Plays Nice with Paris-Nice

Nicolas Roche chain recovery while moving step 1

Nicolas Roche, Chain Recovery Step 1 - is still a long way from an easy-to-view service but a little persistence has paid off this week with some great race coverage from McCrossan and Backstedt.

Excitement. Stage 3 saw an incredible attack by the whole Rabobank team with 45km to go that shredded an inattentive peloton as it hit a stretch of road open to the wind. Within minutes the race was strung out and in survival mode as Rabobank doled out unrelenting destruction from the front. An alert Sylvain Chavanel used the orange and blue assault to launch his late surge that got him the stage and the yellow jersey from an isolated Contador.

Stage 4 was equally compelling. First there was an amazing bit of bike skill by Nicolas Roche. After dropping his chain on the penultimate climb he calmly hopped his rear wheel to make sure the chain wasn't wrapped on the cassette then still moving uphill he reached down and put the chain back on the front ring. As Backstedt and McCrossan cautioned "don't try this at home" Roche made it look dead simple and kept all his fingers. I'd have been at the side of the road cursing.

Nicolas Roche chain recovery while moving step 2

Nicolas Roche, Chain Recovery Step 2 -

If you've been following the race you know on the approach to the last climb Christian Vande Velde dropped the hammer and just powered away. No one in the break stood a chance of staying with him and he seemed to be grinning as he did it. Meanwhile back in the chasing peloton Contador decided he could take some time back on Chavanel on the climb, so he got out the saddle and showed that ridiculous uphill acceleration he's famous for. Fantastic stuff.

5 Responses to Plays Nice with Paris-Nice

  1. Alastair says: would be great, if you didn’t have to pay for it. The whole subscription thing just feels old hat.

    Surely there’s a better ad-driven model for broadcasting free video of pro cycling on a more useable platform? Is there a model from the world of track and field or other more niche sports?

    • I’m with you Alastair. I was just amazed the service actually worked this week. As I wrote recently I’m coming up to the end of my subscription and I’ve seen so little cycling via the service this past year, it certainly hasn’t justified the cost. Intermittent feeds and a terrible UI contributed to more frustration than it was worth… I just gave up. This week’s racing restored by faith in the potential a bit. The Tour of California “Tour Tracker” was definitely a better experience judging by all the positive reviews it received during and after that race.


  2. chr15 says:

    Cycling tv always seems to complex for (luddite) me. I prefer easy to understand stuff like the Bicycle.

    I’m hoping that Chavanel can resist Contador…

  3. BR says:

    Back in the 1983 – 1984 time frame we Yanks waited for the morning paper to read the 6-7 sentences of 30 hour old updates that covered the TdF. When Greg LeMond won the worlds and then moved to Europe we got 15-20 lines! It all gets better every year with the several options available to us. Winning magazine was the only real source of cycling news and color pictures back then. My point? Go see the TdF, the GIRO, Vuelta, etc. You can see five real classics in April in a 14 day span.

    I happened to be in Ireland in 1986 where I caught the Dublin start of the Tour of Ireland (Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche, 7-11 (Kiefel, Steida, Phinney, etc). California had just hosted the Coors Classic in San Francisco, etc. All of this exposure lead me to save up for three years and fly to France for the final 15 days of the TdF. Everything changed after that. I have since not matched that trip for the pure experience, joy, and adventure of riding the Pyrenees & Alps. Go see the TdF, do the Etape, the GIRO,whatever. The filtered, edited, enhanced coverage is nice but we don’t take memories away from TV.

    I have pleasant memories the Col de Peyrousorde and a guy walking a 200lb bear up the rode on a chain leash. The Dutch insanity at the turn 19-20 of Alpe’D, 70-90 mile rides per day all finishing with a 12 pack of tiny French ice cream sandwiches, a dozen more, etc. I used but there are several companies. Make the commitment..go. I have Italy in 2011 penciled in.

  4. If they banned the cheesy Mac Ads on paid subscribers site all would be cool.. it works fine for me.. and until Versus covers more Cycling and less Cow tipping, Ill get my Cycing fix anyhow I can!