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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
See how nearly every bicycle saddle is made
Ever wonder how FSA does it? Take a walk through the factory and find out
Classic Colnago steel frame with gorgeous pantographed Campagnolo components
Leopard Trek's Fränk and Andy Schleck get ready for a pre-Tour training session.
Fränk Schleck's bomb, Cav's Twitter admiration, Lefevere abuse and the dame jaune
Our often irreverent look at the Tour de France news you may have missed.
Fränk Schleck's morale-lifting present for Saxo Bank
There may have been a mass exodus from Saxo Bank-SunGard at the end of last season for the new Leopard Trek outfit, but it appears as though some former members of the team are still 'giving back' to the team run by Bjarne Riis.
Saxo Bank and Leopard Trek were sharing hotels following Saturday's opening stage, and a few of the riders bumped into each other in the lift. Australia's Richie Porte reported the following exchange on his Twitter feed:
"shared a trip in hotel lift with some of Team Leopards finest lads... Thanks @schleckfrank for the nasty little present as he exited!"
Round one to Leopard Trek.
Man is harder than rock and more fragile than an egg...
They may be on the side of the road, but as mere mortals, spectators have done some serious damage to the peloton over the years, and Saturday's opening stage was no different. The person who got in the way of the main bunch with nine kilometres to go was the subject of much ire on social networks as images of cyclists hitting the deck were beamed live around the world.
Astana's Maxim Iglinskiy was the rider who hit the spectator, and he explained what happened once safely at Mont des Alouettes.
"I was pushed by a fan who turned at the moment I went alongside him, the group was compact, I had no alternative," the Kazakh rider said. He was able to ride on with abrasions to his left elbow and thigh and some bruising to his knee.
Iglinskiy's teammate Tomas Vaitkus, who was riding behind him when the collision occurred, has a non-serious injury to his right hand.
The incident serves as a timely reminder on what not to do should you visit the Tour de France, and here, Jens Voigt offers his advice.
Gilbert's shock and awe
There is no doubt that Philippe Gilbert is having the season of his career, with the Belgian's win on Saturday just another cherry on his 2011 cake. While many of his wins have resulted from blistering uphill attacks, it seems Gilbert, who's currently sporting strikingly bleached locks, still has the ability to create shock and awe among the peloton.
"Just saw todays last kilometre," said HTC-Highroad's Mark Cavendish via Twitter. "Gilbert humbled everyone with the equivalence of pulling down his pants to reveal a 13incher. #YIKES"
Quick Step feel the wrath of the fans
The Quick Step team got a nasty response from the public during Saturday's stage after the team bus was seized and searched by the police Friday night. Nothing was found but some fans still yelled “Quick Step, dopers!” according to team manager Patrick Lefevere.
“It's very hard. We have done nothing, nothing was found, but apparently the crowd think we're suspicious,” he told Sportwereld. He opted not file a complaint, philosophizing: “Who wants to piss in the wind?”
Mixed emotions at Liquigas-Cannondale
Ivan Basso avoided losing time in the Contador crash but sportingly refused to celebrate his Spanish rival's misfortune. However his boss Roberto Amadio saw the 1:14 advantage is a different light.
"We've got to stay calm and without fooling ourselves. I don't like celebrating for someone else's bad luck. Perhaps in the next few days the same thing will happen to me," Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Amadio thought's were diametrically opposite: "For us it was like winning a stage."
The search for the Dame Jaune
Alberto Contador's crash was the big news of stage one and so several journalist scurried to the point of the crash to look for the women who caused the whole thing.
There was no sign of the Dame Jaune -the lady in yellow, but L'Equipe sung her praises in a column and the paper gave her five out of ten for her performance, suggesting she was more effective (on the overall classification of the Tour) than the climb to Avoriaz.
The list of riders injured during stage one almost filled a page of the result, with 15 names listed.
One missing and perhaps in the most pain after the stage was Thomas De Gendt (Vancansoleil). He reportedly suffered a micro fracture at the tip of his collarbone and dislocated both his thumbs.
Despite his pain, he is expected to be able to continue in the Tour.