Tour de France preview: Are you ready?

Six days from now 198 riders will take it in turn to set off around the short prologue course in the Belgian city of Liege to complete the first 6.4km of 3,497km of the best-attended annual sporting event on the planet, in search of a skin-tight yellow jersey. Have you got Yellow Fever yet? If not, here are a few videos to whet your appetite as the first instalment of our week of previews of the 2012 Tour de France.

The route

A quick visual fly-through of this year’s parcours:

2011 race recap

How the 2011 race was won – in three minutes. [The caption suggests these are highlights of the 2012 race – do they know something we don’t? – Ed]:

Cadel Evans

A fan tribute to Cadel Evans‘ historic yellow jersey, as he became the first rider from the southern hemisphere to win the Tour:

Cavendish wins the green jersey

HTC-Highroad’s Mark Cavendish (now with Sky, of course) finally clinches the green jersey by winning for the third consecutive year on the Champs Élysées. Here is the final kilometre and his post-stage interview with ITV:

As well as providing the first two videos above, the official letourdefrance YouTube channel also includes highlights of previous races (back to 2002), a look at the geography of key stages and an overview of the stage towns, with content in multiple languages. Well worth a look!

For the next best thing to be there, visit Cycling the Alps’ interactive stage-by-stage fly-throughs here.

Watch out for more in-depth previews of the 2012 Tour de France this week on VeloVoices, with full in-depth race coverage and analysis to come throughout the race.

Link: Tour de France official website

Giro d’Italia review: Round-table (part 2)

In part one of our post-Giro round-table, we looked back on out favourite riders and stages, and broadly agreed that it had been a great race contested in fine sporting spirit, with a worthy new champion. In the second instalment of our round-table, with the chablis by now flowing freely – although, given that this was the Giro, it should really have been a chianti or a barolo, now I think about it – we turned our attention to some of the more contentious issues of the race. Continue reading

Giro d’Italia review: Round-table (part 1)

An eventful, exciting and exhilirating Giro d’Italia left us with many talking points to chew over and discuss at VeloVoices Towers. Over a rather excellent bottle of chablis this evening, we’ve been taking a misty-eyed look back over the last three weeks of one of the most exciting races any of us can remember. Continue reading