BEER
04
Emotions
and behind the
scenes of
the Tour de France
↥ BEER, BIÈRE, CERVEZA

When it comes to the North of France and Belgium, where cycling is more than a religion during the Spring Classics, there is not only the paves of Roubaix which come to mind, we have to admit we also think about the finest beers. A couple of months ago Simon Gerrans – ORICA-GreenEDGE – sprinted to 3rd at the Amstel Gold Race; it proves that cycling is linked to beer.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

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For cyclists who like beer, there is no greater moment than sitting down after a long exhausting ride and enjoying one of the nicest recovery brews. There is plenty to choose from in the North of France but Belgium surely wins for diversity and eccentricity.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

 

↥ FIELDS OF BEER

Belgium’s breweries have gone in a nice direction in recent decades, mixing new ingredients and trying new methods to the point where each beer comes with a special glass whose particular shape is designed to ensure proper serving. These fields are always a good sign of the possibility of a decent beer culture in the respective country.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

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Whether it’s the open air “alembic” beer from Brussels or the fruity varieties from Flanders, there are over a thousand breweries in Belgium proudly resisting the global forces of consolidation and economies of scale.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

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↥ POST RIDE

You wouldn’t and shouldn’t put it in your water bottle during a ride but it’s more than ok after. It can hydrate, offers calories and is a decent source of silicon which can help to maintain healthy bones. In times past beer was consumed by cyclists but typically because local water fountains were risky, but many riders would down wine instead. Some were known to enjoy the taste of champagne in their “finish bottle”, it’s said the fizz and sugars gave them extra energy- just another excuse to sneak in a quick pint at the end of the day!

Photo: TDWSport.com

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↥ TRANSITION

What an interesting start we have had to the 101st edition of the Tour de France. Firstly, the tour had an unusual location- the UK. However, this unusual location could not have been better. The reception from the country and from the fans was absolutely magnificent. We’ve always known that the UK is crazy about cycling, and the first few days of the tour certainly cemented that notion. Millions of fans watched as the last of the first three stages finished in London where a huge mix of cultures joined forces to give the athletes one hell of a reception.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ FRANCE

After a logistical evening and short night’s rest for some of the guys behind the scenes, the Tour had reached France. In just a few hours, 22 teams and a bunch of organization vehicles had crossed the sea together and debarked into the North of France.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ LE GRAND DEPART 2.0

After a logistical evening and short night’s rest for some of the guys behind the scenes, the Tour had reached France. In just a few hours, 22 teams and a bunch of organization vehicles had crossed the sea together and debarked into the North of France.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

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Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ WEATHER

The show continues on the road and nothing will slow it down. The peloton over the next few days will face the erratic and oftentimes harsh weather that rushes in from the rough seas as the Tour picks up the pace. Wheelers and teammates will continue their work to protect their leader while few teams will keep the pace at the head of the peloton for another sprint finish.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ GERMAN

A lot of things have happened since the start in Leeds, from crashes to breakaways to more crashes and more breakaways once more, yet something seems to stay unchanged. A sprint finish is always lead by a few certain teams, and most of the time two of them are prominent in the last 3 kilometers. The game is done as soon the flame rouge is crossed and at this game, like in football, the Germans have been dominant. Hats off, Mr. Kittel.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ PARADOX

Something that is immediately noticeable is how slim and fit the cyclists are, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. To perform in the climbs where gravity is your biggest enemy the definitely need to be light, but they need to achieve a certain weight while retaining maximum power, a paradox of sorts.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

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