Originally posted to Tiny Fix on 7/23/13.
The last 3 weeks have been some of my favorite of the year, because of the 100th edition of the Tour de France.
If you've never watched the tour, most of the basics are explained in this awesome video that Nadarine posted last week. You might also check out this BBC article for a basic glossary of cycling terminology.
If you didn't watch it, you can see replays and highlights at steephill.tv or cycling.tv. I recommend watching Stage 1 (big crashes, Orica Greenedge bus stuck under finish banner), Stage 8 (Axe 3 Domaines with a mountaintop finish), Stage 9 (more craziness in the Pyrenées) as well as Stage 15 (Mt. Ventoux), Stage 17 (Individual Time Trial with 2 category 2 climbs), Stage 18 (Alpe d'Huez, TWICE), Stage 20 (the final mountain stage where 2nd-6th places were decided), and of course Stage 21 (Paris/Champs-Elysées).
The main commentators on the American broadcast are Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. If you watch the TdF every year, you'll notice that they tend to use a lot of the same phrases. Phil also tends to get confused and call people by the wrong names, and Paul spouts a steady stream of facts about every chateau and cathedral the riders pass. Some of their most often-used phrases during the TdF include:
Suitcase of Courage - what you dig deep into to pull of a phoenomenal performance on a bicycle.
Burying yourself - see: Turning yourself inside out
Turning yourself inside out - see: Burying yourself
Putting the hammer down - Attack!
Dancing on the pedals - what Alberto Contador does when he climbs mountains
The elastic has snapped - that rider drifting towards the back is now officially off the back and unable to keep the pace of the peloton
Argy Bargy - bumping shoulders and handlebars
My personal podium
There are lots of awards given out. The yellow jersey to the overall winner, the green jersey to the best sprinter, the polka-dot jersey to the King of the Mountains (best climber), the white jersey to the best young rider, as well as daily stage winners and the Most Aggressive Rider prizes. But here are a few other achievements that I think deserve recognition.
Biggest favors owed - Richie Porte (Australia, Team Sky), domestique extraordinaire who paced Chris Froome up countless climbs, stayed at his side, grabbed food for him (getting a both time and financial penalty) when Froome was suffering a sugar low at the top of the second ascent of Alpe d'Huez. Chris Froome owes this man big time.
Biggest Goofball of the Tour - Peter Sagan (Slovakia, Cannondale), who dyed his hair and goatee green for the final stage to celebrate winning the green (sprinter's) jersey, and did wheelies as he crossed the finish line on multiple occasions. Almost makes up for when he pinched that podium girl's ass at the Tour of Flanders (idiot).
Best looking riders of this year's tour (for their overall hotness, in no particular order)
And a special award for Best Smile/Grimace
Tiny Fix Tiny Cyclist Award - Nairo Quintana (Colombia, Movistar), unbelievable Colombian climber and newcomer to the tour who took home both King of the Mountains and Best Young Rider jerseys this year. Even standing on the top step, he was shorter than the podium girls who were standing on the lower steps.
Shut up legs.