Skips at Le Tour & Froome’s Defence
11 skinny little Australians at the 2018 TdF, with a few notable omissions.
While it’s fantastic, and almost the norm, for us to have 11 riders at the start of Le Tour, there’s a couple I wish had made the cut. Most notably Caleb Ewan has been left out of the Mitchelton-Scott team. Obviously, so they can focus on the GC with Adam Yates…but sheesh…that decision is as un-Australian as English Vegemite. I’d have put him in, just on spec. No lead-out train or minder, and let him do his thing. I reckon he’d have been good for a win, or two.
Adam Hansen is another rider I love to watch, in any race. But after twenty consecutive grand tours, I guess he’s earnt a break. That amounts to over 400 stages. Put your feet up, Adam.
I’m talking about him having to defend himself here. He’s unique in that he appears to be ‘persona non grata’ to all cycling fans, including his own country. His fan base would have to be the smallest of all the multiple Tour de France winners, ever. Don’t forget that cycling is a very open environment, he’ll be in touch with the tifosi every day. A couple of years ago he had a cup of urine thrown over him, let’s hope it’s nothing worse this year.
Who to watch?
Valverde. I can’t stand him, but I’m sure he’s got something to prove after crashing out in the opener last year. AND he’s on a team with 3 leaders. That’ll be good for entertainment, when one of them refuses to pass on the Captain’s hat. Geraint Thomas. MBW (my beautiful wife) is tipping that Geraint Thomas is there for more reasons than support. More than a 2IC, he’s there to win. And that Froome is there to take all the ‘heat’. But she always loves a conspiracy.
Coffee Financials Report
Monday I got out for a little jaunt around the northern part of Lake Iseo. About halfway around, in Parzanica, I stopped for a coffee, and thought it looked like a good place to try a local grappa. You know, small hilltop town, narrow winding streets, many a rustic ‘palace’, vines in every yard, etc. The cost? 1.5 euro, for the two drinks. Mind you, I couldn’t talk for the first part of the descent…
Memory is a funny thing. After five years of running tours to Corsica, and enjoying a multitude of different foods there, this year a jam, or more specifically a marmalade, got me. I can barely remember noticing ‘Confiture de Clementine’ previously, but now I’m crazy for it. Fortunately I brought a few small jars home, thinking I’d find it elsewhere, but guess what? Non c’e! I’m fairly sure it’s a marmalade made with mandarine, but it could be a Tangerine. It’s hard to find a proper definition for it. Anyway, can the next person going to Corsica grab me a jar, please?
An empty jar of Confiture de Mandarine o Tangerine? Je ne sais pas! (someone will let me know) (I hope!)
Top Photo: Maison, Corsica Centrale
Our 2019 Calendar will be released in August, featuring a few new locations with a Spanish emphasis. Along with a half-price hire bike offer, for those wanting to book immediately.
We’re off to France on Sunday (today!), and will be race-side on Tuesday, with a group for the northern stages (TDF Tour 1), followed by a tour in the Alps, and our final TdF tour which runs through the alps-Pyrenees-up to Paris. (TDF Tour: Ride to Paris)
We have purchased some new CX style Ebikes this year, from Wilier.
See our Insta feed for photos.
Don’t Just Watch it on the Tele…
Start planning your European Cycling Holiday for France Next Year!
Here’s a summary of our 2018 TDF Tours…
Topbike TdF 1 Tour
July 10-16 (Rennes – Paris)
With this tour, after we pick up in Rennes, we’ll follow the TdF for seven days as it traverses across the top half of France, from west to east. With plenty of riding, viewing, eating and drinking in between, and a few cobbled sections to finish, it should be a ripper. The riding will all be done without any mountains in sight, but just watch out for those cobbles. With a group limited to 13 places only, this will be a tour for riding and relaxing and following Le Grand Boucle without spending hours every day waiting for, and chasing the race. With a small group you’ll receive personal and attentive care for the length of the tour.
Using three locations, after the kick off in Paris we travel to Josselin, in the Vendee. From here we move north-west to Bagnoles de l’Orne in Normandy, before our final destination of Aire-Sur-La-Lys, in Pas-de-Calais. Using excellent 19th century Hotel and Chateaux in all three locations.
Topbike TdF Paris Tour, July 20-30 (Grenoble – Paris)
With this year’s TdF we have eight days of race viewing, covering stage starts, finishes and KOMs. We’ll be starting near the alps, before venturing into the Pyrenees. We’ll have the opportunities to climb the famed Cols of Tourmalet, Peyresourde and Aspin amongst many others. With a mix of luxury accommodation and traditional hotels, haute and provincial cuisine, we’ll finish with a ride around Paris.
From our start in Grenoble we’ll hit the race most days, along with fitting in plenty of riding. Up to 1,000k and up to 15,000m vertical, in total for the complete tour. We’ll move from Lanarce in central France, to Camon in the Pyrenees, Arreau deeper in the Pyrenees, with one ‘one-nighter’ at Buzancais, on the road to Paris.