January 10, 2007

Taking the DeLorean back to 1998

Peleton 3
Peleton 3,
originally uploaded by conibonjovi.
Somebody posted photos from the Tour's 1998 visit to Ireland today. That was, of course, the Tour made infamous by the Festina affair, and eventually won by Marco Pantani.

I see a few recognizable faces here, and in shots of the body of the peloton here and here. It would be very cool if you could tag the photo with notes of riders you recognize.

Also, does anyone know which stage this is? I think that's Chris Boardman in yellow, which means it's Stage 1 or the beginning of Stage 2, when he crashed out. The pictures are marked as “March 2004”, which is obviously wrong.

Some help: the 1998 review from letour.fr, including team rosters.

I promise no more games like this once there's some actual racing...

Posted by Frank Steele on January 10, 2007 in Bobby Julich, Erik Dekker, Erik Zabel, George Hincapie, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Magnus Backstedt, Marco Pantani, Mario Cipollini, Photo galleries, Robbie McEwen, Tyler Freaking Hamilton, Viatcheslav Ekimov | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 21, 2004

More on Armstrong's Stage 16 victory

PezCycling News | TDF '04 Stg 16 TT: Lance RIPS THEIR BALLS OFF!

Lance flew out of the start house and hit the first 9% slope of the Alpe revving at what looked like an even higher cadence than normal. Basso looked good for a while, but it wasn’t long before he was losing time. Up [a]head on the road, Ullrich was back to his old self as he used 177.5mm cranks to turn huge gears, his teeth gritted and the sweat pouring off [h]is 6ft body. Jan set the fast times at all checks, but his destiny is second place behind Lance.

Also some good photos, including one of a black banner dedicated to Marco Pantani, whose 1997 record Lance Armstrong came 1 second from matching today.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 21, 2004 in Lance Armstrong 2004, Marco Pantani | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Armstrong wins Alpe d'Huez TT; 3rd stage win of the Tour

Lance Armstrong absolutely scorched the climb to L'Alpe d'Huez, putting time into every rival with a 39:41 ride up the 15.5 km course. It was Armstrong's 19th individual career Tour win (21 with team time trials), and 3rd of this Tour.

The records for the climb of L'Alpe d'Huez actually cover just 13.9km of the climb, and Armstrong's time over that section was a 37:36, 1 second slower than the late Marco Pantani's record from 1997, and about 30 seconds faster than Armstrong's previous best time (both on road stages).

Post-stage, Armstrong said he thinks it's a bad idea to run the time trial on Alpe d'Huez, because of the number of campers and drinkers who could be dangerous.

Jan Ullrich, who couldn't know what Armstrong's time would be, led the way at every intermediate check, but Armstrong smoked those numbers, and Ullrich lost more than a minute on the stage, with a 2nd-best 40:42.

Armstrong actually passed Ivan Basso, who started 2 minutes ahead of him and clocked a 42:04.

T-Mobile's Andreas Klöden made up 42 seconds on Basso, and still might knock him out of 2nd.

Stage Top 10:
1) Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 39:41
2) Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) at 1:01
3) Andreas Klöden (T-Mobile) at 1:41
4) José Azevedo (US Postal) at 1:45
5) Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) at 2:10
6) Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile) at 2:11
7) Vladimir Karpets (Illes Balears-Banesto) at 2:14
8) Ivan Basso (CSC) at 2:22
9) David Moncoutié (Cofidis) at 2:22
10) Carlos Sastre (CSC) at 2:27

Two riders finished outside the time limit for the stage: Quick Step's Davide Bramati and Lotto-Domo's Aart Vierhouten, leaving 155 riders in the Tour.

Also under attack is Thomas Voeckler's white jersey. Voeckler now leads Vladimir Karpets of Illes Balears-Banesto by 3:33, and judging by their respective time-trial performances today, I doubt that will be enough in the long time-trial of Stage 19. Sandy Casar is also lurking, 4:24 back of Voeckler.

The new overall Top 10:
1) Armstrong
2) Basso at 3:48
3) Klöden at 5:03
4) Ullrich at 7:55
5) Azevedo at 9:19
6) Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears-Banesto) at 9:20
7) Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) at 11:34
8) Sastre at 13:52
9) Pietro Caucchioli at 14:08
10) Levi Leipheimer at 15:04

Posted by Frank Steele on July 21, 2004 in Andreas Klöden, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong 2004, Marco Pantani, Stage results, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack

July 19, 2004

Pantani tribute will draw protest

procycling | Pantani's fans plan Alpe protest

Wednesday's ITT up Alpe d'Huez has been officially dedicated to Marco Pantani, the Italian climber and 1998 Tour winner who died in February.

Pantani fans remember not only Pantani's win in '98, but also his exclusion from the Tour in 2001 and 2003, exclusions that Pantani apparently referred to in notes found in his hotel room after his death of cocaine poisining.

In recognition of Pantani's complicated relationship with the Tour, some tifosi plan to distribute a leaflet:

“Today’s gesture of dedicating today’s stage to Marco doesn’t erase the outrage of having prevented him from riding the Tour de France in 2001 and 2003. Races are made by champions (they are not the property of organisers) and champions have the right to participate even when they can’t win. THE WAR ON DOPING CAN’T BE FOUGHT BY CRIMINALISING A CHAMPION. One of the reasons why Marco died is the continual, five-year long, assassination of his dignity, his talent and his pride.

“Marco honoured the Tour de France with his exploits every time that he participated. The organisers of the Tour have excluded him from the race he loved, wounding deeply. Hypocrisy kills, let’s put an end to it.”

Posted by Frank Steele on July 19, 2004 in Marco Pantani, Top Stories, Tour news | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 19, 2004

Pantani death ruled a cocaine overdose

Yahoo! Sport | Pantani died of cocaine overdose: report

"The death of Marco Pantani was caused by acute cocaine intoxication," the report carried out by doctor Giuseppe Fortuni for prosecutor Paolo Gengarelli stated, the Ansa news agency reported Friday.

Pantani was found dead in a Rimini hotel room on February 14 and several packets of half-empty sedatives were found beside the 34-year-old who was also known to have a cocaine habit.

Posted by Frank Steele on March 19, 2004 in Marco Pantani | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 05, 2004

Hamilton, Museeuw to miss Paris-Nice; Tour to honor Pantani

www.cyclingnews.com | First Edition Cycling News for March 6, 2004

There's a lot of news in the latest update from cyclingnews.com.

Apparently, Tyler Hamilton is day-to-day to start Paris-Nice on Sunday, after spending Friday in bed with the flu. Master of the spring classics Johan Museeuw is also a late scratch from Paris-Nice with a back injury, and will probably ride Tirreno-Adriatico instead.

Also, the Tour will honor Marco Pantani in this year's time trial up l'Alpe d'Huez. Pantani holds the record for an ascent of the mountain, during a road stage in 1997.

Update 3/7/04: Hamilton lived up to his rep, and started Paris-Nice Sunday.

Posted by Frank Steele on March 5, 2004 in Marco Pantani, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 23, 2004

Murcia Tour to honor Pantani

procycling.com | Murcia pays summit tribute to Pantani

Following the recent renaming of two Italian mountains in memory of Marco Pantani, the organisers of next week’s Tour of Murcia have announced that the biggest climb of that event will be dubbed the ‘Cima Marco Pantani’ (Marco Pantani summit).

The climb in question is one Pantani won to decide the race in 1999.

The Tour of Murcia is the next major early-season race, and is expected to include Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Joseba Beloki, and other Tour hopefuls.

Posted by Frank Steele on February 23, 2004 in Marco Pantani | Permalink | Comments (2)

February 18, 2004

Thousands pay respects to Pantani in Cesenatico

BBC Sport | Italy mourns cycling star Pantani
During the service Pantani's friend and former manager Manuela Ronchi read out a note in which the cyclist expressed his anger, frustration and sadness at the way he was treated by sporting and judicial authorities.

The note was found scribbled on nine pages of Pantani's passport.

"The world understands that all my colleagues have been humiliated in their hotel rooms with hidden TV cameras... that tried to ruin many families," the note read.

"After that how can you not hurt yourself? I don't know why I stopped myself in these moments of anger. If I made mistakes I'd like to know that there is proof but when my sporting life and above all my private life was violated I lost a lot," it said.

"For four years I was in every court. I lost my desire to be like every other sportsman. But cycling paid and many youngsters have lost faith in justice."

Also: Pantani funeral photo gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on February 18, 2004 in Marco Pantani | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 14, 2004

Pantani death reaction

Pantani loss is cycling's tragedy, says procycling editor

Jeremy Whittle, who edits procycling magazine:

Tonight, it is over — definitively. Tragically, he died a bitter and seemingly lonely death — his youthful talents a distant memory, at only 34. Former professional Paul Kimmage, now a journalist, used to maintain that the riders were victims of a system — in Pantani's case it seems that tragically, he was right.

Like Icarus, Pantani flew too close to the sun, but he — and his friends and family — have paid too high a price for his misdemeanours, both real and imagined. He deserved far better than this.

Posted by Frank Steele on February 14, 2004 in Marco Pantani, Tour news | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Addio, Pirata

Marco Pantani, whose attacking style won both the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia in 1998, was found dead in an Italian hotel Saturday night. No cause of death was immediately established.

According to VeloNews:

Staff at the hotel said Pantani checked in alone several days ago, and had appeared "strange and not quite there." The hotel porter raised the alarm at around 9.30 p.m. local time on Saturday after the 34-year-old Italian failed to appear. Hotel staff knocked on his door, which was locked. When they finally entered the room, Pantani was found dead, lying on his back, ANSA reported.

Pantani was kicked out of the 1999 Giro two days short of a likely victory for a hematocrit level above the legal limit, then was suspended in 2002, and didn't ride a full schedule in either 2002 or 2003. Pantani had spent time last year in a clinic that treated drug use and depression.

Italian cycling star Mario Cipollini said Pantani's death was a great tragedy.

"I am devastated," he said. "It's a tragedy of enormous proportions for everyone involved in cycling. I'm lost for words."

Franco Ballerini, coach of the Italian national cycling team, was quoted as saying: "It's something that is so huge, it doesn't seem true."

Posted by Frank Steele on February 14, 2004 in Marco Pantani, Tour news | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 13, 2004

Goodbye to Swamps?

SI.com | Pantani reportedly close to retirement

Today is Marco Pantani's 34th birthday, and Gazzetto dello Sport quoted the Pirate's father that his son is unlikely to race this year.

Pantani, who ran with the Mercatone Uno team last year, is without a new team for the upcoming cycling season, and Gazzetta reported he was overweight after months of no training.

Pantani, who has a professional record of 36 wins, including 16 stages in the Giro and Tour, could not be reached for comment.

But his agent, Manuela Ronchi, said: "Marco never said he does not want to compete again, although he has not been training lately."

"He's trying to find new motivation for continuing," she said.

In honor of Marco's birthday, I give you one of my favorite Usenet posts of all time, "Pantani (Swamps) Interview":

Armstrong a giant has seemed to him, in front of which all is felt pygmy: "It has me really surprised the way to climb, the walk, the average that was able to sustain. I have seen so many champions, but this goes stronger than the others."

I could go on, but you've just got to read it....

Posted by Frank Steele on January 13, 2004 in Marco Pantani | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 15, 2003

cyclingnews.com | News roundup July 15

cyclingnews.com has posted their daily news wrapup:

The pain of Beloki was obvious for us all to see as he lay on the side of that blind corner where his back tyre exploded after he locked up the bike on the molten asphalt of the Cote de la Rochette. Three broken bones were the result, but his pain of course is more than physical. As he lay in the hospital at Gap, he reportedly told director Manolo Saiz and his teammates "I am sorry, I am sorry, please forgive me". As his companions tried to calm him, he is reported to have sadly cried out "No, this was my Tour".


  • Michael Boogerd has signed a two-year extension with Rabobank

  • 1998 Tour winner Marco Pantani is back on his bike, after spending 2 weeks in a psychiatric clinic after the Giro

  • There's also a good explanation of the Centenaire classification, which is yet another competition within the competition, this one to have the lowest average placing in the stages that finish in the cities featured on the 1903 Tour.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 15, 2003 in Marco Pantani | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 13, 2003

cyclingnews.com | L'Alpe d'Huez - The first strike

A profile of the l'Alpe d'Huez stage from cyclingnews.com.

Includes a table of every winner at l'Alpe d'Huez since 1952. Andy Hampsten was the first American to win the stage, back in 1992. Fausto Coppi and Lance Armstrong are the only two to win the stage and the Tour in the same year.

Marco Pantani still holds the record for fastest climb of the mountain at 37:35 in 1997.

There's a photo gallery of great moments in l'Alpe d'Huez history, as well.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2003 in Marco Pantani | Permalink | Comments (0)