PAVÉ
05
Emotions
and behind the
scenes of
the Tour de France
↥ TIME TO SHINE

During the Spring Classics, riders will firmly argue that Paris-Roubaix is the toughest and when speaking about a grand tour, they will all agree that the Tour de France is the pinnacle. Only a few of riders make the final selection for le Tour. If you don’t get the call, there is no second chance until the following year.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

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Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ RAISE THE BAR

Competitors always want to rise the proverbial bar, and when the Tour de France organizers planned out this edition’s route, they definitely thought to raise the bar as well. Combining the biggest stage race with a Paris-Roubaix section is an amazingly crazy idea. A stage which features cobbles, dirt, mud and most certainly some crashes- it will truly be one of the hardest stages on the Tour de France calendar.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

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Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

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With a finish in the well-known Arenberg that will make all of us shake, for the teams everything will have to be working perfectly. At the beginning of the Big Loop, GC contenders will want to avoid crashes while opportunists and ‘’baroudeurs’’ will want to take their shot at glory. There will be risk, and there will most certainly be reward.

Photo (and Title Image): Jered & Ashley Gruber

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↥ STORM

Your grandfather would have predicted. One look at the sky before stage four, seeing the wind moving the clouds towards Belgium, your grandfather would have known that stage 5 would be something special. The next day, his prediction was right. As is common in this area, the light clouds turned to black and the rain started to fall at the start in Ypres. Rain quickly turned into a storm, and quickly turned the already difficult Pavé into something sinister.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

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Photo: Kristof Ramon

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Pavés represent the hardest and toughest roads to ride on a bike even when dry. Can you imagine how the difficulty increases when these cobbles are masked by flooding? The image we have in our mind cannot tell the true story, it is not brutal enough. The actual image takes us to a place where no sane man wants to go.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ DECIMATION

This is a real decimation of the peloton- as soon the first sector arrives, Peter Sagan’s teammates push even harder to position themselves up front and to save them from unstoppable carnage. Christopher Froome, Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Andrew Talansky, Heinrich Haussler and dozens of others will hit the ground atleast once. They get back on the saddle, only for their respective Sport Directors to learn that several kilometers later, they have once again fallen.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

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Photo: Kristof Ramon

Quote of the day

“Survived the day without crashing and inside the time limit. Under the circumstances, that’s a win in my book.”

 

—Simon Gerrans
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Photo: Kristof Ramon

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We love the Spring Classics, we love the Tour de France and mixing both is the pinnacle of road cycling. The best, the most talented riders will make it through, will pass the weaker contingents, and will continuously put the pedal to the metal to gain precious seconds on their rivals. It goes without saying, but Stage 5 was one hell of a stage.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

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