Analysis St. 2: When you’re in the peloton, it’s immediately clear that in addition to competing against each other, you’re also responsible for keeping each other safe. Often, both your immediate fate and length of your career depend on the men around you, and vice versa. That’s why riders call out and point out obstacles in the road, and it’s why on days like today, they sometimes neutralize the competition.
Roadside Stage 1: There are plenty of us who love to watch cycling and love to talk cycling as much as we love to get out the roads and go cycling. The prospect of sitting and doing both while millions of people scrutinise your work from the comfort of their lounge room, however takes a special kind of cycling enthusiast. Pez spent the day with three men who you might recognise better by their voices than by their pictures, for an insight into what it takes to bring Le Tour to the World.
Analysis St. 1 There was an instant in the final kilometer of Stage 1 that gave me a horrible flashback to Stage 1 of the 2003 Tour. I saw helmets rise up and then plummet back down, as riders ran into and over a wall of their fallen comrades. As in 2003, Lance Armstrong escaped uninjured, but it remains to be seen whether today’s crashes will force anyone to leave the Tour after just one stage.
Roadside:After what seems like a 10month build up, we saw the riders out on the course for the first time today. After a quick look at what the course had to offer we then did a meet and greet with some of the faces that will surely dominate the next three weeks of racing. It was day “T Minus One” in the heart of Rotterdam and Pez was there for the inside scoop.
As we move toward the Tour de France's start tomorrow in Rotterdam, we'll take one more moment to look back at the National Championships weekend that was. Ed Hood talked with seventh on the day in the UK and author of an excellent ride was Raleigh’s Dan Fleeman. We asked the man from Lichfield for the rider’s take on proceedings.
Team BMC’s Chris Butler – listed at 5-foot-11, 137 pounds – is a natural climber. But hills around his native South Carolina aren’t the only things he’s been scaling. The 22-year-old has ascended from a novice Cat. 5 racer as a college student in 2007 to a new pro with Team BMC this year.
The last time we spoke to Garmin’s Svein Tuft, he’d just finished a sparkling second in the 2008 world elite time trial championships in Varese behind Germany’s Bert Grabsch. A lot of kilometres have rolled under his tubulars since then – a contract with Garmin, a Vuelta, a Giro, and last week, another Canadian elite TT championship.
Over on the Emerald Isle the talk on the morning of the 151 kilometre Elite road race championship at Sligo was of who would be third behind Pro Tour stars Dan Martin (Garmin) and Nicolas Roche (AG2R) – but the Belgian based AN Post team had other ideas. The man making sure there will be no clover leaf jerseys in Le Tour for 2010 was 25 year-old ‘new’ Irish man Matt Brammeier.