The 2015 season is now fully upon us, and with the three ‘big tours’ approaching, it’s hard to get excited and start to speculate winners, losers, underdogs and injuries. Maybe you’re going across to France to watch the peloton tackle the alpine climbs, heading over to Spain for a day roadside, or simply watching the sweat and grit from the comfort of your armchair, either way, it’s difficult to not thinking about imagining yourself as Contador on the climb or Sagan on the sprints.
Here’s a quick look at what sticks out as interesting from each tour’s got to offer this year, and what we’re looking forward to.
Giro d’Italia 2015 – six mountain finishes
This year’s Giro d’Italia will feature six high-mountain finishes, and what an entertaining watch that will be. If there’s nothing more superhuman than watching a pro cyclist climb up a horrendously steep mountainside for the best part of five hours, it’s watching them do it whilst ‘sprinting’ for the finish line. A good uphill finish can make even the strongest riders grimace and weaken, and it adds even more competitiveness to the ride. This year we’re being treated to six big mountain finishes, including Abetone, Aprica, Cervinia and Sestriere.
Tour de France 2015 – a Dutch depart
After last year’s Grand Depart in Yorkshire brought the continental glamour of le Tour to the UK, it’s hard to get as excited for this year’s start if you’re a UK resident. However, no country could be more deserving and suited to the Grand Depart than Tte Netherlands. Utrecht, the host city, is situated in the equally-named province, Utrecht, which lies in the centre of the Netherlands.
Utrecht is the combination of Dutch-old and European-new, with it’s quaint canals and modern train stations, it’s a city ready to see off the peloton. More importantly, Utrecht was voted the world’s third best cycling city in 2013 by Business Insider. The city’s cycling infrastructure means that Ultrecht experiences a healthy level of cycling day-in-day-out, making it a perfect match for this year’s first stage.
Vuelta a España 2015 – Team Colombia wildcards
Looking towards the end of summer, and at the Vuelta a España, the main excitement in the news at the minute is the introduction of ‘wildcard’ team Team Colombia.
Team Colombia have been edging in over the sidelines in recent years, and are starting to get noticed as a hungry set of Colombian riders making a name for themselves. Always sitting on the outskirts as outsiders, determined to make a name for themselves since their inauguration in 2012, this chance to compete alongside the best in the world in the Vuelta a España is paramount to their future success.
Claudio Corti, manager of Team Colombia, can’t quite believe the luck of the draw, saying ‘it’s a great day for us as a team, and we will be honoured to bring the Colombian flag at the start of the Vuelta a Espana.’ Corti then went on to say that after riding the Giro twice, Team Colombia will bring ‘three weeks of aggressive racing’ to their first Vuelta a España.
What are you looking forward to in this year’s tours?