Stage 8: Kadri holds on in the Vosges
As the Tour de France entered the mountains the Telegraph Cycling Podcast, supported by Jaguar brings you all the latest news, analysis and interviews.
The Vosges mountains are the first major battleground of this year’s race and, while Blel Kadri nabbed the first French stage win, the main contenders came to the fore. Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali went toe-to-toe up the final climb to Gérardmer La Mauselaine, with Contador stealing a few seconds, but the general classification remains finely balanced with far more climbing to come.
Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe discuss the implications of the first mountains for the battle for the yellow jersey, as well as the performance of the young British rider, Simon Yates, who made it into the breakaway and almost held on for third on the stage.
Daniel spoke with Yates’s mother, Susan, who was watching anxiously at home. And at the finish his director at Orica-GreenEdge, Matt White, was full of praise for the Tour debutant, noting that Saturday “was the first opportunity we gave to Simon Yates in the Tour de France and he took it with two hands.”
The podcast also features an interview with the first Chinese ever to ride the Tour de France, Ji Cheng. The Giant-Shimano man is an important cog in the Giant-Shimano wheel, doing huge shifts at the front of the peloton in the early part of stages before the lead-out train takes over in the final kilometres to set up Marcel Kittel.
Kittel, of course, has won three stages already this Tour, victories to which Cheng has contributed hugely, albeit — to most eyes — invisibly. He finished last on the first mountain stage and sits one place behind the lanterne rouge, or last man on general classification.
In the interview he talks about his pride at being the first Chinese to ride the Tour, and reveals his secret passion — cooking.