What's Cool In Road Cycling

Tour Coach: Climbing, Climbing, Climbing

Insight St.20: Looking at the route of the 2009 Tour de France when it was released last fall, everyone involved in Lance Armstrong’s comeback knew that Mont Ventoux would be one of the race’s main battlegrounds. The Tour de France is always won by the strongest rider in the race, but with the configuration of the final week this year, it was clear that gaining climbing power was a top priority for Lance’s Tour preparation.

Tour de Pez: Un Jour Gйant

Roadside St.20: "Venus" by Shocking Blue blasts from the car hi-fi; the fountains in chilled Montelimar look wonderful under a perfect blue sky, it's not too hot at 22 degrees, there's a cool breeze - a perfect day for a bike race. But today isn't just any bike race; it's stage 20 of the 2009 Tour de France.

TdF’09 St.20: Garate: The Little Giant of Ventoux

Race Report: The Battle of Mont Ventoux is how you could describe the action of today on the “Giant of Provence”. Another classic mountain stage with all the action we had been waiting for since Monaco. The podium placings were at stake and everyone had to fight for their lives, top action!

Tour de Pez: Cav Spoils It For The Baroudeurs

Roadside St.19: "Baroudeur" according to my Collins French dictionary (in colour), there's no such word. The Baroudeur stages are those which are too tough to be called 'sprinter' stages but not tough enough to be called 'mountain' stages. They suit the hard men; riders who will plug away for hours under a baking sun or through the rain, with half a dozen kindred spirits for the chance of a stage win.

Tour Coach: And Now Entering the Ring…

Insight St.19: Nineteen down, two to go. And of the two stages remaining in the 2009 Tour de France, it’s tomorrow’s race to the top of Mont Ventoux that is likely to decide the composition of the final podium in Paris. Alberto Contador’s position in the yellow jersey is secure – barring incident or injury – but the second and third steps of the final podium are very much in play.

TdF’09 St.19: Cavendish Unstoppable

Race Report: With a little climb near the end anything was possible, but once the Columbia train brought their man into the final 5 k, it was never in doubt as Mark Cavendish delivered another convincing sprint win on this Stage 19, 178km jaunt. But it wasn’t all piano until then, read on!

Tour de Pez: A Day At The Races

Roadside St.18: One lap of beautiful Lac Annecy on a bicycle; a great couple of hours fun - or 50 minutes of pain? Today it's the latter: stage 18 of the 2009 Tour de France and a chance for Wiggins to claw back lost time; or will Alberto morph from Prince to King, today? Within the next few hours we'll know.

Tour de Pez: On Tyler’s Wheel

Roadside St.18: There are more than seven hours until Bert rolls down that ramp; it's 09:33 and first starter, Yauheni Hutarovich doesn't start 'til 11:10 but the fans are out in their thousands already. Lac d'Annecy - a near 20 kilometre long blue jewel ringed by jagged, grey mountains and the venue for the stage 18 time trial of the 2009 Tour.

Tour Coach: The Unique Case Of The Time Trial

Insight St.18: I had an interesting training partner this morning for a little jaunt around Annecy, none other than Lance Armstrong. I joined him on the bike as he pre-rode the Stage 18 time trial course and made some last-minute adjustments to his Yoshitomo Nara-painted time trial bike. It was good to see that he was relaxed and in a good mood; I take it as a good sign when he’s in the mood to give me grief about this or that.