!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/fredrod.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/fredrod.jpg!It always amazes me how people become experts of what they know so little about. To try to give some of the readers knowledge of what really happens out here...
First, yes, we are given a detailed book of the finishes with usually the last three kilometers very detailed. On today’s stage, the race actually went on the opposite side of the roundabout as shown in the book. So when the field was expecting a sweeping roundabout, we ended up in an S-turn. That was a mistake the organizers made. The riders were never given that little bit of detail.
Secondly, we, the riders, have been asking for safer finishes for some time, and they are not happening. And again, you would only know this information if you are a rider in the Tour. Races get complaints from the UCI when they are unsafe. If they get enough complaints, they get moved down in category. But this is the Tour--they are not moving down in category. So it’s much harder to get someone to change things when they have little to lose.
Here’s a little story to put things in perspective: Sometimes I train with one of the top 10 moto GP guys in the world. He loves to ride for cross-training. We were coming down a very windy mountain and I led the way.
When we got to the bottom, he asked me, “How do you guys do it...take those corners in the tour without blinking an eye?”
I looked at him, and said, “Wait, you hit speeds of over 300 kilometers per hour and you're asking me that?”
His reply was, “We have huge amounts of simulation and practice to perfect those corners, but you guys have never seen that corner!”
Go ask a Formula One driver or Moto GP guy to start a race unseen.
Colombian-born Freddie Rodriguez is a professional American road racing cyclist. He is a three-time US national champion and currently races for team Predictor-Lotto. His nickname, "Fast Freddie," is due to his reputation as a sprint specialist. His Fast Freddie Coffee , the Fast Freddie Foundation, and his new Team Fast Freddie raise funds to support youth cycling in America. Freddie resides in Emeryville, California, USA and Girona, Spain. Freddie is riding this year's Tour and will give us an insider's perspective on life inside the peloton. He welcomes questions and will try to respond during the Tour.