FANS
14
Emotions
and behind the
scenes of
the Tour de France
↥ ALPS

The Tour de France reaches the Alps, one of the two Largent mountain ranges in France alongside the Pyrenees. For supporters, this is where the Tour de France truly starts.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ SHIFT

The race can be won or lost during the climbs and summit finishes. This is also the occasion to see the riders at a bit slower pace, this is where the crowd starts to interact a bit more. Climbs allow the public to get a greater sense of what the athletes might be going through.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ TAGS

Writing riders names, phrases and messages along race routes, particularly on the mountain climbs, is a typical way for fans and supporters to show their support and to welcome the big race. Also, it is a mark that reminds people for weeks after the Tour that something special, something great came up this road and that they were part of it- part of the race, part of the show.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ HOP HOP HOP

The pavement beneath riders’ saddle is awash with chalk and paint: messages of encouragement in a plethora of languages. “Hop Hop Hop Johann”, “Je t’adore Sylvain!”, “Courage Simon.”

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ GHOSTS

Perhaps it is delirium, but we imagine the crowds pressing in, and find constant encouragement in the ghosts of their cheers, skin suits, painted faces and flags.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ DIDI

Every year, every mountain stage has its fair share of outstanding dress up and supporters but one of them is highly known for their cycling devotion, ‘’el Diablo’’ is his name. If such a thing as a school for supporters existed, he could very well be its headmaster. He has mastered the roads of the #tdf for the last 20 years and it is with the same enthusiasm that every year he gifts us with his jumps, shrieks and bouts of “cycling madness.” It aint a tour without Didi.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ SUPER

The world is either terribly safe, or terribly in danger based on this image.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ PART OF THE TOUR

As everyone can see on TV quite clearly, the road paintings are everywhere in the climbs and passes. A few days before the race, fans and spectators are spray-painting tags and items constantly on and along the roads. Once this part is over, it is time for them to get in costume. This is also part of the Tour de France, and it never disappoints.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ 
↥ TRAIN

The Tour de France is the pinnacle of road cycling, riders have to train at a serious level for years to reach their goal of being selected by their sport director to join the majesty of the Tour.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ DEDICATION

This requires complete dedication, a balanced diet, absolutely necessary recovery, more training, cramps, massages, more cramps and detailed daily control of progression.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ 

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ SUFFER

To compete at the highest level, cyclists’ bodies suffer quite a bit. In a world dominated by few words such as, weight, power and oxygen transmission, cyclists pay attention to each piece and every piece has to stand out from the crowd to help them perform at their best.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ 

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ 

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ POWER

The result is a body fat mass which balances between 4-5% while the maximum power output for sprinters reaches easily 1800W, an already similar to that of a decent motorcycle.

Photo: Jered & Ashley Gruber

↥ 

Photo: Kristof Ramon

↥ TANLINES

Legs are the mechanical part of the cyclist’s engine. Perfectly shaved to fit with the cycling tradition, they show the visible part of its owner shape, from the veins, the lack of fat and the really evident tan lines, they are a really good indicator of a cyclist’s form.

Photo: Kristof Ramon

Previous Stage:

13