French press have been very vocal about the lack of French success in this year's Tour. All that was rectified in today's action packed stage, which included climbing the famous Alp D'Huez, twice. Christophe Riblon won the stage convincingly.  ...

Froome takes another stage

Individual time trials are not generally the most entertaining of stages. Yet today's stage was packed with incident and excitement. Froome won the stage by mere seconds over Contador. Froome's use of a time trial bike for the last section may well...

How easy would it be to lose?

Today's stage of the Tour into Gap saw another successful break.   A group of twenty-six riders established a break relatively early in the stage. Sky went to the front and set a pace that allowed the break to slowly pull out its lead to over...

Froome takes Ventoux

With more than seven kilometres to the summit of Mount Ventoux, Chris Froome attacked, leaving his rivals in his wake, Contador in particular. Soon he had caught the Movistar mountain climbing specialist Quintana. As the flame rouge approached, Froome...

A successful break, at last

Today's stage of the Tour de France saw its first successful break. A group of six riders got away early and were soon joined by another twelve. Initially, Euskatel tried to close the gap, as they were not represented. However, with so many teams...

The power of the echoleon

Today's stage of the Tour de France was supposed to be a classic sprinters stage. However, the wind changed all that. With a hundred and twelve kilometres still to go, Omega Pharma Quick Step felt a cross wind and formed an echoleon, splitting the...

Kittel again

Today's stage of the Tour was a classic for the sprinters. Unsurprisingly (well the Anglophile ones anyway), the pundits expected Cavendish to win.   From the outset, until the very last moment, everything appeared to be going according to the...

Bouquets and brickbats

Today's stage of the Tour, an individual time trial, had more than its share of ups and downs. The day's winner was Tony Martin, the world time trial champion. However, Chris Froome was the major benefactor. He finished second, taking a significant...

Cavendish and the excuses

Today's stage of the Tour was a classic sprinters' stage. Cavendish, and his many supporters, fully expected him to win. But it was not so.   Cavendish lost the intermediate sprint to Greipel and Sagan. And he lost the stage to Kittel and...

What a difference a day makes

Today's stage of the Tour de France saw attack after attack from zero kilometre. The high pace made it impossible to establish an early break, which in turn kept the pace of the peloton high, leading to more and more unsuccessful attacks.   This...

Froome claims the yellow jersey

Today the Tour de France moved into its second week with the first proper mountain stage. This set the scene for the first significant test of the relative strengths (and weaknesses) of the serious general classification contenders. And in this...

Team-work and Tactics

Before the half way point of today's stage of the Tour de France, we had a perfect illustration of the fundamental importance of team-work and tactics.   Kadri, of AG2R, got into a break of six riders early in the stage. Four of the riders were...

A day for the sprinters

On a classic sprinters stage, Andre Greipel showed exactly why he is such a force to be reckoned with.   The terrain was flat and the wind was never a significant force, which nulified would be attacks and prempted echolon formation, providing...

Bronchitis: no impediment for Cavendish

Omega Pharma Quick Step's antibiotic treatment for Mark Cavendish's bronchitis certainly worked a treat. Today, after cycling two hundred and twenty-eight kilometres, he out-sprinted some of the world's best cyclists to take the fifth stage of the...

Wait for years, then two come at once

Yesterday, Orica GreenEdge took its first ever stage victory in the Tour de France. And today, they repeated the feat, winning the team time trial stage in Nice by a margin of three-quarters of a second.   Team time trials are not generally the...

Heroism or what?

Geraint Thomas, a national, world and Olympic champion, began today's stage of the Tour in last position after spending yesterday riding at the back. And he rode today's stage at the rear of the peloton too. The reason why such a talented cyclist...