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Winner Vicenzo Nibali pictured with his biggest competitor this race (no one).

If you’ve been on the blog at all in the past month, it's pretty clear we've followed this year’s Tour de France pretty closely. The race ended this past Sunday with Italian cyclist Vicenzo Nibali claiming the coveted maillot jaune.

In case you missed the last week of racing, here are the highlights from Stage 13 on. For coverage of this year’s Stages 1-12, check out our recap Getting Caught Up to Speed.

Stage 13

Nibali extends his overall lead to an impressive three minutes and 39 seconds in this climbing stage, taking over the polka dot jersey while he’s at it.

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This article is the second in a series on bicycle gearing. If you missed out on the first article, it’s highly recommended the series be read in order since this article will pick up in the middle of the discussion from last time; part one may be found here.

I'm reposting the bike diagram found in Part 1. The terms can be confusing and I'm hoping this will help put the post in context.

Last time I promised we would discuss chain ring sizing and close the loop on connecting the physics of gears with the practical application of gearing to a bicycle.

 

Paris - Champs-Élysées

We at SportTracks are thrilled to announce a new series of art to celebrate the Tour de France.  We will be releasing a new piece every week to showcase a different section of this tour.

Paris - Champs-Élysées is the last of the four-part series, covering the celebration surround the last ride before crossing the finish line, ending the 21-stage race.

The artist describes the piece:
 

For the final piece, I tried to pull a number of elements together, echoing the previous pieces: the crowds, cyclists, scenery and a bit of motion. I was hoping to give a feeling closeness by placing the viewer low, without being overwhelming, or feeling claustrophobic. I wanted to show off a bit of the city, too, and hopefully convey the excitement of the final stretch.
 

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They say power is nothing without control.  While I agree with that statement wholeheartedly, sometimes the trouble is effectively utilizing the power.

This article is the first in a discussion on gearing, with an emphasis on choosing the correct gearing for a specific riding application.  (See Part 2 here.)

Just like a time trial bike isn’t the most efficient bike for a training ride with a lot of climbing – the cassette and chainrings on a time trial bike would be out of place on a climbing bike– maybe you have the legs that it just doesn’t matter.  These articles will provide the information required to choose appropriate gearing for a specific application.

 


 Italian Vincenzo Nibali is a favorite for the 2014 Tour.

Bonjour, le SportTrackers! What a wild, surprise-filled ride the 2014 Tour de France has been thus far! We hope you have been enjoying following along as much as we have!

We had a great time researching and putting together our Beginner's Guide to Le Tour and all that juicy cycling information and knowledge left us thirsty for more! So we've put together a little follow-up post for you to elaborate on the layout of the course for The Tour, how it is put together, and what type of riders are expected to thrive on it.

Join us as we take a closer look at the format of the 2014 Tour de France and the strengths and strategies that are likely to win it.


Mark Cavendish' crash and exit in Stage 1 marked the beginning of  an intense and unpredictable tour.

The World Cup ended a week ago, you needed to decompress. We get it.

But now you're bored. And as much as you would love to take on the Tour de France as your next venture in sports viewing, it's too late in the race and too much has already happened.

That's where you're mistaken.  We're heading into the 13th stage of the total 21, and now is when things start to get really exciting. Really, it's the perfect time to start following the race if you aren't already. 

But because we don't like to leave you hanging, here's a quick refresher of the race so far to bring you up to speed.

Stage 1

  • Mark Cavendish, a favorite to win the entire tour, crashes and is out of the race.
  • Marcel Kittel claims the opening day yellow jersey for the second consecutive year.

 

The Mountains

We at SportTracks are thrilled to announce a new series of art to celebrate the Tour de France.  We will be releasing a new piece every week to showcase a different section of this tour.

The Mountains are the third of the four-part series.  This piece looks at the individualism of the climbing stages, where the team still plays a critical role in success, but climbers have an opportunity to push their limits and gain some precious minutes.

Editor’s Note: In the light of our ongoing Tour de France series, we asked blogger Alex Modestu to delve into the subject of fueling for and recovering from races, especially when one day’s recovery overlaps with preparation for subsequent day of long racing à la Le Tour.

Alex drew upon his own research and experiences with multipart races to give us the lowdown on race nutrition throughout each stage. Read his guide below.

"Hydration in the bottle, fuel in the pocket."

In the middle of spring semester of my sophomore year of college, I signed up for a nearby half-iron distance triathlon held the weekend after final exams. I managed to squeeze in a good bit of training between coursework and paid work, and felt prepared for a good performance going into race weekend.

Having never raced anything longer than an olympic distance triathlon or read anything about fueling for endurance competition, I was ignorant to the paramount importance of a solid race day nutrition plan for optimum performance.

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