Tour de France 2013: Bad crashes and cookery courses - on the road with the Tour’s riders

Alasdair Fotheringham recalls the early bus stop, Thomas’ remarkable bravery and the power play that put Froome in yellow

Best mountain attack

It has to be Chris Froome on France’s toughest climb, the Mont Ventoux. Remaining seated, he dropped cycling’s finest and effectively won the Tour.

Cheesiest TV introduction

French TV’s pre-Tour coverage featured cookery classes on how to make quiches, live from the start line. Makes you wonder what they have for the Six Nations – baking baguettes?

Gutsiest rider

Earned hands down by Sky’s Geraint Thomas for riding through the Tour with a cracked pelvis. “My mum wants me to stop,” he admitted, but the Cardiff rider made it to Paris.

Unluckiest Brit

David Millar came within a whisker of taking another yellow jersey 13 years after he first wore yellow, but just missed out.

Most famous team bus

Orica-GreenEdge unintentionally got their bus stuck under the stage one finishing canopy. Not the ideal start for the Australian team, or the centenary Tour.

Classiest stage win

Joint award. Dan Martin after his gutsy attack 30km from the finish in the Pyrenees on stage eight and Mark Cavendish after Saxo-Tinkoff and Cav’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep squad ripped the race apart on stage 13.

Nastiest crash

France’s best overall hope, Jean-Christophe Péraud, broke his left collarbone in a training crash on the course of the stage 17 time trial in the morning. He decided to race on nonetheless, and then slammed into the tarmac at 80kmh with the same shoulder taking all the impact.

Best stopover

A hotel perched in Asco, a village at the top of a 30km climb through a valley gorge in one of the remotest corners of Corsica. The usual overnight Tour stopover in a grubby chain hotel in an anonymous industrial estate could, for once, be forgotten.

Most surreal spectators

Somewhere deep in Corsica’s mountain ranges, 30 or so bright pink fluffy life-size model turtles, complete with price labels, gazed at the TV cameras in a long line from the roadside. Strange beyond words.

Best freebie

In recession-struck France, gone are the days of towns giving us Tour journos bottles of brandy, tennis balls or flower-shaped vibrators all the better to remember them by. A bright yellow plastic belt from the Alpe d’Huez ski station, this year’s most generous offering, just doesn’t hit anybody’s spot – alcoholic, sporting or the more personal type – in the same way.

And the bonus prize goes to...

The 2013 Tour route. Challenging, well-balanced, neither overly mountainous nor too favourable for the time triallists. More of the same in 2014, please.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most