12 Reasons to Love Le Tour de France 2013
This entry was posted on July 6, 2013.
The technology. Technology is something that we all love and is a topic to follow -- especially when it comes to professional cycling. In this year's Tour De France, we're going to see a breakthrough in Aerodynamics, from helmets to newly revised frame tubing to brake caliper integration to the newly developed hydraulic brake systems that will really set this year apart from any other. The 2012 Tour de France introduced 11-speed, and just one year later we're now seeing most of the professional peloton racing with a tighter and more efficient 11-speed stack.
Drama drama drama. We've already covered one week of The Tour, and we've seen amazing performances across the peloton with one major crash taking down a number of riders and blocking many others. Outside of the far-too-common bike crashes, you'll be able to enjoy professional athletes taking swings at each other, overly defensive and reactive teams and even the typical swarm of overzealous spectators partaking in the temptations of public intoxication.
The commentary. When we think sports commentary in professional cycling, we think of Phil Ligget, a colorful sports journalist from England who has been the popular voice of the Tour de France since 1967. Ligget is known for his very descriptive and powerful overtones and analogies that make you laugh, think and accept that he's the perfect man for the job. Ligget's words have carried so much weight in the sport that his fans have created the term "Liggettism" to exemplify Ligget's best quotes when describing the most intense moments of Le Tour de France:
"To wear the yellow jersey is to mingle with the gods of cycling"
"Are they on the road to stardom, or are they lambs to the slaughter?"
"He's dancing on his pedals in a most immodest way!"
"There's no reason to rush into hell."
The yellow jersey. The Tour de France has many traditions, and the yellow leader jersey is certainly one of the most famous originals. The yellow leader's jersey was first awarded in 1903 to Maurice Garin of France and has built a reputation. The yellow jersey is awarded on a stage-to-stage basis around total race time and can be taken away as quickly as it was given. Some might say that the yellow jersey puts a target on your back and is not to be "worn lightly," while others might just add that "with great power comes great responsibility."
Teamwork. Professional cycling and teamwork go hand-in-hand, and Le Tour de France is no exception. Professional cycling requires a collaborative effort of brute strength, endurance and a master in strategy. Without your team, you'll never finish the Tour, and watching this type of planning as it all unfolds over some of the most beautiful terrain in the world is an amazing experience.
The fans. The most excited people in the world are the fans of professional cycling. these fans travel far and wide to support these events, and like any other sporting event, they'll dress head to toe in whatever they need to convey their emotions and excitement. Unlike other sporting events, the fans are allowed to run alongside the pros. When the mountainous stages begin, we really get to see the fanatical side of the sport come out.
Out-of-car adjustment. An amazing display of trust by the rider and the team, the out-of-car adjustment occurs when the rider has a good lead for the day and will not take the risk of stopping due to a technical or physical problem. The rider will stay ahead or fall back into safe proximity of other riders, and the team car will pull along side of and hold onto the rider while making the necessary adjustment. You will not see this in many other sports; everything happens on the go, and time and energy can not be wasted.
Bike swap. Just like the out-of-car adjustment, the bike swap is a risky move if the rider is having technical or physical problems and needs to be coordinated with the team car and another member of the team. Bike swaps happen as quick as possible, so time and energy are conserved when catching back up with the lead peloton.
The countryside. The Tour de France passes through some of the most beautiful terrain the the world, and you will not see this in any other sport. You can watch a swarming peloton speed through colorful flats of European farmlands or through a beautiful ocean view off the coast of Ajaccio, Corsica.
Podium girls. Giving it your all in spandex for six hours a day for almost a month requires some very important follow-up maintenance, but let's not forget the possibility of a brief intermission with beautiful, exotic, "dressed-to-a-T" European women who are awaiting to kiss your cheek not once or twice but thrice, and this an event that can't be missed. The chance of this personally happening to you is less than 0.01%, so be glad you can watch it on the tube.
Team time trials. A dynamically artistic movement that, in my opinion, is the most exciting stage of The Tour de France, the team time trial requires the professional cyclists to ride in perfect harmony with their surroundings and teammates. Crossing the line will sometimes come down to a single second, and this single moment can be won or lost quicker than the moment itself.
The finish. The finish all comes down to a single line for many sports, and cycling has a finish that is hard to forget. With professional cycling you see a sprint finish and a mountain top finish for every style event, both ending very differently with two very different styles of riders. Sprint finishes are explosive and dramatic, while mountain top finishes are enduring and emotional and will have you feeling the present emotions of what seven hours on the bike must really feel like. The finish is what professional bike racing is all about, and some would say that nothing matters between the two lines. It only matters when you cross them.Drama drama drama. We've already covered one week of The Tour, and we've seen amazing performances across the peloton with one major crash taking down a number of riders and blocking many others. Outside of the far-too-common bike crashes, you">