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Tour de France

18 Posts tagged with the alberto-contador tag

It seems the unwritten rules for top competitors waiting for one another when there is a crash or a mechanical problem are yet again playing a role in the outcome of the race. In a previous post, I wrote about the top contenders not waiting for Lance when he had his huge crash and in today's Stage 15 those "rules" had an influence again.

 

When Andy Schleck Saxo Bank) had a mechanical problem by dropping his chain, Alberto Contador (Astana), Denis Menchov (Rabobank), Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel-Euskadi) attacked. Though I did see the end of the race, I haven't seen post-race interviews, but internet news sources say that Schleck is mad as a hornet and looking for revenge. Contador claims innocence, he had no idea that Schleck had a problem...initially. By the time he realized there was a problem, gosh, it was just too late to wait. Ah yes, that is why the group time trialed all the way to the finish.

 

If old sayings hold water, then what goes around comes around. Those attacking when fellow top contenders crash or have a mechanical can expect the same treatment. It will be interesting to see what happens on the next mountain stages and on any crashes or mechanicals for the top contenders.

 

In the same post I mentioned above, I asked if it was really down to only two competiors. At the time, I was hoping Lance Armstrong would go for it and try to mix things up. I thought maybe Levi could pop into the top three. Now I don't think Levi can make the podium unless he is really saving something for the final climbs and the TT. Lance is back some 40 minutes now. There is a chance he could try for a stage win, but it won't be at the expense of helping Levi. I will admit I'd like to see him throw a few punches to mix things up...figureatively speaking of course.

 

Some of the best news of this Tour is there has been zero breaking news on drug issues. I'm hoping this is good news for a clean Tour.

 

So back to those unwritten rules...do you think top riders should wait when another top competitor has a crash or a mechanical? Or do you think it is a good time to attack?

3,939 Views 14 Comments Permalink Tags: tour-de-france, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, andy-schleck

The End

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 27, 2009

We just lived three unbelievable weeks of sport!

 

This year, Le Tour de France was back with his best ingredients: suspense and beautiful battles for each stage and each jersey.

 

In fact, this Tour de France was the confirmation and the consecration for Alberto Contador. We could also discover a young talent, Andy Schleck. Of course, we followed Lance Armstrong's convincing comeback. I think, it is a winner return for him even if he appeared unsatisfied on the podium.

 

These three factors let me think that it’s very good for cycling. I have the feeling that we are at the beginning of a new era. Indeed, there is a transfer of power between the two generations: The "old" one of Evans, Sastre, Hushovd...and the "new" one with Contador, the Schleck brothers, Cavendish, Nibali...

 

I am sure that next year, we will have an even more beautiful fight!

 

See you next year on the roads of Tour de France!

Ronan

 

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

3,153 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, mark-cavendish, cadel-evans, carlos-sastre, andy-schleck, frank-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france, thor-hushovd, vincenzo-nibali

Two More Stages!

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 24, 2009

Unpredictable stage today, with a high average speed (46km/hour) during 178 km and the last category 2 climb, which mixed things up.

 

The most surprising was, indeed, the motivation of Mark Cavendish in this last climb. The English cyclist kept his head on and won his fifth final sprint after a suspenseful ride to the line.

 

I also think that Cavendish will want to mark this historical competition with a sixth stage victory in Paris and make his name legendary.

 

Lance Armstrong didn't get trapped in the break created during the descent towards Aubenas, contrary to all his rivals for the third place on the podium. He demonstrated today that he is still here thanks to his professionalism.

 

To me, the two first places on the podium seem reserved for Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck.

 

Sentimentally, Armstrong deserves the third place on the podium. In fact, the American brought so much to current cycling and could continue to pull the sport of cycling upward with this new podium.

 

However, the ultimate explanation will take place tomorrow on the slopes of the mythical Ventoux. The Tour de France is waiting for 500,000 spectators on the edge of the road of this last important stage.

 

My feeling today is that we enter again in a period of domination--with Cavendish, who is simply the fastest for the sprints, but also with Contador, who appears above everybody. Andy Shleck could be the only guy to perturb the Spanish champion, but he will have to work hard for that.

 

Tomorrow, see you on top!

Ronan

 

Ronan Pensec participated eight times in the Tour de France 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.

 

1,472 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, mark-cavendish, andy-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france

Showtime!

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 23, 2009

It was once again one of those amazing days the Tour de France has to offer.

 

I just love time trials. It's such a beautiful stage, it's such a unique format with the bikes and special outfits. It really motivates you to get out there and give it a try.

 

And what a performance scored by Contador! Guys, this is just completely outstanding! I mean you look at Cancellara's body mass and you look at Contador--anyone would say that you have time trial specialist on one hand and a climber on the other! But Contador doesn't care about that and he is the perfect example that with a skinny body you can do amazing things! He just won over Cancellara and I didn't think this would happen. He is the boss and deserves the yellow jersey in Paris now!

 

Andy Schleck really amazed me today, too. He was also super-fast and it comforts me when I think that he is got it all to win a Tour at some point.

 

But what is even better about today is that we have the Ventoux in two days from now. The French beast is just around the corner and anything can happen there. I'm telling you: anything! The Ventoux was planned to be one of the most exciting stages of the Tour and I'm telling you now it's going to be the day to watch!

 

And don't worry about tomorrow, it will be a transition day. Riders will rest a bit and will save everything they have for Saturday! I just can't wait.

 

Anything can happen and Armstrong finished third today. Anything is possible in this Tour de France and that's definitely why we love it!

 

Enjoy the show!

Ronan

 

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

2,973 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, fabian-cancellara, andy-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france, mont-ventoux, ventoux

Thank You, Guys!

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 22, 2009

I hope you were in front of your TV today as we have had the best stage of the year by far. What a day! The riders gave so much today. It was a strategic day and we were expecting to see some changes in the rankings after that day. It was money time.

 

My first “thank you” will go to Thor Hushovd for his incredible start with two climbs in first position and the green jersey almost secured for Paris. I got really impressed by how much he put into it. This is what I love to see. He really gave his best and got what he wanted!

 

With the largest audience recorded this year on the Tour de France, the riders had to run the show and my second “thank you” will go to Astana and Saxo Bank. They ran a great mano a mano between Alberto Contador and Andreas Kloden on one end and the Schleck brothers on the other end. What a ride! Everyone was giving his best and the first to go down was finally Kloden but that was a bit expected.

 

The big question was Franck Schleck who showed some fatigue yesterday. Today was another day and he showed the world that he and his brother are the biggest threats to Contador’s run for the yellow jersey. And they attacked right at the end on the last two climbs that were super hard. So it’s one more “thank you” for taking so much risk by attacking in the critical part. In the meantime, it was the only way to make a break...

 

Contador is still in great position to win this Tour and I think he will make it. The only doubt that remains comes from the Schleck brothers. They have one more stage to go to win the Tour. It’s the Ventoux on Saturday. If they go hard and Contador gets some problems (fatigue), then, Andy could win the Tour.

 

What a day! Tomorrow comes the time trial and we will see some great action again. That’s for sure because all the seats, except maybe the yellow jersey, are still wide open for many riders: Lance Armstrong is always around the corner, the Schleck seem to be on top of their game, etc.

 

This promises us a great finish for this Tour. It’s been some time since the Tour was so open like that and I’m very happy about it.

 

Well done guys and thank you for the show!

Ronan

 

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

4,555 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, astana, andy-schleck, frank-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france, thor-hushovd, saxo-bank, andreas-kloden

Some Fog on the Rankings

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 21, 2009

Today was very warm and it was a very dynamic and difficult course as I explained to you yesterday. I was expecting some changes in the rankings and there are some! Except for Contador who is still in the lead, there is now some fog on the next 5 to 8 spots.

 

Given what Cadel Evans showed today, I doubt he will make it back to the podium, but besides that, it’s very tough to say who will be going for one of the top-5 spots.

 

Sastre had a tough day but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him coming back later on this week. He has the mental strength to come back and I felt like today was just not his day. So pay attention to him.

 

The big question is Lance. He is still very strong and I’m no longer surprised to see him doing so well after what he has shown so far this year. The only question is how far does he want to go? Because this guy will go wherever he wants!

 

I would also pay attention to Andy Schleck who has done a good stage. He needed some support from his brother and teammates but didn’t quite receive what he needed to make it to the finish line. He is looking good and fresh and I’m thinking he could make it to the podium. Schleck might a bit frustrated by what happened today because Saxo Bank tried to attack in the second part of the stage but it didn’t work out as you have seen. Therefore, I’m thinking that Schleck could attack again tomorrow.

 

Talking about an attack tomorrow, I think the riders will keep it cool until the Col de Rome which is one of the toughest cols of the Tour and this col would actually be the perfect setting for an attack and maybe for Schleck.

 

The thing is that this year each time you expect something to happen, nothing really happens, and it’s when you don’t expect much from a stage that something big happens, like on Sunday, for example. It’s quite funny and makes the Tour de France very interesting in some ways this year.

 

Finally, I would like to express my best recovery wishes to Voigt who suffered a terrible bike crash today. I’d like to give him my support and I hope to see him back on a bike very soon. All the best, Mr. Voigt!

 

Yours in Sport,

Ronan

 

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

4,186 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, alberto-contador, cadel-evans, carlos-sastre, andy-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france, jens-voigt

Keeping the Momentum

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 20, 2009

Today is a strange day for most riders. This is the second rest day...and it can be very special and there are two sides to it.

 

On one side, you have those super-tired riders who will be resting fully to save enough energy for tomorrow's tough race.

 

On the other side, you have those who are still racing for a good ranking. For them, it's all about keeping the momentum and making sure you don't get perturbed by anything. They will go for a short ride to sweat a bit and keep the feeling...

 

It's a tough day on both sides and there is no recipe to take good advantage of it. This is where experience plays a huge role

 

Talking about the rest day, we have to talk about tomorrow as it's also a very special day. We are going to have a short and super dynamic stage with two big climbs. It will be the perfect setting for the stars like Evans, Sastre, Schleck and, of course, Contador! I hope to see a great match up between Schleck and Contador. It's like a new generation taking over the Tour: dynamic, aggressive, talented and hungry for victory! Get ready for some great action tomorrow!

 

Yours in sport,

Ronan

 

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

2,338 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, alberto-contador, cadel-evans, carlos-sastre, andy-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france

I hope you were awake to watch today's stage as it was one of the best days of this week and probably of this year's Tour de France so far. It was intense; there was a lot of suspense and we got a hell of a finish with Contador.

 

So Contador wins today after a massive climb and he can finally wear the yellow jersey on Tuesday. I think he is now on the highway of success and I don't him see him losing the Tour unless something very unexpected happens (ie: crash, injury).

 

We were looking for some action today and got very pleased with the pace set by the peloton. The race went really fast and they were at the foot of Verbier a little earlier than we could have expected. It's funny because we didn't expect to have so much action today. It was really intense and everybody in the crowd were surprised that the riders went so fast.

 

Anyway, right when they started the climb, Contador decided to accelerate and only Andy Schleck was able to follow him for a while. It was impressive to see how fast Contador climbed Verbier today. I think he has definitely put some pressure on the other riders now. And right before the second rest day, it's a very good move. Riders will tend to think about it.

 

We all know that it's hard to be on top of your game when everyone is waiting for you to perform but by doing this nice move today, the pressure has now changed and for those who thought that Contador could fail under pressure, I can tell you now that he must feel much more comfortable than a few days ago.

 

We have also to congratulate Armstrong for his job so far. I wouldn't be surprised that we will see him in the top-five in Paris. When you think about it...what a comeback! What is it going to be next year when he will have had a full year of training and racing? I can't wait.

 

Finally, I would like to draw your attention on Andy Schleck who did an excellent stage, and even if he couldn't keep up with Contador, I keep on thinking that he would be a good runner-up in Paris. He has got the skills to climb and it looks like he is got the mental and freshness for the Alps. Keep an eye on him, I'm sure he will be exciting to watch.

 

Tomorrow is a rest day, but with today's action Tuesday promises a lot of fun!

 

I hope you enjoyed the race and stay tuned for more fun to come!

 

Yours in Sports,

Ronan

 

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

5,633 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, andy-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france

We have had an incredible first week, as you know, and a way less exciting second week, as you may have seen.Everybody was hoping that today will be the restart of the Tour but very bad weather conditions got into it and delayed the show...until Sunday now.

 

This stage was supposed to be a strategic stage for riders within 4 to 5 minutes of the yellow jersey but it ended up in a status quo. The only one guy who took advantage of this stage was Pelizotti who simply secured his polka-dot jersey.

 

So the next exciting day will be Sunday and I can’t wait till that evening and see how the ratings will be.

 

I’m actually thinking that we should take this second week out of the Tour. Honestly, it’s pointless and it only incites riders to take “vitamins” to be on top of their games for the third and last week.

 

Honestly when you have a Tour with Astana and Columbia, you don’t need this second week. Astana is ruling the peloton and only working to secure Contador’s win. And on the other side, when it gets flat, Columbia is totally ruling these stages, so it doesn’t leave much room to the other teams...unless you have stages like today...but the weather didn’t see it that way today.

 

Tomorrow will be a classic sprint day for our legend Cavendish, so don’t wake up too early, there won’t be much to watch until the last few minutes. I shouldn’t say so but it’s so true. I only wish I will be totally wrong tomorrow.

 

Stay tuned as the fun is just around the corner,

Ronan

 

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

2,258 Views 5 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, alberto-contador, astana, mark-cavendish, team-columbia, 2009-tour-de-france, franco-pellizotti

I would like to thank you for your comments on my post regarding the radio. I can see that this is something that makes people talk…and there are very good reasons why.

 

Back in the days when we didn’t have radios, you had three options to get info on the race:

  • The crowd: it wasn’t the most accurate info you could get but it was very motivating and you are feeling much closer from the fans that the riders probably are today. I loved it and I’m sure that if you talk to any NFL players, they would tell you they love to hear the crowds!

  • The “Ardoisier”: This is that funny guy on his motorcycle who gives you the gap between the echappée and the peloton. When you race, you always look for this guy. Today, they are really useless but tradition stands and we keep them on the course.

  • Third and most safe option: the team manager and one of your teammates who would slow down to the race director’s car, collect the info and orders, and pedal back up in the peloton to tell his mates what to do. It was way less secure but we had much more open racing.

 

So the real question is: Do you enjoy predictable races like we have now? Do you like the fact that we can almost say at what second the peloton will make it back on the echappé and Cavendish will win the sprint?

 

I’m sure you don’t.

 

The reality is that cycling is not a technical sport. It’s an athletic-performance sport. Therefore, the peloton has never been more compact and consistent. There isn’t much difference between riders except for cycling icons like Armstrong, Contador or Cavendish on the sprint.

 

I remember the rivalry between Ulrich and Armstrong a few years ago. Back then, Ulrich was stronger than Armstrong but don’t get me wrong, Armstrong was still winning, wasn’t he? Why? Because he is just a smarter dude! Ulrich couldn’t get in the right echappée or get the right pace without his team manager.

 

Note also that in team sports like you talk about, you have team managers, coaches and players. In cycling, you go straight from team managers to players/riders. You don’t have a coach on the field. So it’s hard to compare sports that are not comparable.

 

Cycling is an old-school sport and it happens that it’s a lot more fun if you play it old school, without radios.

 

The more I think about this, the more I think that the idea of having only one guy in the team with a radio is the best option. The rider and the team get informed if there is any danger...and if the guy holding the radio gets one of his teammates in the echappée...we can’t control the échappée anymore and here comes the fun..

 

I will finish this post with today’s race that didn’t see Cavendish winning, surprisingly. The Columbia team looks very much out of shape and rode very slowly. I don’t know why and we are still trying to figure this out.

 

I guess Cavendish was a bit tired and the team decided not to launch on a sprint he wouldn’t win…just so he can keep his confidence up.

 

But what is funny about today is that the other teams are so stressed by the Columbia team, they are so scared that when Columbia didn’t ride hard, they layered their pace on them just to control Cavendish. It was funny to look at. Columbia is ruling the peloton this week.

 

Tomorrow will be rainy and hilly so I guess we will have an interesting day. I’m just hoping that we won’t get too many crashes. Will radios and team managers be able to prevent a rider from sliding on a slippery road? I doubt it...

 

Enjoy the show,

Ronan

 

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

1,978 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, mark-cavendish, team-columbia, 2009-tour-de-france, jan-ulrich

Today was the boring day I was afraid to have, but it did happen.

 

Not much action to look at in the end, it's very sad. It's very sad because you are in the Pyrénées and especially today, you have the Tourmalet.

 

But even a top mountain like this one didn't foster the riders enough to see some action. I'm not blaming them but it takes me back to what we discussed yesterday.

 

Why do we have stages like that? We have to go to the Pyrénées and we know that but; you can't just soften them so much otherwise you don't get fun anymore.

 

Today, I can hear two versions of why we are having some days like today.

 

The first one is because of doping. We are now always expecting to hear about a doping case so the Tour de France race director has setup some stages like that, that are tough, but not supposed to get you into doping. I have some doubts about that but why not...it's a fair try.

 

The second version is to make sure that the Tour de France is not already over. With a strong Contador this year, we all know that he has a 99 percent chance to win the Tour but if you make him win before the end of the first week, you start losing business. I can handle this explanation, it makes a bit of sense but in the end, but I think it's regrettable that we get stages like that at all.

 

We know Contador is going to make it and he had such a strong team that I doubt he will lose the Tour this year.

 

But another question remains? What the hell are the team managers doing? Once again, today was a good opportunity to try something. Do they lack creativity? Is there too much money involved?

 

I mean when you have the Tourmalet in a stage, you have a very nice "tool" to play with. Why aren't they using that?

 

I will be glad to read what your thoughts are about all that and what you would like to see in the future (if things could be changed).

 

Please free to send me all your questions and I will take a couple everyday to answer them.

 

I look forward to reading from you tomorrow.

 

Yours in Sport,

Ronan

 

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

2,231 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, alberto-contador, 2009-tour-de-france, tourmalet

I’m a true fan of the Tour de France. I used to ride it as a pro, I’m now helping TV productions, so I shouldn’t say what I’m about to say but it’s the obvious truth: Today was a boring day!

 

If you look at the course, it can’t really be any different. You have an easy climb 40k before the finish line so no one can get surprised in it and then it’s downhill and flat till the finish. Therefore, there isn’t much strategy. You just control the race, make sure you don’t lose time on your direct competitor and you can “rest” a bit.

 

And that’s exactly how the guys played it today. These days show some very conservative behaviours (which is normal in some ways) but it isn’t quite what we expect from the Tour de France.

 

I’m not talking about the riders. They made the right call today. They race to win. I’m talking about the race directors. Presenting days like that on the Tour is not quite good for the audience so maybe there could be something to think about it here. Shorten the length of the Tour or maybe these stages. I don’t have the answer.

 

But I’m afraid that the next stage will pretty much be the same except that the climb is a very serious one. It’s the Tourmalet. Hopefully, things can change tomorrow and we could see some action.

 

Today showed us that Contador is the man to beat in the mountains and I think he will rule the Tourmalet tomorrow and maybe gain the yellow jersey. That would be the best thing that could happen to the Tour.

 

We need some excitements like we had on the first days. We have to keep the momentum for the fans and for the riders!

 

The only positive thing about stages like today is that they suit any type of riders. So in some ways, it’s good for the sport. Everyone gets a shot at a stage at some point so it helps the riders stay focused on the Tour.

 

Anyway, I hope tomorrow will be fun to watch and if not, I’m not worried much. There are exciting things to come!

 

Stay tuned,

Ronan

 

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

570 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, alberto-contador, 2009-tour-de-france, tourmalet

Tour de France, I Love You!

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 10, 2009

When the Tour de France has days like today with great weather conditions, a great course, massive crowds on the road and on TV, I’m in love with it! What a day!

 

I would agree to a certain extent that the beginning of the stage wasn’t super exciting to watch but with the hell of a finish we had today, you have to recognize that we are having a great show for almost a week now.

 

Cancellara has literally exploded in the first climb of this Tour and has lost his yellow jersey. It was maybe the only fact that we could have forecast for today.

 

Then, it’s not Contador nor Lance, as I thought, who got the yellow jersey, it’s the Italian, Nocentini, who is the new leader by only 6 seconds! No doubt that Contador will claim his due tomorrow and that we will have a new yellow jersey! And watch out for Lance who is just around the corner just two seconds behind!

 

Isn’t that great? Isn’t what we want?

 

So please join me in congratulating Lance for his awesome start on this Tour. It’s incredible to do what he is doing with so little time to train. He is already racing for the win. I would like to meet anyone who could have predicted that a couple months ago. I mean, the guy retired for 3 years, had a great time and comes back to one of the most difficult sports where you have to be ready to hurt yourself everyday. It’s such a great achievement to be here and be among the best already.

 

I heard today, in the backstage, that it’s almost guaranteed that Lance will be riding next year for his own team called Livestrong. Nike will be the main partner and they will be riding Trek bikes, of course. I talked with some friends who ensured me that this will happen. What a great news! I’m so stoked about that. We will get to see the legend again in France!

 

This news makes me realize how lucky we are to be part of that and be able to enjoy these great moments of sports. What else can bring you such excitement?

 

You never know what can happen in sports. Look at today’s race: a French man who just turned pro in September won the stage!

 

There is magic in sports and I hope you are seeing as much as I am.

 

Enjoy the Tour, enjoy the sports, it’s all good!

Ronan

 

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

2,241 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, trek, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, nike, fabian-cancellara, 2009-tour-de-france, livestrong

Here Comes the Rain

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 9, 2009

Today was supposed to be a transition day so usually you use these days to “recover” a bit and prepare yourself for the next challenge which, for instance, is tomorrow with the first climb of this Tour.

 

Unfortunately, the rain was on the Tour today and with heavy showers, this transition day became actually a very stressful day for the riders as the roads were super slippery.

 

It usually doesn’t rain much in this part of France and Spain so the roads are pretty dusty. If you add rain to it, they become very slippery and super risky as there were some downhill today.

 

Lots of wipeouts, and obviously a lot of tension for the leaders because they can’t slow down, they must stick to the pack and be ready for any echappée.

 

The Astana team showed the most experience and self-control today and they are definitely now my favourites.

 

I even think that Lance is going to grab the Yellow jersey tomorrow in Andorra. He's got everything he needs to make it happen and Contador is under big pressure here. I just saw him passing by 5 minutes ago and there were hundreds of supporters on him trying to get a shot or an autograph from him. It’s not easy to handle that much stress and it could have some impact tomorrow, I think.

 

The only big question tomorrow is Cancellara. I know he recently won the Tour of Switzerland recently and that he has lost 5kg but I doubt he can compete with Lance in the mountains.

 

It’s hard to really make a guess here but if Cancellara can compete with Lance on hilly courses, we are going to have a hell of a Tour de France!

 

So stay tuned tomorrow for some great action and a potential comeback of Lance with the Yellow Jersey!

 

How exciting is that?!

 

Yours in Sport,

Ronan

 

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

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First Transition Day

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 8, 2009

This was our first transition day today on the Tour de France.

 

After an epic team time trial yesterday, it was obvious that riders would slow down a bit. The time trial yesterday combined with a potential strong wind today forced the teams to adopt a very laid-back approach. No one really planned anything and gave much energy for the win. We got lucky enough that the wind didn’t blow too much because this could have impacted the race as the wind could have perturbed the race’s rankings.

 

Tomorrow will be another transition day, I think, until Friday with the first climb of this year’s Tour. Until then, don’t expect much to happen.

 

I was once again glad to see that Lance did a very smart race, managing his efforts, keeping the pressure on the competition and making sure the race was under control.

 

I would also like to take this opportunity to underline the quality of Lance’s teammates' work. They are doing great work at protecting him and I’m starting to wonder about Contador’s take. We will see when the course will get hilly. This is where we will know if Lance is going for it or supporting Contador.

 

Finally, Cavendish won the peloton sprint once again and is definitely the ultimate sprinter. He is unbeatable today and I can’t see someone who could threaten him. Sprints are under control as well unfortunately…

 

I hope you enjoyed the race like I did and stay tuned for more fun in the upcoming days!

 

Yours in Sport,

Ronan

 

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

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