Tour de France 2019: Stage 21 – Rambouillet to Paris Champs-Élysées

Bonjour!  Stage 21 - So here we are!  The last stage of this year's race. It's been amazing - Today's stage is the final piece of the puzzle with celebrations for the GC riders and one last burst for the sprinters.  Where do they get their energy from?  I imagine that the mountain climbers just … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 21 – Rambouillet to Paris Champs-Élysées

Tour de France 2019: Stage 20 – Albertville to Val Thorens

Bonjour!  Stage 20 - It was 'all change' at the top of the General Classification at the start of the day. After three weeks' intense and astounding racing, the top three were now Egan Bernal, Julian Alaphilippe and Geraint Thomas, in that order. The last Alpine stage would determine the outright winner, with one last … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 20 – Albertville to Val Thorens

Tour de France 2019: Stage 19 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Tignes

Bonjour!  Stage 19 - WELL!  This was the stage of all stages!  The race changer for many reasons, but primarily for the remarkable ride of Ineos's Egan Bernal - what a star he is! It's hard to know where to begin really - the heartbreak of Thibaut Pinot's retirement is a start. One of my … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 19 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Tignes

Tour de France 2019: Stage 18 – Embrun to Valloire

Bonjour!  Stage 18 - First day in the Alps! There were significant and notorious climbs today, including the Col du Izouard and the Gol du Galibier.  The scenery was breathtaking at times and strangely surreal at others, with the grey, mauve and ochre earth giving great colour. In the race, the day belonged to Colombia - … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 18 – Embrun to Valloire

Tour de France 2019: Stage 16 – Nîmes to Nîmes

Bonjour!  Stage 16 - The last sprinters' stage in the south. The route scorched through the countryside around Nîmes; scorched being the operative word, it was very, very hot. Shade from trees was a blessing and water bottles were everywhere! The sprint finish was simply stunning, with a Cavendish-like torpedo sprint by Caleb Ewan, who … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 16 – Nîmes to Nîmes

Tour de France 2019: Stage 15 – Limoux to Foix Prat d’Albis

Bonjour!  Stage 15 took a route through the Pyrenees towards the west - Beautiful scenery again, wooded terrain, with good climbs and offering different weather conditions, misty at times, sunny and hot at others, crosswinds to negotiate as well. The crowds were out to cheer the riders past. The win went to Simon Yates who … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 15 – Limoux to Foix Prat d’Albis

Tour de France 2019: Stage 14 – Tarbes to Tourmalet Barèges

Bonjour!  Stage 14 saw the first real mountain stage. After the time-trial yesterday, it was all uphill from there, you might say! First the Pyrenees and then the Alps. These stages would test everyone - They did not disappoint. The stage was relatively short but packed two major climbs, the Col du Soulor and the … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 14 – Tarbes to Tourmalet Barèges

Tour de France 2019: Stage 12 – Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Bigorre

Bonjour!  Well, what a terrific stage? So exciting, with a cat and mouse finish reminiscent of a track race, three riders waiting for each other to start the sprint to the line. The three in question, Simon Yates, Pello Bilbao and Gregor Mühlberger had been duking it out through the mountains in a lively descent, … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 12 – Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Bigorre

Tour de France 2019: Stage 10 – Saint-Flour to Albi

Bonjour!  This was another long, hot, rolling day through beautiful countryside, heading south. The anticipated issue for the riders was crosswinds, always tricky. A breakaway of five riders began the campaign but were soon reigned in.The groups came together, split and divided so much - it was really hard to keep up. The finish was … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 10 – Saint-Flour to Albi

Tour de France 2019: Stage 9 – Saint-Étienne to Brioude

Bonjour!  On Bastille Day - Even more special because a French rider was wearing the Yellow Jersey. The race continued through the hills and rolling countryside on what proved to be a quieter stage than yesterday. Julian Alaphilippe defended his precious shirt and enjoyed the day. He greeted Yohan Offredo current holder of the Lantern … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 9 – Saint-Étienne to Brioude

Tour de France 2019: Stage 8 – Mâcon to Saint-Étienne

Bonjour!  Well after the longest route yesterday, Stage 8 could be called the hilliest - at least before the mountain stages. Travelling through the countryside of the Massif Central, this stage gave a hint at the contenders for the polka dot jersey - Thomas de Gendt taking the lead this time in a phenomenal ride. … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 8 – Mâcon to Saint-Étienne

Tour de France 2019: Stage 7 – Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saône

Bonjour!  Stage 7 saw the longest route in this year's race, a quieter stage than yesterday's, giving us all time to recover a bit. The Breakaway double-act of Stephane Rossetto and Yoann Offredo stayed in the front for 218 km, eventually giving way to the sprinters. The win went to Dylan Groenewegen, but by a … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 7 – Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saône

Tour de France 2019: Stage 6 – Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles

Bonjour!  Now this stage really took me back - I loved this one and this dramatic climb to the top of La Planche des Belles Filles is very special. This year, the riders cycle past the usual finish by a further kilometre which was paved especially because of the extreme gradient - as if it … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 6 – Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles

Tour de France 2019: Stage 3 – Binche to Épernay

Bonjour!  The Tour comes back to France! In the beautiful Champagne region - chalky soils and sunny countryside, no wonder the wine fizzes here! The Tour also fizzed again today - with a brilliant ride from Julian Alaphilippe. He is a flamboyant rider - such style and daring. He wears a moustache like a Musketeer … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 3 – Binche to Épernay

Tour de France 2019: Stage 2 – Bruxelles Palais Royal to Brussel Atomium

Hello!  The second stage was a team time-trial around Brussels, which showed off all the teams to the crowds. The bar was set high from the outset, Team Ineos put in a beautiful, fast circuit. Such is their attention to detail, they organised their team numbers to run from 1 through to 8 as they … Continue reading Tour de France 2019: Stage 2 – Bruxelles Palais Royal to Brussel Atomium