Tour de France: How riders use the ‘sticky bottle’ to gain an advantage

(CNN)Even some of the world’s best athletes need a helping hand every now and again.

Or in the case of the Tour de France, a helping bottle.
Like most sports, cycling has its own unwritten laws. Informal gamesmanship means rules are bent — to gain an advantage over opponents — but not broken.
Which brings us to the “sticky bottle” — or as they say in French: “la bouteille collante.”
Should a cyclist need a drink of water, they approach their team’s car and receive one from the director. Upon handing the bottle back, they retain their grip for just a little longer so as to receive a quick boost of speed.
A toot of the horn from one of the race organizer’s cars is issued as a warning if the rider is deemed to be holding on for too long.
Judges will often not punish the rider, although a time limit of one or two second seconds is usually enforced.
However, earlier this season Romain Bardet was expelled from the Paris-Nice race after the Frenchman was caught on camera holding onto his team car.
    Most famously, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali, who won the Tour of France in 2014, was disqualified from La Vuelta — the Tour of Spain — in 2015 following a “sticky bottle” moment.
    As well as the “sticky bottle,” cycling also occasionally makes use of the “magic spanner,” which involves the mechanic in a team car “making repairs” to a rider’s bike, in effect pulling him along with the vehicle.

    History of the Tour de France

    There have been four cyclists who have won the tour five times:
    – Jacques Anquetil of France (1957 and 1961-1964)
    – Eddy Merckx of Belgium (1969-1972 and 1974)
    – Bernard Hinault of France (1978-1979, 1981-1982, and 1985)
    – Miguel Indurain of Spain (1991-1995), the first competitor to win five consecutive races.
    Lance Armstrong held the record for most Tour de France wins (seven) but he was stripped of those wins in 2012.
    France has won more times than any other country. (36)
    Three Americans have won: Greg LeMond (1986, 1989, 1990), Lance Armstrong (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005) and Floyd Landis (2006). Both Armstrong and Landis have had their titles stripped due to allegations of doping.

    Timeline

    1903 – Henri Desgrange, a reporter and cyclist, creates the Tour de France.
    1903 – Maurice Garin of France is the first cyclist to win the race.
    1910 – First time the race goes through the Pyrenees.
    1989 – Greg Lemond defeats Laurent Fignon by 8 seconds, the smallest margin of victory so far.
    1999-2005 – Lance Armstrong wins seven times in a row.
    2003 – The 100th Anniversary, but not the 100th race (the race was canceled 11 times during Eventual 1911 winner Gustave Garrigou of France in action on a stage in the Alps on the way to his eventual victory. The First World War may have finished nearly three years earlier, but the ravages of the conflict were still in evidence as the riders make their way through Mondidier. Belgian Leon Scieur won the race. 1927 winner Nicolas Frantz of Luxembourg (right) is congratulated by Andre Leducq. It was the 21st edition and coming of age for the famous race. Legendary Italian rider Gino Bartali rides in splendid isolation on the Col d’Izoard on his way to victory on the 14th stage and his first overall triumph in the iconic classic. Roger Lapebie of France claimed his first and only Tour victory in 1937 after Bartali crashed on the eighth stage while in the lead and was forced to retire. Riders tackle the infamous Mont Ventoux climb for the first time during the 1951 race. Legendary Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi claimed the Tour de France twice and won the stage to Alpe d’Huez in superb style in 1952 to clinch his second truimph. The race first went outside of France in the 1954 edition as it visited the Netherlands. Spanish climber Luis Ocana suffered a sickening crash in the 1971 Tour when leading Merckx. He was forced to retire but won the 1973 race. Belgian Eddy Merckx dominated the Tour de France and other major cycling races for nearly a decade — here leading the peloton when riding on the cobbles of the Champs Elysees for the first time in 1975 Famous French cyclist Bernard Hinault on the Puy de Dome in 1978 as he claimed the first of five wins in the famous race. Laurent Fignon continued French domination with back-to-back wins in the 1983 and 1984 editions. Stephen Roche needed oxygen after a famous effort on the 21st stage to La Plagne in 1987 — the year he won the Tour, Giro d’Italia and world championship treble. Colombian rider Luis Herrera at the Berlin Wall in 1987 as the Tour spent three days in the still divided country of Germany that year. Greg LeMond celebrates his remarkable triumph in the 1989 Tour as he edged out Fignon by just eight seconds having won the final time trial stage into Paris using then revolutionary tri bars. Uzbekistan’s Djamolidine Abdoujaparov crashes spectacularly as he sprints for the line on the Champs Elysees in 1981. He scraped himself off the asphalt to claim the green points jersey. Spain’s Miguel Indurain tracks Italian Claudio Chiappucci on a stage in the Pyrenees on the way to the first of five successive Tour wins in 1981 for ‘Big Mig’. A young Lance Armstrong announces his arrival into the annuls of Tour history by claiming the eighth stage of the 1993 race in Verdun. Armstrong and his family signal his fifth straight win in the Tour de France in 2003. The Texan was to eventually claim seven titles in a row, but was stripped of them in 2012 after revelations of doping emerged. The Tour de France visited British capital London for the first time in 2007, scene of a prologue before the riders departed on the first stage to Canterbury. 2012 winner Wiggins leads out his Sky teammate and compatriot Mark Cavendish on the Champs Elysees. Sprinting ace Cavendish went on to claim his 23rd stage win on the Tour de France. The near 200-strong peloton in the modern Tour de France tackle some of the most picturesque and intimidating terrain during their 3,000km plus journey. HIDE CAPTIONBritish best<<<1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25>>> (CNN) — Here’s a look at what you need to know about the Tour de France. The 2014 Tour de France runs from July 5-July 27 and covers 3,664 kilometers over 21 stages.Facts: The Tour de France is a prestigious bike race that takes place in France [and sometimes the surrounding countries].The Tour de France is also known as Le Tour or La Grande Boucle.There have been four cyclists who have won the tour five times: Jacques Anquetil of France (1957 and 1961-1964) Eddy Merckx of Belgium (1969-1972 and 1974) Bernard Hinault of France (1978-1979, 1981-1982, and 1985) Miguel Indurain of Spain (1991-1995), the first competitor to win five consecutive races.Lance Armstrong held the record for most Tour de France wins (seven) but he was stripped of those wins in 2012.France has had more winners than any other country. (36)Three Americans have won: Greg LeMond (1986, 1989, 1990), Lance Armstrong (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005) and Floyd Landis (2006). Both Armstrong and Landis have had their titles stripped due to allegations of doping.The winner of the race is the person with the overall shortest accumulated time.Beginning in 2013, no time bonuses are given for intermediate sprints and stage finishes. Only the real time counts.There are two rest days.Jerseys: YELLOW – Overall leader of the race. The yellow jersey was introduced into the race in 1919 as yellow was the color of paper the French newspaper (formerly L’Auto, now L’Equipe) that sponsored the race was printed on.RED POLKA DOT – Worn by the cyclist with the best accumulated time in the mountain segments.GREEN – Worn by the cyclist with the most sprinting points, awarded for intermediate and final sprints on flat terrain.WHITE – Worn by the Tour’s best rider 25 and under.Timeline: 1903 – Henri Desgrange, a reporter and cyclist, creates the Tour de France.1903 – Maurice Garin of France is the first cyclist to win the race.1910 – First time the race goes through the Pyrenees.1989 – Greg Lemond defeats Laurent Fignon by 8 seconds, the smallest margin of victory so far. (as of 2013 race)1999-2005 – Lance Armstrong wins seven times in a row.2003 – 100th Anniversary, but not the 100th race (the race was cancelled 11 times during WWI and WWII)July 24, 2005 – Lance Armstrong wins his seventh consecutive Tour De France.September 20, 2007 – Floyd Landis, winner of the 2006 Tour de France, is stripped of his title when an arbitration panel rules in favor of the USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency). Landis, the first Tour de France winner stripped of the title, initially maintained his innocence but later admitted to doping and accused others, including Lance Armstrong, of doing the same.October 22, 2012 – The International Cycling Union announces that Armstrong is being stripped of his Tour de France titles and is being banned from professional cycling for life.October 26, 2012 – The International Cycling Union announces that no one will be declared the winner of the Tour de France from 1999-2005, after Lance Armstrong is stripped of his titles.December 14, 2012 – The organizers of the Tour de France announce that the 2014 Tour de France will start in Leeds, England.June 29, 2013-July 21, 2013 – The 100th Tour de France takes place. The winner is Christopher Froome of Great Britain.http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/09/world/world-war-i-fast-facts/index.html” target=”_blank”>WWI and WWII).

    September 20, 2007 – Floyd Landis, winner of the 2006 Tour de France, is stripped of his title when an arbitration panel rules in favor of the USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency). Landis, the first Tour de France winner stripped of the title, initially maintained his innocence but later admitted to doping and accused others, including Armstrong, of doing the same.
    October 22, 2012 – The International Cycling Union announces that Armstrong is being stripped of his Tour de France titles and is being banned from professional cycling for life.
      October 26, 2012 – The International Cycling Union announces that no one will be declared the winner of the Tour de France from 1999-2005, after Armstrong is stripped of his titles.

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