The offical 2005 Le Tour de France thread

[Bob Roll]Tour DAY France[/BR]
It’s July baby, that means that for the next three weeks the flat out toughest athletic competition on the planet takes place in France.
Who will win the Yellow Jersey? Lance for a record breaking 7th time? Or is his time over?
Who will be king of the mountain?
Best Sprinter?
Best young rider?
Stay tuned right here for all the news.
As Dopers we have an in. One of our members Boo Boo Foo rode in the tour, and if we are lucky he will stop in and give us the inside scoop.
Here are some resources for you tour-viewing pleasure
Bob Roll and Dan Koepeppel have written a fine book about the tour called theTour de France Companion 2005 I strongly recommend it if you want to know more about the tour and its history, and customs. Great read. (Warning, if you hate Lance Armstrong, be aware that Bob Roll and Lance are buddies, and much of the book centers around Lance.)
Here in the states the TV coverage is on Outdoor Life Network
And of course there is the offical Tour website
Coverage for the first stage (prologue) starts tomorrow on OLN at 8:30AM Eastern for the special and the race is at 11:30AM Eastern time.

Lance. That’s all. Thanks fror listening

Wow what a start.
First off after all 189 riders in the tour were drug tested on Thursday, yesterday the French government decided to do exactly one random drug test. Guess who? Lance Armstrong, gee that sounds real random. Furthermore, it came out on the OLN broadcast today that Lance donates the money for the drug tests to be conducted on the riders. Not what I would call typical behavior for somebody with something to hide. IMHO that “random” drug test pissed Lance off. A pissed off Lance is not someone you want to compete against.
Anyway fast forward to today. Today was an individual time trial where the riders race against the clock, starting 1 minute apart. Lance was slated to start last (since he won last year) Starting next to last was Jan Ulrich.
Zabriskie started early, and went out and smoked the course setting a time that only a couple of people could come close to. Zabriskie came so far out of nowhere that the TV crews did not film his ride!
When it came time for the end of the time trial, Ulrich started, and one minute later Lance started. Lance started in his Discovery skin suit rather than the yellow jersey because he feels you must earn the right to wear yellow. (I think 6 wins gives you that right, but I’m not gonna argue) Lance had one of his shoes come un-clicked as he left the starting gate. He got clicked back in and proceeded to get up to speed where he look like a speeding train. When they showed both Lance and Jan in split screen the contrast in riding styles became obvious. Lance spins on the pedals at about 100 RPM. Jan mashes a much larger gear at maybe 75 RPM.
Just over halfway in the course Lance passed Ulrich like he was tied to a post. Can you picture how Ulrich felt when Lance went by? Ulrich had a 60 second head start, and he got passed. It could be a long July for Jan Ulrich.
At the end Lance wound up 2 seconds behind Zabriskie, and you have to figure that he lost at least 2 seconds when his pedal came disengaged.
Anyway here are the first 12 places as of the end of stage 1

1       029  	ZABRISKIE David  	CSC  	USA  	
2 	001 	ARMSTRONG Lance 	DSC 	USA 	00' 02"
3 	019 	VINOKOUROV Alexandre 	TMO 	KAZ 	00' 53"
4 	004 	HINCAPIE George 	DSC 	USA 	00' 57"
5 	102 	BODROGI Laszlo 	        C.A 	HUN 	00' 59"
6 	066 	LANDIS Floyd 	        PHO 	USA 	01' 02"
7 	071 	CANCELLARA Fabian       FAS     SUI 	01' 02"
8 	028 	VOIGT Jens 	        CSC 	GER 	01' 04"
9 	037 	KARPETS Vladimir 	IBA 	RUS 	01' 05"
10 	095 	GONZALEZ GALDEANO Igor 	LSW 	ESP 	01' 06"
11 	023 	JULICH Bobby 	        CSC 	USA 	01' 07"
12 	011 	ULLRICH Jan 	        TMO 	GER 	01' 08"

What lousy coverage here in the US!

?? I thought the OLN coverage was about as good as it gets.

Agree with this. Especially in the States. No complaints here, am just grateful for OLN.
Speaking of today’s stage - how demoralized do you think Ulrich is? Not at all, a bit, or very much?

Thanks. I’ll make a note to skip over that channel for the next month. :wink:

I forgot to mention that Jan may not have been 100% today. He crashed into his team car yesterday on a practice ride. They showed pictures of the rear window of the team staion wagon (Audi?) completly broken out from having Jan go through it. It was reported he was not wearing a helmet. These guys are tough. FTR Lance also had an accident last week requiring stitches… Didn’t seem to slow him down much. To answer your question, if I were Jan Ulrich, I wold be feeling that July 2005 may not turn out to be my month. The month is two days old, 1 crash into a car, and got spanked in a time trial. I would not be looking forward to tomorrow.

zamboniracer Bob Roll is a Texan who competed in 4 TDFs. That gives him the right to call the race anything he damn well pleases IMHO. The Tour day France line has become kind of an in joke between fans, similar to 1920’s death ray, or when come back bring pie is on this board…

Speaking of Bob Roll, did anyone else catch his ads today for Kinetic trainers? They’re available at -I kid you not-

I already posted this link in the ‘my ass hurts’ thread, but after the TT this morning I surfed around to find out who Zabriskie is, and found this bloggy page with his guide to Main-taint-ance , which I thought was a bit of a riot.
What a great performance by this guy. Lance showed that he dominates (poor Ulrich-- he’s going to go all Tonya Harding here, soon), but I was really glad this guy beat him out. Two seconds of humility. “Remember Caesar, thou art mortal.”

Thank God for OLN. This is excellent coverage. I wish they would cover the other major bike races, but their non-stop coverage of the Tour has made me a fan of the sport. It makes me want to ride…and I don’t even have a road bike. I have an old hardtail Specialized Rockhopper (steel frame, baby,) but it makes me want to clip in and ride.

PS: just watched the highlights of the time trials. Sweet jesus, Armstrong is a stud.

Ah, but I agree with Bob and Dan that maybe Lance eased off at the end and let fellow American Zabriskie take the stage for two reasons. One, he let’s Zabriskie have his moment in the sun, and two, CSC now has to work their ass off defending the yellow for the next few days since Zabriskie is not a threat in the GC.

(and others)

Did you see the same coverage I did??? Non-stop??? There was 4 hours of talk, and then they showed Lance. It was like the other riders didn’t matter, and like they thought time trials would be too boring to show!

And I’m a Lance fan, and it still sucked.

And today, they had a half hour of talk, and then showed that the stage was already half over.

Hey! We are interested in the racing, not the sidebars and who the announcers are voting for.

TV coverage of the Tour in the UK isn’t bad. Two widely-available digital channels (Eurosport and ITV2) have daily programmes, with the main ITV1 showing half an hour of highlights at about 3 o’clock in the morning. Eurosport has the benefit of the reasonably incomprehensible Sean Kelly as a commentator; he’s not lost his Carrick-on-Suir accent after all these years.

The BBC devoted one of its digital channels on Saturday night to cycling, including a couple of corking documentaries: Death on the Mountain, about Bobby Simpson’s demise in 1967, and A Sunday in Hell, about the 1975 Paris-Roubaix.

Personally, I would love to see anyone other than Lance Armstrong win it this year. Not because he’s American, but because I hate to see any single person dominating a sport to the exclusion of everyone else. Maybe it’s time for a (clean) Italian to win it - Ivan Basso, possibly?

I know you don’t mean that Lance should slow down and let the other guys catch up.

And Boo Boo Foo in the Tour??? :eek: Damn. Where are you man?! Share the stories. When did you ride? For which team? Come on, dish the details!!!

Voeckler is King of the Mountain! He’s a great rider.

I’m enjoying the fact that there is a rider named Canada, appropriately dressed in all yellow (they pronounce the name all wrong though… Kan’ya’da…) :slight_smile:

…and Sheryl Crow is damn cool.

On most days Eurosport covers all of the race, from start to finish. In past years, we did lose some of the coverage if there was another major sports event happening at the same time. Now that there is also Eurosport 2 I hope that they can use that channel to fill in the gaps.

One notable absence from the commentary team is David Duffield . He was the lead commentator for many years. He has now been relegated to a studio round-up at the close of each stage. I have just seen him and he doesn’t look very well, let’s hope he gets better. Some people did criticise his “waffling” style, but I used to enjoy him with all the useless facts he used to come out with , especially if the action was flagging a bit.

The cameras don’t come out until after the riders have had lunch, IIRC. OLN is showing a European feed; they don’t have any control over what the cameramen do or how the footage is edited. Anyway, it’s pretty rare that anything happens in the first half of a stage, especially a flat stage like today’s. The peloton usually pretty much sticks together to conserve energy for the breakaways and sprints in the second half.