Professional Cycling For the Fans - Exciting moments of TdF
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04-11-07, 10:07 AM
I am doing a research paper on the Tour de France. I would like to include a section of exciting/memorable/important moments in past Tours. Right now my paper seems a bit dry and I want to convey the excitement of the race to draw in the reader, an English teacher who knows nothing about cycling. So if someone could give me some exciting events to research that would be great. Or if you know a good website for research on the TdF. Thanks!
04-11-07, 03:03 PM
You could easily do the entire paper on 1968 and 1969. For the years leading up to this point Belgium often had someone in contention, but something always managed to go wrong. In 68 they had a rider leading going into the final stage, a time trial. Yup lost again in hte closeest TDF ever (until 1989). In 1969 Merckx rode his first TDF. On stage 17 (perhaps 18) leading by about 6 minutes going over the next to last pass of the final mountian stage Merckx took the lead in hte last couple of hundred yards. Only his teammate Martin Vandenbosche could stay on his wheel. Merckx opened a minute on the decent and 6+ by the top of the next climb. Final margin of victory17'54" the most since Coppi in 1952 (I think). Greatest domination of a single tour ever. All 3 major jerseys, 5 (I think) stage wins. Most aggressive, team championship and Eddy won the final stage.
Or Luis Ocan crashing out in 1971. Gino Bartoli winning 'back to back' tours 10 year apart.
Anquetil and the roast lamb.
Raymond Poulidor, Nicknamed 'The eternal second' If I have the number s right he finished on the podium 8 times (first 3 places) the most ever. Yet not only never won, never even wore Yellow.
Lemond and Figneon 1n 89
Lemond and Hinault in 85 and 86. (Don't settle for just one side of the story, there are at least 3 interesting versions, try to find the one by Greg's American teammate.)
Or how Mig got his first win, he wasn't team leader before the Tour, Pedro messed up.
And of course include Tom Simpson.
A hint. I've given you a start, actually more than you might realize. Trying to find stuff by searching the net for TDF or Tour de France really does not work for history. Try searching using the names of several riders. You will find lots of interesting stuff.
When you do please share.
04-11-07, 04:12 PM
Bob Roll's first book.
04-11-07, 08:06 PM
Also search for René Vietto. A rather sad story, the guy deserves to be remembered a bit more than he is.
Also look up the circumstances that lead to Felice Gimondi winning theTDF the first time he rode it (and because of that ending up in the very elite group of riders who have won all 3 major tours.
04-12-07, 01:48 AM
You could do your paper on how the tour has evloved. Check out what it use to be in the 20's until now and how brutal it was. It was basically a torture test...even more so than it is today. They would race 24 hours and the stages in some cases were over 400km.
04-12-07, 11:45 PM
I think the 1989 Tour where Lemond came from 50 seconds behind in the final TT into Paris and winning by 8 seconds over Laurent Fignon.. Closest tour finish ever.. This would be a good place to start and of course Lance's 7 straight TDF titles..
04-13-07, 01:06 PM
Gaul returned to the Tour with a vengeance in 1958. Third in that year's Giro, he started the French tour in dominant fashion and won four stages, three of them time trials, including the stage 18 ascent of Mont Ventoux. He faced competition in the mountains from fellow climbing specialist, the Spaniard Federico Bahamontes, but used his time trialling abilities to limit any losses. On Mont Ventoux, he beat Bahamontes by 31 seconds to move into third place overall, but he lost more than ten minutes, partly through mechanical difficulties, the following day. On the last day in the Alps, he launched one last do-or-die attack and gained 15 minutes on the then race leader, Raphaël Géminiani by the finish at Aix-les-Bains. It proved decisive and Gaul's Tour victory was assured.
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