‘Make Chances’ or ‘Take Chances’ : Press Release

‘Make Chances’ or ‘Take Chances’ – New Balance Football’s first boot silos celebrate attacking football

New Balance Football today officially reveals the brand’s first range of football boots. New Balance has launched two styles of boots; both designed for attack-minded players, but differentiated by style-of-play – a player’s philosophy. The Visaro boot is for players who ‘Make Chances’ and the Furon boot for players who ‘Take Chances’; it’s not position-specific, its outlook-specific.

Visaro is designed for the players who need to be everywhere at once; those who are surging forward from box-to-box or wing-to-wing. It features a Vari-zone Ariaprene® upper for incredible ball manipulation, a Super-Flex soleplate for exceptional ground contact and a low pressure zone Instep for instant control. These players play a pivotal role for the team, so a Medial Pivot zone has been built for supremely quick turns. Players wearing Visaro still can take advantage of the Fresh Foam insock, which provides superior cushioning, and a pro-form last for unsurpassed feel and unbelievable comfort. Visaro players control the game with exceptional ball retention and creative distribution. They control the game with their vision; making passes that others can’t.

Furon players receive outstanding strength and support from the ultralight Fantom Fit cage. A Fixed Revlite insock provides superior cushioning and a pro-form last gives unsurpassed feel and unbelievable comfort. Furon players show no mercy. They react first to define the match outcome. They score from nowhere and everywhere with deadly accuracy; striking cleanly and quickly.

The New Balance R&D team have worked hand-in-hand with New Balance pro-players, using elite athlete specific data to create the boot design. The two designs give players of all abilities a boot that feels customised to suit their game.

Global Head of New Balance Football Richard Wright spoke with pride at the release of New Balance’s first boot range: “Over 90 minutes, players cover more ground than ever before and the distances run in football far exceed that of any other sport. We have a very strong heritage in running and applying this expert knowledge to the endurance and high intensity of football.”

“We recognise that the modern game is powered by attacking football. Therefore, we have developed two styles of boots for attack-minded players. The players that ‘Make Chances’ and the players that ‘Take Chances’. We believe these boots will meet the player’s performance demands and amplify their unique set of skills – not only just at the top level of the game but at every level of football.”

Available at New Balance Experience Stores (Suntec City Mall, Kallang Wave Mall, Tampines Mall, Velocity @Novena Square, Bugis Junction), Weston Corporation stores, Salam & Sons, and Sportslink stores for a retail price of SGD 229.

Triswim Product Unboxing

The weekend blew by and so was Tour De France sadly Singapore city was filled with races from Saturday to Sunday as well let me see if I can name it all, MSIG trail, Pasir Gudang, Shape Run and Tri factor. Did I miss any?

Anyway I have had this box from  POUT and I was not able to post up the unboxing cause of my PC problem and now I am back in full force, If you are someone who always swim, or looking for a good hair care product after your sports, Do watch on.

If you have used Triswim products before do leave a comment and let me know what you think? next part will be my review on those product, I have tried and tested the products through a series of training on the pool as well as open water.

If you wanna purchase the product, they are having an Introductory bundle  promotion for this month only at $59.90
Website link:

New Balance Vazee Pace Debut

New Balance recently debuted its brand new platform – Always in Beta – which links to the brand’s promise to relentlessly improve, to never stop pushing and to always strive for more. At the same time, the brand highlights its focus on inspiring athletes around the world, both professional and every day, to reach for and achieve their goals, and then reset them towards even greater athletic accomplishments.

The campaign highlights key global product introductions such as the new Vazee running footwear collection. Discover your relentless pursuit of faster and unrestricted movement with the incredibly responsive Vazee Pace and Rush!

This July, Boston-based New Balance will debut a new performance road running shoe, with the Vazee Pace. Designed for runners seeking an inherently stable ride and who want to move quickly through the gate cycle, and thus releasing their Vazee. The Vazee Pace will launch in July 2015 at all New Balance Experience stores and selected retailers with the suggested retail price of SGD179.

Drawing inspiration from fast Team New Balance athletes such as World Champion Jenny Simpson, American Record holder Emma Coburn and reigning World Champion triathlete Mirinda Carfrae, the Vazee Pace takes lightweight and responsive compounds and creates a ride unmatched in the performance running footwear market. The remarkably responsive REVlite midsole continues its’ embodiment of lightweight, resilient properties and through arduous wear testing and design dedication is configured in a midsole set-up geared toward responsiveness and speed. Engineered on the VL-6 last with noticeably visible toe spring, a highly flexible blown rubber forefoot helps with deflection and spring without interruption to whatever pace applied.

The NB Design team studied the human foot at various speeds to create a second-skin like fit in the upper to compliment this under-foot experience. A deconstructed heel counter meant to contain, but not constrict, contribute to a no-fuss upper with a bootie construction and material make-up that wraps the arch and allows the toes to splay as they push off the ground.

The Vazee Pace joins the New Balance performance running line-up to be the shoe of choice as runners endeavor the miles and roads, achieving their goals and finding their Vazee moment

Running is Racial Harmony : Orange Ribbon Run Singapore

Racial Harmony, What does it have to do with our family and friends, let alone a nation, racial harmony is very important aspect for a nation economy and well being, I see racial harmony as a beating heart that is connected to everything in the body, without it, the body will still function but it would have irritation in every sorts, ailment, aches and pains.

Without it the body just feels that something is not right, that is my analogy but here is the real picture, The country that I live in is now Singapore and I have to say Singapore is one of the best place for racial harmony, integration of the community and activities to cover racial harmony is a abundance, and I have to say I feel secured and safe amongst everyone in this beautiful nation. There is even a Racial Harmony day on 21st July of every year.

Racial Harmony Day is celebrated annually on 21 July in Singapore. The event is to commemorate the 1964 Race Riots, which took place on 21 July 1964.

Racial Riots are scares and every time I turn on the news I see such problems in other countries especially with Malaysia being in the hot topic now really saddens me as the stark in contrast really shows between both countries, but this post is not about Malaysia,

I hope that every nation will not see colors amongst people but every one is treated equally. Can this be achieved within the next 100 years?

I do notice that one thing do bring racial harmony together, and it is sports as I have said before in my previous post and I believe it is true,

I was in the Maldives last two weeks ago and I was talking to Anantara’s Veli Resort Manager Mr Andre Orru when I arrived and once we knew each other has the passion for running, we both hit it off where it got us talking about running destination as well as run techniques.

As one of the Orange Ribbon Ambassador, I presented Mr Andre Orru and his entire crew at the Anantara Veli establishment the “Orange Ribbon” as a symbol of racial harmony. He had a crew of over 100 of multi national, truly deserving of the Orange Ribbon

Orange RibbonCome join us for the Orange Ribbon Run in support for Racial Harmony and creating more awareness be quick as registration ends this 9th August.

Being Singapore’s only Run against Racism, we call on Singaporeans to come together and make a stand. The Orange Ribbon Run provides an excellent avenue for the silent majority to speak up and show support for the cause.

Join the Race Against Racism and spread the movement.

Hashtag your Instagram pictures with #OrangeRibbonSG #OrangeRibbonRun2015 #RacialHarmonySG and tag @isaac976 in your picture to stand a chance to win yourself a slot of this upcoming Orange Ribbon Run.


Mizuno Ekiden Singapore Race Review

The Ekiden

Ekiden races in Singapore is not really well known among the community and just last weekend Mizuno brought us the 1st Ekiden race in Singapore for the year 2015.

No doubt Ekiden races are not as famous as the regular standard format but is not new after all, Standard Chartered Marathon was the first to bring in this type of race and it proves to be one of the events that first to sell out, after having able to run this type of race, which is also my first, I now wish that there would be more event such as this and gone are the standard races (well not completely) read on to understand why I say so

Ekiden must be confusing to some cause when I told them I am running an Ekiden race, some people went “what?” well anyway


As written in Japanese, Ekiden combines the characters for “station” (駅) and “transmit” (伝). This name was coined by the poet Toki Zemmaro (1885–1980), who was head of the Yomiuri Shimbun’s Social Affairs Department at the time. The original concept of the race hearkens back to Japan’s old Tōkaidō communication and transportation system in which stations were posted at intervals along the road. In the race, each runner on a team runs the distance from one “station” to the next, and then hands off a cloth sash, or tasuki, to the next runner.

Mizuno Ekiden


Race as Four, Run as one, that was the Mizuno tagline for T-shirt that they have provided and what an awesome tag line it was, Ekiden race brings true meaning to friends running together and that is why I totally recommend running an Ekiden. Ekiden creates this team spirit amongst each other and training together creates a stronger bond amongst runners.

In Japan, Ekiden races are very important for companies as the Tasuki sash potrays their company logo and it is an honor to be representing their company. (How I wish my company would let us train and run under the company name)

This has got to be first time a race was held at the Meadows at Garden by the bay and I was pretty excited to see how they would construct the Matsuri village here in Singapore, but more of the village later..

Upon reaching the venue, all participants will be greeted with this HUGE giant Mizuno shoe, and what a spectacular display it was, can you say photo opportunity?

Mizuno EkidenMizuno EkidenThe race started at 7am for the 21km and ten minutes later for the full marathon, There was more FM runners than the HM which shows that the race had more serious participant, what is important is that the VIP flagged off the racer on time but before all that, we were all treated to a Taiko drums presentation and what a show it was.

I wished I had my camera with me to show you how energetic the whole Japanese Taiko team was beating their drums that morning, when the drums beats on it kinda creates this feeling or even invoke the hearts of the racers standing at the starting line altogether.

There are strategies when it comes to running an Ekiden and before we signed up all of us spoke to each other talking on who will be running as which runner, being the 1st runner definitely has it’s perks but also stress, as a first runner you will not be beaten by the hot weather but you will feel the stress of all the competitive runners at the starting line.

Because there is only about 400 people at the start line, you need to run really fast to catch up if not you will be left behind running alone as there are not many runners on the scene due to the start sequence, once the 2nd and 3rd runners goes out, there will be plenty of runners amongst them,

Praises have to be given out to all the last FM runner because the Sun was at it’s peak bashing down on everyone, the heat can definitely take a toll on everyone. Well at least the beer was waiting for my last runner.

Mizuno Ekiden

The Route

The route that the Mizuno Ekiden have chosen is not new to the runners running around the CBD area and most have already ran the course before, This route is only kind to the 1st and 2nd runner because of the amount of tourist that the 3rd and 4th runner have to endure when it is after 10pm.

Route Map_v2

My team mates had to dodge hordes of tourist along the Merlion and Esplanade side but for the rest of us we only had to run with the morning runners along this popular route, for me running this route is much more refreshing than the rest of the runs.

Another good point on this race was the water point, on their website they indicated 4 water point, but on actual race there was Pocari and Water Station practically on nearly every 2k or more, I could have sworn I stopped at about 6 of the water station. This is a good thing.

Distance marker was placed on every KM, which actually helps runners like me without a watch and also not forgetting that they also put inspirational Japanese Kanji translation inspiration quote on every market, learn some Japanese that morning. :)

Mizuno Ekiden Runner 1 Mizuno Ekiden Runner 2 Mizuno Ekiden Runner 3 Mizuno Ekiden Runner 4Post Race

The race is surely a hot and humid one and for the first two runners in the team, we surely could feel the humidity as standing and waiting easily made everyone sweat without any effort, expected of a Singapore weather.

I pity my 3rd and 4th runner because by the time we reach back they would be running the course at around 10am for the 3rd runner and by then the sun was blaring like it had some vengeance.

Mizuno Ekiden Runner 4

Experience in Short

The Mizuno Ekiden race was well organised and from the team’s point of view everyone had a great time and even after the was race was over thanks to the race village that they have prepared, the supporters as well as the racers had not only one but plenty of establishment to choose from.

Our hot favourites was from the NANA’s Green tea which we bought our refreshing green tea with Matcha ice-cream for only $8, My favorite has to be the Doutor coffee which taste exactly like the one I had in Tokyo.

Mizuno Ekidenand if you are feeling hungry after the race, there is the famous Keisuke Ramen which we also had for only $10, the price was in-fact cheaper on race day then in the restaurant, How I knew was because we all went to the restaurant at Parkway for our post lunch.

Mizuno EkidenCheck out the Matsuri Village and all the fun everyone had on that day, Sumo contest amongst runners, Running Gait Analysis from World Of Sports, Name Translation painting, Self painted hand held fan,

Isaac’s 2 Cents worth

In my honest opinion, if this race was ever to be held again, you can bet your ass that I will be the first to sign up and I have checked with a few more other runners and they all said the same thing. Good on you guys Mizuno and Infinitus

I wanna be selfish and say that I do hope this Ekiden would not grow into something big cause if it had grown so big, race organization will be more hectic and less focused towards the runners, This Ekiden got me feeling like a Sunday Picnic at the gardens with Cosplay activity and family all around.

Runners welfare was taken care off and even registration of this event cost $200 for a team which means $50 per person, Lawrence was so surprised that the running T that came with the goody bag was of those quality that was sold in retail store and not some 3rd party cheap cotton.

Running an Ekiden race is not like running a regular race because of the camaraderie that the Ekiden has created in us. Training for it was more fun as it is like running in a close pact of runners creating a good bond of friendship.

Suggestion from isaac

I hope they can improve on working the starting time as it is definitely too hot for the 4th runner to run at 10pm, my suggestion was to put the event in the evening time around 4:30pm and let the race village come to live at night. Heck, why not even throw in a movie at the Bay while you guys are at it.

Please let supporter wait at the ending point where we can cheer on all the runners, we definitely will do better with supporters cheering for us.

Marshall should be more attentive in any event but this was no exception and there was a big gap at the last 8km heading up to the barrage, a few people have mentioned that they gone the wrong route and ran in circles. Marking must be clear if no route Marshall is not around the area.

Thanks for reading and we are all definitely looking forward to next years race.

DSC_5242Mizuno Ekiden Medal

Exercising Your Pain Away

Retiree William Gan, 69, used to suffer from back pain as well as numbness and pain in the left leg.

These problems surfaced about 18 years ago and he bore with the pain.

However, it got worse with time.

The pain he suffered in his left leg at night would spread to the other leg and he sometimes could not sleep.

Once, it was so bad he had to ask a doctor to make a house call and give him an injection.

At one point, the numbness in his left leg would hit him so often that he would have to rest two or three times by the road while making the five-minute walk from his house to the bus stop.

His wife kept asking him to seek help for his degenerative disc disease, which results in back pain from natural wear and tear on the spinal column and spinal disc.

Three years later, he did. The orthopaedic surgeon he saw recommended surgery but warned that it could leave him wheelchair-bound.

“My daughter was just three then. I couldn’t take the risk, so I said no,” Mr Gan told Mind & Body.

“I asked to be referred to the pain clinic instead. The doctor gave me a muscle-relaxant jab. I thought I had found an angel but she wouldn’t give me another one after the effect wore off.”

He then saw a physiotherapist and did stretching exercises, which gave him temporary relief.

Things changed about 15 years ago when he sought help at Changi General Hospital.

Dr Ng Chung Sien, now the programme director of Exercise is Medicine Singapore, gave him an exercise prescription and sent him to the physiotherapist.

“Apart from stretching, I did core strengthening exercises and, within six months, I could feel the difference. I had less pain,” said Mr Gan, who wore a back brace when he did the exercises.

“I was very interested and I went back to the doctor to ask a lot of questions. I continued with the exercises and was cured within two years.”

The core strengthening exercises, such as planks, that Dr Ng prescribed helped Mr Gan build his core muscles to take the load off his injured lower back.

Today, he continues to do these exercises, as well as jog and brisk walk regularly.

Taken from The Straits Times

By Joyce Teo

Tour De France Jersey and Prize Guide

Three weeks of grueling cycling across France all boils down to the positioning of themselves with these jerseys below, This guide helps us understand more on how they are obtain in the race.

Tour de France jerseys

Yellow: the most famous one, the maillot jaune, it is awarded to the rider with the shortest overall time for all the stages added together, the rider who has covered the course faster than anyone else. First awarded in 1919, it is yellow because the race was organised by the newspaper L’Auto which was printed on yellow paper. Today it is sponsored by LCL, a bank. New for 2015 is the use of time bonuses of 10-6-4 seconds for the finish of each stage except the time trials.

Green: the points jersey, which tends to reward the sprinters. Points are awarded at the finish line and at one intermediate point in the stage and the rider with the most points wears the jersey. The allocation has been tweaked to reward the stage winners, for more on this see May’s Tour de France Points Competition Scale Revealed. It is sponsored by Skoda, a car company

  • Flat stages / Coefficient 1: 50-30-20-18-16-14-12-10-8-7-6-5-4-3 and 2 points for the first 15 riders to finish
  • Hilly finish-Medium mountain stages / Coefficient 2 and 3: 30-25-22-19-17-15-13-11-9-7-6-5-4-3-2 points for the first 15 riders to finish
  • Mountain Stages / Coefficient 4 and 5: 20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points for the first 15 riders to finish.
  • Individual time trial stages / Coefficient 6 : 20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points to the first 15 riders to finish
  • Intermediate sprints: 20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points respectively for the first 15 riders
  • For more on the stage coefficients, scroll down

Polka dot: also known as the “King of the Mountains” jersey, points are awarded at the top of categorised climbs and mountain passes, with these graded from the easier 4th category to the hors catégorie climbs which are so hard they are off the scale. In reality these gradings are subjective. Again the rider with the most points wears the jersey and the race celebrates the 40th anniversary of the jersey this year. It is sponsored by Carrefour, a supermarket.

  • Hors Catégorie passes: 25,20,16,14,12,10,8,6,4,2 points respectively for first 10 riders to finish
  • Category 1 climbs: 10,8,6,4,2,1 points
  • Category 2: 5,3,2,1 points respectively
  • Category 3: 2, 1 points
  • Category 4: 1 point
  • Points are doubled for the final climb on a stage with a summit finish (Stages 10, 12, 17, 19 and 20).

White: for the best young rider, this is awarded on the same basis as the yellow jersey, except the rider must be born after 1 January 1990, ie aged 25 or under. It is sponsored by Krys, a chain of opticians.

Obviously a rider can’t wear two jerseys at once, they’d get too hot. So if a rider leads several classifications, they take the most prestigious jersey for themselves and the number two ranked rider in the other competition gets to wear the other jersey. For example if a rider has both the yellow jersey and the mountains jersey they’ll wear yellow whilst whoever is second in the mountains jersey will sport the polka dot jersey. If a rider has all the jerseys the priority for the others is green, mountains then white.

There’s also a daily “most combative” prize awarded every day to the rider who has attacked the most or tried the hardest. It is a subjective prize and awarded by a jury. The rider gets to stand on the podium after the stage and wear a red race number the next day. It is sponsored by Antargaz, a bottled gas company.

Tour Drance Stage Coefficients

Stage Coefficients: as mentioned for the points jersey competition each stage is awarded a “coefficient” or rating which has an impact on the points available. These ratings are also used to determine the time cut for riders finishing within a percentage of the stage winner’s time.

The Prizes

  • Each day on a normal stage there’s €8,000 for the winner, €4,000 for second place and a decreasing scale down to a modest €200 for 20th place.
  • For the final overall classification in Paris, first place brings in €450,000 and the Sèvres porcelain “omnisports trophy”, awarded “in the name of the Presidency of the French Republic“.
  • The full breakdown is €450,000 for first place, €200,000 for second place, €100,000 for third place and then €70,000, €50,000, €23,000, €11,500, €7,600, €4,500, €3,800, €3,000, €2,700, €2,500, €2,100, €2,000, €1,500, €1,300, €1,200, €1,000, €950, €900, €850, €750, €700 until € 650 for 25th place.
  • Then 26th to 30th place collects €600
  • 31st to 40th place gets €550
  • 41st to 50th place gets €500
  • 51st to 90th place gets €450
  • every other rider to finish collects €400

There are other pots of money available in the race:

  • €350 a day to whoever wears the yellow jersey, €300 for the other jersey holders
  • €25,000 for the final winner of the green and polka dot jerseys
  • €20,000 for the final winner of the white jersey
  • There’s also money for the first three in the intermediate sprint €1,500, €1000 and €500.
  • The climbs have cash too with the first three over an HC climb earning €800, €450 and €300
  • The highest point in the race sees a prize when on Stage 17 the Henri Desgrange prize is awarded at the top of the Col d’Allos and is worth €5,000 and the highest point in the Pyrenees, the Col du Tourmalet on Stage 11, brings the Jacques Goddet prize and another €5,000
  • The “most combative” prize is awarded and worth €2,000 each day, the “Super combative” prize is awarded in Paris and the winner collects €20,000.
  • There’s also a team prize with €2,800 awarded each day to the leading team on the overall, as calculated by the best three riders overall and €50,000 for the final winners in Paris. Note the team prize is calculated by adding the time of the best three riders each day rather than the best three on GC. For example if a team has riders A, B and C make the winning break one day then their times for the stage are taken and added together. If riders X, Y and Z on the same team go up the road the next day, their times are taken. So it’s the times of a team’s best three riders each day as opposed to the best three riders overall.
  • In addition, every team that starts gets paid €51,243 to cover expenses. And should a squad make it to Paris with seven or more riders they stand to collect an additional €1,600 bonus for each rider the have left.

Tour De France Route Guide

Today marks the day for 3 weeks of cycling ecstasy as the Pro Cyclist battle it out for Yellow Supremacy at the 2015 Tour de France. Here is a guide and profile of every stage with a quick take on the day added, Tomorrow I will share the Jersey classification as well as the prize awarded to the riders. Stay tuned

Route Summary

One short time trial stage and six summit finishes make this one for the climbers. The race starts with mini-version of the spring classics crammed into one week with wind-ravaged roads, cobbles, sharp uphill finishes. All this action means there are relatively few stages for the sprinters, probably just five in the whole race. The Alps and Pyrenees are both raced hard with the Alps having four consecutive days of racing with the crowded Alpe d’Huez climax.

Stage 1 – Saturday 4 July
The grand départ happens the Dutch university city of Utrecht. Don’t call it a prologue, Stage 1 is a stage in its own right as it’s almost 14km, enough to open up some significant time gaps. There’s the race for the yellow jersey and the secondary contest between the overall contenders as they look to take time or limit their losses. The course is flat with only canal bridges and underpasses altering the elevation. There are many 90 degree bends but they’re wide. A course for the powerful over the skilled.

Stage 2 – Sunday 5 July

Flat but potentially dangerous. First the Netherlands is a crowded place with a lot of street furniture and once the course gets away from towns the roads get more exposed to the wind. The latter part passes along the coast before it finishes on top of the Pijlerdam flood defence. This is open terrain where a light breeze can feel angry and the peloton will be wary of crosswinds.

Stage 3 – Monday 6 July

Next in the spring classics smörgåsbord sees the race traverse Belgium to pick up the finale of the the Flèche Wallonne in the Ardennes including the “new” Côte de Cherave climb just before the finish which should help split things up. We’ll the overall contenders duelling with the spring classics specialists on the infamous Mur de Huy.

Stage 4 – Tuesday 7 July
The race returns to French soil, literally, as it heads for the dirty cobbled lanes. This is the fear stage where the overall contenders worry their chances will turn to dust in the cobblestone lottery. The pavé sectors used are hard but not the nightmare zones from Paris-Roubaix.

Stage 5 – Wednesday 8 July

A day for the sprinters. The relative lack of chances for the sprinters in this year’s race surely dooms any breakaway attempt, the best escapees can hope for is their name and jersey on TV.

Stage 6 – Thursday 9 July

A seaside trip for the race. Nice for a ride but sending 200 riders along the northern coast could be risky if the wind gets up. Over the half the stage hugs the coast and much of it passes atop exposed cliffs before an uphill finish in Le Havre designed for Peter Sagan and Michael Matthews.

Stage 7 – Friday 10 July
Another of the days for the sprinters.

Stage 8 – Saturday 11 July

A stage across Brittany, a region that loves cycling so expect big crowds. No more so that than finish at Mûr de Bretagne, a village of just 2,000 people but its population will swell tenfold or more for the day. This uphill finish was used in 2011 with Cadel Evans getting the better of Alberto Contador.

Stage 9 – Sunday 12 July
A 28km team time trial over a difficult route with lumpy, exposed roads. The awkward final climb to the finish will test team cohesion especially as this comes relatively late into the race and teams could have lost riders to crashes and other misfortunes. A long transfer to the Pyrenees and a rest day follows, a chance to lick wounds and examine the time differences.

Stage 10 – Tuesday 14 July
Grand Colombier Stage

The first summit finish of the race and where the time gaps between the contenders can go from seconds to minutes. Over more than a week of racing in the big ring the sudden change in rhythm often surprises some. The Col de Soudet is an awkward climb with irregular gradients and long sections above 10% before it flattens out to the line.

Stage 11 – Wednesday 15 July

A classic day across the Pyrenees with the Aspin and Tourmalet pairing. The Tour has visited Cauterets often for a climb to a ski station above the valley, this time it arrives in the town itself for a more gradual finish but an uphill slog all the same.

Stage 12 – Thursday 16 July
Tour de France Stage 12

The names are not as legendary but the stats show this is a giant day with 4,500m of vertical gain including the tough Plateau de Beille summit finish, 15.8km at 7.9%. It’s also a scenic ride across quiet valleys where the Tour de France is the biggest thing to happen every year.

Stage 13 – Friday 17 July
Tour de France Stage 13

A hard transition stage with many uncategorised climbs including the final ramp to the finish line just outside Rodez where the race climbs up for almost 600m at 10% just outside the HQ of RAGT, an agricultural business that sponsors the Tour.

Stage 14 – Saturday 18 July

The route skirts the landscapes described in Tim Krabbé’s The Rider novel but it’s all about the finish with the arrival on the small airport run above Mende via the sharp Col de La Croix Neuve sometimes known as the Montée Jalabert.

Stage 15 – Sunday 19 July
Tour de France Stage 15

A breakaway or a bunch sprint? All the climbs are steady with slopes of 4,5 or 6% before the finish in Valence and the second rest day.

Stage 16 – Monday 20 July
Tour de France Stage 15

The race rides into the Alps to Gap and then climbs the Col de Manse, a regular climb followed by an infamously irregular descent, the place where Lance Armstrong once ploughed across a field and where Andy Schleck’s nervousness allowed Cadel Evans to take time and helping him to win the 2011 Tour de France.

Stage 17 – Wednesday 22 July
Tour de France Stage 17

A air of déjà vu with the repeat of this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné stage with the Col d’Allos and Pra Loup, itself a recreation of the 1975 Tour de France when Bernard Thévenet took the yellow jersey off Eddy Merckx. You’ll probably be sick of the story of Merckx’s defeat being told again and again come the day but it’s a great stage to watch. The Col d’Allos is a hard climb with a very technical descent before the more regular but still tiring climb to Pra Loup.

Stage 18 – Thursday 23 July
Tour de France Stage 18

An uphill start to launch the breakaways and then a road that climbs or descends all day, even that calmer part of the profile around the intermediate sprint is up the awkward Romanche valley, a tiring road that often has a persistent headwind. The giant Col du Glandon is tackled before the races plunges to the Maurienne valley before the scenic climb of the Lacets de Montvernier and then a fast and straight run to the finish.

Stage 19 – Friday 24 July
Tour de France Stage 19

4,600m of vertical gain in less than 140km and they’ve added a valley section just for the sake of it. The opening climb of the Col du Chaussy leads halfway up Col de Madeleine before descending back down the valley and then taking a flat route in one direction before returning back in the same direction to scale the Col du Glandon for the second time in the week then onto to the Croix de Fer and then the rough Col du Mollard. A twisty, shaded descent takes the riders back to the valley again before the ski station summit finish to La Touissure, 18km at 6.1% and the steepest slopes at the start.

Stage 20 – Saturday 25 July
Tour de France Stage 20

At just 110.5km this is a short and sharp stage designed to encourage explosive racing from the start. Only the best laid plans can go wrong as emergency roadworks for a late change means and the race abandons the Col du Galibier for the Croix de Fer. It’s a touch easier and there’s just a little more flat road to the foot of Alpe d’Huez, the climax of the 2015 Tour. Ideally there’s still a battle to be had between the overall contenders but a coronation in front of the giant crowds would be fitting too.

Stage 21 – Sunday 26 July
Tour de France Stage 21

Ah Paris! As ever the final stage is a bizarre event, a parade that mutates into a criterium. Sèvres is famous for its porcelain and where the winner’s trophy is made. The race will use the entire length of the Champs Elysées, circling the Jardin des Tuileries at one end and the Arc de Triomphe at the other for a full lap.


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