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  1. #26
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by parkersdad View Post
    No it is not France but it is still beautiful.
    I too have been to Colorado, and I concur. But there is much more to the TdF than scenery. France has plenty of that, and not just in the Alps and Pyrenees. But it also has history, expressed in mediaeval villages, and monasteries on mountain-tops, and boulangeries, and Cezanne colourschemes, and... .

    The Tour is part of the fabric of the place, it is among the things that make France, France. No North American bike race, however challenging the terrain or beauty of the landscape, could possibly come close. It's the ​terroir.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  2. #27
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    How are they putting those images on the Arc de Triomphe? Some kind of projection system?
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta
    90's-ish KHS Alite 1000 MTB, *hybridized*

  3. #28
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    The Tour consistently drew a better field than the Giro, in the post Merckx era...... and significantly better than the Vuelta.

    The worldwide fanfare began with Lemond bringing 300 million Americans a champion to root for. This was accelerated by the other guy, from Texas. His name escapes me..........

  4. #29
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    I've been to Colorado; sir, it is not France.
    Yeah, its tougher. The high point of the TDF is typically the Galibier at 9,000 feet. Highpoint of the US Pro Cycling Challenge last year was Independence Pass at over 12,000 feet. And there are paved roads in Colorado that go to 14,000 feet.

    While there are steeper climbs in France, there are longer and higher climbs in Colorado.

    Natural scenery wise, I'd give a close edge to France. Food, culture, history, architecture, France wins hands down.

    But in terms of topography for a bike race, Colorado clearly has the topography for a world class event.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  5. #30
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Yeah, its tougher. The high point of the TDF is typically the Galibier at 9,000 feet. Highpoint of the US Pro Cycling Challenge last year was Independence Pass at over 12,000 feet. And there are paved roads in Colorado that go to 14,000 feet.

    While there are steeper climbs in France, there are longer and higher climbs in Colorado.

    Natural scenery wise, I'd give a close edge to France. Food, culture, history, architecture, France wins hands down.

    But in terms of topography for a bike race, Colorado clearly has the topography for a world class event.
    I was watching Greg Lemond's commentary on part of the '84 TDF and he credits the TDF steep climbs for being a little tougher and making the race friendlier for all rounders than was the now defunct Coors Classic. There has been a Colombian winner of the '82 Classic but many of the courses were circuit races and crits (which suits me just fine). The roads in Colorado are made for cars in the winter more so than in France.

    And, like I said, if you combine the Tour of Utah, the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado and the Tour of Alberta Canada you'd have a Grand Tour right there. I don't think you could ever draw the crowds in North America like you do in Europe without crits and circuit races myself. They used to draw close to 100,000 spectators for the Coors Classics and most of them certainly weren't watching the road races like they do in Europe.

    If they ever try and do it like they do in Europe it just won't work.
    Last edited by Zinger; 07-21-13 at 03:22 PM.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  6. #31
    VNA
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    Aside from the doping scandals that "plagued" all cycling competition internationally, the Giro had troubles with reroutings to favor their natives in some years and Spain had similar problems with shady deals of one kind or another.

    The tour de France opened itself big time to the international cycling scene early on.

    Somewhat suggestive but somewhat true: France has a very varied geography, very beautiful and of course it is the most visited country by tourists!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Tourism_rankings

    And I am very surprised and pleased to hear the official announcer using french and english for a country that pride and so protective of its language--it is the least english speaking european country. Just very recently allowed to conduct university classes in english only--to learn english and its literature!

  7. #32
    Ceiclwr Hapus Gerryattrick's Avatar
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    Many other countries including the US have the geography coupled with beautiful scenery to put on a Tour as technically good as the TDF.

    But they don't have the history and national fervour to make it such a success.

    As a Welshman who has visited the western States many times I also concur that Colorado has fantastic terrain for cycling. There can't be too many greater mile-for-mile challenges than the races around Leadville. I was out of breath just climbing three flights of stairs there.
    Last edited by Gerryattrick; 07-22-13 at 09:35 AM.

  8. #33
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post
    The Tour consistently drew a better field than the Giro, in the post Merckx era...... and significantly better than the Vuelta.

    The worldwide fanfare began with Lemond bringing 300 million Americans a champion to root for. This was accelerated by the other guy, from Texas. His name escapes me..........
    The Tour was always the biggest.

    BUT pre Hinault all the Grand Tours were first a national event and second a European event (though the TDF was the most international). Hinault changed that twice. First bringing over the Americans (admittedly for his own benefit) and then after retiring as a racer being a large part of the TDF becoming truly international.

    The Vuelta still is apt the produce a Spanish champion any given year. The Giro is the big race for Italians and still is more apt to produce an Italian champion than one from any other country.

    The Tour is the big event, but with a price. When was the last French GC champion? When was there last more than one Frenchman on the podium (counting the first 3 places and the KOB and Points Jerseys)?

    To compete with the Tour any other event has to become the Tour. The risk is high as you have to lose the national flavor and you may not succeed in becoming a true international event in the same way as the TDF.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    The Tour is the big event, but with a price. When was the last French GC champion? When was there last more than one Frenchman on the podium (counting the first 3 places and the KOB and Points Jerseys)?
    Hinault was the last champion (85). Virenque seems to be the last Frenchman to finish in the top 3 ('96 and '97). There've been a few French KOM winners (Rolland last year, for example, who was also best young rider). Jalabert won the green twice (92 and 95).

    The thing is, though, Virenque and Jalabert are the only Frenchmen since Fignon to really challenge for the top spot in any of the grand tours. It's not that the Tour is too international, it's also that French riders aren't as good. There have been Italian and Spanish winners not only of the Vuelta and Giro, but also of the Tour since the last French Tour winner.

  10. #35
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post
    The Tour consistently drew a better field than the Giro, in the post Merckx era...... and significantly better than the Vuelta.

    The worldwide fanfare began with Lemond bringing 300 million Americans a champion to root for. This was accelerated by the other guy, from Texas. His name escapes me..........
    Oh I think it was starting to go much more worldwide with competitors just before Lemond was in it although he was certainly responsible for bringing it to the attention of some of the then-200,000 Americans. Australian Phil Anderson and American Jonathan Boyer were in it by then and Anglos were set to invade the TDF irregardless of what Lemond did. It was a big race then and going more global.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
    Oh I think it was starting to go much more worldwide with competitors just before Lemond was in it although he was certainly responsible for bringing it to the attention of some of the then-200,000 Americans. Australian Phil Anderson and American Jonathan Boyer were in it by then and Anglos were set to invade the TDF irregardless of what Lemond did. It was a big race then and going more global.

    Nobody in Ireland noticed when Stephen Roche won the Giro.

    2 months later, when he won the Tour, every kid in the country (including me) wanted a racing bike.

    It's the biggest because everyone wants to win it, and everyone wants to win it because it's the biggest. The 2 feed off each other.

  12. #37
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
    Nobody in Ireland noticed when Stephen Roche won the Giro.

    2 months later, when he won the Tour, every kid in the country (including me) wanted a racing bike.

    It's the biggest because everyone wants to win it, and everyone wants to win it because it's the biggest. The 2 feed off each other.
    Well Lemond's success was hugely inspirational but cycling in the states was beginning to take off even before then. I actually watched Lemond go by in the Manitou Springs to Hoosier Pass road race stage of the '79 Red Zinger Classic but I didn't notice him nor do I remember seeing him. He was only 17 years old at that time (and finished 4th in the GC) I didn't have a clue who he was until he won the race (by then the Coors Classic) in '81. I was watching for Mark Pringle and George Mount among others.

    But then I wasn't even paying attention to European racing until Americans were showing up in numbers in the TDF and neither were Americans for the most part. The TDF put Lemond in the spotlight alright.
    Last edited by Zinger; 07-23-13 at 06:14 PM.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  13. #38
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    Lemond himself said he planned his season around the Tour (he was the first to really do that 100%, iirc) because it was the race Americans had heard of. Lemond helped the profile of cycling and the Tour in the US, but Lemond wouldn't have had the profile he did in the US without the Tour.

  14. #39
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
    Lemond himself said he planned his season around the Tour (he was the first to really do that 100%, iirc) because it was the race Americans had heard of. Lemond helped the profile of cycling and the Tour in the US, but Lemond wouldn't have had the profile he did in the US without the Tour.
    True that. His success in the TDF piqued the average American's interests and was no small part of promoting cycling in the US alright. He was only known to then-fans of the burgeoning US cycling scene as a phenom before that. Personally I was paying more attention to other riders who weren't yet turning pro in Europe until about '85 when Lemond brought American TV coverage to the TDF.

    It was when some of those guys turned pro for the 7-11 team and went to the TDF that I even started watching what happened in Europe.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
    True that. His success in the TDF piqued the average American's interests and was no small part of promoting cycling in the US alright. He was only known to then-fans of the burgeoning US cycling scene as a phenom before that. Personally I was paying more attention to other riders who weren't yet turning pro in Europe until about '85 when Lemond brought American TV coverage to the TDF.

    It was when some of those guys turned pro for the 7-11 team and went to the TDF that I even started watching what happened in Europe.
    That's totally understandable too; from what I've read, pre-Lemond it wasn't so much that American riders couldn't ride against European pros, it was that before Lemond, it just hadn't occured to many to try. Similar to how an Indy Car racer wouldn't see much point in trying out for Formula 1.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
    It's the biggest because everyone wants to win it, and everyone wants to win it because it's the biggest. The 2 feed off each other.
    Well said.

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