Posted in Sports

Memories of the 100th Tour de France

I was so fortunate to receive an invitation from a friend to watch the arrival of the peloton of the 100th Tour de France in Paris on 21 July 2013.

Tour de France Paris arrival

I sat in the Tribune Présidentielle a few seats behind Eddy Merckx and Greg Lemond and savoured the festive atmosphere of the final day of the Tour which saw Chris Froome winning the Yellow Jersey and a young, relatively unknown Colombian rider named Nairo Alexander Quintana, the biggest surprise of the Tour, come in second to Froome and win the Polka Dot Jersey and the White Jersey. The weather was warm and pleasant which made for a perfect evening to watch the riders zoom up and down the Champs Elysees ten times.

tour de france peloton

There were thousands of people lining the Champs Elysees and another extra bonus — I got to ride in one of the cars that follow the riders!

Champs Elysees Tour de France

This is the first evening arrival on the Champs Elysees. During the awards ceremony, we were also treated to a spectacular light show projected upon the Arc de Triomphe. Because it was the 100th anniversary, the Tour officials had Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain, all winners of several Tours, appear as special guests on the podium with Froome. The team award went to Saxo Bank. Green Jersey winner was Peter Sagan (beating Mark Cavendish, the favourite).

tour de france team award

Tour de France yellow jersey

Finally I took home a lovely Tour de France 100th anniversary candle that smells divine. Its scent reminds me very much of Diptyque’s Figuier (Fig) candle. What a memorable day!

Tour de France candle

Posted in Sports, Travel

Tour de France 2013 in Corsica

corsica

The Tour de France is celebrating its 100th anniversary by starting in Corsica. It’s strange that the Tour never visited Corsica. It’s been to other countries but not to the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. Click on the photo to see a short video of the Tour de France riders winding their way through the stunning mountainous countryside in Stage 3 from Ajaccio to Calvi.

Posted in Sports

Andy and Frank Schleck terrorize Eindhoven in an old DAF car

Here’s a funny video of the Schleck brothers driving around Eindhoven, Netherlands (the home of Philips Electronics) in a DAF car, which was an automobile made in the Netherlands decades ago. They almost get arrested by the police and struggle with the primitive controls of the car.

Posted in Sports

Mark Cavendish wins green jersey in Tour de France 2011

Mark Cavendish Tour de France 2011 green jersey
Mark Cavendish wins final stage of Tour de France 2011 in Paris (photo: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish has won the green jersey in the Tour de France 2011. He also won the last stage in Paris. Read about why Cavendish is considered one of the greatest sprinters in the history of cycling.

This video clip shows the last 3 kilometers of the Tour de France 2011 in Paris.

Posted in Sports

Cadel Evans: Tour de France 2011 champion

Cadel Evans has won the 2011 Tour de France after beating Andy Schleck in the time trial stage one day before the peloton was scheduled to ride to Paris. The finish was quite dramatic because many people expected Andy to win this year. However, Cadel showed himself to be the more complete rider by doing well in the mountain stages AND the time trial.

Mark Cavendish, the best sprinter in cycling today, won the green jersey after also winning the final stage in Paris.

Altogether it was a very exciting Tour de France although the media was too obsessed by the rivalry between Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck. Andy complained about the downhill courses and Contador bragged about what he was going to do in the climbs. I just got sick and tired of these two guys blabbing about what they were going to do to the other.

Cadel Evans kept to himself, rode brilliantly, executed his plan and ended up with the yellow jersey. It’s better to shut up and ride.