The Big Picture: VeloEye Marshall Kappel

You know how we like new cycling photographers – and here’s one now! Marshall Kappel, an American in Paris, has been a photographer for years yet has only recently combined his passion for cycling and imagery. I contacted him after seeing a few of his Vuelta images on Twitter and he kindly took the time to tell us a bit about his work – and of course to talk about his favourite photographs. (All photographs are ©Marshall Kappel, unless otherwise indicated.) Continue reading

Tour 2015 Tweets Special: Talkin’ all big and bad

Golly but the 2015 Tour de France route certainly has got everyone talking – and tweeting! From the cobbles in the first half of the Tour to the Galibier/Alpe d’Huez penultimate stage, last week’s presentation gave everyone plenty of food for thought. Including Marcel Kittel, Alberto Contador and, of course, Chris Froome. And you guys…

Presentation time!

The 2015 route was officially presented on Wednesday, 22 October. And this is what it looks like (in 3-D no less!).

The presentation itself had a mix of riders in attendance: Marcel Kittel, Thibaut Pinot, Jean-Christophe Peraud and, of course, the defending champion, Vincenzo Nibali. Sartorial comment: What the hell is going on in the wardrobe department for these guys? (More on that later.)

TdF presentation suits

His Nibs‘s reaction to the parcours or to Peraud’s outfit? Pinot averts his eyes. (I really need to find a nickname for Pinot)

TdF presentation Pinot

Is it just me or does Pinot look like Rufus Wainwright? Just me? Really?


Seriously, you can’t tell me there’s no resemblance. But I digress. No big TTs and a lot of climbing? Could we see a French winner this year? (Note to self: possible but unlikely)

TdF presentation Pinot reaction

While we’re on the subject of French riders, Christophe Riblon was on hand and can only have been pleased to see Alpe d’Huez featuring so prominently on the route. Another day to cover himself in glory?

TdF presentation Riblon

Okay, now we have to get to Peraud’s outfit. I’m kind of okay with the white shirt and tie combo with a Starsky-esque cardigan but the jeans … Oh, J-C, what? the? ….?

TdF presentation Peraud 2

NO, hey, I’ve got it! It’s like that rumour that anchormen don’t ever wear any trousers when they’re on TV because you’re only going to see their top half. That’s it! (I will refrain from discussing the hair.)

TdF presentation Peraud

The hair! THE HAIR! It can only be the ArgoSunGod, Marcel Kittel, with hair that audacious! And it looks like he might just sprint himself into the green jersey in the first week, what with some ginormous bonus points for those stage wins.

TdF presentation Kittel reaction

TdF presentation Kittel

Obviously, the organisers are not happy with the Velvet Samurai locking up the green due to his consistency, because the jersey is awarded for … um … consistency, not stage glory. Except now it seems it is awarded for stage glory.

TdF Route allocations

TdF Sagan

Good to see Cadel at the presentation. Freaked out about the hands, though.

TdF presentation Cadel hands

Sorry. This is the last picture of the ArgoSunGod. Couldn’t help myself.

TdF Kittel 1

The route itself

Very mixed reaction regarding the route. It’s all about the climbing, really. Which means some people love it (me) and some people, not so much. It will, however, be a difficult Tour – no sewing up the race with a good TT performance, no siree.

TdF Route reaction

There are also some pesky cobbles again this year!

TdF Route cobbles

TdF Route reaction 3

TdF Route reaction Michele

Baby Blackbird states the obvious.

TdF Contador reaction

TdF Reaction Contador

TdF Route OPQS climbers

I’m really intrigued as to what a guerrilla OPQS team would be. All in Che Guevara berets and camouflage, hiding in the crowd to jump out at the last minute and take the stage? If guerrillas are all about stealth and surprise, are they going to ditch Big Boonen and Little Cav (too conspicuous) or will they be used as a diversion? Enquiring minds want to know!

TdF OPQS guerrillas

One thing is for sure – EVERYONE is excited about the new Montvernier climb. Tight switchbacks one right after the other. Booking my days off work already to make sure I’m home and tweeting every single kilometre of that climb!

TdF Route Montvernier 2 TdF Route Montvernier 1

This is Nairo Quintana‘s #IAMEXCITE look.

TdF Quintana 1

This is Mickey Mouse‘s #IAMEXCITE look.

TdF Alpe d'Huez mickey

I would love to see Team MTN-Qhubeka on the Tour in 2015.

TdF Alpe d'Huez Qhubeka

And to finish this section off, Oleg is talking about eating elephants.

TdF Contador Oleg 1

A quick note about the Grand Depart. And to think I didn’t think the publicity caravan could get any crazier looking.

TdF Utrecht mascot Miffy

A little musical interlude. This is BonVoyage – the official song of Utrecht Grand Depart. As the mighty Robert Plant would sing, ooooooh, and it makes me wonder.

Hell no, I won’t go!

All of the above proved to be just a diversion from the main attraction of the day and that was Chris Froome‘s ‘Too many mountains, not enough TT, I won’t play!’ comments. Set. Twitter. Aflame.

TdF Froome tweet 9

Don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought Chris Froome didn’t like climbing. So he’s thinking of doing the Giro/ Vuelta instead. The Vuelta. Which is always about climbing. Even when it’s not.

TdF Froome tweet 2

TdF Froome tweet 3

TdF Froome tweet 4

TdF Froome tweet 5

TdF Froome tweet 6

TdF Froome tweet 7

Bluff being called.

TdF Froome quote 1

TdF Froome tweet 8

TdF Froome tweet 11

TdF Froome tweet 12

Wiping the sea spray from our eyes (that’s the salty Froome dog in the gigantic puffa jacket), we finally see the truth.

TdF Froome on a boat

Could Team Sky actually be getting this PR lark right, after all these years?

TdF Froome tweet reaction 1

The Gruppetto

Will we see these two at the Tour next year? The Sacred Haunches to try to nab the maillot jaune on the prologue and wear it for a week? That Boy Phinney to finally race his first Tour? Fingers crossed!

G Fabs in Japan G Taylor Phinney Richmond

I simply thought this picture was charming.

G cyclocross kiddie

The last word

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