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The 2003 Vuelta Writing Contest
Complete List of Honorable Mentions


Leonard Ke - Whatta Vuelta
Who'd have known this year's Vuelta would be so topsy-turvy? A "Cinderella" tour indeed.

"Add to that the freaky sideshows put on by Mario Cipollini, Ivan Quaranta, and Manolo Sainz, and you have a very entertaining grand tour."

Carol Walske - Cycle of Life
Alas, so few podium spots....this razor-sharp tale is most highly recommended!

"You know what it feels like to run over the cobbles, the breath knocking out of you as you come down hard on a rough edge or slip on a slick smooth stone. Their bones must be rattling; you can see even their skin shuddering from the incessant jolting."

Magpie - My Appetite for Cycling
"Team Cauldron" just misses out on a podium spot - but they will be back for our annual Christmas Quiz for sure!

"As always I am struck by the fact that I am standing so close that if I put my arm out I would touch one of them.  What other sport can you get so close to your heroes that you can see every emotion and effort, almost face to face, and not pay a penny to do so?"

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano at the TdF 2003 by Anita van Crey.

Dave Pacey - The mountain-top finish 
A most delightful mountain journey, complete with kisses from the misses...

"One last hairpin turn and then the final ascent, I can feel the ‘flamme-rouge’ burning like a coal deep in my furnace and I go flat out up the final kilometer."

Ed Granger - Untitled 
Venture into country where cycling means something entirely different

"I'll let the VCR preserve Roberto Heras' scampering up the Vuelta's final mountain, knowing that I can later, like Sisyphus' rock, push him back down to re-ascend at my whim."

Dana Albert - Team Time Trial
The agony and the ecstasy - a memorable story about a big race...

"On the first descent, at over forty miles per hour, a guy just ahead of me had a mechanical problem. What started as a minor shimmy became a major shaking of his bike. There was no room to maneuver in the pack—we were gutter-to-gutter—so all I could do was hope I’ll roll past him before he lost it."

David Millar with the race officials at the Vuelta. Photo by Dave O'Nyons.

Charlie Matthews - Untitled
A very touching true story...

"We noticed a blue truck approaching from the opposite direction at a very high rate of speed. I asked our flagger to slow the truck down. As he waved the slow sign, the truck screeched to a stop. I put my best smile on, expecting to get some guff from a commuter who may have been slowed in his rush to get home."

Geoffrey Albert - A look back at the ’96 Tour
Pure excitement! Let's go to the Tour! Now!

"So Rabobank sent this young, no-name rider Michael Boogerd off. He's all of 23, and has never won anything. It was pouring rain, and he attacked with two km to go. Of course your heart leaps in your throat when something like this happens, even though you know it’s most likely a doomed attempt."

Andrew Nowlan - Riding your First Century
A dedicated and enjoyable piece of writing.

"As the summer wore on, my long weekend ride was getting longer and longer- 60 miles, 70 miles, 80…  As the distance increased, so did my enjoyment.  Just two years ago, the thought of me doing an 80-mile ride was, well, unthinkable!"

Hamilton 2003 by Marianne O'Brien

Dame Dans Blanc - Tickers
Today we include an "extra" entry - worthy of merit and submitted during the contest, but not included as part of the competition. From the "Lady in White."

"Drawing on the race for his inspiration, he sculpts his words around the action, allowing us to create a moving picture in our minds."

Peter Grace - Chasing The Rainbow
Excellent analysis of the rainbow jersey and its current status.

"The pride granted by wearing the rainbow jersey for a season is perhaps unequalled by any other sport."

Herman van Iterson - The Nameless from the Vuelta
Last year's Giro Writing Contest winner submits a fitting and passionate piece.

"That means in every team we can find, apart from the leader, two to three good riders as their support. Which leaves us with more than one hundred riders. Who are they?"

Tick - Diary of a JanFan
Zeal can be a scary, scary thing....

"Dear Diary, What kind of game is the UCI playing? Just because Coast is a little late with the salaries? Have they never heard of Karneval?"

Michael Hernandez - Untitled
A passionate team tactics piece.

"As soon as the break got 30 seconds on the field, Falcon was up front slowing things down in the peloton - chatting with the ‘foreign’ teams, riding second wheel when it got fast to disrupt any organized chase, setting just enough tempo to discourage riders from attacking but, at the same time, riding slow enough to allow his teammate to get up the road, second by second. It was beautiful to observe..."

Tom Martyn - The Rule of B
The buddha's view of the bike - and in a personal style.

"Long before the first steep, I was gasping, sweating, weaving, and watching George, one of the best local climbers, spin away into the distance.  My morale crumbled, I cracked, I blew, I walked.  But as I walked..."

Graham Jones - The Tour and its times.
A broad and yet personal view of the world's greatest cycling race.

"Like all occupying forces, the Germans tried to restore a semblance of normal life to occupied France. Try as they may, they could not induce the Tour organizers to put on the TdF."

Michael Roy - From "Cyclist" to Weekend Rider and Bike-Commuter 
How one man came to look at the bike in a different way...

"...I started with short rides, rides so short I never would have bothered to do them when I was a 'cyclist.'"

Dave Shields -  The Race - Prologue
Dave's entry is the prologue of his new novel - we wish him the best (and look for it in bookstores...)

"His body sliced through the air like a wing. He felt lift, a diminished sense of the road. The bike seemed to discover a new gear as the orange dashed line on the pavement strobed by."


Luis Perez out in front during the Team Time Trial. Photo by Graham Watson.





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