Tour De France Rolls Into The Final Stretch This Weekend!
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Tour De France 2018
The 2018 Tour de France is the 105th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's three Grand Tours. The 3,351 km (2,082 mi) race started from Noirmoutier-en-llle, in the Vendee department, on 7 July and will finish with the Champs-Elysees stage in Paris, on 29 July. A total of 176 riders across 22 teams are participating in the 21-stage race. The Tour is the shortest of the millennium and will be the fifth time a tour has set out from the Vendee department.10 Facts About Tour De France
1. The 1st winner of the Tour De France was Maurice Garin in 1903.
2. Riders completing a stage may be eliminated if their time exceeds the time limit for the stage, the time limit is the winners time + 3-22% depending on stage difficulty.
3. France has the most Tour De France wins with 23, Belguim is 2nd with 10, and Spain and Italy are 3rd with 7.
4. Most wins is 5 held by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.
5. Race Leader wears a Yellow Jersery.
6. Average speed was 40.995 km/h in 2017.
7. Champs-Elysees, the race has finished on the famous BLVD in Paris since 1975.
8. 2017 winner was Chris Froome who has won 4 times , 2013 2015 2016 2017.
9. Teams this year in accordance with the UCI rules, 18 UCI World Teams are invited with 4 Wild Card participates.
10. The 106th Tour De France started the first 2 stages around the Belgian Capital.
2018 Recap So Far
Stage 1 was the Grand Depart won by tour newcomer Fernando Gaviria with Peter Sagan coming in second and Marcel Kittel in third. Sagan would win Stage 2 and would take over the Yellow Jersey. He would lose it on stage 3, the Team Time Trial, which was won by Team BMC whose riders Tejay van Garderen and Greg Van Avermaet became tied for the overall lead with Van Avermaet moving into the Yellow Jersey for the 2nd time in his career. Also,Soren Kragh Andersen took over the White Jersey standings. Stage 4 was dominated by Fernando Gaviria as he also earned maximum Green Jersey points making it look like a two way battle for the jersey between himself and Peter Sagan who would further extend his lead in the competition by winning Stage 5. Also in Stage 5, Toms Skujins stole the King of the Mountains points which gifted him the jersey. Skujins became the first rider from the country Latvia to ever wear the Polka Dot Jersey. Stage 6 was a sprint that Peter Sagan and John Degenkolb raced for, seeing as virtually all of the top sprinters finished close to 15 minutes behind the General Classification contenders. Team Sky, Team BMC, and Team Movistar controlled the peleton, where Geraint Thomas reeled in the final breakaway rider and won the three second time bonus sprint that put him back only three seconds behind Greg Van Avermaet in the General Classification. With only about a kilometer to go Dan Martin attacked and was able to stay away and win the stage one second ahead of the bulk of the General Classification contenders. Romain Bardet and Tom Dumoulin suffered mechanical issues late in the stage which made them lose time. Stage 7 was the longest stage. At the start of Stage 7, Greg Van Avermaet remained in the Yellow Jersey with Geraint Thomas in second at three seconds behind and Tejay van Garderen in third at five seconds back. The stage was won by Dylan Groenewegen. There were multiple crashes in the first week of the tour and after Stage 7, six riders had abandoned the race for various reasons including the promising young Belgian Tiesj Benoot, Luis Leon Sanchez,and the Green Jersey winner of the 2017 Tour de France Michael Matthews. This marked the end of the first week of the tour.
The second week of the tour began as Dylan Groenewegen won his second sprint stage in a row. Notably, Andre Greipel and Fernando Gaviria were penalized for headbutting each other and lost their placing and Green Jersey points. Dan Martin lost more than a minute after being involved in a crash during the stage. Greg Van Avermaet improved his lead in the general classification after earning a single second in the bonus sprint. Stage 9 was the cobblestone stage that was a bad day for numerous Sprinters and General Classification riders. Richie Porte abandoned after a crash for the second year in a row as Tejay van Garderen lost contact with the peloton after having punctures and crashing. Egan Bernal, Jakob Fuglsang, Chris Froome, and Mikel Landa crashed as did many other riders; many riders had flat tires as well, including Romain Bardet who got three of them. Meanwhile Yves Lampaert, John Degenkolb, and Greg Van Avermaet survived the carnage going on around them to escape the remaining peloton and cross the finish together with John Degenkolb winning his first TDF stage as Van Avermaet gained time as well as another time bonus to extend his lead and stay in the Yellow Jersey going into the high mountains. Stage 10 was won by Julian Alaphilippe after a large breakaway including Yellow Jersey holder Greg Van Avermaet successfully pulled away. Eventually, Alaphillipe attacked and won his first TDF stage while Van Avermaet retained his yellow jersey and extended his lead to two and a half minutes when many people thought he would not be holding it. Geraint Thomas won back-to-back stages 11 and 12 by pushing the breakaway riders until the very end. Tom Dumoulin and Chris Froome stayed together as they arise as the likely contenders in Paris. Peter Sagan won Stage 13 after coming out of nowhere while Alexander Kristoff and Arnaud Demare dueled it out. Stage 14 was a weird ending to a very rough week as Oumar Fraile of Astana came out of the breakaway and remarkably opened a 20 minute gap to the main peloton with the yellow jersey contenders. After the Alps, It was basically down to three riders in contention, Thomas, Froome, and Dumoulin. There were many withdrawals after the Alps after names like Marcel Kittel, Mark Cavendish, Rigoberto Uran, Fernando Gaviria, Dylan Groenewegen, and Andre Griepel withdrawing for multiple reasons. Vincenzo Nibali was forced to withdraw after fracturing a vertebrae in his back after being involved in an accident with a spectator. Smoke from flares and animosity towards Chris Froome were a factor and better security was called for by many people for the final week.
Stage 15, the start of the final week, was once again a breakaway victory. Magnus Cort Nielsen took Astana's second win in two days as there were no major changes in the overall. Stage 16 had a further incident when the police used tear gas against a protest by local farmers who had placed hay bales on the road. As the riders passed that point, there was still tear gas in the air. The race was neutralized for about 15 minutes because several riders had problems with their eyes and had to rinse them. After the restart, a large breakaway escaped and Philippe Gilbert, while in the lead on a descent, lost control of his bike and smashed into and over the wall. Later, Adam Yates, having taken the lead, fell on the final descent and handed the position and win to Julian Alaphilippe, giving Alaphilippe his second stage win of the tour.Final 3 Stages Locations
July 27th Lourdes to Laruns, 200.5 km, High Mountain
July 28th Saint Pee Sur Nivelle to Espelette, 31 km, Individual Time Trial
July 29th Houilles to Paris, 116 km, Flat Roads
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