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Backstage Pass 14 - Riding for Mandela

July 20, 2015

The boys rise early in this episode to find Batman has gotten lost on his way to stop the joker's latest shenanigans: advice from Joaquim and whitey, keep your windows closed or you might just get an unexpected visitor.

But when the boys aren't batting away mythical beings with their pillows, they are making good good use of their time teaching Oskar Kintana some Aussie colloquialisms - BONZA!

It's another incredibly hot stage. Simon Yates weighs in on hydration estimating that he would power through at least 20 bidons (3-4 an hour) over the course of the day. The team cars will carry approximately 400 bottles to keep the boy's hydration levels above the line.

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Before the race, Whitey manages to catch up with Daniel Teklehaimanot - the KOM star of the Tour - and on a very important day indeed. It's Nelson Mandela's birthday, a proud day for Teklehaimanot and the other members of MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung who will be riding with the spirit of Mandela from Rodez to Mende. The guys from MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are handing out bracelets to all the other team riders in the hopes they will wear them in honor of his world changing actions.

There is some outstanding footage in today's episode: Fausto has the mechanic cam rigged up again as he goes to work at a lightening pace getting the boys upright and turning their cranks again quickly.

We see Simon Yates put in a huge performance (especially considering he is only just getting over a cold) making it into the breakaway and crossing the line in 10th position. Up the front of the pack, Stephen Cummings put that positive energy to good use crossing the line first making his MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung team mates proud, and no doubt every South African watching at home as well.

The boys have still "got cards to play", so stay tuned for Stage 15: Mende to Valence.

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