|Introducing the teams|
Firstly, let me qualify my experience in this sport by saying that I know a bike has two wheels! And I can go about 2 miles on one! And there's where it ends lol That plus the fact that I'm usually giving out when herds of cyclists clutter up the roads on a Sunday morning - they're worse than tractors. But all is forgiven today :)
I have been glued to the television this evening as one of the 3 biggest cycling tours in the world started off in Northern Ireland and will be here until Sunday morning when it heads down to Dublin for the close of Stage 3.
So wherever you are in the world if you want to get a wee look around this place we'll be on tele for the next couple of days .... This footage will be shown in 176 countries!! And I have to say that the BBC coverage has been spectacular; Belfast looks gorgeous in pink , not an election poster in sight, nor a politically motivated flag, and for today at least the weather held up well. The only sad note was one of the 4 Irish riders had an accident and is out of the race.
But tomorrow, they head up the Antrim Coast and a nicer bit of scenery is not to be seen anywhere.
More details here courtesy of the Visit Belfast Blog
So, I've learned that:
- There are 22 teams, each with 9 riders.
- Each member of the team has a speciality - sprinting, endurance or mountain climbing.
- Each team has a leader that is protected by the rest of the group.
- The bikes are state of the art, high tech machines and the riders are super tuned athletes - one guy knew that his saddle was 1mm higher than it had been before!!
- The winning sprinter gets the red jersey
- And the winning mountain climber gets the blue jersey.
- An Irish guy, Stephen Roche, is one of only 2 riders in the history of the sport who won the Tour de France, the Giro and the World Cup in the same year - 27 years ago and his son is riding in this Giro and is one of the favourites to win.
I've been talking about getting the bike out for weeks now - our road is very dangerous here - no kerbs and it's very narrow and the young drivers treat it like a race track - but maybe I'll check it out over the weekend and see at least if the tyres need replacing... That'd be a start lol
How's your fitness? Do you cycle? or are you even fitter than that?