Michael's Blog

Stay in touch with all things Michael related right here. From an overview of the start of training, to the latest partners, I’ll be keeping you bang up to date throughout the months leading up to the start.

Stage 19: Embrun – Salon de Provence

Pro prediction: Bunch sprint: set up for a fast day.   A lumpy climby start to the day on legs with two days of Alps saw a very quiet neutralised start…. followed by a 30km gentle descent run off at speed…. by this point both the heat and the headwind had intensified and cycling on […]

Submitted: July 15, 2017, 7:17 pm

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Stage 18: Briançon – Izoard

Pro’s Prediction: GC A fantastic iconic Tour stage; with Col de Vars as a leg warmer. I found it a long hard but satisfying day; the only way I can sum it up was a long uphill ascent; and I was rarely able to take any advantage of flat riding….. The Izoard is a fantastic […]

Submitted: July 13, 2017, 7:05 pm

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Stage 17: La Mure – Serre-Chevalier

Pros: A GC battle; and a super quick descent to the finish line.   A deeply satisfying day; albeit long…. the video says it all

Submitted: July 12, 2017, 8:16 pm

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Stage 16: Le Puy en Velay to Romans sur Isere

This is set up for a pro bunch sprint; wide sweeping roads at the finish preceded by a flattish 50km through the Cotes du Rhone vineyards. No transfer today; weather forecast to be cloudy/ sunny- as we rolled out from Le Puy what did we get: absolutely lashed it down: no rain cape- wet again […]

Submitted: July 11, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Stage 15: Laissac-Severac L’eglise to Le Puy en Velay

Pro prediction: one for the breakaway; just enough to escape the bunch. Wow what a day; starting with a Cat 1 climb; we knew the weather was un-certain and all was ok-ish at the re-group point at the top of that first climb- it had been a 5.15 start/people are tired….. The next c40km were […]

Submitted: July 9, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Stage 14:Blagnac to Rodez

Pro prediction: Bunch sprint A funny kind of day on the road; the weather plays such a large part in its contribution to the Tour; and we generally think of sunshine- this was just a grey day where the majority of riders had two days of climbs in their legs….. Any other day this may […]

Submitted: July 8, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Stage 13: St Girons to Foix

Pro- prediction: what a fascinating stage; I will enjoy watching the highlights of this- very difficult to call… the shortest tour stage ever….. a solo attack!! It is impossible to explain to anyone not riding that this is NOT a holiday; people having buried themselves up to the ski station then awoke at 5.15ish for […]

Submitted: July 8, 2017, 6:30 pm

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Stage 12 Pau to Peyragudes

Pro prediction: Simply put one for Chris Froome… something and everything for the GC but a nice one for the Palmares as he crests the 007 runway. For mere mortals a stage that was a lions stage dressed in lions clothing; the saving grace from my perspective being a fairly flat (it’s all relative) and […]

Submitted: July 6, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Stage 11: Eymet to Pau

Pro’s will eat this route for lunch and spit it out fairly shortly thereafter: bunch sprint.   The Pyrenees are here; as you approach Pau they line the skyline waiting to ensnare the unsuspecting cyclists who would dismiss them…. but more of that tomorrow…..   … I am hard pressed to tell you of an interesting fact […]

Submitted: July 5, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Stage 10: Perigueux to Bergerac

Pro prediction this will be a bunch sprint; but as I sit typing Sagan has just been dq’ed and Cav is out!   What a fantastic route; absolutely a sprinters race- this for the pro’s overall will be run off in a super fast time and I mean fast! But as a route it has […]

Submitted: July 4, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Stages 7,8 and 9: The lows and the highs of doing the Tour

The word on the street is that we have in the last nine days done half (distance wise of the whole Tour). So then Pro prediction: 7 bunch sprint 1 GC day 1 Tour winner   The last three days have seen (stages 7 and 8) some of the most brutal weather imaginable with a rolling […]

Submitted: July 3, 2017, 8:26 am

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Stage 6: Vesoul to Troyes

Pro prediction: Nailed on sprint day but if the wind blows then De Gendt from the breakaway- long day even for pros.   Story of the day: wind rain hail and every feed stop at least half of us made the wrong clothing prediction from winter jackets to sun cream to gilets and as a […]

Submitted: June 29, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Stage 5: Vittel – La planche des belles filles

Pro Prediction… a classic GC stage off the back of a tough climb that the commentators will talk about the final ramp but where the real mischief is in the early kilometres…. a GC contender.   Forecast was for rain and thunderstorms; fortunately the rain held off until we were on the coach to Vesoul […]

Submitted: June 28, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Stage 4: Mondorf-les-Bains – Vittel

Pro prediction: one has to think it’s a bunch sprint; but some interesting cross wind opportunities just before the Cat 4 climb.   Weather has been v mixed today; not an awful lot of photo opportunities and v much a transitional Kms under the belt.   Torrential downpours and early rain diminished the photo opportunities; […]

Submitted: June 27, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Stage 3: Verviers to Longwy

Wow what a stage; I posted last night on Twitter; my Garmins analysis of c3000m of climbing- a strongman’s day in the Tour; and really difficult to call but I’d put money on a GC contender being caught out- these first three days are far from giveaways.   So a 5.30 start; 6.30 transfer from […]

Submitted: June 26, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Stage 2: Düsseldorf – Liege

There is no doubt that Germans have a sense of humour; I haven’t always understood it (but that is more a reflection of my strange sense of humour- possibly). But I have to wonder why a roundabout is put in on a long straight flat road…. is it the fact that the crosswinds will play havoc […]

Submitted: June 25, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Stage 1 – Düsseldorf

I walked some of the course this morning; the cross wind off the open expanse of the Rhine could cause havoc next Saturday; there is no such thing as a giveaway on the Tour- even the easiest (!) stages can cause a surprise.   So then, Düsseldorf and the tour 2017; would like to say […]

Submitted: June 24, 2017, 4:00 pm

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Mallorca 312 and the Tour de Yorkshire

  A tenuous connection perhaps; but two things that amaze me…. The crowds in Yorkshire supporting the pro races (mens and womens) and the crowds of people out in Mallorca watching 6500 amateur cyclists doing a sportive around the Island …. Cheering and applauding until late in the evening… with feed stops in Lloseta and Arta… […]

Submitted: May 3, 2017, 4:07 pm

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Training in Mallorca at Easter

A quick look on the BBC weather app for the week ahead, revealed rain/poor weather in the North East of England for Easter weekend; by comparison, the weather in Mallorca – basically sun (and a little bit of cloud) and a good 10° warmer – so within 24 hours – a quick burst of training […]

Submitted: April 24, 2017, 3:47 pm

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Ride like the professionals

If you are going to do the Tour (one week ahead); then (in my head) you do a training camp (or two) to get the miles before the Tour itself. So in the midst of a little bit of comment – such as “Not another holiday”, it seemed like a good idea to go and […]

Submitted: April 10, 2017, 9:02 am

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On the 24th June 2017, the Tour de Force riders will start cycling from Dusseldorf. Whether cycling two or more days, this is a heroic undertaking. It will hurt!