Tuesday, September 21, 2021
HomeDiariesLe Tour de France 2009 - The Day After

Le Tour de France 2009 – The Day After


Le Tour de France 2009

And now Le Tour de France 2009 is all over; it’s Monday morning and we’re in a cafe at Montmartre – lucky us, I’m taking care to savour the moment.

Even though the coffees are four euros each.

Yesterday was different for us, we decided to be “fans for the day”.

The crowd on the circuit was huge, but strangely thin on the Rue de Rivoli.

Le Tour de France 2009
Being a spectator made getting good pics pretty difficult…

We had a fight to get to what we thought would be a good vantage point – over beside the Seine, on the Quai.

However, this year, it was mobbed, there were more policemen than ever getting in the way of the camera (thanks Lance) and it was hard to get good pictures – in the event, I think we did not bad.

Le Tour de France 2009
…but we managed!

Cav: what can you say?

A force of nature, the best sprinter in the world, period.

Contador: tranquilo, smiling, professional, photogenic, dignified, the best climber, the best chrono man – the champion.

Last year, Philippe Brunel told me that for a Tour winner to be a real star; “he must impose himself upon the race.”

Bert did that, and with half of his team riding against him.

Respect, Alberto Contador.

Le Tour de France 2009
Metro’s everywhere are the same; grim.

The Metro was horrific, it felt like being in a sci-fi film, fleeing from an alien menace, for the Parisiens; “c’est normale!

The press room was unusually chatty, you could have been forgiven for thinking that it was a friendly place.

There’s always a big sense of anti-climax after the Tour, if you’re working on it.

For the riders, there’s a big bash, the loved ones are all there, looking cool, there’s joy and relief in the air – but if you’re a hack, you skulk off into the night feeling a little empty, confused, needing a shower and a bed.

Le Tour de France 2009
We manage to catch up with our ASO pal Domink once he’s back on the race after illness. Great to see you mate!

Working on the Tour is like working at a Six Day race; you’re in a bubble.

The mobile may push a pin through the latex and connect you to the world outside of the bubble, but within seconds of the call ending, the latex self seals and the call is forgotten – I have to write them down, on the spot, they don’t even register.

Then it’s over – and there’s the MOT, the dog being sick, bills, customers – and guilt.

Guilt, because apart from the few minutes you spend chatting to your loved ones each day, you’ve hardly thought about them.

Your mind has been full of angles, schedules, road blocks, race officials, writing pieces, parcours, taking pictures, editing pictures, wi-fi, Lance, Cav, Bert and all the others riders and people…

Never mind – soon be La Vuelta !

Le Tour de France 2009

Al Hamilton

Contador, rey del Tour. Volveré a por el tercero en un equipo en el que no esté Armstrong” – “Contador, King of the Tour. I’ll be back for the third in a team without Armstrong” is the predictable headline in today’s AS.

Le Tour de France 2009
Garmin want Contador.

Alberto Contador made all the front pages in the sports and normal press today with his second Tour de France win and he wants more, but without the problems of being in a team with the seven times Tour winner, Lance Armstrong.

El señor del Tour. Contador fue agasajado en Paris ante un Armstrong gélido” – “The gentleman of the Tour. Contador smothered with attention in front of an icy Armstrong”

Garmin wants Contador for an “anti-Armstrong” and it seems that Alberto has many “girlfriends” that are courting him. Caisse d’Epargne, Katusha and Fernando Alonso (F1 driver with Banco de Santander). Stay calm, he signed a two year contract and won’t share his liberty with no one. Well we will wait and see.

Le Tour de France 2009
Armstrong es un idolo roto – the Contador family don’t think much of LA anymore after he used Astana as a vehicle to get into the Tour, and split the team into two.

Other quotes

Mikel Astarloza: “The objective is complete. I won my first stage, which was very special. The pain is that I didn’t finish in the top ten. The Tour likes Euskaltel as the team animates the race, always on the attack.”

Lance Armstrong: “My rivals were stronger than me. My broken collar bone upset my preparation in the Giro”.

Carlos Sastre: “I wasn’t at my maximum”.

Christian Prudhomme (Tour Director): “Contador is a very human champion, not the look of a robot. He demonstrated through out the Tour his strength of character. An elegant climber who dominates his rivals. Alberto is a unique antidote to Lance Armstrong”:

Andy Schleck: “I’ll be back for victory”.

Beppu and Arashiro: “The first time two Japanese riders have finished the Tour in Paris”. History in the making, they didn’t win any stages or take any jerseys, but everyone knew they were there. Beppu said on the fast train to Paris, “I’m going home to my country for a party.”

Last word goes to the home town (Pinto) of the 2009 Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador: “Armstrong es un idolo roto para toda la familia Contador” – “Armstrong is a broken idol for all of the Contador family”.

Tonight (Madrid 18:00, Pinto at 19:30) there will be all of Alberto’s family and most of the people from the village in the Plaza de José Crespo to welcome and congratulate him and many of the youngsters will end up having a bath in the fountain!

Le Tour de France 2009
LA was not exactly chuffed for his teammate, and didn’t go to the Astana celebration dinner last night.

I hope you have enjoyed the view of the Tour de France from a Spanish prospective. Next we have La Vuelta in August and September, see you there!

¡Adios amigos!  Al.

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 18: Gap > Alpe-d’Huez, 168km. Riblon Saves AG2R’s Tour

I could never be a ski bum, 60 Euros per night for the room here at the top of Alpe-d’Huez - but you have to pay extra for sheets - and towels - there's no toilet paper - then you have to clean the place at the end of it. A bit like borstal really, with off-hand, condescending staff.

Le Tour de France – Day 8: Stage 20, Cerilly to Saint-Amand-Montrond

The Salle de Presse in Saint-Amand-Montrond, 17.30 Saturday 26th July and Carlos Sastre has just won the Tour de France, it won't be official until tomorrow after the big show on the Champs Elysee, but it's won. Personally I'm happy with the result; at least Sastre took the race by the scruff of the neck on L'Alpe D'Huez, an 'exploit.' Evans strategy of following may have been dictated by the weakness of his team, but it would have been hard to be enthusiastic about him as a Tour winner.

UK Tour de France Proposal Gathers Pace

Representatives from British Cycling, UK Sport and EventScotland visited the Belgian city of Liège this weekend for the Grand Depart of the 2012 Tour de France. With a proposal for the opening stages of the 2017 event being developed, the British partnership experienced the spectacular the Tour first-hand.

Le Tour de France 2016 – Stage 16; Moirans-en-Montagne – Berne. Peter Sagan Again!

Peter Sagan, again! There’s little left to say about the man but as soon as we walked the last couple of kilometres we knew it was one for him – a sharp cobbled climb up from the river, across a cobbled bridge, past the bear pit then another nippy climb before the 1,000 metre, straight as a dye, pan flat finish straight.

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 15: Samatan – Pau, 160 km.

There’s a touch of the Twilight Zone to Formule 1 hotels – you check out of one, drive for hours, check into the next one and the room is identical – to the last detail. Scary! We’ve taken to putting a pencil mark under the one plastic stacking chair in the room and checking to make sure it’s not there when we get to the next town. Samatan.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 1; Leeds – Harrogate, 191 km. Kittel from Sagan!

Welcome to VeloVeritas' coverage of the Tour de France 2014. Stage one looked like a "truce" to VV - except for that finale, of course. We give our views on Cav and a few other aspects of the 2014 "Grand Boucle" (with a bittie to Yorkshire tacked on, that is.) You'd have to be devoid of a soul not to feel sorry for the man - even more so when he puts his hand up and says; "my fault!". Last year he wasn't at his best in le Tour, despite the stage wins. He'd finished a very hard Giro - aren't they all ? - and then rode the Tour.

At Random

Erick Rowsell – On Signing with NetApp-Endura

We last spoke to Erick Rowsell back at the start of last season, since then he’s produced some notable results – a stage win in the Tour de Normandie; a stage win in Doon Hame and top placings in UCI Euro stage races.

Chris Froome – Working Hard & Getting Results

At the start of the 2008 season we hadn't heard of Chris Froome, but all of a sudden his name was everywhere-including le Tour. We thought we'd better have a word with the man who has to go training at 5.00am to beat the Johannesburg traffic.

Mike Greaves – HiVelo; a Velodrome in the Scottish Highlands

Recently we ran a piece about Dave Viner’s efforts to get an indoor velodrome built for Birmingham. ‘Unknowns to us’ at the time, there’s a similar project trying to get off the ground much closer to home – the City on the Ness to be specific. We spoke to Mike Greaves, one of the men behind the project...

The VeloVeritas Style Guide

The bike cost more than the car did and 300 dollars/euros/pounds shoes don’t faze you. But you still don’t feel you’re cutting it in the Sunday run posing stakes? Perhaps it’s time you had a style make over... But we warn you, some of what you’re about to read in our Style Guide might hurt.

Tom Zirbel: What a Waste of a Great Career

Fourth in the Worlds Elite TT, second only to Zabriskie in the US TT champs and with a Garmin contract neatly signed. But scratch all of the above and file under, "Another one bites the dust!" albeit the 'B' sample might just be 'clean.' We asked Paul Coats, who's a lecturer at Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences, for an expert view.

Gent Six Day 2010 – First Night, De Ketele-Lampater Take It Up

Last night at the Gent Six Day 2010? It's tonight, already! No-one stood out, the home boys had to be seen to do well and De Ketele, Mertens, and of course Iljo, all did the biz.