Marcel Kittel’s haircut and other rest day news

I cycled up steep hills in the heat yesterday and have reaffirmed my awe for all professional cyclists. Steep hills are nothing new, but heat is a rarity in Britain, so it was something of a novel experience. A mere 10 minutes of climbing pushed my body to overheating, so I can only imagine how it must have felt to spend an hour ascending Mont Ventoux under the hot provencal sun.

Laurens Ten Dam, of spit-encrusted time trial chin fame, is recording his Tour rides on Strava. Apparently his heart averaged 160 beats per minute during the hour-long ascent, but he can at least comfort himself with having become king of the mountain on a hotly-contested segment.

Marcel Kittel’s hair

Ten Dam’s fellow Dutchman, Koen do Kort, apparently had a bet with Marcel Kittel that he couldn’t win three stages. Having lost, he had to pay a grave, grave price, getting the same ludicrous haircut at as Kittel.

Wiggins news and Vuelta news

Bradley Wiggins is not going to race the Vuelta. He’s going to race the Tour of Britain as he builds up for a stab at the World Time Trial Championship, which is now his sole goal for this season.

Vincenzo Nibali, however, will race the Vuelta. The third and final Grand Tour of the year is rarely targeted in quite the same way as the Tour and Giro, but it’s a great race to follow as it tends to encourage almost daily general classification action. It will be interesting to see who Nibali will be racing against, as it could be a cracker.

Stage 16

Probably a day for Team Breakaway, they say. Here’s the profile.