Official Communication - Stage 7
Weather on Sunday: Beautiful weather during the entire stage. Wind from northern directions with 20km/h. temperatures between 18 and 23 degrees.
Rous (Fra): Break of the left collarbone
Freire (Esp): Back pains
Moreau (Fra): Heavily bruised coccyx
Moreni (Ita): Swollen left wrist and left hand, to be X-rayed.
Vierhouten (PBS): Stomach problems
Joachim (lux): Pain in the left knee
Vaughters (USA): Graze of the elbow and left wrist
Decisions of the racing commissioners:
Lance Armstrong: Armstrong got tangled up with team mate Roberto Heras in the accident three kilometres from the end and although he was quickly back on his bike he finished 27 seconds behind stage winner Bradley McGee of Australia.
As a result he slipped from third to eighth in the overall standings and is now 34 seconds behind race leader Igor Gonzalez Galdeano of Spain.
"Somebody touched wheels with my team mate Roberto Heras and he rode into my back wheel," Armstrong said before riding off to his hotel.
"I didn't crash but I put my foot down and had to straighten my handlebars. I'm not upset about it. It just means I'll have to ride a bit faster in the individual time trial on Monday," he added.(Reuters)
Brad McGee has a fantastic future in front of him, I would not be surprised if he wins a stage of the Tour de France and perhaps even gets overall." So said FdJ Directeur Sportif Marc Madiot in March 1998, after he had signed the young Australian. The first part of its prophecy fulfilled itself today and Madiot is naturally delighted.
Bradley McGee, was involved in the fall four kilometres from the finish, but still had time to react and gain his first victory in the Tour. It was the culmination of a "prepared plan made with the director in the morning".
"We prepared the plan of attack in the morning with Marc Madiot and I was all day thinking of the last kilometer. Soon things were complicated by the fall because I had to put foot to the floor and lost time, but Christophe Mengin helped me return to the peloton and we managed to contact Baden Cooke, who gave me a perfect lead out for the victory," explained the winner.
14.07 - Stage 8: St-Martin-de-Landelles - Plouay 217 km
And so into the heartland of cycling France. The start and finish towns today are both small - but in terms of cycling they are almost religious centres. St-Martin-de-Landelles (1,250 population) organises its own cycling race called the Polynormande which has been won in the past by Jalabert, Virenque, Hinault, Fignon and Van Impe. It is also the home of the voice of French cycling, Daniel Mangeas, who uses his influence to ensure the local race is well attended. Daniel Mangeas can be seen here - involved in some typical good natured tomfoolery before the start of a stage.
The riders leave Le Jardin en St Martin and face the second longest stage of the tour at 217 kilometres. Three category 4 climbs and typical rolling countryside face the riders, most of whom will know the finish very well, it is over the 2000 Plouay World Road Championships circuit (which was won by Romans Vainstens). Plouay is small (5,000) but each year in late August or early September hosts Le Grand-prix Ouest-France à Plouay which attracts huge crowds (200,000 at last years event which was won by Nico Mattan).
Typically Plouay’s main tourist attraction is a veloparc. A genuine place of culture and play, the Véloparc invites you to discover the history of the fabulous “petite reine.” A sporting practice for aristocrats in the XIXth century, it is also a symbol for the rediscovered quality of life. From the bicycles of your childhood to the history of the Tour de France, the Véloparc offers you the possibility to "saddle up" in the park, in the vélocyclettes garden (funny bikes) or on the mountain bike trail located at the entrance to the museum.
The crowds will be huge - and the French riders in particular will be very motivated. With the leaders minds on tomorrow’s time trial a small break could well steal the day.
Daily Peloton’s Stage Prediction
Laurent Brochard has been showing some useful form - he may well lead a charge in the last 20 kilometres that sweeps up what is left of any escapees and power on to stage glory.
“Commissaire” - one of many officials whose job is to detect and punish riders’ misdemeanours (such as holding on to the team car for a free ride, taking short cuts, etc., etc.)
Born: 14 Nov 1954, Yffignac, Cotes du Nord, Brittany, France
Nickname: The Badger, Le Blaireau
Retired: 14 Nov 1986
Teams: Gitane, Gitane-Campagnolo, Renault-Gitane, Renault-Elf-Gitane, La Vie Claire
Hinault currently works for the Tour de France as the man in charge of services sportifs. In addition to his official duties (which seem to be directing podium affairs - a job he is uniquely qualified to do), he is often seen in the press room - he has developed a knack of issuing the odd outrageous comment that keeps him in the news but never to over step the mark.
Since he retired he claims never to have ridden a bike.
5 times Tour winner and true Giant of the road - interesting to see what the Badger achieved in just one year so let's look at 1979.
1979: 1st Tour de France + 7 stages + Points, 1st Giro di Lombardia, 1st Fleche Wallonne, 1st Grand Prix des Nations, 1st Dauphine Libere + 4 stages, 1st Tour de l'Oise, 1st Circuit de l'Indre, 1st Circuit de l'Aulne, 2nd French Road Race Championship, 2nd Liege-Bastogne-Liege, 2nd Tour of Luxembourg + 1 stage + Points + Mountains, 2nd Criterium National, 3rd Tour du Tarn, 3rd Across Lausanne, 6th Etoile des Espoirs, 6th Paris-Nice, 6th Paris-Tours, 7th Milano-San Remo, 8th Ghent-Wevelgem, 8th GP Wallonnie, 10th Polymultipliee, 10th Grand Prix de Grasse, 21st World Road Race Championship, 1st Prestige Pernod, 1st Super Prestige Pernod, 1st in 13 criteriums.