Coming Soon: The Race of Truth on Alpe d'Huez...
The riders come back Tuesday from their rest day to face the uphill Valreas
- Villard-de-Lans stage (180.5 km), but while they work their way across this
serious day of climbing, at the front of their minds will be Wednesday's
Stage 16, the uphill individual time trial on the Alpe d'Huez.
Stage 16: Bourg-d'Oisans - L'Alpe d'Huez
A different view of Wednesday's route,
Uphill time trials are not new to the Tour de France, though they are not
included every year and this is the first instance of an uphill time trial at Alpe
d'Huez. The last time the Tour de France had an uphill time trial was in 2001 -
the distance was just over double and per Armstrong himself last fall: "Chamrousse
is fairly easy compared to Alpe d'Huez, so it's going to be a critical day. It's
probably a day that will decide the Tour."
Here are the profile and results from
that stage, as well as a link to an account and photo gallery from the
2001 Uphill TT at Chamrousse from the original Daily Peloton site.
2001 Tour de France Stage 11
1 Armstrong Lance Usa Usp 1h 07' 27"
2 Ullrich Jan Ger Tel 01' 00"
3 Beloki Joseba Esp Onc 01' 35"
4 Laiseka Roberto Esp Eus 02' 03"
5 Sevilla Oscar Esp Kel 02' 24"
6 Gonzalez Galdeano Igor Esp Onc 02' 31"
7 Botero Santiago Col Kel 02' 43"
8 Moreau Christophe Fra Fes 03' 00"
9 Montgomery Sven Sui Fdj 03' 07"
10 Garzelli Stefano Ita Map 03' 08"
11 Rous Didier Fra Bjr 03' 46"
12 Vinokourov Alexandre Kaz Tel 03' 48"
13 Gutierrez José Enrique Esp Kel 03' 51"
14 Chaurreau Inigo Esp Eus 04' 01"
15 Cuesta Inigo Esp Cof 04' 03"
16 Cardenas Félix Col Kel 04' 10"
17 Sastre Carlos Esp Onc 04' 13"
18 Jalabert Laurent Fra Cst 04' 19"
19 Kloden Andréas Ger Tel 04' 28"
20 Belli Wladimir Ita Fas 04' 31"
Other instances of an uphill time trial in the Tour were in 1958, with a
Stage 18 time trial on Mt. Ventoux, won by Charly Gaul (he also won that year's
edition), in 1987 on Stage 18 (Carpentras - Mont Ventoux), won by Jean-Francois
Bernard (he was third overall in that edition), and 1988, when Pedro Delgado won
the 37 km Grenoble to Villard de Lans Stage 13 time trial (he donned the yellow
jersey that day and kept it to the end).
Of the 21 teams participating in this year's Tour de France, how many have
worn the yellow jersey?
Don't look until you're ready for the answer.
This year, only five teams have worn the Maillot Jaune, but here are the yellow jersey historical totals of the teams present at the Tour, courtesy of Infostrada Sports.
2 - Armstrong,
4 - Riis, Ullrich,
Brioches la Boulangere
1 - Voeckler
3 - O'Grady, Voigt,
2 - Desbiens, Millar
1 - Cipollini
1 - McGee
1 - Cancellara
1 - Wauters
1 - Virenque
Lotto - Domo
1 - McEwen
Team CSC News
In a rest day news conference today, Lance Armstrong's climbing "companion"
this past Friday and Saturday, Ivan Basso, had this to say:
"I feel good, I feel strong. Normally, Armstrong goes full-gas, but I stayed
with him. I didn't die. It's been a little bit of a surprise, but I knew I had
the power before the Tour. I knew my potential before the Tour. There's still
one week more of the Tour, so I want to stay calm, stay where I am."
The 26-year-old Italian won Friday's stage to La Mongie and finished second
to Armstrong at Plateau de Beille to electrify the Tour. Armstrong is pushing
for his record sixth Tour victory, but Basso said he'll attack if Armstrong
falters in three upcoming stages in the Alps.
"It's possible to win the Tour de France in one attack," Basso said. "Last
year at Luz Ardiden, Armstrong won the race in one attack. I don't know if
Armstrong will have a bad day. If he does, we will be ready. It's not worth it
to attack just to gain 10 to 20 seconds."
CSC team manager Bjarne Riis agreed with that sentiment. The 1996 Tour
champion said they will carefully watch the American and pounce if he shows
signs of weakness.
"We will attack Armstrong only if he shows weakness. We are waiting for that.
We will watch him carefully, if we see a weakness, we will attack," Riis said.
With many of the other pre-race favorites licking their wounds after two
punishing days in the Pyrénées, Basso is poised to secure a spot among the final
podium, an important goal for the Italian in just his third Tour.
"First, we will ride to protect Ivan. I believe he can finish on the podium.
If he can follow Armstrong in the next few stages, that will be very important,"
Riis said he was satisfied with how the opening two weeks of the 20-stage,
three-week Tour has unfolded. He said months of training, preparation and
planning are paying dividends.
"The Tour so far has been very interesting. We wanted to be aggressive in the
first week and we've rode well in the mountains. We attacked in the first week
to make the other teams work and to try to win a stage," Riis said. "That didn't
happen but we made an impression on everyone. They had to chase us; we didn't
have to chase them. This tactic worked."
There was bad news from Team CSC's sick ward. Danish attacker Jakob Piil,
who held the distinction of riding with the most kilometers in breakaways, won't
be starting Tuesday's stage. He hyper-extended his knee and could barely walk
following Sunday's stage.
American Bobby Julich is expected to be able to continue despite
injuring his right wrist in a fall in Saturday's epic climbing stage. Swelling
decreased in the wrist, but he likely won't be at 100 percent in the Alps.
More troubling is the status of Tour stage-winner Carlos Sastre. The
Spanish rider crashed in the first week and injured his back, hobbling him in
his favorite terrain in the mountains. Sastre was scheduled to visit a local
hospital Monday afternoon for X-rays.
"Carlos did a great job at La Mongie but it will be hard for him to finish in
the top 10," Riis said. "He has the qualities to finish in the top 5, but with
his back problems it will be hard for him to be at that level."
Tyler Hamilton filed this journal entry today on the Phonak
GIRONA: Well, I certainly didn’t expect to be filing a journal entry from
Spain during the Tour de France this year. With eight starts, I have never had
to abandon the Tour before. It has been a difficult couple of days for me but
everyone around me keeps telling me to stay focused on the future. I think
that’s good advice, so, as I always say, upward and onward.
I guess my Tour de France really ended in Stage 6 on July 9th when I went
down in the massive pile up one kilometer from the finish. I went over the
handlebars and landed on my back. We had been going about 65 kilometers per hour
at the time and when I got hit by another rider inside the domino effect, I went
down so fast there was no time to react. I never had the chance to try and
break my fall with an arm or an elbow. When I hit the tarmac with my lower
back, it was the full weight of my body multiplied by the speed. It was the
equivalent of dropping from the sky and landing on top of a telephone pole.
After the race, I called my wife and told her what had happened. I knew then
that I had not just injured my back, but that I had done some damage to it. I
know enough about pain to understand the difference between the superficial and
serious stuff. And I knew early on we were dealing with the second category.
But still trying to be optimistic, I tried to deny how bad things were at
first. When the chiropractor on our team couldn’t adjust my spine because it
was seized up, I thought – we’ll give it a day, and it will be okay. When
Kristopher, our physiotherapist, trained by my old pal Ole sighed a long sigh
after working tirelessly to "unblock" my muscles, I told myself to be
patient. Luckily stages 7 through 11 were relatively tame which gave me a few
more days to try and recover from the injuries before we got to the big
mountains. Similar to the strategy I used in the 2002 Giro, we didn’t want to
speak publicly about my back because we didn’t want the other teams to attack
us, especially during the trickier stages 10 and 11. My team did an incredible
job of protecting me and got me to the first mountain stage in the best possible
shape under the circumstances.
Tyler's back. Courtesy Phonak.
Preliminary X-rays have not revealed any fractures. But and MRI scan
scheduled for later today may show us what we suspect to be true. The doctors
think the impact has either badly pulled or torn the ligaments and muscles in my
lower back. This would explain why I couldn’t climb like normal.
I lot of people may think I had to abandon the Tour due to pain. Although
the injury is painful, this is not the case. It was really a lack of power.
Your legs can only function with the full strength of the muscles in your
stomach and lower back. With one side out of commission, I didn’t have the
power I needed to push the pedals. If you saw the coverage on television, there
was no suffering on my face, because I was physically unable to push myself to
It was disappointing to lose 3 and half minutes in stage 12 but under the
circumstances I don’t know how I didn’t lose more time. The next morning,
Alvaro Pino made the call in our team meeting. He had given the situation a lot
of thought during the night and knew what we were up against. If it was clear
at any point in stage 13 that I couldn’t climb with the leaders than I had to
stop. I almost couldn’t believe what I was hearing him saying. But Alvaro is a
logical man who cares an awful lot about his riders, and would never put them in
a situation that would compromise them or their future. He was firm with his
direction. Little did I know, he had spoken with Kristopher who had told him my
back was, well, to put it politely, "bad".
After the second Col, I knew I was cooked. The peloton was riding tempo and
I couldn’t push the pedals hard enough to stay in contact. With a heart rate
probably under 120, I was having trouble staying in contact with the peloton. I
was like a battery-powered toy on its last leg. I was going as fast as I could
with the power I had left in me, but it was barely half of my potential. So I
drifted back to Alvaro and without much of a word he gave me the signal to stop.
So on a flat section of the course I made my rounds through the bunch and
wished my teammates the best. Leaving these guys in the heat of the battle is
one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
There is no way to explain how much this team means to me, or what those
eight guys had done for me leading up to the Tour and at the race itself. I
know we arrived in Liege with the strongest team in the race. What we overcame
in the team time trial to finish second proved that. Without five mechanicals,
I think we would have been able to show the world just how ready we were to
fight a good fight. But sometimes things happen that are out of your control
that keep your goals beyond reach. I feel like I arrived at the Tour de France
last year and this year in the best shape possible and ready to take on the
challenges ahead. But fate is a lousy negotiator and sometimes you have to take
the hands you are dealt.
This is a crazy injury. One that I cannot control or overcome just by
willing myself to do so. I would take the pain of two broken collarbones over
this any day – and keep riding if I could. But something has come unplugged.
So it’s time to rest and start thinking about the races up the road. I’m
hoping to be well enough to still compete in Athens. And there’s always the
Vuelta to consider. But first things first, which for now is recovery. Coming
off of the emotional stress of losing Tugboat, the disappointment of abandoning
the Tour is in perspective. I know there will be another Tour de France next
year. And I’m already looking forward to it.
But this year’s race is not over, and team Phonak is going to be going hard
straight through to Paris. I spoke to Nicolas Jalabert last night after his
long day in the breakaway and his impressive second place and he said "Man, I
tried so hard to win for you today". This kind of loyalty and friendship means
the world to me. All things considered I’m a very lucky guy. My wife and I
will be heading to Paris this weekend to cheer the boys home. It’s a moment I’m
looking forward to.
I’ll be back with more thoughts about the Tour in the coming days. And I
will also share some of my stories about my final days and experiences with
Tugboat as well.
Thanks for your support and thanks for reading.
Illes Balears News
Francisco Mancebo, fifth in the general classification, had a few
things to say about the race.
"Armstrong is very good, the best, but I can't say that I admire him because
I see him as my rival. That's incredible and I don't believe that he has eroded
my morale. He has a great team that will carry him to the finish. The other day
going up a first category climb there were 25 riders and five were US Postal."
Mancebo says his morale is "better than in other Tours" and that his
objective is to fight for a podium position. The others he sees as rivals are,
in order, "are Kloden, Ullrich and Totschnig," without disregarding the current
French leader Thomas Voeckler, "because he is holding well."
Apart from wanting to stand on the podium in Paris, Mancebo is also aiming
for a mountain stage, and he says that the Villard de Lans "could be a good
occasion, because the finish has an ascent of more than 2 kilometers. I will try
to revisit the two stages that Pedro Delgado won there."
Mancebo says the Italian Iván Basso "is very strong and the seeks the same
thing - to ascend the podium and stage victories. Also, he has a very
strong team, with Carlos Sastre."
On the La Mongie stage, the Spaniard commented that he played his tricks,
"and in the Plateau of Beille I started up alone and nobody followed me, but I
didn't want to be a fool."
The Illes Balears team leader also reminded about Jan Ullrich: "He won't
fight for the victory but instead for the podium, because he has more than
enough room - two time trials - and he cannot be buried. He is a great rider and
he can show it."
Domina Vacanze News
The young sprinter Sergio Marinangeli abandoned the Tour France
Saturday morning. An
annoying pain to the right knee has forced him to give up.
“I am embittered”,
Marinangeli explains, “I wanted to arrive to Paris, I put a lot on that;
unfortunately an acute inflammation has stopped me."
However, the riders says, "I have participated to almost all the sprints and I have also
managed a 6th place. Now I will prepare for the end of season.” The sprinter
will take off at least a week before resuming training.
On the final rest day of the Tour, Michael Scarponi has preferred to
rest and to recover in view of the upcoming mountain stages on Tuesday and
Thursday, with Wednesday's time trial
on the Alpe of Huez. Only Massimo Giunti went out on the bike this morning for
one and a half hours.
“I have not gone badly up to now,” Scarponi said. “The Tour is difficult, there was room for experience. In the first
mountain stage, in the Pyrenees, I have
maintained and I ended with the first group; in the second, which was more
difficult, I tried to limit the damage; I only collapsed on
the last part of the slope.
I cannot ask more, it is my first Tour de France. I want to get a good position
in the Alps, however. After two weeks of run I am tired, it is true, but I
still have energies
to spend. In effect, Armstrong's team owns the race; it decides everything: from
the pace of the stage to the escapes that are allowed to go.”
Of the other protagonists, Scarponi says: “Ivan Basso is indeed
strong, he has convinced me,
I didn't think that he could hold the Armstrong's wheel. Also the Maillot Jaune Voeckler has
"And the last week
of the race, our principal objective will be to win a stage and the team is
determined to succeed."
Fassa Bortolo News
Cancellara's Thin Air
Fabian Cancellara (23) of Fassa Bortolo, a stage winner and yellow
jersey wearer in this Tour, wants to get further in thin air. He swears by
enhancement of a high altitude training facility - GO2Altitude.
Altitude changes the outside conditions, which is especially important to
athletes due to the effect of the oxygen partial pressure, which reduces with
altitude. The outside pressure under which our blood assimilates oxygen is to
low what makes it
harder for the body to take it in. everyone can notice this effect when skiing,
climbing in the mountains. Breathing and moving gets harder than under normal
The mobile unit GO2Altitude produces virtually identical high altitude air, the
cyclist Cancellara inhales oxygen-reduced air every day for 60min during his
in which he alternates with three min thin air and five min normal air (21%
athletes use the high altitude phenomenon for their training; this method
allows the athletes
to train "high altitude" under normal conditions. This training stimulates an increase
in the red
blood cell count, which helps athletes to assimilate and distribute the oxygen
faster in their
body. This type of training helps athletes to perform more intensely over a
longer period of
time under harder conditions and minimized muscle pain, due to reduced lactic
within the athlete’s muscles.
The Swiss anti-doping commission allows these machines for training and
declares them as
For more information on hypoxicators visit:
Liberty Seguros Shell Shock
The Liberty Seguros team changed its strategy after stage 13: "Given the
difference with which Liberty Seguros riders entered today, they’ve bid farewell
to the GC. From now on they’re going to battle to win a stage and take part in
the escapes," and today reflect on their rider Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano
being in the break on Stage 14 into Nimes on Sunday:
The lad from Alava was the first to attack with 9 kilometres to go for the
finishing line, after taking part in the escape of the day. Unfortunately, his
breakaway surge was unsuccessful, however the Spaniard Aitor González took
advantage of it and resulted winner of the stage.
They’d already announced they’d be battling for the stages after the team had
bid farewell to its GC aspirations. Today it looked as if the peloton wasn’t
going to allow the escape. However, after numerous attempts during the first two
hours of the race, Igor González de Galdeano, twice 5th in the Tour GC, managed
to sneak into the day’s escape.
Igor’s protagonism today will serve as a morale booster after the beating the
riders and team managers suffered Saturday. A shock, from which the team is
still recovering, and for which they have no explanation. “Nothing like this has
ever happened to us in the Tour. The closest to this; but under different
circumstances because we didn’t have the leader; was Zülle, who’d fallen and
broken his collarbone. Then Manolo relaxed the pressure on the riders,
encouraging them to think about the Vuelta a España. But the circumstances were
different, we didn’t have a rider disputing the title and on reaching our
territory, we suffered a beating like today’s. We can’t find an explanation for
it, so we’re trying to analyse the data to see what could’ve been the reason for
it.” This is what Pablo Antón, Liberty Seguros manager told us, regarding the
team’s performance on reaching the Pyrenees.
The Alps are definitely going to be different. Let’s hope the team will have
recovered their confidence by then so we can continue to watch this different
kind of Tour, started in today’s stage by Igor González de Galdeano.
RAGT-Semences MG Rover News
Serge Barle (General Manager) : "We’ve still got eight of our riders on the
Tour. It’s better than we had hoped for, although we could say that the team has
been too discreet. We should not forget that RAGT has enabled most of its riders
to continue a career at this level. The public is on our side. Let’s be
Jean-Luc Jonrond (Sports Director): "There’s no point denying that the Tour
is tough-going for RAGT Semences. I would emphasise the fine performance put on
by Frédéric Finot, in the stage in La Mongie. It’s not easy for our riders to
get involved in where the action is, given the high speed of the riding this
year. This is a Tour for the nervous rider. Our riders want to make it to the
finish in Paris. It’s almost a disadvantage insofar as some of the riders are
saving themselves so that they can satisfy this number one goal. Let’s hope that
this day will give them the chance to recover and reaffirm their drive."
Julien Jurdie (Assistant Sports Director): "As the youngest sports director,
and a novice to this event, I never cease to be amazed by the public’s
enthusiasm. Impressive organisation on the part of the ASO. The Tour is an event
apart, even from a sports point of view. A specific objective has to be set
every day, without putting the riders under pressure. You have to take each
individual’s personality into consideration. Things are still a little
complicated with us as we don’t have a leader. It think it is easier to lead a
team which performs better than ours does."
William Schroo (Director of Communication / France Pro): "The public’s
affection for RAGT Semences should encourage new partners to join our ranks. "
Guillaume Auger: "This is the second time I have taken part and even though
no two Tours are alike, this one does seem to be particularly tough. As far as I
am concerned, I regret not having been able to get involved in a good breakaway
or not even having been able to come out of it as I have done on other races in
the past. But we’re not on the Champs Elysées yet…"
Pierre Bourquenoud: "Difficult. Very difficult indeed. Conditions have been
bad and were particularly rotten in the first week. Since then it’s been hot and
changes in temperature take their toll on the body. Morale is good. We’re in the
Alps - I’ll be feeling a little more at home – just got to keep going."
Gilles Bouvard: "No two Tours are alike. If I say that this one is a little
easier than previous ones, then people are going to say that if that’s the case,
why am I not up front? In truth, energy saved on a slower part of the course is
simply spent on a faster pace in other stretches."
Sylain Calzati: "I’ve got no reference to compare it with other Tours and I’d
say that it’s part of my motto. I live from day to day. I’m satisfied with my
first week. I didn’t do too badly in the Pyrenees. But each day has its fair
share of toughness. I’m pleased to have found out that I could take part in the
second level of sprints."
Frédéric Finot: "I am pleased to have been in the foreground on the stage to
La Mongie. Weather has been a test but that is what the Tour is all about. My
toughest day? Every day has been hard! The best day? Rest days."
Christophe Laurent: "I didn’t suffer too much the first week. However, it was
a different kettle of fish the second week. The Massif Central left its mark and
I regret not having been able to stand out then. I was pleased to meet my fan
club on the stage to Saint Flour. Now it’s time to grit my teeth ready for the
Ludovic Martin: "My knee has given me loads of trouble since the start. I
didn’t come off too badly considering that on the Plateau de Beille. There’s one
week left to try and do something interesting. Several times I though I was on
the point of giving up but I’m in fine shape and have a good souvenir of the
Breton parts of the course."
Christophe Rinero: "Quite frankly all in all, I reckon I have not done that
well. No one knows that I’m on the Tour and I regret that. I hope to shine a
little more in the third week. My best day? Yet to come…"
Nicolas Reynaud has extended his contract for one year with RAGT Semences –
MG Rover, while Florent Barle (ES Cavaillon), winner of the National Challenge
after the Route des Vins du Mâconnais - Beaujolais has signed a preferential
contract with RAGT Semences until the end of 2006.
Lance Who? Unknown American Beats Top Pros in Gastown
Tour de Gastown unveils 30 years of race clippings and photos
In 1991, an unknown 19-year-old American by the
name of Lance Armstrong won the tough Gastown criterium in Vancouver while
riding for the Subaru Montgomery cycling team. He hadn’t even planned to
come to the race. His national championships were taking place in Salt Lake
City two days later, but his teammate convinced him to make the trip. That
teammate was Jonas Carney.
Jonas had won the race the year before, also as a 19-year-old riding for
Subaru Montgomery. He told Lance young riders could do well in Gastown, and
was he ever right. Gastown has always been a stepping stone to greater
things for its champions, which include Alison Sydor, Alex Stieda, Brian
Walton, Chris Carmichael and Ron Hayman, to name just a few.
The Tour de Gastown has an amazing history, and now it’s available for
viewing on the Tour de Gastown Web site at
www.tourdegastown.com/history2004.html. The page features lots of great
photos and clippings that span the races history since it started in 1973.
“First and foremost, we want to thank The Province and The Vancouver Sun
newspapers, as well as the Westender and other contributors, for permitting
us to display these items,” said race chair Scott Hawthorn. “We can’t thank
them enough for the great job their writers and photographers have done
covering our race year after year.”
Among the clippings and photos are a young Roland Green at the 1993 pre-race
press conference, 1982 race program features on 7-Eleven’s Eric Heiden,
Evian’s Alex Stieda showing off his 1991 Allsop and reports on the then
upcoming 1985 battle between 7-Eleven’s Nitz, Keifel and Phinney vs Alan
McCormack’s Killian’s Red Irish team.
“We have more items coming in each day, including some great shots by Lorne
“Ace” Atkinson from 1973-77 and some early posters too,” says Hawthorn. “If
anyone has items they’d like to display, we’d love to hear from them.”
The Tour de Gastown (July 21) is part of BC SUPERWEEK, which includes the
Tour de Delta (July 16-18) and the Tour de White Rock (July 23-25), and
features North America’s top professional cyclists racing for $45,000 in
Things Go Better with...Lance
Atlanta, GA - (July 19, 2004) - The Coca-Cola Company has renewed its
partnership with Lance Armstrong as he competes for an unprecedented sixth Tour
de France win. Lance is currently featured in a commercial and summer promotions
for the DASANI brand in the U.S., and he will continue to be linked to the brand
under the new agreement.
"The decision to re-sign with Lance was an easy one," said Javier Benito,
chief marketing officer, Coca-Cola North America. "While DASANI keeps him and
his team hydrated during the Tour de France, the relationship goes much deeper
than his cycling triumphs. Lance is an incredible inspiration for his spirit and
confidence on and off the bike, which is a perfect fit with the active,
optimistic personality of the DASANI brand. Our continued relationship shows
that we "Can't Live Without Lance and Lance Can't Live Without DASANI."
Lance and Coca-Cola have been partners since 2000. The extended relationship,
which runs through 2006, will involve a variety of marketing and promotional
The DASANI summer promotions that began in June help bring people closer to
Armstrong's historic undertaking this summer in France. Playing off Armstrong's
competitive spirit and his quest to win, the "Go for Six," and "Follow the
Liter" promotions offer people the opportunity to win over $1 million in prizes
by the end of July.
In the supporting commercial Armstrong shows that if he wants to conquer some
unusual challenges, he "Can't Live Without DASANI." He gamely takes on a
stronger rival in a chin up contest and shoots hoops with opponents who tower
over him, replenishing himself with the refreshing taste of DASANI throughout
each uncharacteristic activity. The commercial debuted on June 14 and runs
throughout the summer.
DASANI is a purified bottled water brand, enhanced with minerals for a pure,
fresh taste. Through the brand's advertising and marketing campaign, people are
reminded why they "Can't Live Without DASANI."
The ad can be viewed online at:
Behind-the-scenes photos from the commercial shoot can be found at: