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Tour de France

19 Posts tagged with the 2008-tour-de-france tag

I hope you enjoyed the show as much as we did here, as it was maybe the most exciting stage of the Tour so far. We were all expecting a pretty dynamic stage and I'm glad we had it. It wasn't the best stage ever, but it feeds my feeling that the Tour is showing a new face this year.

 

The only big surprise of the day has been Damiano Cunego, who I was expecting to be a bit stronger. I presume he will be performing in the Pyrénées in a few days, but I was hoping to see him launch some attack to put the pressure on his rivals.

 

Given what we have seen today, and even if it was a pretty light stage, I think we should pay attention to Riccardo Ricco, who could be a real outsider in the Pyrénées and the Alps. He has the skills and he seems to be in shape to launch several attacks in these stages. If he does so, he will be for sure forcing the other teams to race faster. This way he could surely have a real impact on the Tour. It's only a feeling, but it's worth paying attention on him.

 

As for the Tour itself, all signals are positive--we are recording a great audience in France and we now have tons of people along the roads, which wasn't the case last year. There is a real feeling of freshness on this Tour and I would bet that most of the riders have finally understood that it's in their best interest to stay clean. I hope the next two weeks will confirm that there is some sort of change on this Tour.

 

With a great new generation coming and this potential change in the rider's approach, we can have a great Tour.

 

Tomorrow's stage shouldn't have a huge impact on the ranking unless someone strikes early in the passes. The only thing that is sure is that tomorrow is for the dots jersey contenders. This is the first important stage for them. Get ready for some action!

 

Please do not hesitate to post your comments, as I will be glad to share ideas and comments with you. And remember, if you want to enjoy the Tour de France from the inside, do it with www.RonanPensecTravel.com , the official Tour de France operator. VIP passes, exclusive interviews with the pros, and so much more to live together!

 

Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in 1990 while racing for Greg Lemond's Z team. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events , an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

730 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour_de_france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france, riccardo-ricco, damiano-cunego

...Mark Cavendish! Ladies and gentleman, while we were all waiting for the hot shots it was a rookie who showed up from nowhere to win this stage. Mark has an undeniable talent, and he might be a bit young today, but he will surely become one of the greatest sprinters of this sport.

 

Keep an eye on him; it will be interesting to see his progression. Don't expect too much out of him too soon, as it's always very hard to confirm a good result--even more so in today's cycling world.

 

It's the fifth stage and we have already had three yellow jerseys. Isn't this great? I just love cycling when it's like that. Look at yesterday's time trial: everybody was betting on Cancellara (including me) and we were all wrong. He didn't perform as expected. Why? Because he is human! Even Tiger Woods can miss par sometimes.

 

This Tour de France really feels fresh. I did my first Tour de France in 1986, and I have seen many things during all these years, but this year I feel something different. I'm not saying it's going to be perfect, but I would love to keep this fresh feeling for two more weeks--if you see what I mean. What if cycling was back in a brand new outfit?

 

If we have two more weeks like this, cycling will be back and we will have to thank A.S.O. for making some important changes to the Tour.

 

I didn't have any initial opinion on the new format of this year's Tour, to be honest. I was waiting to see what would happen more than anything else. Now, I must confess that taking the prologue away and setting up a short time trial is a fantastic idea. With this format, the good climbers are not losing too much time, and this promises some fantastic stages in the Pyrénées and the Alps!

 

And I bet that tomorrow will welcome a new yellow jersey...

 

Enjoy the show and keep on cycling. It's such a wonderful sport!

 

Please do not hesitate to post your comments, as I will be glad to share ideas with you. And remember, if you want to enjoy the Tour de France from the inside, do it with www.RonanPensecTravel.com , the official Tour de France operator. VIP passes, exclusive interviews with the pros, and so much more to live together!

 

Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in 1990 while racing for Greg Lemond's Z team. He now operates +Ronan Pensec Events+, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

1,180 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, mark-cavendish, 2008-tour-de-france, fabian-cancellara

For all of you who are watching the race daily, get ready for some real action tomorrow. This is where and when the Tour will start this year--with the time trial!

 

As you have seen so far, the Tour has not shown much. The first attacks were usually the right ones and no one was really willing to show his real motivation except...for Alejandro Valverde and his win on the first stage.

 

To talk about this stage, some of you may think that it might not have been the best thing to do: Beginning the Tour with a strong win and clearly show that he wants to wear the Yellow jersey in Paris. But if you look closer, you will notice that any win can make the difference, and when a pro lines up on the start line, it's always (yes, always) to give his best and win the race if possible. This is why they are pros and this is why Valverde is one of my favourites.

 

The only thing I have noticed, and I was a little concerned about, is the general behaviour of Valverde's team: Caisse d'Epargne.

 

Did you guys notice how fast they ride...for nothing? Once again, today they did a strong race up front but the outcome was just zero. So I'm worried that the team is not backing up Valverde as he should be, and at some point, if they ride like this everyday, they will get tired and they won't be able to support him when needed. It's a bit strange and I invite you to check their behaviour. It's pretty interesting.

 

...And Romain Feillu is now wearing the Yellow jersey. You all know I'm French, but don't get me wrong; I'm not going to tease you. Romain is a great kid, he has some obvious skills to perform, but he is only in his second professional season and today was his day I guess. But when you ride 200K with only four guys, you loose a lot of energy and with the time trial tomorrow, I'm afraid that Romain will loose the jersey to Fabian Cancellara!

 

Cancellara is my favourite for tomorrow. Even if everybody is going to give his best shot in the time trial, I would bet on both a win on the stage and the yellow jersey at the end of the day for Cancellara. What about Valderde and Evans? They are outstanding cyclists but I think that Cancellera is just stronger on a time trial.

 

I will end up this post by answering a classic question that everybody asks all the time here: "Is the new Tour de France for this year?" Will we have the great event that we all want to see?

 

My answer is NO. We said back in 1999 and the Festina case that we would have a new Tour de France, a much cleaner event and all that. Look at the last ten years...it's been a real drama for the sport. This year's Tour de France can bring cycling back to where it belongs, among one of the best and most exciting sports on earth, or it can take it down for quite some time.

 

This sport only lives thanks to private companies who sponsor our favourite riders. What if tomorrow we have another case? It could be the end of it. We have been lucky enough this year to welcome two U.S. companies on the professional scene with Garmin and Columbia. Let's catch this great opportunity and trust to share more and more days like the ones we will enjoy for the next three weeks!

 

Please do not hesitate to post your comments as I will be glad to share ideas and comments with you. And remember, if you want to enjoy the Tour de France from the inside, do it with www.RonanPensecTravel.com , the official Tour de France operator. VIP passes, exclusive interviews with the pros, and so much more to live together!

 

Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in 1990 while racing for Greg Lemond's Z team. He now operates +Ronan Pensec Events+, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

1,095 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france, alejandro-valverde, cadel-evans, fabian-cancellara, caisse-d'epargne

First of all, it is with great pleasure that I will be posting blogs about the Tour de France this year again. As for the race, we all know now, there won’t be any prologue and only 2 TT for this year’s Tour de France and I’m welcoming these changes with great hopes! I hope that with less TT, we will have a much more open Tour and that each single stage will be a real battle with great scenarios everyday.

 

I guess this year’s Tour will be for a sprinter that has also great abilities in the mountains; this is why I’m picking Cadel Evans as my favourite. For those of you who are into betting, you should pick guys like Andy Schlek, Damiano Cunego or even Valverde. Why Cadel? I think he is doing very well right now, he has huge potential and the only that he was missing was a strong team to back him up. With the arrival of Popovych, I think Silence-Lotto has everything in store to boost Cadel for the yellow jersey race this year.

 

But the Tour de France is no easy to win and the most important stages will always be the Alps and Pyrenees stages again. The Tour de France is all about the mountains but I would also count on the TTs which will have a greater impact than before. They should be fantastic to watch as they will be highly strategic because of all the points you can loose or win in them.

 

Talking about strategy, the beginning of this Tour will be much more exciting to watch than the 2007 event, and I’m betting that the first three or four days will be just crazy. Sprinters will give their bests to make a little difference and build their team’s position on the rankings.

 

I don’t know how you feel today but I just can’t wait for this Tour de France to begin. These few days before the Tour, it reminds me of this mixed feeling between excitement and stress and although I may have stopped cycling as a pro in 1997, you know what? To me, when I get this feeling, it’s just like if I was going to be out there as a pro. Pro or amateur, we all have the same excitements and stresses when the event approaches! That’s what we live for, don’t we?

 

I look forward to receiving your comments. Feel free to ask any question you want on the Tour de France. I should be able to help.

--Ronan

 

Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in 1990 while racing for Greg Lemond's Z team. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

896 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour_de_france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france
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