On Sunday 27 July, history will be made when a group of professional cyclists rides the Champs-Elysées. Among the riders who have never before been allowed in the Tour de France, is an athlete The Guardian has called
"the finest cyclist of their generation" and who Bicycling Magazine recently touted
as one "who could be the most naturally gifted, hardest-working cyclist who ever lived", Marianne Vos
. Also riding will be writer, filmmaker, former figure skater and triathlete Kathryn Bertine
. Triathlete and marathoner Emma Pooley described her expectation
for the event: "On a scale of one to 10, I'd say that La Course
is 11 on the excitement levels." Along with the athlete who holds/held all three Ironman world and championship records (including the overall world record), Chrissie Wellington
, they created the campaign Le Tour Entier
, whose motto is Liberté, Égalité, Cyclisme
, a play on the French national motto. [more inside]
posted by fraula
on Jul 26, 2014 -
Forget Velonews. For years now, the best place to follow the big cycling stage races has been steephill.tv
, a "bike travelogue" with stage previews, results, news articles, photos, and video curated every day of the race. This site is an obvious labor of love... with no ads! If you want to watch or listen to the Tour de France for free, steephill will helpfully tell you where to go on the web
. But if you're away from your computer or don't have Versus (in the US), there's an NBC iPhone app with live video, for $14.99
(launches iTunes) [more inside]
posted by jstef
on Jul 1, 2011 -
The bike racing world has a tradition of attention-getting designs, but some spectators at this year's Tours of California or France might have done double-takes at some of the art on Lance Armstrong's rides. As it turns out, Trek and Nike have commissioned custom designs
promoting Livestrong, and as I write this Lance is cycling into Paris on a bike covered with butterfly wings, courtesy of Damien Hirst
. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee
on Jul 26, 2009 -
As the Tour de France concludes, let's spend a moment commemorating the derrière garde
of world-class cycling, those bad enough to come in last but never bad enough to fail, les Lanternes Rouge
. If Wim Vansevenant can retain his tenacious hold on 145th place in Sunday's stage he will be the worst cyclist to complete the Tour de France
for three consecutive years and set a Tour record. You can, indeed, win by losing. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee
on Jul 26, 2008 -
Bjarne Riis, current coach of premier cycling squad Team CSC, used drugs to win the Tour in 1996
. His protege, Ivan Basso, was suspended from Team CSC before last year's Tour for suspicion of doping. Team Discovery hired Basso to fill Lance Armstrong's seat as captain, but Basso quit
shortly before he had a chance to win his second consecutive Giro d'Italia, and is out for the season, if not permanently. The conclusion of Floyd Landis's appeals
to reinstate his 2006 Tour victory will wait until some time after this year's Tour de France. Jan Ullrich capped a good but unsatisfying career by retiring early and under a cloud. Several of Ullrich's former Deutch Telekom/T-Mobile teammates, including Erik Zabel, admitted to doping
, and the team masseur claims to have personally administered EPO to Ullrich. Ullrich, Basso, numerous other leading riders, and the majority of some team rosters continue to be under suspicion as the Operación Puerto
EPO lab investigation grinds onward. It might be the best time ever to market a competition road bike called the Addict
. (previously, previously, oh-so-very previously, )
posted by ardgedee
on May 27, 2007 -
An open letter to Lance Armstong.
Subject: Minor changes to your screenplay.
You mean once he starts winning, he just keeps winning? There's never a serious doubt that he'll keep winning? It gets a little predictable, Lance. Think about this for a second: Rocky lost in the first movie, and that's the only one that was any good.
posted by RockyChrysler
on Dec 8, 2005 -
Great feat, but not a great athlete.
Let the Cyclist bashing continue.
As a follow up to the pointless Bicycles and cars don't mix
column, Ron Borges over at MSNBC
wonders if Lance Armstrong is even an athlete.
He says Athletes must do more with their bodies than pump their legs up and down. For his money, being the greatest athlete in the world involves strength, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, mental toughness and the ability to make your body do things that defy description.
Anyone who has ever been in a bike race (Road or MTN) knows it does indeed take all that and more. Anyone who writes about sports, rather than participating, would of course have no clue it takes more than moving your feet up and down.
posted by Blake
on Jul 26, 2002 -
So, is there any chance the Tour De France will become more popular with US viewers? Or even that our own Tour will reach the interest levels displayed in Europe? I was absolutely on the edge of my seat during Armstrong's rush today, and I'm nothing of a biker.
posted by Kikkoman
on Jul 17, 2001 -