Tour de France 2011 — Week 1 Viewing Guide

Distance: 50.2 miles
Time: 2:24:27
Average Watts: 190 watts
Normative Power: 210 watts
Average Heart Rate: 148 bpm
Total Work: 1,642 kJ
Average Speed: 20.8 mph

I pounded out this ride Monday morning and it was a great way to set the tone for the week. I literally missed averaging 21.0 mph on this ride by 1:03, which gives me something to shoot for in a week or two when I do this same ride. According to the data, I averaged 20.1 mph on the out section and 21.7 mph on the way home. The good news is I did average 200 watts on the way home. I was pretty pumped by the end of this effort.

I think I am feeling 100% now. It took a while to get through the fog that my head cold caused. I would have liked to have taken some time off to recovery more quickly, but the reality is with a couple of races coming up so quickly, I needed the miles. The congestion was mainly in my head, so I rode. I did get in 200.3 miles last week, which I will take. I took a week off because of my trip and the cold, and I think I will still end up just under 800 miles for the month of June.

Tour de France 2011 Week 1 Viewing Guide

26.2ismycooldown.comThe Tour de France starts this Saturday and I would venture to guess that most of us here are pretty geeked up about the race. Let’s leave the debate regarding Contador and him starting the race to another day, but overall I think the race this year will come down to two people — Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck. While everyone who is covering the Tour de France (and trying to keep the ratings up) is saying this race is wide open, let’s not kid ourselves, this is a two man race for first place. Everyone else will be fighting for third place.

If this is your first time paying attention to the Tour de France, let me educate you. Week 1 is not where the Tour will be won or lost. As a matter of fact, in the first seven days of the 2011 Tour, there will be one very short Team Time Trial and then mostly flat stages. What you want to watch is the last 5 km of each stage to see the amazing teamwork that will be done by each team to get their sprinter up to the front of the peloton in position to sprint for the win. It is amazing how the sprinters work and the amount of power they push for the win.

Stages 1, 4, and possibly 6 should not be won by a sprinter because of the difficulty and some of the small climbs that are included in the stages at key moments. Those are the days you should see some amazing break aways that may or may not be reeled back in by the peloton. That means if you are watching to see the sprinters, make sure you watch the stages on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The Yellow Jersey will be up for grabs all week during Week 1. The real contenders for the yellow jersey more than likely will not be working to get into the yellow jersey, but more to keep contact with each other. The Green Jersey — the jersey awarded to the best sprinter — will be contested during the week. The safe bet will be to see Mark Cavendish in the Green Jersey by the end of the race, but this year I think it will be pretty close. I really am cheering for Thor Hushvod. I have to admit that I like his style.

Since there are very few classified climbs during this week, I won’t even talk about the Polka Dot Jersey that is awarded to the best climber. The really good mountain stages come at the end of Week 2 and you know I will be watching. Improving my climbing has been a goal of mine this year and it is really inspiring to watch the pure climbers just sit in the saddle and fly up a 10.0% climb at 10.0 mph.

Contest Announcement

Yep — it is about time I got another contest going. The contest will focus on my efforts related to the Huntsman’s Hometown Heroes program that is designed to raise funding for cancer research, and yes, it is a program put together by the family of Jon Huntsman, the guy running for President. The good thing is this contest will have two ways to qualify and will feature two prizes. One way will be to leave a comment on a current post or my page related to how cancer has made an impact on my family (read it here). The second qualifier will be for those who actually make a donation to the Hunstman’s Hometown Heroes program, even down to $1.00. The prize for each will be the same, so even if a donation is not in your budget, leaving your story and inspiring others can help you win some sweet stuff. I will more than likely announce either Friday of this week or Monday of next. Either way, check back both days to maximize your entries!

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...