17 July 2015

Stage 13 TDF: Severity of undulations

No day is easy at the Tour de France

This transition day seemed to be a transition to greater heat. After rolling over melting tarmac and puddles of sweat left from fellow racers, the main field of the peloton completed a slow roll to the line, their jobs done for the day, their main men over the line. The big time gaps on this stage showed that most were finished with their jobs before the finish line, they were not all racing to the line, they were just trying to get there

Greg Van Avermaet wins Stage 13 TDF 2015.  Photo via LeTour

Inside scoop on Greg V A, he is one of the most photogenic athletes in cycling. Amazes me how some people take far better pictures than others. He has a career after cycling.

Photo via LeTour
The Stage 13 victory proved that Greg Van Avermaet had enough in reserve to finally take his win. I've been mentioning him every time we have had one of these puncheur type stages because he is a very good bike racer. But today the stars aligned or Greg was plain lucky Peter Sagan tuckered out just short of the finish line.

After an effort of 198.5 km, the riders retired to their non air-conditioned hotels rooms (they typically prefer not to use AC for their health), making for a very warm sleep tonight. Nights like this remind me that not all hotel rooms are created equal at the Tour de France, some will not be nice. During the Pyrenean stages, the teams were spread out across 6 towns in varying hotels (see the list). In smaller towns the pickings are slim.

But then again, some hotels are very nice.

Teams (are supposed to) rotate through the best, and least best, hotels as they travel through the stages over three weeks. But Team Sky seems to get around those arrangements. Team Sky has caught heat (nice pun) for their motor home and for hogging the parking spaces at their team hotels. Some teams have been known to change mattresses and sheets, anything for a good night's sleep, especially after thirteen days of hard racing.

"Bubbling mass of the main field" ~ Paul Sherwen

Stage 13 Results (full results)

Stage Win
1Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team4:43:42
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
3Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:03

GC Standings
1Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky51:34:21
2Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:02:52
3Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:03:09
4Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:58
5Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky0:04:03
6Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo0:04:04
7Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:05:32
8Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal0:07:32
9Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:07:47
10Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing0:08:02

  • Yellow Jersey: Chris Froome
  • Green Jersey: Peter Sagan (2 points ahead of Greipel)
  • Polka-dot Jersey: Chris Froome (Joaquim Rodriguez will wear it on Stage 13)
  • White Jersey: Nairo Quintana
  • Combative: Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
  • Best Team: Movistar Team
  • Lanterne Rouge: Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18, 2:43:06
  • 175 riders remain of the original 198
Michael Matthews is no longer Lanterne Rouge. He spent 11 days "recovering" in a grueling form of recovery after crashing on Stage 3. Cycling Weekly quoted Matthews as saying, “I’m last because the day that I crashed I was the only one from that crash to finish the stage." Well now he is back, today he placed a respectable 17th on the stage. That is a triumph.

Stage 14 Preview - Gorges du Tarn, the tourist stage

Saturday, July 18th - Stage 14178.5km
Approximate Stage Finish: 17:00 CET (11:00 AM EDT, 9:00 AM MDT). Coverage starts at 6:00am in Colorado!

Stage 14 route map - green means hills

Stage 14 route map 2015 TDF
Stage 14 profile map

Stage 14 profile map 2015 TDF
Climbs of Stage 14 - more short and sweets
  • Km 20.0 - Côte de Pont-de-Salars1.3 kilometre-long climb at 5.8% - category 4
  • Km 146.0 - Côte de Sauveterre9 kilometre-long climb at 6% - category 2
  • Km 169.5 - Côte de Chabrits1.9 kilometre-long climb at 5.9% - category 4 
  • Km 177.0 - Côte de la Croix Neuve (1 055 m)3 kilometre-long climb at 10.1% - category 2


If you like scenery and you miss the first half of tomorrow's stage, try to find a way to go back and watch the scenery later - it will be spectacular as the helicopter takes us on a high arm-chair tour of the Gorges du Tarn, a major tourist area of France. (Gorges du Tarn tourism & sightseeing). For Coloradans (like myself), the scenery is similar to a number of the canyons within a short drive of home.

A natural wonder
Looks like vacation time!
Now this looks like a great sport
Now I am in the mood for a pastis and a patio.

Bikes, scenery, drink, food - what is a better combo?

Speaking of nourishment, recommended listening tonight come by way of The Cycling Podcast and Lionel Birnie exploring cuisine a la Tour de France. I might fall asleep to the cycling (race) podcast every night (which was good today), but food keeps me awake.  Please listen to:

Kilometer 0 : Food on the Tour (or subscribe to The Cycling Podcast in your podcast app)

I enjoy following along on Lionel Birnie's Le Gourmet de France blog about food experiences (some good, some not) at the Tour de France.

Link: Kilometer 0 takes you behind the scenes at the Tour de France

Poor Jean-Christophe Péraud 

It was tough to watch him carry on in pain after his crash today. But someone needs to figure out how to better bandage and clothe a man while on the bike.

I sprained my ankle today, so I am resting this weekend. Tonight I am watching Slaying The Badger.

Fini - catch up with you tomorrow

Posts by Pedal Dancer on the 2015 Tour de France: