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9 Posts tagged with the carlos-sastre 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.

3,116 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.

4,152 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.

2,320 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.

2,552 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, astana, cadel-evans, carlos-sastre, caisse-d'epargne, andy-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france, rabobank, tourmalet

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

 

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.

740 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.

488 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.

1,696 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

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.

2,690 Views 12 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france, cadel-evans, carlos-sastre

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.

882 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, alejandro_valverde, 2008-tour-de-france, cadel-evans, carlos-sastre, damiano-cunego, damiano-cunego