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Old 3rd July 2015, 16:26   #1
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Default Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

Mods,
Starting a new thread since similar thread doesn't exists. Also there is no specific sub forum for Cycling so would like to have this thread under international motor sports. Please move to appropriate sub forum if needed.

The world’s biggest cycling event is about to start. Almost everyone who is into cycling eagerly awaits every year for this grand race. The 102nd edition of Tour de France will be held this year between 4th July to 26th July 2015.

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A quick glimpse of what’s in store this year.
  • Total Kilometers: 3360 (that’s massive)
  • Total stages: 21 (9 Flat stages, 3 hill stages, 7 mountain stages, 1 individual time trial, 1 team time trial)
  • Two rest days in between.

Here’s the official Teaser video of 2015 edition.



About the race

The Tour de France is an annual multiple stage bicycle race held in France. The Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España make up cycling's three-week-long Grand Tours. The Tour De France is the oldest and considered the most prestigious of the three. Traditionally, the race is held in the month of July. While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same with the appearance of time trials, the passage through the mountain chains of the Pyrenees and the Alps, and the finish on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The modern editions of the Tour de France consist of 21 day-long segments (stages) over a 23-day period and cover around 3,500 kilometers (2,200 mi).

The number of teams usually varies between 20 and 22, with nine riders in each. All of the stages are timed to the finish. After finishing the riders' times are compounded with their previous stage times. The rider with the lowest aggregate time is the leader of the race and gets to don the coveted yellow jersey. While the general classification garners the most attention, there are other contests held within the Tour: the points classification for the sprinters, the mountains classification for the climbers, young rider classification for riders under the age of 25, and the team classification for the fastest teams.

The riders achieve top speed of up to 100 kmph on downhill roads. Average speed achieved on a flat stage is around 45 kmph.

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Race history

The race was first organized in 1903 to increase paper sales for the magazine L'Auto; it is currently run by the Amaury Sport Organization. The race has been held annually since its first edition in 1903 except for when it was stopped for the two World Wars (1915-1919; 1940-1947). As the Tour gained prominence and popularity the race was lengthened and its reach began to extend around the globe. Participation expanded from a primarily French field, as riders from all over the world began to participate in the race each year. The Tour is a UCI World Tour event, which means that the teams that compete in the race are mostly UCI Pro Teams, with the exception of the teams that the organizers invite.


About the Jerseys

In the Tour, a colored jersey is generally associated with each prize, and the current holder of the prize is required to wear the jersey when racing. The rider leading a classification at the end of a stage is required to wear the corresponding jersey during the next stage.

Jerseys are awarded in a ceremony immediately following the stage. Where a single rider leads in the competition for more than one jersey, they wear the most prestigious jersey to which they are entitled, and the second-placed rider in each of the other classifications becomes entitled to wear the corresponding jersey.

Yellow Jersey

The yellow jersey, known in French as the maillot jaune, is worn by the overall time leader, and is the most prized jersey. It is awarded by calculating the total combined race time up to that point for each rider. The yellow jersey was first awarded in 1919 to make the race leader stand out. The color yellow was chosen because the pages of the race sponsor's magazine, L'Auto, were yellow.

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Green Jersey

The green jersey, known in French as the maillot vert, is awarded to the cyclist with the highest number of sprint points. Points for this jersey are gained by the riders who finish first, second, etc., at the end of each stage. The number of points for each place and the number of riders rewarded varies depending on the type of stage as the flatter stages are more likely to result in a sprint finish. Flat stages give the winner 35 points down to 1 point for the 25th rider; medium mountain stages give the winner 25 points down to 1 point for the 20th rider; high mountain stages give the winner 20 points down to 1 point for the 15th rider. Points are also awarded for individual time trial stages: 15 for the winner down to 1 for the 10th rider. Additional points are available at intermediate sprint contests, usually occurring 2 or 3 times in each stage at pre-determined locations; currently 6, 4 and 2 points are available to the first 3 riders at each sprint.

Polka Dot Jersey

The winner of the King of the Mountain wears a white jersey with red dots (known as the maillot à pois rouges in French), which is commonly referred to as the "polka dot jersey". Although the best climber was first recognized in 1933 as the "King of the Mountain", the distinctive polka dot jersey was not introduced until 1975. The colors were decided by the then sponsor, Poulain Chocolate, to match a popular product. At the top of each climb in the Tour, there are points awarded for the riders who are first over the top. The climbs are divided into categories, from 1 to 4 based on their difficulty with 1 being the most difficult, measured as a function of their steepness and length. A fifth category, called Hors categorie (outside category) is formed by mountains even more difficult than those of the number 1 category. In 2004, the scoring system was changed so that the first rider over a fourth category climb was awarded 3 points while the first to complete a hors category climb would win 20 points. Further points over a fourth category climb are only for the top three places while on a hors category climb the top ten riders are rewarded. Also, beginning in 2004, the points scored on the final climb of the day were doubled if such a climb was at least a second category climb.

White Jersey

A lesser classification is that for the white jersey (known as the maillot blanc in French), which is like the yellow jersey, but only open for young riders (those who are less than 25 years old on January 1 of the year the Tour is ridden).

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To be continued.

Source of information
http://www.letour.com
https://en.wikipedia.org
http://www.google.com

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Old 3rd July 2015, 22:23   #2
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Recent Tour de France winners

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*1999 to 2005: these races were originally won by Lance Armstrong, but in 2012 his wins in the Tour de France were removed due to doping violations.

*2006: Floyd Landis was the initial winner but subsequently rubbed out due to a failed drug test.

*2010: Alberto Contador was the initial winner of the 2010 event, but after a prolonged drug investigation he was stripped of his win in 2012.


Teams in 2015

Total 22 Teams are participating in the 102nd edition of Tour de France.

Following photo has the list of all the teams with the team’s jersey.

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Potential favorites to grab the Yellow jersey this year

Chris Froome
Team: Team Sky, Great Britain
Best finish overall: Tour de France winner in 2013
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Alberto Contador
Team: Tinkoff-Saxo, Russia
Best finish overall: Tour de France winner in 2007 and 2009
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Vincenzo Nibali
Team: Astana Pro Team, Kazakistan
Best finish overall: Tour de France winner in 2014
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Nairo Quintana
Team: Moviestar Team, Spain
Best finish overall: Tour de France 2nd Runner up in 2013
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Thibaut Pinot
Team: FDJ, France
Best finish overall: Tour de France 2nd Runner up in 2014
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TV Schedule

Tour de France will be covered Live and Exclusive on Ten Sport and Ten HD. Here is the day wise schedule.

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Old 4th July 2015, 00:53   #3
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Type of Stages

There are typically two types of stages, Flat stage and Mountain stage.

A typical flat stage profile would look something like this,

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A typical mountain stage profile would look something like this,

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Media coverage

Watching the Tour de France is easy for us. You grab a snack, switch on the TV, and let the time pass by for the next five hours while the race goes past 13th century castles, emerald green lakes, and panoramic mountain views while the breakaway hangs out to dry. Easy, right? Well there's a fascinating technical solution and a detailed production plan that brings it all to your living room.

The Tour de France is a worldwide phenomenon and the third largest sporting event in the world after the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics. There’s barely a moment that we don’t get to see as it happens in real-time. The first Tour de France that was broadcast to television was 56 years ago and it was done by using a motion picture camera and a mobile processing laboratory. Five minutes of coverage would be produced for each stage and it would be broadcast to the rest of France.

A few stats to give you an idea of the scale of the Tour de France and its media following:
35 different start/finish town stages
Broadcast in 190 countries
121 TV stations covering the event, of which 60 do so live, with 260 cameramen working on motorcycles, in helicopters and at the finish line
72 radio stations
560 accredited media organizations
2400 vehicles on course (organization, media, publicity caravan, etc.)
4,500 people, from riders to organizers to media to members of the publicity caravan and so on
A 12 km long publicity caravan that includes 180 vehicles, 600 people and that distributes nearly 15 million items to fans
A worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people watch the Tour de France annually
There are 4,700 hours of TV coverage annually
2,000 journalists representing dozens of nationalities attend the Tour every year
1,200 hotel rooms are reserved each night for the teams, staff, press and tour personnel
The Tour de France attracts 12 million spectators along the route in a typical year's race
On average spectators travel 130km to see a stage of Le Tour
They spend on average six hours at a time at the roadside
The technical compound (“Zone Technique”) behind the stage finish area contains dozens of production trailers, generators, support vehicles, catering and more. When set up and running, there is barely place on the ground where hundreds of kilometers of cables aren’t crossing over each other.

Video Camera motor bikes which follows the riders very closely.

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The helicopters which provide us stunning visuals.

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This is how the transmission works and we are able to see the tour live on our TV sets.

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A Look at few Official vehicles

Main refree's car is always Red. They have a rolling start for all stages.

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Neutral service car which helps riders in case of mechanical failures.

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Tour de France and travelling

Over the 21 days, the entire convoy moves through some of the most beautiful countryside, mountains in France. Just watching the tour coverage shows you the beautiful roads and tourist spots within France.

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Thanks for reading.

Last edited by mp417 : 4th July 2015 at 00:58.
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Old 4th July 2015, 14:38   #4
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Int'l Motorsport Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th July 2015, 15:22   #5
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Stage 1 – 4th July 2015

The first stage of the 102nd edition of Tour de France is going to be an Individual Time Trial. And this year the tour kicks off from Netherlands. Today gives an excellent chance for Time Trial specialist to wear the Yellow Jersey at the end of stage 1.

Stage Profile

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Stage Map

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Start City/Location: Utrecht, Netherland

End City/Location: Utrecht, Netherland

Local start time: 2:00 pm (5:30 pm IST)

Total Distance: 14 kms (13.8 to be precise)

Type of stage: Flat, City roads

Stage 1 favorites
Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step), Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), Britain's Alex Dowsett (Movistar).

TV Schedule for India
7:20 pm Live on Ten Sports and Ten Sports HD.

Eagerly awaiting

Last edited by mp417 : 4th July 2015 at 15:26.
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Old 4th July 2015, 20:55   #6
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

Quote:
Originally Posted by mp417 View Post

Eagerly awaiting
Must thank you for putting up this thread -

Eagerly awaiting this years edition!

Cycling is the most lovely sport; ever!
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Old 5th July 2015, 10:16   #7
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

Quote:
Originally Posted by FINTAIL View Post
Must thank you for putting up this thread -

Eagerly awaiting this years edition!

Cycling is the most lovely sport; ever!
Thanks Fintail.

Stage 1 Results

Surprise surprise!!!

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) steals the show on day 1. Australian wear the first yellow jersey of 2015.

He was the only rider to complete the 13.8km course in less than fifteen minutes. He outclassed the three favorites Tony Martin, Fabian Cancellara and Tom Dumoulin and rode the fastest individual time trial ever at the Tour de France.

198 riders took the start of the 2015 Tour de France, the first of them being Eritrean time trial national champion Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka), the first black African cyclist to take part in the race. The 2010 Dutch champion for individual time trial Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) who was the ninth rider in action pleased the local crowd as he set the first time of reference: 15.11. It was a strong indication that it would be a very fast race. Clocked with one second deficit from the Dutchman at the half way time check, former world hour record holder Rohan Dennis from BMC bettered his time by fifteen seconds and set the fastest ever average speed of an individual time trial at the Tour de France with 55.446. The previous record was held by Chris Boardman with 55.152km/h in Lille in 1994 on a 7.2km course.


Some details about the Individual Time Trials

Whether you’re new to watching the Tour de France, or a lifelong fan, the time-trial stages can seem like they are more about teams showing off alien-looking aerodynamic bikes and gear than about winning a stage. The bikes have sleek, angular shapes to slip more easily through the wind and the teardrop helmets look like nothing you typically see on the road. But time trials can be one of the most demanding and crucial stages of the Tour. Tours have been won and lost during the time trial.

In a time-trial stage, riders leave one at a time, typically separated by two minutes. They roll onto the course like madmen, racing the clock on courses that are substantially shorter than a typical stage—this year Stage 1 is just 8.5 miles long. While a time trial might look less hectic than a normal race stage, the riders are suffering immensely.


Quick look at the bikes used during the time trial

Special aerodynamic time trial bicycles, clothing, helmets, aerobars and other equipment are used. The components are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, as most of the rider's effort goes into overcoming aerodynamic drag. The rider's position makes the greatest difference, and most use the now-standard tuck position, using tri-bars to allow the rider to position their arms inline with the wind and allow their back to sit as low and flat as possible, reducing frontal area and improving air flow around the body. These bikes have lower handlebars than normal road racing bikes to facilitate this. Also, the saddle is sometimes moved forwards relative to the handlebars and bottom bracket to allow the hips a more natural angle of motion, improving performance.

Wicked

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This shows how sleek these bikes are.

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Team car follows every rider during the time trial.

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Old 5th July 2015, 10:36   #8
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I'm currently enjoying a short holiday in my home country the Netherlands and the Tour de France started yesterday here in the Netherlands.
Today (Sunday 5th of July) they are doing a very nice stretch too which is causing us some problems too. We had planned to go touring with some friends in our classic cars in this area. Better not get anywhere the Tour de France as all roads anywhere near the parcours are closed to traffic.

http://www.touretappe.nl/tour-de-fra...oute-tdf-2015/

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Old 6th July 2015, 00:56   #9
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Stage 2 – 5 July 2015

Stage Profile

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Stage Map

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Start City/Location: Utrecht, Netherland

End City/Location: Zelande, Netherland

Local start time: 2:00 pm (5:30 pm IST)

Total Distance: 166 kms

Type of stage: Flat

Though today’s stage was a flat stage, weather had something else planned. Around 61 kms from the finish line the inevitable happened. It started raining heavily. For any cyclist, riding in the rain is the last thing you want. Visibility becomes really poor and riding at 45 to 50 kmph on those super skinny tires is a nightmare. The temperature drops as well which makes riding even harder. And water sprays from your own bike and other riders. Bottom line, its hell. (It rained in the British Formula One race as well today which cost Podium finish to Williams cars. Hamilton won the home race )

The initial 100 odd kms of today’s stage were uneventful with few small breakaways and minor accidents. In the last 40 kms, multiple groups were formed. All the Sprinter’s teams were coming together to provide the perfect launch pad. The last one kilometer sprint was contested by three sprinters, Peter Sagan, Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel. In the end Greipel was clinched it in a photo finish.

Fabian Cancellara is the Yellow Jersey leader today as Rohan Dennis could not keep up the pace.

The Sprint finish. Notice how they stretch at finish line to get that extra millimeter

Tour de France 2015: All you need to know-sprint-finish.jpg
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Old 6th July 2015, 11:34   #10
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100 kmph downhill on mountain stages! Man what are these guys made up of???

I managed a personal best of 51 kmph on Saturday descending from Col de Chandni Chowk!

And 55 kmph average speed over 15 kms? Man the best I've managed to date is 25.2 over about the same distance

Last edited by ebonho : 6th July 2015 at 11:35.
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Old 6th July 2015, 12:07   #11
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Important thing from yesterday's stage was that a small group of about 25 riders including 2 of the favourites (Froome and Contador) finished 1:28 ahead of the larger group including 3 other favourites (Quintana, Nibali and Pinot). This was after the winds and rain played havoc along the North Sea. So the gap has already opened up among the favourites.

Two interesting stages coming right up today and tomorrow:
- Today ride through Belgium with a series of short climbs towards the end. This will favour the day race (classic) specialists rather than the sprinters. I don't expect the favourites to be separated, but you never know.
- Tomorrow the ride will include the dreaded cobblestones. The presence of these stretches is something that has divided opinions. Last year they were included in the race after many, many years and immediately caused havoc, with a number of crashes. Froome crashed out of the tour after falling in one of the sections. Cobbles are a regular feature in the Paris-Roubaix classic (the most prestigious day race in the calendar) and many continental European - particularly Belgian and French - riders revel in them. Others like Chris Froome will never ride over cobbles given a choice. If it rains on that day, expect all out mayhem. Riders will have mud flying all around them and we may have lots of crashes.

Interesting start!
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Old 6th July 2015, 12:39   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverse_gear View Post
Two interesting stages coming right up today and tomorrow:
- Today ride through Belgium with a series of short climbs towards the end. This will favour the day race (classic) specialists rather than the sprinters. I don't expect the favourites to be separated, but you never know.
- Tomorrow the ride will include the dreaded cobblestones. The presence of these stretches is something that has divided opinions. Last year they were included in the race after many, many years and immediately caused havoc, with a number of crashes. Froome crashed out of the tour after falling in one of the sections. Cobbles are a regular feature in the Paris-Roubaix classic (the most prestigious day race in the calendar) and many continental European - particularly Belgian and French - riders revel in them. Others like Chris Froome will never ride over cobbles given a choice. If it rains on that day, expect all out mayhem. Riders will have mud flying all around them and we may have lots of crashes.

Interesting start!
I can imagine the mayhem and sheer danger riding over rain slick cobbles at 55 kmph with 23C tyres inflated over 100 PSI.

We have similar sections on corners where the PMC has finally given up re-repairing the potholes there in the rains and have laid those interlocking brick thingies.

In the rain they get super dicey. And I ride gingerly over them at 30 kmph on my MTB with 1.95 tyres inflated to just under 40-50 PSI.

I read somewhere that there is a huge science behind prepping race bikes for cobblestone stages. Completely different setup. One can imagine how alloy frames, thin hard tyres, and carbon fiber rigid forks feel at speed over cobblestones. Nerve palsy central.

Last edited by ebonho : 6th July 2015 at 12:41.
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Old 6th July 2015, 13:21   #13
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

I used to love watching this race a decade ago. Couldn't watch it but still followed through other means. But the whole drug scandal & the biggest cheat for all times (Lance A.) spoiled it for me big time. Just couldn't relate to it after that. That guy should be in jail & not crying on oprah.

Last edited by GTO : 6th July 2015 at 14:04. Reason: No inappropriate language please, not even indirectly
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Old 6th July 2015, 13:53   #14
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
100 kmph downhill on mountain stages! Man what are these guys made up of???

I managed a personal best of 51 kmph on Saturday descending from Col de Chandni Chowk!

And 55 kmph average speed over 15 kms? Man the best I've managed to date is 25.2 over about the same distance
Col de Chandni Chowk. 51 kmph is not bad after all.

There are many factors. They are professional cyclist. They eat, drink, sleep cycling 24/7. And their bikes are specially designed for racing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reverse_gear View Post
Important thing from yesterday's stage was that a small group of about 25 riders including 2 of the favourites (Froome and Contador) finished 1:28 ahead of the larger group including 3 other favourites (Quintana, Nibali and Pinot). This was after the winds and rain played havoc along the North Sea. So the gap has already opened up among the favourites.
Quintana, Nibali and Pinot were the biggest losers from yesterday's stage. The rain and wind played crucial role yesterday. Here's the gap between top 5 tour favorites,

Froome: 48 sec behind current leader
Contador: 12 sec behind Froome
Pinot: 1 min 19 sec behing Froome
Nibali: 1 min 21 sec behind Froome
Quintana: 1 min 39 sec behind Froome

Here is the current overall standing.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverse_gear View Post
Two interesting stages coming right up today and tomorrow:
...
Interesting start!
Last year, Nibali got the yellow jersey after his and team's heroic efforts on the cobble stone stage. And it rained last year. It was hell with lots of crashes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
I can imagine the mayhem and sheer danger riding over rain slick cobbles at 55 kmph with 23C tyres inflated over 100 PSI.

We have similar sections on corners where the PMC has finally given up re-repairing the potholes there in the rains and have laid those interlocking brick thingies.

In the rain they get super dicey. And I ride gingerly over them at 30 kmph on my MTB with 1.95 tyres inflated to just under 40-50 PSI.

I read somewhere that there is a huge science behind prepping race bikes for cobblestone stages. Completely different setup. One can imagine how alloy frames, thin hard tyres, and carbon fiber rigid forks feel at speed over cobblestones. Nerve palsy central.
Aptly said. Even I avoid riding on the concrete roads of Pune. You get so much vibrations, as these roads are not finished properly. Can't imagine riding in full rain on such roads even on my hybrid Montra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asr245 View Post
I used to love watching this race a decade ago. Couldn't watch it but still followed through other means. But the whole drug scandal & the biggest cheat for all times (Lance A.) spoiled it for me big time. Just couldn't relate to it after that. That guy should be in jail & not crying on oprah.
Yes, Lance messed it up big time. However his act doesn't make the sport bad.
I have been following the tour for more than a decade. Earlier I used to scamper from office to home to catch the live coverage. Now a days thanks to the DVR (Tata Sky+) I record all the stages and watch leisurely when everyone in the family is gone to bed.

Last edited by GTO : 6th July 2015 at 14:04. Reason: Quoted post edited for inappropriate language
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Old 6th July 2015, 14:15   #15
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Default Re: Tour de France 2015: All you need to know

Stage 3 – 6th July 2015

Stage Profile

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Stage Map

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Summary of today's stage

Stage 3 features one of the most stunning finishes of the Tour. Starting in Antwerp, the race ends up atop the Mur de Huy. The Chemin des Chapelles – its real name – is a 1.3km long climb with an average gradient of 9.6% and a maximum of 19%. It's the perfect location for a thrilling finale but most of the drama is expected to happen earlier on. Positioning before the côte d'Ereffe, whose summit is 16.5km ahead of the finishing line, will be the key for not losing time in Huy. After losing 1.28 to Chris Froome and 1.24 to Alberto Contador and Tejay van Garderen, the likes of Vincenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana and Thibaut Pinot have the possibility to make it up. A specialist like Alejandro Valverde, Joaquim Rodriguez or Michael Albasini is also likely to emerge for a stage victory of a very high value. Leaving the Netherlands, a Dutchman might finally enjoy the yellow jersey as Tom Dumoulin is supposely a better climber than Fabian Cancellara and Tony Martin.


Start City/Location: Anvers, Belgium

End City/Location: Huy, Belgium

Local start time: 1:40 pm (5:10 pm IST)

Total Distance: 154 kms

Type of stage: Mountain

@109.0 km - Côte de Bohissau - 2.4 kilometre-long climb at 5.5% - category 4
@143.0 km - Côte d'Ereffe - 2.1 kilometre-long climb at 5% - category 4
@154.0 km - Côte de Cherave - 1.3 kilometre-long climb at 8.1% - category 4
@159.5 km - HUY - Mur de Huy - 1.3 kilometre-long climb at 9.6% - category 3

TV Schedule for India
7:05 pm Live on Ten Sports and Ten Sports HD.

Eagerly awaiting !
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