The Tour De France is awesome this year. Even in a sport riddled with doping accusations and apprehensions, it amazes me how in shape these guys are. For those of you that don’t understand that the Tour, here is a brief description of where we are now, and how it works.
There are 21 stages (individual races within the Tour) which we are already halfway through.
This is the 100th Anniversary of the Tour.
All riders are timed. The person with the fastest time overall wears the Yellow Jersey and at the end, the person with the fastest time overall wins the Tour and keeps the Yellow Jersey
The overall winner is the one that has the shortest time of all stages combined
There are 4 “Jersey’s” that are competed for
1. Yellow Jersey- Overall General Classification (GC)
2. Green Jersey- fastest sprinter
3. Polka Dot Jersey- fastest mountain climber (the one with the shortest times over mountain race points)
4. White Jersey- best “Rookie” or new rider (youngest)
There are also awards for winner of the day (stage) and overall fastest team.
People think that riding a bike is easy. It is, but not at the speeds these guys race at (up to 30 MPH in the Peloton which is the group of riders and sometimes as fast as 50-60 mph descending mountains) nor at the distances they ride (think about riding 70-100 miles everyday for a month with only 2 days off)
This is specificity at its best. These riders prepare all year for this race, some only compete in one of the Grand Tours, some compete in all of them. They have to have aerobic and muscular endurance, a high VO2 Max, power for climbing and sprinting, and strength plus stability to be able to ride in 1 position for the entire Tour.
During race season, its time to spend on the bike. But if we re-look at the Training Traingle we know that as a competition draws near you stop doing general training which should be done during the off season as well as between races (to a degree) so you can focus on sport specific training. This applies to all sport.
Just a little blurb, thanks for reading. If you need links to watch the Tour online, check out this site:
For more information on the Tour De France, check out Letour.com