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28 Posts tagged with the ronan_pensec tag

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.

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

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.

2,718 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour_de_france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, pro-tour, uci, 2008-tour-de-france, protour

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.

853 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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

802 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france, cadel-evans, riccardo-ricco

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.

825 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

What a wonderful day at the Tour, and what a great stage! I hope you had the chance to watch, as we have had maybe the best stage of the Tour this year.

 

Lots of attacks, lots of fights, everything shows that we have an open-ended race even if the yellow jersey remains in Kirchen's hands. It was a great day of cycling and it keeps me saying that we do have a great 2008 Tour de France.

 

The weather also helped for this stage to be so exciting. There was quite some wind and all the teams tried different strategies to take advantage of it--with some success sometimes. It's always interesting to see how each team reacts in these conditions. It gives you a good idea of the team spirit and what their goal really is. Are they trying to place, or protect a rider in particular? Are they just in the pack waiting for the next stage?

 

I'm now hoping that we will have some great action like that tomorrow. I'm betting on a pretty classic stage with a strong sprint at the end. There are not many stages for sprinters this year, so tomorrow is definitely a day for them. And to answer Dave O's post, we will see how Cavendish plays it tomorrow. It will give us the trend for the rest of the Tour. I will sure keep an eye on him as everybody will want another performance.

 

As a Frenchman, you must wonder why I don't speak much about French riders, but I think today is the perfect case study. We all know we don't have someone in France to win the Tour, but you should still expect to see some motivation and passion about the Tour from my fellow French riders. Don't count on it!

 

Christophe Moreau has just said goodbye today. It feels like it's the end of his professional career, and he was the French champion again recently... and I think that the saddest thing is the Agritubel team. These guys gave us a good four days and now it looks like it's over. None of the team members were able to finish in the top 20 and you don't even feel like they want to fight at all.

 

It's as if they were getting paid too much or as if their team managers were happy with these results. French cycling looks sad and boring to me. It must be the lack of challenge and competition between French riders that makes them so transparent--and today was the perfect illustration of that.

 

French cycling is not on top of its game, but the most important thing remains: we have a great Tour de France and I hope you are all enjoying it!

 

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.

1,303 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, mark-cavendish, 2008-tour-de-france, agritubel, christophe-moreau

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.

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

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.

855 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: cycling, tour_de_france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2008-tour-de-france

!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg!...and we need it now! I will not talk about Rasmussen this evening as everything has been said and written a hundred times. However, I think it’s time for me to share with you some very important facts.

 

First of all, it’s pretty obvious but there is an extreme tension on the Tour. All the riders are acting as if everything is normal. They go to press conferences, attend all the meetings planned and all that, but you can see in their eyes that the pressure is getting a bit too high for them. They are even a bit scared of this whole scandal...scared of what you will ask. These guys are passionate and they are scared for their sport. It’s that simple. I wish you could see the thousands of people along the road today who kept on cheering all the riders from the start to the finish line. The Tour is not dead and won’t die. That’s my feeling. The Tour is too big to die and one day it will be the place of a new start, a new cycling.

 

However, don’t expect me to say a cleaner cycling. Why? Because with 250 blood tests since the beginning of the Tour and only two of them positive, this sport is clean. There will always be cheaters. Always.

 

But what about soccer? Last year for the World Cup, do you how many blood tests they made? Well, it’s pretty simple: none. They didn’t process a single blood test. It’s pretty easy for the FIFA to say that soccer is clean.

 

I’m telling you if we were applying all the rules and tests that you in cycling to any other sports, you would see lots of athletes differently.

 

So, the first question that comes to my mind when I picture that is, why does the media talk about only drugs in cycling? Cycling doesn’t generate as much business as the NBA or the NFL, for example. Cycling is not just one hour like a basketball game. Cycling is not easy to understand if you don’t have an expert eye. So what do you “market," what do you talk about to get some audience and attention? Drugs and doping work!

 

THe media is just searching for the sensational news, the scoop as you say. Shall we let the media rule this sport and decide what is important or should we help them understand what makes cycling great?

 

I would go for the second option, if you don’t mind. Remember early this week: the Astana trick to cut the peloton in two parts, all these echappées and all that? This is what we need to spend time on.

 

Finally, I would like to end with a very positive fact. Riders and all the people who are involved in professional cycling shouldn’t be scared of stopping doping and drug-taking. If they ride from 45 kilometers per hour to 42 kilometers per hour, we won’t care at all. There is no global timing involved in cycling. A 100-meter sprinter doesn’t have that chance because if his times go from 10 seconds to 13 seconds, everybody will start asking: "What the hell is wrong with this guy? He was running way better last year." But in cycling, we won’t even notice. We won’t care because cycling should be and will be one day above all these dirty, useless things.

 

So enjoy the show because it’s not over!

Ronan

 

Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in the 1990. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events , an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

1,320 Views 5 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, 2007-tour-de-france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2007_tour_de_france

!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg!Rasmussen!

 

I honestly think that the Tour is over and that Rasmussen is going to wear the yellow jersey in Paris. However, the end of the race will be tough for him. People along the road today were whistling at him and telling him things I won’t translate here. It is really like no one wants to see him win anymore with all these drug-taking problems.

 

The atmosphere is more than tense, it is really bad. Everybody is tired of all these problems and they all pretty much want to be at the end already. It’s really sad for cycling but we only get what we deserve as we hear around here.

 

So, today’s stage wasn’t amazing at all. I was expecting a strong stage from the Discovery team to boost Contador but it never happened. Contador wasn’t as fine as he was two days ago. And I guess also that all these talks and issues are disturbing the athletes anyway. I guess this is why the race was a bit disappointing today.

 

Today another rider got controlled positive for testosterone--Moreni from the Cofidis team. Testosterone...when you think about it, how can we still try to use these products? I don’t know what the riders were thinking about before this Tour. If they did think...

 

So, the only thing we can tell about today is that the Tour is over and the jerseys are pretty much settled. Boonen will get the green and Rasmussen the yellow.

 

I was really excited at the beginning of this Tour as I thought that teams, staff, riders and event organizers understood that this Tour was the right one to get the cycling back on the right track. I’m sad to note that it is definitely not the case.

 

I hope you are still enjoying the show anyway. Feel free to ask me any question. I will be glad to answer you.

Ronan

 

Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in the 1990. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

1,564 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, 2007-tour-de-france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2007_tour_de_france

!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg!This is madness!! Vino positive...I just can’t believe it. I’m so disappointed.

 

How can they do something like that? How can he do something like that to cycling?

 

These guys are nothing without cycling. No one will ever believe in this sport again. This is the knock out of cycling.

 

I can’t believe this guy is taking drugs. He has naturally so much class. He honestly doesn’t need this to win. He is already a star in his country.

 

This situation is now so embarrassing, you will see that nobody will want to win tomorrow. It is such a shame.

 

I can’t say it enough, these guys are just killing the sport--and by that they are killing themselves slowly but surely now. Is it what they really want? They gave so much to get where they are.

 

I really thought cycling was on its way back, but now I just don’t know what to say or even what to think.

 

Who is behind all that? What is motivating these guys to take drugs like that?

 

Now the psychosis is on and yesterday evening the Rabobank, Astana, CSC and Discovery buses were stopped by the police to process a complete search--for drugs, of course.

 

I feel bad to be part of this. The only good news is that the tests and controls are becoming more and more efficient.

Ronan

 

Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in the 1990. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events , an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

925 Views 8 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, 2007-tour-de-france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2007_tour_de_france

!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg!Well, not really a comeback, as I’m still convinced that he has lost his chances to win the Tour, but at least a new stage victory for him.

 

What is great about that victory is it confirms my feelings in which I think that Vinokourov is an awesome, strong cyclist. He is a fighter. He may know that the Tour is over for him, but as you can see, he still fights and gives his best. This guy rides for pride and trophies and it’s really positive for cycling!

 

We have also seen a fantastic Alberto Contador today. He's a very strong cyclist and I am now wondering why he hadn't been more offensive earlier on in this Tour, because he surely has all the skills to be in a yellow jersey.

 

However, I was expecting more fights and échappées today. I thought riders would really attack and go on to get the jersey at the end of the day, but they just did the math and rode quietly so they could stay where they are sitting now. I was kind of surprised by that. There are so many surprises in this Tour that maybe Wednesday will go completely crazy...I just don’t know.

 

I also feel like Rasmussen can really make it now. He could win in Paris. That was the most important thing I will actually remember from today.

 

As you all can read in the news, we are still talking a lot about drugs and all that in the Tour, so I’ve been thinking about all this and I thought about a new concept I wanted to share with you so we could help cycling. Feel free to give me your thoughts as they will be very helpful for me and my team.

 

I’m currently managing a team in Brittany which is called “Bretagne-Armor-Lux.” It’s just a third division team but I’m actually experiencing something new with them.

 

All the team is living in Rennes (North West of France) and all the riders train, eat, talk and learn together everyday. That’s the concept. We register teams for the Tour so let’s train teams and no longer individuals.

 

Currently, athletes are pretty much training with their own coaches in their home town and all that. So, if you think about it, they can easily go and meet a “doctor” without anyone noticing it. And they can also be approached more easily.

 

But if you build a team and get these guys on the road togetherriding under the same colorsyou create a unit, a block that gets harder to penetrate. Each team member becomes responsible for their choices and you get exposed to questions, criticism and all that if you go the wrong way. The idea is to get the whole benefit that a team can bring.

 

You support your teammates, you exchange, you learn faster, etc.

 

I would love to implement something like this at a higher level, but this strategy implies a certain cost. When it costs a million to build a classic high level team for the Tour, my concept would cost maybe three to seven million. It’s a lot of money and a big risk. But when I look at all the team managers in place (some of them have been there for more than 20 years), I think it’s more of a risk to pick these guys. If they haven’t succeeded in 20 years, do you really think they will one day because they have experience?

 

Honestly, if we want to help cycling, we’d better try new things and concepts. So my question is: What do you think about that?

 

Let’s manage a cycling team as we manage a baseball team or a football team: One city, one training site and regular meetings to build a real group where leaders could really get a boost!

Ronan

 

Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in the 1990. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

970 Views 5 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, 2007-tour-de-france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2007_tour_de_france

!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg!Some of you may think that with today's stage, the Tour might be over. You could be right--there are still two major mountain stages and we all know how good Rasmussen is in these types of conditions.

 

However, I don't think the Tour is over yet. There are still plenty of guys who could make it. But it's true that it could be a mountain specialista climberwho could win the yellow jersey in Paris.

 

With yesterday's time trial, today has been a very tough day for all in the Tour and I kind of feel now that tomorrow could be an important day.

 

With Vinokourov, who is almost out now, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow are the last chances for Astana to get one of their riders in the race for the win, so it will be very exciting to watch.

 

What was also very interesting with the time trial and today's stage is that it was the first time that you had a mountain stage right after a time trial. All the riders gave a hundred percent of themselves yesterday, even if they knew how difficult today could be. It’s interesting from a strategic standpoint to see how teams have handled that. And this is why I can't for tomorrow's stage to begin: Because I'm curious to see how teams will play this stage.

 

And one more time, today has been very exciting and lots of surprises. It is great for cycling.

 

The fact I have really noticed today and that I wanted to share with you is that there is pretty much nobody in the Tour who wants to see Rasmussen win the yellow jersey in Paris. It's like even all the journalists and so on want to see him down so we can stop talking about this whole drug problem. I saw Rasmussen at breakfast this morning and this guy is so obsessed by his weight that he is even replacing milk in his cereal with water so there is less fat. He seems to be a bit on the edge, if you know what I mean.

 

Is that the kind of leader you want to see or identify yourself with? Not sure...

 

The next two days are very important for many teams, so stay tuned and enjoy the show!

Ronan

 

Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in the 1990. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

836 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, 2007-tour-de-france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2007_tour_de_france

!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg!...And it feels really good, you know. Each day reserves us a good surprise at least.

 

I told you yesterday that I was expecting a match up between Kloden and Cancellara. Well, the rain made them crash and no rain was forecasted yesterday for today's race. So with the two hot shots down, who else could come and steal the show?

 

As a big surprise, we were assisted to a memorable comeback from Vinokourov! He has simply completed the perfect time trial. Strong, wise, careful; he dominated that stage from A to Z...and he is now only five minutes away from the yellow jersey but the Pyrenees coming soon.

 

Vinokourov looked very strong today. However, I think that Rasmussen is in a great position too with these mountain stages on their way.

 

It's going to be a fantastic match up between these two riders and these two teams. Will Team Astana be able to assist Vinokourov to get him the yellow jersey? Or is Rasmussen just flying on this Tour?

 

Remember that Rasmussen got sanctioned badly by his federation, so the Tour is all he's got left.

 

Despite all these political and commercial issues with Rasmussen and Sinkewitz, I'm really enjoying and I was today with some old pro like me and we were all on the same page.

 

I hope you are enjoying the show and if you have any question, don't hesitate!

Ronan

 

Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in the 1990. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events , an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

723 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, 2007-tour-de-france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2007_tour_de_france

!http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg|style=padding:10px;|align=left|src=http://www.active.com/images/newsletters/cyclist/TourdeFrance2007/images/Pensec4150x150.jpg!A classic day on the Tour if we just look at the stage, but what a busy day, actually, with the Rasmussen case!

 

On the road, we have seen a classic stage with an échappée and a peloton which came back strong to end up the stage in a massive sprint, and great work from the Quick Step team to boost Boonen to the finish line first!

 

The thing I've noticed is that Cancellara decided to step back and relax pretty much 25km before the finish line in order to prepare for his time trial tomorrow. This makes me think that Cancellara is no longer looking for the yellow jersey but simply for stage wins. Tomorrow's fight will surely be between Kloden and Cancellara, so keep an eye on these two fellows.

 

So, I was saying that it was actually a very busy day for cycling and not only the Tour.

 

One more time, and I insist, a federation has brought a declaration during the Tour for something that happened weeksif it's not monthsbefore the Tour. I'm talking about the Rasmussen case.

 

The Danish federation just showed up from nowhere to complain during the Tour about something that has nothing to do with it. It's like the Sinkewitz case. The German federation would have had a hundred times the time to bring the positive control to the press. Why did they wait so long when a test is made in one week and a "counter-test" takes only a week to be completed?

 

You may all know that these federations work under the ICU flag...And you may also know that the Tour de France is the ONLY international cycling race today that is not managed by the ICU, but a private company called ASO.

 

Then it all starts to make sense, and the ICU game is pretty clear and very unfair. The ICU has launched the Pro Tour as you also know and it's obvious that they would love to include the Tour de France in it. But if this happens, it will surely not be with cheap attempts like they are doing through the Danish and German federation. It is honestly ridiculous to act like this.

 

It's a pure waste of time for us, for cycling and for the riders. I think the event director did good by letting Rasmussen take the start. If federations really wanted to blame their riders, they should do it immediately and not later on unless the ICU is blocking them and forcing them to communicate during the Tour.

 

The Tour might be the only race that has so much exposure, so it's pretty much during this race that we should all work in the same direction to get a cleaner sport. However, the ICU doesn't think like that and I'm afraid that it looks like they have decided that the Tour will be their battlefield. You can bet on more scandals before the end of the Tour...

 

Finally, I love to answer your questions, as you know, but this time I would like to have your opinion on that. What do you think about the ICU strategy? How do you feel about all this?

Ronan

 

Ronan Pensec participated in 8 Tours, and wore the yellow jersey in the 1990. He now operates Ronan Pensec Events, an official Tour de France operator hosting VIP cycling tours for recreational cycling enthusiasts.

846 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: tour_de_france, 2007-tour-de-france, tour-de-france, ronan_pensec, ronan-pensec, 2007_tour_de_france
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