Video: Tour De France Riders Attempt a Mid-Stage Wheelie Contest

Jul 11, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  

The peloton of the Tour de France may seem like a serious bunch but it's not just about watts, waaiers and weight saving, sometimes it's about wheelies too. These vloggers organised an impromptu wheelie competition for riders on the final climb of Sunday's Stage 15 and a fair few pros joined in the fun. The winner on the day was Team Qhubeka NextHash's Max Walscheid who managed a 174 metre wheelie up a steep switchback before finishing the stage in 140th place, 30 minutes behind stage winner Sepp Kuss.

bigquotesWe organised a Wheelie Context in the Tour de France and the whole peloton joined in! Who beats current champion Oliver Naesen?!



79 Comments

  • 84 2
 That was very enjoyable to watch! So many think of these guys as cardio robots and it's nice to see them out there enjoying it at the back of the peloton.
  • 17 6
 When you spend as many hours in the saddle as they do, their skills just have to be excellent.

One of the best hucks I have ever seen was in a tour race ~a decade ago. Downhill, around a corner, the yellow jersey came in waaaay to hot. Straight out the back of the corner, and into someone's very steep downhill driveway. 5 ft huck to flat on a damn road racer. Back in it and saved the jersey. Can't recall who that was.
  • 14 1
 And when you watch them go down a mountain in the rain at 50mph on 23mm tires.
  • 10 0
 @fraserw: I believe your thinking of Thomas Voeckler at the TDF, i think he had a few moments at the TDF in yellow but this is one of them. youtu.be/D_JOwg8shJc?t=53
  • 2 0
 @fraserw: I know Armstrong was stripped but he had an off-road bail back in the day and one of his close rivals broke his hip.
  • 2 0
 2003 stage 9 biloki went down.

youtu.be/Gr89ku-K2WU
  • 1 0
 @scotttherider: yep on the same day. Road was melting similar to a few days ago.
  • 2 0
 @scotttherider: I remember seeing this one live, Lance really knew how to grab the spotlight, too bad it was all....well what it was...
  • 1 0
 @SteveDeJongh: That's the one! I remember it being bigger, but still. Sick bike handling skills.
  • 2 0
 @fraserw: That wasThomas Voeckler who did that in 2011: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rkh_ea9s6w
  • 1 0
 @scotttherider: I think it was a broken femur, but yes. His rear tires slid/got rolled in hot tar on the road and Armstrong cut across a field. Was a big debate at the time since he technically cut a few hundred yards out fo the course, even though it cost time.
  • 29 0
 To be honest, a lot of those guys could do way better than they did. I think they are absolutely spent at this point in the Tour and at that point in the stage.

Also, not really a fair contest with Sagan and van der Poel not in the race anymore ;-).
  • 27 0
 But that's just it - they are spent - as was he, but he lifted that front end up and rode it like a boss, spent and all.
  • 2 0
 Less rolling resistance on 1 wheel!
  • 1 1
 But are Sagan and VdP genuine GC contenders?
  • 3 0
 @SterlingArcher: These guys aren't GC contenders either. He was saying that this wheelie contest was missing the best stunt riders (VdP and Sagan).
  • 1 0
 @qb007: right. Reading comprehension > I
  • 35 8
 PB really needs to put an XC filter on so that i can only have Ebike content.
  • 6 0
 There should be a bike filter so I can get some work done... My boss hates this goddamn website.
  • 1 1
 @Jaib06: Hilarious!
  • 16 0
 There needs to be an King of the Wheelie competition and a " Wheelie Jersey" for the riders to win!

That was super fun to watch those have a go at wheelies after so many miles of brutal riding.
  • 11 0
 I feel like it would be more symbolic if it were a cape instead of a jersey
  • 2 0
 Set up the Tour do Wheelie - a point to point race where you get a time penalty everytime your front wheel touches the ground.

Reckon Wyn Masters would be all over that?
  • 1 0
 @Zach1977: brilliant. Better yet, no front wheels allowed. And no unicycles.
  • 14 0
 Leave it to the Dutch. . . lol, that was fantastic.
  • 9 0
 It was! The guy doing that is an ex pro who stopped racing because of an illness. He rode for BMC as a U23 and got 3rd in the U23 Paris-Roubaix, so no slouch... He knows a lot of current pros and they know him as you can see from some of the reactions. I think that's really interesting, because a lot of the interactions he has are a lot more intimate than what regular fans or journalists would have.
  • 11 0
 This video contains content from Amaury Sport Organisation, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.
  • 11 0
 claiming copyright on third party footage shot by a spectator standing on public property??? "ASO"...you did not organize the wheelie contest...though you probably should have
  • 4 0
 It's re-uploaded apparently. There's been a #freetietema (that's the guys' last name) campaign on Twitter. A lot of road pros shared the message that blocking the vid is BS, which is great.

I did not understand the blocking either. The vid made it to here, so it created an even wider audience for road racing than usual. ASO is quite protective though - broadcasters pay good money for racing footage. You could argue if this really is 'race' footage and they probably did that succesfully to have the vid reuploaded.
  • 1 0
 @jeroenk: happy to hear ASO came around and Tietema has such a solid backing. Footage like this is great for the sport and a win win for everyone involved
  • 5 0
 this is the coverage I need! been watching the replays of the stages each night before bed and the live broadcast only depicts the brutality of the stage and fans mostly being an annoyance on the climbs.....awesome to see some of these riders interacting with the crowds and having some fun with it. Really adds a nice human element! Max Walscheid is now on my watch list, what a beast to be able to do that on the final climb of a brutal stage 15 (though it makes sense to do this going into a rest day).
  • 1 0
 @jamessmurthwaite video is unavailable now
  • 4 0
 I used to rip on roadies but after learning of the frequency in which they’re hit and killed I’ve realized I’m not brave enough to be one. I ride surface streets to trailheads and that’s enough for me. Too many distracted and impaired drivers these days.
  • 7 0
 Festive people, festive riders... good vibes !!
  • 8 1
 wholesome AF
  • 4 2
 That's exactly what the sport needs. Stop being so serious all the time and show guys just having fun on bikes. It is much more relatable that some of the pain and suffering that most of the coverage is comprised of. That doesn't look fun, so why would a new rider to the sport take an interest in that. Guys having fun on bikes is something we can all relate to and is the reason why we all started on this journey in the first place. Ride on...and pop a few wheelies and bunny hops along the way.
  • 2 0
 I would think some of these guys have done their job for the day and are now just trying to get to the finish. Seems like it made a lot of them smile especially when they just want to finish the stage.
  • 3 0
 For the first 7 min or so I was like finally some peeps I can out wheelie, and then Max pops that balloon
  • 5 0
 video unavailable.
  • 3 0
 Damn - ASO is a bunch of suck-the-fun-out-of-life bastards. They just blocked the video on copyright grounds. Losers!
  • 1 0
 The video was removed: "This video contains content from Amaury Sport Organisation, who has blocked it on copyright grounds."
  • 5 0
 Sadly the tour organisation is not as cool as its riders.
  • 3 0
 ASO, never wasting a chance to be sh*theads. If you think UCI are bad...
  • 2 0
 @dirtologist: Well, at least from a commercial perspective, ASO's actions could be explained, as they are a business. The UCI simply fails at its own job description, by having rules that are unclear, fail to reach a goal, incomplete and inconsistently applied. A good example of this is the riding position rules that are enforced on riders to improve safety, while organisers of road races still can get away with poorly designed race finishes or faulty barriers.
  • 3 1
 Wheelie Tuesday s really doesn’t have the same ring to it
  • 5 3
 Wyn, you are light years ahead the competition !
  • 10 0
 Wyn wouldn't have made it this far into the stage to participate.
  • 4 3
 @ReformedRoadie:
I don't know about you !?
But i'm glad that we have Wyn
in the MTB races - community ,
It could be good to have more like him !
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: You really don't think Wyn could ride 191km on a road bike?
  • 1 0
 @mtb-jon: you get yanked from the tour if you don't make the cutoff time to finish a stage. Wyn would be HOURS behind even the Lanterne Rouge. lol

technically, if you are over 20% slower than the stage winner, you get the hook.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-jon: Wyn would have been time cut after the first stage.
  • 1 1
 You all F_ _ King HATERS !
  • 1 0
 @TARTARA: nah just recognizing reality. No disrespect
  • 1 0
 @TARTARA: no one hates Wyn. Just you
  • 1 1
 @SterlingArcher:
The OP was just a "joke",
in Wyn's spirit,
( "not bad, good size" ) ect ect !

But you guys "just hate to hate" !

Wyn voice :
Over and out !
  • 1 0
 @TARTARA: you’re weird
  • 1 0
 @conoat: He most likely would not be hours behind the leaders but you still get to finish the stage if you go OTL.
  • 1 1
 LoL
  • 3 0
 Ace...
  • 3 0
 This is fantastic
  • 2 0
 This was a pleasure to watch!
  • 3 0
 Good times
  • 2 0
 It's 174 meters, not 134.
  • 3 0
 Video is unavailable
  • 7 6
 Oliver Naesen rides for AG2R-Citroen...
  • 2 0
 Fixed, thanks!
  • 1 0
 We can be certain that no PED's were involved in breaking this record!
  • 1 1
 Outside of back flipping the peloton, this was one of the coolest things done on a road bike.
  • 2 1
 Another mtb technology infiltrating road riding… fun!
  • 2 0
 No video available
  • 1 0
 Someone needs to thug life meme the winner
  • 1 0
 Thumbs up!
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