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17 Posts tagged with the mark-cavendish tag

Report from Road Bike Action Magazine:

 

Mark Cavendish has lost his best lead out man, and arguably the best lead out man in cycling today as Australian Mark Renshaw has been thrown out of the 2010 Tour de France.

 

Renshaw threw several head butts to Garmin-Transitions rider Julian Dean during the final moments of the bunch sprint of Stage 11 Thursday in Bourg-les-Valence.

 

Renshaw was also shown blocking Dean's sprinter, Tyler Farrar, as the American tried to come up the inside of the barriers.

 

Top race official Jean-Francois Pescheux said after the race: "Renshaw was declassified immediately but we have decided to also throw him off the race.

 

"We've only seen the pictures once, but his actions are plain for all to see. This is a bike race, not a gladiator's arena."

3,407 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: tour-de-france, mark-cavendish, 2010-tour-de-france, mark-renshaw

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.

3,102 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, mark-cavendish, cadel-evans, carlos-sastre, andy-schleck, frank-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france, thor-hushovd, vincenzo-nibali

Two More Stages!

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 24, 2009

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Tomorrow, see you on top!

Ronan

 

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

 

1,429 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour-de-france, ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, mark-cavendish, andy-schleck, 2009-tour-de-france

What A Day!

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 18, 2009

I would like to thank you for your comments yesterday. It’s with great interest that I read your comments and I totally understand your point of view.

 

The only thing that I would add is that I used to race for many years as a pro rider and, even if I retired years ago I will always look at a race from a professional standpoint. There is nothing I can do about it and I was a pro rider because I was looking at a stage as a pro rider. Let me tell you that during this second week, most riders didn’t have fun. Most of them are just waiting...

 

Now, look at today. What a day we have got! You have to recognize that it was a day of sports with tears, deceptions, but also joy and suspense!

 

The big deception will be for the Columbia team that lost BIG today with the yellow jersey that could/should have gone to George Hincapie and the green jersey that will not be for Cavendish in Paris.

 

It must be very tough for Columbia because they had to make a choice today and they decided to support Cavendish’s sprint instead of Hincapie’s run for the yellow jersey.

 

It must have been hard to choose but I think I would have gone for Hincapie as I think he deserved a run with the yellow jersey at least...and in the meantime, Cavendish could lose this stage and still win the green jersey in Paris.

 

So, in the end, we have had a great day of cycling, with lots of attacks and an unexpected finish.

 

This is what sports is all about and I’m a firm believer that you can create a fertile ground to moments like that and I don’t think that the second week had much to do with it.

 

Tomorrow riders will start climbing and I’m very excited about it...and now you know why.

 

Enjoy the 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.

2,621 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, mark-cavendish, team-columbia, george-hincapie, 2009-tour-de-france

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Stay tuned as the fun is just around the corner,

Ronan

 

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

2,220 Views 5 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, alberto-contador, astana, mark-cavendish, team-columbia, 2009-tour-de-france, franco-pellizotti

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

I’m sure you don’t.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Enjoy the show,

Ronan

 

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

1,940 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, mark-cavendish, team-columbia, 2009-tour-de-france, jan-ulrich

It was another classic day on the Tour de France today and it should be like that until we hit the Alps now.

 

This second week of the Tour always makes wonder why we make it so long as we get to see over and over again the same scenario. It wasn't the case a few years ago but now, when stages are flat, we get an echappée and then a sprint won by Cavendish. I know it hasn't been like that all the time but since Cavendish is ruling the sprints, we can't expect much more from these stages.

 

You guys would think I'm playing the grumpy French guy here but I'm not. We have to recognize that Columbia has a great team for the flat stages and that they are really doing a great job at positioning Cavendish for the sprints. No doubt!

 

I'm just a bit disappointed that riders of other teams don't try more than what they do so far. I would expect to see them attacking a bit more, launching sprints or something about 1K from the finish line, just to destabilize Cavendish for example. If you bring him safely within the last 200m, you are 100 percent sure he is going to win. So, why not trying something else? I still wonder...

 

I feel like there is a tremendous lack of creativity from the riders and team managers. It's a bit of a shame for sports, and the Tour de France in particular, but I also guess that there is more and more money involved and you can't really argue against that.

 

Anyway, it's a great Tour with two great teams: Astana for the hilly stages and the yellow jersey and Columbia for the green jersey and the flat stages.

 

It has been a long time since we had two strong teams on the Tour.

 

Finally, we can announce that, with only three stages for sprinters to go, Cavendish will be in green in Paris.

 

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.

2,454 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, astana, mark-cavendish, team-columbia, 2009-tour-de-france

The Tour is on Strike?

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 14, 2009

After the big announcement of the ICU today regarding the radios, we have had a very weird day on the Tour de France.

 

The ICU has announced that they are looking at ways to forbid the use of the radio during races and that the Colmar stage will have to be run without radios.

 

…so as a protest, we had a very quiet race today but we got lucky enough to see a wonderful sprint from the master, Mr. Cavendish, who, once again, shows the entire world that he is the man to beat and on his way to become a sprint legend!

 

So the race wasn’t very interesting; but the talks before and after were really interesting to listen to. Here is a quick feedback from what I have heard:

 

Most riders would be for the radio…because their team managers (and therefore, employers) have clearly told the ICU that they needed the radios for safety! ICU said the exact same thing as I told you, there wasn’t more accidents before the radio. So it’s not the right call, guys!

 

The problem is that, apparently, the ICU hasn’t consulted anyone before making this announcement and I think that this is what pi$$es off team managers. The riders don’t really care except for the smart ones. Let me explain:

 

Today, every single rider is assisted by radio and what happens is that the team manager tells each of his mates when to attack, what to pace to keep, etc. In the end, we have more “machines” than guys riding stages.

 

This is why we end up with races so stereotyped. We can almost tell today at what specific mile mark the peloton is going to come back on the échappée. It’s a bit sad, isn’t it?

 

So, back to the smart guys: today, they can’t do much or take advantage of their strategic skills. They are only compared in terms of pure athletic performances. Forget the temper, the mood or whatever; they are only on the road to be told what they have to do.

 

If we could get these radios off, I really think we would have much more fun stages to watch, much more suspense, and we would see and enjoy riders’ behaviours.

 

If we can’t get rid of the radio because team managers have too much bargaining power, I would suggest at least that there is only one radio per team. That would be a nice compromise that would surely boost the Tour and all the cycling races.

 

What’s your take on that? How do you feel about all that? I’d like to read from you.

 

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.

4,978 Views 14 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, mark-cavendish, 2009-tour-de-france

First Transition Day

Posted by Ronan Pensec Jul 8, 2009

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Yours in Sport,

Ronan

 

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

2,045 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, lance-armstrong, alberto-contador, mark-cavendish, 2009-tour-de-france

We almost lost the whole sprinters pack today. That was close!

 

With a wipeout of one of the Euskatel guys, we could have lost all the top sprinters but we got lucky enough that there wasn’t any crowd or barrier where the accident happened.

 

Except for the accident, it was a quiet stage today and it all ended up in the final sprint totally dominated by Cavendish who showed the world what a sprinter he is…and what a great team he's got. It’s important to highlight that because you can’t win a sprint without the help of your teammates and his team really did a great job for him today.

 

Cancellara will keep his yellow jersey one more day as forecast but I would like to attract your attention on tomorrow’s stage.

 

Tomorrow’s stage could be seen like today’s one: a true classic with an echappée caught up a few kilometres away from the finish line to end up in a final sprint. But, if you look at the calendar, with the Team Time Trial just around the corner, tomorrow is actually going to be an interesting stage to watch.

 

We could all think that people will rest up but we all know that Saxo Bank is going to slow down or at least will not go in any echappée tomorrow just to be sure that they are in the best conditions for the Team Time Trial. It will be very interesting to see how they handle this stage strategically speaking. I would ask my riders to slow down a bit and let an echappée go for it unless Astana is involved.

 

You know that the Team Time Trial is a super important stage and this is a first great occasion to make a difference in the rankings.

 

Everybody knows that so I wouldn’t be surprised that tomorrow’s echappée could go to the finish line as most teams will be "resting" to be on top of their games for the Time Trial.

 

It was a very warm day on the Tour de France and all the riders are already at the hotel resting for tomorrow’s race. Tomorrow should be an "open" stage!

 

It was a good first stage and the crowd was here to support the riders. The Tour de France is on and I didn’t realize I was missing it so much.

 

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.

1,504 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: ronan-pensec, astana, mark-cavendish, 2009-tour-de-france, saxo-bank, euskatel

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.

1,688 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

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.

1,101 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.

930 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.

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Not mentioning the wipe-outs that we have had on this stage, today has been a really tough day for the Tour de France riders. With some heavy rain, winds and a particularly cold weather for the season, this stage will have a serious impact on tomorrow's performances.

 

This is why tomorrow's stage will be very interesting to watch. It will be a pretty strategic day as all the riders will try to recover as much as possible for Monday and the first real mountain stage. In the meantime, they will try to stick to the pack and keep the same ranking. One more time, Monday will be crucial for all the favourites.

 

As we will have a pretty short but difficult stage, it will be the perfect timing to make a difference and gain some seconds. But a tough day like we just had is a real pain for top athletes. You got heavy, stiff legs during the day and it's hard to recover well from that, not to mention the cold makes you burn more energy than usual.

 

As for the stage itself, some of you were wondering about Mark Cavendish's performance recently, well, I guess now you don't wonder anymore. I was quite amazed by his performance today when I first saw him crossing the finish line but when I thought about it again, I think we are witnessing a change of generation.

 

Some of the top sprinters are just getting a little older and lack the motivation compared to the British sprinter. Look in his eyes and you will understand why he won these sprints. He wants them more anyone else! He still has something to prove to the world of cycling, which might not be the case for some of the today's top sprinters.

 

At this level of competition, the training is still crucial, but what really makes the difference is your mental strength.

 

This is what George Hincapie brings to Team Columbia, which to me is one of the greatestif not the greatestsatisfaction of this first week. George is doing an outstanding job in getting the young and the older riders of this team performing together. What they have achieved so far is great.

 

However, even though I like them, I now think that the Alps and the Pyrénées will hurt this team. And I would be surprised to see them on the podium in Paris, unfortunately. They have shown great strategic skills and a good sense of tactics this week, so who knows; they could be the real good news of this Tour. A new and fresh team bringing some excitement to cycling!

 

I will end up my post today by expressing some sort of disappointment and a certain worry about Damiano Cunego. He has not done well over the last two days and if he still wants to be in the race, he will have to do well tomorrow and more importantly on Monday. It will be interesting to watch his race in particular as the next 48 hours are the real money time for Cunego...So pay attention to this guy because if the comes back strong, it will have a serious impact on the mental state of the other favourites!

 

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.

834 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, mark-cavendish, 2008-tour-de-france, team-columbia, george-hincapie, damiano-cunego
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