You don’t have to be an avid cycling fan to be impressed with Tadej Pogačar’s incredible time trial on stage 20 of this year’s Tour de France. He bested the 2nd and 3rd place riders by a full minute, 1:21 better than 150 other riders. Absolutely unbelievable.
His countryman Primož Roglič (a heavy favorite for the overall weeks before the Tour) had nearly a minute on him in the yellow jersey, going into a long TT ending with a climbing finish on La Planche de Belles Filles.
The Tour is on its second rest day, 15 stages into a brutal 3 weeks of hills, mountains, and even challenging “easy days.”
I’ve followed the sport pretty closely over the past 6 years, but not too far into the business behind it. This article goes deep into the economics of the race. The organizer, ASO, doesn’t disclose financial numbers, so this was an interesting look at some estimates of the money generated by the race. Also some good insight into how team budgets and sponsorships work.
With this year’s Tour de France delayed (as of now, til late August), the guys from The Move have been going over some of the best stages from the US Postal years. It’s a cool format, sort of like a commentary track over the exciting parts of the climbs and pursuits.
I especially enjoy the commentary from Johan Bruyneel, who was the team director at the time. The insider commentary on strategy is neat — hard to appreciate as a TV viewer of cycling.
This year’s UCI season was demolished due to COVID-19 like most other sports. All of the big monuments, classics, and at least 1 Grand Tour (Giro) were postponed. Milan—San Remo, Dauphiné, Paris—Roubaix, and a bunch of others all happening in the fall, if at all this year.
Originally the Tour de France was in that bunch. It normally runs around the fourth of July and Bastille Day, but was pushed with the season nominally continuing in August. Now the UCI and race organizers decided to try something new, running the race in Zwift, a cycling fitness game with real tracks...
This week’s links are all interactive notebooks on Observable. Their Explore section always highlights interesting things people are creating. A great learning tool for playing with data and code to see how it works.
Easily the most impressive interactive notebook I’ve ever seen. This one from Tom shows the electromechanical pathways of the German Enigma machine at work — enter a character and see how the rotors and circuits encrypt text.
After a long ride today, I was looking at the stats on Strava and wondering how wattage calculations work to determine power. Strava has a built in estimate it uses for your power rating if you don’t have a power meter on your bike. From looking into it, their calculations look pretty sophisticated for estimating power pretty closely, unless you’re really riding in extreme conditions:
The power produced while riding is made up of several components:
Power produced to overcome the rolling resistance of forward motion.
Endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont is best known for his “around the world in 80 days” ride starting in Paris and crossing 3 continents in 78 days, putting him in the Guinness Book for the accomplishment.
A few years back he did this ride from Cairo to Cape Town across Africa — 41 days, 6,762 miles, 190K feet of climbing, 160 miles per day. To me it’s as stunning in itself as the around the world ride. Some of the shots in this video of him traversing the Sahara through Sudan...
This week I tried out commuting on the bike, like I posted about earlier this week. It’s a comfortable, nice ride with a dedicated bike lane the whole way from my house, a block away from the Island Loop through Shore Acres and Snell Isle. I haven’t done any rides to the office from the new place yet; it’s a decent morning workout of about 6 miles when connecting up to the North Bay Trail route downtown.
There were some crazy summer thunderstorms all week long. I had originally intended to work in a Tuesday / Thursday...
Lance Armstrong’s been doing THEMOVE podcast on the Tour for 3 years now, the first being the 2017 Tour when I spent so much time watching both the Tour itself and the podcast (then known as STAGES). On the show they do a stage-by-stage breakdown each day, with segments on the best rider of the stage, recap the days major changes, analyze the sprint finishes and mountain attacks, and make predictions on future team tactics. It’s a fun show, but also gives insight from two guys who rode in the Tour many times...
Roots of Progress has an interesting deep dive on why it took so long for a (relatively) simple invention of the bicycle, even in a time when the principles of a bicycle’s components were well understood for a long time. There’s an interesting inventory of potential hypotheses about why it took until the late 1800s.
Early iterations of human-powered transport looked like inventors trying to replicate the carriage, with devices that looked like “horseless carriages”, someone providing power, another person steering. The first breakthrough toward something that looked like a modern bicycle (at least in form factor) was from German...
Last weekend I got the bike back up and running again. It’s been out of commission in the garage since the move a few months ago. Just had to clean it up a bit and put some air in the tires and it’s good to go. I’ve got a budding plan to start commuting down to the office, thinking I’ll start with a target of doing that two times per week to start. It’s about a 6 mile ride each way, which wouldn’t take much longer than driving, but in the summer heat here it’s plenty to require a shower...
The Tour de France is on right now, reaching the first rest day after a wild first 10 stages of racing. Julian Alaphilippe (a Frenchman) is in the yellow jersey, who’s one of the great opportunists in the field, with a win at Milan-San Remo earlier this year.
The Tour is one of my favorite sporting events of the year. I’ve gotten familiar enough with the UCI Tour over the last 5 or 6 years that I enjoy all of the flavors of races — the big grand tours, the classics, and the world championship events.
The mountain stages of the Tour de France are some of my favorite events in sports. This edition of Places features a tribute to this year’s 18th stage, and one of my favorite climbs of the Alps: the Col du Galibier, a 2,600m HC beast with an epic descent on the other side.
Galibier was last climbed in the 2017 Tour, during an awesome Stage 17 when Primož Roglič won the day on a route that included famous...
I started following pro cycling closely about 5 years ago, but since it’s fairly hard to get access to on broadcasts, I only get to watch a handful of events each year. With the NBC Cycling Pass you get some big events, like the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, plus some other fun ones in the spring like Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Nice, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Last season while watching the Criterium du Dauphiné, it dawned on me one of the reasons I got...