July 27/04 7:26 am - Redden Report from stage 20 TDF
Posted by Editoress on 07/27/04
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 fianl day at the Tour.
Paris, Paris, Paris!
Lance , Lance , Lance!
Six, Six , Six!
Today is the final day of the 2004 Tour. Lance has done it. He has won an unprecedented 6 consecutive Tour wins and 5 stage wins in this Tour alone. I think this shows his level of fitness and the drive that he has at the moment.
What does the future hold for Lance? A the press conference yesterday he said that he and Johan (his team director) and the Discovery Channel are going to sit down over the next 2 months and figure out the plan for next season. He also said that there are a lot of things that he still wants to do as a cyclist. He mentioned the Hour Record, the Giro , and the Pro Tour. He said that if he comes back to the Tour next year , he will not just ride it. He has too much respect for the race. He would come back prepared to challenge for the win. There are several things that seem to make that look improbable. One is the fact that he is 33. He feels that he has limited time to be competitive , so he will have to pick the events that he does race in carefully. He also said that he is feeling the stresses of being away from his children for long periods of time. To race the Tour he put in long (3 month) stretches in Europe a couple of times over the year and he is not sure if he is prepared to be away from the kids for that long. This all seems to indicate that he may not race the Tour again. We may just see him do the Pro Tour and the Giro next year, but let's see what Discovery has to say.
Lance's reaction to the fans booing him was quite funny. He said that the French fans have booed all of the greats over the years. Merckx and the great French champion Anquetil were both booed as they won the race. While he can't understand why the fans boo, he doesn't mind being in that company. He also doesn't understand that when someone is booing and he looks over at them, they start clapping!
Lance can't seem to comprehend what kind of champion the French people want. The French fans go CRAZY for Virenque (who was caught up in one of the largest drug scandals of all time, a few years ago) yet boo him for no reason. It was a very good point to actually say to the press.
While on the podium yesterday Lance received a special edition Tour watch from Festina. What can he do with it? He is sponsored by Nike who make a Lance Tour watch ( Titanium body, compass, Altimeter, thermometer, a level for the compass, ...) so I guess you should watch E Bay for an Orange faced Festina Tour Edition watch!
This will be a two parter as I am getting kicked out of the press room. Look for tomorrow's story to have something about breakfast with Lotto Domo and the experience of driving the race course to Paris while doing an interview with CBC television.