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15 Posts tagged with the cadel-evans tag

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

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.

4,185 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

Tricky Transition Days

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 13, 2009

Thank you for your comments yesterday. As it's a rest day and that not much happened today in the backstage, I will try to answer all your questions below.

 

Please feel free to comment them and no worries if some other questions arise...

 

Regarding the Astana potential competitors, I will make it short here. I don’t think there is any competition to be honest. Today, they have for sure 4 guys who can finish in the top 10 and no other team is even close to that. No doubt that Astana will make it this year. Sorry if I ruined the suspense.

 

If there was a coalition between guys like Schleck, Evans or Sastre, maybe we could have someone else in the lead but do you think these guys will cooperate and accept to leave the race to a competitor at the end? There can only be one winner…and it will be one of Astana’s riders.

 

As for the Tourmalet stage, I think the main reason why they left so many miles after the Col du Tourmalet was to make sure that the Tour wasn’t over after the Pyrénées. And I think they made the right call even if it wasn’t an interesting stage. The Tour isn’t a one-day show, you have to entertain the crowds for several weeks!

 

The other reason is that the last week is super hard and we don’t want anyone to fall in the situation where people will start talking about doping before we start the race. I mean, we all know what is going on but it’s not a reason to feed it…won’t you agree?

 

So, it was for sure a boring day but in the end, we have some remaining suspense and that’s all we want. However, I think that the right call would have been to put another climb right after the Tourmalet. There are lots of small hills around it and it’s a shame they didn’t think about that. Another “col” (mountain) wouldn’t have killed the Tour for sure and the stage would have been more exciting to watch I think.

 

As for the Rabo team, I think that honestly, it may not look like they tried but I can tell you that they really tried their best. They were trying to go for it but the Caisse d’Epargne was just stronger.

 

And by the way, I think the Caisse d’Epargne can actually win other stages next week. We have quite a fast course on the second week and we will have classic stages with lots of echappées. So, the Caisse d’Epargne is surely not going for the yellow jersey but they will go for stages wins and I’m sure they will attack and try to win some. They have the talent to do so I think, and they are good at reading echappées…thanks to headsets?

 

I don’t think so…

 

This takes me to your last questions about the use of radios. Today, if you ask the race directors, they will tell you that it’s for safety. That’s their main argument! If you look at statistics, there are not less accidents than before. It’s not a serious argument and my opinion is that without radios, we would have much funnier stages to watch.

 

Riders would just be in each échappées, they will have to try, they will have to feel what is going on in the peloton, who is having a good day and there would be more attacks and so on, that’s for sure…in the end, they would have to PLAY! That’s a sport and when we all started racing in cycling, it was for the fun of it, wasn’t it? Let’s bring back the fun in this peloton and I’m sure the riders will be happy and so will we!

 

Enjoy the show tomorrow and I look forward to reading from you soon. Thanks for the birthday wishes and for posting your questions!

 

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.

2,566 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, astana, cadel-evans, carlos-sastre, caisse-d'epargne, andy-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france, rabobank, tourmalet

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.

504 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 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.

1,725 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

Ronan Pensec: Chavanel got it!

Posted by ActiveTdF Jul 25, 2008

What a day for Sylvain Chavanel! After eight Tour de Frances and several attacks over the last two weeks, the sympathetic  French rider, Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis), has finally got his first-ever stage win in the Tour de France. Even if Chavanel had announced three days ago that he would ride next year for the rival Belgium QuickStep team, he got the stage win today as a gift from his Team of the last four years.

 

Other than that, the peloton and its leader, Carlos Sastre (CSC), have had a pretty quiet day today. All the top riders seems to be already focusing on the very important Time Trial that will decide of the final ranking of the magnificent edition of the Tour de France.

 

It has been a very long time that the last Time Trial has been so important. What will happen tomorrow between the excellent climber Sastre and Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto), no one can tell. Of course, Evans on paper is far better in this specific kind of race than the smaller Sastre, but after 19 very tiring stages, it’s a really different game. Stay tuned for a very interesting day tomorrow with the final Time Trial. Hope you've enjoyed this year's Tour de France as much as me.

 

Please do not hesitate to post me 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.

945 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour_de_france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france, cadel-evans

It was another transition day at the Tour today, as we expected, and I think tomorrow will be pretty much the same.

 

We will have some guys going for the stage win, but I don't think there will be any change in the general ranking until the time trial. And I wouldn't be too confident if I was Cadel Evans, because he will definitely have all the pressure on his shoulders. I keep on saying that he should win the Tour thanks to his time trial ability. But in the meantime, here at the Tour everyone else is saying the same thing, so I'm sure Evans knows everybody is now waiting for him to produce.

 

Today saw the victory of Marcus Burghardt, who is a pretty young and talented cyclist. I kind of like this guy because he has been working hard for his team, and I think that a stage win is well-deserved. Keep an eye on him in the future. People backstage at the Tour have been talking a lot about him recently.

 

Finally, I'd like to talk about this crazy situation where Mr. Schleck, the father of Andy and Frank, got pulled over by customs officials for an unexpected search of his car. The police didn't find anything expect some aspirin. It looks like an anonymous person called the police and said that he was carrying drugs for his children!

 

Anyway, behind this fact, I think it's a bit of a joke to be so aggressive over cyclists. I'm not saying they shouldn't control as much as they are doing right now, but there are proper ways to get things done. And this was not nice behaviour at all. Cyclists have done bad things, and some still do--there is no doubt about this. But in the meantime, rather than asking ourselves why some cyclists take doping products, we should ask ourselves why cycling is the only sport that is so much controlled?

 

Honestly, I doubt there are no other sports where athletes take illegal products to get better. We are always talking about cycling and athletics as if the two are purely physical sports. Well, I'm sorry, but like any other sport, these both require good tactics, strategy, and mental skills to perform.

 

So let's continue the controls after the race and during the season, but let's make sure we control the right people and we do it the right way.

 

This Tour de France has been one of the best in a long time, and I'm glad to see that the doping cases haven't affected the show as much as they used to do.

 

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.

1,251 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france, cadel-evans, andy-schleck, frank-schleck, marcus-burghardt

I was expecting today to be a real decisive day for the Tour, but, fortunately, nothing is obvious tonight.

 

Cadel Evans is 1:34 behind the yellow jersey, and while I think it won't be enough to prevent him from winning this Tour, it's not going to be that easy for him. The time trial is going to be decisive again, and I'm not sure that this is the best thing for the race. Playing the Tour on the time trial might help to celebrate one rider, but not a team.

 

But today was another CSC day. They are having such a great Tour de France that I feel like it's a bit of a shame for them to (maybe) miss the yellow jersey at the end of the week.

 

I think the weather conditions, with a lot of wind today, have really impacted the race. If the conditions had been better, the CSC team would have done a much better job and Evans wouldn't be as confident tonight. In an ideal world, CSC should have attacked very early. But given the weather, I think they realized they couldn't, and they decided to wait and launch Sastre on l'Alpe d'Huez.

 

Once again, l'Alpe d'Huez has hosted an incredible show. It is always completely crazy and fantastic to live through moments like that in sports. And more generally speaking, as I have been working with France2, the French TV channel that produces the images of the Tour, I can tell you that the audiences all around the world have been really high this year. Lots of people watch the Tour in France but also all around the world, and it's really good for cycling.

 

I will keep on predicting that the final result will be Evans No. 1 and Sastre No. 2.

 

Tomorrow will not be a "rest day," as I'm pretty sure CSC will try to keep a high pace just to show Evans that they will give everything until they cross the finish line in Paris. So keep an eye on tomorrow, there could be some surprises within the next 48 hours.

 

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.

2,711 Views 12 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france, cadel-evans, carlos-sastre

We were expecting a more challenging stage today, with more fights and attacks from the riders, but it wasn't as great as I thought it would be. Given the OK performance of Frank Schleck, I even feel like the Tour de France is already over as Cadel Evans is by far the fastest time trialist among all the contenders.

 

If you think about it, Schleck and the other contenders will have to pretty much win by four minutes on Evans in tomorrow's stage to have a chance to win in Paris. But who is going to take four minutes on Evans on the Alpe d'Huez?

 

Despite the fact that the Tour might already be over (even if it's never over until you cross the finish line), I think we are having one of the greatest in decades. Can you believe that we have three guys within 10 seconds after two weeks? They have spent more then 68 hours on their bikes and only 10 seconds separate them. Wow!

 

Some may say that the Tour lacks a real "boss" in the peloton and it's sometimes good to see someone like that, but it feels really fresh without one. I will say this: the Tour would be perfect so far if we didn't have some stupid guys doping themselves.

 

Tomorrow's l'Alpe d'Huez is always a great moment in the Tour, but with today's rankings, it's just going to be crazy! 500,000 people are predicted to line the roads! And who knows, maybe Schleck didn't do so well today so he can strike hard tomorrow. I'm all excited about it and I hope you are too!

 

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.

2,658 Views 7 Comments Permalink Tags: tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france, cadel-evans, frank-schleck, alpe-d'huez

What a great day at the Tour today, even if it much of it had to do with the weather conditions, which really impacted the race. Frank Schleck is now in yellow by only seven seconds and the top 6 is within 50 seconds of each other. Isn't it just great?

 

With a rest day tomorrow, all these guys should be OK for some great action in the Alps, which should lead to a fantastic finish in Paris. Many people today talked about Denis Menchov, saying that he could be the yellow jersey in Paris. It seems pretty interesting, and I invite you to re-watch his race today as he was always in the hunt but wasn't doing anything sensational...as if he was trying not to draw attention to himself. Pretty smart move if it really is the case.

 

Evans still has some reserve and such a strong motivation that losing the yellow jersey will not impact his mental state. I was able to see him right before the post-race doping tests and he was feeling very confident. I think he knew he would loose the jersey today, but I felt like these eight seconds conceded to Schleck were less than what he was expecting.

 

The Tour will now enjoy a well-deserved rest day. I told you yesterday that today would be important, and I was quite right. All the pros are really sore, and even some of the best guys, like Sylvain Chavanel, were pretty close to not making the cut. What a day and what a Tour de France!

 

Over these last two weeks, I feel like the performances are a little under the level from previous years and that we are getting back to a more human race. The audience is responding well to this Tour de France as the roads have been seriously packed since the beginning of the event. It's really nice to see that, and if we can finish the Tour without another doping case, we will be able to say that cycling is on the right track.

 

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.

3,612 Views 6 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france, cadel-evans, frank-schleck, denis-menchov

Today was a transition day, just as the next two days will be. It's a good time for all the teams to recover, and it's not a surprise that there has not been much change within the rankings today. I would bet that there won't be any change for the next two days either.

 

Everybody is waiting for the Alps to start attacking again. So, get ready to watch a massive sprint tomorrow and a pretty similar stage to the one we had today on Friday.

 

The only thing I noticed from today's stage is that the Silence-Lotto team is not putting any effort in the race, and I kind of wonder why. On the opposite end, I was surprised to see how fast CSC rode today. Given the fact that these three days are only transitional days, I don't see the point in going fast and tiring the body when the rankings don't even change. It will be interesting to see how they will perform in the Alps...so keep an eye on them.

 

Talking about performance, as I forecasted it, the pace is pretty slow right now so Cadel Evans can really recover from his crash. I would bet that he will be even stronger in the Alps than he was in the Pyrénées. I'm pretty sure it will be hard to take the yellow jersey from him. It means a lot to him, as you may have seen when he was on the podium, and I doubt he will let it go without fighting like a real leader.

 

You may have all heard about the doping case today. The Spanish rider Moises Duenas Nevado thought he would be smart enough to fool the controls, but I'm glad to see that the system is quite strong and that no one is being forgotten. Duenas is not fighting for the lead, so I think it was really stupid for him to take doping products during this Tour.

 

It's really sad to see that you still have some guys who don't understand that it's in their best interest to stop behaving like that. Honestly, when they get caught, these people should be banned from the pro cycling world right away with no return possible. These guys will just kill the sport! Anyway, I'm glad he is out and I hope that we won't have another case this year.

 

Please do not hesitate to post me 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.

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And it's not without surprises. Who would have guessed that after only one week Alejandro Valverde and Damiano Cunego would be out of the race for the yellow jersey? Sorry to ruin the fans' morale, but these two guys are pretty much out for the rest of the Tour and it's obviously Cadel Evans and the CSC team who really took advantage of this stage.

 

I knew this stage was crucial and Cadel knew it too. After a serious crash yesterday, he was here in the peloton and in pretty much all the attacks to cross the finish line and steal the yellow jersey from Kim Kirchen. Today has shown us that Cadel Evans has great mental strength to get the job done. I'm sure he is quite happy right now as he knows that tomorrow is the first rest day, and that the next three stages shouldn't be too tough to control. It will surely boost his morale and help him heal faster.

 

The only thing I'm a little worried about with Evans is that I feel like he is sort of alone on his team when it gets to mountain stages. Even if he has done a wonderful stage today, I'm afraid that his team won't be able to back him up in the Alps. Unfortunately, this is where he could lose the Tour to some guys like the Schleck brothers or Carlos Sastre, who run for CSC.

 

The second great news of the day is the CSC Saxo Bank team and how they structured their race today to take Valverde and Cunego out of the race so soon. It's real teamwork, believe me. They started really strong up Tourmalet and then they managed the race all the way to Hautacam by keeping a high pace and controlling the lead.

 

CSC has great individuals, as I said earlier, and I think that the yellow jersey could come from this team because of what they have shown today. The only question is: Even though they have lots of talent on this team, will they be able to cooperate when they get to the money time? I'm sure they all want to wear the jersey, but did their manager make things clear before the Tour started? We shall see...

 

Finally, we have had some good surprises with Christian Vande Velde and the Austrian Bernard Kohl today. These two guys are pretty much coming out of nowhere and they have done the job during this tough stage. It's a true pleasure to see new talents and new names on top of the rankings at each stage. It really gives some freshness to this Tour. Pay attention to these guys in the Alps. Who knows, they could have some influence on the rankings...

 

Great day, great stage, lost of actions in the Pyrénées--ladies and gentlemen, the Tour is launched!

 

Please do not hesitate to post me 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.

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Today was a transition day, as forecasted, at the Tour. Because of tomorrow's stage, it has not been a great stage today.

 

We haven't recorded much change in the rankings and the riders were recovering from yesterday to be on top of their games for tomorrow. With a short and tough stage, Monday is the perfect day for the favourites to make a difference. We just hope that Evans will get back strong tomorrow as his wipe-out may cost him the Tour. I sincerely hope not as we really need all the big shots to keep on having a great Tour to watch.

 

We have to be honest (and I'm not saying this because people who read these posts are mainly Americans), we are really missing a boss in the peloton. The Tour is missing someone like Lance Armstrong. You can feel that no one in the pack has the real guts to take the responsibility of being the man to beat or even assuming the pressure of being the favourite.

 

Once again, tomorrow will tell us some more about who is willing to win this Tour.

 

As we are waiting for the favourites to show up, we can be thankful for having Riccardo Ricco in this Tour. His motivation and mountain skills just fed the show today. He is the new "Pantani", if there was any doubt.

 

Thanks to Ricco today and many others this week, we have had some actions and great stages to watch everyday. I hope you are enjoying the show as much as we are and I'm telling you; save the day tomorrow, it should all start between Pau and Hautacam!

 

Please do not hesitate to post me 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.

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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