The 2008 Tour de France was actually my daughter's 3rd Tour, but after last year's milestone of recognizing it only as a "bike race", this summer she spoke the words every father dreams of hearing from his child: "Tour de France". And I was there with camcorder in hand to record the whole thing!
You may not know Jean-Paul Vespini, but he knows cycling, and likely a lot more about pro racing than you ever will. He's covered 19 Tours (so far), and as a reknowned cycling historian in France, he's got some storiesпїЅ We asked him for six...
One of the most established cycling journalists around today is former Scottish international rider Richard Moore. His recent biography of climbing legend Robert Millar brought him critical acclaim, his subject some overdue credit … but also reignited the media ‘obsession’ with tracking down the reclusive Millar.
Ed Hood's right hand man at this year's Tour de France, Martin Williamson, got quite the eyeful throughout his journey through the second half of the Tour, and lets us in on a few of his thoughts and observations, as we enjoy our final Tour de France wrap.
PEZ Roadside Final #2: Two weeks inside the Pez/Tour bubble, and every second an adventure. The whole time was kinda like a mountain descent. You never know exactly what’s around the corner, you’re never sure if you’ll run out of road, you never forget that you’re high-wiring on the ‘going smoothly/going horribly’ tightrope.
PEZ Roadside Wrap #1: The Tour is too full of stories to report in just 3 weeks, so here's Ed's look back... A wise man once said; “85% of your problems in life talk back at you!” In other words; “life is about people,” and we met the best of people on the 2008 Tour de France.
Tour de PEZ St.21: It’s our 5th year following Le Tour into Paris, but never have we seen it like this. Our treasured seat today was inside the most popular place in the race - the Festina crew-carrier, smack dab in the middle of the famous Tour Caravan. The parcours, fans, and Champs Elysees never looked like this…
Final Anaylsis: The 2008 Tour de France was the culmination of a long journey for Carlos Sastre, and for many other riders in the peloton it was an important step along their own progressions through the sport of cycling.
PEZ Roadside St. 20: Steegmans sways out of the saddle, his long powerful, brown legs that can win Tour stages are stabbing at the pedals: Adam stays in the tuck, he’s more stylish than the QuickStep man, the gear is lower, but the bear-like Steegmans is coming back at the Australian...PEZ followed Adam Hansen from his warm-up through post race interview at today's final time trial!
Stage 20 Analysis: What do you do when your primary rival is about equal to your strength in the mountains and superior in the time trials? You wear him down with relentless pressure and wait until fatigue strips away all of his advantages.
PEZ Roadside: Stage 19 may be less than memorable in Tour history, but it was epic for PEZ. For the first time, we rode the entire stage on a “photo moto” – complete with our own pilot – and witnessed a TDF road stage from the vantage point normally reserved for photo-pros like Cor Vos and Graham Watson. It was a truly amazing day…
Stage 19 Analysis: For riders who go to the Tour de France with a legitimate shot at riding into Paris wearing the yellow jersey, there are a handful of key days within the 23 that encompass the entire race. Tomorrow's TT is the final day to lock up victory - and the Podium is anything but settled.
Stage 18 Analysis: For most of us, riding 122 miles in just a little more than four and half hours would not be any way to recuperate, but for the men hoping to stand on the podium in Paris, recuperation was the order of the day in Stage 18.
PEZ Roadside Stage 18: The second category, 14 kilometre Croix de Montvieux, the last major climb of the 2008 Tour de France, and the last chance for CSC to widen the time cushion for their two contenders, Carlos Sastre and Frank Schleck, before Saturday's 53km time test.
Stage 18 Start: The day after Sastre had the best day of his career, the question was; "did he do enough?" We braved the blazing sun at the stage start in Borg-D'Oisans to get the juice from those who know.
The final Rest Day is a few days in the past, but the words of our Columbia friend, Adam Hansen, are always worth a gander, so as we take a deep breath after a typical late Tour stage, let's look back at Adam Hansen's Rest Day remarks.
PEZ Roadside Stage 17: I bail out of the Volvo at Turn 9 with around six kilometres to go, that’s the Rooks turn; every hairpin is named after a winner on this legendary strip of tar. Appropriately enough, a bunch of drunken Dutch guys form a human arch, which their equally drunk buddies have to ride through.
Stage 17 Analysis: To the yellow jersey contenders, there’s nothing mysterious about l’Alpe d’Huez. They know everything they need, every turn, every pitch, and every tortuous, leg-searing kilometer. But the Alpe strips every rider down to his barest ability to climb. There is no hiding on Alpe d’Huez, no room to play games. If you have the power, you will be rewarded; and if you don’t, this climb can crush your dreams.
PEZ Roadside Stage 16: "F***ing hell!" hollers Gerolsteiner's Sebastian Lang as he points to the road ahead, which disappears around the mountain side, way above us; just like us, he thought you couldn't go any higher. Welcome to the Col de la Bonette-Restefond, Sven - the "roof of the world!"
Stage Analysis: While the statistics about the major climbs get the bulk of the attention on mountain stages, the true extent of the difficulties posed by a big day in the high Alps go far beyond gradients. To succeed in the high mountains, you have to conquer more than just the mountains.