July 18/04 10:02 am - Redden Report (with photos) from TDF
Posted by Editoress on 07/18/04
July 18/04 12:05pm EDT - Redden Report (with photos) from TDF
Posted by Editoress on 7/18/04.
Photographer Chris Redden is back at the Tour again this year, and has decided to try his hand at writing as well as photos. Here are his impressions from his first two days at the Tour.
Greetings from the Tour. Over the next week and a bit I will be bringing you some info from the Tour that you will not find in other places.
I met with a representative from the Postal Camp today and have secured a source for info on what is happening with Lance and the team.
There is all kinds of controversy today with Lance. As you may know, Greg LeMond has come out and said in an interview with the French newspaper LeMonde that Lance must be doping. He feels that if he (Greg) were racing today, that he would only place mid pack.
By publicly coming out and saying Lance is doping, he has essentially put himself on the anti Lance team. This puts Trek in a very tough position. Trek supports Lance fully and has a contract to continue to do so in the future. It looks very likely that Trek will be the bikes of Team Discovery too. (The Discovery Channel will be taking over from the U.S. Postal Service as title sponsor of Armstrong's team next season)
The question now is , 'what will Trek do about LeMond?'. Trek owns the rights to manufacture and market LeMond bikes. Look for Trek to make some kind of decision about the LeMond brand in the next short while. Could be interesting to see what they do.
Another thing happening with Lance is that he has a new set of wheels. They are the Bontranger carbon Tubulars with DT Carbon hubs and DT Spokes. Lance's new wheels are using 55 Carbon - which is the stuff satellites are made of! The front hub weighs 78g and uses straight pull spokes also by DT. The weight of the wheelset is not public knowledge at this time.
The Hot Swag item at the Tour this year is the Livestrong yellow rubber bracelet. They are selling for 1 Euro each and are going to raise $ for the Lance Armstrong foundation. So far Trek alone has bought 250,000 and everyone is snapping them up. You can get them online at www.wearyellow.com. The whole Postal Team is racing with them on. Look for more news on this front later(I am not allowed to say yet).
Yes, (OLN announcer) Al Trautwig does seem like a knob in person. Poor Bob Roll for having to deal with him! Frankie Andreau is a supporter of Canadian Cyclist as he likes to say 'hi' to us Canucks every time he sees me.
I am sitting hear at the summit of the Col de Toumalet in the rai, waiting for the riders as I write this. This will be a pivotal stage. I hear that Lance is itching to do something on on of the climbs and this could be it (he did). It was 30 deg C at the bottom and now it is 12 deg at the top with some hail thrown in for fun. Should make for an exciting finish.
Today was celeb day at the Tour for me. Sheryl Crow was at the race today and rode in the team car to give Lance inspiration. No wonder he won. Apparently she has been dropping into the Tour on and off to cheer on Lance. It looked like she enjoyed the day and it seems that the French have no idea who she is, so she can wander around without being bothered. She had a friend with her who looked the part but I have no idea who she was. Maybe someone has an idea who she is (see photo).
Apparently the celebs are out in force. At this point no one knows if it will be Robin Williams in the team car for Alp d'Huez or Sheryl. Sheryl has provided good luck so far, so Robin might be out of luck. Also around the race is Parry Ferryl of Janes Addition / Lullapolluza fame. He was rumoured to be in one of the helicopters today watching the race. I will let you know if there is a sighting.
Today was in the mid 30's here and the racing saw several of the big riders crack. The Basque fans were out in the tens of thousands. These fans REALLY love their cycling here.
Strangely enough , the drink of choice for the riders when they finish a stage is coke or Fanta. No fancy recovery drinks here.
That's all for today.