Cycling and the wind. A thread.

The Vent d'Autan is forecast to blow on the Tour today. The locals say that it's a wind "qui rend fou"- which makes people go mad.

It blows from the south east, in the opposite direction to the Tramontane, which blows from the north west.
The Tramontane funnels between the Massif Central and the Pyrenees. It was the wind which blew across the peloton on stage 11 of the 2016 Tour to Montpellier and saw Froome, Thomas, Sagan and Bodnar break away.

Victor Hugo also wrote of it that it sends people mad.
Sagan now rides for Bora. The writer Stendahl said of the Bora wind, "I call it a high wind when I hold onto my hat, and a Bora when I am in danger of breaking my arm." The Bora blows down the Adriatic from the north.
Of course, cycling fans are familiar with the mistral, which blows down the Rhône valley from the north. The mistral is what makes Mont Ventoux the windiest place in France. It blew so hard in 2016 that the stage finish on Ventoux had to be moved 6km down the mountain.
And a race follower's caravan was blown clean over at the top.
There are many locally-named winds around the world. Only one in the UK, however - the Helm, in Cumbria.

There's a list here: Have fun - it's a real rabbit hole.

I once got caught in a Chinook in Montana, USA. It came from nowhere, and was quite eerie.
Recommended reading on the matter: Where the Wild Winds Are, by Nick Hunt ( @underscrutiny). That's where the Stendahl quote comes from.
As cyclists, we may be more attuned to the wind than most people. I almost always plan my rides on the 'headwind out, tailwind home' model. You can tell the exact direction of the wind when riding by sensing the small air pockets and turbulence around your head.
Anyway, if that Vent d'Autan turns up today, it'll blow across the final 45km as a cross-tailwind, which is the hardest to manage for a peloton. The mountains haven't given us much action so far this Tour, but a crosswind always sends the peloton mad.

You can follow @EdwardPickering.
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