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  1. #1
    Man of constant sorrow Dudelsack's Avatar
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    So what's with the French cyclists?

    The last couple of years it looked like they were returning as a force in the TdF, but this year they have been pretty lackluster. In years gone by the excuse was that they were nondopers in a world of Anglophonic pharma junkies. What's theie excuse now?
    Possunt quia posse videntur. St. Dudel: Epic is stupid that you get away with.

  2. #2
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    The last couple of years it looked like they were returning as a force in the TdF, but this year they have been pretty lackluster. In years gone by the excuse was that they were nondopers in a world of Anglophonic pharma junkies. What's theie excuse now?
    They're nondopers in a world of Anglophonic pharma junkies.
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  3. #3
    Spit out the back tinrobot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    The last couple of years it looked like they were returning as a force in the TdF, but this year they have been pretty lackluster. In years gone by the excuse was that they were nondopers in a world of Anglophonic pharma junkies. What's theie excuse now?
    Malaise

  4. #4
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    There is a lot more Anglo and Anglo-Celt competition than there was 30 years ago. Remember that American pros (and not just Anglos) were almost non existent at the time when French-American Jonathan Boyer went by the name "Jacques" just to assimilate into the culture when he rode for Renault-Elf. And as far as Anglos go we still have a long way to go to catch up with the French in TDF winners. As far as Americans go we have further yet to catch up with them in TDF winners and war casualties contrary to what some of my countrymen believe, lol.....And that's still if you add Armstrong to the mix.

    Was anybody expecting any of the French teams to field a GC contender this year? If they were I wasn't aware of it. They probably let some of the the French teams in the race without the creds that other teams have to establish during the season. Ag2r-La Mondiale has Jean-Christophe Peraud, FDJ has Thibaut Pinot, Europcar has Pierre Rolland and Sojasun and Cofidis have nobody in the GC hunt......Now any of those guys disappoint anybody in the Fantasy Tour de France picks, lol?

    The race has just outgrown the French who still have won a stage more than the Americans have this year. It's a smaller world than when I first got into cycling and the TDF is a more global race. Personally I think Americans had more stage win prospects when team 7-11 was in the mix than they do right now: Jeff Pierce, Norwegian Dag-Otto Lauritzen and Australian Phil Anderson all won stages in the TDF for team 7-11 and Davis Phinney won two. If you include Motorola (same team, different sponsor) you also get a stage win by Hampsten and two still on the books by Armstrong.
    Last edited by Zinger; 07-20-13 at 01:41 PM.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

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    Riders like Hinault and Anquetil don't come along every day............ or every generation.

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    It's not even that they're missing a Hinault or Anquetil, it's that they don't even have a Fignon, Thevenet or Pingeon. Incidentally, those are the only 5 French winners of the Tour in the last 50 years.

    They haven't even had a grand tour contender lately. Fignon (89) was their last Giro winner and Jalabert (95) their last Vuelta. Since Jalabert and Virenque, no Frenchman has even taken the start of the Tour with even semi-realistic hopes of winning overall.

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    All the winners you mention had strong teams dedicated to their service (Greg Lemond, notwithstanding........). By the end of the 80s, guys like Fignon and Mottet were struggling for quality depth in their teams. Jalabert won the Vuelta in an era when Kelly also won.... not the toughest parcours:-) Virenque is only memorable because he is a great self-publicist..... and a cheat.

    I wonder if any potential Tour winners ended up playing football in France? They have had a golden age, in that sport, whilst suffering a drought in ours.
    Last edited by Flaneur; 07-27-13 at 12:30 PM. Reason: i type like a klutz

  8. #8
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    .
    Stage 18 TDF winner Christophe Riblon also won stage 2 of the tour of Poland and sits 3rd in the GC as of now.

    Wiggins was 15 minutes off that today.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  9. #9
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post
    Riders like Hinault and Anquetil don't come along every day............ or every generation.
    But Hinault had to ride against Figneon. Anquetil had Poulidor.

    Has there been any French rider recently that measures up the standard to 'The Eternal Second'?
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
    There is a lot more Anglo and Anglo-Celt competition than there was 30 years ago. Remember that American pros (and not just Anglos) were almost non existent at the time when French-American Jonathan Boyer went by the name "Jacques" just to assimilate into the culture when he rode for Renault-Elf...
    I could be wrong here, but didn't he go by the name Jock, a childhood nickname, prior to riding in Europe?

    The family lived in Moab, Utah, until 1961, when Josephine packed up her three children--eight-year-old Liza, six-year-old Winston, and the baby, five-year-old Jonathan, whom everyone called Jock (after a friend of Josephine's)--and took them to her parents, the Swifts, in Pebble Beach, California.
    http://www.bicycling.com/news/featur...boyer?page=0,1

    However, your point about the lack of Americans in the peloton is spot on. You can't win if you're not in.

  11. #11
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I could be wrong here, but didn't he go by the name Jock, a childhood nickname, prior to riding in Europe?


    http://www.bicycling.com/news/featur...boyer?page=0,1

    However, your point about the lack of Americans in the peloton is spot on. You can't win if you're not in.
    You're right. I'm trying to remember where I heard he took on the name when he turned pro. I know that in '79 and '80 he went by "Jacques/Jock" while racing in the Red Zinger Classic (Where I saw him) and in the 1980 Coors Classic (which he won the GC in). Then he started going by Jonathan by 1988. So I guess his nickname came in handy at a time when anglos were few in continental European cycling and Americans nonexistent.

    Edit:
    I just read the article after getting off work and want to thank you for posting it. That's the first time I'd heard his side of what happened a decade ago. I was rooting for some of his competition when he was racing stateside in his early career but I have new respect for this pioneer of American cycling now. I have high regard for those who sacrifice their time in altruistic endeavors.
    Last edited by Zinger; 08-14-13 at 03:08 AM.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

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