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July 17, 2003

OLN-TV daily reports updated

Sherwen has by far the better report today, discussing Jens Voigt's exit from the race, and Sherwen's memories of riding in the "broom wagon", which sweeps up riders who cannot continue:

Climbing into the broom wagon was an awful experience. It reminded me of the old TV series "Branded" where the guy is booted out of the cavalry. His sword broken and the badges ripped from his uniform.

As you leave the Tour, you have to have your numbers removed and they are taken by the referees, it's degrading as you don't want to abandon the race and shouldn't have to go through such a thing. In the broom wagon all the spectators look at you and point- "look at that guy, he's abandoned." Not great memories. That's why I felt for Jens today.

Chris Carmichael on Armstrong's TT strategy tomorrow:

Lance wants to finish 30 seconds or more in front of Ullrich in Stage 12, and accomplishing this will determine the remaining course of Lance's Tour. If tomorrow's performance shows he can match or beat Ullrich in the time trial, Lance can go into the Pyrenees without the pressure of having to significantly build on his current 2:10 lead on the Bianchi team leader. If, on the other hand, Ullrich shows his time trial strength is far greater than his climbing ability this year, Lance will know he has to leave Ullrich behind in the Pyrenees and start the final time trial with a comfortable lead.


I was sorry things went a little bit haywire in the Chat Room last night. Paul and I were settling down to answer your questions in a lovely café in Toulouse and the server went down. As there seemed to be a lot of you, we'll try again soon.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 17, 2003 in Tour news | Permalink


The Tour de France is so exciting, particularly this year, and has to be one of the most beautiful sports. Your coverage is excellent, and commentators are wonderful. Thank you. P.S. I expect Lance to win.

Posted by: doreen barnett at Jul 20, 2003 11:24:37 PM

This sport makes all other sports look weak and undignified.

Posted by: Karen Conley at Jul 26, 2003 9:57:26 PM

i'm just sending a note to let you folks at oln tv know that i preferred the format of your cycling shows last year. The addition of the young woman just seems too contrite. The guys last year were so natural and unscripted. I would prefer to have a cyclist "babe" that is less "brassy" and more like the guys, easy going and natural. Put her in some nice cycling stuff if you need this to draw more vierws(ha,ha).

Posted by: ricn needham at Apr 17, 2004 8:03:30 PM

Love it,love it. I am a 60 year old woman who never watches sports, but your cycling coverage has captured my heart. Love the scenery, scream when there is an accident, and the coverage by air and motorcyle makes the viewer a part of the action. The map visuals are excellent. Need more pictures of cyclist's faces. And when did the post office start sponsoring sports teams!!? Love Bob Roll, he's hilarious. ditch the babe. Brit guys excellent. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: carolyn shindler at May 24, 2004 12:05:11 PM

This is the first year having OLN on our cable network. Boy am i thrilled. I am hooked on the cycling coverage leading up to this years Tour. I can't wait for the Tour to start. I am pleased to see Bob Roll as one of the announcers. He really shows his excitment for cycling. Keep up the good work all, and i wiil be glued to the set come Tour time.

Posted by: Joe D. at Jul 3, 2004 9:32:54 AM

OLN's coverage has been excellent.Al Trautwig is a great addition to the team. My only problem is that at some point I'll need to pull myself away from the tv and get outside.

Posted by: Griffin Dempster at Jul 5, 2004 3:44:13 PM

We are transfixed every evening watching Tour coverage, but much preferred past year's format. Please lose the blond, the innane "cutters", and Al Troutwig. Liggett, Sherwen, and Roll are FANTASTIC, knowledgable, experienced and entertaining. Al Troutwig constantly interrupts the others with irrelevant chatter or inappropriate comments. Please don't try to turn Tour coverage into the typical American sports spectacle. We can do better.

Posted by: Jenny at Jul 5, 2004 7:18:13 PM

Jenny is right on. Al, the blonde and the Cutter are an insult to the Tour. There is one improvement with the increased interest in the tour. We don't have to watch the same Lincoln Mercury add over and over and over and..........
Please get back to serious coverage of the Tour

Posted by: Andy Kayner at Jul 5, 2004 7:45:47 PM

OLN coverage in the past has been great. But
you've got to dump the Cutters. There is enough
real Cutters on the tour. We don't need these jack-asses. Are you trying to water the Tour down to appeal to the 'X-Sport crowd ?..
PS. Dump Miss Piggy.

Posted by: Mike Harer at Jul 5, 2004 9:29:56 PM

I concur with the last few comments, the blonde and her over done teeth, and the "cutters" only perpetuate American stereotypes that are not appreciated by the rest of the world. More class and racing please.

Posted by: Dr. Glenn Bailey at Jul 6, 2004 12:37:56 AM

I love the Cutters. They bring the tour to life for those that are just getting into racing. It's cool to see people that are so into the sport that they fallow it all over the country for an entire month and go nuts for the Postal Team. The guys on the team seem to love having crazy fans. It's got to be nice knowing people are pulling for you like these guys. The Cutters are a great addition to the OLN coverage.
Go LaSalle!

Posted by: Woody at Jul 7, 2004 8:52:58 PM

I love the sport, your coverage and Lance. My husband and I have followed his career through his books and races. He is a hero to both of us.
No one wants his hero tarnished in any way. His personal life is none of our concern except when it is covered by your media service. Knowing that he has two children and an ex-wife who never appeared in any of the past Tour coverage, I can't help but feel sad for them when Sharon Crowe is interviewed. Have you ever interviewed any of the girlfriends of the other riders? I don't want to hear about their life together or her opinion of Lance and the ride. If you are doing this because she is a famous personality, then you are belittling yourselves, your fabulous coverage of this extraordinary race, and an athlete we adore from a public perspective. Please, let's keep it an athletic contest not a Hollywood drama.

Posted by: Beth Moore at Jul 8, 2004 9:01:43 PM

Yes, OLN really needs to get rid of those "CUTTER" posers. I ride for the Cutters and we happened to win this years Little 500. We are real Cutters, why the hell arent we over there? Hell, my team and I love cycling and would love to cover the tour, seeing how we follow cycling religiously throughout the WHOLE year, not just the Tour. Get rid of those fools and get real Cutters in there, atleast we wont make OLN look like a joke!

Posted by: Chris Vargo at Jul 9, 2004 2:35:54 PM

Vargo is right! Get rid of the posers and put the real Cutters on the air. Did the OLN even research this enough to know that a real team has existed for over 20 years? www.cutters-cycling.com

Posted by: Another Real Cutter at Jul 13, 2004 9:56:00 AM

I think the Cutters are funny & entertaining; and one of the main reasons I was able to get into cycling & the Tour de France this year! Where have they gone? As a new fan of cycling..I can't take the regular coverage...give us some water cooler talk for the next day at work...BRING BACK MORE CUTTERS TV!!!!!

Posted by: Florina Cheskis at Jul 13, 2004 3:25:06 PM

CUTTERS!!! You anti-cutters need to get with the times, turn in your fake teeth and rides escape the nursing home. Other than the Postal squad, the Cutters are the best thing going in France. They are the real cutters in my mind, not you, Vargo. Loosen up, have a little fun. Lance likes them, and Lance is divine, so they are like Prophets. Are you a Prophet Vargo?

And that Bobby Bell is soooooooooo cute!!!

Posted by: Andrew at Jul 14, 2004 12:03:00 AM

I am interested in the elevations of the stages. The announcers should not only talk about the distance but also the elevation.

Thanks for the great tour coverage

Posted by: gordon in Oakland at Jul 15, 2004 12:17:48 PM

I am extremely disappointed with OLN's decision to include Al Troutwig on the OLN 2004 Tour de France commentary/anchor team. He clearly knows nothing about cycling; he throws out the most ridiculous and thoughtless comments which Bob, Phil, Paul, and Chris have to struggle to respond to; his overbearing, stern, and unintelligent presence dominates the other speakers who have a long tradition with the sport and share a love of cycling. He is an oddball that does not belong with this group. His presence has made for a very poor viewing experience. I record the morning version of the race and watch it at night in order to reduce the amount of time that I have to listen to him.

Posted by: Morgen at Jul 16, 2004 12:10:36 PM

This is my 10th year watching the tour - I have enjoyed every year - and particularly the last five.

Comment: I cannot always watch the presentation of the cycling at the same time each day - have to work - but I really dislike the prime time presentation at 8:30 PM - Pacific Time (sometimes 8:00 PM) I want to see cycling, not interviews with extraneous persons who might make some comments about "lance" or something related to "lance"!

I would like to see the entire race,from start to finish at least once a day!

Posted by: meh at Jul 16, 2004 4:07:43 PM

Andrew, I am not a real CUTTER? Obviously you havent been paying attention to what what the pseudo-Cutters have been talking about. If I remember correctly they take their name from a little movie called "Breaking Away." I was raised in the town that the movie is based in, therefore I am a true Cutter. Not to mention I raced and won the Little 500. Also, Lance knows very well who the real Cutters are, he was in Bloomington for the 1997 Little 500 when the Cutters won their 5th race. He also partied with the team at their victory party later that night. Here are some more useful websites for those of you that have been mis-informed about the Cutters. Feel free to e-mail me if you please.

www.idsnews.com (search Little 500 or Cutters, we had a lot of press this year with the 20th anniversary of the team and the 25th anniversary of "Breaking Away.")



Posted by: Chris Vargo at Jul 19, 2004 1:59:13 PM

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