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Posted on: 5th July 2015

Cycling in France

As I prepare for my own departure to the 2015 Tour de France, I like many sat up and watched the prologue.  The home fires burned late into the night as I watched the current generations suffer in the heat of what is going to be a great Tour de France.

Utrecht turned it on, just as Yorkshire did last year.  Record crowds turned out to start the 2015 version of Le Tour in record heat as the great French race spreads its wings to engage the continent in its race.  Controversy will follow the race and as usual has dogged the lead up to it, with all parties tossing in the turbulent sea of cycling politics and opinion.

Like many I have a view and an insight into the machinations of le Tour, the teams and the politics but once le Tour hits the road my eyes turn to the race and the antics of the administrators are quietened for just a bit.

Rohan Dennis, an awesome Aussie talent has joined the Maillot Jeaune club after convincingly winning the first stage.  At 13km it was a little too long to be a prologe making it a short, in fact a really short time-trial.  

I caught up with Rohan in Spain last year and he demonstrated a level of maturity found of riders far older.  He has the build of a GC rider and after a unique mid-season team transfer last year, slipped under the radar onto a team that has the resources to nurture him to future greatness.  A mishap in the TdU when setting up Cadel, a rush of blood and throwing caution to the wind Rohan took a stage win and the overall victory. Cadel had other plans but for me I was so excited to see a young rider take the risk.

BMC decided to place Rohan as their first rider down the ramp and according to form left their GC rider to last.  Rohan would have been targeting this short tt for some time. In a post race interview he was expecting a time in the high 15’ range and looking at the results this would have put him in 50th place on the day.  The BMC rider blitzed the packed circuit a minute quicker than his modest anticipated time. Rohan’s short lived hour record is testament to his talent and potential if he wants to develop into a Tour rider.  

The time gaps at the start of stage 2 are in the least interesting.  Back in the field, Nibali’s lead on his rivals bigger than most would have hoped.

Written by Phil Anderson

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