Sponsored by TBS Labour Ltd

What a second week we've had at the Tour de France. It's kind of hard to believe there's still a full week of competition ahead - it definitely feels as though we've had enough excitement for a full three week Grand Tour already.

It's not been the easiest of weekends though, despite the gripping storylines that have come from the racing side of things. So many times as a cycling fan we talk about the risks of the sport, and of accepting that to follow bike racing, we must take the rough with the smooth, as must the riders, who put themselves in the line of fire every time they get on their bike and take to the start line.

The unique nature of the interaction between the fans at the roadside and the peloton is part of what makes the sport so appealing, and the allure of being part of the crowd, and experiencing the speed of the race firsthand, is something everyone should try at least once. But there's a fine line, and when crowds interfere with the race and impact the riders, there's an instinctive reaction - how can we make this safer?

The live crowds are vital for the sport's atmosphere, and after the covid year with empty streets, many riders were glad to have their presence back at races. But it's a balancing act of risk versus reward, and today's crash, caused by a spectator leaning too far out into the road to take a photograph, is evidence of that. It's on everyone who attends live racing to be attentive to the race itself, and screens so often detract not only from the experience of inhabiting the race, in the moment, but they also diminish awareness, just as they do when we are driving or riding ourselves, and it's something every fan needs to consider.

Descents too are part of the sport, and the dangers are ever-present in our minds, particularly following the recent tragic loss of Gino Mäder. Once again, it's a factor that can only be mitigated so far. Crashes for a number of riders today were thankfully not as bad as they could have been. It's a tough thing to witness and even tougher to be a part of, and it was interesting to read an honest interview with Pierre Latour this week where he spoke out about his fear over descending - something that many of us can understand, I'm sure. Wishing all the riders a safe and incident-free final week of Le Tour.

Now on with Le Content.

We are working hard to keep you all entertained and informed, and we really hope you enjoy what you read. If you'd like to support the site at any point you can buy us a coffee, head to the writebikerepeat.com shop to have a browse and pick up an item or two, or subscribe as a free or paying member of the writebikerepeat crew. We'd love to have you on board. 




def: prepare your musettes!

Looking ahead to the next stage.

Cuisine du Jour

Stage 16 - Passy - Combloux (22.4km, ITT)

Stage 16 Profile, courtesy of FirstCycling

It's been a long time coming, but stage 16 finally offers the riders of the 2023 Tour de France the chance to test themselves against the clock, with a 22.4km undulating parcours. The race remains in the Haute-Savoie region, in the shadow of Mont Blanc, and quite honestly the race has been loitering around this area of the country for a while now and I've run out of ideas. So I've chosne a simple dessert thats popular in the region, the Tarte aux Myrtilles, or blueberry tart.

Tartes aux Myrtilles (image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

I suppose you'll be wanting a reason why now, won't you? FINE. It's following a rest day, and though a time trial isn't everyone's favourite discipline, to open up the road book and see a 22.4km effort on the menu for the day is probably about as good as having a lovely dessert with some local icecream - what kind of icecream? Well I'll tell you - it's genepy ice cream which is made from a local herbal liqueur that tastes like chamomile. Booze, and chamomile - could this dessert BE any more relaxing? It's literally a dessert stage. Silky smooth and sweet, like the finesse of a time trialist doing their thing. Simply delicious.

Enjoy, and don't be afraid to lick the plate - no-one's watching.


def: after the effort, the comfort

Taking a sideways look back at the day's action, to reflect, reconcile and remember.

Speedy Stage Takeaway

It's been a weekend of high drama. Crashes, crashes, and more crashes, breakaways stifled and released, a change in the polka dot jersey wearer after 12 of a possible 14 days of leading the competition for Neilson Powless, success for young GC riders and veteran domestiques, and over the whole weekend, just ONE SECOND of time between the two protagonists, Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar, who are the two most evenly matched sportsmen I can ever recall seeing.

Today's victor was Wout Poels, with his first ever Grand Tour stage victory, which was universally enjoyed by the cycling community who've seen the Dutchman serve others for many years without reward. A richly deserved victory and another dedicated to the memory of Gino, and all in all a wonderful, warm hug of a win, so chapeau that man.

Stage 15 in 15 WORDS

Change of plan favours the break, an Italian King of the mountains, one Wout wins.

Let's take a look back at the day's action, via emojis.


by Anna McEwen

Taking stock in the GC

It's hard to believe that over 14 minutes separates the top 10 on GC currently, but despite some gulfs in between riders, there have been some notable winners and losers over the course of this weekend. Here's who's up, and who's down, after a decisive weekend in the Alps.

🔼 Carlos Rodriguez - he's gained just one position, but that position is a crucial one. Riding himself into excellent form, with his brilliant victory on stage 14 the Ineos Grenadiers rider currently occupies the coveted third spot, at the expense of Jai Hindley.

🔼 Adam Yates - in the form of his life, he's riding for Tadej Pogacar but in doing so, Yates is vying for the podium himself.

🔼 Guillaume Martin - doing a classic Guillaume Martin, the Cofidis rider has gone from 15th to 10th, landing himself in the top 10 with a couple of strong rides in the breakaway.

And these are the riders who've fallen away - time to go stage hunting, anyone?

🔽 Jai Hindley - going down in the mass crash early on in stage 14, Hindley has fallen off the pace and despite a brilliant first week, is sliding down the GC standings.

🔽 Simon Yates - despite there being a second between him and his brother before the weekend, the pressure of a tough weekend in the Alps has taken its toll on Simon, and he too is slipping out of contention.

🔽 Tom Pidcock - another rider to suffer in the stage 14 crash, Pidcock has lost a lot of time over the weekend, and if he can recover in time, will presumably be looking for stage wins in week 3.

Vive la Lanterne Rouge


Yes, Dutchman topped and tailed the standings at the end of the stage today, with the sprinter from Astana-Qazaqstan the final rider across the line. I'm sure he's honoured to occupy this coveted position, and while we're waiting to hear his reaction, let's find out some facts about the Dutch sprinter.

  1. Bol began cycling in a girl's team, when he rode with his sister as a junior.
  2. He's finished the Tour de France twice before, and on both occasions ended in position 140 on the standings - also he achieved 4 x top 10 stage finishes on both occasions - spooky!
  3. He has an adventurous streak - as evidenced by his Instagram.


noun: the refuelling

Features to enhance your Tour experience, and refresh your mind after a long day's cycling viewing.

Stat du Jour

by Sam Mould


As we wrap up week two the speedometer is showing:

Stage 15’s highest peak is the cat 3 Col des Aravis at 1,487. This feels a little fraudulent as the bulk of those climbing metres had been addressed on the cat 1 Col de la Croix Fry that immediately precedes it. However, these are the rules. Rules I’ve implemented myself, but rules all the same.

Col des Aravis comes in at 812.57 Wout Poels’ tall.

So here we are again, on the precipice of a day with no cycling.  So to try and fill the void, please feel free to play along.

Question 1: What was the average age of riders at the start of the tour?

Question 2: What is the average age of riders left in the tour?

Question 3: Which team had the youngest starting team?

Question 4: Which team has seen the greatest movement in average age of the team to the end of stage 15?

Question 5: Which climb was the highest peak of the second week?

Question 6: How many riders had the rainbow trim on their kit on stage one of the tour?

Question 7: How many years have those riders won the world elite road race between them?

Question 8: Which stage this year has been completed in the slowest average pace?

Question 9: At the end of stage 15, how many teams are still 8 riders strong?

Question 10: What percentage of total KM have already been completed in this years Tour de France?

Band of Brothers

There are 27 nations represented at this year's Tour, and coincidentally, 21 of them have two or more riders. Each day, we'll take a look at a different nation, evaluate their chances of success and throw in a random fact or two, and add to our 'National Standings' chart to see if numerical advantage translates to more stage wins. Dedicated to Justdiggit, Gino's charity of choice, who have set up a specific project in Gino's memory - please consider donating to them, during the Tour.

This segment is dedicated to the memory of the late Gino Mäder


With 7 riders, Germany are one of the better represented nations at this year's Tour, which makes it all the more surprising that they have not yet made an appearance on the leaderboard.

It's not as though they haven't tried. Phil Bauhaus was 2nd, a million years ago on stage 3, and has two third places too, which is not a bad record in a sprint field as strong as this.

He's not the only German to have featured on the podium - the youngest of his countrymen, Georg Zimmermann of Intermarché, also scored a second place, on stage 10 into Issoire.

Nikias Arndt is one of just 4 riders who are able to complete the hat-trick of Grand Tour stage wins of this Tour - it's been a great race for Bahrain-Victorious so far, so perhaps he could be the man. Former German champion Nils Politt tried his luck early on today's stage but couldn't make his solo breakaway attempt stick. He's also a former stage winner and may try again if he's given the freedom in week 3.

Emanuel Buchmann, John Degenkolb and Simon Geschke complete the German representation, and German fans will hope one of their own can make an impact on the leaderboard in week 3 - hopefully this feature will encourage them (Italy featured yesterday, and today as if by magic - here they are on the leaderboard, courtesy of Giulio Ciccone).

Graphic design: Sam Mould

Pardon my French

avec Mathieu Fraisse


After yesterday's GC battle, today's stage was most likely to be a breakaway day. A stage win in the most prestigious bike race? YES PLEASE!

Many contenders, only one winner though. The battle has been legendary and the winner probably embodied today's French expression at some point 🥵

Fumer le cigare | fyme lə siɡaʁ

Literally, smoking a cigar.

Used to talk about a rider in great shape, everything he does seems effortless.

E.g. : Wout Poels fumait le cigare dans la montée de la Croix Fry

Wout Poels was smoking the cigar in the Croix Fry

Cycling and smoking? Strange you might think, these two things don't mix together.

But this expression does not actually refer to the act of smoking a cigar. It's more of a vibe, like you could say 'drinking champagne'. I guess you could say this rider is pretty classy and belongs to the high society!

It can also be found in a less bourgeois form, like 'fumer la pipe' (smoking the pipe) or 'boire le café' (drinking coffee). Casual daily acts describing how effortless the riders look on their bikes.

After two weeks of intense racing tomorrow will be the second rest day. I can already hear some riders screaming HALLELUJAH! Enjoy boys, there's still a whole week left 🥵

And remember folks, smoking and alcohol abuse are hazardous to your health, be responsible 👌 Be like the Tour de France and save the champagne for the Champs-Elysées 🥂

YéYé, c'est Le Tour de France 2023

with DJ Momo

54: Defying Gravity -  "Wicked" Original Broadway Cast Recording

Today was a lot and my brain feels a bit like it's been hit by a random spectator too.

But the Wout x 2 finale was fun.

Wout Poels deserved this win. Seeing a so-often dedicated domestique win is wonderful, and his emotional dedication to Gino Mäder was moving.

Seeing Wout van Aert in 2nd place as the heaviest rider in Top 25 by far (Hugo Houle is 2nd in that race, but he's both lighter and in 13th place…) make me think he misheard the Jumbo bee tagline as "bumblebee" - because he really shouldn't be able to fly in this company, and yet, up there he is.

To paraphrase the winning Wout of the day; today's 2nd place is definitely not a pancake, which is especially funny given the definitely non-pancake flat parcours of today.

So as a fitting "Ik Moet Just Niks!" to Gravity; here's Idina Menzel in her most iconic role as Alpheba.

I don't know for certain what cycling's equivalent of combining the vibrancy, depth and groundedness of those power-belts with that E6 topnote, but I'm pretty sure it's best described by whatever Wout is doing.

(Plus you can always imagine Kristin Chenoweth's Glenda playing the role of the collective cycling media and the villagers at the end as, I dunno, Twitter fans? …it kinda works almost too well, if I'm being honest.)

And on that note, which doesn't have to be an E6, cause I'm exhausted today: Enjoy the rest day!

Uno-X Watch

It was a busy day for the Uno-X boys, with Rasmus Tiller and birthday boy Torsten Træen in the breakaway - they finished 34th and 45th in the end but it's great to see them up and animating the race once again. Into the third week, and here's hoping we see some success for the Uno-X boys, who've really acquitted themselves well so far this race.


def: The bits and bobs, the shiny things, the small treasures that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Rider doing something they’re not supposed to be doing of the day

There was one candidate who stood out head and shoulders ahead of the rest for this segment today, and it was Guillaume Martin, who engineered himself into the day's breakaway, only to lose concentration a bit later in the day and fly off in the wrong direction. Oops. (He made it back onto the group, and sneaked his way into the top 10 on GC to boot, so all's well that end's well).

And a late entry, Tadej Pogačar probably shouldn't be spending any MORE time with Jonas Vingegaard, given how much time they've already spent together so far this Tour. There's such thing as seeing too much of someone, you know Pogi...

Tweets of the Day

Hugs between friends and compatriots Wout Poels and Dylan van Baarle - who doesn't love to see this.

But in the end, it all came down to this:

The Ultimate Question

How is this Tour de France going to be decided?

(a) In the time trial

(b) On a mountain

(c) Sprint on the Champs-Elysées

(d) Other - comment

Let me know your answers in the comments below, or over on Twitter.

Photo competition

Sponsored by Jen’s Cycling Art

Are you visiting a stage of Le Tour this year? If so, this is your chance not only to show your photography skills to the world, but also to win a prize courtesy of Jen's Cycling Art. Just drop me a message and send across your best shots, and those selected will feature in a gallery of the day's best photography. Spread the word and get those cameras honed and ready!

Today features the second set of galleries from competition entrants - take a look through their excellent shots - which is your favourite?

If you have enjoyed reading this post and would like to show your support for my free cycling content, consider buying me a coffee. And if you’d like to hear from me more regularly subscribe.

Share this post