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 ...