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I guess all eras must come to an end.

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When did Chavanel change teams? When he went for an échappée at first I thought it must have been someone else because obviously Chavanel is in Cofidis Quickstep! Obviously! Obviously not... anymore. At least the tattoo still makes him easily recognisable.

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I guess the Patrouille de France has to make money somehow... even if it involves showing up at all kinds of non-aviation events.

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What's everyone waiting for? Oh, it's Bernie!

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*dreamy sigh* Marianne *more dreamy sighs*

(and, as you can see, the handing out of the prizes at the end of La Course was not even televised or shown on the big screens... oh, ASO, you and your clear preference for the boys.)

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I want to be buddies with Iris Slappendel. Or you know, the whole Rabobank Liv team. And the Wiggle Honda team. And all the other teams.

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This was the only time I've gotten to see Giorgia Bronzini from (kind of) up close and she is as tiny as she seems in most photos and videos. Alas she seemed a bit down beat, I guess she maybe had wanted to win this race... but I guess that's ok for her though because she won beautifully the Ride London race (if you haven't seen her on-board video from the final moments of that race, watch it!).

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A 98 kilometre criterium that's mostly on cobbles does involve different strategies than the final stage of a TdF, that's for sure. And the greatest thing about this race was that the peloton wasn't homogeneously made up of skinny people and I think that if more young girls could see that, they would definitely try road cycling - you do have to have some meat on your bones to have good power. And let me tell you, some of the legs in that peloton looked absolutely impressive and I would never ever want to be behind some of those girls when they accelerate because it must be hell trying to keep up or catch up to them when they put in a small acceleration.

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For those who have been living under a rock, you might have missed the fact that around this time last year a few women asked the Tour de France organisers if women couldn't also have their own proper TdF (not that the Route de France isn't a nice race, it's nowhere near the TdF and the organisers are not the same at all). Those "few women" included such people as Marianne Vos, Emma Pooley, Chrissie Wellington just to name a few, so you know, giants in endurance sports and extremely inspiring peeps. ASO didn't give women their own TdF but they did make a sort of gesture by organising a criterium, La Course by Le Tour de France, on the Champs-Elysées to take place before the boys finished their TdF. To be honest, I don't think they even attempted to really advertise the race to the general public, which is a shame, but hopefully they did understand that women are just as awesome on bikes as men and they can gather crowds. While, yes, quite a few peeps had no idea who any of those women were, plenty of others came just to see them - I was one of those, I avidly watched the women and when the guys came, well, that was just a bit "meh". Sadly, I don't think that France 2/3 even bothered to show much of the criterium live, if any at all!

Anywho, on to the photos - the warm up lap:

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What was that about Sundays being for washing one's car?

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Good to see some continental teams working well.

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I should really change the tape. (hashtag - things to ponder while waiting for the cyclists to come during the GP La Marseillaise).

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Some people wash their cars every Sunday and then go out for a ride. I go for rides and then wash my bike. The chain really needed cleaning though, I came back with the back of my right calf covered in grime because it seems every single little bit of dirt got on the chain.

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Ladies and gents, the art of warming up whatever is left at the bottom of bottles after a cold ride. It never gets old. Except that it doesn't really work these days.

Un tissue projeté en Italie? Si vous le dîtes… and I love how they write where everything was done except for where it was actually made. It's like my bike, it has "designed in the UK" written on the frame but you have to look really closely to see the "made in Vietnam".

October 19

Oct. 21st, 2013 09:00 am
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The main problem these days is that when it's not raining/snowing, it's actually quite lovely and warm(ish) up until the sun hides behind clouds and then temperatures drop like crazy! On Saturday it was one of those kinds of days - lovely sunshine to the point where even the 50km/h gusts of wind were tolerable but those clouds just kept on being threatening.

October 4

Oct. 18th, 2013 02:44 pm
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Hardwear. For people doing hard cycling. Or at least pretending to.

BTW, I still haven't shared that dream here. The other day I had a dream where I was at some race and helped Marianne Vos somehow with her bike and after she won I told her we should get married and she said we should. And then I woke up and never got the chance to marry a world champion. Heck, forget marriage, I would have settled for her just teaching her badass ways.

October 13

Oct. 17th, 2013 02:44 pm
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Last Sunday we were promised sunshine and temperatures up to 11C so I decided to have one last ride wearing shorts. Granted, those weren't my summer shorts but rather shorts that are made for colder weather (gotta love cycling gear manufacturers, they will make stuff for every eventuality). The starting time was far from my previous 7am starts - 8:39am.

To be honest, it might be pretty out there, but riding in current conditions is not quite as satisfying as when it's a nice 15-20C and very sunny. Heck, the number of rides I've gone on these last few weeks is amazingly low while the number of runs and long walks is increasing.

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Full disclosure: for about the last two weeks all the posts posted were actually written about two weeks ago and scheduled to spread out over time… because I know myself and I knew very well that there was no way in hell I was going to keep up with posting while being busy pretending being a tourist (oh, who are we kidding? There are just days when I don't feel like doing anything related to social media and that's why I make huge queues of posts whenever I do actually get inspiration).

All that to say that below you will see some of what happened last week. Namely apparently I'm pretty sure Wayne's Coffee in Norway has bigger "large" mugs than they do here (or maybe the table was smaller or my hand shrunk on that occasion). Oh, and fresh flowers in meh-level restaurant bathrooms? That's where they put all that oil money! I'm not kidding, fresh flowers. At first I was going to make fun of them for keeping fake flowers in water but then I touched and smelled them and they were real flowers. And finally - Eddy spotting! I didn't get to see him at this year's Tour de France because he hurt his shoulder before they came to Marseille, so I guess this makes up for it. But look at this! He's known in Norway, they put him on ads and all! I didn't actually think that a cyclist would have that level of fame there but it's Eddy The Boss after all. Maybe that explains all those Norwegian fans on the roads during races, they're proud of their local boys.

As you can imagine, for the next 1394873298472 weeks there will be photos of Oslo posted all the time. Mentally prepare yourself for that. But first there will be some other photos from stuff that happened before then… gotta keep that timeline somewhat normal.

March 2017

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