The 101st Tour de France just completed it’s 8th Stage with a jam packed series of races in the upper regions of the French countryside known as the “Hell of the North.” Rain soaked roads, cobblestones and a few crashes have added to the drama as the sprinters battle it out and the fresh blood of the teams try for stage victories. There have been a few causalities along the way including top sprinter Mark Cavendish (Team OPQS) and last years winner British Rider Chris Froome (Team Sky) both abandoning due to injuries.
Le Tour is just heating up with the general classification of riders set to take off and battle it out for the yellow jersey and eventually the overall tour win.
Le Tour has a tradition of starting the race outside of France with outside cities bidding to host the event. This year race organizes picked England for the first three stages, starting in Yorkshire and ending in London. The reasoning was the recent success of British riders and to be able to compete with the viewers of the World Cup, knowing the UK would draw huge numbers of fans…and they were right,
Here is a video from the Grand Depart (first stage 7/5/14) highlighting the start.
(Due to embedding restrictions-view it here.
Of course real Yorkshire folk say the best way to ride the tour is to trade in those fancy clipless pedals, for clogs:
Following along with a sporting event of this magnitude can be daunting and also a bit boring, I mean not everyone has time to watch hundreds miles of live race coverage or wants to.
For a couple of years now I found it really fascinating to follow along the race using the social media, twitter. It’s an amazing way of combining news articles and sports updates with personal accounts of riders, fans and just about anyone else following along. It’s this great mash-up of information that adds all kinds of dimensions to the scope of an event like this.
For those interested in playing along, the official twitter feed for the Tour is @letour. I use the hastag #TDF and constantly type that into my search.
You can also make your own lists of individual twitter accounts you want to follow and go directly to those list. I made my own Tour de France and added in as many of the teams and riders that I could find.
I’ve included a cheat sheet of all of the 22 teams and 198 riders along with general managers. There is also some basic information about each team along with some fun facts.
9 riders per team for 198 participants
Tour Director: Thierry Gouvenou
ITV cycling @itvcycling