tour-de-france

Tour de France records and statistics

Longest tour de France Stage

Tour de France is regarded as the biggest cycling competition on the globe. The multi-stage bicycle races that comprise of 21 sections are the ultimate test of participants’ strength and stamina.

Since 1903 when Tour de France started, every new competition comes with challenges that make it more enthralling. In the ongoing race, the longest tour de france stage was section 19. The 2017 competition’s 19th stage was 222.5 kilometers (138 miles) starting from Embrun to Salon-de-Provence.

As the competition heads to the last stages, here are the five most important takes from the longest tour de France stage.

Boasson Hagen, at last, won the longest Stage

During the 7th and 16th stages, Hagen only managed a distant second. However, he left nothing to chance on the 19th stage and managed to finally get the victory for his group when he crossed the line in Salon-de-Provence.

The Norwegian team was wondering how to get a win in any of the stages and Hagen delivered it in the longest tour de France stage. Stage seven when Hagen almost hit the crossing line was rather ‘cruel’ as Marcel Kittel crossed the line only a pixel ahead.

He was this close! But in stage 19, he proved he can do it with an emphatic win that replicated his first win in a stage during the 2011 Tour de France competition.

Team Sky relaxed in stage 19 and focused more on remaining stages

A rider group of about 20 hit the road and edged fast ahead of others; they had moments to relax with no threat in sight. All that Team Sky wanted was trying to keep Froome from possible harm for the subsequent stage 20 in Marseille.

The Sky Team coach was at one point very disappointed when the gap between peloton and break started decreasing rapidly. “If we allow the gap to close and fall behind, the impact could affect the finale,” Portal Nicholas pointed.   

Michael Mathews easy win to Paris

The Team Sunweb’s Michael Mathews commenced the race and was determined to spoil Sagan Peter from getting a 6th consecutive jersey. But it is how Michael panned out that was unexpected.

To begin with, Sagan got disqualified after clashing with Cavendish Mark in the 4th stage. Then, Arnaud Demare of France dropped with illness while Marcel Kittel crashed out.

However, it would be incorrect to suggest that Sagan was happy for the easy stretch. Instead, he maintained consistency to Paris.

Thomas De Gendt efforts remarkable but still lags behind

Thomas efforts to get the best in the longest tour de France stage did not help him get the first position.

But he emerged third in the mountains classification. All along, the Belgian appeared to know exactly what he wanted; getting more points in the sprints and mountains categories.

Despite the remarkable achievement, Thomas sits 6th overall on points’ classification. This means that is likely to end the competition without winning any stage in 2017 highly tour de France competitions.

Corect Posture When Riding Your Bike

Getting the right bike riding posture is very crucial for balancing, speed, and safety. The rule of the thumb is that the knee must always get a slight bend even when the foot hits the bottom point of the pedal.

The position you take should not bring about the extra strain, pressure, or pain on any of the body parts. This post explains the right posture when riding your bike.

The position you take should not bring about the extra strain, pressure, or pain on any of the body parts. This post explains the right posture when riding your bike.

Benefits of getting the best riding position

Because people have varying heights, bikes are made with different sizes for legs, arms, torso and other parts of the body. Therefore, the best position for another person might not work for your situation. Maintaining the right riding position has the following benefits.

  • Brings extra comfort
  • Provides higher efficiency
  • Improves the rider’s bike handling
  • Helps to optimize on speed
  • Reduces orthopedic damage

The main things to consider when selecting the correct riding position include knee position, saddle height, hands position, foot position, and reach.

Cycling saddle height:

This is the distance from the saddle to the top of the bike’s seat. When the peddle is at the lowest point in a stroke, the leg should not be fully stretched. Rather, it should be bent at about 25 degrees. If the bend is less than 25 degrees, it means that the leg muscles are not stretching enough for the optimal force. Besides, if leg rocks back and forth on the saddle, the height is considered too high.

If the bend is less than 25 degrees, it means that the leg muscles are not stretching enough for the optimal force. Besides, if leg rocks back and forth on the saddle, the height is considered too high.

To get it right on saddle height, adjust it at 109% inside the leg. The additional 9% provides for the extra extension of the foot ball. However, make sure to factor the height of your cycling shoes.

Cycling knee position

This is the position of the knee in relation to bike pedal. To get this right, make sure to hold pedals in a level or horizontal position.

The straight/ plumb line starting from knee joint should be vertical above crankarm. If your knee is ahead of the pedal axle, you are likely to be forced out of position when riding at high speed.

The rider’s reach

The reach is the distance between brake levers and ride’s shoulders when in an upright position. The best position should allow the rider to sit at 45 degrees to the bike tube.

This can be adjusted by extending or reducing the handlebar stem. With the correct reach, a rider reduces strain on muscles and neck. Breathing is also less restricted for better performance.

The hand positions

Handlebars should be positioned a little lower in relation to the saddle top. Note that if the handlebars are too low, the bending can cause back pain. A slight bend on the elbow is crucial to help reduce shock on the road.

The shape of the handlebars provides three main positions; tops, hoods, and drops. If you are cycling for longer distances, consider using gloves and bar tape to help shift the hands.

The right pedal foot position

Shoe cleats adjustments determine the correct pedal foot posture. Your foot ball should be positioned on the top of the pedal spindle for extra efficiency and lowering risk of injury.

If you take a different position, the foot and entire leg can take an unnatural twist and raise the possibility of a knee injury.

The cleat should be adjusted further to ensure that the foot rests in line with the direction of forward motion.

The Difference between Road, Mountain and Hybrid Bikes

Many people looking forward to starting mountain racing or road racing have been asking about the best bikes to use.

The ideal bike you want to use on the road should depend on the nature of the road, terrain, time of the race, personal weight, and preference.

In this post, we differentiate between the three most important bikes that many have been confusing so much.

The Road Bike

The road bikes are light in weight and are specifically constructed to hit top speed and travel longer distances. The commonest characteristics of the road bikes are that they have handle bars, feature minimal saddle, and their tires are very skinny.

They can dash at lightning speed and not show sign of disability. Accordingly, they are not for the novices.

They are built for fastest possible handling, extra provision, and are best suited for experienced riders. Notably, the sleek outlook has been an attraction and many people including those in cities enjoy having them so much.

To get better controllability, the rider bends over the dropped handlebars. The centre of gravity shifts forward and with little force, it is easy to rush at top speed.

Note that the road bikes are not for scaling the nature trails. Rather, they are for well tarmacked or paved road for better controllability even at top speed,

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bike is designed for people who want to travel through rugged terrain and trails away from the tarmac.

Unlike the road bike that puts the rider in a front bending position, the mountain bike puts the rider in an upright position. This is important to better visibility of the adjacent terrain. To support this position, the bike has flat handle bars for better controllability.

To support this position, the bike has flat handle bars for better controllability.

For riders who have to scale a lot of hilly sections, then this is the bike to go for. You take an upright position so that you can work upright as the centre of gravity is maintained at the centre.

The body is very fat, tires extra big to take on shock, and others might have the actual shocks.  As you take a relaxed upright position, you will enjoy the extra comfort.

Hybrid Bikes

This is a combination of mountain and bike and road bike characteristics. The resultant is a bike that has wheels slimmer than those of a mountain bike but slightly broader than those of a road bike.

Notably, the hybrid comes fully loaded with the gear range like that of a mountain bike. Because of these mixed characteristics, a hybrid will handle road perfectly well and still give you the stability you anticipate when going uphill.

The hybrid can be referred to as a perfect model for average persons without extremes of road or mountain riding.

Road Bike Accessories for Winter Riding

When winter finally comes knocking, many people might think that it is time to pack and store the bikes.

However, you only need some tips on winter biking and a couple of accessories to make cycling enthralling. In this post, we look at the top road bike accessories that you require for winter riding.

Because you will be riding outside in the snowy, rainy, and chilly weather, the most important thing is keeping the body warm.

The right clothing should not necessarily be extra heavy but thick enough to keep you warm because the body will burn a lot of energy as you ride.

Other accessories will help you keep the bike safe, get a better grip on the road, and enjoy every minute on the road.

Base layer:

This is very important in keeping the body dry. A base layer designed from merino wool of synthetic wicking material will be okay.

Helmet:

The head, hands, and feet are usually more exposed compared to other parts of the body.

On the head, you should wear a helmet with a soft and comfortable inner lining made from wool or cotton.

You might also find it ideal to wear a scarf under the helmet for extra comfort and warmth.

Gloves:

The best gloves to wear in winter are cycling designs that provide grippy fingers and palms for extra controllability.

It is better to select waterproof gloves especially if it will be raining or you need to cycle through pools of water.

Cycling bag:

If you will be cycling several miles away, it is advisable to have a bag designed from waterproof material.

The bag should have the basic tools, spanners, pliers, greases, and others that you might require for light maintenance on the road.

Winter boots:

The best winter shoes should provide you with a perfect grip on the pedals and allow you to transfer all the force to the drive train. It is preferable to look for boots that reach above the ankle.

Besides, they should be waterproof, comfortable, and have a warm lining to keep your legs warm.

Bike lighting:

As winter advances, visibility will be poor as snow falls progressively. Getting appropriate lights on the front and back will illuminate the road and alert other road users of your presence.

You might also consider adding other LED lights on the cycling bag and forehead for more visibility.

Fenders:

As you rush through the snow and pools of water on the cycling paths. By fitting fenders some inches on the front and full length on the real, you can ride more comfortably through trails or even tarmac.

Remember that fenders do not need to be expensive; you only have to get the standard design and have then fitted well.