Tour des Alpes

The Tour de France entered the Alps for three days of climbing, descending, and more climbing.

Quick Quiz: Please answer just one of these questions to give others a chance. No prizes, just for fun.

  1. Which cyclist was the first American to win a stage win on the Alpe d’Huez?
  2. What year did this American stage win happen?
  3. Where did this cyclist eventually place in the GC for the Tour de France that year?
  4. What team did he race for?

Hopefully, you’ve watched, heard and read the race reports for Stage 17. If not, this post contains minor spoilers.

Today’s 17th stage of the 2011 Tour de France finished in the old Italian fortress town of Pinerolo, with Thomas Voeckler retaining the yellow jersey (for now) as the contenders entered the Alps for three days of climbing and descending and more climbing before the race conclusion on Sunday at the Champe Zay La Zee in Paris.

Stage 17 highlights video.

Parallels between Cadel Evans and Lance Armstrong.

Which Schleck brother is Leopard-Trek’s team leader? Even Jens Voigt isn’t sure.

2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the Tour’s first alpine stage.

Pro cyclist Meredith Miller explains the role of the domestique.

Science of Sport: Risk taking and relative margins. This was written before today’s stage, and it’s interesting to note Voeckler’s unease on the mountainous descents today. Voeckler told reporters, “Mountain biking is not my specialty” after he ended up off of road when misjudging some turns.

In spite of snow, rain and general nastiness on Galibier earlier this week, Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme says Stage 19 will go on as scheduled and planned for Thursday. There’s a nearly 70 degree (F) temperature differential between the plains and mountaintops this week. The Col du Galibier mountain pass lies 8,678 feet above sea level.

Alpe d’ Wheeze on Friday!


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