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July 22/05 7:11 am - TDF Redden Report ( Stage 19)


Posted by Editoress on 07/22/05
 

Photographer Chris Redden is back at the Tour again this year, and here are his impressions from the 2005 Tour.

Photos

The Tour Team Bus - July 22nd

The Tour riders rely on their bus to be their home way from home. It serves several functions for the riders, with the main one being a way to get around. To understand what functions the bus serves, you must first understand what is inside of the bus.

When you actually look at the inside of the team bus, they have a pretty simple layout. Most of them have a few rows of seats in the front and then they have an area behind with a section of sideways seats that resemble couches. Behind that area is a small kitchen with a fridge for cold drinks and a coffee maker. Behind the kitchen area/back exit is a shower, a change area and washrooms.

The bus does serve as a way to get riders to and from the race, and from stage to stage but it is also a place to get away from the crush of the crowd outside. The bus is a private place where the riders can hang out and not be disturbed. When they leave the bus they are hounded by the public seeking a photo or an autograph.

After the race the bus is a place to grab a quick shower, a cold drink, and then get shuttled back to the hotel. One point of interest. If you are walking around the busses after the race, don’t play in the puddles of water they may be flowing around the bus. At best, it is shower water, at worst, the flushings!

The team cars do work in tandem with the bus. The Team cars haul all of the bikes to and from the race and serve as feed stations and mechanical support during the race. The team cars are set up pretty nicely. They have a TV screen on the dash that shows the race live, and they have a race radio that gets all of the reports from the Tour radio. The team cars also have the race directors in them, and these are the guys who are giving the instructions to the racers via the small radio earpieces that they all wear.

Quite a production when you look at it. Most teams will have 1 –2 busses, 4-6 team cars and a couple of vans as well as a cube van that the mechanics work out of. No wonder the teams have $10+ million budgets.
Tomorrow is the ITT. Should be a good day for Lance to prove he still has it.

Notes:
- Today’s icons for Lance mean:
1 Stage Luz Ardidenne
2 Bad luck
3 Bad Mojo/ scary
4 Beloki’s Crash and Lance off roading it
5 5 Tour wins
6 In Da Club of 5 timers

-Chicken has taken the Polka Dot jersey for sure. He got to wear it on the podium today.
-We are in the land of Lentils. Mmm Lentils. We were given a tin of Lentils when we came into the press room today. What am I going to do with these?

-Floyd is a big jokester. Today he commented to Julich about how ‘ the skinniest guy in the peleton won today’s stage. He is always joking with the other American riders.
- Lance’s security crew looks like they are on high alert now. They even need to escort him to the start line now!
-
I guess that is all for today. Tomorrow will be a long day of waiting for all of the riders to go by. I find the ITT stages the toughest to cover as I get to sit in one spot and take the riders pictures as they go by. Lots of waiting!

Till tomorrow.

 


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