環法自行車賽。路易斯-邁特耶斯談騎行最著名的比賽需要什麼

3個月前
環法自行車賽。路易斯-邁特耶斯談騎行最著名的比賽需要什麼

環法自行車賽不僅是世界上最著名的自行車賽,也是精英體育中要求最高的賽事之一。

總共有176名選手代表22個車隊參加比賽,這些賽段被認為是平坦的,而其他賽段的山路坡度是許多人都難以走完的。

大多數賽段的長度超過140公里,車手們每天都要在馬鞍上花費幾個小時--還有很多時間是在巴士上往返於起點和終點與酒店之間。

在非洲頂級自行車隊Qhubeka隊錯過了世界巡迴賽許可證之後,三名南非人看起來將代表非洲大陸參加今年的巡迴賽,巡迴賽將於周五在丹麥舉行的計時賽中開始。

以色列Premier Tech車隊將在周四說明前賽段冠軍和黃衫穿戴者Daryl Impey是否將與四次總冠軍、出生於肯尼亞的Chris Froome一起開始比賽。

一個肯定會參賽的南非人是Lotto-Soudal車隊的Reinardt Janse van Rensburg,該車隊的目標是賽段勝利而不是總成績排行榜。

與此同時,Louis Meintjes將參加他的第五次巡迴賽,他在2016年和2017年兩次獲得比賽的總成績第八名--這是所有非洲自行車手的最高排名。

這位30歲的選手今年是Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert車隊的一員,他承認在艱苦的比賽中很少有時間可以放鬆。

"Meintjes告訴BBC非洲體育:"你很可能沒有太多的休息時間,如果你有額外的時間,你會用它來研究比賽,看一下路線,為第二天做準備。

"(給家人和朋友)打一個快速電話是你能做的最好的事情。

"通常在醒來之後,你會直接去吃早餐,收拾你的行李箱,以便準備好去下一家酒店。然後轉乘大巴前往賽段的起點,然後我們會做一個會議,為賽段做好準備。

"接下來是在比賽開始前簽到,然後是幾個小時的比賽,在大巴上洗個澡,吃個快餐,再轉到下一個酒店。做個按摩,吃個飯,然後回去睡覺。"

即使是按摩也不是我們大多數人所習慣的那種溫和的事情。

"Meintjes解釋說:"你會習慣它們,但這並不是一件令人愉快和放鬆的事情。

"這是我們幾個月來所做的事情,是為了讓第二天更好地工作。大多數日子裡,這實際上是相當痛苦的。"

除了每天努力到達巴黎香榭麗舍大街的最後終點線外,你還需要在你周圍有一個堅實的團隊。

自行車隊有很多後台工作人員,包括教練、經理、理療師和按摩師,Meintjes的Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert車隊已經任命了25個人來支持他們的8名車手。

在比賽期間的道路上,車手們不僅要一起工作,還要制定適合每一天挑戰的戰術。

Meintjes承認,為了贏得哪怕是一個賽段,更不用說總冠軍,需要個人能力和團隊合作的結合。

他解釋說:"這有點奇怪,它與許多其他運動不同,"。

"這確實在很大程度上取決於個人和他有多好,但你周圍的團隊可以帶來真正的大不同。如果你在競爭中為勝利而戰,那麼你真的需要一個強大的團隊在你身邊。"

為較長的大環賽--環意、環法和西班牙伏爾塔--挑選車隊的組成是一種戰術選擇,不同的車隊會優先考慮不同的事情。

因為,即使看起來很奇怪,也不是每支參賽車隊都以贏得總冠軍為目標。

一些車隊會在平坦的賽段中尋求賽段勝利,並圍繞那些具有衝刺專長的車手組建車隊,而其他車隊則可能以更多的山地賽段為目標,因此會選擇強壯的爬坡手。

"Meintjes說:"這是車隊在進行選擇時必須做出的一個重大決定。

"他們是否會更關注爬坡賽段,更關注衝刺賽段,更關注GC(總成績)或突圍賽?這都將意味着一個不同的領騎者。

"所以車隊真的必須發現他們的機會,看看他們擁有的車手和他們的優勢,以及他們可以在哪裡競爭。

"爭取入選環湖賽也取決於車隊的策略"。

梅因特耶斯熱衷於保持戰鬥力

Meintjes也承認,雖然環法自行車賽是在全球範圍內最吸引人的比賽,但自行車運動的成功可以有許多不同的表現形式。

這位出生於比勒陀利亞的車手在總成績中獲得第14名,在本月的多芬環形賽中獲得第六名後,他再次希望能夠繼續保持領先的地位。

"他補充說:"很少有車手能現實地說他們想贏得環湖賽,而車隊中還有100人必須尋找其他能給他們帶來某種成功或曝光的東西。

"對我們大多數人來說,一路上有很多結果可以成就我們的職業生涯。

"肯定的是,一個賽段的勝利將是絕對驚人的。但不幸的是,我不是最快的車手之一。因此,如果我想贏得一個賽段,基本上我必須獨自到達。

"從這個角度來看,GC幾乎更容易,因為我只需要確保我和他們(領先者)在一起。當我越過終點線時,我不一定要超過他們。

"如果我能夠確保我每天都得到相同的時間,那麼我仍然在為GC而戰"。


The Tour de France is not only the world's most famous cycling race, but also one of the most demanding events in elite sport.

A total of 176 racers representing 22 teams will be expected to compete over stages which are considered flat and others that take in mountains with gradients that many would struggle to walk up.

The majority of the stages are more than 140km long and riders are set to spend several hours a day in the saddle - and as much time again on buses being transported to and from start and finish lines to their hotels.

After Team Qhubeka, Africa's top cycling team, missed out on a World Tour licence, three South Africans look set to represent the continent at this year's Tour, which starts on Friday with a time trial in Denmark.

Israel-Premier Tech team will state on Thursday whether former stage winner and yellow jersey-wearer Daryl Impey is due to start the race, alongside Kenya-born Chris Froome, a four-time overall champion.

One South African definitely riding is Reinardt Janse van Rensburg of the Lotto-Soudal team, which is targeting stage victories rather than the general classification leaderboard.

Louis Meintjes, meanwhile, is set for his fifth Tour, having twice finished eighth overall in the race in 2016 and 2017 - the highest placing by any African cyclist.

The 30-year-old, who is part of the Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert team this year, admits there is very little time to relax during the gruelling race.

"It's very likely that you don't get much downtime and if you do have extra time, you use it to study the race, look at the route and prepare for the next day," Meintjes told BBC Sport Africa.

"A quick call (to family and friends) is the best you can do.

"Normally after waking up, you go straight to breakfast and pack your suitcase so that it's ready to go to the next hotel. Then transfer to the bus to get to the start of the stage, then we'll do a meeting and get ready for the stage.

"Next is signing on before the race start, then it's a few hours of racing, a shower and a quick meal on the bus and another transfer to the next hotel. A massage, dinner and back to bed."

Even the massages are not the gentle affairs that most of us are used to.

"You get used to them, but it's not a nice and relaxing thing," Meintjes explained.

"It's what we do for months, and to be better for the next day. Most of the days, it's quite painful actually."

As well as the daily effort to reach the final finish line on the Champs Elysees in Paris, you also need a solid team around you in the peloton.

Cycling teams have a lot of backroom staff including coaches, managers, physiotherapists and masseurs, with Meintjes' Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert outfit having named 25 people to support their eight riders.

On the road during the race, the riders not only have to work together but also develop the tactics to suit each day's challenge.

Meintjes admits that in order to win even a stage, let alone the overall title, it takes a mixture of individual ability and teamwork.

"It's a bit strange and it's different from a lot of other sports," he explained.

"It does depend a lot on the individual and how good he is, but the team around you can make a really big difference. If you're in contention fighting for the win, then you really need a strong team around you."

Picking the make-up of the team for the longer Grand Tour races - the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana - is a tactical choice, with different teams prioritising different things.

For, even thought it may seem odd, not every team starting the race aims to win the overall title.

Some will be looking for stage victories on the flat stages and build a squad of riders around those with sprinting expertise, while others may target the more mountainous days and so name strong climbers.

"It's a big decision that teams have to make when they make their selection," Meintjes said.

"Are they going to focus more on the climbing stages, more on the sprint stages, more on GC (general classification) or breakaways? That would all mean a different lead rider.

"So the team really has to spot their opportunities, look at the riders they have and the strengths they have, and where they can compete.

"The fight to get selected for the Tour also depends on the strategy of the team."

Meintjes keen to stay in the fight

Meintjes also admits that while the Tour de France is the one race that grabs the most attention globally, success in cycling can take many different guises.

The Pretoria-born rider finished 14th in the general classification and, after a ending sixth in the Criterium du Dauphine this month, is again looking to stay on the frontrunners' coat-tails.

"Very few riders can realistically say they want to win the Tour, and there are 100 others in the bunch that have to look for something else that can bring them some kind of success or exposure," he added.

"For most of us, there's a lot of results along the way that can make our careers.

"Definitely a stage win would be absolutely amazing. But unfortunately, I'm not one of the fastest riders. So if I want to win a stage, I would have to arrive alone, basically.

"In that perspective, GC is almost easier because I just have to make sure I stay with them (the leaders). I don't necessarily have to get ahead of them when I cross the finish line.

"If I can just make sure I get the same time every day, then I'm still in the fight for GC."

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