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Day 13 - Nairo Quintana, our King of the Mountains!

After yesterday's stage on the Tour de France it feels like there is really only 1 person who can challenge Chris Froome’s lead going into the last week of the tour – Nairo Quintana. At just 25 years old, he has already won the Giro Italia, and was runner up in the 2013 tour when he was just 23. It feels inevitable that it is just a matter of time before he wins the Tour de France. Quintana comes from a small village in Colombia, that is 3,000 metres above altitude. He has been a cyclist since he was a small boy, riding the 16km to school and back everyday. It was downhill there, but a climb all the way...

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Day 12 - Who is the devil?? The Tour de France spectators

One of the most iconic images of the Tour de France is the hoards of super fans cheering and running alongside riders as they climbs the mountain roads. The crowds seem to make a wall, which only just parts in time for the riders to make it through. The concentration and patience the riders need to stay calm and not panic amongst the flags and over enthusiastic fans dressed in fancy dress is impressive! Unfortunately the crowds do tend to be the most dangerous part of the Tour de France and we can always remember the time when Lance Armstrong crashed down onto the road having clipped a spectator’s souvenir bag https://youtu.be/sRxGNttpaZA But for the most part, the crowds are...

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DAY 11 - The mighty Col du Tourmalet

Today is one of the must watch stages of the Tour de France.  Starting from Pau the riders will take on the Col d’Aspin and then the mighty Col du Tourmalet, the highest paved mountain in the Pyrenees,  travelling a total of 188 km to an uphill finish at Cauterets. This is the first of the big mountain stages this year and given Chris Froome’s lead over the other contenders it is quite possible that we will see attacks starting on the Col D’Aspin with one or two riders hoping to make up some time on the Col Du Tourmalet. Both of these climbs featured for the first time in the 1910 tour when in that year France’s Gustave Garrigou...

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DAY 10 - Cycling terms and catchphrases

Have you ever listened to some cyclists talking about their club run or ride, and not understood half of the words they are using?!!  Even in the current Tour de France there are terms branded about that seem completely alien to the un-trained ear As our name Bon Courage comes from one of these cycling phrases, we thought it would be good to delve deeper into what some of words that you hear thrown into conversations mean. 'Bon Courage' Good Luck, don’t give up, keep on going, have heart and courage. 'The Autobus' During mountain stages riders with poor climbing skills often group together hoping to finish in time to beat the time limit cutoff. By staying together in a group they...

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21 days of the Tour de France - The rest day

With 9 days of racing behind them the peloton enjoys the first of its 2 rest days today. Here at Bon Courage we thought we would have a look at what goes on. For most people who had cycled 1340km in the last 9 days, you would expect a long lie in, some lounging by the hotel pool and definitely a day off the bike, but sadly for the rider the ‘rest day’ is really just a lighter version of their race routine of riding bikes and press commitments. The day normally starts with a 2-3 hour training ride at a high intensity which gives the cyclists a chance to flush the lactic acid out of their legs and keep...

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