Category Archives: Grand Tour

Not a happy camper…Vale Pou Pou

Dear Rouleurs,

I’ve been neglecting this blog to the point of it also being defunct. The combination of juggling work, life, 2 kids and a crappy run with bronchitis and hayfever has reduced MMT’s output on the bike to a trickle in the last few weeks. This has been deeply frustrating hence the title of this blog.

However in the time since MMT’s last blog, besides a very interesting, weather impacted set of results in the World Championships in Yorkshire, only one important albeit sad event occurred. Vale Raymond Poulidor, cyclist and French folk hero, passed away on Nov. 13 in a hospital outside Limoges, France, aged 83.

Poulidor, who became universally known as the “eternal second,” was on the podium as a second- or third-place finisher for eight out of the 14 Tours he entered. Not only did he never win; he also never wore the Tour leader’s yellow jersey for even a single day, a feat achieved by numerous far less accomplished riders.

Anquetil and Poulidor going head to head on the Puy du Dome in the 1964 Tour de France

What some athletes might view as failure, however, only enhanced Poulidor’s status among French cycling fans, who have a soft spot for underdogs. For decades after Poulidor retired at the advanced age (for cyclists) of 41, “Poupoularité” remained strong. He became the unofficial patriarch of the Tour.

MMT’s favourite Poulidor story, was retold recently on the Rapha Cycling Podcast. Poulidor visited Jacques Anquetil, on his death bed back in 1987. Anquetil and Poulidor had bitter rivalry in the early 1960’s and had become good friends after both retired from professional cycling. Anquetil is said to have quipped to Poulidor, something like, ‘It looks like I’ve beaten you in this as well’. Somehow MMT thinks Poulidor wouldn’t have minded too much.

Hopefully MMT will resume proper cycling soon, in the mean time ride safe.

MMT

Football, Football, Football, oh the La Veulta and the Ashes…

Dear Rouleurs,

Honestly, MMT’s mind has not been on cycling, at all. No it has been thoroughly preoccupied with the trials and tribulations of his beloved AFL team, Richmond. MMT is still trying to figure out how his team won enough games to be in the final to begin with. At one point, 3 of the team’s best 5 players were out injured. Richmond’s 4 time All Australian fullback, Alex Rance, has been absent the entire season with a knee injury.

Friday night’s Preliminary Final against Geelong is looking like a doozy. The Cats have lost their main forward Tom Hawkins due to a silly suspension. Richmond have a full strength, excluding Rance and Sydney Stack and an in form list to choose from. Richmond’s VFL side is in the VFL Grand Final having beaten Port Melbourne in the Preliminary Final.

The one gloomy cloud on an other wise promising horizon, is that MMT, wasn’t paying attention when the Grand Final ticket ballot was on and missed the brief 2 hour window to register for the ballot. Bother!!! Any how this is the maths that is occupying MMT’s time – will Richmond get past Geelong and will it be Collingwood or the GWS Giants they meet in the Grand Final.

Oh yeah, MMT mention that Primoz Roglic (tell me that his doesn’t sound like brand name for meat smallgoods, MMT digresses!!) riding for Jumbo-Visma, became the first Slovenian to win one of cycling’s three Grand Tours, La Vuelta. Also the Aussie cricket retained the Ashes but its paper thin batting, poor fielding and dreadful use of the DRS system cost it the final test at the Oval. Mere footnotes in history, if Richmond wins the flag in 2019.

Until next time, Go Tiges

MMT

‘Chapeau’, Monsieur Bling !!!!

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Dear Rouleurs…Goddamit….

MMT’s mind is doing a mean impersonation of a cement mixer, rolling over and over the gunk of his employer’s latest corporate restructure. Worst still the wind has been blowing its proverbial’s off, providing shiver inducing head winds on MMT’s normal ride routes.  MMT is so sick of both these things.  So in amongst the hype of new ways of sacking people, ahem, the Tour de France concluded.

And what a race it was.  MMT can remember reading a book about the history of the TDF, where Henri Desgrange described his ideal TDF as a race where only one cyclist finished and was declared the winner.  Fortunately this year’s race didn’t come close to that apocalyptic standard.  However, of the 198 starters, only 167 finished.  The chaos of Stage 9 alone, resulted in 11 rouleurs either DNF or outside the time cut-off.

Chris Froome cemented his reputation of being the greatest drug free cyclist post world war II. But for MMT, the stand out performer was Australia’ s own Michael Matthews, the 2017 winner of the Green Jersey.  Rather have MMT wax on lyrically about, the man they call Bling here’s a plagiarised copy of what that great cycling tome, Melbourne’s Sun Herald had to say.

MMT can’t really improve that.  Except to say ‘chapeau’.

Until next time, ride safe

Marv

 

MMT’s Analysis of the TDF 2016 – Part 3: Chris Froome

 

Dear Rouleurs

This is MMT’s third instalment of highly irregular analysis of the TDF 2016.  This one focuses on the general classification winner, Team Sky’s Chris Froome.  So MMT’s take on Chris Froome’s third win focuses on aspects of his performance that cycling fans just wouldn’t have expected to see.  MMT believes the old adage of a picture being worth a thousand words and has picked out four images, carefully stolen from various reputable online publishers.

Chris Froome is clearly more flexible and just plain nuts that MMT had previously believed.

Chris Froome is clearly more flexible and just plain nuts that MMT had previously believed.

The first thing MMT never expected see Chris Froome do, was attack on the decent on stage 8.  Lets face it Mr Froome is a very tall and skinny man, who  looked fairly ungainly whilst wrapped around his bike whilst pedalling.  Rumour has it the the ASO picked out a number of down hill finishes to neutralise Froome’s attacks in the early mountain stages.  Clearly, that tactic didn’t work.

Chris Froome nearly beats Peter Sagan in a sprint..WTF??? :-)

Chris Froome nearly beats Peter Sagan in a sprint..WTF??? 🙂

The next thing that MMT never expected to see was Chris Froome attempting to out spirit the eventual green jersey winner Peter Sagan.  I reckon Peter Sagan got the shock of this life when he saw out of the corner of his eye, the lanky Brit in yellow on his six on Stage 11.  Apparently a spirit finish between the yellow ands green jersey holders has never happened before.

Chris Froome dragging his broken bike up Mont Ventoux, Stage 12.

Chris Froome dragging his broken bike up Mont Ventoux, Stage 12.

However, the biggest shock for cycling fans would have been the sight of Chris Froome running up Mont Ventoux in stage 12.

Chris Froome wins the Natourcriterium in Aalst, Belgium and receives a very big beer and a very silly hat.

Chris Froome wins the Natourcriterium in Aalst, Belgium and receives a very big beer and a very silly hat.

Finally, whilst not strictly related to the TDF 2016, Chris Froome winning the Natourcriterium in Aalst, Belgium less that 24 hours after the tour finished is pretty phenomenal.  Presumably, the Team Sky medical team must have told him to have a rest and some downtime.  What is remarkable is this ridiculously hat that the race organisers made him wear as part of the awards ceremony.  There you have it Chris Froome TDF 2016 Winner in four unexpected moments.

Now to balance out the reporting I should say a big ‘Chapeau’ to  Chloe Hosking of the Wiggle High 5 Team for winning the La Course 2016.

Chloe Hoskings crosses the finish line of La Course, much to her surprise, in first place.

Chloe Hoskings crosses the finish line of La Course, much to her surprise, in first place.

With multiple crashes and breakaways, the 89Km race came down to a bunch spirit with the Australian beating out some very big names.

  • 1. Chloe HOSKING, WIGGLE HIGH5, in 2:01:27
  • 2. Lotta LEPISTÖ, CBT, at :00
  • 3. Marianne VOS, RABOLIV WOMEN CYCLING TEAM, at :00
  • 4. Joelle NUMAINVILLE, CBT, at :00
  • 5. Roxane FOURNIER, POITOU-CHARENTES.FUTUROSCOPE.86, at :00
  • 6. Pascale JEULAND, POITOU-CHARENTES.FUTUROSCOPE.86, at :00
  • 7. Tiffany CROMWELL, CANYON SRAM RACING, at :00
  • 8. Joanne KIESANOWSKI, TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK, at :00
  • 9. Lotte KOPECKY, LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES, at :00
  • 10. Maria Giulia CONFALONIERI, LENSWORLD-ZANNATA, at :00
    Read more at

Until next time, ride safe

 

Marv