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Old 07-25-04, 02:49 PM   #1
JohnnyTheFox
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How to enter the TdF

Simple question, just curious how easy/hard it is to get into the Tour de France. Looks like fun, even to just ride along in the back
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Old 07-25-04, 03:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JohnnyTheFox
Simple question, just curious how easy/hard it is to get into the Tour de France. Looks like fun, even to just ride along in the back

First you gotta get on a team thats invited...


I'd say its pretty damn hard... like the top 180 riders in the world hard..
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Old 07-25-04, 03:37 PM   #3
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1) Train your butt off
2) Win many local/regional/national races
3) Train your butt off
4) Hope a Pro Team spots you
5) Train your butt off
6) Hope a Pro Team selects you
7) Train your butt off
8) Hope the pro Team is invited to the Tour
9) Train your butt off
10) Hope the Por Team selects you as one of the 9 riders to go to the Tour


You have to be the best of the best to even be considered. Lots of work and effort goes into each rider who gets selected.

BTW, did I mention you have to train your butt off?
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Old 07-25-04, 03:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trek Rider
1) Train your butt off
2) Win many local/regional/national races
3) Train your butt off
4) Hope a Pro Team spots you
5) Train your butt off
6) Hope a Pro Team selects you
7) Train your butt off
8) Hope the pro Team is invited to the Tour
9) Train your butt off
10) Hope the Por Team selects you as one of the 9 riders to go to the Tour


You have to be the best of the best to even be considered. Lots of work and effort goes into each rider who gets selected.

BTW, did I mention you have to train your butt off?

HMmmmmmmmmmm not for someone looking for a Career in something else other than cycling then....
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Old 07-25-04, 03:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JohnnyTheFox
HMmmmmmmmmmm not for someone looking for a Career in something else other than cycling then....
Not until your Pro racing days are over. Pro racing is essentially a 24/7 commitment. It's not something that you do weekends or when you feel like it. Pro racing is a business and like any other business, laces demands on the people involved in that business.
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Old 07-25-04, 04:27 PM   #6
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HMmmmmmmmmmm not for someone looking for a Career in something else other than cycling then....

No.......
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Old 07-25-04, 04:38 PM   #7
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It certainly isn't a recreational event. It is one of the most difficult sporting events in the world. You have no idea what kind of speed these DIV I guys are capable of. You would get eliminated from the race in the Prologue!
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Old 07-25-04, 05:02 PM   #8
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It certainly isn't a recreational event. It is one of the most difficult sporting events in the world. You have no idea what kind of speed these DIV I guys are capable of. You would get eliminated from the race in the Prologue!
lol....I'd fail the pre-race medical!!
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Old 07-25-04, 05:07 PM   #9
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And like I said in another thread, if you managed to podium on a stage featuring an hors catagorie climb, they'd have to wheel you up to the podium on a gurney and dump your remains. Of course, they'd have to dump my remains whether I made it to the top or not.
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Old 07-25-04, 05:10 PM   #10
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Hey, I just called my travel agent, and gave dates and a deposit...

Wait, you mean the bike race?
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Old 07-25-04, 08:19 PM   #11
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Don't forget your visit to Dr. Ferrari...
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Old 07-25-04, 09:09 PM   #12
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doesn't trektravel.com offer a tour de france package during that time period for like $7500? i don't know what it entails
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Old 07-25-04, 09:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JohnnyTheFox
Simple question, just curious how easy/hard it is to get into the Tour de France. Looks like fun, even to just ride along in the back

Well, if you shave your legs, throw some socks in your shirt, and put on a nice short skirt, pout petulently at the right men (like Leblanc), perhaps you could be a podium girl?



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Old 07-25-04, 09:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Koffee Brown
Well, if you shave your legs, throw some socks in your shirt, and put on a nice short skirt, pout petulently at the right men (like Leblanc), perhaps you could be a podium girl?



Koffee

Mmmmm......kissing sweaty bike racers.
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Old 07-25-04, 10:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by JohnnyTheFox
Simple question, just curious how easy/hard it is to get into the Tour de France. Looks like fun, even to just ride along in the back

I wonder how hard it would be to silently migrate into the peloton when they are riding slowly. Like on a mountain stage, in the autobus. It would be cool to hop on the group and have a chat.
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Old 07-25-04, 10:41 PM   #16
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I wonder how hard it would be to silently migrate into the peloton when they are riding slowly. Like on a mountain stage, in the autobus. It would be cool to hop on the group and have a chat.

Like those guys filiming their ultra-low budget film in 2000 (?) who jumped the barricade and rode along with Pantani for about 3 seconds before the gendarmes tackled 'em.
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Old 07-26-04, 12:43 AM   #17
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I have a friend of mine who jumped on his bike and rode in part of the Tour De Georgia, he was riding along with 2 Jittery Joes guys who had been dropped on a climb and were just trying to get to the finish. He rode up the hill with them for a few miles, and took pictures, of them, tried to make small talk, and basically wore out his welcome pretty fast. They were tired from the previous days double stage. It was funny though.

Then at the start in Athens, I snuck behind the barriers with a big 500mm lens, and was standing next to a TV crew to try and blend in. My teamates pointing and laughing didnt help. I didn't get tossed, but i was questioned a few times. Another buddy of mine who had raced in the USCF events that morning had rolled in there after me and was hanging around the back of the group, with his number still on, right before they rolled off. He was going to roll off with them, and I was going to get a few snaps of him.

We were counting on the fact that the volunteers were mostly college kids, and had no idea who was a pro and who wasn't. about 10 seconds before the gun, an official comes over and says "I hope youre not planning on rolling of with the race" damn, foiled!

See, now that Lance and cycling are getting bigger here in the U.S, its a bit harder to gain access. Next year I'm going to make fake press passes that are so good, the real press is going to be questioned by security, because their passes will look cheap and fake.

The Olympics in 1996 was real loose. The Volunteers had no idea who was who. I remember walking on the course towards the start finish, really early in the morning. We were told to get off, and get on the other side of the fence. Riders were warming up, Chris Boardman, Indurain, Max Sciandri, Brunyeel, Jalabert, Zulle etc...

Then I see a couple of local riders, and a guy in his 50's The Volunteers are clapping and waving at them too. These guys are out on the course, while the pros are warming up!!!

MAN I WISHED I HAD BROUGHT MY BIKE!!

This was before the LA phenom, and of course 9/11. We got 17 laps to see these guys, all the big names we grew up watching on TV and most never before seen in the USA. My friend Ozzy got a picture of Indurain signing a cap for his son. Cool stuff! and so so so easy to get up close and personal.

For those of you who didn't follow cycling, Lance had broken away solo with a few too many laps to go, as was usual for him back then, he lacked patience. We cheered him up the hill like mad. My Buddy Herm is like 6'6" and built like a brick shet house. Herm was running up the hill next to him saying "feel the rage lance, feel the rage!" With the contacts I've made in this sport, I'm pretty sure I'll get to meet Lance one day, and I will ask him if he remembers this crazy caveman friend of mine. He was caught and dropped by Max Sciandri, Pascal Simon, and Rolf Sorenson. Frankie Andreau tried to bridge to the leading group of three, but didn't make it and ended up 4th. The next day Indurain won the time trial, and I got to meet Eddy Merckx. I have some photos I can post, but I will have to scan them in, as they are not digital.

Lance was diagnosed just a few months later, and It is truely amazing that he was ranked number 6 in the world, off the front, trying to win the gold medal, with those tumors in his lungs.

Last edited by Smoothie104; 07-26-04 at 03:18 AM.
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Old 07-26-04, 09:19 AM   #18
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Smoothie, great story! I laughed a few times this morning. Thanks for that.

Much as I can respect Lance, I hope he doesn't ride the Giro. I've had good access to the riders every time I've gone there- the security is very good, but I've always managed to get past it somehow or another (blending in as a photographer for this year's race). With Lance coming, I can see the security going waaaaaay up, and access to the riders going waaaaaaaaaaay down. This last time, my favorite stage (17), I walked around amongst the riders as they arrived to sign up with their teams. Sometimes, I took full pictures of the team, and sometimes, I just walked up to the riders and asked for some pictures. All the riders were very obliging. I was even walking up to Gilberto Simoni, and the good guy he was, he saw me coming at him with a camera and poked the rider next to him in the ribs and both of them stood up and posed for me as I approached. It was good shizzle. Next year, I am actually supposed to get a pass for the final stage of the Giro- I worked it out with a friend of mine who works for one of the teams, since that was the one time I absolutely couldn't crack the security!

The one time I wished I could ride with the professionals. They sure did look awesome riding around on their bikes in the warm up section.

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Old 07-26-04, 01:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trek Rider
1) Train your butt off
2) Win many local/regional/national races
3) Train your butt off
4) Hope a Pro Team spots you
5) Train your butt off
6) Hope a Pro Team selects you
7) Train your butt off
8) Hope the pro Team is invited to the Tour
9) Train your butt off
10) Hope the Por Team selects you as one of the 9 riders to go to the Tour


You have to be the best of the best to even be considered. Lots of work and effort goes into each rider who gets selected.

BTW, did I mention you have to train your butt off?
Something else you did not mention, training your butt off is not enough. To compete at that level, you have to have piles of natural talent and train your butt off.

Sports really do not make a good career path. No one cares if a plumber is the world's fastest at clearing a clog or an attorney can file a motion under the clock. In most areas, being competent is fine. In sports you have to be more then competent, you have to be better then everyone else. Out of all the people who cycle in the USA, how many make a living at it?
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Old 07-26-04, 01:22 PM   #20
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Something else you did not mention, training your butt off is not enough. To compete at that level, you have to have piles of natural talent and train your butt off.
Which explains number 2) Win many local/regional/national races.

If you don't have the natural ability, you won't win many races and training your butt off isn't enough to make up for it.
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Old 07-26-04, 04:28 PM   #21
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I think most professional cyclists in north america live on average in their parents houses, or in their cars... there isnt all that much money for them as there is in europe, maybe things will change, but it's sad when some proffessional athleets oh say some footbal players, who have difficulty running 100 yards, make much more than entire cycling team's budgets, and they do not put in the hard work that most cyclist do.
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Old 07-26-04, 04:34 PM   #22
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I think most professional cyclists in north america live on average in their parents houses, or in their cars... there isnt all that much money for them as there is in europe, maybe things will change, but it's sad when some proffessional athleets oh say some footbal players, who have difficulty running 100 yards, make much more than entire cycling team's budgets, and they do not put in the hard work that most cyclist do.

Same in Australia.....it's hand to mouth unless you are in the national elite team (even then you're certainly not flicking through the latest Porsche catalogue) or you make it in Europe.

The most amazing comparison I find is Armstrong wins 400 000 euros for the overall in the Tour de France, a golfer no-one's heard of on the US tour can make twice that in a weekend whacking a ball and following it.

It's all about what the punters will watch.
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Old 07-26-04, 04:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Smoothie104
I have a friend of mine who jumped on his bike ... (snip)
If you ever get near Chicago, I'm going to buy you a burger and a few beers and listen to a few more of these stories! Very very cool stuff.
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Old 09-01-04, 11:14 PM   #24
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"Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike"

The Campunisimo Fausto Copi answered with this quote when a reporter asked him "what does it take to be such a great champion?"
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Old 10-31-04, 12:52 PM   #25
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If you ever get near Chicago, I'm going to buy you a burger and a few beers and listen to a few more of these stories! Very very cool stuff.
ditto for philly, awesome stories
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