July 21, 2004
Leblanc: Alpe d'Huez TT 'not a good idea'
Tour de France director Jean-Marie Leblanc is echoing Lance Armstrong's opinion that a TT up Alpe d'Huez is not such a great idea.
"There were lots of aggressive fans surrounding the riders," Tour de France race director Jean-Marie Leblanc said after Stage 16's finish.
"I even saw two idiots spit at Lance Armstrong."
ASO had tried to ensure rider safety by placing barricades on both sides of the top 7 kilometers of the climb, and assigning 650 policeman with 90 motorcycles to patrol the course.
Don't look for an Alpe d'Huez TT to become a regular part of the Tour:
"Until [Wednesday] morning, everybody thought this time-trial was a good idea," race director Jean-Marie Leblanc said.
"It was not a good idea."
The crowds were insane from the start of the climb all the way to the top. At times it was scary, as I didn't really know if I would make it through the crazy screaming fans. By the time we started racing the fans had finished their lunches, finished their bottles of red, cans of beer and topped it all off with shots of grappa. When people are drunk, reaction times are slow and the noise is deafening-good and bad when you're racing up a hill with sweat in your eyes.
Christian Vande Velde says the peloton is concerned about tomorrow's stage, the last mountainous stage of the Tour, and that many riders were conserving energy today to charge up for tomorrow.
Also, he wants to know who's painting all those penises on the road: "I get a little chuckle every time I roll over one."
podium girls: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A4446-2004Jul21?language=printer
Posted by: Bob Roll at Jul 22, 2004 1:40:20 AM
Leblanc's comments here contradict what he appeared to say immediately after the event on ITV2 (UK highlights) last night. He seemed to think that, while there were concerns, the TT up Alpe D'Huez was a success and le Tour would do it again in a few years.
Posted by: Simon E at Jul 22, 2004 3:50:33 AM
Like most things that come out of LeBlanc's mouth this also is idiotic. His unfounded criticism of L. Armstrong probably made him smile when two idiots spit on Lance, and that's why he said that the Alpe D'Huez TT was a success. Later, when he was thinking more clearly (but not as clearly as most, being an idiot) he changed his mind. The man will ruin the greatest race in cycling; remove him is my suggestion. He is all that is bad about cycling.
Posted by: Walter Wrobleski at Oct 28, 2005 6:38:21 PM