Monday, 4 July 2016

Tour 2016....

The world's biggest annual sporting event is underway once again. The 103rd Tour de France started on Saturday.....and what a start for Mark Cavendish!

Between The Tour and the Rio Olympics Cav faces an intense summer - but he got off to the perfect start on stage one. Victory and the chance to wear the coveted yellow jersey for the first time in his long and illustrious career As the riders raced parallel to the vast strand of Utah Beach, Cav timed his sprint to perfection to leave arch rival Marcel Kittel trailing a bike length behind. Brilliant!

This year's Tour is a hard one - 56 categorized climbs, including the iconic Mont Ventoux and the Col de Tourmalet. Chris Froome returns to defend his yellow jersey and become the first rider in twenty years to win consecutive tours. But there's a long way to go (3,500km) and a host riders (Quintana, Pinot, Aru et al) eager to topple the Team Sky rider.

The final week should be exciting - stages 17, 18, 19 and 20 for anyone trying to make up time or increase their lead these will be deciding stages.

It's unlikely that we'll see Cav hauling himself up those slopes. By then his work will be done and he will be concentrating on an Olympic Gold. But that sprint on Saturday brings his total Tour stage wins to 27 - a record for a sprinter and third in the overall stage winners list.If he can sneak another before he drops out he will be level with Bernard Hinault. and only 6 behind the great Eddy Merckx who, naturally, sits at the top of the pile.

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