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Is the Tour the Worlds Most Challenging Athletic Event(12 posts)

Is the Tour the Worlds Most Challenging Athletic EventPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Sep 11, 2002 5:28 PM
A couple months ago after Lance Armstrong won the Tour a 4th consecutive time MSNBC columnist slaughtered his accomplishment. However, as I was reading the article below the opposite was done stating that the Tour is the World's Most Challenging Athletic Event. Do you agree?

Not to take anything away from Lance's great accomplishment especially after the odds he faced and I believe that the Tour is one of the most challenging endurance events in the world... but its so hard to name any one event as the worlds "most challenging" sporting event because they are all so very different.

Here is the article:

>Armstrong Congratulated by US Senate
(The full text of this Senate measure is available through

>"The United States Senate voted unanimously to congratulate Lance Armstrong for winning the 2002 Tour de France, his fourth consecutive victory in the world's most challenging athletic event. The measure commends Armstrong for his "unwavering commitment to cancer awareness and survivorship." It also states that he has been, "vital to the promotion of cycling as a sport, a healthy fitness activity, and a pollution-free transportation alternative," a highly significant recognition by the Senate of the chief attributes of bicycling.

>Texas Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX, co-chair of the Senate Bike Caucus) and Phil Gramm (R-TX), who represent Armstrong's home state, introduced Senate Resolution 315, co-sponsored by Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Richard Durbin (D-IL, co-chair of the Senate Bike Caucus), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). The resolution proclaims that Armstrong's triumphs over cancer and in the Tour have made him, "an American hero." Armstrong's "bravery and resolution to overcome cancer has made him a role model to cancer patients and their loved ones," it also stated.

Nick Corcoran
Of course it isI Love Shimano
Sep 11, 2002 10:13 PM
3 weeks, no time outs, no bathroom breaks, no rain calls.
Don't they sleep overnight? nmfbg111
Sep 12, 2002 6:30 AM
Sep 12, 2002 5:25 AM
There are more challenging events out there in the world..not to say the athletes doing them are the level of the tour guys in ability..a couple for example...RAAM and many of the multi-iron events. There has been an ironman event ran in Mexico of varying lenghts. At least once it was ran as a 20x Ironman. That would be 48 miles of swimming, 2240 miles of biking, and 524 miles of running. If memory serves, they had an 18 day time limit and they could sleep whenever they wished. The biking and running were on the same one mile track. No drafting on the bike. So, yes, it might have been flat, but imagine doing 2240 miles on your bike, then having to run/walk 524 miles...and yes, people finished this race. Not saying they could be Lance in the tour, far from it, but, I would say that race was more challenging...both physically and mentally. Probably other events out there also...
Good lord, I would have died of boredom 'ere exhaustion (nm)Slacker Joe
Sep 12, 2002 7:31 AM
Me too!Spoke Wrench
Sep 12, 2002 10:12 AM
I used to do 10 mile runs around the track above the gym at the YMCA. The boredom level had to do with what was going on down on the gym floor. I seem to remember that I liked ladies volleyball best.
apart from childbirth ... yesSpirito
Sep 12, 2002 5:52 AM
but then again im no expert and very unlikely to either bear a child or completing the TdF.

if i brush my teeth twice a day i consider it a victory and an accomplishment of will against adversity and fatigue.

How can you possibly compare?Spoke Wrench
Sep 12, 2002 5:57 AM
I would think an NFL pre-season summercamp would be a pretty tough challenge too. The two practice sessions per day take about the same amount of time as a Tour stage. It's more anarobic, but then there's a lot more standing around too. There's a couple of meetings each day between practice sessions so the rest of the day is more structured, but then you don't have to travel to a new hotel every night. How can you compare?

I think that if you get a bunch of world-class athletes competing five hours per day for three weeks doing anything, it's going to be tough.
no way.....african
Sep 12, 2002 6:04 AM
I must say it is right up there. But this tops the list for me.....

You are all alone sailing in a race around the world. Way tougher mentally and the chance of dying is huge, it happens. My .02
Sep 12, 2002 6:23 AM
That's interesting. I think it would be difficult to name any one event the worlds toughest. Why is the Tour any more difficult than the Giro or Vuelta? It's pretty much the same; it just gets more publicity.

Also, compare that to RAAM, riding further, but almost continuously. Certainly not the intensity, but try riding 3,000 miles in 8-10 days.

There are many others out there, too. We are very biased.

But what's the most interesting about this is that the Senate voted on anything unanimously. Wow.

Eco-challenge, raid Gauloise etc.thatsmybush
Sep 12, 2002 12:03 PM
In one event in British Columbia the amount of climbing was equal to nearly three times up everest from sea level. They average 300 to 500 miles you don't sleep you just try to put your next step forward.
The tour is the toughest because you have to ride at the pace ofOld_school_nik
Sep 12, 2002 12:26 PM
the fastest guy at the momment - In RAAM or Ironman or Eco challenge you can pace yourself - go at twhatever clip you think is most effecient for you - In Le Tour - you can NEVER be dropped from the pack (too far) so if you're a heavy sprinter you must at least keep up to a certain extent with other riders in order to finish within the time limmit - on flat stages - they go so fast you have to stay with the pack until the near the end no matter how crappy you feel at that momment - if Telekom starts going 33 mph for the last 20 k you gotta hang on or be chilling w/ Phill Liggett in the booth watching!

So Yes, the tour is the toughest!