Category: Tour de France

El Pistolero turns Shootist on the Croix de la Fer

Like the leader of a troupe of tragedians looking for an audience, Alberto Contador started Stage 17 of the Tour ready to put on a show. Playing the famous version of himself – a bit like John Wayne in a western, rather than one…

Stage 16: Wanted. Men brave enough to serve as Cofidis Domestiques

The explorer Ernest Shackleton famously placed an ad in the Times of London to recruit the crew of his doomed South Pole expedition. It simply read: “MEN WANTED”. Shackleton was clear about the dangers that lay ahead: the risk to life and limb, and…

Stage 15: Perichon’s circus act through Bardet country

Pierre-Luc Perichon must have figured it would be difficult to win TV time when the race rolled through Romain Bardet country. But he wasn’t going to let name unrecognition prevent him from enjoying some limelight, at least on the big climb of the day….

Stage 14: Cooler heads prevail (well… maybe)

It’s a demanding job, soigneur. Your working day starts before everyone wakes up, and ends after everyone else has gone to bed, making the hours pretty brutal. But imbued with a team spirit, and an enviable proximity to the action, “soigneur” still carriers with…

Stage 13: Fuglsang rides on to a courageous defeat

It was Bastille Day on the Tour, and as is the custom French riders made sure to appear intent on winning the stage, even if their legs weren’t really up for it. One after one they hammered away at the pointy end, seeking victory,…

Stage 11: No lollygagging… and other rules of the road

Domestiques know their fate even before the race begins. The deal is there’s no glory, little chance of a stage win, and no exceptions. The leader comes first. That goes for when you’re lying wounded in the middle of the road too. This just…

Stage 10: Offredo winning hearts and minds

This was supposed to be a big day for Yoann Offredo. First away after the flag dropped, the Frenchman put distance between himself and the peloton just as he had done on Stage 2. After half a minute of sprinting he was in his…

Stage 8: One man’s mission to throw cold water on the Tour

He was at one point water boy, the next a shower attendant, and at all times permanently on call. He was also arguably the unsung hero of Stage 8. I’m not sure what a typical morning looks like for the water boy. For sure…

Stage 6: Learning to love this lawyering-up revolution

Peter Sagan won Stage 3 in style earlier this week. Today he started Stage 6 with a little less panache, forced to swap his usual swagger for the hope that his team might be successful in overturning the decision the race jury took the…

Jeremy Roy: King for a day (at least)

Retrospective: Highlights of Le Tour 2011 Stage 1 Will there ever be an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary about the man in the yellow shirt who helped decide the outcome of the 2011 Tour de France? I don’t mean the leader in the yellow…

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