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Why The Tour de France Is Easier Than You Think | GCN Show Ep. 339



– From somewhere out
there in Southern Oregon. – Welcome to the GCN Show. – Welcome to the GCN Show,
brought to you by Wiggle. – Coming up this week,
why the Tour de France might not be as a hard as you thought. – [Daniel] Controversial. We've also got a science
special in cycling shorts which of course I have let Oliver Bridgewood, PhD take charge of. And a brand new record
for cycling across Europe. (upbeat music) – This week in the world of cycling, we've learned that you should never, ever celebrate too early. – [Oliver] This is poor Lucy
Kennedy of Mitchelton-Scott on the verge of winning the
biggest race of her career in stage three of the Giro Rosa, only to be over taken by Vosta Boss with about a meter to go. – [Daniel] Ouch. We always learned this week, that you should never,
ever celebrate too early. This is poor Nadia Quagliotto celebrating, but she was beaten to the
line by fellow Italian, Natitia Borgazi the following day. – Oh man, you've gutted for (mumbles). – Yes totally, especially Quagliotto because that in fact, would
have been the first pro win of her entire career. Don't forget in fact that you
can catch daily highlights of the Guros over on our
brand new YouTube Channel GCN Racing. And in fact, also daily
highlights of the Tour de France. – [Oliver] And finally, this week we learn that the Tour de France is no where near as hard as it used to be. Hank teamed up with round
the world record holder, Mark Bowman. And together they road
the first ever stage of the Tour de France
all 467 kilometers of it from Paris to Leon. – And to make it authentic,
they did so on vintage bikes, didn't they? From that era without
any gears, a fixed wheel, brakes that didn't really work very well, and a saddle that Hank described as the worst thing he ever
had to sit on for 25 hours. – [Oliver] Well in respective
of that classic Hank-ism, I think fair play to him. I felt genuinely sorry
for him, like guilty even, that we would send him out there with such a hardened rider as Mark Bowman. Who himself said it was
by far the hardest ride he had ever done. Coming from Mark, that's
quite a big statement. – Yeah, it did sound brutal.
– Yeah. – And actually one thing
they couldn't replicate, of course, were the road
conditions from 1903 which was far inferior, I would say, far inferior to the modern day in 2019. So when you take that into
consideration as well, the fact that the winner
of that first ever stage, he went onto win the
overall, Maurice Garin, complete the 467 kilometers
in 18 hours is remarkable. Because that's a full 7 hours quicker than our very own heroes. – Yeah, well even more
remarkable is the fact that well Mark and Hank
didn't have to complete a 5 further stages after that as well. So, well back when Maurice Garin did it, the tour was 6 stages long over
a total of 2,428 kilometers. So a thousand kilometers shorter than what the guys are doing currently. But over 6 stages rather
than these sort of 21 stages this year, and it wasn't
actually until the 1940s that we started to get this
sort of 20-25 long stages that we typically have here. – Yeah, no that is true, admittedly that first ever tour
wasn't on consecutive days. They had a couple of rest days in between each of the stages, but nevertheless, it is absolutely brutal. And so from that very, very first edition of Tour de France has always
really been considered as the ultimate test of human endurance from a sporting point of view. But given how things are in a modern era, we are starting to question whether or not that's still the case. – [Oliver] No, we can't. And bare with me on this,
because I have the stress right, the upmost respect for any
rider that completes a modern– – [Daniel] Awe, thanks mate. It was nine years ago,
still fairly modern. – Even you.
(laughs) – [Oliver] Now, I think the
Tour de France is harder than ever to win right now. The level is to high, and the
margins are just so narrow. But I don't think it's the distance that makes it really hard. In the modern era, I think it's the speed that which they race. – [Daniel] I think I'd
agree with you on that one. For a few reasons, actually. The first of those reasons
is the fact that the racers, of course, had to adapt
to the 21st century, and therefore, TV audiences who wanted to be entertained as much
as the time as possible. And that seems to have
made the organizers shorten the stages reasonably significantly. Added to that, the fact that
the equipment is so much better now than it was in the early days. The roads are so much better. And, as you pointed out, the
level of the ride is so high and also so even spread across the teams, what that means that you can cruise along for massive numbers of kilometers
with barely any effort. – Is that what you did?
– Yes. Other parts of the race,
I was not cruising along, behind the pairs of them,
with a very high effort. – Sorry, I couldn't resist. I do genuinely have a
lot of respect for you. – Hey, you said that twice now. So much, I almost don't
believe you anymore. – Well I would've been even more impressed now if you completed
the Tour back in 1926. 'Cause back then, that
was the longest ever Tour, 5,745 kilometers were raced
that year over 17 stages. It was just under 4 weeks long, and the winner Lucien Buyesse, get this, he averaged 24 k/h. And so the race took him 238 hours. That's a lot isn't it? – That is a hell of a lot. – You see even more when you
compare it to last year's race, which Garret Thomas won. That was 3,400 kilometers long, but it only took him 83 hours. So he was only riding
for a third of the time. – [Daniel] Yeah, it's a
big difference isn't it? And to reiterate, we are
not taking anything away from the competitors at
this year's Tour de France. They are still at the peek of
human sporting performance, but we just don't think that they're a peek of human endurance. I mean every single competitor
in this year's race could, if they had to, do an extra 50, 100, maybe even more kilometers
every single day. But that's just not
what it's about anymore. As you pointed out, it's
about the small margins, it's about the high speeds, and frankly, that's the
way it's got to be now. Because if the leader of the
race is leading it by an hour, not many people are
going to watch it on TV. – No and I think if it
is the ultimate feat of human endurance that you're looking for then well, I think cycling
still has it in the form of ultra endurance racing. Which in many ways is
that sort of harking back to that old era of the Tour de France, but, you know, the routes of
that bit in the modern era. – [Daniel] Yes. – [Oliver] The bikes and
equipment are much better, but the distances are still the same. And also, the fact that these
rides are often self supported which mean, well for
me, the guys and girls that do them, such as Christof
Strava and Lael Wilcox, are the peek of human endurance. – Well they are. I don't think there's
much doubt about that, and professional cycling just
needs to accept that fact. They have no choice in pro cycling, but to be about excitement
and entertainment. And that might well mean
that grand tour stages continue to get shorter. And I have personally seen that
as necessarily a bad thing. What I do see often as a bad thing, is a 240 kilometer stage that's guaranteed to finish in a bunched
sprint, where two riders go up the road for 100 meters
and then nothing happens until 5 k's to go. – Yeah, I mean perhaps
the tour should relinquish some of the longer stages
and have more shorter stages that are potentially more exciting. Because you also get it on those mad sort of queen stage epics where there's five whole category climbs, and they just look ridiculous on paper. And as a result the
(mumbles) on just seems to neutralize the race. Yeah, crawl up the first few and then only really ride
hard on the last climb. – That said, we do
sometimes get some epics that are long and very hard. That we wouldn't have
Chris Froome's exploits in Tour de Italia last
year had it not been for the Colle delLe finestre. – [Oliver] Yeah forget what I said. – [Daniel] No I've also
in agreement with you. It's a tough one though. And of course, we'd love
to hear your thoughts on this very subject in
the comments section below. Both about how hard the Tour de France is, but also what you think about the shorter or the longer stages. Before we finish with this
part of the show though, you might remember that last week, we told you about a potential record for cycling across Europe. And I'm very pleased to announce that Ian Walker has achieved exactly that. He just finished riding
across 10 countries, totalling 6,350 kilometers
and it took him just 16 days, 20 hours, and 59 minutes. And that is an average distance per day of not far short of 400 kilometers. Congratulations to you Ian. – Fair played. (upbeat music) – It is time now for your
weekly GCN inspiration. All you need to do to be
in a chance to winning one of three Wiggle voucher amounts is either use Instagram
with the #gcninspiration or upload your best cycling
photos using the upload or link to which is in the description below. Third, we'll net you
50 pounds of vouchers. Second, will get you 75. And first place will get you 100 pounds. Do whatever you want with over
on the Wiggle online shop. We're getting so many entrees these days, it's taking us forever
to go through it all. But we've picked out our three favorites. – We have so in third place this week we have Drew who's taken
this beautiful picture which is in Montenegro. – [Daniel] I've never been there, but I really want to go over there now. It looks like a fantastic cycling area. – [Oliver] Yeah, I mean,
he took this picture while out for a ride while visiting, he rented what he described as a terrible high bridge rental. But, I mean it was worth it, wasn't it? – [Daniel] Well it
doesn't matter, does it, when you just want to
get out on your bike. And well worth it when
you end up with that view and 50 quid. Well done to you Drew. – Stunning. – Second place this week goes
to Guangan from Singapore, so sorry about that if it's that bad. Currently based in Seattle though. So he's beyond the highest paved road in Washington state mountains and the National Park
crews cleared the road at sunrise at 950 meters elevation. So that was on the
slopes, hold on a second, I just missed it, of Mount
Rainer or Rainier should I say? Well it's a very well
composed picture there, and a beautiful background, isn't it? – [Oliver] Yeah, nice. I love it when there's all
the snow in the background like that, even when it's
bright, clear blue sky. – [Daniel] I like the use
of a stick precarious, I would say, that is. Not many people would trust
themselves with sticks to prop a bike up with, so
well done to you, 75 pounds. – And this week's winner with 100 pounds in Wiggle vouchers is– (drum roll) – [Oliver] Elena who took
this beautiful picture in the Yosemite National
Park on her Look675, sorry. And wow, look at that. (both talking at once) – [Daniel] Right give it through there, because tri-athletes and
cyclists can be friends, for yes we would
completely agree with you, on that one. We do take the mick out
tri-athletes quite a lot, but it's all in jest, isn't it? We actually love Mark
and Heather and Fraser who are out there in the office right now. But very well done to you, Elena. A 100 pound voucher will
be winging its way to you. And don't forget, the rest of you, to enter ready for next week. (trumpet) – It's now time for cycling shorts. – Cycling shorts now,
and while Mark Cavendish may not be riding the
tour, he did get to ride with five year old, Evan
Luelan from Nottinghamshire. – This is a brilliant story, isn't it? The ride came about because
Evan's mum tweeted Cav and said look, it's all right, I still want to ride with you. And Cav then decided to
make the five year old boy's dream come true by actually
going out for a ride with him. I think even to his school and everything. – [Oliver] Yeah, brilliant. After the ride, Cavendish
tweeted thanks for the ride Evan, I couldn't bare to see you sad, and I knew a bike ride
would cheer us both up. – Brilliant, brilliant.
– Quite nice. I love that, yeah. – Right, time now for a dose of science. Dan, are you a big fan of
self-myofascial release? – Oh I love it. What is it? – Otherwise known as foam rolling. Truth be told, I probably
should do more of it, to be honest. Well thanks to new research,
I'm inspired to do it more. – I think juries been out
on this one for a while, but in this study that was published in the Journal of Sports Science and carried out by researchers
over at Salzburg University, they found that foam
rolling twice per week for twenty minutes at a time would improve your core strength and
your hamstring flexibility. In addition to the huge
benefit of recovering massage. – Yeah, it should be pointed out, it was a randomized control
study that was 8 weeks long and they found that there
were no detrimental impacts of foam rolling. So no excuse not to do it. – No, you might as well if you can find the motivation now, Oli. Incidentally, that's one
of my favorite journals. Been a good week already. – [Oliver] (mumbles) – [Daniel] Next, you're
going to be telling me that we got something from
the Journal of Exercise and Sports Science Reviews. – Well, funny you should say, Dan. Because an arts school
published in that very journal, has shown a direct
relationship between exercise and the microbiome which
is the bacterium microbes that inhabit your gut. Now they found that exercise
independently affects and alters the composition
and functional capacity of the microbiota with implications for disease and all round health. – Why's this important? Well he's almost just explained it there, but basically, healthy
microbes have a large impact on the overall health of your
body also body composition and not getting sick. – [Oliver] For example, a seminal paper by Turn Bow et al showed that
by taking the fecal matter or poo which contains gut
microbes from obese mice and transplanting that into non-obese mice caused rapid weight gain and
changes in body composition in those poor non-obese mice. – And it is also quite well
known that exercise has a positive benefit to mental
and neurological health. And it's quite plausible that much of that benefit of exercise
to your brain comes from the gut microbiota. It is now thought that
90% of the serotonin that is produced in your
body comes from the gut. – Yeah, meaning that the
gut talks to the brain, and well, this is really
interesting area of study because it means that we could potentially better understand the
benefits of exercise. And understanding that better will lead us to be able to work out
what is the optimum amount and duration and type
of exercise for health. And the take home message
from this study is that well your gut microbes can be altered by exercise independently of
what you eat and feed them. Interesting. – My gut sometimes talks to my brain just because I'm hungry. Sometimes out loud, actually. (tummy gurgles) – It does. (upbeat music) – We now have an absolutely
awesome give-away from our mates at Orbea,
they just released their 2020 models, and to celebrate this, they're giving away a bike. – [Daniel] Yeah and you want
to listen to how to enter this, because it's a top end bike of course. It's your opportunity to
win an Orbea Orca Arrow just like Hank is riding here. – [Oliver] Yeah, it's a fun
give-away to enter as well. Because all you have to do is
go over to Orbea's website. There's a link in the description below. And you can go on their
custom paint designer which is called myo and
design your own paint scheme. And then take a screenshot of that and submit it using the
uploader below in the category Orbea Orca Arrow Myo and
you'll be in with a chance. – [Daniel] Yeah, what
an opportunity this is? There's not going to be
a random winner, though. What we're going to do is
choose our five favorite designs then next week on GCN show
we're going to show them to all of you and it'll
be you lot that are voting for the winner. And whoever that winner is
will get their own design. I mean not just the design
on a piece of paper, the actual bike with their design on it. – Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. Do some good ones. – It is time now to talk about us. We're going to give a
quick plug to the GCN shop because we got some
special new fan kicks in. They're a nod to the country's
that host three grand tours each year, and the example
I've got here for you is the French one based on
a very similar T-shirt I've been wearing out at the
start of the Tour de France. (both talking at once) – It's got a classic
retro design, isn't it? But we've also got them
for Spain and for Italy. And along with the jerseys,
we've also got a casquette for each nation too. They're all available for pre-order over at shop.globalcyclingnetwork.com. – [Oliver] I like those. – [Daniel] And while we're
talking about ourselves, we've also got a need of our hour event. – Yes, there are still
a few places left on our Summer Cycling Holidays
to Avoriaz and Salbag. So if you want to come, well act fast. – [Daniel] Yeah, and if you
do come, please ride slow if you want to ride with me. And speaking of which, we're
also very pleased to announce that GCN Events has partnered up with Spokes Performance Coaching. They are going to give every guest a personalized training program
on the run up to the event, which apparently, I've
been told to say this, we guarantee if you beat me I
pull all of the local climbs. I'm not sure you necessarily need that in order to achieve that goal, but they have also said
they'll help you achieve your other cycling goals too. – Yeah, I'm proper excited. I'm going to the Salback one. I can't wait to ride
up the Gloss Glockner. (both talking at once) – Anyway, see you there. Yeah head to GCNevents.co, that's it, that's the address. – Yeah, gcnevents.co. – Yeah, and then we'll send
you training plan through once you've signed up. (drilling) – Hack, forward slash,
bodge of the week now. First up this time
around this one from Joan over in Ohio in the USA, while participating in the Great
Higher Basket Venture tool, I came upon this bike. Snacks for a crowd. – [Oliver] Yeah, massive,
massive container of Utz nuts on the front of the bike there. Also, some impressive lights. The lights thing is a bit of a hack. Well, also the highest arrow
bars I've ever seen in my life. And a saddle that looks like a hammock. Yeah, and also, I'll tell you what. I mean there's a few going on here. I mean using a guide rope
to hold the bike up as well. That's a hack, I would say. – [Daniel] I mean, you pretty
couldn't hang a backpack off many other saddles could you? But anyway, well lots of hacks and bodges I think going on in that photo. – [Oliver] What're we going for then? – Eh, what did we have last time? We said "hodge" didn't
we, when someone else said it could've been a "back." Anyway, moving on. This one came in from Daniel
in Chetter in the UK here. Wrapped up outside Legicenter,
had they come to spin class? Well, I think what's funny
on this submission is, he's very keen to put this is not my bike. Also, I think he's struggled
to ride up Chetter Gorge. (both talking at once) – [Daniel] I don't even know
how you steer that there. Look, it reminds me a
little of the bike I used through our Ebay challenge
a couple of years ago. Which was some kind of Schwim Cruiser which was impossible to ride up a hill, hence my running section. But that one looks even more hideous. – [Oliver] A bodge, a definite bodge. – [Daniel] Next we got George
who has a Canyon Inflight, his plastic top cap broke
because he was over tightened, and so, to fix it, he used a cleat washer from his Shimano shoes. There you go. I think that to get yourself
out of a tight situation, that's a good hack. – [Oliver] It is. Yeah, it's like some ingenuity. – [Daniel] Yeah, if you needed to do it. George from (mumbles) which
is not too far away from me. Quite a decent climb up through there. I think it's near where
hank went to school as well. Right, moving on. Sonja from Croatia, I need
you to tell me a certain hack or bodge, mate. My boyfriend made this
bottle holder out of wood. Now it would be a hack
because it saves money, these things are expensive. Yet it is made of wood and
doesn't look very elegant. So he's kind of complimenting him but also slagging him
off at the same time. And also we are traveling,
but we do wear socks. I swear. Please help. – [Oliver] Well it is
a very expensive bike. – [Daniel] It is an expensive bike, so I know that these bottle holders and things are expensive. But you kind of look
like you can afford them. – [Oliver] Yeah, based on your bike, I think whenever there's zip-ties and the potential of splinters involved, we're firmly in bodge territory. – [Daniel] Yeah, I would say
hack if it was an Oriel Racer, I reckon, but it's not. It's one of the top level Felt
Time Charge Triathlon bike so bodge. Sorry about that to
you and your boyfriend. Next up this from Skartit, an original Soren Nine Speed cassette. I want to upgrade to a full 105R7000 but Free Hub could only fit 10 speed. A little bit of grinding and a new 11 speed
cassette fitted perfectly. Impressive grinding, but I don't know. – [Oliver] Is that dangerous? – [Daniel] You'd know better than me. Could that potentially just fall to shit? – [Oliver] Sheer shit bits. – [Daniel] I mean if I sprinted on that, I wouldn't be too comfortable. Fortunately, if I sprinted on it, it would be absolutely fine. Why don't you at home decide
on the cassette hack or bodge. Let us know in the comments section below, and don't forget to get involve
ready for next week's show. The hashtag on social media
is gcnhack or of course, you can use the uploader. And you'll find a link to
that in the description below. (whoosh) – It's time for a new segment
where you get to ask us one of your training related
questions for the chance to win three months free subscription to Zwift. All you need to do is put on
in the comments section below or on social media, and use
the hashtag askgcntraining. The winner of that
subscription this week is Mark Hagen who tweeted with this question. Hi, I'm preparing Perry Brass Paris and doing a lot of high
volume zone 2 and 3, but Mark Bowmen recommended
working through the cadence in Heart Rate zones in ultra cycling. Can you recommend anything
specific for ultra events and frequency? Thanks, #askgcntraining. Well, in many ways, the
training for such an event as this is very simple, isn't it? It's all about volume. – Yeah and it sounds
like from your message that you have got this
base covered already and completing a good amount
of zone 2 and 3 riding. – Yeah, I think then
the first you need to do is make sure your bike position is dull from this point of view. You're going to spend a lot of time on it, both in training and the event itself. So make sure that you're in
a very comfortable position before you start doing
all this long training. Then once you are focused on the training, there's really two things
you want to focus on, riding at threshold and at
riding at tempo just below that. – Yeah, and increasing your
threshold has the effect of bringing up the level
of your easy riding as well and making you more powerful and faster at that intensity. So a good thing to do
would be 10 by 4 minutes where the 4 minutes are
just above your threshold and then have 90 seconds
recovery in between each one of those 4 minute intervals. – Yeah, and you should
find over a space of just a couple of months or
so that your power increases reasonably significantly over
those 4 minute intervals. And secondly, in order to train yourself for the long periods
that you need to sustain that tempo power, you
need to ride at exactly that zone basically. It is just below what you do at threshold. If you can set up cycling
a couple of rides per week, when you're doing a solid
one to even two hours at that solid consistency and tempo, that is going to be
very, very potent indeed. – [Oliver] Yeah, good luck
in such an epic event. It sounds awesome. – I think it'd have great
fun, might be type two fun. So post event– – Oh, tying into earlier
as well, Maurice Garin, the first winner of the Tour,
he also won Perry Brass Paris. – Did he indeed? Did he have a nickname too? – He did, le petit– – Oh you can't remember it now. That was good, wasn't it? Anyway, moving onto our favorite comment in the last 7 days of video. Underneath our highlights
of the first stage of the Tour de France over on GCN Racing, subscribe now, this
came in from ecycled3d. So happy you guys are doing this. Stellar! And nice job on the commentary Simon. Which I would echo, he was
bloody good over the first stage, but I've taken over now. So hopefully, we'll get a similar comment underneath the new ones. – Yeah, meanwhile,
underneath the coolest things that you see at the Grand
de Par video (mumbles). Yeah, bigstu says botting
tinnies while on camera? You shameless tart. – [Daniel] Hands up, yeah
I'm a shameless tart, but I got given a free can of bear and drank it immediately. So there. And finally underneath
Cyclers vs Footballer with Chris Opium, Ben
Foster, LifeOfPoddy wrote even Ben Foster thinks that
his job gets in the way of him being a full time cyclist. Absolute gold! Which is also a great video,
so if you haven't already watched that, make sure you do so. Right then, coming up on the channel over the next seven days. On Wednesday, we are going
to look at how to become, how to look like a Tour de France pro. On Thursday, we've got 10
things you wished you knew about cycling and there's
a CCC truck tour too. With Mr. Oliver Bridgewood PhD just here. And on Friday, we've got
another how to gravel. – Yeah, on Saturday we've
got old men can't jump. – [Daniel] Or can they? – [Oliver] On Sunday, you
want to tune in for this, because we have got a
hot new bike from Canyon. Can't tell you what it is. – Unfortunately not,
but stay tuned for that. Monday, of course, is the racing new show. We'll be wrapping up the
conclusion of the Guro Rosa and the first full week
of the Tour de France. And then Tuesday, we're back
on the set for the GCN show episode 340. (upbeat rock music) – Almost the end of the show now. You know what that means. It is extreme corner. And this week we are featuring
our very own dirty boy, Neil Donahew of GMBN Fame. Who has been rising rather
gnarly rocky trails, dude, over in Squamish. (rock music) – Not, not bad, not good as
some of the extreme corners. – Yeah not especially. – And Donney did request that
we put him into extreme corner this week, but I think
he might be nervous. There's a few big crashes
the last couple of years. He's getting older. – Well, we hope you've enjoyed the show. It's time for the end, so please subscribe if you haven't yet already to GCN. Also click the bell icon
so you get notifications every time we upload a video. And also, check out our
new channel GCN Racing by clicking down here where
we've got daily highlights from the Tour de France. It's been good so far. – Is that all you can say, it's been good? (both talking at once)

Yvette Parker

21 Comments

  1. How hard do you think the Tour de France is? What do you think makes it hard if the distance doesn't?

  2. Where's the flipping Uploader. Searched and searched but can't find it

  3. I'm trying to upload my entry of the Orbea Orca Aero competition, but the uploader tool doesn't seem to be working. I can't select a category (there is no category to select, drop down menu is empty), and I can't upload files. Please help!

  4. 7:00 "… guys that do them, such as Christoph Strasser" surely you misspoke and meant to say Kristoph Allegaert? Christoph Strasser is an incredible cyclist, with an almost unbelievable book of achievements, but for "solo unsupported" races like the Tans-Continental? Allegaert is the king.

  5. Mt. Rainier pronounced "Ray Near" haha. This coming from an American…we butcher foreign words all the time!

  6. I like the journals you read and you might consider quoting from the Journal of Excellence in Triathlon for Triathletes of Excellence. I can read that one in the coffee shop until closing time.

  7. Cycling must be one of the only competitive sports where people routinely start celebrating before they've beaten the opponents.

  8. Is it just me or is the up-loader not working?? Not getting anything in category and therefore will not progress any further.

  9. The detrimental effect of foam rollers is that they are the most painful of torture devices ever conceived for "health" purposes.

  10. Don’t accept the TdF is easier than I think, since I believe that it is very difficult for Cyclists able to ride any Pro race. Tell us your list of reasons pro riding is hard/easy.My list includes
    Travel for many days for many months each year
    Accommodations shared, sub luxury—sometimes barely acceptable
    Instant noise input 24-7-21days
    Little/no privacy from teammates, press, public
    Unknown weather-heat,rain, snow
    Danger of riding in crowd, road issues, unknown road hazards—crowds, potholes, etc
    Injury, chaffing, roadrash, saddle sores, stomach/food issues, colds/flu/illness
    Separation from family, food, own bed.

    Geez, I’m glad my riding is just fresh air, scenery, friend visits, a snack and a nap.

  11. You have both long and short stages. It is the mix of stage profiles that will enliven the race. The stage lengths they have now is not far off ideal . Adding various elements like cobbles and strada is welcome. One innovation is changing the order of stages. Why not a long cobbled stage the day before Paris? Or even a super long 300km hilly stage thru the Jura as a finale the day before Paris? It would be a all in effort. The winner needs to demonstrate the ability for endurance efforts as well as threshold. A stage race with sub 160 km stages only will over specify the effort profile required to win. Which does not preclude having stages as short as 60km in the mix as well.

  12. #askgcntraining
    Looking to buy a new bike for indoor training for rehab following chronic illness. Does it matter what bike I get? Do I need to spend more on a carbon bike like the Trek Emonda with 105 or better groupset or will a entry level Aluminium Domane with Claris be just as good? Thanks, Mick

  13. I am going cycling in the Brecon Beacons (Wales) for a week in mid-August with a couple of friends. I am a teacher with a hectic run in to the end of term at the moment so am only squeezing in the odd ride here and there but I will have 3 solid weeks of training once the summer hols arrive. What should my focus be? Long rides to build up my endurance for a whole week's cycling? Intervals to make quick fitness gains? Lots of hills to get used to the terrain? Should I taper in the 3rd week? Please help me avoid getting dropped on every climb! #askgcntraining

  14. I hope the comment about mice feces does not encourage people to start collecting sewer from pro cyclist’s homes

  15. Strava power meter data from some tour riders is not that impressive. Like 360 watts for 10 minutes climb. We do that in cat 3 races. Obviously that is not for a leading group on a climb near the last part of a stage, but it's still very human.

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