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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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DAY 9 - The Team Time Trial

Today we will see the riders working with each other against the clock in the team time trial.  Teams start at equal intervals a few minutes apart. The starting sequences will usually be based on individuals' times in previous events, with the highest ranked teams starting later. This gives the faster teams the crucial advantage of knowing what times they need to beat. Unlike the individual time trial, where competitors are not allowed to draft each other, this is the main tactic in the team event. Each member will take a turn at the front while team-mates sit in behind them riding in the still air. After their turn, the lead rider will then swing over, and the team will rotate...

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DAY 8 - National Champions in the Tour de France

On Thursday we saw Tony Martin win his first yellow jersey, having raced in 7 Tour de Frances. Tragically it didn’t last very long as he had to withdraw from the race after a bad crashed shattered his collar bone. Despite being 12 seconds in front of the other race leaders, out of respect, Chris Froome chose not to start in yellow yesterday. Tradition plays a large and important part of the Tour de France, the wearing of national and world champion jerseys is one them. These are the rainbow striped tops you see on a few riders in each stage. The World Champions in both road racing and time trials wear their rainbow jerseys whenever they are racing in that particular...

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DAY 7 - Domestiques, the unsung heros of the Tour de France

To win the Tour de France you obviously have to get to Paris in less time than anybody else. Whilst no doubt all riders dream of winning the race, only a few have the all-round talent to actually achieve this. But there is no doubt that the success of an individual winning the modern day tour is dependent on how strong the team around them is.  It is perhaps unique to this sport that a team will work so selflessly for their leader. The members of the team who are there to do this support role are fondly known as ‘domestiques’, and their jobs are some of the hardest in modern day sport. Their job can include waiting with their star if...

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