Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeDiariesLe Tour de France 2009 - First Rest Day

Le Tour de France 2009 – First Rest Day

-

Montpellier

‘Armstrong admits “there is tension at Astana’s table” – says The Guardian headline today in it’s coverage of the Le Tour de France 2009; I’d never have believed that!

I bought L’Équipe today – it was Friday’s, but what the heck?

The front page ignored the then yellow jersey, Cancellara, and concentrated on the favourites: Armstrong on the same second as Fabian; Contador at 00:19; A Schleck at 1:41; Sastre at 2:44 and Evans at 2:59.

Le Tour de France 2009
Bert goes “against the plan” according to LA.

It just goes to show – apart from Bert stretching his legs to gain time up Arcalis on Friday – how little happened over those three days in the Pyrenees.

Albeit we had good stage winners and exciting finales.

The gaps are now: Contador at 00:06 on Nocentini; Armstrong at 00:08; Schleck at 1:49; Sastre at 2:52 and Evans at 3:07.

Like Lance said before the start and Brian Smith said to me when I interviewed him for Pez the other day; “it’s all about that last week!”

Le Tour de France 2009
Charley knows the score.
Le Tour de France 2009
Friday’s edition.

I was fortunate enough to get a chat with Charly Wegelius tonight and he described the Pyrenees as “shadow boxing,” and endorsed that it is indeed, ‘all about the last week.’

I guess on the one hand that the organisers want to build suspense to the finale on the Ventoux; but if that means days of negative racing in the meantime, well…

Charly also said that this week has a lot of stages which according to the press and the stage guides are “sprinters stages” but which are actually very tough.

I remember at the Giro, on Sardinia, two years ago, Dave and I drove a “sprinters stage” – eventually won by McEwen.

The thing that amazed us was that there was a damned big mountain in the middle of the thing!

Anyway, time for bed – only three sleeps ’till Martin and I are at le Tour!

Ed Hood and Martin Williamson
Ed Hood and Martin Williamson
Ed and Martin, our top team! They try to do the local Time Trials, the Grand Tours and the Classics together to get the great stories written, the quality photos taken, the driving done and the wifi wrestled with.

Related Articles

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 4: Nice > Nice, 25km TTT. GreenEDGE Edge It!

'GreenEDGE will be on a high' we said of their chances in the TTT – and they exploited it in the best way possible. There’s a lot of luck involved in professional cycling and it was Sky and QuickStep’s turn for that particular lady to desert them, this time around.

Le Tour de France 2006 – Day 8: Stage 5, Beauvais – Caen

I said this morning that I would talk to you from Caen; well it’s actually Lisieux, around 50 kilometres east of Caen, here on Le Tour de France 2006. It took the usual hour to get to the start this morning. Beauvais was ‘en fete’ for le Tour - not the grotty part of Beauvais you encounter en route to Ryanair’s tent at the airport but the nice, old part complete with Gothic cathedral.

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 2; Saint-Lô – Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. Heartbreak for Stuyven as Sagan Takes Control

Peter Sagan is a breath of fresh air, the accent, the sense of humour, the hair, the bike handling, the speed, the versatility – third behind Cav and Kittel then beating Alaphilippe and Valverde. There’s no one more deserving of the maillot jaune – with all mention of the ‘curse of the rainbow jersey’ forgotten.

Le Tour de France 2011, Stage 10 – a little tourisme

Yesterday we arrived in Rodez as planned, picked up the hire car without any bother, and got ourselves, eventually, after getting lost a couple of times, to the hotel - one of these typical French 'pod' rooms, but it's okay with it's bunk beds and little shower room / toilet. A drive up to the Permanence, aka the Press Headquarters, to pick up our race accreditation, and we'd be all set for a pretty cruisy Rest Day. Only, the Permanence happened to be over two hours drive away, and once there, we found that only Ed's 'creds' were ready - mine hadn't been "approved by Julia" (the head ASO cred issuer).

Le Tour de France 2007 – Day 9: Stage 19, Cognac – Angoulême

I forgot to say last night, for the first time in this Tour, I got a prediction right. I chose Casar out of the four man break, you could see it in his eyes, he wanted it more than any of the others. There's a great picture of him on the front cover of L'Equipe today - it's all there in his face, determination and pride; "maybe the other French guys can't win a stage, but I sure as hell can!" Cafè au lait (have you noticed that Mertin has shown me how to get accents above the letters now?) and a Cognac, nine euros!?! "Eef you cannot steeff les touristes, then oo' can you steeff, hien?" Still, it was a good coffee, a grande measure of cognac and the toilets were free of Lasa Fever.

Jack Bauer – Tour Talk with Garmin’s Kiwi Star

Forget stories of barbed wire fences; that’s not what did the damage to our favourite Tour rider, Jack Bauer’s face. We know what really happened on stage 19 but gave our word to Jack that we’d keep schtum – suffice to say that it was a sore one and not his fault.

At Random

Le Tour de France, Stage 11: Sisteron – Bourg-les-Valence; Reinstate Renshaw?

We headed to Bourg-les-Valence today, but first, Big Macs... they may pig you out towards an early grave, but damn, the wi-fi is good in there! Thursday was hectic, finished off with a train journey via Carstairs - I was a bit worried they might grab me - to Penrith, where I was meeting Dave to head to Stansted and La Belle France.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 13; Saint-Étienne – Chamrousse, 200 km. Vincenzo Nibali scores a Third

10 years ago we’d have been knocked out by the riding of Vincenzo Nibali – now we question. It’s not a case of cynicism or love of the ‘D-word’ gossip, it’s just that we were fooled for so long and so comprehensively that if a rider is dominating in the fashion of ‘The Shark’ then one does wonder – it’s impossible not to.

World Road Championships 2006 – Day 6: Postscript

It's 3.45 pm CET. I've been doing the tourist thing today. Salzburg is beautiful no-doubt, but it's a tad de-caffeinated, a good place to come with your girl but lacking that real-life' edge of say a Gent or a Lisbon. It's hard to find a proper bar but this one seems OK, complete with busty barmaid. World Road Championships 2006.

Marcin Bialoblocki – “I can win the Worlds”

When Alex Dowsett (Movistar & GB) rode 17:20 to take the British ‘10’ record earlier this year we all thought, ‘wow!’ and that it would take some beating. Enter one Marcin Bialoblocki, Polish professional with the One Pro Cycling team – with a 16:35, hacking 45 seconds off the Dowsett mark. That’s head shakingly quick – but not content with that, the next day Bialoblocki put Dowsett’s ‘25’ record of 44:29 to the sword with 44:04. We just had to ‘have a word.’

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 17: Bagnères-de-Luchon – Peyragudes, 144 km.

I wasn't sure about the 'blip' at La Toussuire when Froome distanced Wiggins in the finale - I thought it was 'mountain out of molehill' stuff. Although we did hear that Wiggins was 'raging', that night in his room. But today, there seemed little doubt that a message was being sent; 'I can drop you any time I want.' The body language and facial expressions around the team aren't relaxed, happy or positive. But there's little doubt now that Brad will win - barring Acts of God.

Ride London 2016 Goes to Tom Boonen

The worst thing about going to the Tour? Coming back. ‘Cold turkey’ is tough – Dave and I used to go to a kermis on the Monday after the Tour finished to ease our ‘crash.’ And last year Callum and I went to the post Tour crit in Aalst. Not this year however because we flew home from Geneva. But our man Callum found another solution; he got himself down to the ‘Ride London’ race; whilst we had to watch it on TV – with no coverage of the crucial last few K. But Callum let us have some pictures - we hope you like them.