Who Will Win the 2018 Tour de France?

Known as the world’s biggest annual sporting event, over 170 of the best cyclists in the world flock to France to participate in the Tour de France. Now in its 105th edition and currently halfway through the tournament, there are six cyclists who have a realistic chance of winning. Here are the cyclists that you should be looking out for and who to bet your money on.

Vincenzo Nibali

Representing team Bahrain-Merida, one of the top cyclists in the competition to look out for is Vincenzo Nibali. With a string of titles to his name including winning the Tour of Italy and previously winning the Tour de France, there is every possibility that Nibali could win the title once more.

Chris Froome

As a Kenyan-born Briton, Chris Froome is another popular cyclist to watch out for. Representing Team Sky, Froome has collected many accolades including winning the Tour de France four times as well as being a hat-trick winner of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Romain Bardet

The French born national Romain Bardet has also been a three-time Tour de France winner, as well as securing second and third place in the Tour de France. Participating in the French cycling team AG2R La Mondiale, Bardet is one of the favourites to scoop the winning spot once more.

Rigoberto Urán

Colombian born Rigoberto Urán is another favourite to win the Tour de France. At aged 31, Urán has participated in multiple competitions across the world, including winning the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec as well as placing second in the Tour de France. Urán has also competed in the Olympic road race where he earned himself a silver medal.

Mikel Landa

Representing Team Movistar, Mikel Landa has racked up multiple titles to his name including the best climber and three-time stage winner of the Tour of Italy. Landa has also competed in and won the Giro del Trentino as well as finishing in fourth place in the Tour de France. At just 28, Spanish born Landa could be in with a good chance of winning this year’s Tour de France.

Tom Dumoulin

Dutch national Tom Dumoulin is another firm favourite to win this year’s Tour de France. Aged 27 and representing Team Sunweb, Dumoulin has enjoyed great success such as winning the Tour of Italy as well as being a two-time stage winner in the Tour de Spain and the Tour de France. He is also a winner of the world time-trial championship.

If you would like to know more on statistics and betting chances of the Tour de France, make sure to visit Toals where you will get more information on each player participating as well as daily updates to ensure you know where best to place your money.

Make sure to follow the Tour de France closely as the odds can change each day. It is important that you keep track of each player’s progress to ensure you make the right decision for a chance of winning!

How to Pack for a Supported Distance Ride

Let’s say you’re going on a multi-day distance ride, like Classic by Cycle Oregon. First off, congrats! A supported multi-day ride is so much fun. Secondly, let’s talk gear.

Know the Luggage Restrictions

Every event is different. Cycle Oregon makes their guidelines very clear, and very reasonable. After all, someone other than you has to handle your luggage just about ever day, so it’s only fair to ensure it’s of a reasonable size and weight.

Lay it All Out, Then Cut Back

Lay out your dream gear then start trimming back to 90% essentials and 10% indulgent items and fun stuff (funny outfits, your fave after ride shirt, a cute adventure dress). Try to bring only one of anything that’s not going to get extremely dirty. If you can’t decide between a few items, select the ones that are more compact, warmer, breathe better, etc. Prioritize features over aesthetics. That remaining 10% is for your aesthetics.

Make sure you have plenty of space for the essentials like toiletries, sunscreen, a towel, etc.

Set Yourself Up For Success

You want to enjoy the ride, so don’t be too hard on yourself. If you know your favorite shirt is the perfect way to relax after a long day in the saddle, bring it. It will feel so good to slip it on after a shower. Consider many places have hot days and cold nights and bring what you need to account for all weather so you never have to suffer.

Remember: There are no bad days, just bad gear (and food?) choices.

Organize Your Contents

A system like Oregami Luggage makes it easy to separate dirty from clean, ride from hang out, swimwear from PJs and summer clothes from the cozy cold weather gear. After all, no one wants that dirty chamois touching… well… anything, really.

Consider stuff sacks (they’re inexpensive) or compression sacks to help organize and condense your gear. They work wonders on fluffy sleeping bags, puffy jackets, and most other apparel. You’ll be surprised how much room they can free up.

Know where everything is so that when it’s early morning and you’re hading out for the day, you can easily grab the day’s outfit without thinking. Or when you’re tired at night, you can hazilly throw on PJs without accidentally grabbing.., yup, you guessed it: that nasty chamois.

 

And on that note, have a great ride!

Training Tips for the Hill-Averse

Every years, the Oregon cycling calendar is studded with inspirational, scenic century rides. In just about any part of the state a 100-mile ride is going to take you to some interesting places—both geographically and within your inner “landscape”.

With over 8,000 feet of climbing on tap, this year’s Portland Century has no shortage of scenery or physical and mental challenges. For seasoned riders who enjoy lots of climbing, the 100-mile route will scratch that itch. But for riders who are newer to the sport or feel discouraged by climbing, it’s never too late to get prepare for and have a fantastic ride through some of Portland’s best local riding.

Training for a century makes all the difference between cycling success and a ride home in the support vehicle. Here are a few tips to help put the Portland Century within reach.

Take Your Time

First-time century riders often don’t begin training early enough. If you’ve got a good base of fitness and have been logging miles consistently, you may be able to prepare in as little as six weeks. If not, you’ll need to work up to the century more slowly.

Once you’ve logged some miles to establish your base fitness, start to extend weekly rides gradually, adding 5 to 10 miles per ride.

Old-time trainers used to advise that you can ride in a day what you ride in a week. That’s not a bad formula to use to work up to a century distance but make sure you start adding the miles gradually in order to avoid overuse injury. The goal is not merely to finish the century ride, but to do so with confidence and comfort.

More: Petal Pedal: The Perfect Introductory Century for Oregon Cyclists

Mix It Up

Start to plan one or two long rides each week. In between the longer rides, do some shorter rides to improve aerobic fitness (did someone say Intervals?) During all your rides, work on your pedaling mechanics, which can make a huge impact on event day.

More: Training and stretching for a distance ride.

Incorporate High-Intensity Training

Interval training will improve your VO2 max which essentially means you’ll use oxygen more efficiently. When you are able to maximize your use of oxygen your efforts will feel easier, your muscles will be stronger, and your endurance will improve.

MORE: Turn Your Bike Commute Into a Training Ride

 

Get Out of Your Saddle

Hills have a way of demoralizing even the best climbers, so if you’re not one of the 217 people in Oregon who LOVE climbing hills, start making a point of seeking out the hills when you train. Even if the route you’ll be riding on event day is pancake-flat, regularly riding hills will make you stronger. It will also help you ride in windy conditions, sometimes referred to as the “invisible hill.”

Hill repeats are an effective—if sometimes monotonous—way to improve climbing skill. Hill repeats are exactly what they sound like; you ride up a hill to the top, descend, then immediately start climbing again.

Rocky Butte and Mount Tabor are two popular Portland spots for doing hill repeats; on any given day you’re likely to see cyclists going up and down, working on their climbing strength and skill. For a more scenic, longer option, there are numerous training routes in the West Hills to help prepare your body—and your mind—for climbing.

More: Ride the Portland Century and Explore the Cascadia Foothills

Mind Over Mountain

Training for a challenging ride isn’t just physical. A good deal of it is psychological, or what we like to say, “cyclelogical”. Challenge yourself with small-but-tough rides where your focus is more on what’s happening in your mind when faced with a rough patch. Courage alone isn’t going to get you through the event, but having a realistic—and optimistic—outlook is key.

If you’re still not convinced that 8,000 feet of climbing over 100-miles is doable, the Portland Century offers 50 and 75-mile routes that may be more approachable. The event is well-marked and fully supported with rest stops, food, snacks, hydration, moral support, and support vehicles if you decide that a day in the hammock is really where you need to be.

Hip and Lower Back Release for Cyclists

BikeYoga Hip Flexor and Adductor release for lower back pain

yoga stretch for cycling lower back pain hip flexor image

Are your hamstrings tighter than a piano wire? Does your lower back ache like your grandma’s? Hip flexors feel as congested as I-5 at rush hour? 
When stretching fails to ease your lower back pain, myofascial release delivers flexibility, comfort, and ease.

It’s a common error many of us make—when we feel tight in some part of our body we tend to focus on that area—stretching, massaging, kneading, or strengthening. It’s sort of a spot treatment approach to improving flexibility, and it can be a real waste of time. For instance, you could stretch your hamstrings all day, every day, and still have low back or hip pain unless you also address tightness in the adductors and hip flexors.

One of the number one cycling related complaints is “tight hamstrings”. Most of us can confirm this tightness simply by doing a standing forward bend. If your hip flexors and adductors are also tight, you’ll probably feel it in your lower back too. Why? Because your hip flexors attach to the lower vertebrae. So, of course, you try to then stretch your lower back muscles.

This stretching can feel good in the moment, but without also releasing the hip flexors you wind up chasing discomfort from one area of the body to another.

A similar situation exists for many cyclists whose adductors compensate for hamstring weakness. Between these inner thigh muscles are fascial layers which help the different muscles glide against each other. If the fascia becomes dehydrated overworked or somehow damaged the tissues become sticky and nearby muscles begin to adhere to one another rather than glide. These sticky tissues—known as adhesions—are less responsive to stretching.

Stop stretching and start releasing.

Myofascial release can be achieved through a combination of bodywork such as Rolfing or deep tissue massage, passive stretching where the muscles are completely passive, such as yin yoga, or the dreaded foam roller. Nowadays you can find corrugated, knobby, textured, and even massaging foam rollers, but even the basic closed-cell foam variety will work. Foam rolling can be performed before or after a ride—or any time, really—to help release adhesions in the glutes, hamstrings, IT band, and adductors.

If you’d rather change a flat tire every five minutes than torture yourself on purpose with a foam roller there is an easy movement you can do to release your adductors and hip flexors and it requires no more effort than laying on the floor.

Less is more: passive release does all the work with less intensity.

Like a 3-in-1 yoga pose, the Adductor/Hamstring Release stretches the hamstrings and adductors, and releases the hip flexors and lower back all at once. It’s a passive release, meaning there isn’t any stretching sensation for most people. In fact, the vast majority of people will not feel any stretch in this pose.

Don’t be fooled into thinking nothing is happening if you don’t feel stretching; myofascial release can be very intense but it can also happen just by hanging out for several minutes in this shape.

For more cycling-specific stretches and strengthening tips, visit BikeYoga.com

Try the Adductor/Hamstring Release after your next ride. And the next. And the one after that. In fact, if you do nothing else, try working this movement into your life three times a week or more regardless of your riding schedule. Your lower back discomfort and hip tightness should improve faster than you can say “Foam roller? Ugggh!”


Üma Kleppinger is the author of BikeYoga. She cut her teeth as a bike messenger in New York City during her film school days and has been riding ever since. A professional copywriter and ghostwriter, Üma is the founder of Allied Independent, a creative services studio based in Portland, OR. When she’s not she’s not on her bike she’s on an open mic at The Moth and other storytelling and improv venues.

Fat Biking on the Beach!

BANANA BELT FAT BIKE FESTIVAL | August 4 – Gold Beach

Life is too short – ride a fat bike!

Some people say life is more fun on two wheels. Gold Beach takes it a step further to declare life is more fun on a fat bike.

Banana Belt Fat Bike Festival is a family friendly weekend celebrating Oregon’s love for beaches, bikes and beer! The spirited weekend features casual guided rides, a slow bike race, a Fat Criteriium, fat trials riding, the opportunity to try out fat bikes (demo bikes available), a beach clean up and a brewery after party.

This event launches the brand new South Coast Fat Bike Maps. The Oregon coast is a unique beauty with varied terrain from north to south, and the South Coast is particularly well suited for fat biking.

EVENT INFO→

Arthritis Bike Class – A NEW Format!

ARTHRITIS BIKE CLASSIC | September 29 – Independence

Now a one-day ride!

The renown Arthritis Bike Classic has shifted from a multi-day ride to a one-day journey nestled around the historic town of Independence.

You’ll cruise through the foothills of Willamette Valley, past the farm fields of Polk County, rolling along the gentle hills of the wine country and over covered bridges with views of the Willamette River and the historic City of Independence.

Route options include a 62-mile bicycle tour and a family friendly 8-mile route.

The Arthritis Bike Classic has a long history of being a ride you attend to make new bike friends. The warm, friendly atmosphere and top notch support make for a superb ride experience. Named the 4th Best Bike Ride in Oregon in 2016, this ride is not to be missed!

EVENT INFO→

2018: The Year of the Gravel Ride

Riding gravel is nothing new, but this is the first year that we are starting to see a a few significant non-competitive gravel rides. And that has us rather excited!

Gravel races have been happening for a while now and plenty of cyclists love to crunch gravel, but it wasn’t until the Art of Survival Century unveiled their new (and amazing) gravel routes that we started to see options for those of us who love supported events.

Now Cycle Oregon, the multi-day ride experience experts, are launching Gravel, and everything about the event looks intriguing. The action takes place in the Tillamook State Forest, a coastal forest retreat. So close to Portland, yet so far away from it all.

If you’re new to riding gravel, Gravel by Cycle Oregon is an excellent way to season your gravel-ready legs. The organizers are well known for their top-notch support, friendly volunteers and awesome after-ride festivities.

Welcome to Wonderland

Surrounded on all sides by National Forest and nestled between Eugene and Bend, Oakridge, Oregon is home to some of the world’s best mt. biking. Mt. Bike Oregon is an opportunity to explore this region’s trail treasures. For 14 years, riders have been coming from all over the world to be a part of this special experience.

Singletrack for Days

Oakridge is best known for lush singletrack, tucked deeply in the woods. There are trails for a variety of riding styles, some more technical and others flowy. At Mt. Bike Oregon, everything’s included so you can hop on a shuttle and ride your heart out all day long. Expert guides are on every ride to ensure no one gets lost or goes down the wrong cutoff.

Though these rides are shuttled, this is no downhill fest. You’ve got to earn your turns at Mt. Bike Oregon and every ride includes some rewarding climbing.

A Well Priced Event

There is no other mt. bike festival quite like Mt. Bike Oregon. At least that’s what we think, and a long-time IMBA staffer who traveled the country going to mt. bike festivals once told us the same exact thing. The event is non-competitive, and very low key. It’s well organized, not flashy, and in the true spirit of Oregon it’s not overly branded Oh, and the nightly beer garden features regional beer, wine and cider absolutely free. Cause that’s how we DO.

Breakfast and lunch are included, as is camping, shuttles, demo bikes, guide service, clinics and more. Three days of riding, four days of the event, three nights of camping – all for only $400. We think this event is a steal of a deal.

Join the Community

As an all-inclusive event with camping on site, as many as 350 riders live together for the weekend in a huge open field with plenty of room to spread out. Mt. Bike Oregon is large enough to have a cool festival feel, but small enough to where you’ll truly get to know some awesome new people.

Select Both Weekends!

Mt. Bike Oregon is July 20-22 and August 17-19. You can ride just one weekend, but we recommend you go to both for the full experience and so much good riding.

MORE INFO >

Cycling Passion for FIFA World Cup

When it comes to traveling it either you have money or lot of time to embark on your journey. This year, many people from different parts of the world travelled to Russia to witness the FIFA World Cup first hand.

It’s the cyclists who really caught our interest. Many cyclists journeyed for thousands and thousands of kilometres just to have a personal experience of the world’s most popular tournament. Meet the cyclist who broke the record.

Kerala to Russia for The World Cup

A 28-year-old Indian freelance school teacher travelled to Russia on two wheels. Clifton Francis’ passion for football made him journey for 4 000km so as to enjoy the FIFA World Cup up close and personal.  Even though he had passport and visa problems at the Azerbaijan- Georgia border, Francis managed to pull through and arrive in Russia on the June 5.

According to Francis, his greatest football champion is Lionel Messi. Spending about the month cycling, He wishes to complete his journey by getting a signature on his bicycle from the icon. Well, if he won the money from the best payout casino, he could have bought a flight ticket.

Argentina to Russia cyclist

From the cyclist’s adventure, it seems that many people may opt for a bike instead of a car. The bike takes you places where cars cannot. Maty Amaya from Argentina embarked on a 14,095 km journey from South America Argentina to Russia Moscow. That is a hell lot of paddling. It took the dedicated football fan a lot of cycling and a flight from Panama to Spain.

Since the world cup held in Brazil 2014 until now, Maty Amaya has never looked back. His love for cycling and football led him to completely retire from being a full-time Pharmaceutical employee. Now he travels on his bicycle, seeing the world.

Just wondering what would happen if gamblers or online pokies aus players would host World Cup Gambling tournament? Would meet you there with your bikes in tow.

Amaya mentioned that he cycled to Moscow because of passion for the World cup and love for cycling. “It like marrying both,” he says.

 

Reasons Bikes Are the Future

As cities become more crowded, riding a bike is becoming one of the fastest ways to get around town. You get to avoid all the traffic jams. Even though cars are so fancy there is always of a new BMW this or a Mercedes that on the news, yet are getting serious competition by the two-wheeled option.

One of the main reasons why people choose cycling over driving is that cyclists always make it through the traffic jams and saves money for entertainment such as online pokies, movies, dining out etc. Bikes can squeeze through even the tightest corners in the road, making it easy for a cyclist to go through a traffic jam with relative safety. Be able to maneuver means being late for work because of a traffic jam is a thing of the past.

Cycling also provides an amazing view of the city. What better way to see the city than when cycling through it. When going through the city a cyclist sees the city in a new way. The feel of the wind in your face is also so relaxing. Unlike that air con in the car that just can’t give the right amount of protection to the environment.

Cycling is also healthy. It beats most of those machines in the gym. All those minutes with feet on the pedals give an excellent cardio exercise. If feeling like going to the gym, just go cycling, it works as an exercise in itself. And it is way cheaper than any gym subscription will ever be.

Talking of cheap, a bicycle is way more affordable than most cars out there. The most expensive car, the Mercedes-Benz May Bach is $8 million U.S dollars, which is more than turnover of some online gambling companies. But the most expensive bicycle, the Butterfly Trek Madone, was auctioned off for an impressive $500,000.

The easiest way to get a parking spot in a busy city is by getting a bicycle or a motorbike. Not even in the city only but any place actually. There is always that provision that allows for a cyclist to park their bicycles. And am sure no one has ever come across a fully parked cyclist parking area. That’s just so rare.

 

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