My Picks: KoMs, Sprinters & Happy/Hot Canada Day

 Classic Cool: Richard Virenque comfortably poses with his record 7 KoMs jerseys.

King(s) of the Mountains...

MTN Qhubeka is the first African team to participate in Le Tour de France. I'm looking at this group of riders to win a stage and perhaps compete for the KoMs jersey. Two guys I'll be closely watching are climbers; Daniel Teklehaimanot, fresh from earning their first ever World Tour leaders jersey in the Dauphine and Louis Mentjes. 

Both riders are making their maiden voyage in Le Tour had strong performances in the Dauphine and look poised for the big stage. I'm hoping that climbing ace Mentjes can shine in the second part of the race in the high mountains and come out with a stage win and/or wear the KoMs jersey.

Climbing high!

Colombian cycling is known for it's depth of talented climbers and Trek's Julian Arredondo, winner of the KoMs 2014 Giro d'ltalia will be looking to win the polka dot jersey. 

At 5ft5", Arredondo is probably the smallest rider in this Tour. How small is his bike? Here's his winning 2014 Trek Madone...

The return of the Colombian escarabajos.


The sprinting crown has opened up, now that Marcel Kittel is out of Le Tour. I'm glad that Nacer Bouhanni is back and I'm wondering if he is fit enough to sprint against the likes of Cavendish, Greipel, Kristoff, Sagan and Coquard? 

Bouhanni's injuries from his fall in the French national road race looked certain his Tour hopes were gone. Maybe he has a trick up his sleeve...

Poised for the one-two or just making everyone guess his next move?

better times ahead?

Can Peter Sagan win the green jersey? My answer he'll win a stage and the green jersey. Now, winning a fourth green jersey will tie him with Sean Kelly but the main objective for Tinkoff Saxo is the yellow. A green jersey will be happy icing on their tumultuous cake. From his blog, Oleg Tinkov says about Sagan...

It was suggested that he wasn't happy and might leave team before the end of his contract. The truth is that we both have a contract that we have to respect but everything is possible. We'll see what happens after the Tour de France.  

Happy Canada Day!

Today is Hot Canada Day and I celebrated with my ride up Burnaby Mountain where the heat was working up to 30C. I started early at 8 AM in hopes of beating the heatwave, to no avail. Still it was a  fun ride. We're trying to endure living through a record heatwave and what better image to combat the hot weather riding...


MTN is not the first African Team to enter Le Tour; this is misinformation that keeps getting propagated.

The first African Team in Le Tour was in 1950, during the era of National & Regional Teams. The North African team had 6 riders from Algeria and Morocco. Granted, France considered these French districts/colonies at the time, but they were African nonetheless. North African team riders won 2 stages. A North Africa Team also competed in the 1951 & 1952 editions.
Richard said…
I stand corrected, thanks.
Sorry if I sounded critical. I really enjoy your blog and you do great work.

Ironically Cycling News published a full story about the 1950 team today.

The misinformation stems from MTN themselves; they state it, and no one seems to correct them. If they have been corrected, the are still sticking to their story, because it sounds good. Even ASO hasn't corrected this in the media.

What annoys me even more is that they are an "African team", but their notable riders are primarily not African. But they hold on to the African story...
Richard said…
Good points. Is MTN hinting that they are the first African registered team to take part in Le Tour?