Numbers and statistics from my 2015 Tour

Garmin readout after 21 Stages of Le Tour
Garmin readout after 21 Stages of Le Tour
My Strava distances for TdF
My Strava distances for TdF

Total saddle time – 134 hours

Total distance covered during my 21 stages – 3427km (2130 miles)

Calories consumed –  43883   (with no associated weight gain or loss)

Vertical ascent completed – 59,000 metres (equivalent of 6 and a bit ascents up Mt Everest)

Numbers of punctures or mechanical issues – Nil

Average speed for whole Tour – 25.2kph (that would have been enough to win the Tour de France in 1926).

Number of pedal revolutions – 643,200

Total amount raised for the William Wates Memorial Trust – £4062

Stage 21 – The Final Push to Paris

Day 21 stats

 

In Paris!
In Paris!

Saddle time for today – 2 hours 15 minutes

Saddle time cumulative – 134 hours

Total distance covered since start in Utrecht on 27 June – 3427km (2130 miles)

Wow, it’s all over and I have made it safely to Paris.  It was so lovely to be greeted by family and friends on my arrival into Paris.  There were 19 in total, which is a most impressive support team – thanks everyone.  An evening cruise, eating and drinking on the River Seine with some of my family and all my fellow cyclists was a lovely ending to a wonderful tour.

Peter and me at the end
Peter and me at the end
Me and the Untypical Athletes
Me and the Untypical Athletes
Reunited with my lovely daughter
Reunited with my lovely daughter
And reunited with my lovely wife
And reunited with my lovely wife

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3736.  Thank you to the following for the latest donations:  Mervyn Davidson, Aunty Gillian, Glen Batty and Katharine & Suria Perera.  If anyone else would like to increase this total amount raised so far, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

Stage 20 – summit finish on the iconic Alpe d’Huez

Day 20 stats

 

Xicon, the bike and me at the top of Alpe d'Huez
Xicon, the bike and me at the top of Alpe d’Huez

Saddle time for today – 4 hours and 55 minutes

Saddle time cumulative – 131 hours and 50 minutes

Actual distance covered to date – 3373km

Three weeks of riding and this was the last hurdle before the finish in Paris.  Only 110km, how hard can that be?  Well quite hard when you factor in 3 weeks of riding and then the infamous climbs of the Col de la Croix de Fer (this time from the other side) and the mighty Alpe d’Huez.

Many have climbed the famous Alpe d’Huez, but none as fast as Marco Pantani in 1997.  Helmetless, with that famous earring in place, Pantani exploded into action on the lower slopes at the end of Stage 13.  He took Jan Ullrich and Richard Virenque with him.  First Virenque cracked and then Ullrich.  Pantani took his second solo victory on the Alpe in three years.  Even with what we now know about this era, it remains visceral, thrilling viewing. It is worth a watch on YouTube, and the Italian commentary makes it even more atmospheric!

I actually really enjoyed the stage and am really pleased to have got this far safely and still feeling strong.  In fact, I even managed to do a sub 1 hour ascent of Alpe d’Huez (51 minutes actually) which is meant to be pretty good, especially when I consider that this is at the end of 3 weeks of riding and with more than 3000km in the legs.  So, yes, I am rather pleased with myself.

Burning some matches on Alpe d'Huez
Burning some matches on Alpe d’Huez

I was also rather pleased to see my old boss, from my seismic days, John O’Connor turn up to support me (or hurl abuse at me), from his van all the way up Alpe d’Huez.  Support from family and friends on the roadside really does make you ride faster – FACT!

John O'Connor (ex boss) and me at top of Alpe d'Huez
John O’Connor (ex boss) and me at top of Alpe d’Huez

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3586.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

Stage 19 of TdF – the penultimate Alpine Stage

Another beautiful day in the Alps.  Took in the Col du Chaussy, the Col de la Croix Fer (so up the Col du Glandon the way we came down yesterday, then hang a left up to the top of the summit), Col du Mollard and a summit finish in La Toussuire.  The road up to the finish is where Chris Froome put Bradley Wiggins in trouble on the 2012 edition of the Tour, when Wiggins was in the Yellow Jersey.

As always, rode with my buddies, Sylain and Peter.  They have been great company throughout the Tour and I very much value their friendship.  Just a shame that I let the team down riding a Litespeed as opposed to the Pinarellos that they both ride!  And my lack of Assos shorts probably upset them too!

So only 110km of Alpine roads left tomorrow and then a quick spin around Paris on Sunday and the job is done.

As always, a few random  summit shots of Xicon, the bike and anything else that caught my eye.

Xicon, the bike, on the Col du Mollard.
Xicon, the bike, on the Col du Mollard.
Xicon, the bike, on summit of Col de la Croix de Fer.
Xicon, the bike, on summit of Col de la Croix de Fer.
Random polka dot decorated bike in some Alpine village.
Random polka dot decorated bike in some Alpine village.

Statistics:

Ride time – 7 hours and 15 minutes for 143km

4300 metres of ascent

Total ride time since Utrecht – 126 hours and 55 minutes

Total distance covered so far – 3258km

Stage 18 – Gap to Saint Jean de Maurienne

Another big day in the Alps, with over 4000 metres of vertical ascent.  Took in the 22km climb of the Col du Glandon, which proved to be a great photo opportunity for Xicon, the bike.

Xicon, the bike, at the top of the Col du Glandon on Stage 18 of Le Tour
Xicon, the bike, at the top of the Col du Glandon on Stage 18 of Le Tour

Ride time today – 8 hours

Distance covered today – 190km with 4095 metres of vertical ascent (a big day).

Distance covered since start in Utrecht – 3115km

Total saddle time so far – 119 hours and 35 minutes.

Well that’s all for today.  Another couple of big days in the Alps to look forward to, then Paris and family reunion – I am uber excited about seeing my family again.

 

Stage 17 – Pra Loup finish

Day 17 stats

Col d'Allos and Pra Loup.
Col d’Allos and Pra Loup.

Saddle time for today – 6 hours 45 minutes

Total ascent – 3311 metres

Saddle time cumulative – 111 hours 30 minutes

This was Stage 5 of the Criterium Dauphine this year and the scene of the epic attack on the descent of Col d’Allos by Romain Bardet.  He took enough time out of peleton on his descent off the col to enable him to keep the chasing group at bay on the final ascent of Pra Loup and take the stage victory.  It was a super impressive display of talent and I wrote about it at the time.  If you want to have a look, click here.  I, however, didn’t come down the Col d’Allos as quickly.  I did enjoy the Col though, both up and down it.  It was also the highest point of this year’s Tour route.  Spectacular views all round.  We then headed up to the summit finish at Pra Loup, which is where Bernard Thevenet ended Eddy Merckx’s reign and took the Yellow Jersey.  This is a photo of the location where he rode away from Merckx in 1975.

On the road up to Pra Loup, the place where the Cannibal's reign came to an end.
On the road up to Pra Loup, the place where the Cannibal’s reign came to an end.
Xicon, the bike, on the Col d'Allos - the highest point of this year's Tour
Xicon, the bike, on the Col d’Allos – the highest point of this year’s Tour

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3586.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

Rest Day 2 (of 2) – Bastille Day

Rest day 2 stats

Saddle time for today – 0 minutes (unless you count 5 minutes riding around the car park checking over my bike post cleaning).

Saddle time cumulative – 104 hours and 45 minutes

So today is the final rest day in Gap.  Have completed my normal bike cleaning and other faff and am now taking it easy, reflecting on my Tour so far.  All has been good, I have been riding with a couple of lads of a similar standard to me and we have, most importantly, stayed safe so far.  It is good to cycle with wheels that you trust – it makes it a lot less stressful than riding in a big bunch of unknowns.

Looking ahead, we have four Alpine stages that I am really looking forward to, then Paris and family reunions, which I am most excited about.

Anyway, after last night’s supper I think that I might need to go and find some more food, a chicken leg, one potato and some courgettes, irrelevant how delicious it was, it not going to sustain me for 4 hard days in the Alps.

Fuel for the Alps?
Fuel for the Alps?

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3586.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

 

Stage 16 – To Gap

Day 16 stats

Not quite a mountain stage - but near enough.
Not quite a mountain stage – but near enough.

Saddle time for today – 7 hours 20 minutes

Saddle time cumulative -104 hours and  45 minutes

Today was the last transition stage and we are now in Gap in the foothills of the Alps.  Tomorrow is Rest Day 2, so it is a bit of a luxury lie in tomorrow morning, with a bit of bike cleaning and watching the Tour ride up Pierre St Martin slightly quicker than I did last week.

It was a pleasant ride with my ride buddies, Peter and Sylvain.  The smell of the lavender fields was very pleasant.  The roads were good and we had a couple of nice ascents and descents along the way to keep it interesting.

Me with the Alps in the background
Me with the Alps in the background
Xicon, the bike, with his Pinarello friends.
Xicon, the bike, with his Pinarello friends.
And me with my friends, Sylvain and Peter.
And me with my friends, Sylvain and Peter.

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3586.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

Stage 15 – Mende to Valence

Day 15 stats

Definitely a day for the sprinters.
Definitely a day for the sprinters.

Saddle time for today – 7 hours 20 minutes

Saddle time cumulative – 97 hours 25 minutes

Today was another hot transition stage towards the Alps.  Fairly uneventful until one of my two ride buddies got a bit too hot near the end of the stage.  I hope he recovers well this evening.  The road was pretty good, lots of Tourmac and some really enjoyable fast descents.

Titanium bikes rock!  Xicon with some friends.
Titanium bikes rock! Xicon with some friends.
Tiffy Laing and Jake French in identical kit and bikes - respect!
Tiffy Laing and Jake French in identical kit and bikes – respect!

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3586.  Thanks to Paul Campbell for the latest donation.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.

Stage 14 – Riding through the Gorges du Tarn

Day 14 stats

Another transition day!
Another transition day!

Saddle time for today – 7 hour 10 minutes

Saddle time cumulative – 90 hours

Total actual distance so far – 2371km

Today was another transition stage, through the beautiful Gorges du Tarn and under the very impressive Millau viaduct.  It was a warm one again, with a couple of cheeky climbs thrown in for good measure.  The final one to the finish line was a Cat 2, known as the Cote de la Croix Neuve outside Mende, which is only 3km long but averages out at 10%, so was quite a challange at the end of a long hot day.

Couple of photos of the Xicon, the bike along the way:

Xicon with Millau Viaduct in the background.
Xicon with Millau Viaduct in the background.
Xicon in the Gorges du Tarn.
Xicon in the Gorges du Tarn.

And some roundabout decoration.

Traditional Tour de France roundabout decoration.
Traditional Tour de France roundabout decoration.

I have also invented a new word.  Let me explain.  Basically, if the Tour is coming through your town or village, it seems to be an excuse to get the road resurfaced with silky smooth tarmac, which from hence forth, shall be known as TOURMAC.  As we are riding the route, we are treated to quite a lot of Tourmac each day.  I wish the Tour would come to Oxfordshire!

Amount raised for William Wates Memorial Trust so far:  £3566.  If you would like to increase this amount, please use this link to my charity page.  I will personally thank you in the next post.