I think the 100th tour will be a good one. Last year returned Sir Brad as the first British winner and with a bit of luck we could have Froom taking the honours in Paris in three weeks with Cav returning to glory in Green. At this rate the UK will be targeting all the jerseys, although the King of the mountains could be a struggle this year. The route is an interesting one. It is a shame Sir Wiggo won’t be there to defend his title and we will never know if he decides not to ride the tour again. Lets wait and see.
There are many stages to look out for in this years race. I think one of the most important ones will be Stage 18 Gap to Alpe D’Huez where the riders will climb the famous mountain twice with the finish line at the top of the second summit. If Froome manages this with a lead or gains the lead on this stage he will be in an excellent position to take the 100th tour, his first victory and the second for a British rider.
It might only be 168km long but the fact on this stage they are going over 4 big climbs at a high altitude before the final climb up Alpe D’Huez for the finish.
In my opinion its stages like this that make the tour what it is. The physical and mental challenge the riders face must be phenomenal, just for this stage alone, but the fact they have been riding for 17 stages before this just proves these riders are something special.
So I all starts on Saturday, at last. For the next three weeks cycling will rule my life, watching the tour as well as a certain ride In doing on 14th July, eek!
Images taken from http://inrng.com/2012/10/2013-tour-de-france/
Its still (just) over a month until I complete London to Brighton again Raising money for The British Heart Foundation (you can sponsor me here) and I find myself looking at the next challenge. This happened last year to a degree, but it stopped when I just decided to redo the same ride. However this year it is different. Yes this year I have upped the anti and set myself the challenge of #l2b in sub 4 hours, but i am now thinking of which other rides could be completed.
To date I have briefly looked at the Surrey 100 which includes Box hill as used in the Olympic road race in 2012, but is could be a case of biting off more than I can chew, or a more realistic possibility the 2014 Dunwich Dynamo. Briefly this is a turn up and ride 120 miles from North London to the Suffolk coast. No fundraising involved which might take the pressure off, just a ride for the fun of it and off course the challenge of completing it. However I will do some fundraising for someone, I just know it.
Other possibilities have been incorporating cycling with the love of cricket my friends and I have. There is something appealing about cycling to a test ground, or between test grounds and then getting to watch a days test cricket, or more! I also want to attempt to cycle up Alpe D’Huez just so I can say I have cycled up a famous Tour de France climb. All I know is I certainly have been hooked on cycling and trying to push myself longer, further and possibly higher than I’ve gone before. Mad I may be but I know its going to be fun!