30 June 2013

Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 2

Stage 2 Results and Stage 3 Race Day Planning

Today we talk about the incredible unexpected results a Jan Bakelants of team RadioShack Leopard Trek. Also a link to a travel album of Corsica, a post about the National Champions at the Tour de France this year, the changes at Steephill.TV regarding live links, and the frustrations of NBC Sports. Also a look at tomorrow's Stage 3.

"And then I did it"
"What a Story!"

It was a feel good kind of day at the Tour de France. All 198 riders took to the start line, even after the horrible falls, scraps and bruises of yesterday. A last minute all out effort by Jan Bakelants won the stage.

How many times as fans have we watched riders being caught at the line while looking back at the peloton, or worse, at other riders, expecting someone else to get them to the line. Not today, Jan Bakelants decided he was going to make it happen for himself and in one of the best post-race interviews given to Eurosport I have seen in a very long time (*watch video of the interview), Jan Bakelants explained his tactics in the last 5km of the race today.

In the words of Jan Bakelants:
In the first interview with Eurosport:
"and Chavanel was there, always a guy that wants to race" 
"I started pushing my 11, and maybe it didn't look nice, but I went fast""
"I played crafty"
In the second interview with NBC sports:
‘Come on, are we going to ride and be the first six riders? Or are we just going to wait for the bunch to come back and see another win of Sagan?’
‘Come on, hold this. It’s going to be the nicest day of your life!’ And then I did it.
"In the radio they shouted: ‘Go! Go! Go!’ And I went as fast as I could. When I looked back and saw what I did, I said, ‘I’m going to win! I’m going to win a stage in the Tour de France!’

Today was Jan Bakelants' first professional race win, after turning pro in 2009. He did come in 3rd in the recent Belgian National Championships, but he certainly picked a very good time to earn his first big win. Best part is that his win came from inside himself. There is something about these young Belgian riders, brought up on bicycles and punchy climbs, which make them so inspirational to watch during bike races and after any win.

Bakelants makes his final approach (video 03:21 English)nbcsports

Read more from his team about Jan's win, and more about Jan. Did you know he holds a Bachelor degree in Bioscience Engineering?  Mark Cavendish described him today as "Proper nice guy & deserved some luck in a Grand Tour."
Jan Bakelants
Belgian Cycling

When I was in Belgium last year I marveled at the young riders seen to suddenly pop out of houses and gathering on street corners waiting for their buddies after school; ready to go ride their bikes together. Outfitted in perfectly matched lycra kits from their favorite teams or locals clubs, they rode with familiarity and pure joy. This is not something I see in the United States.

I was swarmed one afternoon by a group of kids riding up the Koppenberg and later the Kwaremont. They get to ride the Koppenberg or Kwaremont after school. What a cool life! Can you imagine all the young Belgian cyclists inspired by Jan's stage win today in the Tour de France. How many more young boys dream of doing the same.

Stage 2 Race Results - full results at letour.com

BEL  1  BAKELANTS, Jan (RADIOSHACK LEOPARD)               3:43:11
SVK  2  SAGAN, Peter (CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING)                 + 1
ITA  4  CIMOLAI, Davide (LAMPRE-MERIDA)                   
NOR  5  BOASSON HAGEN, Edvald (SKY PROCYCLING)            
FRA  6  SIMON, Julien (SOJASUN)                           
ITA  7  GAVAZZI, Francesco (ASTANA PRO TEAM)              
RSA  8  IMPEY, Daryl (ORICA GREENEDGE)                    
ITA  9  BENNATI, Daniele (SAXO-TINKOFF)                   

General Classification after Stage 2
BEL  1  BAKELANTS, Jan (RADIOSHACK LEOPARD)               8:40:03
GBR  2  MILLAR, David (GARMIN SHARP)                          + 1
FRA  3  SIMON, Julien (SOJASUN)                           
RSA  4  IMPEY, Daryl (ORICA GREENEDGE)                    
NOR  5  BOASSON HAGEN, Edvald (SKY PROCYCLING)            
AUS  6  GERRANS, Simon (ORICA GREENEDGE)                  
UZB  8  LAGUTIN, Sergey (VACANSOLEIL-DCM)                 
FRA  9  RIBLON, Christophe (AG2R LA MONDIALE)             
AUS  10 EVANS, Cadel (BMC RACING)   

Classification Jersey - after Stage 2

YELLOW - Jan Bakelants (RadioShack Leopard Trek)
GREEN - Marcel Kittell, (Team Argos-Shimano)
POLKA DOT - Pierre Roalland (Europcar)
WHITE -  Michael Kwiatkowski, (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) 
COMBATIVE - Blel Cadri (AG2R La Mondiale)
TEAM - RadioShack Leopard Trek

Marcel Kittel, finished 17'35" behind Jan Bakelants, with a large pack of other riders at the back of Stage 2 today.

LANTERNE ROUGE - Thomas Geraint  (Sky Procycling)

View the LeTour Photo Gallery from Stage 2
Also watch: Tour Talk with Frankie and James

Best Fan Moment

Cyclists narrowly miss hitting a dog (00:55 English)nbcsports

Travel in Corsica

Yesterday I created a album of travel photos from Corsica, you can see them on the Pedal Dancer facebook album page.

World and National Champions at the Tour de France

Last night I created a post about the 2013 World and National Champions in the Tour de France.

Americans and NBC Sports  - a forced union

I spent about an hour and a half fussing with hardware, software and devices this morning. The American view of cycling changed radically this morning when Steephill.TV changed it's policy on providing free links to Eurosport from sources around the world and funneling them straight into the hands of American viewers - for FREE. This has been a long tradition, which is no more. Update July 2nd: the links are back up!!

A warning has been known for some time that by using the Steephill.TV links you may run the risk of placing malware on your HD if you click to download the software that blocks the screen, do not, it is not necessary, you can wait and hit the small x to get out of those ads. But Beware. The sites for free viewing still exist on the internet, it is just that Steephill.TV is no longer publishing the links. Steephill.TV continues to offer invaluable information to cycling fans and Steve Hill gets my support.

Meanwhile, I find the Silverlight software used to view NBC Sports live coverage online ($29.99) is more than frustrating. My new MAC desktop is in a perpetual loop, when viewed on my laptop the pixels are so large I can barely make out the riders. The NBC Sport app is an additional fee ($14.99). To exist comfortably with NBC during the month of July, I would need to relocate my desk, bike, bed, and kitchen table, all to a position in front of my TV (with upgraded paid cable).

For now I have compiled this list of resources to help you watch the Tour in 2013: How to Watch the Tour de France.

My nephew Kenny responded with a text this morning upon experiencing much the same hassle.

"I had the same issue. Decided to go run in GG Park instead. Go Sagan!"

Stage 3 - Race day plans

We are still on Corsica - riding along the western coast 145.5 km from Ajaccio to Calvi. It'll be an up and down kind of day, hopefully with the riders staying up and the time gaps down. Although a 1" time gap won't be too hard to beat. The team time trial is just around the corner and Tony Martin made it through today's stage.

Stage 3
Monday, July 1stAjaccio > Calvi - a must see stage!

Stage 3 profile
Preview of the centenary edition of 'La Grande Boucle', By Team SKY

Related posts by Pedal Dancer: 
Tour Travel - Tour de France Stage 2
Tour Travel - Tour de France Stage 1, 2, 3
The 100th Tour de France 
How to Watch the Tour de France

And now ... I am off to a Sunday afternoon of zumba and then Yoga class ...

29 June 2013

2013 World and National Champions in the Tour de France

National Championship road and time trial Champions at the 2013 TDF

May and June 2013 saw the majority of National Championship competitions take place around the world. Which means a number of the riders at the Tour de France are currently showing off their new titles and new National jerseys. Here is a quick summary of the new championship jerseys for the 2013 cycling season on riders currently racing in the Tour de France.

As a fan I enjoy identifying the national jerseys in the peloton. It makes a rider easily recognizable to the fans and uniquely honors the rider's achievement.

Video: National Champions at the Tour de France (03:01 English)bicycling (via Steephill.TV)


French 2013 Road National Champion - Arthur Vichot (FDJ.fr)
British 2013 Road National Champion - Mark Cavendish (OPQS)
Dutch 2013 Road National Champion - Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM)
German 2013 Road National Champion - André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)
Polish 2013 Road National Champion - Michał Kwiatkowski (OPQS)
Swiss 2013 Road National Champion - Michael Schär (BMC Racing)
Estonia 2013 National Champion Road - Rein Taaramae (Confidis)
Slovakia 2013 Road National Champion - Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
Japan 2013 Road National Champion - Yukiya Arashiro (Team Europcar)


Belarus 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Kanstantsin Siutsou (SKY)
Denmark 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Brian Vandborg (Cannondale)
France 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Sylvain Chavanel (OPQS)
German 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Tony Martin (OPQS)
Latvia 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Gatis Smukulis (Katusha)
Dutch 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM)
Norway 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Edvald Boasson Hagen
Poland 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Maciej Bodnar (Cannondale)
Slovakia 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Peter Velits (OPQS)
South Africa 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Daryl Impey (Orica-Greenedge)
Spain 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar)

Here are the National Champion Road jerseys (kits) in the Tour de France. We will have to wait for the team time trial in Nice on Tuesday to see the new National Champion TT skinsuits.  Photos: most of these photos are from the team Facebook pages unless otherwise stated.
Mark Cavendish in his British National Champion jersey. Photo by Tim DeWaele on the OPQS website
Michał Kwiatkowski Polish National Champion Road
Arthur Vichot French National Champion Road.  Photo by Pressesports
André Greipel German National Champion Road
Michael Schär Swiss National Champion Road. Photo by Georges Luechinger
Rein Taaramae Estonia National Champion Road
Peter Sagan Slovakia National Champion Road
Johnny Hoogerland Dutch National Champion Road
Yukiya Arashiro Japan National Champion Road


World Champion Road - Philippe Gilbert Belgium, (BMC)
Philippe Gilbert  Photo © by Mike for pedal Dancer®
World Champion Time Trial - Tony Martin Germany, (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
Tony Martin 2012 World Champion jersey

Remember team Omega Pharma-Quickstep were the winners of the 2012 World Team Time Trial and will thus wear a small UCI rainbow logo on their team jersey for all races (road and time trial) in 2012-2013.
The small Team Time Trial emblem on team OPQS jersey
The next Cycling UCI World Championships will be held in Florence, Italy, in 2013, and then in Ponferrada, Spain, in 2014.

Some of the recent NEW Road Champions - not at the Tour de France in 2013
American 2013 Road National Champion - Freddie Rodrique (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda)
American 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Tom Zirbel (Optum-Kelly Benefits Strategies)
Australian 2013 Road National Champion - Luke Dubridge (GreenEDGE)
Belgian 2013 Road National Champion - Stijn Devolder (RadioShack Leopard Trek)
British 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Alex Dowsett (Movistar)
Denmark 2013 Road National Champion - Michael Mørkøv (Saxo Bank)
Irish 2013 Road National Champion - Matthew Brammeier (Champion System)
Irish 2013 Time Trial Champion - Matthew Brammeier (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
Italian 2013 Road National Champion - Ivan Santaromita (BMC)
Italian 2013 Time Trial National Champion - Marco Pinotti (BMC)
Latvia 2013 Road National Champion - Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing)
Lithuanian 2013 Road National Champion - Tomas Vaitkus (Orica-Greenedge)
Luxembourg 2013 Road National Champion - Bob Jungels (Radioshack-Leopard)
New Zealand 2013 Road National Champion - Hayden Roulston (Radioshack-Leopard)
Norway 2013 Road National Champion - Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing)
Spain 2013 Road National Champion - Jesus Herrada (Movistar)

More 2013 Road National Champions listed here

Related Pedal Dancer post: World Champion Jerseys

Tour Travel - Tour de France after Stage 1

Stage 1 Results and Stage 2 Race Day Planning

Well that wasn't expected!

I hope many of you got to experience watching Stage 1 before you heard any of the news of the mishaps of the day. It was definitely suspenseful and entertaining live. Who would have thought a team bus would get stuck under the finish line metal banner on the first stage of the Tour de France.

Watching that bus wedged tightly in place as the peloton barreled down the road heading straight for that big white, green and blue blockade was surely suspenseful. Seeing the bus finally excised and driving in reverse by a clearly shaken bus driver, back down the straight away and out of the way, was like a Hollywood movie in action. I was almost expecting Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves to exit the bus as in the movie Speed.

You couldn't dream this stuff up.

Communication and confusion may have added to the stress and anxiety in the last kilometers causing some of the crashes, but Marcel Kittel said he heard nothing of the bus incident until after the finish. He did however hear that Greipel and Cavendish had been involved in the crash. Cavendish blamed the state of confusion for the crash, but slo-mo video shows Greipel trying to shoot a gap that closed too quickly, causing him to snag Tony Martin's handlebars and take him out. Tony injured his shoulder read update on his injury on his team website.

The outcome could have been much worse if  Plan B - to complete the sprint at the 3km mark - had gone through as decided in the last minutes of the stage. The 3km marker was actually at a round about in the road. Narrow bends in the road preceded and followed the point, but the spot already had an official camera waiting to capture a photo finish if needed (used to officiate the 3km cutoff).

This was the day that a bus got stuck under the finish line and the 3km marker became the 6km marker.

The hastily made Plan B made the finish line at the 3km marker, making the 3km marker at 6km, making everyone's time who finally did cross the recovered finish line at 0km (basically Plan A), and within the 6km marker before any crashes occurred, receive the exact same final time as the winner of Stage 1. Wow. At least it was clear who got the classifications jerseys.

The expected winners did not win. But this is bike racing, and this is the Tour de France. We have 20 more stages of this stuff to follow. I'm liking the Tour so far.

Orica GreenEdge bus gets stuck under finish banner as cyclists bear down (01:41 English)  Recapping Stage 1 w/ Phil and Paul (02:30 English)nbcsports
The bus actually moved the final banner and trailer
I couldn't help but wonder if they had too many kangaroos on top of the bus as well. Photo © by Karen at Pedal Dancr®
Even the kangaroo inside the stuck team bus fell today.
Stage 1 Results (full results at letour.com)
(Stage and GC order)
GER  1  KITTEL, Marcel (ARGOS-SHIMANO)                  4:56:52
NOR  2  KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA)                   
NED  3  VAN POPPEL, Danny (VACANSOLEIL-DCM)             
GBR  4  MILLAR, David (GARMIN SHARP)                    
FRA  6  DUMOULIN, Samuel (AG2R LA MONDIALE)             
NZL  7  HENDERSON, Greg (LOTTO BELISOL)                 
BEL  8  ROELANDTS, Jurgen (LOTTO BELISOL)               
ESP  9  ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin (MOVISTAR TEAM)         
The Entire Peloton +00'00"
*Tony Martin went to hospital after the stage with a shoulder injury, but no word yet on whether he will or will not start tomorrow. 

Classification Jersey - after Stage 1

YELLOW - Marcel Kittell, (Team Argos-Shimano)
GREEN -    Marcel Kittell, (Team Argos-Shimano)
                   [Jersey to be worn by: Alexander Kristoff, (Katusha)]
POLKA DOT - Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Euskaltel Euskadi)
WHITE -     Marcel Kittell, (Team Argos-Shimano)
               [Jersey to be worn by Danny von Poppel (Vancansoleil-DCM)]
COMBATIVE - Jerome Cousin (Team Europcar)

Quote of the Day

“ I know him a bit since he is also German. I remember the first time I spoke with him I said, Gee, when God made you I think he decided to make one big one instead of two little ones!” He is just huge and powerful and he looks like Ivan Drago in Rocky 4! He is a pure sprinter. I mean getting over a bridge is a hard climb for him. But for pure speed he is one of the best!" ~ Jens Voigt, referring to Marcel Kittel.

Marcel Kittel of Germany - the man who won the yellow, green and white jersey today.
A photo I snapped of Marcel Kittel last year - before his haircut.   Photo © by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Best Fan Moment and Photo of the Day - Stage 1 TDF

Photo of the Day- from Team Sky Facebook page
Somebody move that bus!  The Orica-greenEdge Team bus stuck under the finish line.
Fans at the finish line - from Orica GreenEdge Backstage Pass video (a little stressful on the team staff)

The exact 3km Rule

UCI Road Rule 2.6.027 - In case of a duly noted fall, puncture or mechanical incident in the last three kilometers of a road race stage, the rider or riders involved shall be credited with the time of the rider or riders in whose company they were riding at the moment of the accident. His or their placing shall be determined by the orders in which he or they actually cross the finishing line.

If, as the result of a duly noted fall in the last three kilometers, a rider cannot cross the finish line, he shall be placed last in the stage and credited with the time of the rider or riders in whose company he was riding at the time of the accident. (rule last modified on 1.02.12)

UCI Road Rule 2.6.028 - In the case of a duly noted fall, puncture or mechanical incident beyone the red tirangle in a team time trial stage, he rider or riders involved shall be credited with the time of the teammates in whose company he was/they were riding at the moment of the accident.

If, as the result of a duly noted fall beyond the red triangle, a rider cannot cross the finish line, he shall be credited with the time of his teammates in whose company he was riding at the time of the accident. (rule last modified on 1.01.05)

Photos of Corsica

Now for some wonderful travel photos from the Island of Corsica and a trip my brother Mike and his wife Suz took to visit the island as tourists last summer.  All photos by Mike and Suz for Pedal Dancer® (again with their trusty iphone cameras!)  click any image to enlarge

A 9:30 pm departure from Toulon
Transportation to Corisca on a gigantic car ferry--at least 9 decks!
Arrival at Bastia, Corsica
Green and white marble church
A pretty hillside village
Beautiful blue seas off Corsica
Hilltop grave in Corsica
Beach front property
Ahhh, the Mediterranean!
Our hostelerie in Calvi
A dog with a mission
A private bay for this boat
10 minutes down the road from the coast
Northwest side of the island
Symbol of Corsica freedom
A line of beautiful bays as we head south along the west coast.
Statue of Napoleon in the city of Ajaccio, his birthplace
Napoleons death mask
A semi private bay
A watchtower
 Stage 2 - Race day plans

We are still on Corsica - riding another 156 kilometers to Ajaccio. Climbers line up because this is the first day we will get to see who brought their game to the 2013 TDF.
Profile - Stage 2, 2013 TDF

Stage 2
Sunday, June 30thBastia > Ajaccio

Preview of the centenary edition of 'La Grande Boucle', By Team SKY

Related posts by Pedal Dancer: 
Tour Travel - Tour de France Stage 1, 2, 3
The 100th Tour de France

Tour Travel - Tour de France Stage 1, 2, 3

Stages 1, 2, 3 -  on the island of Corsica

About the Stages

The Tour de france begins on the Island of Corsica for the first time in Tour de France history. If the Grand Depart has managed anything beyond proving that the folks at ASO are mastermind organizers, it has been to teach the world that Corsica belongs to France.

Stage 1 begins with 3 geographical lessons:

1) Corsica is French territory 
2) Chris Froome is South African, not British
3) You can make a sprinter cross a sea but he will still cross the finish line first. 

The first three stages of the Tour de France on Corsica
Saturday, June 29thPorto-Vecchio > Bastia

Sunday, June 30thBastia > Ajaccio

Monday, July 1stAjaccio > Calvi - a must see stage!
Porto Vecchio
About the Race

A sprinter is expected to win Stage 1 of the Tour de France for the first time in 40 years. There are a number of guys who want that win badly. Who will emerge in the yellow jersey after day one? Will it be Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan, Andre Greipel, Matt Goss, Marcel Kittel or an unknown.  

Rules of the Green Jersey (Points Classification)

Prize money: € 25,000 for the overall winner (€ 125,000 in total winnings distributed throughout the Tour). The Green Jersey has been sponsored by PMU since 1992.

Points classification Points will be awarded in the following way:

Intermediate sprints: 20, 17,15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point awarded to the first 15 riders. (Each Stage has 1)

Finishes on flat stages: 45, 35, 30, 26, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 2 points awarded to the first 15 riders. (Officially there are 7 "flat stages")

Finishes on medium-mountain stages: 30, 25, 22, 19, 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2 points awarded to the first 15 riders. (There are 5 "hilly stages")

Finishes on high-mountain stages: 20, 17, 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point awarded to the first 15 riders. (There are 6 "Mountain stages")

Individual time trials: 20, 17, 15, 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point awarded to the fastest 15 riders. (This year there are 2 ITTs) (TTTs do not count for points)

Who will wear what jersey?

?: What if Cavendish wins the sprint (green jersey) and the first stage (yellow jersey) and he is current British National Champion (his red white and blue jersey)?

A: Cavendish will wear yellow. The rider in second place in the sprint on Stage 1 will wear the green jersey at the start of Stage 2 the next day. Although Cavendish would ceremonially receive both the yellow and the green jersey on the podium after Stage 1 and receive the jersey earnings for the stage for both jerseys.

?: What if Kittel comes in first and Cavendish comes in second in the sprint?

A:  Cavendish can wear his National jersey at the start of Stage 2, even though he will be handed the green jersey (without ceremony). There are a number of musts and mays in rule 2.6.018, so the decision of which jersey to wear could likely be made between the race organizers, team, and rider. The Tour de France does like their classification jerseys to be worn.

According to UCI rule 1.3.071 and, there is a specific order of priority of jerseys. For example the World Champion jersey trumps any National Champion jersey, but the classification jerseys trump the world.

Rule 1.3.060 through 1.3.067, Exact rules of the World Champion's jersey (PDF 1.62 Mb)
Rule 1.3.068 and 1.3.069, Exact rules of the National Champion's jersey (PDF 113 kb)

Should various provisions requiring the wearing of different jerseys apply to the same rider, the order of priority shall be as follows:
1. the leader’s jersey of the stage races (yellow)
2. the leader’s jersey of the cup, series, or UCI classification
3. the world champion’s jersey
4. the continental champion’s jersey
5. the national champion’s jersey
6. the national jersey

The classification jerseys take precedence in order of yellow, green, polka-dot, white. If a rider is already in a more prominent jersey and has earned one or more, the second-place rider in the classification will where that jersey.

Traveling at the Tour de France - Corsica

A bit of travel trivia - the city of Calvi likes to claim Christopher Columbus was born there, while Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio. He was exiled on nearby Elba island (part of Italy) before escaping and ragging more war across France and then finally being shipped off to Saint Helena (a British Overseas Territory), a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean off of Africa, or maybe Brazil, because it is really out in the middle of no where. They definitely did not want him swimming back to shore.

Corsica now has a population of over 300,000 people and mountain peaks that reach to 8,878' (2,706 m). Tourism is a big chunk of the economy on the island.

Know your Sea

When the riders and their entourage leave Corsica on Monday, they will cross the Ligurian Sea to Nice.  Major subdivisions of the Mediterranean Sea include the Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Balearic Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea and Ligurian Sea.

Stage 1 results

Coming once they get this race going ...  (Saturday evening)