I have to be honest. If you asked me about Cycling- the conversation would be short. I haven’t really been a big fan of the sport and haven’t paid much attention to it in the past. But this years Tour De France has had me hooked from Stage 1. Today is the first rest day of the competition and I have decided to write about how I feel the first week and bit of the tour has gone.
The competition started in a sunny Yorkshire. The streets were packed for the first two days as the peleton cycled through cities such as Leeds and Sheffield. The powerful German Marcel Kittel took two of the opening three stages, predominantly due to his sheer power and sprint speed. He took the first stage and third stage driving down the Mall ahead of sprint competitors such as Peter Sagan.
British hopes have in a way been squandered by the tour. Mark Cavendish crashed out at Stage One with a fractured shoulder. Chris Froome abandoned on stage 5 of the competition after a few falls. Sir Bradley Wiggins never broke into a very strong Team Sky and is henceforth not participating.
For Team Sky, Australian Ritchie Porte has become the main man with the aid of Geraint Thomas. He is currently second in the general classification and has made a steady job behind the handlebar after a tough week for the Sky Team.
The stage which had me grimacing was stage 5. Wet, windy and cobbles to deal with made it every cyclist’s nightmare of a stage. With crashes here, there and everywhere it was a chance for people to gain time on rivals, and also lose them.
The king of the mountains competition (poke-a-dot jersey) has been intriguing as the Tour hit the mountainous region near Besincon. The jersey switched hands three times in the past three days. Tony Martin had the jersey going into yesterdays’ stage however Spaniard J.Rodriguez is in the lead with a huge gap between him and his nearest challenger.
Alberto Contador was the favourite for the Tour de France this year, however yesterday marked the end of his campaign for the yellow jersey. A fall during stage 10 left him with a fractured kneecap and ruled him out of the tour, following Chris Froomes’ footsteps during stage 5.
That leaves the door wide open for our current leader, Vicenzo Nibali. The champion of Italy has held the yellow jersey for 8 days of racing out of ten and looks good to keep hold of the yellow jersey until the tour hits Paris. The Italian won stages 2 and 10 in his pursuit of a second tour victory this year.