Jul 16, 2022
Welcome to Episode #344 of the 303 Endurance Podcast. You are listening to your weekly connection to coaches, experts, and pro athletes to help you reach your endurance goals. We're your hosts coach Rich Soares and 303 Chief Bill Plock. Thanks for joining us for another week of endurance interviews and discussion.
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In Today's Show
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Thomas Pidcock, Ineos, Yellow
Kobe Gossens, Intermarche, Green
Antony Perez, Cofidis, Polka Dot
Thomas Pidcock, Ineos, White
Notables, Chris Froome, Tadej, Sepp
Jonas Vinnegard, Jumbo
Senior officials from the Tour de France organisation were seen dragging climate crisis protesters into a ditch during the 10th stage of the race from Morzine to Megève .
Despite being chained together around the neck, a small group of young protesters were dragged off the race route by tour officials. At around 36 kilometres from the finish, on a section of straight road, the protesters sat on the course and set off red flares. The stage breakaway and peloton were both halted until the road was cleared.
Climate activists from the Derniere Renovation movement said: “Since the government doesn’t care about the climate crisis, we need to come and take over the Tour de France to refocus attention on what matters for our survival. We need to make our government react as they lead us to the slaughterhouse.
“Non-violent disruption is our last chance to be heard and avoid the worst consequences of global warming,” the group said.
The Tour de France organisers, ASO, declined to comment on the protest. Commentating on the scene on an in-race motorbike, Sir Bradley Wiggins told Eurosport viewers: “It really was going off. It was quite crazy. A lot of people getting quite angry, some of the directeur sportifs got out the cars, stuck a boot in.”
The Derniere Renovation group was responsible for an interruption at the French Open tennis, when a protester jumped on to the court and tied herself to the net, wearing a T-shirt saying: “We have 1,028 days left”. In the Tour protest, they were seen wearing T-shirts stating: “We have 989 days left”.
The Tour has long been the target of protests but this took place against the backdrop of the race organisers pledging their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint. This year’s “road book”, the manual given to all those working on the race, states that the Tour is “resolutely committed to being an increasingly eco-responsible organisation.”
In 2020, during the pandemic Tour, the race was criticised by recently elected “green” mayors in some of France’s major cities. The mayor of Lyon, Gregory Doucet, described the Tour as “macho and polluting” and lacking an environmental conscience, and there have been multiple calls for the race to further reduce its carbon footprint.
The final outcome of the race itself was put into doubt when the race leader Tadej Pogacar’s UAE Emirates team were hit by two Covid‑19 positive tests, just 48 hours after all riders in the peloton were tested and declared free of the virus.
George Bennett, one of the defending champion’s key mountain support riders, and teammate Rafal Majka, both tested positive on Tuesday morning in Morzine. Bennett withdrew from the race while Majka was allowed to continue racing on the grounds that he was asymptomatic.
On Saturday another of Pogacar’s team, Vegard Stake Laengen, also tested positive and withdrew. The eight-man team with which Pogacar started in Copenhagen is now reduced to six, with Majka’s continuation uncertain.
“As per our internal protocols, Majka was tested for Covid-19 and returned a positive result this morning,” the UAE Emirates team said in a statement.
“He is asymptomatic and analysing his PCR, [we] found he had a very low risk of infectiousness, similar to the case of Bob Jungels [the AG2R Citroen rider who tested positive in Copenhagen] earlier in the race.” The Australian rider Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) also tested positive and was withdrawn from the race.
ASO moved to restrict media access to the team buses, or the paddock, saying that “only representatives of the UCI (jury, commissaires, anti-doping), the teams’ staff and the organisation’s personnel supervising the teams will have access to the paddock”. Access to the finish lines, for the media, remains unchanged.
Magnus Cort Nielsen of the EF Education-EasyPost team won the stage in a photo finish from Nicholas Schultz, a teammate to the absent Durbridge. Lennard Kämna, of Bora Hansgrohe, one of the day’s breakaways, moved to within 11 seconds of the race leader Pogacar but is expected to drop back in the next 48 hours, which includes summit finishes at Alpe d’Huez and the Col du Granon.
Stage 11 of the Tour de France was a big day for Jumbo-Visma, who claimed the race lead with Jonas Vingegaard, but the day was even bigger for one lucky spectator on the roadside of the Col du Granon.
Wout van Aert was coming back down the Col du Granon from the finish of stage 11 of the Tour de France after the podium ceremony for the points classification - which he leads by a huge margin - and had a slow leak in his tyre and no Jumbo-Visma mechanic in sight.
The Belgian stopped during the descent to his team bus and some cyclists quickly offered up a frame pump so Van Aert could add some air to his tubeless tyre.
In thanks, Van Aert gave one cyclist the green jersey off his back - literally telling him to unzip the back of the podium version of the green jersey and have it as a souvenir.
The moment was captured by Italian journalist and cyclist Michele Pelacci who is riding in the Alps with his brother and watching the Tour from the roadside. He works for a number of Italian media including the Alvento magazine and the official Giro d’Italia podcast called GIROglifici.
He admitted he wasn't quick enough to get Van Aert's green jersey but captured the moment and shared photographs on Twitter.
“My brother punctured and we stopped at the side of the road to change the inner tube. Guess who stopped after five minutes? Wout van Aert," Pelacci wrote on Twitter.
"I said: Hey Wout, there’s liquid coming out of your wheel. He looked at me stupidly and explained it was tubeless. He asked for a pump and an English guy offered him one. Wout told him: ‘You’re a hero’ and said: ‘I’ve got something for you, take the green jersey off my back, it’s yours’.
“What did I learn from it all? Be the first to pass a pump to Wout van Aert because in exchange he could give you a special souvenir.”
Pro cycling is unique in how close fans can get to the riders and spectators clamour for discarded bidons. But to receive such a valuable keepsake is hors-categorie.
'A brilliant day'
Van der Poel and Van Aert attacking during stage 11 of the Tour de France
Van der Poel and Van Aert attacking during stage 11 of the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)
Van Aert was likely in a generous mood because of his team's success on the day.
He attacked from kilometre zero, drawing out a breakaway and, after snatching some more points in the intermediate sprint, came back to help the team in its assault on race leader Tadej Pogačar.
Van Aert pulled Primož Roglič back to the yellow jersey group after the Slovenian had put in several stinging attacks, coming up and past the group like a high-speed train.
On the final climb, Vingegaard hardly needed his teammates as he leapt away with 4.5km to go to win the stage and snatch the race lead.
"It was a really big day, we prepared for this day - you could see we were all ready to give it a go and attack the yellow jersey," Van Aert said after the podium ceremony.
"It was not easy, I was in front ready to help Jonas and Primož toward the Granon, but apparently Tadej Pogačar could chase down the guys all the time. So at that moment, I thought it was going to be hard to do something. But I think because Laporte and I at the beginning of the stage we made him suffer already early on. That's why Jonas could break away on the final climb."
Van Aert's breakaway started with a familiar friend - fellow cyclocross racer Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) set aside their rivalry to help pull the breakaway clear only to be dropped on the first climb, the Lacets de Montvernier.
"The plan was to be in the breakaway and be the rider out front. That Mathieu was on my wheel was a nice surprise, it will be really cool pictures. We did a really fast first 30k, I really enjoyed it.
"Again I could take the points in the intermediate sprint, so a perfect day but especially for GC this was a brilliant day." For the fan who received his green jersey, it was undoubtedly an even more brilliant day.
What's New in the 303:
The Boulder Peak Triathlon was last Sunday. Raced with Lauren, her boyfriend Reed Henderson, Matt Emmet and Tom Beal. Also saw that Tim Hola was on the start list and talked to him for a while in transition. Tim won the 45-49 AG. He looks so fit and is racing Norseman on August 6th. Saw Sasha Underwood and Kirsten Smith. Kirsten passed me on the run heading up the first hill.
Presented by Skratch Labs in Boulder, CO and benefitting the World Bicycle Relief, on Thursday, August 11th starting at 5:30pm – The Everyday Elite Panel will feature four elite-level athletes. You’ll get to hear how they balance nutrition, performance, and their relationship between food and their bodies. Other topics will include balancing training and racing at optimal performance while listening to your body’s needs and how to rid yourself of diet culture. Panelists include 4x Obstable Racing World Champion and Attorney Amelia Boone, US Air Force Captain and Figure Universe Star Leah Meyer, 2020 Olympian and American Long Distance Runner Jake Riley, and Skratch Labs Co-Founder Dr. Allen Lim.
Price of admission is $25 ($15 for students) and includes a raffle ticket towards great prizes, heavy appetizers, and hard seltzer. Tickets can be purchased HERE.
Video of the Week:
Norseman Xtreme Triathlon 2022 starts in Eidfjord, Norway, on Saturday, 6 August 2022, at 05:00 am. Our friend Tim Hola is one of 290 athletes racing. He's going to join us after his race to tell us about the experience.
Norseman is a point to point race. It is 226km from the start to the finish. There are no shortcuts! You should plan on staying in or near Eidfjord up until race day and move camp to the Gausta during the race for your post race stay. The finisher ceremony will be held at Gaustablikk Høyfjellshotell.When planning your travel to and from the race keep in mind the following: The start is 150km from Bergen and 322km from Oslo Airport. While the finish is 367km from Bergen and 230km from Oslo. If you are flying in from abroad both Bergen end Oslo are good alternatives. Oslo will have more flights.For more information and links to very useful resources, go to www.nxtri.com/getting-here-staying-here
Mark Allen. 6x IRONMAN World Champion, GOAT, The Grip, ESPN Greatest Endurance Athlete of All Time, First Olympic Distance World Champion, USA Triathlon and Ironman Hall of Fames.
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Stay tuned, train informed, and enjoy the endurance journey!