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Tour de France

13 Posts tagged with the cycling tag

USA Cycling -

 

This year's Tour de France welcomes the most U.S.-based teams and among the most American racers in the 97-year-history of cycling's pinnacle event. Four teams--RadioShack, BMC, Garmin-Transitions and HTC-Columbia--all call the United States home, the highest representation of any one nation at the 2010 Tour de France other than France, which also boasts four teams.

 

At the same time, the interest in racing in the United States has risen year after year. So far in 2010, racing licenses registered through USA Cycling are up 7 percent. This is in addition to a 5.6 percent rise last year and a huge increase during the last decade, with USA Cycling membership growing 56 percent from 42,724 racers in 2002 to 66,800 racers in 2009.

 

This is all good news according to USA Cycling, the organization responsible for building American cyclists into world-class athletes and for elevating the sport of competitive cycling in our nation. This year's Tour de France offers a great platform to discuss America's progress in the sport of cycling and help foster new race fans.

 

"The United States now has some of the best cyclists in the world, determined not only by the number of superstars like Lance (Armstrong), Levi (Leipheimer) and George (Hincapie), but also in the successes of the young, up-and-comers like Tyler Farrar, Tejay Van Garderen and Taylor Phinney," said Jim Miller, vice president of athletics for USA Cycling. "This rise in the number of elite American cyclists who can compete--and win--on an international stage is no coincidence."

 

Miller is referring to the success of USA Cycling's National Development Programs, which were redesigned in 2000 specifically to develop American athletes into internationally competitive cyclists and raise the bar for the sport within the United States. With a typical incubation time for developing a world-class racer at an average of eight years, the results from the start of USA Cycling's development programs are just recently taking hold.

 

Lance Armstrong and George Hincapie were part of the USA Cycling National Team, a precursor to the current development structure, while athletes like David Zabriskie (2000), Danny Pate (2001), Tyler Farrar (2001, 2003-2005) and Brent Bookwalter (2005-2006) built the foundation of their careers while training and racing in Europe as part of USA Cycling's National Development Program for road cycling. Young stars, like Tejay Van Garderen and Taylor Phinney, have been a part of USA Cycling's programs since their early teenage years.

 

"We are proud to witness the impact of USA Cycling's National Development Programs on both individual racers and on the sport as a whole, which benefits greatly from the talent, notoriety and competition that these hard-working, amazing athletes bring to cycling," Miller added. "This year's Tour de France should be among the most exciting yet for sports fans in the United States."

 

Many view cycling's superstars, and the next generation of athletes, as great role models, inspiring mounting American enthusiasm for the sport and a thriving amateur racing circuit. The top six states for USA Cycling membership--including California, Texas, New York, Colorado, Washington and Pennsylvania--combined have nearly 22,000 cyclists with racing licenses. The greatest increase in non-elite racers has been men age 35 or older. USA Cycling hopes the next step will be to encourage more women to join the ranks of competitive cycling as it continues to apply its successful development initiatives across all five disciplines of cycling.

 

About USA Cycling (www.usacycling.org)

 

Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling comprises 66,500+ licensees; 2,200 clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,650 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists.

 

About USA Cycling's National Development Programs

 

One of USA Cycling's dual missions is to achieve sustained success in international cycling competition. To that end, USA Cycling maintains development programs for all disciplines of competitive cycling, including men's and women's U25 and junior road; mountain bike; track (endurance and sprint) and BMX development programs. These programs provide a structured pathway to the top tier of the sport through athlete development that begins with Junior racing series, Regional Development Camps and racing and moves through to international competition. For more about USA Cycling's Athlete Development Programs, visit www.usacycling.org/ndp/.

1,401 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, endurance, lance-armstrong, 2010-tour-de-france

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.

 

1,450 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, mark-cavendish, andy-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france

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.

924 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.

1,226 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.

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

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.

3,589 Views 6 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france, cadel-evans, frank-schleck, denis-menchov

Pretty significant move from Barloworld today, as they have decided to take the name of their company off of their team's jersey. They said the recent news has been affecting the company's image. Barloworld is still under contract until 2009, so even if they wanted to just end the relationship, they couldn't do anything other than removing their name. I think it's pretty smart move from Barloworld and I like the idea. It would have been a shame to penalize the other riders on the team who may not have taken any drugs.

 

As for today's stage, there is not much to say. I was hoping to see some early echappée as I told you yesterday, but the race was so fast during the first two hours that nobody could have run away from the peloton. They rode at 52km/h (32 mph) during the first hour and 48km/h (29,8 mph) during the second. Impressive.

 

That's one of the reasons why I felt after the finish line that most of the riders were really tired today. I agree that the weather was really hot, but I think that the guys gave a lot already. Most of them were already talking about Monday, the next day off.

 

Tomorrow doesn't seem to be a tough stage but given their fatigue, I wouldn't be surprised to see some serious damages after the finish line. This means that tomorrow will be crucial for many riders.

 

Today's good news comes from Oscar Freire who keeps his green jersey and won the stage and also from Mark Cavendish. It's always a bit sad when the green jersey doesn't win a stage on the Tour. Talking about Cavendish, it's also good news that he didn't win today. It means that he is human and it will now be interesting to see his reaction in Paris for the final sprint. Will he have the mental strength to win in Paris?

 

Well, there is only one way to know it. Stay tuned and enjoy the show.

 

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.

1,109 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, mark-cavendish, 2008-tour-de-france, oscar-freire, barloworld

Cavendish is just a star. He really impressed me today, and with his recent wins he's got so much confidence he is starting his sprint very early and still manages to finish up with a comfortable lead on his rivals. This guy is having some great performances. There was no one in the Tour to contest his leadership today.

 

He seems to be a very laid back guy. He is good looking. He is good with the media. He is just what cycling needs--some fresh air. We need to see some young guns more than ever. He is the perfect example of where cycling should go.

 

Look at today's stage: It was all set before they even took the start. We knew it would be a sprint, but you still had two guys running an echappée. For what? For their sponsors! I'm sorry, but that's just the truth. Today they rode for their sponsors as it was completely useless to do such a move. We all know that the Tour will be restarting tomorrow.

 

So we are at a stage where team managers tell their riders to run echappée to get some visibility and please the sponsors because these same team managers don't even know what to do to give cycling what it really needs. Some honesty, and some fun. It's a sport! It has to be fun to do and to watch.

 

It is time for a new generation to show up, and I'm not just talking about the riders. I'm talking about everybody--including the team managers. These are the same guys from 10, 20 years ago and we are still surprised when we have a doping case.

 

Take a look at Jonathan Vaughters, Garmin-Chipotle's team manger. This guy is what we need. He is young, smart, he comes from the cycling industry, and he is good marketer. He has the right profile. Between you and me, when a rider is taking doping products, we know that the team manager is aware of that. It's obvious. I was a pro; I know how these guys work.

 

We need some fresh ideas and new faces in cycling and I would be glad to share some ideas with you guys or anyone who wants to invest in a team. We can make some radical changes that will really benefit the sport.

 

Otherwise, we will have stages like we had today, a bit predictable and boring until we get to the sprint. Thankfully, we have Cavendish! He is one of a kind.

 

Tomorrow will be more exciting to watch as the course will be slightly hilly all the way to the finish line. The peloton will have to be careful, as the first echappée could be the right one.

 

Stay tuned and enjoy the show. The Alps are just around the corner.

 

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.

933 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, mark-cavendish, 2008-tour-de-france, garmin-chipotle, jonathan-vaughters

Ronan Pensec: Why?

Posted by ActiveTdF Jul 17, 2008

As I said it would be yesterday, today was a very classic stage with a massive sprint at the end that has again shown us the greatness of Mark Cavendish. This guy is just outstanding. He has done another magic sprint with so much ease. It was really impressive, especially for me who never was a sprinter.

 

Tomorrow will be pretty much the same, with the real action coming this weekend (finally). I don't really like these transition periods, but we all know they are needed to do such an amazing three-week event.

 

But it doesn't look like everybody needs rest! Why did Riccardo Ricco do that? How can he do that after all that cycling, and especially the Tour de France, went through?

 

Honestly, you have to be really stupid to take such a classic product and not expect to get caught. One more time, ASO has put in place with the AFLD (the French agency in charge of fighting doping on the Tour) a great system. No one can really expect to finish the Tour "clean" if they are not.

 

Try to think for a minute about what Ricco had in mind...If this guy is not one of the most stupid and selfish cyclist we have ever had, what sort of person is he? Does he even think about the kids who are watching the Tour? We all know cycling is a very tough sport and has a pretty poor image right now. What parents on earth would let their kid start cycling with "athletes" like that?

 

This whole situation is a real shame and I can already hear the crowd saying, "Again as usual." But, wait a minute. If you think about it, what event takes the risks and actually does more to find athletes taking drugs? The Tour might be the only event taking this risk, so we have to sort of thank them for what they do. It's not easy, but it means that they are trying to give this sport the second chance it deserves.

 

So I may surprise some of you today, but I wouldn't blame ASO on this one. They are doing their job. Now comes the toughest part, educating and convincing the riders that they should stop taking drugs!

 

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.

871 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, mark-cavendish, 2008-tour-de-france, riccardo-ricco

Today is a rest day as you all know, but this July 15th will definitely make history as all the teams entered for the Tour de France have announced that they will stop competing in the ProTour!

 

This is it! The ProTour is over or will be over soon, and the UCI can be worried about it.

 

The real motivation for the teams to leave the ProTour is both financial and for the good of the sport. On one side, you had the marketing managers explaining that it was harder and harder to find budgets for 30+ riders to cover all the important events of the ProTour and the other private events. On the other side, the team managers and coaches said that managing 30+ athletes was really hard and it was not in the best interest of the sport.

 

Now that they will be managing 20 riders or less, the riders will be able to see each other more often and they won't be stretched out as they used to be. Team spirit will be easier to build. As you can see with the CSC team, it's definitely good for the sport to have strong teams. They make the show!

 

Well, it's a very important for the sport of cycling, and even if it's a bit early to say that, I think it's great news for cycling.

 

The Tour will be back tomorrow, so stay tuned!

 

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.

2,753 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour_de_france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, pro-tour, uci, 2008-tour-de-france, protour

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

1,166 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, mark-cavendish, 2008-tour-de-france, fabian-cancellara

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

--Ronan

 

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

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