Sunday July 20th 1969; that’s 40 years ago now but I remember it clearly as the day that I first became aware of professional bicycle racing – I was 14 years-old. I walked in to the living room of our little flat in Kirkcaldy, Scotland and glanced at the black and white TV in the corner; the evening news had just begun and the picture was of a cycling track with the stands crammed to capacity.
Roadside Recap: As we make our merry way through the rounds of the PEZ Looks Back, Ed is up for his retrospective on the Tour that was. As the ever discerning journalist, Ed's recollections aren't all of the positive sort, but worry not, the positives (not those positives) heavily outweigh any low points. Ready? Let's go.
Roadside Look Back: For the press core, one of the more familiar sights behind the scenes at this year’s Tour de France was the welcoming smile of Marilyn Urtubia. Employed by the Amaury Sport Organisation, she’s the person who helps sort out the media’s problems, liaises with the Tour’s Press Chief and translates for Alberto Contador. That’s a pretty important set of responsibilities right there!
Roadside Wrap: That's Post Grand Tour Stress Disorder. The Champs Elysйes stage of le Tour is the climax, the culmination of a near month long adventure around Europe. The riders and staff have a huge party in the plush Meridien Hotel; whilst the journos slip into the lift down to underground car park and realise that they can't put off gutting out the hire car any longer.
Roadside Wrap: My second big adventure on the Tour, my second year behind the scenes riding the maddest, scariest, most thrilling rollercoaster in the sports world. With a brief to go and speak to the people beside, inside and chasing the race, to hunt out the weird and the wonderful, here are a few of the things that struck me along the way...
Roadside St.21: Ed and Martin have been hard at work for over a week now. They've logged thousands of kilometers behind the wheel, spent countless hours working, and finally, on the last day, they have but one wish: to be fans. That’s what we’re going to be today, we’ve been hacks for nine stages – time for a change.
Insight St.21:I forget exactly which year it was, but one of the six years that German sprinter Erik Zabel won the green jersey points competition he didn’t win a single stage. This year, Columbia HTC’s Mark Cavendish won SIX stages and DIDN’T win the green jersey. There’s little doubt that Cavendish is the fastest sprinter on two wheels, so it’s a testament to Thor Hushovd’s savvy as a competitor that the Norwegian captured the second green jersey of his career.
Race Report: The biggest show in bike racing rolls to a multi-colored, sweating, exhausted halt on the Champs Йlysйes and with the classification battles pretty much fought out over the last 3500kms, only one crown remains to be claimed … who gets the glory of winning the stage on the most beautiful avenue in the world?