bbc.co.uk
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport Academy
GAMES CHAT PHOTOS QUIZ WIN
BBC Sport You are in: Other Sport: Cycling  

Homepage
Other Sport
Badminton
Boxing
Cycling
Gaelic Sports
Gymnastics
Judo
Olympic Sports
Paralympics
Rowing
Skateboarding
Snooker
Winter Sport



Latest Sports News
CBBC
Academy Parent

Get the newsletter
Beyond the clouds
Around the Academy:

The peloton climbs a steep mountain pass
The peloton climbs a steep mountain pass

While the flat stages can be fast and furious with dramatic sprint finishes the Tour de France is almost always won and lost in the mountains.

It is here, in the daunting peaks of the Alps and Pyrenees that a team leader with a chance of winning overall can gain time over his rivals.

On some stages the finish may be at the top of a mountain; on others the mountains are placed earlier in the route with a long, flat road to the finish.

Spanish rider Iban Mayo is a specialist climber
Iban Mayo steps on the gas

Some riders, like the late Marco Pantani who won the race in 1998, are expert climbers and try to gain time by breaking away in the high mountains.

The little Italian used his strength in the mountains to gain more time than he expected to lose in the time trials, which were his weakness.

Other Tour winners, like Spain's Miguel Indurain, who won an incredible five consecutive Tours from 1991-95, were strong time triallers.

He would limit his losses in the mountains, hoping to recover the time lost in the time trials.

Current Tour champion Lance Armstrong, who won a record-breaking sixth Tour in a row in 2004, is a talented all-rounder.

In the mountains the crowd can get really close to the riders
Breathtaking mountain scenery

He will expect to gain time over his rivals in both the time trials and the mountain stages.

Armstrong is renowned for his attention to detail in preparing for the Tour each year and focuses his entire season on winning this one race.

The American practises riding important climbs in the mountains many times over in the months leading up to the race.

This gives him a big advantage over his rivals.


Back to top



Introduction
Domestiques
Flat stages
Time trials
Mountain stages

Did you know?
Traditionally, at the mountain summit, spectators hand out newspapers for riders to put under their jerseys as insulation for the cold descents.


FROM THE BBC >>
:: BBC Sport's Tour coverage

INTERNET LINKS >>
:: Tour de France

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



^^ Back to top
© BBC Contact us | Help | About us Disclaimer
Football  |  Cricket  |  Tennis  |  Golf  |  Rugby Union  |  Rugby League  |  Athletics  |  Basketball  |  Swimming
Other Sport  |  In the Gym  |  Healthy Eating  |  Treatment Room  |  Your Blueprint  |  Learning Centre