Tour de France: More Than Just a Race

The Tour de France is not just a bike race, it is a major cultural event that grips its audience the world over. Broadcast in 190 countries across the globe, it provides nail-biting viewing and the chance to witness supreme endurance athletes showcasing their extreme physical and mental strength.

This year’s course was 3,540 kilometres across Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and France: starting in Dusseldorf and ended in Paris, but having squeezed in a stage in the Pyrenees and sandwiched between two Alpine stages – all bookended by time trials. This race was not for the faint hearted.

The Tour de France is the world’s largest spectator sport event with expectations of 12 million spectators supporting riders along the route, even in the most remote of locations, the die-hard fans can be seen. With the now legendary caravan of advertisers heading the race throwing gifts, the spectators are almost as central to the race as the riders.

 

It’s a huge event, and to celebrate this annual carnival of extreme endurance, The Watch Gallery collated an infographic to showcase the evolution of the Tour: the record breaking 8 second margin between Greg LeMond and Laurent Fignon in 1989, to the 60kms of cables that are used to enable the broadcast of the race across the globe.

Whether you are a cyclist yourself, or an armchair warrior, the Tour de France has something to draw you in: the brutal gradients of the mountains, the speed of the flats, or even the numerous crashes that make you gasp. All of the riders have high levels of physical and mental prowess, but the only thing that delineates these hardcore athletes is the second hand on a watch – time is not on their side.

This is a paid advertorial for The Watch Gallery & Active.com

Where to catch OVO Energy Tour of Britain in Scotland

On Sunday 3 September, the streets of Scotland will be abuzz as 20 of the world’s top professional cycling teams take to the roads for the opening stage of the 2017 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, from Edinburgh to Kelso.

Among the top names already confirmed for the race are Team Sky duo Geraint Thomas and Michal Kwiatkowski, recently crowned European Champion Alexander Kristoff from Norway, World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin and multiple British Champion Alex Dowsett.

With just one week to go until the start of the 188-kilometre stage of Britain’s national Tour, we’ve compiled a list of the best vantage points to catch the world’s top riders in action in Scotland.

Stage One starts from outside St Giles Cathedral on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile at 10:30, with spectators advised to arrive for 9:00 as teams begin to arrive and sign-on, with each of the 20 world-class teams being presented to the crowd on the podium.

In addition to promo stands from Tour partners OVO Energy, Oakley and Dare2b all of the team vehicles will be parked on High Street and Cockburn Street ahead of the Grand Depart.

With Stage One using the same loop of roads in the city as the HSBC UK City Ride afterwards, the Meadows will be another great location to watch and see the action twice, especially if you’re riding in the freeride event afterwards.

Spectators are in for an amazing opening stage to this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain as they are treated to world-class racing set against the backdrop of some of Scotland’s most iconic and spectacular locations and countryside.

EventScotland is proud to be a long-term partner of the Tour of Britain and help bring the race back to Scotland each year to showcase what’s on offer to an international audience of cycling enthusiast. With more than 2000 miles of the National Cycle Network covering the country, Scotland truly is the perfect stage for cycling events.

Paul Bush OBE

Director of Events, VisitScotland

A further spectacular location, sure to feature prominently in the live television coverage on ITV4 is Duddington Low Road through Holyrood Park, with the famous backdrop of Arthur’s Seat.

The East Lothian towns and villages of Musselburgh, Cockenzie and Port Seton, Longniddry, Haddington and Pencaitland all lie on the opening kilometres of the route, while Gifford hosts the first intermediate Eisberg Sprint of the 2017 race at around 11:50, sponsored by leading alcohol free wine brand Eisberg, where riders will battle for points towards the Eisberg Sprints Jersey.

Shortly after riders tackle the first SKODA King of the Mountains climb of the race at Redstone Rigg in the Lammermuir Hills, with the race expected to reach the summit at around midday.

Fans in the Scottish Borders are spoilt for choice on where to watch, with the Tour racing through Duns (approximately 12:30) and Coldstream, where there will be another Eisberg Sprint (approximately 13:00) before passing through the centre of Kelso twice, at around 13:30 and again for the finish at approximately 15:20.

As well as a big screen showing the whole race live, Kelso will host the official promo zone with stands from Tour partners and a static bike challenge.

With the race taking in a 79-kilometre loop of the Scottish Borders, there is also the chance for fans to watch at one of the SKODA King of the Mountains climbs in the beautiful locations of Scott’s View (approximately 14:30) or above Melrose near the Eildon Hills (approximately 14:45). The latter comes just after the final Eisberg Sprint in Melrose High Street.

From the world famous city centre of Edinburgh, via the coast and moors of East Lothian to the beautiful views and towns of the Scottish Borders, Stage One has a bit of everything.

“With our partners we have planned a very spectator friendly route and look forward to cycling fans from across Scotland and the North of England turning out to cheer on and support the amazing field of riders we will have.

Mick Bennett

Race Director, OVO Energy Tour of Britain

For full details of Stage One, including timings, an interactive stage map and a downloadable stage map and profile please click here.

The HSBC UK City Ride takes place in Edinburgh on Sunday 3 September between 11:00 and 15:00 on a traffic free, 4.5-kilometre circuit at the heart of Edinburgh, based around the Meadows.  For more information and to register for your free place, please click here.

The OVO Energy Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step, taking place between Sunday 3 and Sunday 10 September 2017.

Stage One Sunday 3 September Edinburgh to Kelso 190km
Stage Two Monday 4 September Kielder Water & Forest Park to Blyth 211km
Stage Three Tuesday 5 September Normanby Hall Country Park to Scunthorpe 178km
Stage Four Wednesday 6 September Mansfield to Newark-on-Trent 165km
Stage Five Thursday 7 September The Tendring Stage Individual Time Trial 16km
Stage Six Friday 8 September Newmarket to Aldeburgh 187km
Stage Seven Saturday 9 September Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham 185km
Stage Eight Sunday 10 September Worcester to Cardiff 180km

Interview – Lizzy Banks at Ryedale GP 2017 – National Series Winner

Lizzy Banks of Storey Racing chats to Chris Maher of CyclingShorts.cc after taking the National Series Title.

Interview – Lizzy Banks at Ryedale GP 2017 – National Series Winner by Cycling Shorts

Lizzy Banks of Storey Racing chats to Chris Maher of CyclingShorts.cc after taking the National Series Title. All content ©www.cyclingshorts.cc | www.chrismaher.co.uk

 

Image ©CyclingShorts.cc | www.chrismaher.co.uk

Chris Maher

Chris Maher

Photographer & Writer

Based in the North East of England; photographer Chris Maher specialises in sports photography with his main interests in Cycling and Super Bikes. Chris has covered sports events from local and national level right up to the Olympics for CyclingShorts.cc.
Website: www.ChrisMaher.co.uk

Interview – Laura Massey Ryedale GP 2017 Winner

Laura Massey of Drops Cycling chats to Chris Maher of CyclingShorts.cc after her win at the 2017 Ryedale Grand Prix.

Interview – Laura Massey Rydale GP 2017 Winner by Cycling Shorts

Laura Massey of Drops Cycling chats to Chris Maher of CyclingShorts.cc after her win at the 2017 Ryedale Grand Prix.

Image ©CyclingShorts.cc | www.chrismaher.co.uk

Chris Maher

Chris Maher

Photographer & Writer

Based in the North East of England; photographer Chris Maher specialises in sports photography with his main interests in Cycling and Super Bikes. Chris has covered sports events from local and national level right up to the Olympics for CyclingShorts.cc.
Website: www.ChrisMaher.co.uk

Vente Privée Membership Invitation

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It’s an invitation only Members site, without an invite you cannot buy or receive notification of products, members enjoy privileged access to an exciting range of limited-time-only sales. They work closely with over 3000 premium brands across the globe and these special relationships mean they can offer heart-fluttering prices. But hurry, once the sale doors close, the products disappear… Some of the sporting brands they work with include: Santini, Oakley, Castelli, ASSOS, Kask, dhb, Adidas, Puma, GoPro, Garmin, UnoTec to name a few. They also have premium designer clothing, shoes, jewellery and household & furniture brands.

This is your official invite to join!

Katarzyna Niewiadoma wins the OVO Energy Women’s Tour 2017

The OVO Energy Women’s Tour concludes in central London on Sunday 11 June, with a 10-lap circuit race starting and finishing on Regent Street St James.  The 62-kilometre leg gets underway at 15:30 and is preceded by the Pink Ribbon Tour, a 25-kilometre ride for 800-women to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the pink ribbon, in aid of Breast Cancer Care, the Official Charity Partner of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
Jolien D’hoore sprinted to victory on the streets of London as Katarzyna Niewiadoma held onto the OVO Energy Green Jersey to claim the overall victory in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour as it finished at the heart of the capital.

The Polish National Champion won the opening stage in Northamptonshire, and has held the race lead ever since, finishing ahead of Luxembourg champion Christine Majerus and British Champion Hannah Barnes, who moved up to third overall thanks to bonus seconds on the final day.

I’m super happy. I think that’s the only word that can describe my feelings.

At our first team meeting we said that we wanted to have a good race and that we wanted to fight for a good result. We knew that the first day was good for a bunch sprint; our strong bullet for it was Marianne[Vos]. All of us had opportunities; we could do whatever we wanted if felt we could. In that moment when I attacked I saw a small hill in front of me. I tried, nobody followed – I wanted somebody to join me – but I had no choice but to keep pushing!

Katarzyna Niewadoma

Winner - OVO Energy Women's Tour 2017, WM3 Pro Cycling

In addition to her overall victory Niewiadoma also moved into the lead of the UCI Women’s WorldTour following the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, overtaking erstwhile leader Olympic Champion Anna van der Breggen.

Runner-up Christine Majerus took added the Eisberg Sprints Jersey to the Wiggle Points Jersey, clinching the former after her and three Boels Dolmans team took the race by storm in London, forcing an eight-rider group clear that contested both intermediate Eisberg Sprints, handing Majerus the jersey and Barnes third overall.

That also gave Hannah the Adnams Best British Rider Jersey, at the end of a week long battle with her younger sister Alice, and coming 18-months on from a prolonged injury lay-off with a broken leg.

It’s been a really hard week. Unfortunately we lost Ale [Alena Amialiusik] to a really bad crash on Stage Three so we only had five riders and yesterday’s stage was really hard, but it came back together, which helped us. I knew I pretty much had to win both intermediate sprints and place well in the sprint to finish on the podium today and I managed to do that.

I’ve been working really hard and this was one of the big targets of the year for me. I’m pleased I came into it strongly. The first day I didn’t feel great, it felt like it was going to be a really bad five days. But it helps that I can ride into a stage race and I think my training going into the race has paid off.

Hannah Barnes

Wiiner Best British Rider - OVO Women's Tour 2017

With an eye on the finish, Wiggle HIGH5 worked to bring the group back, reuniting the field with three laps to go and setting up a thrilling finish on Regent Street St James, with D’hoore heading home Barnes and Majerus.

Every time it’s a bunch sprint there’s pressure on me. I had to deal with it; I think I can handle the expectation pretty well. We also had Giorgia Bronzini there for us; at the end of the stage she said the team were going for me. It’s great to win.

The hammer went down from the start. We weren’t there in the move as a team so we had to chase it down. The girls did a lot of work, everybody was on their limit. Luckily we closed it down and it was up to me in the sprint.

Jolien D'hoore

Audrey Cordon-Ragot won the SKODA Queen of the Mountains climb while Team Sunweb took the Team Classification, with their rider Lucinda Brand claiming the week’s combativity prize.

Earlier in the day the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had joined Breast Cancer Care ambassador Denise Lewis to wave away the Pink Ribbon Tour, which saw over 800-women riding 25-kilometres to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Breast Cancer Care’s pink ribbon.

Interview – Katarzyna Niewiadoma – Winner of the 2017 Women’s Tour by Cycling Shorts

Katarzyna Niewiadoma of WM3 Pro Cycling – winner of the 2017 OVO Energy Women’s Tour 2017 chats to the assembled media. Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | www.cyclingshorts.cc

Interview – Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, the U23 Women’s World Tour Leader by Cycling Shorts

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig of Cervelo Bigla the UCI U23’s Women’s World Tour Leader chats to the press after the final stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour 2017. Image ©www.chrismaher.co.uk | www.cyclingshorts.cc

Highlights of the final stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in London are on ITV4 at 23:00 on Sunday 11 June, with a repeat the following morning on the same channel.  The highlights will also be available on demand via the ITV Hub catch-up service.

One week after the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, amateur cyclists will have the chance to ride sections of the Northamptonshire route in the Tour Ride, the official sportive of the race on Sunday 18 June.  Riders can take part in 40 or 80-mile routes, starting and finishing at Delapre Abbey in Northamptonshire, or tackle a fun, 10-mile Family Ride.  For more details visit www.tourride.co.uk

Stage 5 Results

Final Results OVO Energy Women's Tour 2017

Chris Maher

Chris Maher

Photographer & Writer

Based in the North East of England; photographer Chris Maher specialises in sports photography with his main interests in Cycling and Super Bikes. Chris has covered sports events from local and national level right up to the Olympics for CyclingShorts.cc.
Website: www.ChrisMaher.co.uk

Anna Magrath

Anna Magrath

Editor & Writer

Anna Magrath founded CyclingShorts.cc in 2008 and invited some of her cycling friends; coaches, photographers, writers and pro cyclists of different disciplines to join her, bringing you all things cycling related.

Over the years Anna has supported grass roots cycling events, riders and teams. Anna has a particular interest in Track, Road, womens cycling, recreational cycling and cycling related art. She has reported from the top cycle races on the world calendar including the Tour de France, Olympics, World Cups & World Championships.

Want to get involved? Why not get in touch.

CyclingShorts.cc are official sponsors of The Racing Chance Foundation, Team22 WRTTeam Jadan and cyclists Amy Gornall & Fraser Martin.

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