Posts in the category Tour de France

Aquaphor Le Tour Challenge; Compete With Pros, Virtually

It’s easy!

Just sign up, ride your bike, upload your data and win prizes!

Top prizes are a trip to Paris with Trek Travel and a bike…

Andy Schleck Rumored To Win 2010 TdF on Thursday

This morning, sources around the globe, including the UK’s Cycling News and USA’s Bicycling Magazine, are buzzing with rumors out of the Spanish press regarding the Contador Decision (I’m thinking that’ll be a good title for the movie they inevitably make about this; Contador played by BJ Novak of The Office…).

That decision, which will be handed down on Thursday by the Spanish Cycling Federation (REFC), is now heavily rumored to be a one year suspension, an exception from the standard two years, which would also result in the automatic removal of his 2010 Tour de France title.

Contador is currently at Saxo Bank-Sungard’s team training camp in Majorca, Spain, and will be expected to file an appeal on the decision within ten days.

Bontrager Unveils Their New Pro Level Road Helmet, the Oracle

As Trek transitioned its line of consumer helmets from its self-titled line, to what is now the Bontrager line of helmets, they left one glaring omission. This was, of course, the absence of what would be considered a pro level road lid. Up to this point, it could have been argued that perhaps it was simply deemed unnecessary, as the Bontrager Circuit is an incredibly nice helmet, for only $99.

However, it turns out that Trek was keeping a bit of a secret, even from their own dealers, as they unveiled the all new Oracle today. In addition to being an all new helmet for Bontrager that consumers will be able to purchase in the Spring, it was announced today as well, that the Oracle will be the official team helmet of Leopard-Trek Racing.

More info on the new Oracle after the break!


Scotland Bids for 2017 Tour de France Opening Stage

Event Scotland is reportedly preparing a proposal to grab the opening time trial of the 2017 Tour de France.

Looking to host the event in either Edinburgh or Glasgow, Event Scotland’s Paul Bush says the event would cost approximately £5 million, it would likely inject around £100 million back into the economy.

Bids from Japan, the United States and the Middle East are also being considered by le Tour director Christian Prodhomme. Wondering where Scotland is in relationship to France? Yeah, our geography sucks, too. Click past the break for a map…


Official Tour de France Route Announced: Galibier Stars Twice in Alps’ Centenary Year

So here we have it: official confirmation of the 2011 Tour de France route.

There’s no double Alpe d’Huez stage, which will disappoit the rumor-mongers, but plenty of highlights. The organisers have taken their lead from last year’s Pyrenean-centenary route, which featured two climbs of the Tourmalet.

This time round, to celebrate 100 years of the Alps in the Tour, there will be a summit finish on Galibier – which is followed the next day by that mountain climbed again (from the Col de Télégraphe side) and a summit finish on Alpe d’Huez.

Two more summit finishes, previous to this in the Pyrenees, make the overall total four. One of these is at Luz Ardiden, in a stage that also features the Tourmalet; the other, meanwhile, is at the Plateau de Beille – a nasty, steep Pyrenean climb where every previous stage victor has gone on to take yellow in Paris.

There will be no prologue this year, nor, following recent fashion, time bonuses for intermediate sprints and stage finishes, But a 23km team time trial in stage two is likely to shake the early running up.

Instead, stage one will kick off in the Vendée region, on France’s Atlantic coast. In that stage, the riders will have to negotiate the Passage du Gois, a slippery causeway that, in 1999, saw a major crash in which Alex Zulle lost six minutes to Lance Armstrong – sending the American on to his first Tour victory.

Then some sprinters’ stages leading in to not-inconsiderable medium mountains stages in the Massif Central and a steep finish at Super-Besse. The Tour then transitions to the Pyrenees (where stage 13 also features the ever-popular Aubisque and Soulor) but doesn’t waste time in getting to the Alps.

The first true Alpine stage, from Gap to Pinerolo, sees a short excursion in to Italy, and takes in the Col de Montgenèvre, Sestrières (the first 2000m+ col) and the short, sharp Colle Pra’Martino, before the big-name French behemoths: Agnel; Izoard; Lauteret; Galibier; Télégraphe and Alpe d’Huez.

And, to keep the interest spiced up to the very end, the Alpe d’Huez and Galibier summit finishes come right before the final time trial, an individual, flat-ish effort 41km around Grenoble, which itself is the penultimate stage before Paris.

Overall: tough, long and full of mountains. And from the top of Galibier to the Champs Elysées in 48 hours… Note to self: take July off work.

For more info and stage profiles, check the official Tour de France site. Let us know what you think of the route!

Twice Up the Alp? Web Abuzz Before Tour de France 2011 Route Announcement

Twice up here in 2011?

Road cycling fans around the world are waiting with bated breath as the ASO, the Tour de France’s organizer, prepares to announce the 2011 route tomorrow.

After a big year in the Pyrenees last year, this year those in the know are confidently predicting an Alp-fest, to celebrate the centenary of the Alps’ inclusion. They’re even thinking there’ll be some showmanship in the high mountains, with one stage finishing on top of Galibier, and another climbing Alpe d’Huez – for many, THE mountain – twice. For a good round-up of all the rumors, visit the Inner Ring blog, which usually provides sensible and insightful analysis.

Last year’s winner in Paris, Alberto Contador, has confirmed that he will not attend the unveiling. He is waiting to hear from the UCI and WADA what penalties he may (and strictly following the rules SHOULD) face for his positive test for small amounts of banned substance Clenbuterol on July 21 last year. Andy Schleck – who may yet be promoted to yellow jersey winner 2010 – and his brother Fränk will, however, be there.

Check back on BikeRumor tomorrow for the lowdown on the 2011 Tour!

Photo credit: Alexis Schmiel through creative commons on Flickr.

Schleck Brothers on Trek Bikes for 2011

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

By this point, everyone knew that the Schleck brothers were no longer going to be a part of Team Saxo Bank, and that they were to be picked up by the new Luxembourg Pro Cycling Team.

What wasn’t know was what manufacturer was going to step up to replace the Specialized bikes underneath the new team. It was announced today at Eurobike by Trek and Brian Nygaard of the Luxembourg Team, that Trek would be the official equipment supplier and adviser of the Luxembourg Pro Team for 2011 and beyond.

While the complete roster is not yet finalized and the title sponsor is yet to be determined, Frank and Andy have both confirmed that they would indeed be racing for the new team which will be led by Director Kim Andersen.

In addition to riding both the Trek Madone and Speed Concept, Trek will outfit the team with the full line of Bontrager components. Drivetrains will be covered by Shimano with a fleet of Di2 equipped rides.

Trek is quick to point out that this sponsorship is in addition to the RadioShack team that is currently equipped by Trek. Both teams will be riding Trek bikes for 2011, with RadioShack being the US based team, and Luxembourg the European squad.

Check out the complete press release after the break!


Lance’s Good Luck Charm

Photo by Elizabeth Kreutz

Photo by Elizabeth Kreutz via Tonic

Ever wonder about all that bling the cyclists are wearing? When the heat picks up and the jerseys get unzipped, the chains start swinging. Some have charms on them that you can’t make out what they are, but you can’t miss Lance Armstrong’s cross.  As a featured columnist on Tonic, Lance writes about one of the charms on his necklace and why he wears it. Read his poignant article here.

Video: Mark Renshaw Head Butting Tyler Farrar’s Leadout Man, Julian Dean

In case you missed yesterday’s drama that got HTC-Columbia’s Mark Renshaw ejected form the tour for “attacking” Dean and moving off his line to block Farrar, here’s the video.