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2005 Tour De France

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Nils Luehrmann, May 16, 2005.

  1. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    [c][​IMG][/c]

    The tour is only six weeks away and is shaping up to be an epic battle between the two titans of the sport, Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich with several other competitors more than capable of challenging Lance on his final TDF, and possibly even his final professional bike race.

    Let us start this thread off with some useful links for those that might be interested and want to get up to speed with what is perhaps the most physically and mentally challenging sporting event in the world.

    Tour de France CoverageTour Coverage - Sports SitesTour Coverage - Cycling SitesTour Coverage - BlogsTour Coverage - Pod Casts
    There are so many interesting stories developing around this year's TDF so let the discussion begin!
     
  2. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I think Jan still gets to fat in the offseason!

    Lance is still finding form, Ekimov is out of the tour.

    The discovery team though is still fairly strong and deep. I wonder how Floyd will do with his Phonak team, being kind of the new GC leader there.

    Lance should have more competition this year, but then again, that was said last year too. Should be interesting though, the discovery team is different this year and the ProTour will perhaps stretch out some teams a little. Interested to see how Ivan Basso does in both the Giro and the TdF too.

    The Giro of course, is on NOW, the Tour can wait til the Giro is over. [​IMG]

    Eurosport is also another good website to follow the Tour.

    Jay

    P.S. It is national bike to work week here in the US of A!
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Very true--BTW Jay, Stuart O'Grady won a sprint early to lead--of course that did not stand up, but it was nice to see.
     
  4. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    It looks like Team Discovery is having a great week.

    Yaroslav Popovych was the surprise winner of the Volta a Catalunya.
    BTW: Jan Ullrich finished only 3'38" behind in 18th place and looks to be on pace for reaching his peak performance capabilities in time for the Tour.

    The other great news for Team Discovery is that with only five stages remaining of the Giro d'Italia, Paolo Savoldelli 'The Falcon' is still holding on to a slim lead over Di Luca and could repeat his fine performance in the 2002 Giro by riding off with the Maglia Rosa!

    Anyone want to talk about Evan Basso? This is the guy many people thought had the best chance of beating Lance in this year's TDF, but now it looks like his gamble to push himself in the Giro may have had dire consequences.

    The story coming from CSC is that he came down with some form of stomach virus which severely hampered him during the 14th stage, but that doesn't quite explain how he was dropped in the final climb of stage 13 which cost him to relinquish the Maglia Rosa. I do give him credit for not abandoning the Giro after losing more than 40 minutes to the leaders because of his disastrous 14th stage performance, but at the same time he really needs to be planning ahead for the Tour now that his chances of winning the Giro have been crushed.

    In addition, what is your take on Iban Mayo? He finished the Volta a Catalunya in 22nd place, 4'16" behind Popovych and looked good throughout the race. He has been quite vocal in regards to his desire to make up for his disappointing performance in last year's TDF where he abandoned after the 14th stage being over 45 minutes behind the Maillot Jaune. Mayo has continually been considered a possible heir apparent to the TDF after his amazing stage eight victory on the epic L'Alpe D'Huez and 8th place finish in the 2003 Tour, but after the 2004 Tour all that is left are questions and doubt. It is not yet clear what race will be his next tune-up for the Tour, but he has mentioned interest in the Tour of Switzerland, the GP Llodio and the Euskal Bizikleta.
     
  5. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I wouldn't be surprised that Basso's main goal was/is the Giro. CSC is another pretty good team with multiple riders that could be GC contenders. Much like the reason Salvodelli was brought to Discovery since he could ride for the Giro and Lance can ride for the TdF that he always does.

    Basso could of rode the Giro to try to win while doing support for Bobby Julich or Sastre. Julich is having a great year and might have a good show for the TdF after a bunch of disappointing years. Obviously, now it might chance with Basso's misfortune.

    It's great that Salvodelli is doing good, somebody has to replace Lance when he retires, kind of unfortunate it might not be an american but Danielson isn't ready, Floyd is improving and who knows if Discovery team will be around after Lance retires.

    Mayo, et. al, everybody else on Euskatel Eusaki are great climbers but their DS and team strategies are suspect. With all their great climbing abilities, have they really shown that they can utilize it for a tour win? On the other hand, look what Riis is doing with CSC.

    Next year, I'm going to try to get a montly subscription to RAI so I can see the Giro.. I've given up on OLN and their crappy coverage (not live play by play by Liggett, by the bean counters on OLN that think all we want to watch is frickin' bull riding.)

    Jay
     
  6. Mario Bartel

    Mario Bartel Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been watching the Giro live every morning here, and I have to say, this year's race has been every bit as exciting as any TdF. Heck, on Monday there was even a fight between two riders at the finish line, and then a couple of photographers exchanged shoves!

    Basso's self-destruction was a shock, especially after he looked invincible early on. Salvodelli's resurrection has been a pleasant surprise, but I wonder if he's got the teammates around him to give him the support he needs, especially on that killer mountain stage coming up on Saturday. Simoni is back and DiLuca is tenacious. And it's been great fun to watch those Selle Italia guys break away early every day, grab some glory for their sponsors, before inevitably being swallowed up.
     
  7. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Is Paulo Bettini involved with the fight?

    I just finished watching the time trail FROM LAST WEEKEND, the one where David Zabriskie wins over Basso and Salvadelli.

    Nils, what's your background, do you road race, MTB, tour? Are you originally from Texas.. just curious and Hi, I can add you to the HTF After-Hours cycling team here. Welcome!

    Jay
     
  8. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Twenty years ago (and several pounds lighter) I did all three. I used to train with Eric Heiden in the Bay Area and tried several times to get on the 7-eleven team... but just did not have the skills. [​IMG]

    Eric put me to shame one day on Mt. Diablo when he beat me to the top by nearly 10 minutes, which was only a 10 mile ride with a rise of about 3,000 feet.

    I also did a lot of mountain biking, but back then mountain bikes were nothing more than an overweight street bike with large knobby tires and a lower gear. My knees will never be the same! [​IMG]

    Now I am just a fan. [​IMG]
     
  9. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    BTW: If any of you post on OLN's Cycling Message Board I go under the name Maillot Jaune Musette

    It is a pretty nice message board including dedicated forums for the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, and Vuelta a España.
     
  10. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    So, before Eric Heiden turned to speed skating, I guess. I think I saw him during the last winter olympics as a commentator.

    Now if Tom Danielson ever gets time trial skills... He beat Tyler Hamilton's record on mt Washington not too long ago.

    Mario Bartel and I went to go see the Tour for it's 100th year anniversary in 2003... Had a fabulous time climbing in the pyranees and towards Paris. We missed the alps and hence, L'Alpe d'Huez but I was able to do the stage that went over the Tourmalet and finished at Luz Ardiden in the same day on my Lemond Zurich (with rear rack). I don't think I saw another cyclist with a rack on it but then when I got cold on Luz, I was glad I had my simply windshell with me!!!! That was the stage where Lance got his handlebar clipped by some fan with a mussette bag. We were watching it on the jumbotron on the mountain in between the fog and clouds that were enveloping the finish line and the fog just cleared when Lance went down. The whole mountain eruppted in a huge AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH..

    Jay
     
  11. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    No. Eric, like many speed skaters used cycling, specifically hill climbing, as a training method in the off-season to build up his leg and thigh muscles. It just so happened that he took to cycling so well that he was an alternate on the U.S. Olympic cycling team in 1980 - the same year where he won his record breaking five gold medals in skating during the Winter Olympics.

    After the Olympics, he transitioned into professional cycling, which is when I met him for the first time. He won the US Pro Cycling Championship in 1985. His first and last Tour de France was the now famous 1986 Tour (which in my opinion still ranks as the most thrilling and amazing TdFs of all time). Unfortunately, he took a massive fall during the second stage, which not only forced him to abandon the tour, but also effectively put an end to his professional cycling career.

    There are so many incredible dramatic moments from the 1986 Tour. I used to have a VHS tape of highlights from the '86 Tour, but it 'disappeared' many years ago. [​IMG]
     
  12. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    I think the millions of viewers collectively gasped as well. That was an amazing stage and another fine example of how special cycling and the TdF is when something like that happens and instead of taking advantage of a competitor's misfortune, the leaders/contenders slow down to give the rider an opportunity to get back in the race. Simply amazing! In an era where even so-called team sports like baseball, basketball, football, and soccer are riddled with players only looking out for themselves, its great to see true sportsmanship like that shown in cycling. Not that there aren’t a few ‘bad apples’ in cycling. [​IMG]
     
  13. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    [c][​IMG]


    Basso is back baby!
    (but remains well back of the leaders)


    [​IMG][/c]
     
  14. Mario Bartel

    Mario Bartel Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow! Today's Stage 19 of the Giro, up the Finestre and then on to Sestriere, may go down as one of the most epic of modern cycling; eight kms of GRAVEL, a heroic ride onto the podium by Rujano, a relentless attack by Simoni, a brave effort by DiLuca, and an absolutely gutsy, determined defense by Salvodelli, who again outrode the support of his team and had to latch onto others to get it done.

    I wonder if the TdeF organizers could find a gravel climb; with so much at stake today, that was almost better than watching the cobbles at Paris-Roubaix!
     
  15. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    I could not agree with you more!

    The 2005 Giro's penultimate stage 19 should go down as one of the greatest races in modern cycling!

    [c][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][/c]

    [c][​IMG][/c]
    What a race! Just when it looked like Salvodelli was losing his grasp on the Maglia Rosa, he would find some inner strength and close the gap. No more so than when he lost the virtual lead during the 14% grade of the Finestre. True to his name 'Il Falco' flew down the relatively short decent and closed the gap by more than a minute!


    [c][​IMG]
    Congratulations 'Il Falco' for a well deserved Giro![/c]
     
  16. Mario Bartel

    Mario Bartel Stunt Coordinator

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    That's a beautiful trophy.

    And how cool is it to see that layer of dust and grit on the tires of those sleek racing bikes?! Amazing that none of the contenders had a blowout.

    Did you end up catching the live feed on gazzetta.it, Nils? Every once in a while the director decided to have some fun and switched the video to B&W, evoking classic cycling from days of yore (all they were missing were the spare tires slung around the riders' shoulders).

    I asked a colleague at work with access to RAI on satellite to record Saturday's stage on her dvd recorder; I hope she remembered. That will be one to play over and over again in the winter, while sloggling time on the trainer!
     
  17. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Where are all the cycling fans? [​IMG]
     
  18. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    Here is one![​IMG]

    Nils, thanks for the great post on the end of Giro.

    I am looking forward to this year's Tour de France. I had the great fortune of attending the Tour in person from 2000-2003. I am bummed I missed last year's but made up for it by going to the Athens Olympics for track cycling. I hope to be in France next year for the post-Lance era.
     
  19. DwightK

    DwightK Second Unit

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    Another one here as well. Just got back from a short 24 miler with 2000 feet of climbing to see if my achilles tendon has recovered from last weekend. Started getting tight right at the top of the main climb which is about 7 miles long. Guess I need to rest it a little bit more.

    Last weekend I rode the Hiawatha Trail on Friday and then the Trail of the Coeur D'Alane on Saturday and Sunday for around a 180 mile weekend, both trails in Northern Idaho. The first trail is a dirt rails to trails about 15 miles one way through some beautiful mountains with 10 tunnels (one was 1.7 miles long) and a bunch of tressel bridges. The CdA trail is a asphalt paved rails to trails that is 73 miles long. Quite a memorable weekend. The final hill is a real low gradient but is 15 miles long on the return trip. That is where the achilles started to get sore.

    Did both on one of my recumbents which handled the dirt well.

    Thus I missed watching Stage 19 and 20. Bummer. Watched the other stages on gazzetta mostly. At work, oooops.
     
  20. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Welcome to the party Michael and Dwight!

    Well Lance, most of his TDF Discovery Team, as well as many of the TDF contenders have embarked on their traditional final warm-up race leading to the Tour, the Criterium du Dauphine Libere:

    [c][​IMG][​IMG]
    (click on pic to enlarge)[/c]
     

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