We ride the yellow jersey!
It’s 2010 and we already have a remarkable year due to our first Pro Tour (now WorldTour) Sponsorship with Team QuickStep. The Tour de France starts in our country The Netherlands, with a prologue in rainy Rotterdam. Being new to these events we tried some guerilla marketing and walked around with bags full of fishing hats with our logo, but of course gained zero impact on the scale of this event. The small FFWD team, huge cycling fans, works hard but follows the races closely. The TV is on each day, all day!
The second stage was a hilly one with many crashes. The peloton made a solidarity pack and did not make an effort during the last 20km. Sylvain Chavanel is part of the early breakaway that day. In the end of the stage he leaves his breakaway group behind and finishes solo to get the stage victory as well as the yellow jersey. The third stage Chavanel has a lot of bad luck and loses both of his jersey’s (he also had the green jersey at the same time).
We never expected a yellow jersey so were already over the moon by this result being in the Tour de France for the first time.
But when you’re not expecting anything…. anything can happen…
It’s the seventh stage and the peloton is going into the mountains. The favorites for the general classification do not feel the urge to already show their form yet. So Chavanel who has no pressure at all gives it another go. It seems he is in the shape of his life and wins another stage with again a double success taking the yellow jersey as well.
Even it’s only for one day again we don’t care, we had as much champagne as the team had, maybe a bit more. Times like these have to be celebrated!
Back then the wheels of choice in flat and slightly hilly courses was the F5R, a 50mm high tubular set that had an optimized width for 21mm to 23mm tires. Nowadays the tire widths are 25mm or even 28mm. Many pro’s still prefer tubular tires but you see the tubeless setup more and more. Our recently introduced RYOT55 comes close to the old model with its 55mm rim height. Compared to 11 years ago these wheels are more versatile and available in tubular and tubeless options. Of course there’s more to it and a lot has changed in these years. You can be sure that these wheels deliver the same Confidence to Go Fast and can enable you to conquer your goals, just like Chavanel did all those years ago!
Nowadays Chavanel lives in a small town called Colombiers and fills his days with Mountainbike adventures, playing the saxophone and turned himself into a jockey. The competition element certainly remains a part of his live. Most importantly he’s a happy man he told us and if you’re visiting the Tour this year, you just might run into him!
Photo credits: Tim Dewaele / Sylvain Chavanel