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BS: Tour de France, Anyone?

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Subject: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 07:23 PM

Any cycling Catters or fans of cycling? Or is it insufficiently compatible with beer?

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 07:56 PM

I think Lance should have worked harder, to come in higher than 8th in the Prologue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 08:11 PM

I missed it, but did you know OLN has a live (and archived) audio feed this year?

Lance seems to agree with you, art, according to his www.cyclingnews.com post-Prologue interview. Well, we'll see how he does. Remember the year he faked being all worn out on one mountain stage, psyching out all the GC contenders-- till he ate them alive with a grin? I think perhaps he just wanted to ditch the yellow jersey so he'd present less of a target in the flat stages.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 09:24 PM

I doubt that anyone will ever fall for that one again, Susan.

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 06:51 AM

And, uh, Lance finished 7th, not 8th, and... maybe you just did fall for it. :~)

Off on a road trip (by car, LOL)-- happy Touring!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 07:44 AM

just got back from France Bikes every where.

Anyone read "French Revolutions" about a guy who decides to "do the Tour" in his own time and way of course. Very Funny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: saulgoldie
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 08:33 AM

As someone who thinks that the bicycle is one of the greatest systems of all times in all endeavors, it is near and dear to my heart.

Of course I am a Lance fan. But whether he wins or not, I find it thrilling just to see people going that fast and exerting that much power and knowing that I and all other cyclists do pretty much the same thing, albeit much more slowly.

Interesting to note that there are far more folk songs about baseball and cars, even though bicycle racing was the undisputed attendance king of sports for the late 1800s into the 1910s, in America anyway. What've we got, "Daisy, Daisy?"

Anyway, I am glad OLN is covering it so well, a far cry from some of the earlier American coverage that was uninformed and way too chock full of commercials.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 09:11 AM

I have a theory on Tour style events. I think that, if the Kenyans ever decided to take up competive tour cycling, it would sound the death knell for white cyclist - as it has done for white distance runners. But will they ever get themselves organised?
P.S. I think it's a disgrace the way the BBC have ignored the Tour De France. I see ITV are showing highlights in the early hours of the morning. Better than nothing, I suppose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 10:43 AM

I dont think they ignored it. More like Sky bought them out. Just like all good sports coverage... gone off the face of the earth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Armen Tanzerian
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 11:35 AM

Just checked in here:

http://www.letour.fr/tour96/2003/fr/index.html

Apparently, there was a fall in the midst of the peloton just before the finish -- one guy was carried off in a neck brace.

I like to read the news in French. I assume that if you change the "fr" in the above URL to "en", you'll get English. Also, perhaps because their server was deluged at the end of the stage, I was getting error messages when I tried to click through for more info.


Armen "Day-dee-zweet" Tanzerian


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Armen Tanzerian
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 11:38 AM

OK, I was wrong. So go here:

http://www.letour.fr/

and select your own language.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 02:31 PM

No mention of the drugs?, the "sport" stinks. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 04:01 PM

Armstrong seems to've faked a fall in the big pileup too.   ;-)

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 05:09 PM

I think the best site you'll find for the Tour of France, and the Tour of Spain if your a USPS fan, is VeloNews. Lance has the best team there and will win at least two more tour's before he's done.
Now the next challenge is helping Heras win the Tour of Spain again, and maybe a higher placeing in the Tour of France.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 05:13 PM

That crash Armen mentioned did take out two other American contenders in Tyler Hamilton and Levi Leipheimer. It's too bad to see such great athletes as those two go down like that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 08:33 PM

uh, ladies & gentlemen, in Amerika, thats the "Tour de Freedom" please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 04:30 AM

My dad watches every year and thoroughly enjoys it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 06:04 AM

I will, of course, maintain interest while an Aussie is leading.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Beccy
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 11:53 AM

I think it ought to be called the Tour De Lance.

Beccy

P.S. Anyone know how many people have won 5 consecutive Tour de France-s?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Tam the Bam (Nutter)
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 12:03 PM

I like the tour de France, and I think a cyclist will win it. hopefully either Scottish or Australian.

Tom
Well that's me put the kiss of death on anyone who is either Scottish or Australian who is riding the tour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 01:06 PM

Anyone know how many people have won 5 consecutive Tour de France-s?

Only one so far, Miguel Indurain. The other three with five victories all together had misses in between.

I remember the good old days of the radio when I first got interested in the Tour. Those life reportings from the top of a mountain when nobody knew when the peleton was arriving and nonone knew what had happened in between:

"I am standing at the col du Tourmalet, the cloud are all around us and we do not see for more than twenty yards. The temperature is 5 degrees Celsius and a sleety rain is falling since four hours. We are waiting for the first grimpeurs to arrive here. The last information we had is the the first part of the peleton was down to 20 cyclists one hour ago with none of the favourites missing.....(5 more minutes of describing rain and cold)...The noise we hear from a couple of hundred metres below tells us that the first cyclist is bound to come soon. Who will it be and how big will be the ecart....(two more minutes of describing noise getting louder).....there I see a trikot throught the rain, a man alone, could it be, oh no, yes, yes, it is Federico Bahamontes, the eagle from Toledo, first man on this years Tourmalet, passing here 7 hours, 13 minutes and 15 seconds after the start. He still looks determined and now gets hold of a paper for the descent. Let us have a look at the watch, how many minutes will he be in front of the second, when will Anquetil pass here and can Bahamontes win enough time from the mountain etappes to last him to Paris. THERE COMES THE SECOND and it is Charly, Charly Gaul, 42 seconds behind Bahamontes and still no Anquetil in view. That's a bit of a surprise and Gaul is strong enough to win against Bahamontes in the descent. Voices are getting louder again and there is the maillot jaune, Jacquers Anquetil with Hennes Junkermann still close to him, but Poulidor is missing. There were five cyclists in this group but through the fog I could only make out Anquetil and Junkermann, but where is Poulidor? There comes Poulidor, alone and fighting but looking beaten. Should it be another year without a win by Poulidor? Now I will hand over to the reporter at the finish line where the cyclists are expected in about one hour...."

I still like to watch it but the thrill of those times is gone. I still think it is a shame that Poulidor never has won the Tour and never has donned le maillot jaune even for a single day and I think the first German winner should have been Hennes Junkermann or Rolf Wolfshohl and not what's his name.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Beccy
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 02:41 PM

So if Lance won this year, he'd be tying a pretty big record?
Is Miguel Indurain the one they called "Big Mig"????


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 03:27 PM

Yes, Indurain is 'Big Mig'.
Let's see how Lance is affected by his recent (and a less recent) fall this year. Giro winner Simoni is said to be very strong this year.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 07:18 PM

As it turns out, the guy who screwed up and caused the crash that took many riders out also caused a crash at the giro that took out Cipolini, the worlds fastest cyclist. Like I said, Lance has the best support in the tour. This is a 20 stage race, not a 2 day one. When the moutains come, the standings always change dramticly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Armen Tanzerian
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 11:14 PM

Whoa -- talk about kicking ass...this guy Virenque is quite a climber, non? Nice lift for the home crowd.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 07:48 AM

Simoni is very disappointing. Armstrong can be very glad with the development so far. He'll easily squash Virenque's advantage in the first long contre-le-montre.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 02:18 PM

Nice Call Wolfgang, Armstrong is now in yellow. Virenque had a nice victory, but it sure didn't last long. I predict that at the finish, Roberto Heras will be on the podium as well.
Another great story this thread missed was at the end of the team time trial, Victor Hugo-Pena took the yellow jersey and kept it for two days. The first day he wore it was his birthday. Pena is the first Columbian, or South American for that matter, to wear the yellow jersey in the tour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 03:36 PM

I confess, I am hooked since I saw the Tour last year..(we get it on OLN, The Outdoor Life network)...I am just becoming familar with how the scoring, rules, tactics..etc., work. I have finally come up with a working definition of "Peloton"....."Those poor struggling riders who have little chance to win, but get bonuses helping the stars avoid problems" *grin*...yes, I know...silly...but..

One thing I do NOT understand yet though, is why they tolerate so many spectators jumping out on the course, especially on the mountain finishes! Sometimes the riders can barely get through. I actually saw one photographer fail to get out of the way, and get run over by a rider.

...and all those cars and motorcycles!...it's a wonder there are not more crashes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 06:08 PM

Bill, from my understanding, the peloton is the main group of riders. Armstrong will typically finish with the main group on a sprinting stage as that's not his strength.
I couldn't agree more about the spectators though. I remember once in the Giro (tour of Italy) when the spectators were particularly bad, running along side the riders and getting in the way. Finally, Simoni punched a spectator out. He was kicked off the Giro that year, but has come back since and won it this year.
The motorcycles have caused some huge crashes. I can remember one last year in the Tour of Spain that took out a good portion of the riders, including USPS rider Mike Berry (I think that's the spelling he uses).


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bert
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 07:37 PM

Good point Ard Mhacha. I used to ride a lot when I was young and foolish, but didn't race because I wasn't prepared to compete against people doing drugs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 08:12 PM

I guess I enjoy it when there is a good crash, though I really don't enjoy seeing someone getting injured badly... I feel guilty then...

Basicaly, I do not enjoy what I would class as individual sports where power, stamina, etc. are the main criteria. As far as I'm concerned, performancing enhancing drugs are too much of a temptation, athletes are too self centered, governments and governing bodies have too much self interest and the game is about what you can get away with...

Give me a game of skill any day and preferably a team game. Not too long ago, Shane Warne was rightfully banned (IMO) for taking an ilegal substance but I don't think any of us could argue that whatever he took could in any way have altered his sheer brilliance and accuray at bolwing leg spin in cricket.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 02:06 PM

I don't understand the rating system much. All I know is that to us cancer survivors, Lance is THE MAN!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 10:02 PM

Beloki crashed out today. He took 2nd last year and 3rd the two years prior. He looked very determined this year. It's too bad this happened!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 06:34 PM

I suppose they should add 5 seconds to Armstrong for taking that shortcut to avoid poor Beloki...but maybe they should subtract some time for being quick witted enough to not be the 2nd major rider to go out in 1 crash! What a turn of events!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 10:20 AM

There are penalties for taking shortcuts but not under these circumstances. It has been announced (undisputed by other teams) within minutes after the race had been finished that there would be no penalty for Armstrong.

Armstrong looks less dominant than the last years. I still think he's going to make it (more from a lack of convincing opposition), but during the last years he could easily distance Beloki each time he wanted. And this time he looked rather glad he could follow Beloki on the Alpe d'Huez stage. The last years after half of the race there usually was only one cyclist within ten minutes of Armstrong. This year, after half of the race, 25 cyclists are within 10 minutes of Armstrong. That makes his task of controlling the peloton much more difficult.

Beloki looked impressively strong and determined this year. It is a pity he had to go out. Nonetheless, I see no cyclists to take the Tour from Lance easily. Vino is in the form of his life and slightly better than Armstrong in the mountain stages, but he is not good enough in the two contre-le-montres<(i> to come. Vino can make it among the first ten or even six in these stages, but that still means a loss of about two minutes on Armstrong at least. Ullrich could beat Armstrong on a perfect day in the contre-le-montres but is not strong enough in the mountains. Mayo has not the will to win. Have you seen how he did not fight til the end on the Alpe d'Huez stage but enjoy the victory and let seconds slip away? He'll be happy to win one more stage in the Pyrenees. He hasn't the stamina to win the whole event.

Anyway, the fall of Beloki has shown how small the path to victory can be. A fall can change anything quickly. A jours sans of Armstrong also could change everything. The last times Armstrong was so dominant that he could win even with a jours sans. I remember a year he had one and still won easily against Ullrich. This year, a day where he'll show weakness would mean the end of his hopes.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 11:30 AM

One of Lance's main strengths is the team he has to help him...they are performing well in almost every way and seem to be able to stay near the front at crucial times.

As you say, Wolfgang, anything can happen in the next 10 days, and whether other riders are better or Lance is older, all these challenges MUST have an effect as various teams try to wear him down. He is being pretty smart as he keeps track of WHO is doing a breakaway, and not worrying about catching one-day wonders who are wearing themselves out just trying to get a stage win.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 03:01 PM

Here is what former cycling champion Bernard Thevenet predicts:
Je vois bien un podium Armstrong-Mayo-Vinokourov dans cet ordre. Mayo devrait attaquer de nouveau dans les Pyrénées. Et Vinokourov, même s'il paraît bien, a toujours un jour sans en montagne.

Take Mayo out and put Ullrich in and you have my present prediction (No former champ in anything). Watch this place to see my improved prediction after the Pyrenees. Usually during the last couple of years my latest improved and refined prediction, the day before the Tour ended, tended to be very close to the result next day.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 07:02 PM

It's true Lance hasn't been able to distance himself like in years past, but in his defense, people are attacking much more. Beloki made a serious attack on Sunday, something he didn't really do all last year. Monday, Lance and Beloki were working together to catch someone they both felt threatened their respective positions on the chart. Beloki just happened to be in front.
In not so sure about Heras anymore, but I'll hold to my perdiction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 04:32 AM

Heras has the ability, no question, but as equipier of Armstrong he has tasks that sometimes afford an extra effort he could spare if he was le principal himself. My guess is that that extra effort and not lack of ability will cost him the podium.

Perhaps Armstrong makes something next year or after next year that the great Anquetil has done once with Lucien Aimar profiting. When everybody thought Anquetil would go for his sixth victory and they all looked what he did or didn't he supported his long time equipier Lucien Aimar and when they found out it was too late. Aimar did win the Tour and Anquetil did not finish.

With Armstrong supporting Heras as a bonus for years of help Heras would be a strong candidate even for the middle position on the podium.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 10:48 AM

...and wouldn't it be something if Tyler Hamilton made the podium after his crash? To still be in the top 5 or 6 is quite amazing.

I can't say I'd go out on a limb and predict it....but starnge things happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 12:41 PM

Interesting enough Wolfgang, it is my understanding that when Heras signed on to support Lance in the Tour of France, it was agreed that Lance would support Heras in the Tour of Spain. That hasn't yet happened. Still, Heras took second on that tour with only one solid support rider.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 12:12 PM

Armstrong is definitely weaker than during the last years. In all his last years he always had a five minutes advantage before the second set of mountain stages. Though 'weakness' in his class of cycling is a very relative word. Most cyclists would wish that only once on a good day they'd be as good as Armstrong on a weak day. Perhaps he tells after the Tour whether his fall in the first stage did hurt more than he tried to show or what else it was. There are rumours that he has stomach problems. But you could ask him and he'd smile and say he never felt better.

We now know that Ullrich had fever the day he had lost time in the Alps. He didn't tell then fearing an early attack. He even sent one of his equipiers to the Tour physician feigning health problems during the race. The man brought the pills he got to Ullrich who didn't want to be seen close to the doctors car.

The European newspapers now expect Ullrich to win and the way he looked today I'd say he will. But the way Armstrong did come back after Ullrich's attack showed this man is not ready at all to let slip away the yellow jersey without a hell of a fight. Fifteen seconds between the first two with the third rider in the form of his life being less than a minute away promises two more exiting days in the Pyrenees.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 06:18 AM

Wolfgang, I am surprised at you, we all know that the US has all of the best drugs, Remember the placards as Lance passed the spectators last year declaring him a drug taker. Ard Mhacha


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 06:59 AM

Ard Mhacha,

I remember my student times when some co-students always wanted to discuss the ugliness of capitalist professional sports in the middle of an exiting game ("This Beckenbauer guy you applaud, do you know, BTW, that he votes conservative?"). We were not very receptive for the arguments at that particular time of day.

Next evening, at dinner time, we said now was a perfect time to discuss capitalist sport. They were not interested then anymore. Interestingly, they only wanted to discuss sports exactly and only when we wanted to watch.

After the Tour will be finished I'll be very receptive for your good arguments, Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 07:00 AM

last post from:

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 07:10 AM

I applaud Franz Beckebauer as a footballer, playing the game without the aid of drugs, as for who he votes for, I couldn`t care less.
Sincerely, Wolfgang, if you are heading off on holidays,have a good time. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 02:01 PM

well, Ullrich looked stronger and better prepared to me!...He and Armstrong ought to make this next few days very exciting. That time trial, I think, did a lot to Lance's confidence as he had not been beaten in time trials but once previously.

Good drama,no matter who wins.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 11:03 AM

What a great stage of Armstrong! I don't think he will loose the Tour now, for he will not loose at the contre-la-montre that much time for a second time. Last time he has made a mistake (not enough fluid intake) he will not repeat. A great Tour with the smallest winning margin since many years.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 11:42 AM

Ullrich has looked exceptionaly strong this year. Lance's win today should give him a huge boost in confidence though. While this one has been very exciting, I'm already looking foward to next year which will hopefully feature an even more determined Beloki.
It was a class act of Ullrich though to hold everybody back after Armstrong and Mayo crashed until they caught up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 03:30 PM

those riders need to remember who was decent...Armstrong waited for Ullrich several years ago.

What a stage! Drama & strategy and endurance from many riders. 67 seconds lead is nice, but I doubt Lance is overconfident...too many things can happen. But it does seem that only 3-4 have any serious chance now...

(I still cringe at the masses of spectators who feel they MUST stand right in the path and wave flags and run beside the cyclists!....and did anyone else catch the 5 or 6 seconds yesterday when one guy lowered the rear of his shorts and ran beside the leaders, mooning the world? *grin*)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 03:34 PM

BTW...here is the official English language site for the Tour, in case it helps anyone sort it all out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 11:23 PM

Caught most stages up thru Friday, on OLN; now I'm at my sister's, OLN-less. Thank God for Cycling News' live updates (text) and OLN's audio feed-- tho the puder here is so slow, and the ISP so bad, I can't get more than five seconds at a time! But oy, what a day!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 07:22 AM

from an interview (my translation):

Mr. Armstrong, did you expect Jan Ullrich to wait for you after your fall?

I knew they would (wait). I did the same for Jan in 2001....What you give mostly comes back one time.

(now my text, not the interview) With very few exceptions (notable: the Pantani-Armstrong hate), the top cyclists have a lot of respect for each other. In addition to that, they know they'll be made to suffer if they do what the others consider wrong. Next time they want to have a pee and stop there'll be an attack or some other nastiness of that kind.

Have you seen the tiny geste of Armstrong when overtaking Chavanel who had led for most of the stage to pat him on the back? That meant: "Sorry, guy, I know that should have been your stage, but when I want to win I have to overtake you now."

To know how someone else feels (Chavanel is young and that would have been his first major victory) and to show them you know that is class.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 12:19 PM

Cycling is a totally commercial venture, so it is wonderful to see the sportsmanship that occurs, despite that. Also, Armstrong has worked hard over a long period of time to overcome anti-American feelings in France, as far as people's perceptions about him.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 12:57 PM

Until a sport is truly international, embracing all colours and classes, I feel it has not truly established itself. Tour cycling falls into that category. I love the Tour de France BUT I'm convinced that if the Kenyans ever took up cycling, that would be the end for white cyclist! Well at least for serious contenders for the overall crown.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 09:44 PM

I did see that gesture, Wolfgang. Chavanel rode a good stage, and had not Lance needed those bonus seconds, Chavanel would probably have been allowed to win. It is good to see these small bits of honor in such a competitive sport.

I see that Armstrong is also gaining points and supporters in France for giving interviews IN FRENCH!...this is no small thing in France, as few Americans take the trouble to learn the language.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 04:34 AM

geste/gesture: It is funny how my word memory for English words is blocked when I write about Le Tour. I seem to need a completely separated part of my brain.

Armstrong is much more liked by the French (press and spectators) this year. His ability to give interviews in French has done a bit. But the main reason, I think, is that he is no longer 'intouchable' (please pronounce it in French for that's how I have it written). They never really like the cyclists who look as if cycling meant no effort at all. He looks vulnerable and beatable this year and that's why they like him more even if he may not be beaten, actually.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 12:27 PM

From my memory, Lance did interviews in french the first year he won, but didn't have a great command of the language and got misquoted sometimes. The next year, he did them in English and never got misquoted, but the fans weren't happy. The third year, he interviewed in both languages. At least this is what I remember.
On another note, congradulations to Tyler Hamilton! Despite his injury, he has stuck to it and won his first Tour de France stage today. The story is here!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 04:29 PM

I still stand by my prediction 'Armstrong Ullrich Vino' made on 16 Jul 03 - 03:01 PM.

Armstrong had a physical low a bit more than one week ago at the last contre-la-montre. He is in better shape now. I can see Ullrich winning that stage on Saturday, but only by a too small margin.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: billy bob
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 05:37 PM

2 years ago i took part in the 'rondelee'
which is the 2000 cycleists who cycle round the paris cource befor the main event
so.....
wait for it!!!!
i took part in the tour de france!!
and have a king of the mountain shirt to prouve it!!!!!!!!!
manic laughter dieing out in back ground!!!!
oh by the way
think launce will be the fifth person to win it
spookie eh? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 07:42 PM

Well, I'm officially backing off and disclaiming my prediction on Heras now. I still hold on to hope for the tour of Spain, but I wonder if Rubiera might not be a better bet for USPS this year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 11:16 PM

I guess it will just all come down to whether Ullrich can do another totally dominating time trial..(Armstrong says "I have never YET lost a final time trial".)...I'll be watching to see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 07:50 AM

Just a couple of minutes ago there was an extremely rare view: Both Armstrong and Ullrich sprinting (which for both is not what they are famous for) for time bonifications at an intermediate sprint. That means they both think it could be a very close decision.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Armen Tanzerian
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 10:40 AM

Wolfgang, mon vieux. Le mot "bonification" n'existe pas en anglais. C'est plutot "betterment". Bien que tu t'appelles Wolfgang, apparement tu as un cerveau français. Tu es alsacien, peut-être?


Armen, Paris 17ème


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 11:14 AM

'bonifications'= 'bonuses'?

English do shorely be a funny langwidge sumtimes....

I forget sometimes that Wolfgang and Masato and Escamillo and others are not native speakers, as they VERY seldom use a term incorrectly. I wish I had kept learing German past my college days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 04:48 PM

Non, Armen, je suis Allemand. Mais quand je parle du Tour, je pense en Francais.
I even prefer to look at the French language internet site of Le Tour. And that's why words like equipier, bonification, echappes, contre-la-montre are predominantly in my mind.

I was completely sure there was an English word 'bonification'. I even could pronounce it without difficulties. Take a French word and pronounce it the English way is quite a good heuristic. It often works, but not always.

Bill, but you should hear me. I often envy Susanne who even can fool English speaking persons to think she is a native speaker for a couple of sentences. I couldn't with any sentence longer than 'yes'.

Bonification is time bonus. Ullrich today took 2 s off of Armstrong's advantage.

Just in case someone wonders what happens if both have identical overall time when in Paris. Then the winner is the one with more points in the points 'classement' used for determining who gets the green jersey. At the moment, that would be Ullrich.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 10:56 AM

Chapeau, Lance


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 12:56 PM

So odd that Mr. Impetuosity now benefits from being the calm old man of the bike. I see strength and youthful hunger for the next Tour (or 2005)-- the fight between Ullrich and Mayo, plus Hamilton's amazing dedication making it all entirely unpredictable.

Do you think Lance should (will) go for 6 straight? Did he make a deal with Kristen to hang it up after this one?

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Dick Shay
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 02:05 PM

I think Armstrong was very happy to eat his words about never losing the final time trial. With todays atrocious riding/racing conditions I'm sure he was elated with his third place finish and overall lead in the Tour. All he has to do now is stay on the bike all the way to the finish line in Paris tomorrow and he will have secured his place in history. Pity it will be lost on the majority of Americans. Also, kudos to Tyler Hamilton for his fourth place finish after todays time trial. He will also be hailed as a hero in this year's Tour. Who else would ride three weeks with a broken collar bone?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 10:47 PM

Why is it some dumbass is always saying that "Americans will not appreciate" some victory or record or great athlete in a sport that may not be number 1 here? A lot of Americans know of the accomplishments of Armstrong and do appreciate his tremendous record in cycling....not to mention his victory over testicular cancer.

The US simply has a ton of sports and it diffuses the applause for any single one. And who the hell says we have to do it to begin with? Because cycling or Soccer or something else is important elsewhere, it doesn't have to be important here. That's fuckin' ignorant. It's like me saying that Chinese have no appreciation of basketball after sending some great talent to the NBA....or saying that the UK needs to be more involved in baseball. So Guest Dick Shay.....take that line of shit and shove it up your ass. That's an international sport BTW

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 04:10 AM

A bit the other way around, isn't it, Spaw - a lot of Americans might not have heard of the Tour de France if it wasn't won by an American.

The sprint jersey was won by an Aussie. Pity we can't climb very well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Jeger
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 05:41 AM

What is this "lost on the majority of Americans" bit? I have followed this more than almost any sports event in recent times. I think Armstrong is awesome. The battle he had against cancer is a back drop which makes it all the greater.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 09:00 AM

Hey!!! Didn't OLN preempt both fly fishing and beach volleyball so they could have 12+ hours of Tour coverage every day? Beach Volleyball is important to the average American couch potato!

BTW, Jenn and I took part in a fund-raising bike ride on one of the middle weekends of the Tour, for the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer survivors (link here). A worthy cause, and a worthy effort by a great athlete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 09:52 AM

OLN preempted because available sponsorbucks were pretty huge for Le Tour! Le Lance Hot, and all that Jazz.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 10:00 AM

Susan!! True, but the advertising wouldn't have been there if there was no interest in watching it. Even OLN doesn't spend much time on curling or rugby.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 10:49 AM

Now that the Tour de France is finished I'm ready to discuss (sport) politics.

Tunesmith, you may be right but who cares? The winner only can be the best of those who have competed. Perhaps, if a small French boy would not have died in an accident 24 years ago, Lance might not have won...As I said who cares. With you definition of international no single sport can be termed international for there are always differences in local interest who shape the interests of the young boys and girls which sport to choose or not.

Greg, the idea was not to replace the word 'France' by 'freedom' but the word 'French'. That's why your example doesn't fit. But I agree that the replacement is completely silly and pointless.

Ard, with extremely few exemptions all world class accomplishments in whatever sport are not healthy anymore. Way back in the old times, Tour de France cyclists have taken arsenic in unhealthy doses and all that. I doubt that for instance GAA sports are completely clean in that respect.

Same as I admire for instance circus artists and forget for the moment of admiration how awful and unhealthy the training might be I admire the cyclists and forget about the other aspects as long as they compete. But I am for controls for I do not want someone to win only by superior methods of cheating.

From what I know, the coutries which did (and do) use cheating by doping on a fairly general level these were (and are) predominantly countries from the so called socialist world. We now know fairly well how such a small country as the GDR did excell in Olympic sports. And the pattern of records and sudden breakdowns of Chinese athletes speaks volumes.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 10:56 AM

Yes.... but part of the deal is that Lance was also being featured in commercials on other channels. Kind of a cross-marketing thing. I think the sponsors saw a marketing opportunity because of the coinkydink between the Tour Centenary and the Fifth-Win effort.
It doesn't necessarily mean that a lot of people understand a thing about professional cycling, or follow it. I don't expect there'll be much of a ripple in the media pond over La Vuelta, por ejemplo. No Lance, no marketing hook. (BTW don't you love the superior French scenery and camera work????? We rank Le Tour 1st, then the Giro, the La Vuelta as far as watchability.) )

Hardi and I are blue in the face from all the explaining we've been doing about the hows and whys of cycling-- individual and team goals and tactics, where the money comes from and goes, and so on..... it's not at all like the Olympics and people keep thinking it will be, bnecause the mdia has focused on heroism and that's the closest people seem to be able to get, in gras[ping what's remarakable about Le Tour. When we explain it, we talk about having to have a great day for three weeks straight-- no room for a bad hair day-- and 2,000 miles of racing partly uphill.) The marketing this year has brought people to us to ask us, because NOW they recall that for 4 years w'eve been talking about how exciting it is. Anyhow that's how it seems in our tiny town. But there is a diehard road cycling community here, and especially now that we have a small and wonderful cycle shop, it's getting kinda organized. The CamelBak's are coming out of the closet and it's not unusual now to see someone zoom past slow cars on clipless pedal clips-- fewer heavy mountain bikes on the road, and more aerobars, and so forth.

Perhaps it's not important to decide which came first, the chicken or the egg-- the marketing or the interest-- but just to notice that chickens and eggs often are found together and tend to perpetuate one another.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 01:39 PM

Hrothgar, I believe this is the second year an Aussie won the sprint jersey. It's nowhere near as big a deal as the yello jersey though.

I have to agree with Spaw. While cycling isn't as big here as it is in France or Columbia, we all know who Lance is, we all know what he's done and just did! We all know that he's going for number 6 next year. Lance delivers an important message to all of us; that you can come back stronger than you've ever been before!

Anyways, my podium perdictions for next year - Armstrong, Ullirich, and Hamilton. Although if Beloki is back, one of these guys could be ousted. Also, watch out for Leipheimer. He was crashed out in the opening in the same crash that broke Hamiltons collar bone this year. He's readdy to have an impact. Heras could also be a strong contender for the podium (although he'll be supporting Armstrong) if is any stronger than he was this year.

Benjamin


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 04:15 PM

I also wish the 'minor' sports were better known in America, and perhaps we are getting there....there is little space left on regular TV channels, though, after Basketball, football, baseball & hockey get through! OLN does show us some choices (as does ESPN, if you stay up till 3AM!)

as in all major sports, cycling is getting ambiguous about nationalities. An 'American' won the race, but NOT "America"...many riders from different countries made up professional teams, and they joked about the Aussie(McEwen) who now lives in Belgium being a Belgian if he won and an Aussie if he lost..*grin*. Guys from MANY countries performed well in that long race..three French riders did very well, as well as Germans, Spaniards, Italians, Brits, Dutch and others. (3rd place to Kazakstan!)

The only sour note for me, was those sprinters like Petacchi who rode just for a win or two and then quit...yeah, those mountains are work, but if that's all they can do, let 'em just enter sprint races...

ah, well, it was great fun watching, and I admire ANYONE who can ride a bike for 3 weeks that fast!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 04:34 PM

Agreed, Bill D. I have ridden a few centuries, although not recently, and I recall being walking wounded for several days afterward, and some multi-day rides with lower daily mileage. The thought of riding 250K, coupled with several category 1 climbs, makes me shudder!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 05:26 PM

Well Bill, in defense of riders like Petacchi, there is sometimes an alterier motive to entering a tour. You may recall how Cipolini had three stage wins at the Vuelta last year and then pulled out. He was in to train for another race that he won. Before his cancer, Lance Armstrong did the same thing, altough I think it was just one stage win instead of six. I do understand what your saying, but it's common practice. The tours go to the better climbers. The Giro and the Vuelta are even harder on sprinters.
On another note, do you think they'll finally let Cipolini race in the tour again next year?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 05:42 PM

I understood it was getting a 'team' with Cipolini in it qualified, rather than the man himself...I thought I remember hearing that 2 or 3 teams were vying for the last entry.

as to "The tours go to the better climbers.."...the tours go to those who can do it all! Armstong is a fine time-trialer and a 'decent' sprinter, as well as an excellent climber...same with #5, Zubeldia, and Hamilton...etc... several who were only climbers did not finish high.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 10:27 PM

It's not "ulterior motives." It's openly planned, multiple agendas well supported by tradition (i.e. the sponsor system). The riders all accept it and work with it. It's how they customize their season to their individual needs and abilities. Same thing as horse racing, really.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 01:50 AM

Two men in my neighborhood flew to Corsica a few weeks ago for a couple of weeks of cycling through the countryside. They had a great time; did between 50 and 60 miles a day even though there were a lot of climbs with a significant elevation gain. They took many pictures, cemented friendships, and came back muscled and tan.

I asked one of the men about the Tour de France. He grunted, A recipe for disaster. To me that's not what biking is about.

Somewhat like the difference between the jogger and the walker- they say that it's easy to tell them apart: the walker is the one with the smile.

Different strokes, and all that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 11:15 AM

2004 ROUTE announced.

BOB ROLL's articles at OLN.

Cable channel OLN's coverage of the Route announcement, 9:30 PM this evening Eastern time (US).

Vive Le Tour! There will be an individual time trial... up Alpe d'Huez!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 09:19 AM

Beloki and Vinokourov are both out of the 2004 Tour.

Awwwwww!!!!!

:~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,noddy
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 10:46 AM

Give "French Revolutions" a read. It is about someone who decides to "DO THE TOUR".
Hilarious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 01:23 PM

Shame that we face the prospect of the once a year junky setting a record he doesn't deserve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 01:50 PM

Van, are you on one of the teams? If not, you must have a tiny penis indeed to feel the need to say such a thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 02:11 PM

Guest/Van's post represents the view of many who prefer the feats of past TdF legends, when it was the custom for them to ride all the Grand Tours in the year.

Armstrong's big innovation is year-round training, equipment/fitness testing, and route analysis, all mostly aimed at the Tour de France.   

All riders benefit from his obsessions in those areas. By trying to knock him off the Tour podium, they challenge their own envelope and try his discoveries. I think they respect him as a fair competitor, but there is no denying his approach is different from the traditional; and people sometimes prefer the tradition to the evolution.

Whatever. Interesting year, anyway.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,two wheeler
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 05:02 PM

Van, why do you feel that way??

Curious...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 05:10 PM

.... and another familiar anti-Lance slam is that he's nothing without his team.

I prefer to enjoy seeing the teams that do NOT support one leader, as they fall apart in competitive bullshit year after year instead of emulating the Postie model. One team to watch that DOES seem to understand the team-strategy approach is Tyler Hamilton's gang.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 06:15 PM

Hey Susan. I know what Van was referring to. I'm just annoyed when someone has to slam something without bothering to argue the point. It's just silly to say Armstrong "doesn't deserve" the wins. Sports have always been about doing the most to win what you wish to win. Lance doesn't need to win race after race to pay his bills, so he doesn't feel the need to wear out his body anymore than he needs to. I'm sure his bout with cnacer helped him realize that.

I like the teamwork system the US Postal Team has. Other teams are getting better too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 06:39 PM

BC-- I think he DOES wear out his body; he just does it training, not competing. In a way he is always competing-- with himself-- because that is his personality.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 06:57 PM

Well that's true, to some extent, but it's pretty obvious that training is a bit less damaging than competition. There's at least less chance of serious injury due to accidents and peleton pile ups. And in training, there's no good results in pushing yourself when you're already injured or sick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 07:21 PM

Is someone under the impression that Lance isn't competing...and winning? Check this out!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 11:11 AM

From a letter posted at www.cyclingnews.com, referencing fitness and BIG changes in pro racing mandated to kick in soon:

Days of racing needed to prepare

People often comment how different times are between the Merckx era and today. Well, I'm amazed by how different times are between the 1990s and now. I remember at the beginning of the Giro in 1994, that Indurain's form was called into question because he had only had 20 days of racing up to that point. He came 3rd and later went on to win the Tour de France. Added to this, back then the Giro appeared to be the riders choice of preparation for the tour.

Now days, not only is there a huge lack of real TdF contenders at the Giro, but some of the TdF contenders would be lucky to even complete 20 days of actual racing before the main event.

I'm not really sure on the reasons for this, but some guesses could be

- better technology in training aids;
- recuperation is more difficult due to stricter doping controls;
- the competition is so much harder and faster requiring specific preparation, etc.

Regardless of the reasons, I can't wait for the Pro Tour in 2005. Hopefully this will bring back some of the Merckx era where we saw a whole lot more of our champions. An era where there was no such thing as a 'one hit' wonder.


~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jun 04 - 03:04 PM

I seem to recall that by winning the Tour last year Armstrong equalled someone else's previous record, correct? So if he wins this year he'll set a new record, but it isn't like he is doing something all that new, we just have short memories when it comes to sporting records.

The one thing more than any other that might equip him well to ride in that grueling race is to live and train in Austin, Texas. The summer heat is miserable down here, and if he's accustomed to that he can handle anything the race in Europe can throw at him.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 18 Jun 04 - 02:15 PM

I can't see where the length of my penis should affect my views on what constitutes a real cycling hero. (For those who worry about such things it largely depends on the weather and how long I've been out on the bike in it.)I've followed cycling for many years (since the days of Anquetil) and I feel, in common with many other European cycling fans, that in a way, Armstrong has a reputation that is ill deserved. One race a year is not much of a palmares in comparison to the riders who have previously won 5 Tours. Previous Tour winners rarely rode all 3 of the big tours but all rode the Classics: Paris - Roubaix, Paris - Tours, Fleche Wallone, etc. That's why I feel how I do. It is the only sport I really enjoy and an opinion on a major player is an entitlement of any fan. Beats the hell out of rioting at football matches. I'm sure twowheeler also discusses such merits with his mates. It' a long time since I was fit enough to be in a team.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,twowheeler
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 02:11 PM

Thanks, Van. I thought there was substance behind your feelings, and I appreciate your response. I may not totally agree with you, but I can see and respect your point of view.

Thanks for the clarification.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 02:41 PM

well, Lance is obviously a great rider, and I have watched him find energy when I can't imagine where he got it..

but on the TV OLN network this Spring...there is almost NOTHING about cycling except "homage to Lance" documentry series..."How Lance does it...in 27 chapters"
I'd like to see some of the rest of it....and boy, won't it be interesting if something happens and Lance falters...or falls...and can't get # 6?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jun 04 - 09:16 PM

What is "palmares"?

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Van
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 03:25 PM

A palmares is a cyclist's record of wins, places, records etc, in short his performance over the years. (No offence to females who also have one.) Cycling has a wee vocabulary of its own like most sports.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Jun 04 - 04:50 PM

That one is suddenly quite fashionable! The rest I understand, but that one seemed new.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 07:02 PM

Le Grande Buffet starts tomorrow!

OLN has their online, live audio feed planned for this year again, too!

Now we shall see, how is this Azevedo man....

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 02:19 AM

Lance has given other riders on his team a chance to shine, for example Floyd Landis won the Tour Portugal with Lance supporting him.
The team to watch for this year I believe is Liberty Seguros. Yeah I said Heras would make the podium last year, and it didn't actually happen (or come close). However, Liberty is stronger than any Once team and with one of the time trials being up hill, this could be Heras' best chance for a podium finish.
I'm kind of upset about David Millar being kicked out of the tour. I was hoping to see some good competition in the time trials, other than Armstrong and Ullrich. Nozal however might be able to provide that. I'm also excited to see Cipolini finally get invited. How a division one team with the reigning world champion didn't get invited last year is beyond me, but assuming someone doesn't crash him out of the tour, he should provide some good competition for Petachi.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 03 Jul 04 - 10:04 AM

A French Court ruled out Lance Armstrong`s right to reply on accusations in a new book,"LA Confidential- The Secrets of Lance Armstrong".
Emma O`Reilly, Armstrong`s former assistant claims in the book that the cyclist asked her to get rid of used syringes and to give him make-up to conceal needle marks on his arm.
British World time-trial champion David Miller already out of the Tour, withdrew from the British Olympic squad after admitting to EPO use.
Also Spanish rider Gorka Gonzalez has been excluded after he failed a drugs test while the entire Kelme team were banned following allegations of doping by a former rider.

This has been going on for years, it seems to be impossible to eradicate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 05 Jul 04 - 11:04 PM

And the sprinter from Oz took Stage 2! Good on yer, mate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 10:44 AM

The way they go now, I bet on an Australian to wear le maillot jaune tonight. A first show of strength by Armstrong and his team. Some of the other favourites are in the second half of the peloton which is an additional bonus. It looks like some of the competitors might lose about 2 minutes tonight. Of the other favourites I up to now only see Ullrich and Botero in the first group.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 11:30 AM

Heras and Hamilton were also in the first group. The other favourites have lost close to 4 min on them and on Mancebo, Ullrich and Armstrong. An Australian has both the yellow and the green jersey.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 11:41 AM

BTW, I predict that tomorrow night a US-boy will wear the yellow jersey. First name: Lance

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 11:43 AM

Pretty exciting stage all the way around. Lots of changeups all along the parts of the course. Missed most of it except HEARING it, as urgent morning correspondence had my back to the TV, but looking forward to a nice relaxed view of it all tonight. But it looks like young Iban Mayo will have to bank the fire in his belly till another year.

And next, the team time trial, and the long blue train.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 12:28 PM

Of interest* in the General Classification after stage 3....

~S~


5 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor, 0.16

9 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank, 0.24

11 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC, 0.26

18 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team, 0.31

20 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems, 0.32

42 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC, 0.46

57 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Liberty Seguros, 0.51

101 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi, 4.23


*At least, these are the ones we're watching at our house.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 01:55 PM

The team time trial is Heras' first chance to get some time back. Sure, Liberty isn't Once, but the team has the same director, who works harder on the team time trial than anyone, and he did get the majority of his Once team to come over to Liberty. I agree however that tomorrow, Lance will be in yellow. If Heras is able to make up any time, it probably won't be enough. Any how, it should be an exciting duel between the two team timetrial powerhouses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 02:38 PM

With most of the riders on "speed" we should expect the cream to come to the top, allez for the Tour de Farce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 09:35 PM

so sad to see so many injuries in the early stages. Mayo is probably out of it all. Armstrong sure manages to get where he wants, doesn't he?

One thing that bothers me about general safety is how often spectators crowd onto the racing surface. I'm not sure what could be done, but sometimes idiots who want their 15 seconds of exposure make it very difficult to ride a bike!

I don't suppose anyone would consider fewer motorcycles and autos in the pack...or more rules about their behavior.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 10:22 PM

I doubt that Mayo can make up 4 minutes, but stranger things have happened. Armstrong, of course, is where he is entirely because of his team...the first three stages don't tap into his strengths at all. Its all about having a strong team that protects the star and balances out his less strong points (I almost said "weak points...HA!).

You're certainly right about the spectators...wasn't it the 2002 Tour when Armstrong went down after catching his handlebars on the strap of someone's bag?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 10:41 PM

The fall was last year (2003) with the spectator, and vehicles are VERY much regulated. ALL the vehicles on the road on the day's route are Tour-authorized and TRour-governed vehicles of one sort or another. But road cycling IS road cycling, and believe me, far more are hurt and killed each year by regular motorists and truckers than are hurt in the Tour.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 11:14 PM

The motorcycles can be big problem, but they do provide us with all the T.V./video footage. Team cars are usually pretty well behaved. There was that incident though in the 2002 Vuelta where one of the cars for a French team ran David Millar off the road at the bottom of Angrilu. Whoever was driving that car should of been arrested for vehicular assult.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 12:22 PM

General classification after stage 9

6 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 9.35

11 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 10.11

16 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 10.19

20 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 10.30

22 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 10.35

23 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank 10.43

34 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Liberty Seguros 11.20

62 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco 12.57

86 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 15.02


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: 42
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 01:46 PM

was it really a dog that caused that crash the other day?

j


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 01:49 PM

Yes, or its stupid owner.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 02:18 PM

... but you know, it's a tour of France, not an Olympic-regulated or arena sport. Is it unfortunate that things happen that cause injury and so forth? Of course. But it is a ROAD race with tradition, and the crowd-- in all its forms-- is part of it. To people new to watching it, I'm sure it all seems quite odd, but to old hands-- it's "Le Tour"! If you listen to the comments by Bob Roll, Phil Liggett, and Paul Sherwen-- all experienced riders and Tour habitues-- you'll hear a certain fatalistic tone when these things occur.

Vive Le Tour!

~S~

PS, a number of amateur and proferssional cyclists are killed each year, not in the Tour but in training rides, by motorists, sometimes running them off the road on purpose. Compared to the reality of road cycling, the Tour is a safe place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: jimmyt
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 04:22 PM

forgive me for being so dumb, but I can't figure out a lot about how this event is scored. Don't get me wrong, I love to watch it, and sit there glued to the tv, but in reality, I am about in as much of a daze about the strategies as I would be watching cricket with Bulgarian announcers. It is really a confusing sport if you don't know the rules, ie hard to figure out on your own. If anyone could shed some simple light on it, I would appreciate it Thanks jimmyt


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 04:58 PM

Simple is not so quick, but Bob Roll has a great new book out that explains a lot about it.

OK, as simple and clear as I can be--

About 200 guys enter the race, arranged in teams invuited to participate. Each indivuidal and each team is commefcially sponsiored. The sponsirs have different interests and expecations based on how much of the freight they've undertaken to pay. But not all 200 finish-- there is attrition expected daily and as the phases of the race go on. To fininsh you have to ride EACH sceduled day-- so a boo-boo on the knee is something you either ride with, or it knocks you out. No injured reserve status.

Prizes are given for shortest overall time accumulated (Lance races for this) AKA the "GC" or General Classification. A rider of his caliber has many sponsorhips and he shares his overall prize $$ with other riders on his team. They ride so as to give him every possible chance of winning the GC prize. Each team member has specific skills to devote to this and final team membership takes all this into account. (If it were horses, think steeplechasers.)

Prizes are also given for sprints, and the sprinters are usually quite poor at mountain climbing on the bike but they are specialists at racing in short bursts. They concentrate on the flat stages, and there are sprints at the end as well as sprinkled into the race couse itself. Teams that focus on sprints also have riders who help the sprinters get up front when it matters, in time to break through the wannabes and come across the line first. (In horse terms, think American Quarter Horse.)

Prizes are given for mountain climbing, and teams organize around that too. (Cross-country eventers or foxhunters.)

A GC rider is usually a generalist who is good at all apsects of cycling and who has the stamina to survive three weeks of varied terrain and varied race conditions. A GC-contending rider will let the sprinters have their fun and not worry about their GC ranking while that phase of the race is going on, because they know that the mountains will separate the men from the boys and the well-organized (well-sponsored) teams from the less-well-organized teams.

So by the time the whole three weeks have been run, the GC winner has managed to get round the course in the shortest total time.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: jimmyt
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 05:45 PM

thanks susan. WHat is the strategic purpose of the pellaton?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 06:19 PM

The Peloton is just everyone trying to ride their race. Whatever one's overall race goal may be, there is a strategic approach to riding in it.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 05:12 AM

Just to add a bit and tell why sprinters never go for the general classification and why people going for the general classification don't go for sprints and what's the use of teams when the main general classification is the individual one.

(1) Sprinters have more body weight due to having more muscle mass. That makes them slow (due to their weight) in the mountains. But they are not as bad in the mountains as it looks when you see their placement in the general classification more than 1 hour behind Armstrong. If a good sprinter would go for the general classification in time he would be among the first 20 or 30 perhaps. A German sprinter and world champion, Rudi Altig, oncve tried that and ended a good nineteenth. Now, they are so specialised that they don't want to lose strength in the mountain legs and therefore cycle slower than they actually could. There is a time limit (10 to 15% more than the winner, perhaps). They know that and they do just enough to come in before the limit. At the foot of a big mountain someone calls out 'groupetto' and a slow train of those not going for the general classification forms. They are informed about the time difference and race according to the rule 'as slow as possible without being disqualified'.

(2) Why do people going for the general classification no sprint. They actually are not bad at sprint, but their lower weight is a disadvantage in sprints. However, if Armstrong would go for the green jersey (the classification according to ranks on arrival) he might make even the podium or even win (Merckxs once did win both classifications). He would end lets say tenth in sprints in flat legs and would be among the first three in mountain legs, In addition he could win overall the points classification. He doesn't make it for one single reason: It is too dangerous. He and Ullrich always come in now between 20th and 30th place, safe from the sprints and safe from falls (and lost time) in the main field. In several of the Tours, Armstrong had been about fifth in the points classification for winning a lot of points in the mountain legs. But he doesn't risk the win in what he is best for a possible but unsure win in what he is good.

(3) Noone can now win the Tour on his own. The last who could do that was Merckxs. The reason for that is the advantage a rider has if riding in a big group (less wind). The speed can be over 50 km/hour and at that speed a lone cyclist needs 10% more strength as a rider in the middle of a group. The differences in strength are less than these 10 % so no single rider can outperform a group at top speed. In the mountain stages, the velocities can drop to 15 km/h. At that speed and in the mountains, the wind plays nearly no role, so a single man can outperform a group. That's why they come in teams. Armstrong never will go at the head of a group as long as he has a teammate with him. He has the easy life for most of the Tour. His teammates bring him the food and the drinks so he hasn't to slow down at food control points. He is never in the wind, he doesn't have to wait for teammates with a flat tire. When he has a flat tire a teammate gives him his cycle and rides on Armstrongs new cycle from behind up to the front for a quick change. So, for Armstrong and his rivals the Tour is easy for at least 95 % of the race. But the last 5 % is what makes the overall winners. At the end of a long day of cycling through the mountains the finish is high on a mountain. His teammates are then tired from making all the work for him and he usually is on his own among peers who are also without helpers. No benefits any more from riding behind another. Now he has to show why he is the leader of a team. He rides up a mountain as fast as he can for half an hour or a bit less. If he is good at that he'll take 2 min off his rivals, enough to win the overall classification. He is also alone in the two time trials. The wind is the same for everyone and his team expects him to be the fastest rider.

In the sprints, the team also is vital: The best sprinter is behind his teammates who make the pace as fast as they can. One by one they drop out due to exhaustion. The fastest of his teammates is the last. Ideally, he goes out of the way 100 m from the finish line. If in doing so he crosses the path of a rival of his own sprinter that's an extra benefit. The sprinter only does the tlast 100 m on his own.

A group of riders can be as quick as the peloton, if they are at least about twenty. Fewer riders can on flat stages never be as quick as the peloton. As small group will ride in 'Belgian circle' (or however you call it) that is the first man in the wind only stays there for a few seconds and then drops back to the last place and so on. It looks like a continuous circle and so this group can perform nearly as quick as the peloton. If you see a rider not contributing to this circle, always staying at the last position, he is a teammate of the man with the yellow jersey. He is not expected to help others to take the yellow jersey from his mate. So he is probably the strongest maof this group when it comes to a sprint. He could win the stage and there is no official rule against it, but they would make him rue that decision some time later. Someone who has not shared the hard work is expected to stay in the background when there is the fight for the laurels.

When Ulrich was winning the Tour, Virenque was his main rival. On a mountain stage, Virenque was attacking and Ullrich follwed as the only rider behind Virenque. They rode together for the whole of the last ascent, Ullrich always in second place (he was leading on time at that moment). Ullrich could have won the stage, but he did what was expected, he stayed in second place. You have seen similar deeds from Armstrong too.

Knowing the official rules is one thing, knowing the iron clad other rules is another thing.

Today is the first day on which the men for the general classification have to show how strong they are.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 09:08 AM

Yes, Wolfgang, good job.

I think I watched two Tours intently and did a lot of reading before the commentary began to really sink in. It can't really be learned and integrated in three weeks. All the info is there-- it's just so complex the brain needs time to sort it. Like learning poker by watching.

Enjoy what you can and let the rest sit a bit-- it will make more sense next year.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 03:37 PM

Of my several typos I'd like to correct two: Ullrich (not Ulrich) and Merckx (not Merckxs).

The day after tomorrow will tell who can make the podium.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Blackcatter
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 04:03 PM

Beyond being a natural occurance in a race with 200 riders, the Peloton also has a useful purpose. When one or more riders break away from the pack on a "break-away," often tiems they're hope is to finish that day's stage in a significantly shorter time, therefore moving up in the standings. The Peloton allows the majority of the riders to catch those break-away riders most of the time, since a rider in the Peloton uses up to 30% less energy riding in that crowd instead of riding by himself or in a small group.

Therefore, the mas of riders can use their energy more effectivly and typically "reel" the break-away riders back to the Peloton. Of course, some riders can maintain their lead by the end of a stage and do more up in the standings.

As for scoring, it's all pretty simple. The person with the lowest elapsed time wins the race. The person with the lowest elapsed time in the "mountain stages" wins "King of the Mountains" and the rider who wins the most sprints/has the shortest elapsed time during them wins the Sprinting prize. Remember there are mini-sprints a couple times a day in most stages as well as the individual and team time trials.

Why does Lance win (in no particular order)?
He is one of the strongest riders (watch him burn up them mountains better than all but the mountain specialists).
He is one of the fastest riders (typically he's at the top or near the top in time trials and he almost never finishes behind the Peloton).
He is one of the best with strategy and knows his main opponents weaknessses.
He has one of the best teams that work with him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 04:28 PM

Sorry, but 'King of the mountains' is not determined by the times on the mountain stages, but by the points you get for being first, second, third and so on on the top of the mountains (not: at finish) irrespective of how far you are before the next.

The higher the mountain the more points you can get.

For the green jersey (best sprinter) the equivalent is valid: 30 points for the first (whether half an hour, half a minute or half a split second before the next), 25 for the second and so on. The flatter the stage the more points for the winner. On mountain stages you don't get as many points for being first as on flat stages.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 04:37 PM

In answer to the question at the start - Derek Woods of Sheffield City Morris is a keen cycling fan and is following part of the tour at this very moment. It does mean he is so fit he can caper over a bus shelter.

(OK I exagerrate but you know what I mean).

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 04:51 PM

The time bonuses also change from time to time, sometimes every year, depending on the course and how the race organizers want to weight it.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Jul 04 - 05:46 PM

an interesting sidelight of the race is the 'political' and gentleman's agreement to allow certain riders to 'win' a stage when they 'could' be beaten, but have ridden well, and are in their home town, or sentimental favorites..etc... as long as it doesn't affect the overall results or cost a serious contender a lot of points. Armstrong let Heras win a stage one year when he probably could have beaten him..and a few similar things happen each year..

Also, there is a sort of agreement that if a major contender has a bad fall or flat tire, his opponent will slow down a bit to allow the 'competition' to continue....which ultimately is good for publicity and viewership. (and next time it might be YOU that has the bad luck!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 02:12 AM

This tour has been quite unpredictable. Petachi and Cipolini are both out, and Liberty rode a terrible team time trial. I don't really believe that the GC contention will get interesting till the last week as that is when all the main contenders are trying to peak. In the mean time, I still hold onto a small glimmer of hope for Heras. Witht he moutain stages here, he just might have a chance to finally get back the time he needs before the time trials.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 03:03 PM


6 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor                   9.35
11 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems                      10.18
14 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems                      10.26
17 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team                                 10.30
18 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                                     10.42
19 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank                                  10.50
20 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                       10.52
27 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Liberty Seguros                   11.44
51 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi                            15.02


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jul 04 - 04:17 PM

TEAM MOUNTAIN STRATEGY

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 06:00 AM

I see Tyler Hamilton and Oscar Sevilla as the main contenders of Armstrong.

Ullrich this year has not a good team for the mountains though his personal shape seems to be good. Ullrich has lost his strongest teammate before the Tour by injury, last year's third placed Vinokurov. His second strongest teammate, Botero, seems to be out of form completely.

The young French champion, Thomas Voeckler, doesn't look like he wants to hand over the yellow jersey without a fight, but he isn't strong enough yet.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jul 04 - 11:43 AM

That Kloden fellow, he's new to me, but he looks like an interesting factor for this year.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 07:45 AM

Just in case you wonder, he's new to me too (except that I knew the name of course: Klöden). I see nobody now among the other cyclists to stop Armstrong's sixth (and if that happens: last I'd say) victory.

The only other possibilities are: a downhill crash, Armstrong getting sick, or the sick way how Eddie Merckx was stopped on his way to his sixth victory.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 11:28 AM

I feel like this-- if fate removes Armstrong, I'm happy just to see the old Lance has returned. Of course I hope he wins, but I don't have that sense of dread anymore. I also hope he retires now-- I can't tkae this nect year!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 12:04 PM

Hamilton has abandoned; I dunno about Heras.

~S~

 
General classification after stage 13

1 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère             58.00.27
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor             0.22
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC                                    1.39
4 Andreas Klöden (Ger) T-Mobile Team                           3.18
5 Francisco Mancebo Pérez (Spa) Illes Balears - Banesto       3.28
8 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team                              7.01
11 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco                                 9.50
12 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC                               10.03
13 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems                10.13
14 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank                            10.47
15 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems                10.54
16 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Crédit Agricole                   11.49
19 Richard Virenque (Fra) Quick Step-Davitamon                13.06


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 12:34 PM

Damn! Hamilton is out. I was really hoping he'd do well this year.

Sorry about my scoring mistakes. above. Just going by memory, which isn't as complicated at the silly scoring system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 01:32 PM

These are from cyclingnews.com, BTW, and when I posted above they had not finished posting all the results, so here is Heras, about even with the USPS domestiques:


34 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) Liberty Seguros                     27.35
35 George Hincapie (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor                   30.39


~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 01:49 PM

Heras crashed on a decent lost too much time. He's out of contention. Still, I'd have to respect him he finsihes the race anyways. It's too bad to see this happen in his first tour as the main guy on his team.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 01:59 PM

Sad to see Spaniards fall from grace in the Pyrenees, too. Still, Lance WILL have his way.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 02:58 PM

missed today...what happened to Hamilton? He was doing pretty well.
(and I am impressed with Voeckler, no matter how it ends!) Ullrich is still around if anything 'happens' to the leaders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 05:07 PM

Yeah, but I'm still a fan of the Spanish riders, Heras and Mayo in particular. Liberty is way too strong of a team to be collectively riding so poorly. But hey, we still have the Vuelta. Heras is always stronger then. At least the season isn't over.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 17 Jul 04 - 08:26 PM

Twenty-two seconds behind !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 11:31 AM

Dangers of road cycling from motor vehicles:

Cyclist crushed to death in Iowa

43 year-old Iowan resident and avid cyclist, David L. Holmes, was crushed to death while out training last Wednesday, July 14.

According to Kim West from Des Moines, Iowa, Holmes was out on a routine training ride that took him through a highway construction zone. A pilot vehicle - hired by the construction company to safely lead vehicles through the single-lane zone one direction at a time - passed him while he rode his bike through the zone; after the pilot vehicle passed, a semi-truck and trailer also overtook Holmes, and reportedly cut back over too soon, crushing the cyclist with its rear wheels.

West has said the local newspapers have made it sound like Holmes 'lost control' of his bike. "Not hard to do when a semi is crushing you," he wrote in an email to Cyclingnews. "David was married in April of this year. He did Paris-Brest-Paris in the past, and organized many races in and around Iowa. We miss him already."


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Jul 04 - 03:04 PM

Armstrong has won the uphill time trial before Ullrich and Klöden. His sixth victory seems undisputed now but for a major accident.

The fight for second place can still be interesting. I see Klöden now as the most likely of the two Gedrmans to make the podium. I'd say he'll be seond in the end (he is now third, behind Basso).

Speaking about Armstrong and what else he could if he tried: He is second now in the mountain points competition without having really tried to go for these points. He only tokk what was unavoidable to take in order to go for the yellow jersey.

In the green jersey competition of the sprinter he is now 9th though he always has tried to stay clear of all sprints. That too were only the points he got when going for his main aim. He'll fall back in the sprinters competition in the last days, for he'd be crazy to risk the yellow jersey in one of the coming sprints.

He'll declare the end of his carreer when in Paris I guess.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 21 Jul 04 - 03:40 PM

Well, maybe...but he and the team already have a sponsor for at least the next two years...the Discovery Channel!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: bflat
Date: 21 Jul 04 - 06:17 PM

A picture of Lance Armstrong receiving a congratulatory kiss from Cheryl Crow appeared in the NYTimes today. Does this post qualify the thread for the non-BS section? I'd guess they are making music.

I hope he has much success this weekend.

Ellen


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jul 04 - 07:52 PM

to go back to my earlier post, Armstrong said in a post-race interview today that the crowds on the climb today were very scary in some places. He managed to be diplomatic and not condemn 'enthusiasm', but made it clear that he'd like to see some restraints on flag waving idiots who drink all day, then jump in the middle of the course to 'cheer' their favorites. It is only a matter of time until some important race is ruined by injury to a major rider caused by ridiculous fans..

In the meantime, it does look like the race is now for 2nd & 3rd..etc, and Klöden is being quite impressive! (And it will be very interesting in future years if Voeckler improves his pedaling style and gets with a good team, hmmm?) (the boy wastes enough energy going from side to side to move him up several places..)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jul 04 - 08:40 PM

It is only a matter of time until some important race is ruined by injury to a major rider caused by ridiculous fans.

I believe it has happened before in some smaller races. And of course, last year's Tour saw Armstrong yanked off his bike by an idiot with a plastic bag.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 01:06 PM

Armstrong had one of the most amazing finishes today that I have ever seen. His teammate, Landis, had set this amazing pace and maintained it throughout this stage. Landis should be nicknamed "Lionheart". I was completely blown away by his courageous performance. I have always admired Jan Ullrich as a bear of a man with amazing strength. Yet Landis set a pace that kept Ullrich strictly in the position of trying to maintain position. When it came time for a move, Ullrich didn't have enough left to do it. Armstrong tried to push Landis to the stage win, but Landis (understandably) didn't have enough left. Then one of Ullrich's teammates made a move that looked insurmountable. Armstrong put on an incredible run, and managed to overcome this all but insurmountable lead to win by a nose. It was an amazing show.

The scary thing is he looks strong enough to do this again next year.

Wow!!!

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Blackcatter
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 02:43 PM

I hope he does.

I miss being able to watch this year. Had cable last year but not now. Tried to listen to OLN's streaming audio, but listening to a bike race is pretty boring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Benjamin
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 04:53 PM

On a sadder note today, Roberto did not start the stage. I guess he never made a full recovery as he wasn't able to keep up on the climbs where he'd normally be attacking. There's always next year, and the Vuelta.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 06:57 AM

Armstrong has done it but he has lost a couple of fans including me in the last couple of days.

He appears as a great athlete but as a smallminded and meanspirited man.

With the exception of Merckx, the former quintuple champions have been generous and forgiving in their victories. One of the unwritten rules is that the man with the yellow jersey doesn't go for stage victories unless there are still doubts about his overall victory. Taking away a stage victory from Klöden for whom that would have been his first victory doesn't show the man Armstrong being as great as the athlete. It is true that on the day before, on the ascent to Alpe d'Huez, German spectators have been mean, nasty and annoying to Armstrong. That's very bad behaviour no real fans of cycling agrees with. But to take revenge on a German cyclist who never had anything but words of praise for Armstrong is bad sportsmanship.

What he has done to Simeoni on the third last stage is even worse. Simeoni is one of those many cyclists who are always struggling to find a team (any money) for one more season. Never god enough tzo be more than a helper. One of the few possibilities for such a man to advertise his abilities to scouts for other teams is to pull away from the peloton with some similar minded and perhaps to win a stage or at least to make a little show of strength for some dozen miles before falling back to the peloton. When Simeoni was trying to do that Armstrong himself was joining Simeoni in order to make any pulling away impossible for Simeoni. Any pulling away with the yellow jersey trailing behind is doomed for nobody can let the leader of the field win even more seconds. So, dutifully T-Mobile had to increase the speed of the Peloton and Simeoni had to give up with a smugly grinning Armstrong falling back to his place in the field.

Simeoni was the man who had accused Ferrari of being involved in doping. Though the actual incrimination didn't involve Armstrong, Ferrari had been a team helper for Armstrong. Armstrong had not forgotten that and had made clear to the world of cycling that as long as he could prevent it Simeoni would not have even the smallest little success.

In a minor act of defiance, on the last stage Simeoni made another attack without really trying seriously (a win in Paris is so prestigious that any attack on the last stage will be without success. Simeoni has been elected most agressive cyclist for the last stage an act which hpoefully has not been completely lost on Armstrong.

Another big disappointment for me is Ullrich. I'm fed up with him telling each year that this year his preparation is better than ever and that he'll really try to win this time. Each time, he doesn't enough during the winter and comes back overweight and in bad shape in the spring. He makes a few races and mostly gives them up being unable to follow even a medium speed. Then he exercises a bit in Mallorca (good weather and good streets) and comes to the Tour in better shape but not in best shape. He always needs the first week to struggle to find his best form and blames lack of success to bad weather and ill health.

If he'd do a preparation similar to Armstrong (who goes the big mountains up and down even in the worst of weather) or even only similar to other German cyclists with somewhat less of ability he would start the Tour in the shape he normally only has at the end of it and he'd not moan each time again about the bad weather as if bad weather in the mountains of France would be a big surprise. He is a talent wasted. I'm not sure if he could beat Armstrong when in better shape but at least it would be a much more interesting competition.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,twowheeler
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 08:45 AM

wolfgang: Armstrong did exactly the right thing on every stage of the race, which you would have realized if you were at all knowledgeable about the Tour. Since you obviously aren't, take Bill O'Rilley's advice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 09:08 AM

Deliberately holding back so someone else wins sounds like match-fixing to me. If he could win the stage, he was right to do so. There's no room in sport for 'unwritten rules' Wolfgang - they result in cheating. Look at the furore in Formula 1 when Ferrari cheated by telling Barrichello to let your countryman Schumaker pass him to win. A shameful episode.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 09:34 AM

Johnny,

that's not a good comparison for what Ferrari did was within the written rules but it was extremely unfair according to the unwritten rules. Sports are full with unwritten rules. In football, for instance, when a player lies injured on the ground, most times even the opposite team will play the ball off the field to cause an interruption for treatment of injuries. Everybody then expects the other team to play the ball off the field too. They don't have to, of course, but it is expected.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 11:17 AM

You're porbably right Wolfgang, but the last few days were pretty tough for Armstrong. First of all, the Tour organizers publicly stated that this year's course was specifically designed to beat Armstrong. Talk about unsportsman like behavior. Add to that the stupid "fans" who he's had to littereally push away from him while he's racing, who have spit on him and who have yelled obscenities. Add to that Greg Lomond's pissy and envoius (I my opinon) statements about Armstrong being on drugs - so Armstrong is even getting attacked by the only other American biker that 90% of Americans have ever heard of.

Lance was a model of restraint in my mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 12:00 PM

from what I was able to understand, Simeoni was doing more than just trying to get some attention....he seemed to have an agenda that was personal/political in nature about doping charges. When he tried to join that attack, I think it was the OTHER riders in the lead group who made it clear that Simeoni was not 'welcome' under those conditions. It is a matter of opinion what Armstrong's motives were. Simeoni seems to have decided, and is SUEING Armstong !...over a tactical manuver? *tsk*

It is too bad that issues other than "who's the best rider and team?" have to enter the race, but it is a perpetual problem. Lance has been generous and not greedy in many other stages over the last few years, allowing others to win stages he might have taken, so I wonder if there is not more to the Simeoni incident than we understand.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 12:26 PM

Wolfgang, I agree with you about injured players in football, where the 'unwritten rule' exists for the well-being and early treatment of the injured player, but that's not the same thing as match-fixing by deliberately not winning. Maybe I was unclear in my first post - surely the essential essence of sport is that competitors - all competitors - are there to win and make every effort to do so? Or am I being too simplistic? :0)
Johnny :0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 02:32 PM

Yes and no, Johnny.

(1) Yes, for to many cyclists the Tour is a succession of day events, where you have to enter each day event to be allowed to continue competing. The sprinters hate the mountain stages. They have no chance of winning and it is awful for them. Others are not good enough in the sprints but could take one stage with a small group making an escape from the peloton. They too don't go for the overall ranking on time for they are not good enough for that. For them, the Tour is a succession of single day races in which they are without chances in most stages. The wait for their moment of fame in this Tour or the next or never... For all of them is valid and accepted that they do all they can to win a stage

(2) No, for there are cyclists in the Tour who go for the ultimate challenge that is to be the best on overall time. For them the stages are stages and only one result really counts: the final standing in Paris. These few, foremost among them Armstrong, are expected to respect the wishes of those for whom the win of a stage is the most that they can expect from the Tour. They are only expected to fight for the win of a stage if that is unavoidable for the big aim. Therefore nobody blamed Armstrong for taking laast year the victory away from some poor devil he did overtake shortly before the finish line for that was necessary for his win. (BTW, the time trials are excepted as well: anybody does his best)

For those few, the unwritten rules are different. Giving away a stage is similar to a tennis player giving away one point when he thought the referee has made a bad call. Unwritten that too. BTW, the big ones also profit from unwritten rules: There is always a big and sometimes dangerous struggle in the field for the best positions, near to the front of the peloton, but never exposed. These fights can be very nasty, but those who can win the Tour are exempted from these fights. If a poor devil has a puncture He'll be at the end of the peloton often with littel chances to find a good position. If a big one has the same mishap the peloton opens for him to come up front. These are those little rules of give and take.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 03:00 PM

Sorry, Wolfgang, but I disagree mightily. I think Armstrong's motivations were crystal clear and well uttered beforehand. Every one I know, including this fan of Armstrong, pretty well agreed that he had almost no chance of pulling off a sixth win. The world was gunning for him, the course was set to defeat him, and the inevitable cheap shot enviers were all about. Lance said from the beginning that not only would he attempt to win, but he would do everything in his power to do it hugely. He didn't want any doubt that he was the legitimate champ, and further he wanted it to be from full effort in the stages. The only time he let up was in the final stage, and that was tactical.

My Grandmother always said that what one is speaks louder than what one says s/he is. Lance Armstrong showed himself to have the heart of a lion, and his teammates showed themselves to be worthy of that distinction.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,twowheeler
Date: 26 Jul 04 - 04:17 PM

Big Mick: Right On!!!

Wolfgang: You still don't know what you're talking about. His burst to the lead was to aid THE SIX RIDERS THAT SIMEONI WAS ATTEMPTING TO ATTACK - IN VIOLATION OF YOUR PRECIOUS UNWRITTEN RULES.

Again, I heed Bill OReilly's advice...


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Subject: maillot jaune
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jul 04 - 04:44 AM


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: bflat
Date: 27 Jul 04 - 01:00 PM

He was amazing. He dedicated himself with his unprecedented training regime to overcoming age; a new tour designed to work against him; and unruly fans wishing to derail him. Congratulations to a champion.

Ellen


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 08:41 PM

But can anyone tell me, what is Maganga?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 09:10 PM

??? ask a question with some meat to it Susan...*grin*....these out-of-context quizzes confuse my little head.

(always some interesting stuff in the race, though, huh?...Lots of strategy going on)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Jul 05 - 10:22 PM

It's mentioned in a Bob Roll commercial. Not the Bobinthebuff.com one, a Trek Lucky 7 one.

See? :~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 12:10 AM

"Maganga" is a disease of the tongue, originally from Uganda, that makes it impossible for someone to pronounce French words....thus, "Tour DAY Fraance"


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 12:12 PM

Really, or are you just terribly creative today? (Link to verify?)

I'se all sicked up-- brain on quarter power at best, so splain me Lucy!

Or-- is it in the Bible somewhere? :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 01:23 PM

"brain on ¼ power" that would 'splain you nibbling on that piece of creativity...

I left out the part that a friend of mine used to use to precede his answers...

(actual example)
"Dwain, what is that statue on top of the Capital dome?"
"You don't know what that is?"
"Uh...no."
"You really don't know?"
"No, that's why I'm asking..."
"Well, then...it's....."


I figgered that anything that seemed to explain Bob Roll's pronounciation would be a FINE answer.

so...get well! and save me all this typing!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 03:38 PM

Oh, it was a GREAT answer, and even on quarter-power I could appreciate the subtlety. Or perhaps ESPECIALLY on quarter power. :~)

And I am not in charge of how much typing you do! :~)

(It IS in the Bible BTW-- taming the tongue)

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 05:35 PM

Proverbs 13:3 (lots of interesting verses in the Bible)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 12 Jul 05 - 09:21 PM

Bill! You, proselytizing?!?!?!?   Holy Batfuck, Shitman! (Sorry, it was a mandatory)

I liked your verse in the KJV translation, myself: Bible Online + Study Tools

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 12:12 PM

PRICELESS

Be sure to catch the subsequent post with the Speedbump Theme Song linked, too!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 01:12 PM

I saw that happen! I gather that there were lots of fanatical Basque spectators yesterday....I know I worried constantly that those flag-waving, back-slapping hoards would seriously impede the race or hurt a rider. The one thing I want changed is crowd control on the mountain stages. You do not NEED to shove your favorite rider on the butt to get him to the top, thank you! What idiots!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 01:27 PM

All part of Le Tour, Bill. Can't control it ALL-- too many kilometres to cover.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 01:33 PM

PS, I think the motorbike enforcement will be a good deterrent. They don't even need to set a bounty-- the cameraman gets $$ for the pix. I do hope the guy wasn't injured, but public humiliation for stunodity is a time-honored approach.

In our country, there'd a lawsuit against the motorbike driver, the TV station, Le Tour, etc. Over there-- more likely the "victim" will be prosecuted!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 01:58 PM

don't have to "control it all" ...we are talking about a couple of KMs on a few (5-6) stages...2-3 rotating groups of Gendarmes stationed at strategic spots and a few well-publicized arrests/fines of serious violators might make 'em reconsider running between riders waving flags..(what if one trips and falls in FRONT of the race leader?)

Sorry...I appreciate enthusiastic cheering, but if they want to be IN the race, let 'em get a bike and practice. Those guys in the Devil costumes don't add much to my enjoyment of a BIKE race.

I have more than once seen riders wave off and gesticulate angrily at rabid fans (didn't one get repremanded for whacking a fan last year?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 02:20 PM

Bill, Bill, Bill. Where do I begin..... warning yiu in advance, there will be typos....

Let's see, well, first, if you focus your attention on the overhead camera shots, the people in the roadway are almost always much farther ahead of the riders than it appears from the motorcycle shot taken from behind the riders. The riders complain about the loudness of the noise, not the closeness of the people.

Second, if the people want to be there, they will be-- wherever there are no barriers of cops..... they will just adjust. You really would have to patrol the whole route, 24/7-- a lot of them are camping and getting there a day or so ahead of the race.

Point 2.5, the towns of the finishes and the route LOVE the tourist bucks-- and are not likely to dial down the crowd's opportunities by contributing 24/7 gendarmes out of their small town budgets.

Third, many of the roadsiders ARE cyclists-- club riders who have ridden up there themselves or who have arrived via tour but who do road-ride at home and know what the sitruation is. Notice, BTW, they wave arms and implements up where the riders' bodies are, not at the wheels or gears. Riders can withstand bumps from there-- see them whack at each other in the sprint finishes.

Fourth, there is a little concept called freedom of speech. Those folks rightly feel that this is a people's sporting event that has wanted their participation just as it is, for a very long time. It's only our recent culture that wants to make everything unnaturally "safe" and, above all, "fair." The history of the Tour is that it is for the people, as much as for the commercial interests. I believe if you censored that in any way, there would be a backlash far surpassing the little threads we get here about censorship. (And the riders would be on the people's side. So would the TV people and sponsors, who sell all that dramma.)

Fifth, try thinking of the whole Tour phenomenon as a giant organism-- a self-currecting ecology of riders, commercial interests, people, and alocohol. (Vive la France!) A self-correcting mechanism, as much as a place like Mudcat is.

NO ONE forces the riders to ride through those folks..... they get as much of a buzz from the crowd as we do wathcing it. We're worrying-- but for them it is a positive buzz, a heightened rush of adrenaline.

Seventh, iunjuries to riders in Le Tour have tended to have occurred from descents and other derring-do-- not crowd interference.

Sixth-- I'm sick, why are you "making me type so much"? ;~)

Besides, if you're really worried about the riders' safety, you know there is always recourse to prayer. (mandatory shot)

Anyhow, how about that Hincapie?!?!?!?

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 05:33 PM

boy, I am SO happy for (and impressed with) Hincapie! He was both smart & lucky yesterday...and had the legs to do anything necessary. I like stories like that!

sorry you are sick...after you read this, turn off the puder and ON the AC..(really can't run both? arrrgghhh..)

anyway, I know all the reasons they 'tolerate' the crowds...I just plain don't LIKE the worst of 'em...I watched about 9 guys pat/push the Spanish riders butt in less than 100 yards yesterday...you can't tell me that is encouraged or safe! A couple years ago, I watched a rider run INTO a tourist with a camera who didn't judge what his zoom lens showed quite right. And we all saw Lance get caught in a bag strap. Let 'em yell and wave from the EDGE of the road says I!

so...I should pray for safety, should I? To Thor, for a few lightning strikes to inhibit those testosterone laden runners???? (obligitory sceptical rejoinder)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Dani
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 07:57 PM

Hey, I'm with you, Bill. It scares and infuriates me to see people putting their hands on the riders. My daughters hate to watch those parts with me, 'cause I can't control myself: "Those *(^%$$# IDIOTS!". And, I admit to cheering when the asshole got hit with the bike. Sure glad there wasn't a pileup!

That said, it's such a fun, classy thing to watch and thrill to. The history, scenery, great characters. We're hooked! Had so much fun cheering for Hinkapie yesterday.

It's got all the right elements of individual bravery, courage, determination, and the teamwork and (so un-American) idea of subordinating yourself to a leader when it's the best thing to do.

Dani


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jul 05 - 09:53 PM

*trying to think of another sports event where that kind of spectator crowding is tolerated*

I can JUST imagine a bunch of zealots crowding around Tiger Woods, waving flags and leaving him just a narrow path as he tries to putt in the British Open...and that's not even dangerous!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Jul 05 - 09:12 AM

Bag strap WAS from the edge, over a barrier I believe. Lance cut too close IMO.

AC/puder-- yeah! To top that, AC is in MudCamp attic, not main house. Main house has dehumdifier and exhaust fans, good most days except 4-6PM. Attic-- no puder, no TV, no radio...... peace. And quiet. And books.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 10:11 PM

"Lance cut too close"...hmmm...not, "spectator STOOD too close"...thought the road and environs was for the riders!

well...it happened again, I see. Rider had nose bloodied by 'fan' swinging some plastic? souvenir.

(well, dehumidifer & fans is all we 'should' need, but I'll confess I'm spoiled last few years. (and we moved TV out of living room many years ago so anyone who wanted could avoid it....books are everywhere)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 11:12 PM

Lance did cut too close. I was wrong about the barriers, but the spectator in question was not in the roadway at all, and there was plenty of open road.

Bill, the cyclists are just going to have to carry guns.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jul 05 - 11:38 PM

guns? nawww...but one of those water bottles loaded with Eue de Toilette might deter a few of the closest ones...

my REAL point is, if a non-waving spectator that close is a possible danger, the running, darting, patting, pushing, flag-in-the-face waving ones are even worse...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: gnu
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 12:33 PM

Amazing... seven times... amazing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 01:49 PM

did you see the documentary about Lance and his preparation and the technology?...and especially his physiology? Almost double the average heart's ability to pump blood, 40% better usage of oxygen, slower build up of lactic acid and faster removal.

Add to this his drive, training techniques, riding skills and items like a 'dimpled' riding suit that air moves by more efficiently, like on a golf ball...it's no wonder that a little being careful and some good luck and careful choice of team mates led to 7 in a row!

He is, however, no wonder at extemperaneous speaking *grin*...that little talk on the winners podium was kinda awkward...

still, it IS an amazing record....wow.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 02:53 PM

A little kid - about 5 years old - excitedly waved down a friend of mine, telling her "LAMP Armstrong won! Lamp won!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Jun 06 - 04:18 PM

Another year, another doping scandal.

CYCLINGNEWS has a good handle on the Tour:

Home
Route & mtn stages
Stage details
Results
Live reports
Photos
News
Features & tech
Map
Past winners
2005 Results

REVIEW OF DOPING DIRT


My heart is with Valverde and Hincapie, but my head says Basso or Ullrich.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Jun 06 - 08:18 PM

Wouldn't it be great if Hincapie did well after years of helping Lance?
You never can tell...it's a long race.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 29 Jun 06 - 08:22 PM

Yeah, it sure would.

Well, we'll see....

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,buspassed
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 05:51 AM

Just got the gearing on the sofa dead right for the next couple of weeks watching those madmen [but oh so glorious madmen!] make those supposedly fit soccer players look like tired old men.

As the man said "Do you want to try doing this ride just on mineral water?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 06:38 AM

Ullrich has been suspended by his team for being a suspect in the Spanish doping scandal. He is a non-starter. His name is on the same doping list as Basso's.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 06:42 AM

Oscar Sevilla, once winner of the Tour's white jersey, has been suspended as well (same reason) by T-Mobile.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 06:55 AM

Quite likely, Ivan Basso and Francisco Mancebo (and roughly 50 lesser known) will also not start. They will not be replaced.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 09:40 AM

Full story here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/5132320.stm


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 09:49 AM

oh, my....not good news. Wonder why this investigation couldn't have been done sooner. The timing of the announcement right before the tour is a heavy blow. I guess they have pretty serious evidence to suspend so many.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 09:58 AM

Wow, that was fast-- the last news before I posted had been that Ullrich was a go. Now I see why the "Provisional Start List" cyclingnews had posted was nowhere to be found yesterday.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 02:36 PM

Alexandre Vinokourov...

~s~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 30 Jun 06 - 05:29 PM

Vino NOPE, his team has withdrawn:

Astana-Würth leaves the Tour

Dutch television's sports anchorman Mart Smeets has just reported that the Astana-Würth team has left the Tour de France. The team had five of its Tour riders officially named in the Operacion Puerto affair (Sergio Paulinho, Isidro Nozal, Allan Davis, Alberto Contador, Joseba Beloki), as well as several others (Michele Scarponi, Marcos Serrano, David Etxebarria, Angel Vicioso, Unai Osa, Jörg Jaksche), and of course ex-team manager Manolo Saiz. The team therefore wouldn't have had enough riders to start.

In an official statement, Active Bay, the team's management company, confirmed the news. "In view of the content of the dossier sent to Spanish authorities, Active Bay has decided, in accordance with the Ethical Code signed between the UCI ProTour's teams, to withdraw from the Tour de France those riders that appear in the above-mentioned dossier.

"This decision is adopted without prejudice of the respect to the right to the presumption of innocence of these riders and of that Active Bay will exercise the actions for the defence of its rights and those of its workers. This measure does not concern the team's riders of the Tour de France that are not included in the dossier: Alexander Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Carlos Barredo and Luis León Sanchez. Nevertheless, the withdrawal of the riders that appear in the above-mentioned dossier implies that the Tour of France team will not have the minimum number of riders demanded by the UCI rules, which means the team will not be able to take the start tomorrow morning in the Tour de France."


~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 07:57 AM

Well I have been telling you for a long time that this "Sport" has a long association with drugs.
I was told by a young Irish cyclist a very promising amateur, that he had to come home from Holland, due to the drug problem with his fellow riders, and this was nearly twenty years ago.

What do the powers that be in the cycling world do about this?, it seems very little, what a terrible indictment on the sport.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Jul 06 - 11:23 AM

It is said that a trial is a court procedure to determine who has the best lawyer...in the same way, a bike race has become a physical test to determine who has the cleverest doctors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 04:26 AM

Pity they didnt catch the last seven winners


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 01:13 PM

pooh! The last 7 winners was tested, followed, examined, accused, REtested and just flatly put under a microscope....he simply rode, trained, planned better and picked better teammates....and was lucky to boot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 01:26 PM

I tried to run him through a food processor, but Hardi wouldn't let me plug it in.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 01:51 PM

pureé of Lance? To absorb some of those high-energy genes?

Hardi was purty smart...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 01:53 PM

slurppp

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 03:08 PM

(saw a long interview with him about his career and the T d'F....he says the famous 'look' at Ullrich wasn't actually 'at' him...just a look to see where his team was and what was happening....also that the fall from catching a bag held by a spectator was his own fault...just misjudged.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 03:40 PM

Damn. To me the "look" at Ullrich was one of the great sporting moments of all times. Another illusion shattered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: KateG
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 04:16 PM

So when are they going to rein in the spectators? Here's poor Thor Hushovd with his arm sliced open by a promo gizmo, and the mountain stretches have become a form of dodgeball between the cyclists and the nutters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 04:23 PM

yes, indeed, Kate...I cringe at the impunity with which idiots are tolerated..(I think I have early posts in this thread about it)

Maybe this injury will at least get them to PLEAD with spectators to **let the guys race!** and keep themselves and banners and plastic hands BEHIND the barriers & off the road.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 07:01 PM

But Bill, it WAS a hand. A big green one.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Jul 06 - 11:06 PM

From Stewie O'Grady's diary entry at cyclingnews:

It was a very hectic sprint finish and Boonen found himself in front with about 350 metres to go and he obviously wasn't going to keep going from there so that baulked the bunch up a bit and caused some riders to move right next to the barriers and that's where Hushovd ended up hitting something.

It's getting to the stage where you really have to think twice about sprinting right down near the edge of the barriers. People have been waiting around all day and they collect these handouts from all the sponsors like big hands and blow-up balloon sticks. They are going to wave them, that's why they're there.

It was quite ironic that it was a green paper hand from PMU who sponsor the Green Jersey that did the damage to the overnight leader of that competition.



See, the riders take the responsibility on themselves-- to not get too close to the crowd.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: dianavan
Date: 03 Jul 06 - 01:33 AM

Drugs are present in every sportm including mountain biking.

Roland Green (a young friend of mine) said,

"Cycling has always been a victim of drugs. The press will always focus on drugs in cycling, I think. Drugs are just as prevalent in other sports, but there is a lot more money involved in those sports, so they won't focus on it.

Why cycling? There are a lot of great athletes, making next to no money. There are positive drug tests going back to Merckx and Hinault's times. Why don't you hear more about the (top) riders' positives? Money. In other sports, where the athletes get paid $10 million, they have the lawyers to fight for them, the system can't afford to have them go (get caught/sanctioned). The advantage just keeps passing to the riders with the most money. It is the small guys like Shep (Chris Sheppard) who get crucified.

Shep, now his opinion (against doping) is worth more now than ever, but not in Canada - we have the attitude that everything is so pure and clean. So he can't assist anymore. The (current system), I see a lot of waste, a lot of money that could go other, better ways.

The only thing that I have seen that is promising is the volunteer program, where athletes sign up and make their blood tests publicly available. If you could get more and more riders to participate, it might put more pressure on those that don't.

Other than maybe that, I don't know what the answer is."

From Canadian Cyclist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Jul 06 - 09:05 AM

Hushovd did start this AM. Below, updates from cyclingnews.

~S~

----------------------------

Tour organisation bans PMU hands
On Sunday evening, after the hectic "sprint royal" finale of stage two in which prologue winner Thor Hushovd was thought to have hit a plastic cardboard hand which cut deep into his upper arm, the Tour de France organisation has announced that it will prohibit the use of the marketing giveaways in the last two kilometres of flat stages.

Certainly, fans leaning over the barriers and waving the objects pose another threat in the sprint finishes, which are already very dangerous. Other objects such as still or video cameras should not be held over the barriers either, as they represent the same risk. [There is actually some doubt over whether it was a PMU hand or another object, like a camera, that cut Thor Hushovd's arm - ed.]

Hushovd alright
Crédit Agricole's Thor Hushovd, who suffered a cut on his right upper arm in the finale of stage 1, has received several stitches to his wound in a Strasbourg hospital. He was able to leave the clinic at 19.00 in the evening. "Thor lost a lot of blood," said his DS Roger Legeay. "It was a terrible sight. The cut itself isn't that bad though. The doctors said that he would suffer more from the contusion, though. He won't feel so well in the next 5 or 6 days during the race." But fortunately, the Norwegian rider will be able to continue the Tour de France.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Jul 06 - 10:13 AM

It is impossible to control the spectators in this type of sport. Too many of them on a too long track.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Jul 06 - 10:25 AM

agreed, Wolfgang, that total control is impossible....but attempts should be made to lessen the problem....and on several of the serious climbs where fools get out and and almost block the path and RUN along side the cyclists and pat them on the back, it has become a real issue. I have seen race leaders almost knocked over by photographers and zealous well-wishers. The race organizers 'could' limit this nonsense if they cared to...and a few arrests would send a message.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 01:36 PM

With Valverde one more of the favourites is out now (injury after a fall). I wonder whether we'll see a winner who has never been mentioned in any of the previews.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Jul 06 - 02:22 PM

Doping: Whether all remaining are doped or not all is the question, but noone believes those suspended are the only ones. I believe that Armstrong has been doped as well but I do not mind for I believe all relevant others also have been doped one way or the other.

Eighty percent of the German rather good cross country skiing team have asthma. Why? Because this diagnosis allows them to take medication that is also helpful in other respects. They all know the rules in cycling and the limits for substances in the blood) and try to keep under the limits but to go as far as possible. The present suspects have not been found out by controls (like Armstrong they were clever enough not to dope too much) but by bugged telephones, E-mails, lists etc. A test for doping would have been negative in all of them.

I favour a radically different approach. The present system forces them all to lie and if found out (mostly by a chance event) they lose their job. I'm not in favour of free doping, for we would have half a dozen dead cyclists this way. I'm in favour of blood controls to determine that they are under a dangerous level of substances. How close below that level and which way they went so close I wouldn't check. Only check for dangerous levels and exclude them in this case for their own safety.

The present system often leads to silly situations. They can't take any medication without cheking with a specialist. Even a medication for a cold that you and I would take without second thoughts can be considered doping. Do you read the silly excuses when someone has been found out? Ullrich some years ago was found with a bit too much of a substance on the doping list. He checked with his doctor what the best excuse was (which way the substance can have come into his body without intentional doping) and came up with a party drug he had taken out of sillyness at a party. This way he got a minor penalty.

Another silly case: A German runner very outspoken against drugs and for frequent test during training as well who had even mentioned some names of (German) colleagues whom he suspected for the sudden increase of running ability was found with a drug in his blood at a routine test. Most likely the drug has come into his body by a toothpaste that has been injected with the drug, prsumably by one of the colleagues who were fed up with his whistle blowing.

There are attempts at foul play in all sports by many means (playing foul, cheating with the material, bending the rules). For instance in Formula 1, Ferrari builds its cars in a way that is very close at the limits of the rules (some say, even on the wrong side of the limit). What would happen if this would be considered a cheat by the referees. They would lose the points from that race but they wouldn't be excluded from racing for two years. What happens if the luge in the Olympics is found to have been heated? The winner would lose his medal but could start again next week with an unheated luge.

I'm for the controls but I don't see why cheating with the substances in your body is worse than cheating with the material or cheating by taking a shortcut at Marathon (it has happened). If you are found out you are disqualified for the event but not for two years or even life. I'd opt for such an approach in cycling: If they are found out cheating (for instance: fill the cycle with ice for the weighing procedure which will melt during the race and make it lighter) you are disqualified for that race. If you come next time with a correct cycle you can race. I would agree with longer disqualification for actually hurting or injuring your opponent. Then it could be weeks or even months.

But which way you build up your muscles after an injury (a normal person would take at the doctors advice things that are forbidden to sportlers!) would be your choice as long as you do not damage your health. So the amount of substances in your blood or other body fluids should be lower than a limit. Your blood should not be too thick for that may kill you. But that would disqualify you for the race in question (better test before it starts) and usually not much longer. Close to all athletes in endurance sports take more substances than the usual human intake. Most of them are not yet known (the substances) and so it is not doping in one sense, other substances are only added to the diet in exactly that degree that is still below the limit. That's also not doping in the usual test (but it is if your telephone is bugged and you discuss with your doctor about it).

You cannot win a race only on substances without ability, training and determination. With "my" (I have heard about this idea in the radio) doping tests (exclude them for a race if there is danger for their health) they wouldn't have to lie. Armstrong could have told: Yes, beside all my exercises I take a bit of XY because that helps the regeneration after a long day of training. But in all the weekly controls I did not surpass the allowed limit.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 01:52 PM

With Mayo another one of the favourites mentioned in previews is out (27 minutes back).

Who's remaining?
Hincapie, Kloeden (never yet good this year), Landis (problems with his hip; he'll need an operation)?
Leipheimer (10 min back due to an awful contre la montre performance).

I wonder (again) whether we'll see a completely new winner, a dark horse or whether it'll be one of the usual suspects.

Tomorrow is the first real test with the famous Tourmalet as an appetizer before 4 col of the premier categorie, the last one being the finish.

We'll know much more tomorrow at this time.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jul 06 - 04:31 PM

It's gonna be a scramble, for sure! Perhaps the winner will be both pretty good.....and quite lucky! 'New' names on almost every stage, now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 19 Jul 06 - 12:00 PM

Landis looked like a sure winner to me yesterday when he took the yellow jersey but he had a jour sans today. The greatest surprise today for me was that Pereiro came back after his defeat yesterday. That boy had lost half an hour in the Pyrenees and only came in front by a 30 minutes advantage in a flat etappe for noone took him serious. That'll change now.

The first six are within four minutes and the winner will come from them. The dot jersey will go to Rasmussen most likely. The green jersey will go to McEwen (though his point advantage is not yet big). The white jersey is a close call between Fothen and Cunego. If Fothen survives tomorrow in white he'll take it in Paris. The most likely candidate for the yellow in Paris now is Klöden, but I would have said that about Landis yesterday with even more conviction.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Jul 06 - 12:16 PM

Hard even for Flandis, without a team that can do for him what Discovery did for Lance.

Still, this has ended up being a highly watchable Tour.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jul 06 - 12:58 PM

It is a very unusual race with Lance, Ullrich and a couple of others out. I would not have believed that Pereiro would come charging back like that.

But I will reserve ANY predictions till after tomorrow, as there are still 5-6 who might pull surprises.

(well, except for Rasmussen, whe clearly locked up the Mountains title today.......unless he falls over. He scared me on that decent today!)

I am awed by Dessell, who is staying with it despite everything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Fidjit
Date: 19 Jul 06 - 01:54 PM

My money's on Sastre. 2nd. today and still getting better.

Chas


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 19 Jul 06 - 02:18 PM

It is worth looking at the performances of the riders at the first long time trial (a bit shorter than the one on Saturday; 52/57 km)).

I list only the time differences of the best eleven (still within ten minutes of the yellow today) of the overall competition and do not look at the best time trialists then:

(1) Landis
(2) Rogers    23 s back
(3) Klöden    42 s
(4) Menchov   43 s
(5) Evans    48 s
(6) Moreau    1'03
(7) Sastre    1'10
(8) Pereiro   1'40
(9) Zubielda 2'31
(10) Dessel   2'41
(11) Leiph.   5'05

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Jul 06 - 02:59 PM

Well, Landis would have won the first time trial if he hadn't had a bike problem delaying his start and having to ride a different (less aerodynamic) bike at the last minute. So if he gets a lot of time back tomorrow, AND rides a good TT, he may still do it.

Secretly (now I'll be busted), though, I'm rooting for Klodi. I've always thought he was as good as Ullrich and deserved a chance for himself, with team support. Ultimately, it may come down to who has the better team riding in support.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 07:35 AM

BTW, Klöden had said to his team long before this Tour that it would be his last Tour as a helper of Ullrich that next year he'd seek his chance with his own team. Now this chance comes a bit earlier than planned.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 08:11 AM

Today, Landis attacks early at the first mountain. I wonder if he can keep up this speed. If he can he's in the game again.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 11:01 AM

What a comeback of Landis today. I wouldn't have thought it possible.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 11:15 AM

?!?!?!?!?!?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 11:23 AM

The first three are within 30 s. More interesting than the last couple of years.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 11:56 AM

totally amazing today! He just went. Even Sastre was congratulating him.... The other's want to win; Landis talks like he INTENDS to win.

He is so good at time trials that he may manage that win. I'll bet there are some serious challenges tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 11:57 AM

I'm gonna have to see it all over again tonight before I can believe it!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 12:09 PM

yup!....(I liked the interview...*grin*..."I had to do SOMETHING after yesterday")


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 02:11 PM

Un-be-freaky-lievable!

Very few (even here in his hometown) thought any human could pull off what Floyd did today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Fidjit
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 05:53 PM

What a day. Wow! Good man. Very impressive.
Sastre Too. Just 12 secs back.
Contre la Motre on Saturday. 57 km. Only 30secs. Could well do it.

Chas


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 06:05 PM

I think Lance is thinking "Gee, I'm glad he was working WITH me before!"...

And this may well be Floyd's last tour...no one has ever come back from a hip replacement and ridden competitively.....but....


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 12:13 PM

no one has ever ridden in his condition in the first place. Yegods, if anyone can come back after surgery, he can.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 12:37 PM

As a great time-trialer, he is favored to gain a bit tomorrow, but wouldn't it be 'interesting' if they had to RACE seriously into Paris, as Le Mond did against Hinault? Some of those cobblestones are murder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 05:43 PM

Bill, I can't remember a serious race into Paris except the one time when the last stage was a time trial which LeMond won against Fignon.

Landis will get the yellow tomorrow (only a serious fall could prevent that).
The green jersey is safely on McEwen's shoulders as well as the dotted belongs to Rasmussen.
T-Mobile will remain the best team.
The last jersey, the white, is the most disputed with 5 sec difference between the first two. Same as the yellow, it'll be sported tomorrow night by a different man, Fothen.

There won't be a serious race the last day and McEwen should win the sprint.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Jul 06 - 10:25 AM

Our diocese is electing a new Bishop today at the same time Floyd is riding the TT. They're posting each ballot result on their website as Phil and Paul update the split times.

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!

If the suspense kills me, the first splits and ballots indicate that I'll at least die happy!

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 22 Jul 06 - 11:13 AM

Well, don't die, but arntcha happy now?!?!

Kloden came on like a madman.

A sprint into Paris may decide it. I'm getting up early to watch live.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Jul 06 - 11:43 AM

LOL, thanks, TIA. I'm half happy, and my favorite among the Bishop nominees is within a vote of prevailing. On the other hand, you never know what may transpire over the lunch break they may have begun! :~)

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 22 Jul 06 - 12:30 PM

A fine competition today. Cunedo has surprised me.

Some team managers will retrospectively rue their wrong decisions.

First, they should have known that Pereiro was better then his rank showed when they let steal him 30 minutes at one etappe. Each of the teams could easily have halved that time in the last hour.

Second, they (Kloeden's team and Sastre's team) made the wrong decision not to go after Landis the day before yesterday. In interviews they said that they didn't believe he could keep up his speed for so long. He actually couldn't, for he was a bit slower on the last ascent than the others, but only so slightly. In this case, I'm not so sure that the teams could have prevented Landis taking so many minutes from them, strong as he was that day. The mistake was that they didn't even try and instead relied upon Landis having miscalculated his strength. Both team managers said that they looked at the respective other team and when that team didn't react they relied upon that judgement. It's a classical case of if you don't do the hard work I also can't be bothered and in the end both lose.

Again, nothing will happen tomorrow that could change the first ten positions.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Jul 06 - 01:15 PM

I wondered the last 2 days about why there so ready to 'declare' a winner after the time trial....then FINALLY one of the commentators on OLN said..
"You may be wondering about tomorrow's race...I suspect that if Pererio were to mount a breakaway tomorrow and try to win, the Cycling Gods would come down out of the clouds and smack him on the side of the head! That's just the way it IS in cycling!"

So, the only race tomorrow is for the sprinters to get the honor of winning the Paris stage. The rest is just a parade. Maybe that's for the best.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Cats
Date: 23 Jul 06 - 05:32 AM

So, yesterday, just before the finish, my sister phones up and says, this cycling race thingy... do both of you want a bed for the first weekend next year or just Jon? It's only going to pass her house by 10 miles.. yippee... Now, can I pull a sickie on the Monday so I can get home.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 02:14 PM

The last day is an honours day in many respects.

Have you seen how Ekimov was the first to enter the Champs Elysees, 100 m in front of all others then waved to the spectators and went back into the peloton again?
Why?
Because he is the doyen of them all now being 40 years old and on his 15th and last Tour.
I loved those little gestures. The Tour is full of them when you know where to look.
But though I'm fond of traditions, next year we really should have a new thread.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 02:29 PM

An honors days, true...but all it would have taken would be for Landis to have flatted out on the Champs d'Elysse to change everything. Now he's off for his hip replacement, and I hope we see him again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 02:34 PM

Various bits from cyclingnews:

Landis to ride two Dutch crits
Tour de France winner Floyd Landis will ride two post-Tour criteriums in the Netherlands this week. The Phonak rider will start in Stiphout on Tuesday and Chaam on Wednesday.

Phonak's Tour riders extend contracts
All nine Phonak riders at the Tour de France have extended their contracts with the Swiss team. Axel Merckx's contract extension (for 1 year) was followed by those of Floyd Landis (1 year), Bert Grabsch, Robert Hunter, Nicolas Jalabert, Koos Moerenhout, Alexandre Moos, Victor Hugo Peña and Miguel Angel Perdiguero (2 years each).

Ekimov retiring in September
The oldest rider in the Tour de France, Viatcheslav Ekimov (Discovery Channel), will retire in September, according to his team. The 40 year-old was able to bid fans on the Champs-Elysées farewell as the Tour came into Paris on Sunday by riding ahead of the peloton and waving to the crowd. In the final lap, he also tried an attack, but it was unsuccessful. Ekimov finished his 15th Tour de France in 84th position, but will be remembered in recent years for his superb work for Lance Armstrong, who he helped to several of his Tour victories.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jul 06 - 02:51 PM

Indeed, I watched live as Ekimov was sent to the front for that well-deserved tribute. Not only did he finish 15 consecutive Tours, but he was well up in the standings many times.

I am not impressed by the sprinters who can't (or don't bother) even finishing. Robbie McEwen at least rides the whole thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Dave Masterson
Date: 25 Jul 06 - 04:10 AM

And the next stage is…. London! Stage 1 actually passes the end of our lane, so we'll stake our claim outside the local pub and enjoy the day.

I think this year has been the best for years, so open. Landis fully deserved his victory, really showing his mettle after blowing on La Toussuire. Pereiro proved to himself he's got what it takes and will be interesting to watch in the future. One of the stars of the race for me was Michael Boogerd. Seeing him burying himself in the mountains day after day for team-mates was awesome, and still managing 14th overall. Pure class.
I thought David Millar acquitted himself very well considering he hadn't raced for 2 years, coming straight back into racing at the Tour.
It was interesting to see the poor performance of certain 'stars', Mayo in particular. He may well have been having an off time, but it does make you think what 'help' he may have had in the past.

Roll on 2007.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 02:31 PM

News today:

Phonak confirms Landis positive
The Phonak team has confirmed the speculation that Floyd Landis returned a positive A sample after his win in stage 17 of the Tour de France. "The Phonak Cycling Team was notified yesterday by the UCI about an unusual level of Testosterone/Epitestosterone ratio in the test made on Floyd Landis after stage 17 of the Tour de France," said the team in a statement. "The team management and the rider were both totally surprised of this physiological result.

"The rider will ask in the upcoming days for the counter analysis to prove either that this result is coming from a natural process or that this is resulting from a mistake in the confirmation. In application of the Pro Tour Ethical Code, the rider will not race anymore until this problem is totally clear.

"If the result of the B sample analysis confirms the result of the A sample, the rider will be dismissed and will then pass the corresponding endocrinological examinations."

The World Anti-Doping Agency has lowered the limit for the maximum T/E level from 6:1 to 4:1. Some athletes have naturally high levels, and can prove this through a series of tests.



Background:
Jaksche's doctor: drug use common
German doctor Kurt Moosburger, who has looked after Jörg Jaksche (among others) for the past two years, has told dpa that he believes that performance enhancing drugs are "indispensable" for high level cycling

In a frank interview, Moosburger pointed to the average speeds of modern professional races, especially hard tours. "The average in last year's Tour was 41 kilometres per hour - that is incredible. You can do a hard Alpine stage without doping. But after that, the muscles are exhausted. You need - depending on your training conditions - up to three days in order to regenerate."

To help recover, testosterone and human growth hormone can be used. "Both are made by the body and are therefore natural substances," he said. "They help to build muscle as well as in muscle recovery."

Dr Moosburger explained how it was done. "You put a standard testosterone patch that is used for male hormone replacement therapy on your scrotum and leave it there for about six hours. The small dose is not sufficient to produce a positive urine result in the doping test, but the body actually recovers faster."


~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 02:56 PM

Oh, crap!....I sure hope it proves to be natural.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 03:09 PM

I think this is the "everybody does it" drug of choice, and I can see why. It's not considered perfomance-enhancing directly, but is more of a recovery strategy. (I still think it's wrong.) I can well imagine the patch was left just a moment too long..... but damn, I regret this news so much!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: John Routledge
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 03:52 PM

When Landis was riding in Stage 17 not one of the three experienced Eurosport commentators said that they were wrong when they predicted the previous day that there was NO WAY Landis could recover from his blow up. :0(


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 05:03 PM

well, it's been on TV with an interview with a guy who knows more...what he says is that Landis actually has LOWER than normal testosterone, and that it was only a ratio that was abnormal. He also said there are two factors that might have caused this....the cortisone shots he had been getting for the hip pain (all approved and noted), and his having had some beer to celebrate the stage. Alcohol sometimes alters the endocrine system.

Anyway, they now have to test the 'B' sample to see if it was perhaps a faulty test...then debate the results.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Jul 06 - 09:27 PM

Landis denies

Floyd Landis has broken his silence about his high T/E ratio that could cost him the Tour de France, as well as hammering cycling's already battered image. Landis, who has requested a B sample analysis to confirm his A test, told Sports Illustrated, that he "can't be hopeful" that the B sample will be any different than the A. "I'm a realist," he added. When asked whether he had used a testosterone patch for recovery, Landis denied it straight out.

But even if the B sample confirms the A result, Landis is not necessarily guilty of taking an illegal performance enhancing drug to boost his testosterone. Some riders can prove that they have an elevated Testosterone/Epitestosterone (T:E) level, if they undergo an endocrine test performed by a credible doctor. Landis said he will use Spanish doctor Luis Hernández, who has helped other riders prove a high T:E count. "In hundreds of cases, no one's ever lost one," Landis told
SI.

In 1999, Colombian rider Santiago Botero was able to prove his elevated testosterone levels (over four times the allowed limit) were natural. His doctor at the time was Kelme's Dr Eufemiano Fuentes.

Landis is looking for other answers too. He is allowed to take cortisone for his degenerating right hip, although he said during the Tour that he had only had a couple of injections this year. But he also told
SI that he'd been taking daily doses of a thyroid hormone to treat a thyroid condition. Even if either of these can explain his high T:E ratio, Landis realises that it will be hard to convince people. "I wouldn't hold it against somebody if they don't believe me," he said.

Others have looked at explanations such as the beer Landis had the night before his stage 17 exploit, citing a study in the
American Association for Clinical Chemistry (Vol 34, 1462-1464, 1988) by Swedish researchers O Falk, E Palonek and I Bjorkhem. In it, they investigated the effects of the ingestion of between 110-160 g of ethanol (2 g/kg bodyweight). They showed that it "increased the ratio between testosterone and epitestosterone in urine from 1.14 +/- 0.07 to 1.52 +/- 0.09 in four healthy male volunteers. The increase ranged from 30% to 90% in the different subjects studied (mean 41%). In cases where doping with testosterone is suspected, the possibility should be considered that at least part of an observed increased testosterone/epitestosterone ratio in urine is ascribable to previous ingestion of ethanol."

As a caveat, Landis was quoted at the time as saying that he'd only had one beer. A pint of normal strength beer generally doesn't contain more than 20 g of alcohol - a much lower level than was studied by the Swedish researchers.


~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 04:30 AM

How many more past "champions" were pure?, that would have been a long time ago.
Landis was caught, the fool, why didn`t he ask for advice from those "greats" that went before, the Tour de Farce in all it`s glory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 07:58 AM

Floyd Landis positive: Was it the beer?

Floyd Landis's "adverse analytical finding" for testosterone in stage 17 of the Tour de France sent shock waves round the cycling world. Landis claims he is innocent and plans to defend himself. John Stevenson and Jeff Jones examine the testosterone test and Landis' possible defences.

On Wednesday, the UCI announced that a rider at the Tour de France had returned an "adverse analytical finding", indicating the use of performance-enhancing drugs in a stage of the Tour. Yesterday, after the cycling rumour mill had gone into overdrive, the Phonak team announced that rider was race winner Floyd Landis.

The analysis of Landis' A sample from stage 17 of the Tour de France returned an abnormal ratio for the amounts of testosterone to epitestosterone. Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone which stimulates muscle growth. Epitestosterone is also produced by the body, and while its role is less clear, it is normally present in urine in a ratio of between 1:1 and 3:1 testosterone:epitestosterone (T:E).

That normal range gives the basis for the detection of testosterone use in athletes. A T:E ratio of more than 4:1 is considered a positive test; that ratio was lowered from 6:1 at the beginning of 2006.

Tests for naturally-occurring substances present a problem for anti-doping authorities. The situation with stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine is simple: there's no way these substances should be in the body, and so any amount of them or their metabolites in a urine sample is considered proof of doping.

But when the substance occurs naturally, anti-doping authorities have to devise a test that detects abnormalities caused by the illegal use of the substance. The problem is that such abnormalities may not be that abnormal after all.

For example, a 1996 study of Swedish athletes[1] analysed 8946 urine samples, and found 28 with T:E ratios higher than 6:1, the ratio used to determine a doping infraction at the time. Researchers concluded that only one of those samples could be regarded as a clear case of testosterone doping.

Over the years, athletes accused of doping after failing a T:E test have attempted to demonstrate, often successfully, that the elevated ratio had a natural cause[2]. In 1999, for example, Santiago Botero was exonerated of using testosterone because his doctor was able to convince authorities that he had a naturally high T:E ratio after he had returned levels well over 6:1. (Unfortunately for Botero, that doctor was Eufemiano Fuentes, the former Kelme team doctor at the centre of the Operacion Puerto blood doping investigation in Spain; Botero's Phonak team benched him in early June when his links with Fuentes were revealed).

Landis is unlikely to rely on that defence, but it may be his only option. He has been tested too many times this year, without problems, to have much chance of claiming he suddenly has a naturally elevated T:E ratio. But it's those previous tests, and especially the ones at the Tour de France, that may help him now.

In 1997 mountain bike racer Paola Pezzo tested positive for Nandrolone at a race in Annecy, France on September 6. Pezzo was eventually cleared because tests of samples she gave on August 30 and September 21 were both negative.

As the race leader, Landis would have been tested after stage 15 of the Tour, and again after regaining the yellow jersey in stage 19. Those tests are not being reported by the anti-doping authorities as positives.

Pezzo relied on evidence from Professor Guido Norbiato of the Faculty Of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Luigi Sacco University Hospital, Milan who claimed that she could have ingested the Nandrolone in meat while in Belgium. Landis will need a convincing explanation of how his T:E ratio came to be elevated on stage 17 of the Tour.

The first, and probably weakest, explanation that springs to mind is "Nobody would be dumb enough to dope and then win a stage of the Tour de France by six minutes." Techniques for evading detection are sufficiently well-known that it's not unreasonable to accuse the current anti-doping regime of being an intelligence test. Landis and his staff would know that if he won the stage he would be tested. It's hard to believe that he would take the risk at all; harder still to think that if he did dope, he would do so at a detectable level.

German doctor Kurt Moosburger recently detailed the use of steroids for recovery. "You put a standard testosterone patch that is used for male hormone replacement therapy on your scrotum and leave it there for about six hours," Moosburger told German press agency dpa. "The small dose is not sufficient to produce a positive urine result in the doping test, but the body actually recovers faster."

Recovery during training has been the traditional use for steroids in sport, but Moosburger implies that it could be used during competition as well. However, one Cyclingnews reader who uses testosterone for legitimate medical reasons points out that the technique does have drawbacks. "Androderm patches are useless they fill your body with water and make the legs heavy," he writes. "They will however cause a big stiff painful erection and it lasts for hours. (Me missus loves it)."

However, when he attempted to blame his 2004 EPO positive on contaminated supplements, Belgian rider Dave Bruylandts tried the 'nobody would be dumb enough to dope these days' defence. An unimpressed Belgian cycling federation recommended he be suspended for four years; he eventually copped an 18 month ban.

Two other factors have been shown to elevate T:E levels: alcohol and intense effort. A 1988 study [3] found that ingestion of alcohol could increase the T:E ratio, though the effect is relatively small even for a large amount of alcohol. The subjects ingested between 110-160 g of ethanol (2 g/kg bodyweight), and researchers found that it "increased the ratio between testosterone and epitestosterone in urine from 1.14 +/- 0.07 to 1.52 +/- 0.09 in four healthy male volunteers. The increase ranged from 30% to 90% in the different subjects studied (mean 41%)."

Landis was quoted at the time as saying that he'd only had one beer and a small amount of Jack Daniels later on. Even a pint of normal strength beer generally doesn't contain more than 20 g of alcohol, while a shot of whiskey contains about 10 g - a much lower level than was studied by the Swedish researchers.

After the stage
Photo ©: AFP   
Certain types of intense effort have also been shown to increase the T:E ratio[4]. It's hard to imagine a more intense effort than Landis' extraordinary escape in stage 17, but the studies that found high T:E after intense effort refer to the kinds of workout undertaken by bodybuilders. It's not clear whether these findings translate to hours-long aerobic efforts, where strength plays a small part in performance.

It's important to note that the above explanations have not been put forward by the Landis camp, but mostly by fans who desperately want to believe that Landis' stage 17 ride and his subsequent Tour de France victory was "real". Landis probably knows that if his B sample is positive, then he'll need something stronger than the above to convince the US Anti-Doping Association that he did not take exogenous testosterone to help him recover after stage 16.

[1] Increased urinary testosterone/epitestosterone ratios found in Swedish athletes in connection with a national control program. Evaluation of 28 cases.
Garle M, Ocka R, Palonek E, Bjorkhem I. - J Chromatogr B Biomed Appl. 1996 Dec 6;687(1):55-9. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=9001952&query_hl=3&itool=pubmed_DocSum

[2] Performance Characteristics of a Carbon Isotope Ratio Method for Detecting Doping with Testosterone Based on Urine Diols: Controls and Athletes with Elevated Testosterone/Epitestosterone Ratios
Aguilera, R., Chapman, T. E., Starcevic, B., Hatton, C. K., and Catlin, D. H. Clin Chem. 2001; 47: 292-300.
www.clinchem.org/cgi/content/full/47/2/292

[3] Effect of ethanol on the ratio between testosterone and epitestosterone in urine.
Falk O, Palonek E, Bjorkhem I. Clin Chem. 1988 Jul;34(7):1462-4.
www.clinchem.org/cgi/reprint/34/7/1462?ijkey=f5c2e269a70b2808e91787e399f2030aa32cb7a0

[4] Resistance Training Increases Possibility Of A Positive Drug Test
Kraemer, W. J., & Ratamess, N. A. (2005). Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training. Sports Medicine, 35, 339-361.
coachsci.sdsu.edu/csa/vol116/kraemer.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 08:09 AM

WYSIWYG, and what is your opinion?.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 08:42 AM

I'm waiting to see what happens, like everyone else.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 11:48 AM

The problem is, the officials are making noises like they're gonna be harsh, even if there are 4-5 reasons that this test could be a false positive....just to 'send a message'. I sure hope not.

   I can't believe Landis' team managers would carry around a testosterone patch.."just in case". I'd bet that most of the other riders don't believe he is guilty.

We shall see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Hate To Be Picky, BUT
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 07:28 PM

Wasn't there something on Mudcat not too terribly long ago about cutting and pasting long articles, long being more than one screen full? How about a link?

HTBP


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 09:05 PM

it was stated that articles longer than Joe's BIG monitor were subject to editing...obviously, he has editorial discretion about borderline cases.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 06 - 09:08 PM

still, it is a valid point, and I would also ask EVERYONE to watch the length of posts.


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Subject: Tour De France
From: GUEST,John Gray in Oz
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 03:17 AM

Seems like we've all been taken for a ride. I cheered the winner wholeheartedly and now I'm left feeling silly.

JG / FME


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Subject: RE: Tour De France
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 03:31 AM

Go for the long thread Tour de France, anyone in the non music section.

No reason at all to be surprised. All of the last 10-15 winners were at least suspected to be doped or actually found out to be at one point in their career. Five times Tour winner Delgado was even found out to be doped after his Tour win, but not punished due to a technicality (the substance was not on the list yet by four weeks). One other (Dutch) Tour winner was found out to be doped but only got a time penalty. One yellow jersey wearer (Belgian) with a big overall lead was disqualified and stripped of his jersey for delivering the (clean) urine from a little container concealed at his body (in the armpit) . He was nicknamed "Mannekin piss" then.

Wolfgang
Threads combined -- JoeClone


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 04:24 AM

A very short post, to validate my long standing opinion that the Tour de Farce is all of that, two years ban for drug taker Landis, as a former competitior who took part in the 1965 Tour, states,"You can`t win this race on mineral water".


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 06:49 PM

If I read the news correctly, there must still be a process of investigation and appeal before anything is 'decided'.
Landis says what I wondered,,"Why would I do anything so stupid? I KNEW I would be tested!"

There is STILL reasonable doubt about the relevance of this test.

No one can seriously explain HOW an overnight dose of Testosterone could make that much difference. *IF* he did it, someone else knows about it....no one just 'happens' to have a testosterone patch handy in case they feel tired.


Let's wait and see before we decide that a great bike ride was a fake....or that NO ONE can win the Tour without cheating.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 07:42 AM

NO ONE, can win this race without cheating.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 10:33 AM

They used to win without cheating...are you saying that everyone NOW cheats? Or that everyone who is considered a contender cheats?

No one was tested more than Armstrong the last 7 years....so you insist that HE cheated?

Where do you get your information?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 01:12 PM

Not from the US , certainly he was a cheat , but with a bit mor savvy than Landis.
Every aspect of sport in the US is fueled by drugs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 01:30 PM

We wouldn't want to make any sweeping generalizations, would we?

what is this "certainly"? I ask again...how do YOU know? Is it just your belief?

I DO know that there have been various drug scandals...in the US as well as elsewhere...but "every aspect"??? C'mon...Soccer? Swimming? Golf? Tennis? ....not all baseball players used steroids. Even the ones who admitted using agree that it was not universal.

I don't deny the problem; I just don't accept that any winner is automatically a cheater.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 01:58 PM

You can be sure of one fact, that throughout all US sport the amount of chemicals taken by your sportspeople will keep the Pharmaceutical companies and their shareholders in big bucks in our life time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 02:07 PM

Greg Lemond a former winner told Bycyclist Online,-`I don`t think there`s a rider in the pack that prefers to take drugs. It`s simply what they are doing to keep up with the competition, and if they think everyone`s getting away with it, they feel like they need to use it too`-


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 02:13 PM

no, ard, I cannot "be sure" of any such thing. What I am sure of is that you have a strong opinion, and that you'd prefer it not be confused by extra facts or evidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 02:45 PM

Ard, you know I like ya, but lay off. If I made the kinds of sweeping generalizations you are making, you would come uncorked. Stop, please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 04:33 AM

Mick I never realised you cared , but lets face it and unfortunately the US cannot, have you read the letters in the US Press?, all blaming France for picking out Landis as a scapegoat.
Please read again Greg Lemonds statement, and really he should know.
So Mick, open both eyes to what is taking place in US sport, drugs are part and parcel of it, how many more examples do you need?.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 05:02 AM

US Olympic committee chairman Peter Ueberroth said,"doping is like a cancer, we are committed to winning this battle, but, the cold reality is this, we are not winning the battle, good progress is being made, but a great deal more has to be done".
Argue with Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 08:53 AM

I don't want to argue with Peter, and I am not trying to argue with you. I am not even arguing that doping isn't a curse. I am suggesting to you that in your zeal to paint all things US as demonic, you sometimes make some pretty sweeping generalizations. The same kind that, if a Yank made them, you would be pointing the finger and chastising me for. The US isn't at the root of doping. I believe that started with the old Soviet Union, if I am remembering correctly. It is now a worldwide epidemic. If you read Lemond's and others comments, you would find that they all indicated that this is a problem common to all athletes in their sports.

And yes I do care about your opinion. Despite the fact that we tangle from time to time, I always look for your posts as I find them thought provoking and interesting.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 09:58 AM

"The US isn't at the root of doping. I believe that started with the old Soviet Union" said Big Mick.

No, a quick investigation will tell you it has been going on for many years. Britain had an early shock when Tommy Simpson died in the 1967 Tour de France, and was found to have taken amphetamines. Look up doping in Wikipedia for other examples going back forever.

What has changed is the detection technology, and the resulting wide eyed innocence of those caught taking a chance is wonderful to behold. I see one of Britain's best hopes for the European Games is banned after "accidentally" missing three test dates.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 10:07 AM

Thanks for the correction, Paul. I was just working from my recollections from years ago about the Soviet Olympic athletes. Seems that there was a fair amount of scandal that spawned a lot of todays testing.

The fact is that this is a problem for all nations. It is not something that one can lay on the US.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 11:04 AM

The problem is that, in the effort to 'catch' as many cheaters as possible, they are rushing more & more new tests into use. Some of the tests are pretty straightforeward, and there are drugs no one would seriously consider using, as they are too easy to find.

But there are other tests that rely on VERY delicate and often debatable testing procedures. This is what happened with Landis. The very standards of what should be considered 'high' testosterone, or what is is an 'acceptable' ratio is not universally agreed on. In the past few years, several riders who tested out of the 'normal' range were finally cleared after doctors showed that their bodies produced the results normally!!!

Should we ban riders who have an unfair advantage due to their own inner workings? Lance Armstrong has an unusually high ability for his blood to carry oxygen, and a pulse rate that allows him to exert himself with less adverse effects....like many Ethiopian distance runners. Should races be open only to athletes within a certain range of body types, like boxing?

There is a lot of circumstantial evidence and accounts that say Floyd did NOT cheat...and 'some' that say he might have cheated. I do not KNOW...and neither do you!
Let the investigators do their work and hope that they make the RIGHT decision....not just a decision based on some policy to punish vague suspicions.


(and if they give the title to Pererio or Kloeden, they will just be pushing the issue downward, hmmm? Are their tests available?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 11:12 AM

Bill, what I will be watching are the tests for the synths. I can accept that his body might produce naturally occurring Testosterone at a higher rate, and that should be more easily verified. But I want to hear about the testing protocols for the synthetic testosterone. If that is verified in an unchallengable method, the game is up. For me, that is the Sword of Damocles for Floyd's arguments.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 12:08 PM

Yep...*IF* that test is verified and not just some 62% accurate 'maybe' thing, it would be a serious matter.

I will wait & see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 01:34 PM

A short extract from a paper on drugs use in the US, this from Barry R McCaffrey, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy,

"Drugs use in sport has reached a crisis level, both among elite athletes and young American people", McCaffrey advises, "the US government should take the lead in the fight against drugs".

McCaffrey should have quite a knowledge of what is going on in US sport.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 01:37 PM

He does...in **general**....that does not mean he is aware of details in a specific case!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 01:55 PM

ard, sometimes you don't do yourself credit. You are taking that comment out of context. A read of the comments shows they were made in a discussion of the problem in the US. It does not acknowledge or allege that we are the source of the problem, or even the worst of the lot.

It is a problem in the US, just as it is everywhere. If you would confine you remarks to the problem, instead of trying to use it to further your "USA is the Great Satan in the world" slant, you would have more credibility. In short, confine your remarks to the topic as opposed to advancing your anti anything USA and you will come off better.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Aug 06 - 01:58 PM

I assume, ard, that YOUR country (which one was that?) is always upright and sensible in all its endeavors.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 02:32 AM

If you get your head out of the sand and look around the US, you will find no country come close in drug violation than your own.
This should be your worry and what faces your youth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Bikes
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 09:00 AM

Yikes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Aug 06 - 12:16 PM

Landis was on Jay Leno's show last night. It was interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 May 07 - 05:22 PM

It is fun these days to read the German sports pages about doping in cycling.

Of course, no one actually believes that any of the Tour winners since more than 50 years has not been doped. But they all declared their innocence (the system forces them to lie, for if they tell the truth, they lose their jobs). It was common knowledge that nonsmoker Thurau's (multiple winner of stages and 5th in one Tour) urine contained nicotin.

Jan Ullrich once was found with dope in his blood but of course he only had made the stupid error to take something offered by a stranger in a disco. His blood is found in the office of a Spanish gynecologist? Now, can you really be sure that all your blood you ever have donated, has not landed in Spain? You can't. See?

"I have not cheated anyone" Ullrich is quoted which actually may be true in a sense for at least all of the first ten did the same.

Well, not it becomes fun:
First, the long time masseur of Team Telecom (now: T-Mobile) has told that all (wait for an interesting exception) of that Team werde doped in the years he was with them (covering the Tour wins of Ullrich and Riis). A week of dementis followed this information. Who would believe a masseur)

Now, from day to day the domino pieces fall:
Three days ago, one racer of that time declared he was doped (if one of the minor racers of that team was doped...)
Two days ago, a better known but still minor racer of that team followed suit.
Yesterday, old man Thurau admitted having been doped during all of his career (not that anyone had doubted it)
Today, the two university professors who were the Telecom team doctors have both admitted helping with the doping of the team in getting and administering the drugs (EPO) and making them hard to find in controls.
Tomorrow morning, Rolf Aldag, one of the closest helpers of Ullrich, and at present team chef of Telecom will have a press conference and come clean (it has been leaked).
I await the day after tomorrow with anticipation.

The single clean one of Telecom as the doctors and the masseur say? Erik Zabel. He was the man for the sprints and not for endurance. He has declined all offers of dope (if one may believe the whistleblowers).

There are only two possible ways in my eyes for the dope problem in endurance sports:
(1) Don't care which way they get their form but test regularly for dangerous levels and take out those with these levels without forcing them to lie about who has put the dope in their toothpaste without their knowledge.
(2) Have all of them give their blood after 2 weeks of close supervision and make a full DNA etc analysis of their blood for comparison so that those who dope just to the limit (Landis) can get caught.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 May 07 - 05:35 PM

They are falling quicker:

While I was writing Udo Bölts has come clean as well in a TV interview.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 23 May 07 - 05:53 PM

There was a BIG uproar at a court hearing a few days ago, about whether Floyd Landis would be exonerated or not. He still claims he is innocent, and had Greg LeMonde recanting earlier testimony where he accused Landis (says he was threatened)....In the meleé, Landis fired his manager who has made remarks seemingly against Landis....

I have no idea what is true & what isn't....but it sure will be an interesting tour!...if they find 12 guys who aren't guilty to ride in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: gnu
Date: 23 May 07 - 06:08 PM

Hey..... it's cut and dry.... Lance didn't win because of any drugs. He could just pedal faster because he was cut and dry.

It's a joke. Easy, now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 23 May 07 - 06:45 PM

It seems many of those who DID dope will accuse Lance because they 'assume' no one can be that good without doping.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 May 07 - 07:18 AM

This morning's press conference of Aldag had the predicted outing: He has taken Epo (administered by university doctors for sports medicine) for many years.

But the press conference had a surprise guest: Erik Zabel

He has taken Epo for one week in 1996 and never after because he couldn't handle the side effects. However, he also has taken the "miracle drink" from the Belgian team masseur. When asked what was in there the masseur only told there is nothing in there that can interfere with the doping test after the race. We now know the drink contained coffeine, Alupent and Persantin (the last two are medications for the heart).

Zabel: I have taken nothing in recent years but I know that it is still as easy to dope as it was 10 years ago. The risk to be found out is minimal and there are a lot of excuses if you are found.

Why telling now when he was not suspected? He loves the sport and wants it to be clean for his son Rick Zabel (who starts his career right now).

Aldag: It was more or less clear that you would lose the job amd the income when not doping. One had to lie all those years for the sake of the income and the family.

Zabel: The only way out is the DNA profile of each racer and better tests.

They don't know about Ullrich both say.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 24 May 07 - 08:24 AM

Maybe a joe-clone could take the last few messages and start a 2007 Tour thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 May 07 - 12:35 PM

Ullrich has fired his lawyer today. The lawyer had said in an interview this morning that the notion should be given up that it is possible to cross the Pyrenees with an average of 40 km/h without medical help.

Bjarne Riis, Telecom's winner of 1996 has announced a press conference for tomorrow. Half of his team of that year have now admitted doping in that year.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 May 07 - 12:45 PM

Danish Telecom (1993-1997) racer Holm has announced his coming out just an hour ago.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 24 May 07 - 01:27 PM

How long does it take to get through to some people that this "sport" is a tour de farce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: gnu
Date: 24 May 07 - 01:34 PM

Art.... Just do it yourself. Start a new thread, include the last few posts in your first post, post here asking that people post in the new thread, and add a blue clicky to the new thread in your last post here.

Post haste.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 May 07 - 10:14 PM

THANKS for the heads-ups!

BTW, I don't see any problem with this all being in this thread.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 25 May 07 - 12:04 AM

Wow...what a mess. I wonder how many will start this years race. If everyone admits to doping, will all the results stay the same?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 May 07 - 11:24 AM

The press conference with Bjarne Riis (still broadcasted) brought no surprise: He has used dope as well, from 1993 until 1998, the end of his career. He has taken Epo, cortisone and growth hormones. In particular, Riis was doped when he was winner of the 1996 Tour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Dave Masterson
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 04:53 AM

Anyone see the Tour Prologue and Stage 1? We went up to London for the prologue – astounding number of spectators. The police were expecting 500,000 – over 1 million turned up. The atmosphere was electric.

On Sunday morning we strolled along to the end of our lane and set up camp next to the village pub. By the time the caravan arrived, let alone the race, there must have been about a thousand people there. On one side of us was a couple from Holland and on the other a couple from Scotland. All this at a small village crossroads south of Ashford! A real party atmosphere pervaded the place, everybody chatting to everybody (remember, the way we used to?). Everything that moved got a cheer, from every official car that passed even long before the race arrived, to the police and gendarmerie. When the race finally arrived we made so much noise you couldn't hear yourself think.
Apparently more than 2 million people turned out to watch along the route.

What a phenomenal weekend. A big thank you to all who organised it all, but the biggest thanks must go to Ken Livingstone for getting the ball rolling in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 08:27 AM

I thought it wouldn't be any fun to watch this year, but:

Doping may narrow the field... people may come and go as riders... sponsors may arrive or fade.... but Le Tour is still Le Tour, with mountains and miles to achieve. So Lance isn't there to beat, not the amazing Badger, nor the blame-everyone Lemond....

In the end, it's not a race to beat people, but a race to overcome the course.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Cats
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 05:08 PM

Jon went up from Cornwall and managed to get a really good place by the end of the climb at Southborough. If you saw a cornish flag on the side of the road, that was him! He was full of it on the phone. Fantastic atmosphere. I had to work.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 05:43 PM

I still watch it on the TV....always interesting. They re-run it in the wee hours, and I often watch it again...

They GOTTA figger out how to keep spectators out of the way!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 09:50 PM

HA! That was quite a finish today. Cancellara snuck in and roundly whipped the sprinters at their own game! Good for him! He gets a few more days of glory before the shake-out begins in the mountains.

(I 'would' love to see a breakaway succeed, but it is not likely on flat courses)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Jul 07 - 09:14 AM

That WAS a fun finish. I usually hate the evening run, because [shudder] Al Trautwig........ but I'd missed the daytime P&P versions.

But that one had us both cheering and screaming, and laughing. Faulkner even got a hockey-goal treat because he KNOWS when we whoop like that, there will be a treat, so he did his "act" to remind us.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 02:06 PM

8 Teams have declared themselves dope-clean before the Tour and have voted for stricter controls. The other teams are against stricter controls.

It has been watched closely that 9 of the first 10 racers at this time come from the teams who resist stronger controls.

But it has also been noted with amusement that the first dope case (known now, but the test was before the Tour) of this year hits one of the 8 dope-free teams: T-Mobile, formerly Telecom. The perpetrator (Sinkewitz) is in hospital after his accident with a spectator. The spectator is still in coma I have read.

Now to the sport: Astana may have made a big mistake changing captain one day late (which made Kloeden lose about 1: 30 min). But the main sponsor who makes the calls comes from Kazachstan, Vinokurov's country. It took them one more day to realise that Vino cannot win this time after his injury.

Each of the first nine can still win at this time. Valverde and Mayo are in the best position I think. If I narrow my prediction, I say only two others have real chances beyond Valverde and Mayo: Rasmussen and Kloeden (Evans being my dark horse).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 03:30 PM

Rasmussen 'thinks' he can do well in the Pyrenees, Mayo almost certainly will. The Colombian (and perhaps Contodor)are wild cards. Rasmussen admits openly that 110 miles of time trials are a problem for him..

If I was forced to bet a dollar, I'd put it on Mayo, then Kloeden...but I think I shall just watch, rather than bet...too many varibles this time. All it would take is one broken bike, or a crash, to put someone like Leipheimer in the lead...and he can ride time trials...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 05:51 PM

Did anyone see the opening ceremonies? Those kids on bikes at the very beginning were from Limpit's school bike club!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 07:17 PM

So far, I have seen one big, burly man reach out and yank some kid off the road as he was trying to run beside the competitors, and one rider take a swipe at a kid running almost against him....in yesterday's breakaway (near the top of the last climb) ...I saw a spectator's dog get hit by a bike, and numerous other stupidities....and we aren't eve to the Pyrenees yet!

(yes, I know...my perennial complaint! I suppose they will do sonething about those mountain finishes when some idiot with a flag injures the leader.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Greg B
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 08:12 PM

Time to watch Triplettes de Belleville encore!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Cluin
Date: 18 Jul 07 - 10:35 PM

I felt bad for the poor dog.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 Jul 07 - 01:58 AM

So... just like a normal day for the pedestrian then! I've lost count of the times I've nearly gone flying after a stealth cyclist has snuck up behind me as I walk down the pavement. You'd think there would be a law against that... Oh wait, there is!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 05:04 AM

So, now that most of the Tour and most of the difficulties are behind us (them), we can have a better look at the results from the dope angle. There are 21 teams competing which have split up just before the Tour in 8 teams that opted for stricter controls and an honour code for all racers not to dope and 13 teams that were against stricter controls (the present controls only find the stupid as we know). The argumentation of the teams against controls: We do not dope we just take medication as anybody else does.

Let's look at the overall standings: The present leader should not have been allowed to start according to the dope regulations. Among the first 25 of the overall standing is just one single cyclist from the dissident 8 teams (Kirchen, 14th, from the not completely clean team Telecom). The next from a clean team is ranked 28th. Among the first 20 are 9 Spanish cyclists with known or presumed relations to dope pope Fuentes. The first 8 teams in the team ranking come from the 13 teams against stricter controls.
Honi soit qui mal y pense?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: JennyO
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 07:03 AM

200.

Because I can.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 23 Jul 07 - 08:43 PM

absolute boresville,giant yawn


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 Jul 07 - 12:33 PM

Vino has been doped (blood from someone else) the day he has won the time trial in such a splendid manner. Astana (Vino, Kloeden), the preasent leader of the team classification, is rumoured to take the whole team off the present Tour tomorrow.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: redhorse
Date: 24 Jul 07 - 03:27 PM

Yes, Astana's out
here we go again

nick


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 24 Jul 07 - 04:11 PM

It's sad. My favourite sports are running and boxing but I absolutely love Le Tour; however, certain riders are going to destroy it if their not careful. Vinokourov- the pre-race favourite is out, and there's a great big, suspicious looking, cloud hovering over the current race leader Rasmussen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Jul 07 - 06:28 PM

oh, I hope no more doping is found! It has been nice watching Rasmussen doing well..and Contador chasing. It has even been good seeing Vinikourov coming back....but to win a stage after such a bad day IS suspicious...and they still haven't decided Landis' case.

If they don't solve the doping problem, the Tour may not have much future.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Gulliver
Date: 24 Jul 07 - 10:03 PM

From what I've observed, the whole thing is a joke--it's just a matter of who manages to avoid getting caught. They all seem to be doping--just who is NOT doing it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 25 Jul 07 - 02:23 AM

oh, I hope no more doping is found!

I hope no more doping takes place but, if it does, I hope that it is found. The UCI have to be seen to be in control.

Kill or cure is the only future for Le Tour.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Dave Masterson
Date: 25 Jul 07 - 07:51 AM

I'm so saddened by the current situation. It seems crazy to risk everything if you are almost certain to be caught by the present doping controls. We appear to have one of following scenarios:

1.        The riders in question are incredibly stupid (I find that hard to believe, particularly in the case of those such as Vinokourov).
2.        The riders in question are incredibly arrogant (same as point 1 in reality).
3.        The doping culture is so entrenched in some riders. Let's hope the younger generation of riders coming along, like Mark Cavendish, can change that mindset.
4.        The testing procedures are dangerously inaccurate. Dangerous because they are playing with the riders livelihoods. If this is the case it would explain why Floyd Landis is fighting his case so hard when all the evidence seems to be against him.

Unfortunately the doping culture has been endemic in pro cycling for many years. I recently read William Fotheringham's book on Tom Simpson, "Put me back on my bike". Simpson was my hero, and it's a superb book, but quite depressing in regard to all the doping that went on. Not all of it was on the bike though. The major part of a pro cyclists income was (and still is) provided not in the big races with their teams, but the smaller events to which they were individually contracted by their managers. They might race one day in Amsterdam, the next in Paris and the following day in Frankfurt. They had to drive themselves between races so took amphetamines to stay awake, then sleeping pills to get to sleep when they eventually got to bed. If they didn't like it they were told there were any number of up-and-coming riders who would willingly take their place. So a culture of drug acceptance was created, not just of cheating to win, but of survival.

I don't condone the taking of performance enhancing drugs, nor will I ever, but it seems it was the 'system' that was partly responsible for creating it in the first place, yet the 'system' condemns the riders when they are caught. At least the sport of cycling is trying to do something about the problem, which is more than can be said most other sports, who still have their heads stuck firmly in the sand. Witness the reaction when Gary Player had the audacity to suggest that some golfers took steroids to improve their game. The big money sports will never truly get to grips with the problem until they learn to risk losing the major sponsors that permeate their sports. Money talks I am afraid.

As an aside, I wonder how many of us would pass a drug/alcohol test when we got to work in the morning, or more particularly after lunch?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 25 Jul 07 - 08:56 AM

I have been telling you all along, you cannot climb those mountains on Lemonade.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 25 Jul 07 - 09:12 AM

It's true, drugs are everywhere in sport. The truth is that cycling is a lot more honest about it than many, many other sports. And, of course, it is possible to ride the Tour without drugs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Jul 07 - 02:09 PM

Whole team Cofidis (captain: Chavanel) leaves the Tour after one cyclist found positive.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Bill D
Date: 25 Jul 07 - 08:47 PM

...and now Rasmussen, removed by his own team for deceptive practices
This leaves Contador leading....Discovery Channel with 2 of the 3 leaders...and 3 in the top 10.

Amazing and sad for cycling to have this much in one race.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 04:30 AM

Do you still believe that the great Lance was clean?, the chemicals Armstrong used would have helped Lance Percival [English comedian] to win.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 04:33 AM

I don't know whether Armstrong took chemicals. I do know he was the most drug tested athlete - in and out of competition - in the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 06:45 AM

yawn yawn yaaaaaawwn has it finished yet?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 07:44 AM

I would bet that in any sport were size, strength, speed or endurance are needed to do well, there will be athletes taking drugs. Boxers who very suddenly increase in size are very suspicious. Professional wrestling - size and strength are needed. American football, where size, strength and speed are vital. Now, I'm not suggesting that everyone in those sports are on drugs, but I bet many are. And, I bet those sports aren't tested as stringently as cycling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: goatfell
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 09:15 AM

i like the cycling but I don't like the cheats, in any sport. Is like a chemist shop listening to it.

Rattle rattle


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 26 Jul 07 - 04:57 PM

Tom Simpson died on the tour through drug abuse in 1967, that is one hell of a long time ago,surely by now they should have had their sport in order.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 05:08 AM

A letter in to-days Irish Times asks, `Would it be alright to call the cyclists a load of dope peddlers`.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: goatfell
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 01:39 PM

NOPE


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 01:42 PM

Tom Simpson died from amphetamine abuse, which was only just being understood then.

They ARE doing extensive testing now, and stupid tricks such as Vinikourov tried are being caught. If you read way back in this thread, you'll see my post about the genetic advantages Lance Armstrong had, as well as his intelligence and fantastic training regimen. I can believe that he passed all those drug tests because he used no illegal drugs....I would hate to find out otherwise.

Now...I assume the the 3 Tour leaders are being tested as I type...I hope they all pass.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 01:45 PM

Tour de farce more like.
G


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 02:55 PM

I just flatly refuse to assume the worst about ALL of the riders until I must.

Call me naive, call me idealistic, but let me hope it can be fixed...ummm...changed for the better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Jul 07 - 04:20 PM

Bill I know how disappointed you feel, you are not on your own regarding the Tour.    I go back a long way following the fortunes of the various Tours, but I discovered a long time ago that most of the latest champions have been cheats, the sport of cycling has an awful lot to do before all of the cheats ate kicked out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: goatfell
Date: 29 Jul 07 - 09:59 AM

I think that some not all the cyclists are taking drugs, I don't those that take them because they have the flu or something, but if they are taking the drugs to cheat, well I hope that they get kicked out for cheating


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: DannyC
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 07:20 AM

I think the Tour remains beautiful. I enjoyed the daily drama of the breakaways and the relentless pursuit of the peleton. The winding scenery adds to my enjoyment, along with the creative enthusiasm of the crowds who line the byways.   I could do without the wandering, disruptive canines.

The commentators on Versus (who carried the Tour in America) were top-notch. (i.e. Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen)   I found their commentary especially poignant (with a high degree of personal conviction) on the day after Rasmussen got dropped. I hope the Versus coverage does not get dropped for next year.   I suppose sponsors will be particularly difficult to attract and/or retain.

I believe (perhaps hope) the young up-and-comers will not take the dead end doping path. Doping or no - the daily display of endurance and suffering rivets my attention and fills me with hope for our breed.

Contador, Evans and Leipheimer were magnificent... whelp, that's one man's opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 10:23 AM

Contador's name has been on Fuentes' list to disappear only later. Look at the number of Spanish cyclists among the first twenty and you start asking yourself why. The Spanish cycling association helps them to suppress any suspicions.

Armstrong's blood of a way back Tour has been found to contain dope with refined analyses. Of course, he has been doped as each single former winner. But he has to lie (like Ullrich still lies) for fear of financial claims. But since he was the best among the dopers we can guess that he still would have been the best if noone had doped those years.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 11:19 AM

"Armstrong's blood of a way back Tour has been found to contain dope with refined analyses."

do you have a source for that, Wolfgang? I'd like to read more.

And I am interested to learn what KIND of 'doping' is done...(and when)..that is so difficult to detect in men who have been tested so often.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 11:28 AM

The most extensive articles I have found about Landis, Armstrong and doping have been in the Bicycling.com series. You follow the "related article" links at the bottom. They give some idea of the accusations and defenses being put forth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jul 07 - 08:06 AM

And there goes another..............Mayo

nick


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,redhorse at work
Date: 31 Jul 07 - 08:22 AM

Sorry, last post was me. Not anonymous, just careless

nick


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 07:31 AM

Rasmussen who have been fired by his team for lying to them has now been found by a new method of analysis actually to have been doped during the Tour. Dynepo has been found in his urine, a new post-Epo era drug. This drug is not yet on the list so technically speaking he was clean.

I wonder why it did take so long to strike Landis from the list of winners.

It really is not fun watching the Tour if the winner is only found months later and one has the impression the winner is just the fastest who has not been found out.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Sep 07 - 07:34 AM

Bill, sorry for overlooking your question.

On August 23, 2005, L'Équipe, a major French daily sports newspaper, reported on its front page under the headline "The Armstrong Lie" that urine taken from the cyclist during the prologue and five stages of the 1999 Tour de France had tested positive for EPO in recent testing conducted as part of a research project into EPO testing methods. This claim was based on an investigation in which they claimed to be able to match samples from the 1999 Tour that were used to hone the EPO test to Armstrong. (from the Wiki page about Armstrong)

That was what I had in mind.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 08:23 AM

This year's Tour will be without:

Floyd Landis (fastest two years ago, but full of dope)
Alberto Contador (fastest last year, for doping in his team)
Andreas Klöden (second and third in the last years, for doping in his team)
Levi Leipheimer (once third, for the same reason)
Ivano Basso (Giro winner 2006, for trying to dope)
Ivan Mayo (always among the best, for doping)
Alessandro Petacchi (best sprinter, for doping)
Tom Boonen (winner of several etappes, for doping)
Michael Rasmussen (looking like the sure winner last year, for avoiding the doping control)

So that leaves Alejandro Valverde as the No. 1 favourite unless he is arrested on the one etappe ending in Italy (he is under suspicion as a customer of the dope pope Fuentes).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 02:16 PM

ALL those?? I don't understand why Contador & Leipheimer & Klöden need to be excluded? Are the teams now short of riders?

Are there any good riders left who are NOT suspected?

(I still am not convinced that Landis actually did anything illegal, despite certain test readings. )


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:05 PM

All three ride for Astana, which has been banned this year for doping in prior years. Since team management has changed, I guess it is a punishment for the sponsors for not controlling their team better. Or somethieng. Vive le france!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: artbrooks
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 03:08 PM

Do we need a 2008 Tour thread, or is there some kind of cachet to continuing it from one year to the next?


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Jul 08 - 07:35 AM

Ricco, the man who wears (until today) the red dot jersey (best climber) and the white jersey (best young cyclist) and winner of two mountain etappes, is the newest name on the list. His whole team retires from the Tour. Well, the double victory for his team on Monday, the most difficult etappe so far, by two fairly unknown cyclists was kind of surprising.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jul 08 - 10:26 AM

Part of the story

"When will they ever learn?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jul 08 - 11:11 AM

I guess this is how they are thinking


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Subject: RE: BS: Tour de France, Anyone?
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 17 Jul 08 - 08:11 PM

I saw the results on television tonight of today's stage, but has anyone heard the latest results of the drugs tests ?

The race has become more famous for this than cycling.


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