July 29/05 1:56 am - TDF Redden Report ( Stage 21)
Posted by Editoress on 07/29/05
Chris Redden's final report from the 2005 TDF
Are We There Yet?
By the time the Tour hits Paris, I think everyone is asking this question to themselves, Are we there yet? As a journalist, I am exhausted. I cant imagine racing every day for hours and hours and getting up and doing it again. I can understand when they say for every Tour that a racer does, it takes years off of their life. I look at the racers and you can see that they are tired and spent. Some have no drive left and are just hoping to make it to the Champs in one piece. You could see how exhausted Chicken was yesterday in the Time Trial. He couldnt even stay on his bike!
The finish on the Champs-Elyees is something to behold and every riders dream to race in. The race is done for the most part, so the riders get to actually enjoy this stage for what it is, the finish to an amazing race.
Look for the sprinters to put on a show today, as the green jersey is the only one left in contention. Also look for someone to take a flyer off the front once the race hits the Champs-Elyees with the hopes of taking a stage win. The racing wont actually start till the group hits the Champs as Lance will keep the race together and ride as a group. He doesnt want to have to chase anyone on the last day. All he wants to do is sip champagne on the ride in and look good for the cameras.
In the press conference yesterday, Lance could only talk about retirement, lounging, and going on tour with Sheryl as her roadie. Sounds like a good plan to me. Hey Lance, if you are looking for a beer drinking buddy, give me a call. Ill be right over!
Actually Lance did talk about spending the next week on a beach in the South of France with a small group of people. Lets hope he works on trying to get rid of his cyclists tan while he is there.
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, which makes it a fantastic place to finish the race off as well. Every direction provides a great backdrop for a photo as well. When the race comes into the Champs they do 8 laps of the circuit before the race finishes. After that the teams all do a victory lap to celebrate and to do a little showboating. It is always funny to see road riders pulling wheelies and showboating for the crowd.
I always look forward to the press centre in Paris. It will be the only time that I can actually be in the Meridien-Etoile hotel (a 5 Star Hotel in Paris) and not get kicked out. I better enjoy it while I can!
Lance was on a newly painted bike today along with the last set of icons. Nothing too exciting. He did get a new helmet today as well. Yellow. Go figure.
Todays icons stand for the #s 1-7.
Celebrity sitings today: Michael Keaton, Price Albert of Monaco, and I dont even count Sheryl Crow any more.
Chicken had a polka dot bike. No surprise there.
There is a big riders dinner tonight, in the same hotel as the press centre. It is hard to recognize some of these guys out of their helmets and in regular clothes. Looks like a good time. We may have to go and crash it.
Thats all from the 2005 Tour de France.