The Coolest Things To See At The Tour de France 2019 Grand Depart

– As GCN presenters, we
are enormously privileged in that we get to visit
some of the biggest and the best cycling events in the world. And they don’t get much bigger
than the Tour de France. I’m here in Brussels ready
for the Grand Depart 2019 and I wanted to show you
some of the cool things that I see on the run up to a Grand Tour like the Tour de France. Take you on my journey, effectively. Starting with the team presentation which is about to start
just through there. But here just now is Vincenzo Nibali. (relaxed hip-hop music) Reasonably large crowd
gathering for good reason and that is because just behind me there Peter Sagan is signing a few signatures. Just got back from his training ride two days prior to the Tour de France and this is the kind of thing that I love, anybody can come here to
the hotels of riders before and catch a glimpse of their
favorite cycling superstars. And in fact we’ve got a
young South African team here that’ve come over to race in Belgium, who’ve caught a glimpse
of Sagan themselves. Day made, I think for them. Got a little tip for you now, if you come over to
watch the Tour de France either before it or during it, often the team mechanics after the team have been out training or in the stage will collect the used bottles and put them near the team truck ready for a member of the public
to collect if they so wish. Only take one though, leave
them for other people. Don’t be greedy. A huge pink EF Education First trailer We have now arrived at the biggest BMW dealership in Brussels. This is where Katusha Alpecin are holding their pre-Tour de France press conference. But we’re not actually here for that. The reason that I have come here is because Alpecin, the co-sponsors of the famous caffeine shampoo have set up a mobile barber’s unit where I have been promised a fresh new cut from a top New York stylist,
an offer I couldn’t refuse! If you’re wondering why the large crowd has just gathered behind me, it is unfortunately not
anything to do with me. My appointment time has
been pushed back somewhat because Nils Politt, second
at Paris-Roubaix this year has just turned up for his hair cut. I’ll get there in the end. We’ve been around a few
hotels and most of the teams have gone out on the
road for their training. Behind we’ve got Arkea
Samsic, that is Maxime Bouet and alongside him Warren Barguil. Not entirely sure why they’re
on the indoor trainers, outdoors as opposed to going on the road. We are near the airport so it’s not the most
scenic roads around here. But, what I have noticed is that newly crowned French
champion Warren Barguil hasn’t got his French
champion’s jersey on just yet but he’s got the most novel use of a bottle cage I’ve ever seen! Got his mobile phone in there. Sprint legend Andre Greipel behind me being interviewed by German
television at the moment. Now one of the other things that I love about the run-up to a Grand Tour like the Tour de France,
the biggest in the world, is seeing riders in their absolute prime, just before the start. Veins on his legs are looking
unbelievable at the moment. He’s a sprinter of course but
he’s very very lean indeed and clearly ready for
the start of the race. Now I’ve got to wait for Alex Dowsett. He’s six-time national time trial champion but I’ve been waiting
here half an hour now. With the Tour de France starting in cycling mad Belgium this year, a couple of companies are
taking the opportunity to create some pop-up shops in
the center here of Brussels. Amongst them, Canyon. They’ve brought quite
a tremendous collection of bikes which I’m about
to show you right now. But this is also an opportunity for potential Canyon customers to come and get themselves measured up so they get the right sized bike. Right, first things first,
hard to miss this one isn’t it? This is Richard Carapaz’s bike from the recent Giro d’Italia, which of course he won. All pink as you can well see, but moving a little bit
further on down here they’ve also got Lisa
Klein, this time trial bike. This is from last year’s
World Championships where’s Zipp created
different colored wheels for each of the riders
which was quite spectacular when you saw the photographs from the side when they were in formation. Further around here, one of my favorite bikes of all time. This is the Dutch national
championship edition Canyon Aero CF SLX of
Mathieu van der Poel. There you can see him using
it at the Tour of Flanders where he finished on the podium, despite that horrific crash
when they were descending on the way to the Kwaremont. I just think that is a beautiful paint job as I think I’ve said in a previous video. Right in the center here, is the rather large Canyon Aero CF SLX which belonged to Nils Politt. This was the bike that he
rode to the runner-up position behind Phillipe Gilbert at
this year’s Paris-Roubaix. And as is tradition
for Paris-Roubaix bikes it’s been left with all the dust and muck from that race on it. Although a couple of people
have been touching it here where it’s cleaner than it should be. Moving on further back. The current world champion
Alejandro Valverde, we saw this briefly as well
at the Tour of Flanders where I was looking at some
of the cool pieces of tech. The rainbow bands are
plentiful aren’t they? Not only are they on the frames
here of his Ultimate bike, they’ve also got them on the Fizik saddle which is the Antares. They’ve also got them on the Bora Ultra 50
wheels from Campagnolo. And they’ve even got it on the power2max power
meter there in the center. But it’s not the only
world champion’s bike here because just to my right
is the bike of Cadel Evans. This was the one that he rode in 2010 having won the World Championships
in Mendrisio in 2009. A race I was actually in. Not ’til the end, unlike Cadel Evans who went on to win it. It was actually in 2007
that Canyon first sponsored a top-level professional cycling team. That was Unibet, so to win
the World Championships with Cadel Evans two years later in 2009 was very special indeed. I think you’ll agree that is quite the collection of bikes in this pop-up shop here in Brussels. I’ve got one more thing
to show you though, if you just pop around here with me. They’ve also got a Kwaremont fridge and you can guess what’s inside it. (glass bottles rattling) Jingle jingle jingle. Special edition Kwaremont beer, complete with the yellow
jersey in a pattern of cobbles. And then just next door
to Canyon’s pop-up store is Rapha’s which is even bigger. Apparently they had this pop-up store last year here in Brussels but of course, with the Grand Depart here they’ve decide to do
the same thing in 2019. They’ve been organizing
daily evening group rides which I can tell you
been very well attended if tonight’s was anything to go by. They also had the EF Education
First press conference here. So if I’d have been about
half an hour earlier I would have seen Rigoberto Uran, Tejay Van Gardren, Mike Woods, all here. As well as Jonathan Vaughters and actually tomorrow
night as we film this which is Friday night,
a day before the race, Jonathan Vaughters it’s
going to be right here talking about his brand new book. But since this video’s probably
going to come out after that that’s not much use to you. This is Julian, whose
normal job is in New York where he is the Velo Barber.
– Yes Sir. – Because you presumably travel around on your bike to your clients? – Yeah, I decided to
combine the two things I love the most, cut
hair and ride my bike. One day I was going over
the bridge I was like, this is my brand, this is my thing! So I bike to my clients
house all over the city. It’s kind of fun. – And now you got come
to the Tour de France! – I can’t believe it! So, one day I bought a bike and then I was like, I
bought a Canondale SuperSix. I remember. And I was like riding
and riding to my clients and then I noticed that
instead of being 20 minutes to 30 minutes late all the time, I was actually getting to people on time and one day I was talking to my dad about what I was doing and he’s like, velo, he said velo, like, what’s velo? He’s like, it’s bike in French. I was like, oh, that’s amazing! You ready? – Go on. I feel a little bit bad now
because after complaining that I was sitting behind Nils Politt and Alex Dowsett to get my haircut, I’ve just realized that the
legend that is Erik Zabel has been waiting for
half an hour behind me to have his hair cut, he’s
up there on stage now. One of the things that I always enjoy in the lead-up to a Grand Tour is watching the mechanics doing their work and last-minute preparations in the couple of days before it starts. So we’ve come to the hotel
where Bahrain-Merida, Astana, and EF Education First are staying on the couple of days leading
up to the start in Brussels. Bahrain have been putting the stickers on the last couple of vans, they’ve also been measuring
up Vincenzo Nibali’s, I’m not going to say spare bike, ’cause I think it’s his third one, but just making sure that
is exactly the same size as his first bike and the spare bike that will sit on the roof. Meanwhile over here, EF Education First just putting on some fresh bar tape onto one of the riders’ bikes. I’ve just bumped into a couple of fans. Buh-boom. Slightly ironically
when you are warming up for a time trial, you
don’t want to get too warm. France is notoriously
hot of course during July so Bahrain-Merida have brought these almost industrial sized fans, complete with a cooling
mist so that when riders such as World Time Trial
champion Rohan Dennis are warming up the for team time trial and the time time trial which comes in Pau later in the race, they don’t get too hot. Now one of the things that I like most about the lead-up to a Grand Tour is watching the riders reasonably relaxed on the couple of days leading up to it, going out in their training rides. We’re here at Jumbo Visma, where we’ve just watched Wout van Aert, Dylan Groenewegen and their
GC leader Steven Kruijswijk heading out for a short training ride. Other things of note here include, Richard Plugge’s bike just there, he’s the team manager of Jumbo Visma here. Now as you can see,
he’s got a tubular tire taped underneath his saddle. Not a rare sight actually. Today of course the riders will
have a team car behind them with spare wheels, but
if you go to the team during the classics for example where sometimes they go out
training without a team car, you often see riders
with that spare tubular and also with the pump in a cut-off bottle in a bottle cage, just
as Richard’s got there. You also might be wondering why we’ve got two Team Sunweb bikes at the Jumbo Visma truck here. No rumors going on here,
they’re not discussing contracts as far as I know, this is simply the fact that last weekend they helped them out whilst they were at the
Belgian national championships, they’ve brought the bikes here in order to give them back. More haircuts. – Thank you for your free content. – Oh, amazing, thank you very much! – I really love the channel.
– Big ones. – Thank you, well cheers. Just managed to land myself a free beer on the way to the team presentation. – [Camerman] Look at that, happy days. – Cheers.
– Cheers! Nice to meet you all. Wow, thank you very much. I have to say, this is very cool. The riders are held at the Place Royale before they ride through
this Galerie Saint Hubert on their way to the teams presentation which is at the Grand Place
which we’ll go to in a minute. But the atmosphere is electric in here! What a way to start your race. And now we’ve arrived at La Grand Place which is where the team presentation is taking place just behind me. And what a venue to have it. And a huge cheer for Thibaut Pinot, one of the potential winners
of this year’s Tour de France. I’m loving being here, I have to say, I’m going to try and get round to where the team presentation actually is so we can see it. We have finally made it to the point at which we thought
we’d be able to see more of the team presentation but actually, even
though I’m six foot two, I can’t see very much of it at all. Still a fantastic atmosphere, so good in fact, we’ve
had to swap microphones so you can actually hear me, even though you probably don’t want to. Just being introduced onto
the stage right now though, is Jakob Fuglsang who at
34 is one of the favorites to win this year’s race. Wait and see how he gets on. Final team have just
arrived, it is Team Ineos. Home of last year’s
champion Geraint Thomas who I think is just about to
be introduced onto the stage. Been a while since I’ve been to a Tour de France teams presentation, I have to say I’ve
thoroughly enjoyed myself. Particularly getting that free beer from a fan along the way. And we shall finish this video with me stood next to an elephant with a bike painted on it and an elephant riding
a bike painted on it. Anyway, I hope you have
enjoyed seeing some of what we see when we’re on
the run up to a Grand Tour such as the Tour de France. If you have please click
on the thumbs up icon just down below this video. Get enough likes and views
and we might even do it again. If you didn’t like it,
don’t do any of that and we probably won’t do it again. Right, as you probably noticed, throughout this video I’ve been wearing a French themed shirt which
is available right now over on,
if you fancy it. One more video for you to watch right now, it’s down here and it’s Olly looking into the science behind team time trials and the team’s choice of equipment.


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