Showing posts with label Endurance Sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Endurance Sports. Show all posts

Video: Enduring the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc Trail Run

The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc is considered one of the toughest trail running events in the entire world, drawing hundreds of competitors from across the globe on an annual basis. In this fantastic short documentary we get an inside look at that race courtesy of our friends at Columbia Sportswear and Teton Gravity Research. As with most long-distance endurance events, the race is a blend of agony and joy, with runners pushing themselves to their absolute physical limits over the course of the 103-mile (165 km) route. Along the way they pass through three different countries – France, Italy and Switzerland – as they take on some of the toughest and most beautiful terrain the Europe has to offer. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

Video: Into Patagonia with Endurance Runner Dakota Jones

As most of you know, Patagonia is one massive, sweeping, and spectacular wilderness. It covers more than a million square kilometers of space, and yet is home to less than 2 million people. Recently, American mountain runner Dakota Jones visited that place in an effort to explore it for himself and meet a few of those people along the way. This video takes us with him as he goes into Patagonia and discovers all of the wonders that can be found there. This is an amazing short documentary that you should sit back and enjoy. It's well worth the watch.

Video: Adventure Racing Through the New Zealand Wilderness

The Red Bull Defiance is a two-day long adventure race held in the country that invented the sport – New Zealand. Over the course of those 48 hours, racers run, mountain bike, and paddle their way across some of the most rugged terrain imaginable, on a 142 km (88 mile) course designed to push them to the limits. As you'll see in this video, it seems that that mission was accomplished. If you're not familiar with adventure racing, this clip will certainly make a good introduction to the sport.

Video: Getting the Shot - What it Takes to be an Adventure Photographer

Ever wonder what it takes to be a great outdoor and adventure photographer? As you can imagine, it is a fun, rewarding job, but one that is also incredibly tough too. That is especially true for a woman, as there aren't many in the industry. But Erin Hogue is one of those ladies, and in this video she talks about what it takes to get the perfect shot. Erin will also be the only woman participating in the inaugural World of X Games: Zoom Photography Contest next week, which is awarding prizes for the best action sports images as well. If you're an aspiring photographer, you'll want to check out this clip, and subscribe to her YouTube channel to catch the ongoing series starting soon. 

Video: Kilian Jornet Takes on Seven Summits of Romsdalen

We haven't heard much from Spanish mountain runner Kilian Jornet since he returned from his speed attempt on Everest this past fall. But of course we all know he wasn't just standing still and resting on his laurels. In this video, we follow him as he attempts to complete the Seven Summits of Romsdalen in Norway in a single day. This tough 77 km (47.8 mile) route features 9000 meters (29,527 ft) of vertical gain and takes mere mortals like the rest of us the better part of a week to finish, particularly in the winter. Can Kilian conquer the course in record time? You'll have to watch the video below to see how he fares.

Pursuing a Speed Record on the Hardest Mountain Trek in the World

A few months back, a team of endurance athletes set out to Bhutan to attempt to set a new speed record for trail running along the Snowman Trek, largely considered to be one of the toughest trekking routes in the entire world. The goal was to complete the entire route in less than 14 days – fave days faster than the previously best known time. Along the way they faced tough trails, lots of altitude gain and lost, the thin air of the mountains, altitude sickness, brutal weather conditions, and more. Now, a few months after the expedition wrapped up, National Geographic Adventure has the story of this daring adventure in the High Himalaya.

The team that set out to run the length of the Snowman Trek consisted of endurance athletes Ben Clark, Anna Frost, Tim Olson, and Chris Ord. They had a support team with them as well to help carry gear and supplies, but even getting a group of locals to help with the logistics was a challenge. No one wanted to join the team, as all of the experienced guides in Bhutan thought that their plan was impossible to complete in the time that they had set for themselves. The original trek leaders and support crew quit right before the team was preparing to embark on their quest, leaving them scrambling to find others who were at least willing to try.

But the finally did get underway, and the details of their story are fascinating and at times harrowing. I don't want to spoil too many of the details, as the Nat Geo story – written by veteran endurance athlete Mat Hart – is incredibly well done. I will say this however, the group did manage to set a new speed record on the Snowman, and in the process redefined what can be done on that intensely demanding route.

Read the entire story here. It is a good one, and well worth a look. I'll be thinking about this group of runners when I set out for my own nightly run later today.

Team Seagate Wins Adventure Racing World Championships

Last week while I was away in the Caribbean, the Adventure Racing World Championships were taking place in Australia. That's where the XPD Expedition Race played hosted to nearly 100 coed teams from around the world, all of which had come to take a shot at being crowned the champs. But after four days of racing, covering more than 620 km (385 miles) across a challenging course that included mountain biking, trekking, paddling, climbing, and more, there were some very familiar names at the top of the leaderboard once again.

The top spot on the podium was hotly contested by two of the top teams in the world, who battled it out to the bitter end. But when the dust had cleared, two hours separated Team Seagate of New Zealand, who finished first, and the second place team of Adventure Medical Kits from the U.S. Team Columbia Vidaraid – also from the U.S. finished third – while Team Painted Wolf (South Africa) and Naturex (France) took fourth and fifth place respectively.

While the race was decided this pat weekend, some of the teams are still out on the course, which is a testament to both how challenging the course was and how determined these racers are to see it through to the end. The course will close at 1:00 PM Friday, November 18 local time, with all the competitors who haven't completed the race removed from the course.

The XPD Expedition Race marks the end of another long, challenging, and successful season for the Adventure Racing World Series. Now, the ARWS will go on hiatus before starting up the 2017 season at the GODZone Adventure Race in New Zealand next February. Next year's season will be an interesting one, as it is somewhat abbreviated in order to accommodate the AR World Championships being held in the U.S. for the first time. That's when the Cameco Cowboy Tough will host the best teams in the world, with a spectacular course set to be unveiled in Wyoming next August. That should prove to be an exciting race with a big event right here in North America.

Congratulations to Team Seagate on another impressive season and championships. They continue to be in a class all of their own.


Adventure Racing World Championship Set to Begin Tomorrow in Australia

The culmination of a long, and difficult, adventure racing season begins tomorrow. That's when more than 90 teams from around the world will set off on what promises to be quite a competition, with the winner being crowned the Adventure Racing World Champions for 2016.

This year, Australia's XPD Adventure Race places host to the final race in the Adventure Racing World Series for this year. Qualifying teams will duke it out on a 600 km (372 mile) course that promises to be a true classic. The coed teams of four will set out at 12:30 PM local time, with the winning team expected to cross the finish line just 4-5 days later.

The setting for this year's race will be the Shoalhaven region of Australia, which falls along that country's eastern coast, south of Sydney. According to race officials, about 70% of that region is national park or natural forests, making it an excellent venue to host an event that is designed to take place in remote areas. That area is said to be teeming with native wildlife as well, with plenty of kangaroos and wombats to be spotted on the course, and possibly even some whale out on the surrounding ocean.

As usual with an expedition-length adventure race, the competitors will have to trek, mountain bike, and paddle their way across the course. They'll also be asked to navigate from point to point using only a compass and map, and they may even have to climb, run, rappel, or swim on certain sections too. The top teams will go for more than a day and a half without sleeping, and deciding just when to rest will play an important part part of their strategy. Throughout most of the race they'll be tired, hungry, and in pain. And if you know anything about these athletes, they'll be loving ever minute of it.

The odds on favorite going into the race is Team Seagate from New Zealand. But, the field is deep and talented, with Columbia Vidaraid, Merrell Adventure Addicts, and Team Adventure Medical Kits all posing a threat to get onto the podium. In short, it should be a very competitive race to say the least.

You'll be able to follow the race as it unfolds on the XPD website. Right now, the teams are gathering at the starting point, going through mandatory gear checks, and preparing to start. They'll have to wait a bit longer, but the action will begin tomorrow.

Exactly What is the Toughest Outdoor Sport?

Have you ever wondered what the toughest outdoor sport is? Outside magazine did and put that question to some experts to find out. The results might surprise you, but you'll discover exactly which activities but the most demands on your body, and what some well known outdoor athletes consider the most grueling activities. 

In this article, Outside compares rock climbing, downhill mountain biking, ultrarunning, open water swimming, and nordic skiing to one another in terms of calories burned per hour, as well as injury rate and fatality rates. Using those statistics, they then analyzed each of the activities and spoke with experts on the sports to determine which ones are the most demanding.

In terms of calories burned per hour, those sports ranked in ascending order as downhill mountain biking (632/hr), ultrarunning (768/hr), rock climbing (818/hr), nordic skiing (952/hr), and open water swimming (957/hr). This gives you a bit of an idea of how much energy you expend while doing each of these activities on a high level. It explains why these athletes are in such impressive shape too. Burning those levels of calories on an hourly basis is intense, particularly when done for an extended period of time. I can tell you that when I go on one of my longer runs (10-15 miles) on a weekend, I ended up being hungry the rest of the day.

So just which of these sports was deemed the most difficult? According to Outside nordic skiing takes the crown because it requires strength, stamina, speed, and a level of cardio performance too. Next up, was rock climbing in no small part because of the technical skills required, followed by open water swimming and downhill mountain biking. Ultrarunning came in last of the five sports listed, although everyone involved with the article admitted that it is still an incredibly tough and demanding sport too.

What do you think? Did Outside get it right? Which of these sports do you think is the hardest? Is there one that didn't make the list that deserves a mention?

Video: What Exactly is Adventure Racing?

I write about adventure racing regularly on this blog, but not everyone knows exactly what the sport consists of. Thankfully, the fine folks over at the Adventure Racing World Series have put together this excellent and helpful video to help explain the sport to newcomers and to remind long time fans just how awesome it is. For my money, adventure racers are amongst the best endurance athletes in the world. Don't believe me? Check out the clip below to find out why I feel that way.

Endurance Athlete Sets New Record for Running Across the U.S.

Ultrarunner Pete Kostelnick has set a new speed record for running across the U.S., smashing the previous mark that had been in place for more than 36 years. The endurance athlete arrived in New York City on Monday of this week, bringing an end to his six-week odyssey that began in San Francisco back on September 12.

Officially, Kostelnick covered the 3067 mile (4935 km) distance between San Francisco and New York in 42 days, 6 hours, and 30 minutes. That beats the old record – set by Frank Giannino Jr. back in 1980 – by 4 days, 2 hours, and six minutes. That means that he had to average more than 72 miles per day – every day – to set the new mark.

While in the midst of this record setting run, Kostelnick set a brutal schedule for himself. He would sleep in a support vehicle until 3 AM, then run 40 miles (64 km) over the course of 7 or 8 hours. He would then take a break to refuel and rehydrate at lunch, before hitting the road once again. The second leg of his daily mileage would usually be another 30+ miles (48 km).

Only twice throughout the course of the journey did he fail to hit the 70 mile mark on any given day. He also took one full rest day along the way too. And on his final push into New Your City, he ran 87 miles (140 km) nonstop.

Kostelnick is no stranger to difficult runs, although he's never done anything like this one before. He is a two-time winner of the Badwater Ultra however, and holds the course record for that event at 21 hours, 56 minutes, and 32 seconds. That is a brutal race of course, but not much can compare to the daily grind of a transcontinental run like the one he just finished.

Congrats to Pete on amazing job. Breaking a 35+ year old record is never easy, and he just lowered the mark to a point that it could take another 35 years before someone else gets close.

Gear Closet: Altra StashJack Lightweight Running Jacket

Fall is here, which means cooler weather and unpredictable conditions that can make it much more challenging to know how to dress for our favorite outdoor activities. On some days you need a jacket, and on others you don't. And then of course there are those times when unexpected rain showers strike, making you wish you had brought a jacket with you even though you didn't think it was needed. That's exactly where the new StashJack from Altra comes in handy. It is a super lightweight option that has been so well designed that you won't ever have to decide whether or not you should bring it on your adventures.

A quick look at the technical specs for the StashJack provides some insights into why it is such a nice piece of kit. For example, it weighs just 3.3 ounces (93.5 grams), provides protection from both wind and rain, and it features a loose, tapered fit that gives your body room to move while taking part in fast-paced activities. It also includes some reflective highlights to help keep the wearer more visible in low conditions, and it is made with trimmed and flat locked seams that make it more comfortable to wear.

But, that is really just the beginning. Because what makes the StashJack so special is its ability to be stuffed into a tiny carrying pouch that comes complete with a built-in adjustable belt. This gives you the ability to wear the jacket around your waist until you truly need it, at which time it can be deployed in a matter of seconds without ever having the need to stop moving at all. The jacket even features an open back that is designed to wrap around your pack so you won't even have to remove it to put the jacket on.


This clever design comes our way from the team at Altra, a company focused on making excellent products for runners and hikers. Already this year I have reviewed both their Superior 2.0 trail running shoes and Lone Peak 3.0 hiking boots. In both cases, I came away very impressed with how comfortable and well made those products are. The StashJack doesn't disappoint in anyway either, only further increasing my confidence in Altra gear.

I've worn the StashJack on several runs this fall when I thought there was a chance of rain. On a couple of those occasions I managed to put in my milage before the bad weather set in, which normally would have annoyed me since I had brought a jacket along for no reason. But in this case, the StashJack attached securely to my waist, and because it is so lightweight, I pretty much forgot that it was even there. The included belt kept the jacket from bouncing around while I moved and it did nothing to impede my natural running movements.

On a couple of other occasions dark clouds did decide to open up and drop some rain on me while I ran. It was at those times that I was very happy to have this jacket along for the ride. I was able to quickly and easily pull it out of its stash pouch and put it on, taking just a few seconds to wrap myself in lightweight protection from the elements. This allowed me to happily continue with my workout without getting soaked to the bone.

It should be pointed out that the StashJack is made to be wind and water resistant, which means in more severe storms it can soak through, and heavy winds will still bring a chill to your body. But considering the fact that it weighs just 3.3 ounces, it performs quite well, even in those more demanding situations.

You don't have to be a runner to appreciate what the StashJack brings to the table. Hikers will certainly find this an appealing product as well. It's combination of convenience and svelte design make it a great choice for travel too, allowing you to wear it where ever you go, and instantly have a light jacket that you can pull on at a moments notice.

Priced at $130, the StashJack is more expensive than many will probably want to pay. But it is surprisingly durable for its size and packs in a high level of performance. If you're a daily runner (like me), you'll find this is a jacket you'll want to own. Having it in your gear closet for other occasions, like going on a day hike or traveling to a foreign city where rain is in the forecast, extends its value beyond just my regular workouts. Yes, it is possible to find a rain jacket at lower price, but you'll be hard pressed to find one that offers such versatility as well. For me, that makes the asking price well worth it.

Get one for yourself at Altra.com. And don't forget to grab one for the runner on your holiday shopping list too.

Australia to Host the Biggest Expedition Length Adventure Race Ever

In about three weeks time, the best adventure racing teams in the world will make the pilgrimage to Australia to take part in what is shaping up to be biggest adventure race of all time. That's because this year, the country plays host to the Adventure Racing World Championship, and the entire AR community is looking to get in on the action.

The XPD Expedition Race is this year's ARWC event and is scheduled to run from November 8 - 18. It will take place in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales, and will cover approximately 600 km (372 miles) of tough backcountry terrain. As usual, coed teams of four will have to run, mountain bike, paddle, climb, and trek through a challenging course that most will be happy to simply complete, but the teams looking to stand on the podium will finish in about 4.5 days.

Of course, this is all standard fare for the world of adventure racing, which has been staging some of the toughest endurance competitions on the planet for years. But what makes this year's AR World Championship so special is that the starting list for the race includes 99 teams – the largest field ever for an event of this kind.

According to reports, those teams hail from 20 different countries across six continents. What's more, at least three of the four members of a given team must be from their country of origin in order to claim that home country. That means that this race isn't just about winning the championship, it is truly a competition between rival nations as well. With the tops teams coming from the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil, this should indeed be one of the most competitive races ever as well.

While the course for the race won't be revealed until just before the start of the race, we're told that it is a very straight forward affair. The course designers promise "no mandatory stops, no dark zones, no optional controls – pure adventure racing at its best!" Because of this, the race course will be open for just 8 days, making it one of the shortest and fastest World Championship events ever.

Right now, the teams that are competing in the race are in wrapping up their training, planning their travel, and packing their gear. They still have a couple of weeks before they set out for Australia, but those weeks will go by quickly, and the'll be setting off before they know it. It should definitely be a fun race for fans of the sport to follow. With so many great teams on hand, the competition should be fierce. Of course, I'll share updates once the race is underway as well.

Good luck to all of the athletes, event organizers, volunteers, and support crew who will be at the event. I know from first hand experience how challenging and demanding these races can be for everyone involved.

Video: Skiing the Hardrock 100

The Hardrock 100 is considered one of the toughest ultramarathons on Earth. Held each summer in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, it challenges endurance athletes to cover 100 very tough miles (160 km) as quickly as they can. It is a difficult trail to run, even in the best of conditions, and no one has ever attempted to cross it in the winter. That is, until now. In this short documentary film we join ultrarunner Jason Schlarb as he attempts that very thing. In brutal conditions he sets off to test himself on the Hardrock trail in January, when swirling winds, deep snow, and cold temperatures are at their worst. Does he make it? You'll just have to watch the video below to find out.

Skiing the Hardrock 100 from Schlarb-Wolf Productions on Vimeo.

Adventure Racing World Series a Success in China

Earlier this week an epic adventure race took place in a remote region of China, marking the debut of the the Adventure Racing World Series in Asia. By all accounts it was a successful first race with just minutes separating the top teams in what promises to be an exciting new addition to the ARWS in the years to come.

The Xtrail Expedition race took place in the Altai Mountain region of China, not far from the border with Mongolia. The event covered 300 km (186 miles) or rough terrain, which the top teams were able to complete in just a few days time. In fact, in a sport that requires hours and days to complete, the three podium finishers were separated by less than 20 minutes, which is a testament to how strong the 28 teams competing in the race truly are. Of those 26 were international squads, while the other two were local Chinese racers.

The winners of the race were the Thule Adventure Team, which completed the grueling route in just 36 hours and 16 minutes. They were followed closely by Team Adventure Medical Kits, who were 14 minutes back, with Haglofs Silva coming in third another 4 minutes behind. The rest of the teams staggered in over the hours that followed, with the course officially closing on Wednesday of this week. Yesterday, the coed teams of four left the region and began the long journey home.

After such an auspicious debut, it seems that the Xtrail race may be a great new addition to the AR World Series. Having visited the part of the world where the event took place myself this summer, I can attest to how beautiful, rugged, and remote it truly is. With the addition of this race to the schedule, the ARWS now has events on six continents, which is an impressive feat in and of itself, and an indication of just how healthy the sport of adventure racing is at the moment.

Now, all eyes will turn towards Australia in November. That will be the host country for the Adventure Racing World Championship, where the 2016 world champs will be crowned. At the moment, it looks like it could be quite an interesting showdown between the best teams on the planet, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

Video: Kilian Jornet's Everest Summit Dreams Live On

Yesterday the news broke that Kilian Jornet has abandoned his plans to make a speed attempt on Mt. Everest due to very poor weather conditions on the mountain. Deep snow made him cancel that attempt, but while his dream of a speed ascent may have been postponed, they are no over. Clearly he will return again in the future to have another go at the world's highest peak.

In this video we get a bit of a recap of what Kilian has been up to over the past couple of years. It is a review of his Summits of My Life project to date, with a bit of inspiration to help us all move forward. It is a nice tribute to one of the greatest mountain athletes on the planet today, and definitely worth a look for those who follow his exploits.

Video: 72-Year Old Ultrarunner Completes Western States 100

And now for your daily dose of inspiration. In this amazing video, we meet 72-year old ultrarunner Wally Hesseltine, who set out to not only run a 100-mile (160 km) race, but perhaps the best known ultramarathon of them all – the famed Western States 100. He managed to finish that epic run in 30 hours, but that isn't the entire story. Watch the short film below and then go put on your running shoes. Amazing.

Thirty Hours from alex on Vimeo.

Himalaya Fall 2016: Kilian Jornet Cancels Everest Speed Attempt

One of the current Himalayan expeditions that we've been watching closely has come to an end before it ever even had a chance to really get started. It was announced earlier today that Spanish ultrarunner Kilian Jornet has pulled the plug on his attempt at a speed record on Everest due to poor weather on the North Side of the mountain.

In a quote that was sent out via a press release a few hours ago, Jornet says “During the first few weeks we were acclimatising well and the conditions were good. However, when we were getting ready to prepare the attempt the weather began to change. There were some heavy snow storms and a large accumulation of snow. As a result, although we were in good physical shape, there was a high risk of avalanches and in the absence of good safety conditions it was impossible to climb.”

Apparently, the expedition was actually nearing its conclusion when the decision was made to go home instead. There hasn't been a lot of news from Kilian or his team, but it seems acclimatization was going very well, and he was extremely happy with his progress. Unfortunately, heavy snow has been falling on the mountain over the past couple of weeks, and that was making the route much more dangerous. So much so that they made the wise choice of cancelling the summit attempt and going home instead.

Kilian says that he has learned a lot from the experience and will now return to Spain where he'll evaluate how this expedition went, and decide from there how to proceed. He has already indicated that next time around he'll do a few things differently both in preparation and acclimatization once on the mountain. He had spent three weeks training at 6500 meters (21,325 ft) which will give him a better understanding of the Everest environment the next time around.

Honestly, an attempt in the spring would probably provide more stable weather conditions, but Kilian would then have to contend with a lot more people on the mountain. For most of the time that he was there, he had Base Camp all to himself. We do know that Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki is also there for a solo bid on the mountain, but he didn't arrive until last week. It is unclear whether or not the heavy snow will impact his attempt to summit Everest, which will be his sixth time trying to accomplish that feat.

For now, we'll have to wait to see how Kilian does on Everest. Remember, he's never climbed an 8000 meter peak before. Hopefully he'll get another crack at it in the future. It will be interesting to see what an athlete of his caliber can accomplish there.

The Adventure Racing World Series is Coming to China!

Over the past few years the Adventure Racing World Series has taken some of the best adventure races in the world and brought them together to create a unified set of events that works towards crowning a world champion in the sport each year. The system has brought order to AR, which in the past has generally consisted of numerous races that operated independently of one another without any type of consistency or cooperation.

While the current state of adventure racing is very different from what it was a decade ago, I'd venture to say that the sport is as healthy now as it has ever been, which much of the credit for that going to the ARWS. If you're looking for further proof of this, one only needs to look to the recent announcement that adventure racing is coming to China this September in the form of the Xtrail Expedition Race.

For now, the Xtrail is operating as a demonstration event for the ARWS, but it is the first officially sanctioned race to be held in Asia. The event will be held in the remote Altay region of the Xinjiang province, in far northwestern China. It will feature the usual disciplines of mountain biking, kayaking, and trail running, all set in a place unlike any most of the competitors have seen before.

In order to lure teams to the event, the organizers of the Xtrail are offering a number of great incentives. Those include a reduced price entry fee of $1,000 USD per team, free transfers to/from Urumqi (arrival city) to Altay (race city), all accommodations and some food in Altay, and a $600 USD cash payment per international athlete on arrival to assist with travel expenses in China. In other words, they are serious about attacking top teams and want to make the process has simple and painless as possible.

Entry into the race is listed to just 25 international teams and 25 Chinese teams, so if you're interested in joining in on the fun, you'll want to sign up soon. The Xtrail will take place on September 23-28, and will cover roughly 300 km (186 miles). Need further incentive? The prize purse for the event is expected to top out at $50,000 USD.

Find out more at the ARWS website.


Chris Froome Wins 2016 Tour de France

Since I was out of the country for the past few weeks, I wasn't able to follow this year's Tour de France as closely as I would normally like. As usual, it was filled with lots of unique achievements, impressive individual performances, and crazy events. But, judging from the reports, it was also a race that lacked much in the way of drama, as Team Sky's Chris Froome rode to a third victory with few challengers emerging.

The biggest challenge to Froome's dominance was expected to come from Team Movistar's Nairo Quintana. The Colombian rider has looked strong in the past two Tour's and seemed poised to break out this year with a performance that would push Froome to the limit. That never happened however, and for the most part it seemed that Quintana struggled to keep pace. In fact, if not for a herculean effort in the final few days, he would have finished off the podium altogether. He did manage to claim third place, finishing behind Froome and Romain Bardet of Team AG2R.

For Froome, this was his third win in four years. His string of dominance began in 2013, although he crashed out of the race in 2014 and was unable to defend his championship. Over the past two years however he has looked untouchable, with every challenger being turned away. His most vulnerable moment came this year however, when the British rider (by way of Kenya) actually ran up the slopes in Stage 12 of the race after his bike frame broke during a crash. It was an odd scene to say the least, but it showed his fighting spirit and unwillingness to give up in the face of adversity – something that has helped endear him to cycling fans who have been slow to embrace the champion. 

In other Tour news, Tinkoff rider Peter Sagan went home with the Green Jersey once again. The current world champion showed why he is one of the most talented and versatile cyclists in the world, easily amassing enough sprint points to outpace his rivals. Russian rider Rafal Majka claimed the Polka Dot Jersey for the King of the Mountain's classification, which is given to the best climber each year, while Aussie Adam Yates took the White Jersey awarded to the best young rider under the age of 25. 

While I didn't get to see much of this year's race, the complaints I've ready mostly center around the fact that there was almost no drama at any point. Froome's rivals didn't challenge him much at all, and it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that he would win the Tour by the midway point of the event. That doesn't make it very interesting to watch. Some of the riders were clearly playing safe since the Olympics are now just a few weeks away, and they'll be competing for gold in Rio instead. But still, it would be nice to see someone – anyone – attempt to unseat Team Sky and their leader. Sadly, we'll now have to wait until next year to see if that can happen. At this point however, it looks like barring an accident, the only person who can beat Chris Froome is Froome himself.