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Old 07-20-06, 05:02 PM   #1
mollusk
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50+ and le Tour

I've got to know how many of the 50+ riders are le Tour junkies and not just Lance junkies.

I had some knowledge of The Cannibal during his time and started following the tour more closely during the time of The Badger and actually was in France on the side of the road for one of the victories of The Americain, but how many of the denizens of the 50+ forum have been long term followers of the Tour (and by that I mean at least pre-Lemond let alone pre-Lance)? And if you are a long term tour junkie have you ever seen anything like what you have witnessed today? OMG it made me almost grateful that my AC unit went out last night and I had to spend the morning at home waiting for the repairman and so I could be glued to OLN. What I witnessed today reminded me of Hinault and Merkxx. WOW!
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Old 07-20-06, 05:07 PM   #2
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I remember it being talked about in 1968. Heard about Greg Lemond winning his 1st and 3rd. (2nd got lost somewhere). Gotta admit - this is the single best day I have ever seen. Dang! What a ride.
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Old 07-20-06, 05:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Baron
I remember it being talked about in 1968. Heard about Greg Lemond winning his 1st and 3rd. (2nd got lost somewhere). Gotta admit - this is the single best day I have ever seen. Dang! What a ride.
Greg's 2nd was the unbelievable time trial victory on the last day! That is the only stage I can recall that rivaled this one on both on heroics and impact on the GC. How could you "lose" that one! I know that all of Lemond's three victories were pretty special, but that one was the wildest. Since then the Tour organizers have sworn that there would NEVER be a time trial on the last day again, probably because Greg "stole" the final MJ from a Frenchman (Fignon) that day.
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Old 07-20-06, 07:05 PM   #4
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I remember in one of Greg's stages he was in a lead group coming to the top of a giant climb and a short distance before the crest he hopped out of the saddle and attacked. The shock to the rest of the group was visible! Their heads all went down in despair at the same time and no one had any response at all. It was great. I cant recall anything else about the stage but that scene is burned in my memory.
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Old 07-20-06, 07:30 PM   #5
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I have to admit that I'm pretty new to this stuff. Back in the days of Hinault, Indurain, Lemond, I was nearly oblivious to pro cycling. I followed Armstrong's victories, sort of, but I was nowhere near hooked on the sport. What did it for me was when I took up cycling myself about ten months ago. Learning a tiny bit about cycling by actually doing it, I began to develop an immense respect for what pro cyclists go through, and what they can do. By April of this year I was following all of the spring classics. Was glued to my computer (and TV when and where I could get it) during the Giro. And was outraged by the revelations of Operation Puerto.

And then there's today. My God. What Floyd accomplished today beggars description. It will require some hindsight to see where it really stands in the history of the Tour, and in the history of sporting accomplishments as a whole. But if this one doesn't go down as one of the truly great cycling performances of the past fifty years, I will be very surprised.

I've already told my family that I want a DVD set of the '06 Tour for Christmas. If there's anything that'll provide inspiration to get through those long trainer workouts in January and February, watching what Floyd did today will be it.

Chapeau!
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Old 07-20-06, 07:31 PM   #6
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Neither a tour nor a Lance junkie. Though I have great admiration and respect for Ned Overend. After all, he's one of us! (and still kicks butt!)
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Old 07-20-06, 08:40 PM   #7
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Cyclingnews had the best comparison of Landis' epic ride in the context of Tour history:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclingnews.com
Without a shadow of a doubt, today will go down as one of the finest stages in modern Tour de France history. Today, a 28 year-old American by the name of Floyd Landis, written off by most after his collapse of yesterday, staged a comeback that defied logic. And in one fell swoop, he finds himself back in contention to win the 2006 Tour de France. His stage win was reminiscent of Charly Gaul's 100 km breakaway in the Alps in the 1958 Tour to put himself back into contention from a seemingly lost position, before Gaul went onto win the final time trial and the Tour de France.
Interesting that they should mention The Angel of the Mountains, Charly Gaul. He was a Luxembourger, and Frank Schleck, who won the stage to Alpe d'Huez, was quickly compared with his earlier compatriot. This Tour contains notable references to the classic Tours of history, and I'm sure today's stage to Morzine will be long-remembered. My friends, we have been witnesses to history. You'll be telling the story of the courage of Floyd Landis to your grandchildren, of how he was so far down in the standings that he decided he would either win or go down with all his guns blazing.

Anyway, I was so stoked after today's stage that I put on my climbing jersey and did a tempo ride up Mt Seymour, 45 minutes from where I live, and just north of Vancouver, BC. This is a 12-km climb of about 8 percent to a ski area at around 3000 feet. It took me an hour to complete the climb (at a typical trackie's autobus speed), and about 12 minutes for the descent.

- L.
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Old 07-20-06, 08:57 PM   #8
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Been aware and following the TdeF since the late (Gasp!) 1930s when I lived in Belgium.
Romain and Sylveer Maas were the local favorites then riding. Folks like Lucien Van Impe, Rik Van Steenbergen are probably lesser known than Coppi, Gaul and Merckx. Of course we heard it on radio and read it in the newspapers. TV? Not yet a reality!
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Old 07-20-06, 09:00 PM   #9
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Great, great ride by Floyd. My only (small) regret is that Paul and Phil didn't get much air time.
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Old 07-20-06, 09:12 PM   #10
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Really got into the Tour for the first time this year to coincide with my re-introduction into cycling.
What I saw today was just too thrilling to adequately describe.
Floyd was "Le Magnifique". WOW!
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Old 07-20-06, 09:53 PM   #11
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Can't wait to watch it later tonight..West Coast USA replay..
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Old 07-20-06, 10:00 PM   #12
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Lets see, what do you think?
I read the book "Lance Armstrong's War"
Googled: Ivan Basso and EPO, same for Jan Ulrich, latest on Floyd Landis, checked up how Cheryl Crow is doing, Investigation of the Spanish Police, latest on Lance on Google and German news. (just to get a usually hostile opinion)

Found time to do 50 miles at my best speed and keep looking for the perfect bike.
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Old 07-20-06, 10:14 PM   #13
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I've been following the tour but not really watching it. Somehow, this morning I actually turned on the TV just as Landis made his move and could not pull myself away. Guess I'll pay closer attention starting Friday.

I've been thinking of two other Greatest Moments in Sports.
As mentioned above--the last second time trial win by LeMond a few years back to win the tour, and the Olympic gold medal hockey win over the (then) USSR by the "no chance in hell" USA amateur team. I put Landis' comback right there with those.

Last edited by Louis; 07-21-06 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 07-21-06, 12:45 AM   #14
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Being British- I don't follow any particular rider but the TDF is watched avidly. Only get the chance to follow the highlights in the week, but Keep following on the internet throughout the day- when work allows. Yesterday I couldn't till about 3pm so did not follow for the rest of the day when I realised that Flandis was doing such a super-human ride.- so I could view at night. Friends came round and they had to suffer a sport on TV they could not understand. I had to suffer all their stupid questions and suddenly realised that I am into TDF more than any other evnt and any other spirt.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:03 AM   #15
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Way to go Floyd Landis!
The replay this evening was awesome!
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Old 07-21-06, 05:32 AM   #16
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I followed the TdF in print for many years, but it never conveyed what it really takes to ride the 21 stages and the 2000+ miles. Watched my first TdF on OLN last year and I was hooked. But this year's TdF makes last year's look boring. Wow! Landis was simply amazing yesterday, just as Oscar was last week when he rode nearly 30 minutes ahead of Landis. All of the riders, and especially the special jersey wearers, make nearly every other athlete on the face of the earth look rather small, especially during the TdF.
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Old 07-21-06, 07:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
Cyclingnews had the best comparison of Landis' epic ride in the context of Tour history:

...You'll be telling the story of the courage of Floyd Landis to your grandchildren, of how he was so far down in the standings that he decided he would either win or go down with all his guns blazing.

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Old 07-21-06, 07:13 AM   #18
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I said in another thread that for me the TDF on TV was "like watching paint dry". Well, the Landis Miracle disabused me of that!

Never having been interested in bike racing before, I still am mostly clueless about what's going on in a race. Must find a "Tour de France for Dummies" sort of intro somewhere...tried Googling already for an on-line primer to no avail.

In a perverse way, the elimination of the "favorites" in the drug scandal might have been a blessing in disguise for this Tour. Would the expected Basso/Ullrich showdown have been this compelling?
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Old 07-21-06, 07:16 AM   #19
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I have been following the TdF since the early 80s when you could only see clips on Wide World of Sports. Lemond was fantastic and he is reason why we started getting real coverage in the States. I watch/listen to each stage on eurosport.com and record the morning broadcast to watch each night, sans comercials. Of course I also watch all of the OLN bike racing during the year along with Yachting (I've been a fan of Americas Cup for many years) and the Triathalon coverage.
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Old 07-21-06, 07:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcoppola
Would the expected Basso/Ullrich showdown have been this compelling?
No.

There was a critical juncture and teams had to decide whether to chase Floyd down and no longer put the pressure on Pereiro and his team or to continue putting the pressure on Pereiro and his ~2 minute advantage on the last mountain stage. They made the percentage play and it didn't work. You need multiple contenders for something like this to happen. If there are only two riders in contention then the tactics become very simple and the race becomes fleeting moments of excitement seperated by hours of boredom. Not so this year!
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Old 07-21-06, 02:31 PM   #21
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I was very vaguely aware of the Tour de France during the 70s and 80s, seeing an occasional brief mention on Wide World of Sports here and there. I remember hearing about Lemond, but I wasn't really interested at that time. After my divorce in '89 I started riding bikes in '90 and started paying attention to bike racing. I watched all the Indurain tours and have seen every stage of every race since then. I remember the hassle of trying to find whether the daily coverage would be on ESPN or ESPN2 and guessing how long before and after the scheduled time to set the VCR in case a game ran short or long, all to get a 30 minute summary of the day's stage.

Watching Lance develop into a contender during the 90s was more fun than watching the Postal/Discovery machine plan and execute victories. The past week has been about as exciting as any tour I can remember. I can't think of any stage I've seen that compares to what Floyd did Thursday. Amazing!
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Old 07-21-06, 03:52 PM   #22
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I've been following it on the official website, and watching the later parts of stages on the weekend. I enjoy the excitement of the moment as I'm watching but don't mind who wins. I followed it for a while in the 90's then lost interest after the Festina scandal and started again about two years ago
I am definitely not a Lance junkie. Feel bad for Ulrich but not too bad.
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Old 07-21-06, 07:14 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcoppola
Must find a "Tour de France for Dummies" sort of intro somewhere...
Available from amazon.com, believe it or not:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076...215806?ie=UTF8

It is truly remarkable what you can find on the web. One day after Stage 17, you can purchase Floyd Landis thong underwear:
http://www.cafepress.com/car_roof_racks/1652029

May not be a big seller in Mennonite country.
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Old 07-21-06, 09:08 PM   #24
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In the past I checked the sports page to see who was ahead. Not having cable TV, this year I read the race on Cyclingnews.com and watch the videos on velonews.com

I read some of the books about Lance Armstrong and in it there was info on Lance training with Floyd Landis. I started rooting for Floyd because of that. After the 17th stage I'll always be a Floyd fan.
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Old 07-21-06, 10:24 PM   #25
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After the 17th stage I'll always be a Floyd fan.
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