The 102nd Tour de France kicked off Saturday and there's already been a ton of action! The riders are racing over 2,087 miles in 3 weeks and, thanks to technology, fans this year can follow along like never before. Sure, there's still tv, radio, streaming video, and online leaderboards, but this year we've got even more access thanks to GoPros in the peloton (and everywhere else) and some savvy Strava use by the riders!
Mechanics and support staff wearing cameras have given us a sneak peek into exactly what goes on in all those cars that follow the riders. The video above shows ORICA GreenEDGE mechanic, Fausto Oppici, rushing to the aftermath of the huge stage 3 crash to get his team rolling again. These videos really give you a sense of the chaos, drama, and urgency of the day-to-day Tour.
But it's not all crashes and disasters - even "regular" bike changes are thrilling when seen through the eyes of the teams working so hard to win. The teamwork, efficiency, and organization of the professionals is truly amazing! Here we ride along with an Etixx-Quick Step mechanic as he executes some masterful mid-race bike changes.
And it's not all support videos either, for the first time ever, cameras are allowed on the bikes! The result is an inside perspective on the race that only used to be possible with years of training and actually competing yourself. The BMC Racing Team has really run with it, and are posting ride-along videos of each stage so you can experience it all. From the first stage in Utrecht...
...to the cobblestones of Stage 4...
...and they'll keep it up all the way to the Champs-Élysées! If you've got a trainer at home, pop on a playlist, and you can race right along with them!
And video's just the beginning! Thanks to the ubiquity of ride-tracking apps like Strava (and some tech-comfortable racers), we're getting an inside look at the just how much work these guys are doing on a daily basis. Riders like Andre Greipel are easy to find with a simple search and all you need to do is pick a stage, click on "Andre rode with 16 others", and you'll find even more Tour riders plus their efforts over the course.
|Rider||Team||Overall Position - 7/9/15|
|Romain Bardet||AG2R La Mondiale||21|
|Paul Voss||Bora-Argon 18||38|
|Michal Kwiatkowsky||Etixx-Quick Step||42|
|Koen de Kort||Giant-Alpecin||43|
|Reinardt Janse van Rensburg||MTN-Qhubeka||60|
|Jacques Janse van Rensburg||MTN-Qhubeka||87|
|Damiano Caruso||BMC Racing Team||128|
|Marcel Wyss||(IAM Cycling||129|
|Emanuel Buchmann||Bora-Argon 18||163|
|Laurens Ten Dam||LottoNL-Jumbo||184|
Average speeds, heart-rate data, comments, photos, and more, all thanks to riders who geek out over their tech as much as we do!
It's an exciting time to be a race fan and hopefully we'll see similar things start to happen in other events as well (we're really itching for some Olympic track cycling GoPro footage!). If you haven't been watching the Tour, get on it! It's the most widely watched annual sporting event in the world and they'll only be at it for a couple more weeks. Luckily for us, this year offers so many ways to enjoy it.