In our third installment of clips from the archives of the Tour de France, today we go from the mountains to the suffering of the thousands of cyclists who participate each year in the L'Etape de Tour, as well as looking at how riders relieve the tension and drama by clowning around when they get the chance.
Cyclingnews will be presenting video highlights of every stage just after the stage finish. The video clips are being sourced from the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the owners of the Tour de France, using footage provided by the host broadcaster. But before the 2008 Tour rolls out tomorrow, here are another four clips from the vault.
The first clip of today's batch reviews the famous climbs of the Tour de France; those brutal, long and beautiful peaks that always create the final selection in every year of the Tour. This clip looks at the history of these climbs, such as the Col du Galibier and Mont Ventoux, the 'Giant of Provence' as it's known.
The next clip we offer today is a feature on the L'Etape de Tour, that special event that's been held since the mid '90s where thousands of 'regular' cyclists test themselves by riding a complete stage of the Tour, with the roads closed to traffic for the day.
The third new clip looks at the drama of the Tour. Called 'Le Soap Opera', this feature reviews the whole range of emotions on display as riders push themselves beyond their physical limits.
Finally, the fourth clip of the day shows the Tour's humourous and lighter side, this feature includes vision from many Tours in years past, with some light-hearted moments showing how the riders break the tension along the flatter stages - by swapping bikes, or dodging errant cattle and spectators. It shows that despite all the drama and exertion, there's always time to look around and enjoy the spectacle.
Stay tuned for the first of our race highlights clips to be uploaded as soon as today's stage finishes.