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From Corsica to Paris: Let the Journey Begin

28/06/2013
This Saturday, an exciting three-week long journey will set off from Corsica, as the world’s top racers will pull out all of their weapons in an attempt to win the peloton’s most prized treasure: the champion’s yellow jersey. With this blog, we begin another journey, that while not as difficult, I hope will be just as exciting as the race itself. My name is Francis Lafargue and I am the Public Relations Manager of BH Sojasun, the team which we will be following throughout the race. In this space, I hope to offer a journey from inside the peloton, describing the experiences that the spectator simply cannot see on television. Experiences of the cyclists, as well as those of the mechanics, massage therapists, assistants, spectators-- all of those elements forming the multi-coloured snake. And with many Tours under my belt, I will also take a look back, recalling past battles that are an unforgettable part of this, the world’s most important multiple stage race. We will discuss the development of the bikes, the food the cyclists eat, and all of those details that may be of interest to you. Do you remember the bikes that Bartali or Luis Ocaña rode? Did you know that there was a cyclist who continued over 400 kilometres with the spokes of a wheel stuck in his back? Who knows where Louison Bobet quit the race? We will tell you these and many other interesting anecdotes.
From Corsica to Paris: Let the Journey Begin

Historia BH

But back to the present… Today the team can be found in Porto-Vecchio, the lovely Corsican site where on Saturday, the hundred-year-old race will begin. This paradise-like site is an ideal vacation destination. Corsica is a unique region of France that had, until now, never hosted any stage of the Tour and the scenery could not be better. With turquoise waters, gorgeous beaches and an elegant marina, it is the perfect place to take a stroll, relax and have a drink in a terrace-- thus it is referred to as the “Island of Beauty”. But today there is a competitive feeling in the air, the feeling that something very important is about to happen. Outside of the hotels, there are numerous stands where bicycles are the main protagonist; even in the hotels there are lots of fans searching for their idols to snap a photo with them. At the team headquarters the environment is tenser. Cyclists examine every detail of the stages, particularly the first, where they worry over the state of the roads which are overly narrow in some sections. Mechanics prepare the machines, massage therapists care for the racers’ legs, directors prepare their strategies while acting as psychologists, trying to relax their team, journalists spend all day attached to their cell phones, searching for stories. This is the Tour! I hope that through this blog you will learn some of the inside stories, the secrets of the peloton: the relationship between the leaders, the relationship between racers and the media and the public, how they rest, who they turn to when they are worried, the role of family members and many other secrets.

Historia BH

And of course, I will tell you all about what is happening with our team. For us, it is incredible to be here. We are a humble team and do not tend to capture media attention like Contador, Froome, Evans, etc. but you can be assured that there will be much talk about BH Sojasun during this Tour. We know that we should thank the organization for inviting us and the best way to do this is to always be present in the race. Our goal is to win a stage, but it is also, and above all, to demonstrate our values and to have our nine men be ever-present in the race -- fighting to the best of our possibilities. We cannot guarantee a win, but they will surely arrive in Paris without a gram of strength remaining in our legs and for that, we are very proud of our racers. And we want you to get to know them better. We will tell you about them, about who gets the most nervous, who is the biggest jokester (Will it be Hivert or Delaplace?), their obsessions, their day to day experiences, the dreams of the younger athletes like Simon or Vuillermoz and the experiences of Brice Feillu, previous winner of the Tour’s longest stage.

Here we will tell all. We invite you to share the journey with us.

 

 

 

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