Spoke Talk: A Tour — Sparticus, the Shark, the Boar and El Pistolero? | SteamboatToday.com

Spoke Talk: A Tour — Sparticus, the Shark, the Boar and El Pistolero?

A quick recap of selected UCI pro road races reveals interesting results. Simon Gerrans as part of Orica-GreenEdge has won his fourth Tour Down Under. Always a favorite, Sparticus, Fabian Cancellara, who retires this year, won Strade Bianchi.

The Shark from Messina, Vincenzo Nibali, wins his second Giro. Froomey takes the Dauphiné, Quintana wins the Volta de Catalunya. El Pistolero, Alberto Contador, takes his fourth win of the Tour de Basque Country. The Boar of the Ardennes, Phillipe Gilbert, just won his second National Championship, five years after his first.

Cycling nicknames aside, the Tour de France is the biggest annual event in the sporting world. Many of us enjoy pro road updates of the worldwide circus known as “The Tour.”

This year’s Tour de France starts in the most hallowed of territory, the providence of Normandy, in the small town of Manche.

Cycling fans know the riders who’ve won the Tour five times, names indisputable as champions of road cycling, Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault and Indurain. That accomplishment won’t be repeated.

So how will this year’s Tour de France unfold?

Though a fantastic climber, the Columbian Quintana probably can’t time trial well enough to take the top spot, and he probably can’t substantially ride away from either Froome, Sky, or Contador, Saxo, in the hills.

The Shark’s teammate Italian Fabio Aru could be a contender and certainly gets credit being a former U23 TdF champion, but he’s a long shot at best.

Froome is motivated to win back to back. It’s hard to argue he won’t; however, many think El Pistolero will pull off the Tour de France victory this year.

Closer to home, and perhaps more importantly, we’ve got our own “tour” queued up.

The Eriksen Tour de Steamboat presented by Shimano is a big deal. The four rides include a big sufferfest of a loop at 116 miles, a Yampa loop at 66 miles, a fun and rolling Stagecoach loop at 46 miles and a fun and festive Sydney Peak loop at 25 miles.

All proceeds benefit four area charities each serving a worthy cause.

So, how will this year’s Tour de Steamboat unfold?

Guaranteed a great ride with great people, fantastic food and lots of beer. Who could say no? Plus, you can enter to win nice adventure packages, or buy a $50 ticket to win a fully built Eriksen/Shimano bike worth about $7,500?

More information can be found at tourdesteamboat.com. Sign up and join us July 23.

Routt County Riders is the local source for grassroots advocacy and information for all types of cycling, be it road, gravel, trail, urban, dirtjump or BMX. If you need help or advice, contact us. Find us at facebook.com/rcriders, routtcountyriders.org or email rcriders@routtcountyriders.org.

Alan Perkins is a Routt County Riders board member and volunteer.

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