(tour de france)

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by SethArb, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. tomm is bastille day

    LETS GO USA ! ( commentary below is from www.letour.fr)

    Lance knew he had the Yellow Jersey today at the finish. This was his priority. He also knows who his enemies are in this race. Mayo is not the best time trialist, so to limit him to only a couple of minutes, is not considered dangerous. At the same time, Vinikourov is a good time trialist so Lance did not let him freely go up the road.

    During the race, the team not only thinks about what is happing on that one day of the race. They plan out what will happen down the road. It's a big game of chess and Lance knows how to checkmate in Paris.

    Yesterday at the finish, during the race, a guy fell out of a balcony and hit the ground right next to the course. The first group had finished and everyone was waiting for the rest of the peloton to finish. They had to tear apart the barriers, keeping the spectators off the road, and get an ambulance in to rescue the guy.

    When they busted open the barriers, it opened up the floodgates for all the spectators and they came rushing out onto the course just past the finish. There was even one guy who had his dog with him on the road.

    Alpe d' Huez, the ski resort, only opens for the two days that the Tour de France arrives. Normally, during the summer, it is closed. They open up a few of the hotels, for all the teams and media, and provide very basic accommodations and very basic meals.

    All of the teams stay at the top of Alp d' Huez tonight. This means sleeping at altitude, something many cyclists don't even realize or think about. The fact is that sleeping at altitude after an extreme effort makes it more difficult to recover. Your heart never rests, as it is already beating fast to help you recover, and now at altitude it is put under more stress because of the lack of oxygen. The top of the climb is just under 2,000 meters, which is about 6,000 feet.

    Tomorrow's stage caps off the Alp's in the Tour de France. The 184-km stage from Bourg d'Oisans (bottom of Alp d' Huez) to Gap will not be an easy either. The riders start off on a leg breaker, especially after today's hard effort. Right out of the blocks, the riders have to climb the Col du Lautaret, on paper a 38-kilometer climb that never seems to end.

    The Postal Service will be defending the Yellow Jersey.

    As Lance said, "It's nothing new to us riding on the front and defending the jersey." They do have a lot of practice under their belt. Even with that experience tomorrow will be a very hard test for the Postal guys.