As I found out last month in France, getting there is only a small part of the actually covering the race. You can be 5 feet away from Lance, or a major story, and still miss it because the current changes so fast at the Tour. I now offer Part 2 of my tips for aspiring journalists, Tour watchers, and interested racing freaks…
Most of you know I’ve just returned from covering my first Tour de France as a member of the official “press”. I’ve followed Grand Tours several times as a fan, but discovered that this type of “working vacation” is a lot more work, and requires way more organization than just pedaling the big climbs and screaming at the top of your lungs as Lance & co flash by… Here’s Part 1of my PEZ-Guide to covering the Tour as press…
As we all hail Lance, I wanted to be sure that we paid Homage to the other 5 time winners of the Tour and to put in to perspective the accomplishments of the other men that Lance currently overshadows. This is not a slight to a super champion, but a tip of the hat meant to put the spotlight on legends that have simply done far more than some realize.
Lance has proven that, with a little poke from a cattle prod (or was it a lasso?) that he can snap to attention and get the job done. He got the job done on the day it had to be done, and in Typical Armstrong fashion, along with “The Look”, we now have “The Hook”.
Lance Armstrong has written his name into cycling’s most exclusive club alongside Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain after crossing the Paris finish line of the 2003 Tour in the comfort of the pack, scoring a record-equalling 5th straight yellow jersey.
So, it’s come down to a time trial, the race of truth, the race against the clock, well it’s a head to head between Armstrong and Ullrich. Will one minute five seconds be enough for Big Tex to keep the Tour from BIG Jan? Previous years Lance has had enough time in hand on his rivals to consider the last time trial as a sort of lap of honour, mind you, usually he has put more time into them for good measure.