July 01, 2002

It's July again and you know what that means - time for the mother of all endurance challenges, the hypnotically beautiful yet grueling Tour de France. The pageantry and tradition and spirit never fail to captivate me. Read all about it in The Cycling News and watch the action unfold live on OLN tv. It's too bad that Italy's Warrior, Michele Bartoli, is out of the race after fracturing his pelvis in the first stage of the Giro d'Italia (read more on his weblog) - I was looking forward to watching him compete. And what about that Armstrong guy - do you think he can do it again?

posted by iconomy to other at 07:24 PM - 10 comments

That Armstrong is a wily monster. I'd like to see him do it again. But, whew, his site stinks. Maybe you can give him a hand, there, iconomy. Your site rocks.

posted by worldcup2002 at 07:32 PM on July 01

This is the highlight of any summer. It has everything, although I think it has lost something since the great days of Le Mond and Hinault , the sheer madness of Abdoujaparov, and the imperious majesty of Big Mig. How any of them ever manage to finish is beyond me, those mountain stages are monstrous. Armsrong seems to have prepared well. There was a very good article in the Guardian last Friday by ,I think, William Fotheringham, who had cycled the route himself. Doesn't seem to be available online though, Unless my searching skills are seriously flawed.

posted by Fat Buddha at 02:43 AM on July 02

Found the bugger.

posted by Fat Buddha at 07:30 AM on July 02

'Bout time this showed up here. Among the things the Tour has lost since the LeMond/Hinault rivalry is distance -- 1986 was on the order of 4000 kilometers, whereas this one is the shortest since 1905 (from cyclingnews.com). It will be VERY interesting to see if the ONCE team is as much of a threat to Armstrong as they appear to be, and if Kelme's wo stars can shake things up, too. So, Spain vs. Lance. Oh, and there's some crappy French teams in there, too.

posted by ahhgrr at 09:53 AM on July 02

The first 50 years of the Tour are fairly well documented here.

posted by liam at 04:57 PM on July 02

That's a fabulous link! Thanks, and thanks to worldcup2002, too.

posted by iconomy at 06:53 PM on July 02

Armstrong has made a scarily strong showing in the pre-Tour classics, which sets him apart from the competition. I'm just hoping that David Millar (no relation to Robert) manages to get through the prologue unscathed this year, which would mean that he finally gets a chance to prove himself in the first big time-trial. And that I get Eurosport installed in time to follow the Tour at home.

posted by etagloh at 08:06 PM on July 02

I used to watch the Tour avidly. I gave up when I realised that the sport had no genuine interest in removing the drug cheats. They've paid it lipservice, but does anyone think that there's a single rider among the contenders who is clean?

posted by salmacis at 04:20 AM on July 03

salmacis, the expulsion-ridden Giro this year, and the big bust last year aren't enough? Cycling has a problem, but it's so far ahead of any other sport, it's not even funny. What would happen to major sports in the US if even a shadow of the testing that occurs in pro cycling hit baseball, US football, basketball, or hell, even soccer? And I do think that more riders are clean now than in recent years. I also don't hold the past years under any glorious light -- they were riddled with strange substances, going back to the earliest days of the sport.

posted by ahhgrr at 08:43 AM on July 03

The trouble is that many drugs are very difficult to test for. I tend to think the ones thrown out of the Giro were the ones caught, not the only cheats. Notice the uproar when the French police tried to conduct searches a few years ago, which almost led to the abandonment of the Tour. Soccer does have mandatory drug tests. I have no idea why other major sports don't.

posted by salmacis at 10:37 AM on July 03

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.