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Tour de France

18 Posts tagged with the alberto-contador tag

And They Have Headsets...

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 6, 2009

What a nice stage to watch today! You didn’t need to watch it from the beginning as nothing happened during the first 150k and to be honest, I was a little worried that some riders would fall asleep on their bikes as the pace was so slow and the race itself quite soporific.


But we got lucky enough that the race radically changed in one single turn. One turn that changed the whole race and maybe the entire first week of this Tour de France!


In one single turn, a group leaded by the Columbia team left the peloton and created an echappée that would hang on till the end of the race.


All of a sudden, the Columbia team, the yellow jersey Cancellara and the inevitable Lance Armstrong were leaving guys like Schleck, Sastre and Contador in the peloton!


And what is crazy is that these three guys didn’t even try to make it back with Lance and Cancellara. They just stuck in the peloton even if the echappée was not going fast at all. What were they thinking?


Even worse, their teammates didn’t make the effort to make it back with the echappée! Honestly, I still wonder how did this happen.


Honestly, you have the yellow jersey leaving the pack supported by his whole team, you have Lance and four other Astana guys and what do they do? They just look at them. Come on!!!


They have team managers, they have the experience, they are trained, they have a strategy, they know who to watch after and they have headsets linking them with the team manager who is supposed to know what is going on!


I’m seriously laughing at these team managers who have been in cycling for 20 years and can’t even see what was obvious! This is just not acceptable from a sports standpoint. You can’t let Lance and Cancellara leave like that, you have to be stupid or you just don’t care.


So here we are now with Lance just 40 seconds away from the yellow jersey and a team time trial just around the corner. I’m telling you now: Lance is going to wear the yellow jersey again and who knows what can happen after.


In the end, we now have a very exciting Tour de France to watch and I’m super happy for Lance.


The pressure is definitely on his shoulders but we know the man and we know that it will actually boost him…if he needs any boost now!


Lance is going to wear the yellow jersey, attract all the attention on him and during this time, the real favourite, Contador, can rest, manage his physical condition and strike hard in the mountain stages where he is supposed to win the Tour.


You know what? It reminds me a Tour de France with Greg Lemond when a young French guy of his team took the yellow jersey for a couple days.


That French guy was being asked to give everything he had to help Greg win the Tour. He did his best and, at some point, his team manager came over and told him to step back and help Greg endorse the yellow jersey…that’s what the French guy did and a couple days later, Greg won his Tour de France as forecast!


That French man was actually me…and what Lance is doing today reminds me a bit of that and I can tell you that he is having a very good time out there. Let’s see how long he can keep the momentum for!


I hope you enjoyed the race and that you are as excited as me for tomorrow!


Yours in sport,



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.

949 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, carlos-sastre, fabian-cancellara, andy-schleck, frank-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france

It’s with great pleasure that I will have once again the opportunity to provide you with my feedbacks on the race everyday.


I can’t remember how many Tour de France I have watched (I do remember how many I raced) but what is sure is that it doesn’t matter if you are a pro cyclist, a weekend warrior, or even a former yellow jersey like me, you are always super thrilled when it’s about to start.


This Tour de France looks very exciting with lots of interesting finishes. I have had a good look at the course the other day and I must confess that I would love to do it. Special credit goes to this massive third week with the Alps stages, the Ventoux on Saturday and all its drama before the final run to Paris. I can’t wait!


Because of this “hilly” third week, I think that the winner of this Tour will have to be a climber.


Thing is that even if you do a great third week in the Alps, you get the Ventoux on Saturday and still have one day to go to get to Paris. And I know from my experience that anything can happen in the Ventoux. Climbers will have their shot at it this year for sure. So don’t miss that day, check you calendars, book the whole night and watch this live. It will be one of these great days in the Tour’s history.


So here we are, we have a great course, with a fancy start in Monaco, then, you look at the athletes engaged and you become even more thrilled about this 2009 Tour de France: Contador, Cadel Evans, Sastre, the Schleck brothers, the Astana team and its phenomenon Lance Armstrong! What else could you ask for?


The Tour is already the greatest cycling event on the planet but with Lance’s comeback, you just get it all at once…and this is going to last for 3 weeks! When you think about it, Lance is by far the only superstar cycling has ever had and having him coming back, this is almost too much! Seriously, Lance’s come back is one of the greatest things that has happened to the Tour since he won his titles. Coming back with no ambition than just enjoying the sports, helping his charity Livestrong, it just shows the world what a great man he is.


You may not realize how tough a Tour de France is for your body, but it really is one of the toughest effort you can do in today’s sports. So you have to realize that you can’t just say “Well, I’m back” and expect to have fun or even finish it. It’s not like a golf player who is willing to do a comeback. This is serious work to get back in a shape to feel confident to take the start and it requires even more work to get enough trained to perform well even if your name is Lance Armstrong! This is a former yellow jersey telling you that. I never thought about coming back, just for that one reason. Lance is even fitter than he used to be in 2005 and he has taken back his 2005 position on his bike. The guy is going for it, I’m telling you.


Talking about Lance and because it’s my first post, most of you will be waiting for my favourites (I hope). I won’t make you wait any longer, so here they are: Contador, Evans, Sastre, Armstrong, Andy Schleck and Leipheimer. I don’t think Menchov is a real threat; he will be tired off his great Giro and shouldn’t have enough resources to make it.


If I had to pick one among these athletes, I would go for Andy Schleck because cycling needs some fresh blood I think and Andy looks like a great sportsman with a true cycling heritage. Fingers crossed!


So, regarding tomorrow now, here is my first insight of this year’s Tour. Astana is going to have Lance starting the prologue in first and Contador finishing it. You know that usually, you would launch your best shot at the end but Astana has been in Monaco for several days and so have I. You notice that everyday is very sunny except during the last hour of the afternoon where you can even have some light rains. I think Astana wanted to get Lance going first to make sure he is got he ideal conditions to perform and put the pressure on the other teams.


This prologue is like the Team time trial. This is not just a very nice stage, great for the public and all that, it’s almost the perfect setup to put pressure on your competition. So don’t look at the prologue or the team time trial just like a great day of cycling with athletes riding the nicest bikes in the world, a lot of strategy is taking place during these moments and tomorrow it starts with Lance going first!


Finally, I would just like to write a note about Boonen who has finally been accepted on the Tour this year after two positive controls. Some will say that it’s once again a shame for the sports and I could understand that but I will argue the opposite. I think it’s good for cycling that Boonen got in. We need all the pros on the line tomorrow to make this Tour de France one of the greatest. Boonen made a big mistake during “this party” and I’m sure he has already paid the price for his mistake. It wasn’t doping to perform better and I think Justice should have been clearer and more strict from the beginning. With all these changes, it’s the whole legal process that lost a bit of credibility here I think…but we will have other opportunities to talk about doping in later posts…


I’m looking for a lot of great moments of sports during the three upcoming weeks and am truly happy to be able to share them with you. So feel free to contact me if you have any question as it’s always a pleasure to share my passion of cycling with all of you.


To a great Tour de France!


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.

695 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, levi-leipheimer, tom-boonen, astana, cadel-evans, carlos-sastre, andy-schleck, frank-schleck, denis-menchov, 2009-tour-de-france, monaco

Ronan Pensec: The Tour of Hope

Posted by ActiveTdF Jul 27, 2008

What a Tour de France we have seen this year! For the first time in a few years, I feel that this year's winner, the Spaniard Carlos Sastre, well deserves his victory.


Sastre, of Team CSC, has been in the peloton for ten years and has never been in a tricky situation regarding a doping case. This rider has built his victory this year not only with his legs but also with his brain, which I really like.


Besides that, this Tour de France was great for the French, who claimed a few stage victories. But what about the new king of massive sprints--the young British gun Mark Cavendish! This guy is awesome and I hope to see him again and again in big races.


I'll keep in mind, of course, the dismissal from the race of Riccardo Ricco and his Saunier Duval team. But I say, "Keep outing the cheaters. Cycling doesn't need you!"


I want to also mention Cadel Evans. Of course this guy could have been the winner this year, but he needed to attack and have a better team around him.


I believe that next year will be a great Tour de France, with, I hope, a great fight between Evans, Sastre, the Schleck brothers and Alberto Contador. A new generation has arrived and it will be awesome to see all those guys in the mountains next year!


Now it's the time for all of us to raise a glass of Champagne to celebrate this year's winner.


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 , 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.

1,936 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, alberto-contador, csc, mark-cavendish, 2008-tour-de-france, cadel-evans, carlos-sastre, riccardo-ricco, frank-schleck
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