More Tour De France, S’il Vous Plait!
2021 Tour De France Recap
The 2021 Tour de France concluded its 21st and final stage on July 18th. Racers of all ages, professional abilities, and strengths, showed up for the most epic grand tour cycling race starting on June 26th! It was an epic battle for the best bike racers in the world with dreams realized and dreams shattered. These riders know the meaning of hard work and displayed it over 21 days of racing throughout France. The Tour was filled with fireworks, excitement, disappointments, and never seen before wins! Racers now have an entire year to reflect, celebrate, nurse their wounds, and train for another great tour in 2022 while others are preparing for the Vuelta and the Olympics in Tokyo!
The Tour Carried On
The TDF was able to continue uninterrupted through the 2020 and 2021 COVID seasons even though France continues to struggle with the pandemic today. Testing, masks, and some social distancing were employed during the TDF. Outside of some restrictions, the cycling action was amazing with unfortunate crashes, blistering sprints, nauseating mountain climbs, and treacherous time trials. It was an amazing Tour de France.
Incredible Tour Results
The young riders of Tour De France shone this June and July taking hold of many stage wins with power, endurance, and sacrifice of comforts. The yellow jersey prevailed after staying in yellow for over half the tour while other riders fought and clawed for stage wins and sprint points! Amidst the youthful leg power breaking up the Peloton each day, Mark Cavendish, age 36, held his own winning the green jersey. Cavendish matched legend Eddie Merckx’s 33rd stage Tour de France win record and completed another amazing grand tour.
Bob Roll and the Commentators
The Tour de France is made famous not only by over 180+ aggressive riders but also by a board of commentators that talk you through the tour, the tactics, and the history of France. Each year the behind-the-scenes aspect of the TDF becomes more refined and offers more secrets to great racing, rider history, and play-by-play footage. Bob Roll is one of the commentators and is known for his knowledge of cycling and the riders, his witty responses, and his 3 appearances riding in the Tour de France. Bob Roll has a busy career in the world of cycling as a commentator, radio personality, and fan favorite. He is one of our favorites and truly makes the Tour what it is today, thanks, Bob!
The Gear, Products, and Spotlights of the Tour.
While the commentators are entertaining us, the Tour de France also spotlights every type of bike, clothing, sunglass, and shoe manufacturer that is noteworthy in the industry. If you are looking for the best of the best, see what the pros are wearing and what they are riding in the Tour de France. When it comes to feeding and fueling, every racer has his preference. One product that has been showing up consistently is the homemade rice cake bar. These were made popular by Dr. Lim. Give his recipe a try. These are a great snack for extended bouts of cycling. The Tour de France runs about 4 hours of racing a day at a level 10 effort. For reference, most of us train at a level 3 or 4. At the halfway point, riders have used up their breakfast and are ready for another ‘feed’ to get them to the finish.
What Makes a Successful Tour de France Rider?
Can the gear, coaching, food, and great looks make a great cyclist? Yes and no! Great coaching is important, but it takes a great athlete to be coached well! In the Tour de France, riders need talent, networking, power (in the form of wattage) to the pedals, and a winning mentality. Some riders have genetic advantages – they can produce power. Other riders have an incredible work ethic to become strong riders. Most training rides average around 160 miles a day, riders need dedication, patience, and if they are anything like me, a too dumb to quit mindset! One thing for sure is you cannot buy your way into the Tour de France. Riders must be able to ride a bike with the best in the world. We always joke that the last rider in the Tour is better than anyone we know! How could you become a competitor in your favorite sport or a TDF hopeful? It would start by talking to a coach about your goals. Are you willing to make the sacrifice to achieve those goals? If you have a genetic advantage or gift, like giant quadriceps or a strong work ethic, you can succeed.
My Career as an Athlete
In my 10-year racing career, I have had amazing years followed by terrible ones. My strength is consistency, which produces many great results. Having departed from a hobby of fishing 300 days a year, I started racing later in life and am not able to achieve a pro-level status in my sport of choice. Consistency has helped me to continually show up each year and race season-after-season. I race about 20 races a year and rarely miss one or show up late, but always compete as if it were the Tour de France. Consistency. I have beaten riders with preparation while other times I have been beaten by better genetics! I have learned you will never know your potential if you don’t test yourself. You can do this several ways: compare your own results year to year or race against people at your skill level. I would recommend testing yourself to get an understanding of where your ability is, and most importantly while having fun!
A Coach to Help
At Aspen Pro Fitness, we are here to help you achieve your goals! Let us shoot for pro-level dreams or to compete in a local 10k run; both are important. You can be sure most riders in the Tour de France started small. Like any profession, you must follow the pathway to success, add luck, hard work, and have a great attitude. After that, bring what you have to the start line, and let’s put that hard work into action with a sprinkle of discipline!
I’d love to connect with you to discuss your athletic options and to meet your desired goals either Tour de France or cycling to the Maroon Bells! Regardless if you’re peaking today or becoming older and stronger (like myself), Aspen Pro Fitness can help you achieve your goals!
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