June 06, 2003

History of Tour de France: , long, rambling, yet fascinating, like the race itself.

posted by Fat Buddha to general at 09:55 AM - 8 comments

Great, great, great. A magnificent madness. Thanks, FB.

posted by rabi at 10:24 AM on June 06, 2003

Very cool...

posted by StarFucker at 10:59 AM on June 06, 2003

Good read. Long enough to take to the gym and get through a stairmaster session with it. Some great anecdotes about Eddie "the cannibal" Merrrccxxx and Lance and Miguel Indurain. The subjects in the article are as passionate as they come. A rub of the belly for Buddha.

posted by vito90 at 02:29 PM on June 06, 2003

It didn't contain the best, possibly apocryphal, story I have heard though. Way back when, in more innocent times, when they first started drug testing, it was common for riders to take someone elses sample in to the room and pass it off as their own. One rider was informed of good news and bad news. The good news was that he had passed the test. The bad news was that he was pregnant!

posted by Fat Buddha at 02:40 PM on June 06, 2003

C'mon, even I've heard that one before. They attribute it to Olympics athletes, swimmers, soccer players, gosh, it's even happened to me at my job! Hahahahahahahaha.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:06 PM on June 06, 2003

Thanks Fat -- Each year I relish the approach of the tour, wondering how much I will see and how much I will miss. (My biggest miss was when the tour traveled in Paris along the very street I was living , the rue du Faubourg St Antoine -- making two or three passes! I was enjoing a vacation in Ireland at the time though, so all was not lost.) Poulidor is an amazing story and truly known to all the French: my wife, even having been very young when his career was at its peak and not very interested in sport, can recount the populist memory of his woes. Watching the tour is free, yes, but takes a certain finesse and knowledge to increase the odds of watching at the right time. Tuning into the coverage 1/2 hour before the end of each stage is a good start. Looking at the mountain stages and predicting when (all recently by Lance) the race will be won is more difficult. I wonder if another surprise like Lemond's come-from-behind final stage victory will ever occur again. That was the stuff.

posted by 8ighteenAcres at 09:03 AM on June 07, 2003

That was a great article. I'm starting to think we need to start a Guardian Unlimited fan club here.

posted by BigCalm at 08:24 AM on June 09, 2003

For those of you like me, who are cycling ignoramuses and your only connections to the Tour are LeMond and Armstrong, and you especially like Armstrong for being the super fucking stud that he is, and wish the article might have had a little bit more to say about him, here's an NY Times article that just might hold you for a few days.

posted by vito90 at 10:23 AM on June 09, 2003

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