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July 10, 2003

Bicycling Magazine | TdF 2003: Hamilton Gets Green Light

Tyler just keeps on keepin’ on. He finished in the pack Thursday, and sits 39th, 1:45 back.

CSC directeur sportif Bjarne Riis (himself a Tour winner in 1996) says, “It’s too early to say the healing process has begun but the bones haven’t moved so Tyler will continue for the time being.”

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Tour news | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BBC Sport | Tdf 2003: Boogerd calls for sprint overhaul

Michael Boogerd of Holland thinks Tour organizers should change the neutral zone, where riders don't lose time on the peloton for a crash, from the last kilometer to the last 5 kms.

"'That way we're more likely to steer clear of the endless crashes we had last year.' Boogerd is among those to have fallen foul of crashes in the opening week - coming off his bike on stage three as well as being caught up in the melee on stage one, which saw Tyler Hamilton break his collarbone... 'It's frustrating that someone else's mistake can cost you a chance to finish the Tour, but that's racing.' "

Seen at LOGos Tour Blog.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Tour news | Permalink | Comments (1)

OLN daily reports updated

    You can see the latest there from:

  • Phil Liggett ("Today, Frederic Finot won the lead in the King of the Mountains -- without doubt, the biggest prize for him in a four-year career.")

  • Paul Sherwen (Petacchi's " dream for this season is to win a stage in all three major Tours and become only the third rider in history to do it")

  • Bob Roll (Petacchi "is however by far the fastest man in this year's Tour de France")

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Tour news | Permalink | Comments (2)

NYTimes.com | Petacchi Wins His Third Tour Stage

"All eight of those hills rate as fourth-category climbs, the lowest rank available in terms of length, steepness and difficulty. Put together, they barely constitute one of Alpe d'Huez's 21 hairpin stretches.

Nevertheless the bumps determine who will wear the white jersey with red polka dots of the Tour's top climber, collecting 300 euros ($330) each day and a bouquet on the victory podium. For four days, that was the 34-year-old Mengin, who rides for the fdjeux.com team. Now it is Finot, 26, of Jean Delatour."

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Stage results | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CyclingNews.com | July 10 roundup

Cyclingnews.com reports Lance Armstrong wasn't satisfied with his own performance during the team time trial: "I never had the right sensations," Armstrong commented immediately after the stage. "It was going round, but not supple enough."

Also at Cyclingnews.com: Joseba Beloki still has high hopes for the Tour, saying "I will attack on the cols. The yellow is still within reach."

Also in this roundup, Lotto-Domo's embarrassing TTT (With Leipheimer out of the race, they sandbagged to save their strength to place Robbie McEwen in a field sprint) and "Petacchi's rivals on Petacchi".

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Tour news | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Eurosport | Sprint maestro Petacchi!

Petacchi: "It was a hard sprint, my position was not ideal," The Fassa Bortolo rider told Eurosport. "I had to anticipate my sprint. Maybe this third sprint was my best in this Tour.

"I hope to have another chance, but at the same time, I could end my Tour with three victories and it would be great."

Many times, the best sprinters (cough, CIPOLLINI, cough!) drop out when the Tour hits the mountains, and can't contest the flatter stages at Tour's end. Sounds like Petacchi may do likewise.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Stage results | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

VeloNews | Petacchi makes it three

There was a point today where Laszlo Bodrogi was the virtual yellow jersey -- he broke away in a group that briefly held a large enough time advantage to make him "yellow jersey on the road". The sprinters' teams closed down that break as the pack approached Nevers.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Stage results | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In short we ride on dynamite

Bicycling Magazine | Tour de France special: The Greatest Race

This is from the forthcoming book, The Noblest Invention, scheduled for publication in November.

Some jewels:

"Early Tour cyclists could be seen standing on their hands on chairs or demonstrating two-wheeled acrobatics. Of course, any of the 60 riders starting the 1903 Tour on a fix-gear bike weighing in at over 30 pounds had to be a little off his rocker."

Check out Page 2 for a shot of Eddy Merckx winning one of the 8 (!) stages he won en route to winning the 1974 Tour, his 5th.

"In 1924, the legendary Pelissier brothers-noted as much for their brutal attacks on the road as their criticism of Tour organizers-abandoned the race over what they considered to be an unfair ruling. Later that day, they met with journalist Albert Londres in a roadside bar. 'You don't have an idea of what the Tour is,' said an obviously frustrated Henri. 'We suffer from beginning to end. You want to see how we ride? Look. Here is the cocaine for the eyes. Here is the chloroform for the gums. And the pills? You want to see the pills?' After reaching in his sack and grabbing an assortment of pills, his brother Francis added, 'In short we ride on dynamite.' "

Spotted at Lance Armstrong's official site.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in About the Tour | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

You are there: Broadcasting the Tour

NYTimes.com | By Land and Air, a Live View of Cycling's Big Race

"When you count the days off, for 27 days we're picking up a complete broadcast facility and moving it every day," said Roger Williams, the chief executive of OLN. "It definitely creates wear and tear on the equipment we need and it's also fairly exhausting for the crew."

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in About the Tour | Permalink | Comments (2)

Simoni on team time trial

Bicycling Magazine | Gilberto Simoni: Big Letdown

Simoni has taken over with a translated rider diary at Bicycling, which was to feature Levi Leipheimer, who broke his pelvis in the Stage 1 pileup.

Simoni's disappointed, but not conceding: "I can't keep secret my disappoint today. The team time trial's result is very different from what I imagined. It's a very bad surprise for me in this Tour de France, it was a very impressive experience till now...

This is our defeat, and we have to accept it. Somebody will think I was so careless to declare our ambitions about this stage. Well, I repeat, all of us were absolutely convinced we're a very strong team. It was an unlucky day, maybe. Now we need some hours to digest this result, we will succeed in it. Since the moment I left from Italy, I was sure this Tour de France would be a very, very hard task, but I was ready to face it. I don't change my opinion at all.

Now I have to accept this new situation. I'm three minutes behind Lance Armstrong. I've to beat him on the climbs. I won't surrender, my supporters have to be sure about it. And I'll ask the same to my teammates."

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Gilberto Simoni | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stage 5: Mario who?

It's like old times, as an Italian sprinter gets out in front for multiple stage wins.

Today, it was Alessandro Petacchi of Fasso Bortolo, who took his 3rd stage win of the 2003 Tour! Frederic Finot of Jean Delatour, who broke away for 190 kms on Tuesday, broke away again today, and earns the polka-dotted climber's jersey for his trouble. Despite Petacchi's stage wins, Robbie McEwen of Lotto retains the green sprinter's jersey. Overall rankings are essentially unchanged.

1) Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo)
2) Jaan Kirsipuu (AG2r) same time
3) Baden Cooke (FdJ) s.t.
4) Erik Zabel (Telekom) s.t.
5) Robbie McEwen (Lotto) s.t.
6) Luca Paolini (QuickStep) s.t.
7) Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) s.t.
8) Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) s.t.
9) Fred Rodriguez (Vina Caldirola) s.t.
10) Jean-Patrick Nazon (Jean Delatour) s.t.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Sports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Devil time


The first devil sighting of the Tour was today.

The devil is Didi Senft, who dresses up as a red devil and runs alongside the cyclists. He gets on TV year after year.

The H2G2 entry for Didi claims he dresses like that because German commentators called the last lap of a criterium the "red devil lap", but I remember him first appearing during the career of Claudio Chiapucci, who was nicknamed Il Diablo.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in About the Tour | Permalink | Comments (0)

What he doesn't know about cycling...

SI.com | French dissing: Lance isn't getting much love from Tour's home country

Sports Illustrated's Frank Deford joins the unknowing talking heads who have to come up with something to say during the Tour.

Major kneeslappers:

"He [Armstrong] is a member of the U.S. Postal Service team, which is staffed mostly by Flemish-speaking Belgians."

Here's the USPS roster. It's one of the most diverse teams in the peloton. Even if you limit yourself to just riders in the Tour, you've got 3 Americans, 3 Spaniards, a Russian, a Czech, and a Colombian. Sure, the team managers are Belgians, but that's pretty common.

"[T]here is much speculation that this is the year the champion will fail to hold onto the winner's yellow shirt."

First, we don't call it a shirt. Second, I haven't been reading or hearing that speculation. There's been speculation of the form "It's hard to have all the breaks go your way year after year, so there's a chance Armstrong won't win...", but that's an entirely different line of logic...

"It drives the French crazy that he constantly trains, seldom actually racing."

Whaaaaaaa?

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Links | Permalink | Comments (0)

NYTimes.com | Armstrong Aces 'First Real Test'

Samuel Abt's wrapup of the team time trial has been posted.

Armstrong: "We've always been close to winning the team time trial, but for one reason or another we never got our tactics right. This year we worked on our team riding several times, and now it's paid off with a great result."

Peña: "This is simply the proof that when he wants to be, Armstrong can also be the best teammate in the world."

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Links | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tour Today: Troyes - Nevers

VeloNews | Stage 5 Profile

Today’s stage features 2 4th-Category climbs, as the roads start slowly climbing toward the Alps.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Stage profiles | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Graham Watson photos of TTT

Graham Watson, the master cycling photographer, has posted his gallery of team time trial photos.

There's a great shot of the USPS team crossing the finish line, smiles on their faces, and Hincapie's index finger held high.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2003 in Photo galleries | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack