The full route of the 2014 Tour de France was officially announced yesterday, with it being confirmed that the Grand Depart will leave Leeds and pass through the magnificent grounds of Harewood House and the Dare 2b Yorkshire Festival of Cycling.
Sep Vanmarcke finished in the top ten again today in the Tour de France’s stage seven to Nancy. From a small group of around 30, the Belgian Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM rider placed ninth behind winner Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
Race Report: On a day that saw Astana and the major players’ content to let the break go, we ended with a new Maillot Jaune, a shake-up in the overall, a popular German win and a new Toast of France! Bring on Bastille Day!
Race Report: With the pain of the cobbles still in the legs of the pelotón from yesterday, stage 6 of the Tour de France could have been a rest day. The wind and rain put any idea of an easy time out of the question as crashes again played their part in the excitement. In the end a different German won.
Race Report: On the day most of the riders were scared of, it was the Italian Champion and current Yellow Jersey who took the race by the scruff of the neck and blew the parcours apart. Atrocious weather, a favorite abandoned, riders gapped but the strongest man was Lars Boom (Belkin) who showed all of the other Classics specialists how to ride the cobbles in the wet.
Race Report: The first day back in France looked a little different; there was a lot less spectators at the side of the road than in England. But at the stage end, after a crazy fast last 20 kilometres, everything became familiar again as Marcel Kittel took his third stage win.
Race Report: With nine climbs and the final one coming just 5 kms before the finish it was always going to be a day of attrition. Vincenzo Nibali proved the wiliest though and the Shark of Messina outsmarted everyone to take the win and the jersey.
Race Report: In a race that’s been all about attacking, and attacking again it came down to a sprint finish in Paris. It almost didn’t though as Team Sky attempted to recover from their misfortunes but nothing was going to deny the big German and arguably best sprinter around, Marcel Kittel. From start to finish, he’s shown he’s the man to watch in the dash for the line.
Race Report: On a day when Vincenzo Nibali could have sat back and watched the others fight it out for the podium places, the ‘Shark of Messina’ rode away from everyone with 10 kilometres of the Hautacam still to climb. Behind the French jumped Valverde to push him off the podium.
Race Report: Today was designed to be raced hard … from the flag. We had escapes and counter attacks, an ever-changing picture. The one constant was the polka-dot vision Rafal Majka, always in the action and ultimately grabbing the glory for a second stage win at this 2014 Tour.
Race Report: Michael Rogers forced his way into the winning group and took it to the line. If that wasn’t exciting enough, the action behind saw the battle between the French riders take another step up with Bardet losing out, not only Pinot but also Peraud. Another day of action in France.
Race Report: Hell, it's a cruel sport sometimes. Bike racing really knows how to break your heart. It was a pretty routine stage, pretty flat after the Alps and with a rest day to follow. Today was not really a day for much to happen. We had a long dual escape, but the longer it went on … well, you just started to hope that the escapees would hang on.
Race Report: With three big climbs it was a surprise that a rider from the break would go all the way to the line for the win, but Rafal Majka did. It was no surprise that Vincenzo Nibali rode away from all the others for a fine second place and more time in the yellow jersey bank.
Race Report: Hot conditions in the Tour de France saw the roads melting and the riders doing much the same as ice bags were the order of the day. The main breaks were pulled in on the long slopes to the finish and a sprint was set up for the fast-men that were left for the battle. Good for Kristoff, bad for Sagan.
Race Report: With perfect timing the young French colt Tony Gallopin jumped away from the favourites on a crazy descent into the finish to hold off the pack. Peter Sagan was the big loser, the pressure was on him and he missed his chance. Another great day for the French.
Race report: Vincenzo Nibali seems to be taking a stance to win this Tour in a 'historic' manner. Strong on the cobbles and now stage wins in the Yorkshire Ardennes, the Vosges and the Alps. It was a display of controlled fury from the race leader as he nailed the day. Behind him the GC got a bit of a shake-up...
Roadside St.20: The 2014 Tour de France's only time trial was a long 54km last chance for riders hoping to climb or defend the gc positions. But getting there is half the fun, so PEZ spent the morning down in Bergerac checking out the latest tt rigs before heading onto the parcours.
Roadside St.21: Ed Hood’s 2014 Tour de France adventure comes to an end and as he makes his way into the centre of Paris, Ed gives us his thoughts on the riders and everything Tour. As always on the last stage there is time to take in all the sights and reflect on another Tour down.
Roadside Rest Day: A superb setting with top class food, wine, beer and more it was easy to see why our experienced Tour reporter Ed Hood headed to the OmegaPharma-Quickstep media gig in Carcassonne on the Tour's rest day. Mussels to eat and some tired muscled cyclists to interview were the menu of the day.
Roadside St.8: As an opener for the next three days in the Vosges mountains, I saddled up for a ride over stage 8’s final climbs to see how tough these slopes really are. And while the road might set the stage, it’s the fans who make the day…