Tour de France analysis: Week 1 winners and losers

It may be the rest day for the riders, but we’ve been busy dissecting the first ten-day ‘week’ of the Tour over at the VeloVoices Towers offices. Tim and Jack have each nominated their top two winners and losers from the opening salvos of this year’s race. Continue reading

Tour Tweets of the Week: Madiot madness, Kloden craziness, Koen’s kindness

Funny, cruel, odd, personal … you get it all on Twitter. Each week, we’ll have a rundown of some of our favourite tweets. Here are the tweets for the week ending 8th July 2012.

Another embarrassment of riches this week in the Tweets department …

Allez allez!

Let’s start with one of the most heartwarming scenes ever in cycling: Marc Madiot going absolutely bonkers when his lad Thibaut Pinot neared the finish line to win stage eight in a brilliant ride. And didn’t we all love that performance from Madiot?!?

Kloden goes beserk!

We’ve had a few, um, interesting responses from riders in/about the press this week. Stage seven saw Fabian Cancellara losing the maillot jaune to Bradley Wiggins, but not without a fight. Spartacus hauled his mighty haunches up that steep gradient, past his own team’s climbers: Frank Schleck, Chris Horner and  Andreas Kloden, desperately trying to keep the yellow for just one more day. The RSNT press release mentioned that perhaps Kloedi didn’t have the legs. This led to a few interesting tweets …

Let’s face it, behaviour like this only brings out the wit in the Twitterati. (And is it just me or does he contradict himself?) The next day, again, Kloedi was not really in the mix much …

Yep, all strangely quiet on the Kloden front.

Show us your wounds

This is in no way to make light of the many crashes that have led to hospitalisations and abandonments in the Tour, so please take these as they are intended – and most of them are posted by the riders themselves. They seem to like to post up their scars – we’ve had a few in earlier posts, in fact, I think we had a self-portrait of Koen de Kort in full mummy bandages earlier in the year. Anyway, first up is Mark Renshaw‘s buttock blows, which seems to have brought on flashbacks for UCI_Overlord! (Did I mention that I love UCI_Overlord? I do.)

Ladies’ favourite Bernie Eisel is really getting into the swing of Twitter – he’s a newbie, you know – and here he gets a little DIY stitching on the Sky bus after the crash in stage … was it five? In fact, Scott Mitchell, the official photographer, took a lot of pictures of our boy Bernie getting tended to. Here he’s saying: “Ladies, don’t worry, I’m okay! I’ll ride again! And I’ll have an elegant little scar to make me just that much more attractive to you!” As if he could be!

Philippe Gilbert, who seems to be having a mediocre Tour at best, doesn’t seem to overly concerned by this little scrape. That said, there goes his leg modelling career!

David Millar is looking on the bright side of his run in with Wolverine as well. Seriously, how do you get injuries like that?

On the subject of crashes, Cancellara had a little something to say. Coming from a man who just recovered from a quadruple fracture from a crash, it’s pretty sanguine.

He ain’t heavy…

During that fateful crash stage, there were lots of shots of riders from different teams helping each other out, giving each other a push, just trying to get to the finish line and the medical tent. For a cycling fan, it’s a great thing to see. I’ve been banging on about how real cyclists are, how lovely they are with their fans and here’s just another reason to love them. This is what Koen de Kort, Dean Downing and Greg Henderson had to say about that.

Hansen takes on the Gorilla … AND WINS!

I’ll try to get pictures of this for you all when I’m in Paris for the end of the Tour …

There was much talk about the new round helmets that some of the teams have been wearing. Looked strangely familiar to Mr Hansen and Mr Henderson agreed.

Oh, well, that’s all for Tweets for this week – I’ll leave you with Hansen’s instructions on how to ride the Tour.

Tour de France analysis: Week 1 in numbers

Depending on how you look at it, we’re either one-third of the way through the Tour de France – because we’ve just arrived at the first rest day – or nearly halfway through it in terms of stages completed and total distance covered. However you choose to look at it, it’s been a pretty eventful race so far, so here’s a quick review of week one of the 2012 Tour in numbers.

The race

10 – Stages completed, out of a total of 21.

1,616.5 – Distance (in kilometres) covered so far, out of a total of 3,497. (That’s 46%, stat fans.)

1 – Summit finishes to date: La Planche des Belles Filles on stage seven. There are two still to come.

Stage winners

Sagan is the only three-time winner so far (image courtesy of Danielle Haex)

7 – Number of different stage winners: Peter Sagan (three), Andre Greipel (two), Fabian Cancellara, Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome, Thibaut Pinot and Bradley Wiggins.

5 – Number of teams to have registered a stage win: Liquigas-Cannondale (three), Sky (three), Lotto-Belisol (two), RadioShack-Nissan and FDJ-Big Mat.

4 – Stages won by 22-year olds: Sagan (three), Pinot.

2 – Stages won by riders currently in the top 20 of the general classification: Froome (stage seven) and Wiggins (stage nine).

21 – Tour career wins for Mark Cavendish after his stage two victory.

16Peter Sagan‘s three victories to date take his 2012 win total to 16.

3 – For the first time ever, three British riders have won stages at the same Tour: Cavendish, Froome and Wiggins.

The yellow jersey

2 – Number of riders who have led the 2012 race: Fabian Cancellara (seven days) and Bradley Wiggins (three).

28 days in yellow for Cancellara (image courtesy of Danielle Haex)

28Cancellara has now accumulated 28 days in yellow during his career – more than any non-overall winner, passing the record of Rene Vietto (26 days).

50Wiggins took the yellow jersey on stage seven on July 7th, one day after the 50th anniversary of the first British rider to claim the overall race lead: Tommy Simpson in 1962.

6 – Only six riders are within five minutes of the race leader in the general classification. A further six are between five and six minutes in arrears.

Other jerseys

32Peter Sagan leads the green jersey competition with 217 points, 32 more than second-placed Matt Goss. He has led the classification since winning stage one.

Morkov was the early leader of the mountains classification (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

6 – Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank’s Michael Morkov wore the King of the Mountains’ polka dot jersey for six days.

21Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) currently leads the mountains classification with 21 points. There are 27 points available on tomorrow’s stage alone.

42 – In seconds, Tejay van Garderen‘s advantage over Rein Taaramae in the young rider comperition. They are the only two riders to have worn the white jersey so far, although RadioShack’s Tony Gallopin is just three seconds behind Taaramae in third.


17  – Tour starts for BMC’s George Hincapie, a new record.

Zubeldia is the highest placed RadioShak rider in the GC (image courtesy of RadioShack-Nissan)

5 – Number of RadioShack-Nissan riders in the top 17 of the general classification: Haimar Zubeldia (sixth), Maxime Monfort (seventh), Tony Gallopin (13th), Andreas Kloden (15th) and Frank Schleck (17th).

23 – Since 2008, British riders have won 23 stages of the Tour (Cavendish 21, Wiggins and Froome one each) – only one fewer than between 1903 and 2007 .

21 – At the time of writing, there have been 21 abandonments from the race – this includes Tony Martin, who withdrew after yesterday’s time trial.

8 – Eight of the 21 riders to have quit the race are Spanish: Mikel Astarloza, Amets Txurruka, defending King of the Mountains Samuel Sanchez and Gorka Verdugo (all Euskaltel-Euskadi), J J Rojas, Imanol Erviti and Jose Ivan Gutierrez (all Movistar) and frmer green jersey and three-time world champion Oscar Freire (Katusha).

Some data courtesy of Infostrada Sports.

VeloVoices will bring you previews of each day’s stage every morning, live coverage of every stage on Twitterreviews in the evening and in-depth analysis after selected stages.

Link: Tour de France official website