Bkool Tour de France
Those clever people at Bkool give you the chance to not only follow the Tour de France everyday but to actually ride the highlights yourself, all from the ‘comfort’ of your own home…
We are big fans of the Bkool indoor-outdoor training system. The ability to record outdoor routes and then ride them again indoors, plus the huge online library of videos and the ease of creating your own interval sessions, added to the huge amount of data you can collect from each training session, makes for a great training system. Add in the system’s cost which is far cheaper than most other trainers of this ilk and Bkool is a winner.
There’s one other cool thing about Bkool that you may not know about; they have a blog called Bkoolers. Everyday useful articles are posted, including useful training features. Even better, on the eve of major races, the route of that race is published and this affords you the ability to ride the same route that the pros will undertake later… They are all there; Tour of Flanders, Paris Roubaix, The Giro… and now the Tour de France.
Each day you will be emailed the next day’s route with the finish and the major points of interest ready for you to load into your laptop (‘create a session’ as the Bkool system refers to it) and then ride it on your turbo trainer. Time it right and there’s no reason you can’t ride the route at the same time as the pros on the TV…
So for the first stage Bkool offered the finish into Bastia:
The second stage has the finish into Ajaccio including the tough little climb that kicked off today’s action with about 12km to go. It was on that tough little climb that Gautier and Flecha launched their attack, leading to Chris Froome somewhat bizarrely also going on the attack… Not what you expect to see from a Tour contender so early on, though perhaps he’d been watching videos of Indurain attacking with a certain Johan Bruyneel, when the Tour visited Liege in 1995 – if you can remember that far back. Anyway, unlike Indurain, he did not succeed and eventually on the coastal run in to the finish a break of six formed, with only Jan Bakelants managing to survive to the finish and hold off the lead group, and a fast finishing Peter Sagan, for the win.
As well as the finish they also give you the chance to test your legs on the major climbs of the day. For instance on Stage 2 from Bastia to Ajaccio, you could do the category 3, 7.3km Col de Bellagranajo; the category 3, 6.9 km Col de la Serra; and the Col de Vizzavona, a Category 2, 7.5km ascent.
In Bkool profile the Col de Bellagranajo looks a bit like this:
If you had did all three climbs plus the finish that would be 48.5km (30.3 miles) of riding. If like us your cycling time is always under attack from family, work and life in general, then Bkool will be heaven sent and at times when you might just watch the Tour with your feet up, Bkool can make the whole 3 weeks a lot more interesting…