The first week of the three week Tour de France is on the record books now and we have settled into a familiar groove with a little excitement thrown in.
The race started out in Nice and due to wet weather and nerves among the riders, there were a lot of crashes taking out some contenders before the race got very far. The three lap format enabled riders the first chance to really to size up the competition and fans to begin picking their favorites.
The second stage started and returned back to Nice with a mountain stage in between. It is unusual to have climbing so early in the event. We got to see a favorite from last year attack, Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, which made for some thrilling racing and allowed him to capture his first yellow jersey of the year.
The next stages rotated from flats suited for the sprinters to mountain suited to the climbers. The first summit finish on stage 4 identified the likely contenders, but everyone has a different list of who that might be, so this just means that the race is currently wide open with no clear favorite. Of course, even when there is a strong team and a favorite, there is always the chance of a surprise result due to the risk of crashing, injury, illness, crosswinds, and weather--anything can happen in the Tour de France. Two more weeks of fun.
Earth Rider Blog about Cycling
Sharon Kaminecki and others comment on adventures in bicycling and other stories