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Le Tour 2006


Mr Barguzin
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It's over for another year, and one can't help getting a feeling of Deja vu.

 

3 weeks and an American Wins again.

An Aussie gets the Green Guernsey (Sprint Champion for the third time)

Rasmussen wins the Polka dot Guernsey in successive years.

A Frenchman DOESN'T win the final stage in Paris... again.

Team Mobile wins team trophy.. again.

 

And yet it was a most fascinating three weeks as no-one knew for certain from where the eventual winner would come... and in fact up to the penultimate stage the winner was still in doubt.

 

There were the usual crashes caught on camera, bizarre incidents (Landis in the alps day two and three, a breakaway winning a stage by 28 minutes), mechanical failures and a final sprint that was 'ruined' by the desire of non-sprinters to win the stage. Given this year's events, anything was possible.

 

ToS, I would argue the case that though they may only be going at 50KPH and under their own steam, they are definitely gutsier than steeplechasers.

 

If you missed it folks, be sure to mark the first three weeks of July next year down in your diary. It starts in London and finishes in Paris. What happens between the start and the final finish on the Champs Elysee will be a tale of endurance, strength and mind over pain.

 

Mr Landis, I dips me lid.

 

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The craziest of all speed sports were "The Downers" of Spain at the turn of the last century.

 

Guys in what today would still be considered Hi-Tech Soap Box derby "Cars" would race pell-mell down a mountainside with just crude mechanical brakes.

 

"There is nothingnew under the sun."

 

 

OFF

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I agree with Mr B that these guys are up there with the bravest sportsmen... and possibly the craziest. What's that you say? Quit the tour? But I only had a crash at 50k/hr. Why, it's barely destroyed my lycra outfit. Broken collarbone? Only 5 hours to the finish, I'll be reet.... (and repeat for 3 weeks)

 

Now, here's my ponderance about the finish. There's a 'gentleman's agreement' that the leader isn't attacked on the final stage. It was more or less fair enough as Landis was 59 seconds ahead: that may not sound like much, but on a flat stage there's no way a team would let anyone posing a threat get that sort of time back. But what if the gap was 10 seconds? Is it game on again? You can bet your bottom dollar that if it was a Frenchman in second, he'd go for it - the French are absolutely desperate to have one of their own win it again (and fair enough too). Does anyone remember a year when they fought it out on the final stage? It may be that there haven't been too many opportunities: I have a vague recollection of Greg Lemond and Lauren Fignon fighting it out in a time trial... did it used to end with that rather than on the Champs Elysee ?

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HMmmmmmmm... well, according to the comments by Phil Legget and PAul Sherwin, the Champs Elysee finish became a regular event in the mid/late 70's therefore making a Greg Lamond/Lauren Fignon duel in a time trial as the final leg close to impossible. It might have been under similar circumstances to the penultimate leg this year where it was possible for any of five riders to win the stage AND the tour. (Ok... Cudel Evans was a long shot *grin*)

 

BTW, besides Landis' return to form, there was also the ride of Stewart O'Grady who crashed early on and fractured a disc, but continued to ride and finished in the top ten finishers on the Champs.

 

One day, maybe, Australia will get all it's best riders together and show the world just what this 'liddle' country can do WEG...

 

O'Grady, McKewen, Evans, Cooke, Rogers..... not a bad little starting line up *grin*

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I was only young: that's my first memory of Le Tour, so perhaps it was indeed the penultimate stage as you say.

 

That Australian team could do very well. Provided there are no hills

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I dunno... Cudel Evans did a single man job in both mountain areas while Rogers helped kloden.... and I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were a couple of climbers lurking at the Adelaide Institute of Sport cycling program *grin*

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Have done a bit of racing and crashing myself. Though not the Tour De France, just 'fish n' chippers' you understand. Anyway I thought of yet another reason why cyclists shave their legs, because they look better in fur coats of course.

 

Best tour for seven years I'd say.

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Incredible (or wait, no not really):Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is tested positive for testosterone! So much for 'at least it's a clean Tour now. '

 

 

Yogi

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