Tour de France Stage 2

Nibali's FinishDay 2 of the Tour de France took off in York today finishing off 201km away in Sheffield. Vincenzo Nibali took the win at 5 hours 8 minutes and 36 seconds followed by Greg van Avermaet (Bel/BMC Racing) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol/Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) in a bunch 2 seconds later. Marcel Kittle lost the Yellow Jersey to Nibali finishing 20 minutes behind.

British Mark Cavendish was officially ruled out of the race before the start of today’s race due to his crash yesterday. “I’m absolutely devastated,” said Cavendish and adding that he may require surgery.

It is estimated that more than 2.5 million spectators watched the race from the roadsides lining York and Sheffield. Holme Moss, the longest and toughest of this stage’s ascends, was lined with over 60,000 fans. Five of this stage’s climbs were in the last 60km of the race with Jenkin’s Road being the hardest at a 33% gradient stretching 800 meters.

The current top 5 standing after Stage 2 is as follows:

  1. Vincenzo Nibali (Kazakhstan)
  2. Peter Sagan (Italy)
  3. Greg Van Avermaet (US)
  4. Michael Albasini (Australia)
  5. Christopher Froome (Great Britain)

Tomorrow the peloton will race 155km from Cambridge to Londres. Where the longest climb today was about 20km and 521m at the highest point, Monday’s race will give the riders a bit of a break as the route peaks at 108m at Epping Forest. From Cambridge, the peloton will climb 88m and a 20km distance to Saffron Walden. After that the slopes vary very little till around the 75km mark before Moreton and then it’s a push up to Epping Forest. Looks like a good time for Sagan and maybe even Froome to snip off crucial time to take Nibali off the Yellow Jersey.
Tour de France - Stage 3 Profile

Tour De France

Marcel Kittle races to the finish line

Marcel Kittle races to the finish line

Stage 1 of  Le Tour de France took off yesterday in Leeds at 12:00 pm (local time). Prince William, Prince Henry and the Duchess of Cambridge officiated the event, which marked the second time in history that the tour was set in England.

The race did not end well for Mark Cavendish who crashed just 250 meters from the finish line giving the win to Marcel Kittle. The first stage of the 21 days event was a 190.5 km race to Harrogate. Cavendish apparently suffered from ligament ruptures and may not be able to race the second stage of the tour. The crashed occurred 250m from the finish line as Cavendish tried to push his way through Australian’s Simon Garrans hitting the tarmac hard with his head and shoulders. According to Cavendish’s Omega-Pharma-Quickstep team, x-rays had shown ligament ruptures with a dislocation at the acromioclavicular or AC joint causing him a lot of pain. The final decision on Cavendish’s participation in the next stage will be made on Sunday morning (local time). Cavendish said, ‘It was my fault. I’ll personally apologise to Simon Gerrans as soon as I get the chance.”

With Britain’s Cavendish out of the way, Marcel Kittle will lead in the Yellow Jersey and 24 year old Peter Sagan in the White. German Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing) held a three-minute advantage securing the polka-dot King of the Mountains jersey at Cote de Grinton Moor. The peloton caught up with him 10km later. At 42 and on his 17th tour, Voigt is the oldest man in the peloton.

The next stage will cover 201km hilly route from York to Sheffield.

For the full schedule

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Couch To 5k

HarmonyI haven’t been running for quite awhile now partly due to unnecessary distractions and I have also been spending more time on my bike. So, this morning I decided to try out a new app designed for couch potatoes. It’s called C25K or “Couch to 5k”. The app is suppose to guide you from zero running and exercise to 5 km race ready in 8 weeks. All you have to do is follow the instructions and dedicate 3 days a week of 30 to 45 minutes if running. The app is voice activated and will guide you through the entire program. This is really excellent for those of you who need your music plugged in from your phone’s playlist.

It gave me a decent 35 minutes workout, including warm-up and cool down.The voice guide meant that I didn’t need to look at the screen. I think that the average couch potato can easily follow this program, lose a few pound, tighten the waistline and as a plus, you would be race ready for a 5 km run. The programs starts off with a 5 minutes brisk walk as your warm-up, although I would personally recommend some 5 to 10 minutes of stretching for the professional couch potato. The app then proceeds to guide you through 8-cycles of 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking. Do this at your pace and not your 16-years old “blast from the past” alter-ego. The program ends with another 5 minutes brisk walking. Do this on alternate days. The workout intensity gradually increases over each week, however if you still find it hard to get over the first week’s workout, you can always repeat it the following week.

It’s only 3 times in the week, so I personally believe that most of you will be able to get onto this program easily and benefit from it. The app is available for both iPhone and Androids. Try it out now.

C25K is a free app from Zen Labs

C25K is a free app from Zen Labs

24 Strength and Flex Exercises

Here is something different. World pole dance champion Oona Kivelä demonstrates strength and flexibility moves on stall bars, parallel bars, floor and pole. These exercises are designed for pole dancers and gymnasts but they can really build your upper body in a more natural way. Most of them may be rather hard but there are a few you can easily start with and slowly build your way up.

The Left Bank

CyclistRecently, Kimbeley Yap, a SEA Games Gold medalist in triathlon was injured in an accident on the Penchala Link. She was hit by a 20 years old driver with his Harrier while cycling in the morning. On one forum, most everyone were saying how stupid of her to be out riding on the highway in the first place. Irrelevant of highway rules on cycling (or your puny point of view), most of you can be rather self-centered on the road. You take little to no notice of cyclist and pedestrians. Your only concern while driving, is getting to where you are going as fast as you can, your phone calls, text messages and your postings on Facebook, Twitter and whatever social sites you subscribe to. So I just had to voice this out to all motorist out there (and those who have a negative perspective on the victim).

First of all, you cannot train on a road bike in a “taman” (park). If we hit someone there, you will all say that we are stupid for riding in a park and we should ride else where. Riding up and down Cameron, Genting or Putrajaya is no more safer as drivers there are no more different than most of you, self-centered pricks.

Time of the day? Morning is peak hour traffic. From 11am till evening is high heat (unless it’s pouring). 12pm thru 2pm is lunch traffic and after that it only eases a tad bit until the 4:30 peak traffic moves in all the way till after 8:30pm. When we ride after dark, you will say we are causing a danger cause you cannot see us in the night. So? Are we to cycle after the world has slept? Trust me, even then it is no different with wasted drivers coming out of pubs and bars.

Kimberley YapIn Malaysia, road bikers don’t have a place to train properly where they are not avoiding potholes, pedestrians or errand motorist every other second. Highways roads are the only feasible options for competitive and avid cyclists. I cycle around my neighbour hood where traffic speed is not that high nor heavy, yet I still almost got run over by a car that tried to squeeze between cars at the traffic stop and me on the left bank of the second lane. And even when there are no other vehicles on a two lane road, I have had drivers swerving into me. Cyclist don’t ride out in the middle of the road; we cycle on the left bank which you are not suppose to drive into anyway. How big a road do you selfish tarts need for one freaking car. Why can’t you share the road?

So, it is not about where or when we ride. We are in constant danger of stupid-selfish motorist who seriously don’t give two hoots about anyone be they cycling or walking or even driving. All I want to ask is for you to try a little kindness and not just take notice of cyclists but to share a tiny little space on the left bank of the road with us. Is that too much?

I pray that Kimbeley will recover really soon and that she is not permanently injured in anyway.

Kimberley's Bike