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Author Topic: Al's Tour de France Message  (Read 589 times)

Axel

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Al's Tour de France Message
« on: July 16, 2004, 02:24:23 AM »

I just read your report, and was excited to see your notes on the Tour and the recent popularity of road racing.  Ive been riding both road and mountain bikes for a long time now and have just gotten into winter climbing in the past four years.  I agree that the recent popularity, due largely to Lance's success, has been great for the sport.  Local races are more competitive than ever and the technology available has shot through the roof.  

But like anything, there can be pluses and minuses to a surge in a sports popularity, with road biking its a good thing because there are plenty of roads to go around and perhaps more folks will begin to show bikers on the road a little more respect.  But for sports like mountian biking and climbing, this kind of popularity could put increasing pressure on a limited amount of natural resources.  Im not against getting new people into the sport, after all, I am relatively new to climbing, and have benefited hugely from peoples willingness to share information, but in some cases it might be better to let certain sports linger in relative obscurity. While welcoming those with a genuine interest of course.

In response to your wish for climbing to have a parallel to the Tour de France, I think that it already does, historically speaking: The plights of the Eiger climbers who's stories are told in The White Spider are reminiscent of those early Tour de France pioneers.  These adventurers used the freedoms afforded by a newly industrialized Europe to seek adventure at the fringes of the common man's imagination.  They were met with awe, fascination, and disbelief by the public. True adventurers. :)
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sparky

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2004, 10:07:41 AM »

I was also pleased to hear Al mention Le Tour....
Not only has Lance's incredible efforts increased popularity of the sport, it has kept mom & pop bike shops thriving.
That keeps me gainfully employed....
BTW...
Al, what is your new road bike??
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Admin Al

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2004, 01:06:37 PM »

I got a De Rosa Vision with a Time C/F front fork & a lot of xtras. it was Dogboy's "old" bike. I must say it's a really nice ride. in fact it makes me WANT to get out on the bike as much as possible. I have totally gotten into it this summer, to the tune of 70-80 miles a week. that's pretty good for this old guy. <grin> couple the Tour inspiration with the funky weather we've been having & it's easy to get hooked. plus I can get out on the bike when it's rainy & ride instead of trying to climb something that's all dripping & oozing. <grin>

I agree that there is inspiration n the climbing world, but for some reason the Tour just grabbed a hold of me this year. I also figure I'm getting older & I can ride for a lot longer than I can do a lot of other things.

I'm seriously of thinking that the party this fall should be a rock & ride party. do a ride in the morning & climb in the afternoon. or vice versa... break it up from the traverse.

Al
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om

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2004, 02:18:22 PM »

Ditto on the exciting race! I've been watching it since the start and can't get enough... even that my personal experience with bikes usually ends at the nearest tree and always followed by a trip to CVS...

Not sure what you guys mean by the "exciting sport" and "quality of climbing videos". Have you ever got anyone who doesn't climb to watch climbing video for longer then 10mins? (excluding the ones that shows someone dead or gruesomely injured) For anyone who can't tell the difference between 5.11 and 5.14 most of climbing videos are TOTALLY BORRING ... Climbing not very dynamic, not a team sport; if things go well - simply nothing happens :) Every time Hollywood tries to make it look exciting it,s an embarrassment... Let,s just face it - climbing isn't a spectator sport.
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2004, 03:22:52 PM »

Just like nascar. the only thing that sells nascar is the crashes. Falling and crawling seem to be the best sellers for climbing :P
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Admin Al

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2004, 09:46:56 PM »

todays stage with Lance's convincing win over Basso in a sprint to the finish to take over the yellow jersey was absolutely AMAZING. I find myself really looking forward to watching the race every evening after dinner. it's a superb contest.

Al
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CLemay

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2004, 11:32:45 AM »

After todays stage, I don't think there is any doubt about it, #6 for Lance. He gained 40 secs on Jullrich ans more than 2 minutes on Basso by passing him near he top even though Basso had a 2 min head start!!! Tomorrows stage, Lance will probably put more time between him and everyone else. Since I haven't been climbing due to tendonitis in the elbow  >:(, I'm glad the tour started about time I stopped climbing but once it's over, I guess it is time to go back climbing ;D
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scottie_c

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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2004, 09:53:25 PM »

Lance is making history
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dogboy

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2004, 07:21:47 AM »

It's really too bad, in my opinion, that such an unattractive, uncharismatic, self-centered, and anti-populist guy like Armstrong is going to break a record held by guys like Eddie Mercx and Miguel Induraine.  There's no question the guy is the strongest rider the Tour has seen in a long time...but definitely not it's most outstanding champion.  I guess the Ugly Americain rears his head again.....

BTW, it's worth noting that the year Mercx won his 5th Tour, he also won something like 45 pro races....I think Lance has won 5 this year (if you include the Tour).
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om

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2004, 01:00:28 PM »

...and I think Lance is a doll! (I wonder if he'll read this :o )

gee, Dogboy, why don't you tell us what you really think  ;)
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Admin Al

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2004, 01:11:58 PM »

interesting... I think that Lance actually is attractive and charismatic. it's not at all surprising that someone who is as focused on winning this race is self-centered. "anti-populist"? frankly I don't have any idea what you mean. plus, from what I understand Mercx was a total killer. he would run right over you if you were in his way. i know that you like Tyler & are disappointed that he dropped out. however I don't really think that he had a prayer in this race, as good as he is sometimes.

oops...back to climbing. <grin>

Al
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dogboy

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2004, 05:59:58 AM »

Oh yeah, he's a doll:

http://www.tourdefrancenews.com/tourdefrance/experts/columns/0,3489,s1-9781,00.html

Stomping on the hopes of a guy who's riding better than he has his entire career, out of spite, is really endearing.

If Mercx was the "Cannibal," what does this kind of crap make Armstrong?
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bumpkin

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2004, 08:12:26 AM »

Some time back, LeMond said in an interview that if Armstrong was doping, it would represent "the greatest fraud in sports history".

Who really doubts that is the case?

Simeoni gets stomped on, apparently due to being one of the few active riders who is candid about the state of the sport. Don't know about you folks, but my enthusiasm for this race has plummeted.

Feh.
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Admin Al

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2004, 08:23:15 PM »

well the 101st TDF is officially over and Lance Armstrong is the winnter for an unprescedented 6th time. whatever you think about Lance (and we do know what you think Dogboy) he was clearly dominating this year. his performance in the Alps was nothing short of amazing as was his effort in the individual timetrial. this was a truly impressive event.

it was the first time that I've watched every stage and it was a delightful diversion from the politics and news that permeates the airwaves these days. the announcers on OLN, with the exception of Al Trautwig, were exceptional. I even liked Bob Roll and his outlandish hand motions. BTW I got his TDF Companion recently and it's great. I also picked up his book Bobke II and it's hysterical. I recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in cycling. he's the John Long of cycling.

all right... it's now back to rock climbing, already in progress. <grin>

Al
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om

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Re: Al's Tour de France Message
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2004, 02:21:18 PM »

Um-m, feisty, opinionated doll...  ;)

Based on some of my personal experiences as well as what I've been reading about our sport, it's almost impossible to properly judge the situation unless you've participated personally or heard and honest testimonies of all parties involved. I can imagine number of valid reasons to do what Lance did as well as number of really sh$$%y ones. So I,ll stay neutral to the issue...

As far as "Stomping on the hopes of a guy who's riding better than he has his entire career" - perhaps he should be able to handle what comes his way, shouldn't he? One who takes principal stances should expect attacks and not ask for favors...
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