2019 TdF starts this Saturday: What not to miss plus our French coffee report
Le Tour starts this Saturday, and while highly anticipated, it has a different air in 2019.
As two of last year’s podium fillers are out of the race, it opens up the opportunity for many others. This makes it the greatest chance, in modern times, for a FRENCHMAN to win the overall. So much so, that the local daily sporting rag, L’Equipe, had a headline recently that equated (more or less) to ‘It’s now or never’ for their leading riders. Well, there’s nothing like a little pressure in the lead up, is there? 1985 is the last time a local (Bernard Hinault) wore yellow on the podium in Paris.
For the overall, the home nation will be rooting for Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet – both former podium finishers – while Italy has former winner Vincenzo Nibali (as long as his team takes an Italian chef along – those french always overcook the spaghetti). Jakob Fuglsang, while Swiss born, is a Danish National riding for the Kazakhstan based, Astana team. Adam Yates hails from the UK, but rides for the Australian owned team, Mitchelton-Scott. Colombia has two favorites, Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Urán and Spain, Mikel Landa. Holland has Steven Kruijswijk and Australia, Tasmanian born Richie Porte.
NB there are no national teams present at the Tour de France, although it does feel that way sometimes, when you see the French teams only signing up the locals. But hey, it is their race, and theirs to lose, just like the last 34 years.
Races within the race. As always, the best racing can sometimes be seen in the less coveted jersey competitions. Caleb Ewan (from the NSW highlands) is in good form, and with the opening stage being one for the sprinters, cross your fingers for him, and let’s see if he can pick up the Yellow Jersey along with the first stage win.
Personally, after Richie, I’d like to see Steven Kruijswijk get the win in Paris. I like him, he’s a fantastic climber, has a cheeky smile, and if ever I could use his surname in scrabble, I’d win by a mile.
The unmissable stages.
[*The following, from INRNG.com (the best website for insightful analysis)]
This is the Tour de France and there’s always something to watch but there are some stages that matter more than others. If you need to plan ahead, here are some suggestions for the stages to watch.
- Stage 1: the sprint finish is the interest, a sprint royale among the top names
- Stage 3: the hilly finish
- Stage 5: the even more hilly finish
- Stage 6: the Col de Chevrères and Planche des Belles Filles, the first summit finish
- Stage 12: the first day in the Pyrenees
- Stage 14: 117km ending atop the the Tourmalet
- Stage 16: the Prat d’Albis summit finish
- Stages 18, 19 and 20: three consecutive days of high mountains
French Coffee Report
It’s still crap. And more expensive than Italy. Take your own electric Bialetti (with coffee from Italy) and make your own in the hotel room.
Top: Sunrise, climbing Passo Pordoi before breakfast – Italian Climbs Tour
Topbike Tours Yearbook
Each year we produce our Topbike Yearbook featuring photos from all of the seasons tours. Let us know if you’d like a complimentary copy posted out.
More than Ebikes…
We are continuing to update our complete hire fleet, with new bikes from Casati and Wilier. See our Insta feed for photos or find out more about riding one of our electric bikes on tour here. Better still, come and ride one.