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What TdF stories would you like to see?--I need your help.(22 posts)

What TdF stories would you like to see?--I need your help.teoteoteo
Jun 10, 2003 6:15 AM
Hello all,

I am going to be splitting out for the entire month of July and have an opportunity to do some journals/stories regarding my travels during Letour. I don't want to reveal all the details just yet but it will be a daily thing on a mainstream site.

Aside from the obvious Podium Girl Hunt what kind of behind the scenes stories would be interesting? I'm not talking race type coverage, but more like the craziness that is following the Tour, behind-the-scenes type of stuff.

I was thinking of profiling the cool shops that I know about or find. I was also thinking Le Food of the road warrior--a chronicle of the food stands that follow the Tour. I leave the states each year, ride everyday, and still gain 5 pounds consuming all the treats they sell along the way.

I've done this type of coverage before but want make sure I still have good material--or at least good ideas going into this. I may even integrate something where readers can mail me with idea's and storylines during the trip. The best idea's get picked with readers getting credit.

If you have idea's toss them out, I'd love to hear them. Mostly just trying to bring my fellow two-wheel junkies
quality stuff.
I'm interested in knowing ...KeeponTrekkin
Jun 10, 2003 6:46 AM
What the "crazy" fans do, how they live and travel, how much they see, etc. How is it worth a pilgrimage for, at most, a 30 second view of each rider as he passes, or is it the party that matters (equivalent to stateside tailgating in the parking lot before the "big game")?

Team support stories, on and off the job. Just what did that mechanic do last night?

Product promoter stories; what companies are giving what products away, how, where and why?

Who's doing press and TV coverage. What are their stories?

France has a rich religious history; how does it interact with Letour and its followers? Is there a patron saint of bicycling or spectating?

Liked your food story. How about "The Cheeses of Letour"?
re: What TdF stories would you like to see?--I need your help.PEDDLEFOOT
Jun 10, 2003 6:59 AM
I think it would be interesting to find out how everyday life of a town or familly of a town changes when the tour goes through it.Maybe stay with a typical familly of one of the small towns and see what their day is like when the Tour goes through.
More of the same . . .ms
Jun 10, 2003 7:27 AM
I think that the pieces that you posted here several months ago hit the spot. Some things that would interest me are:

(1) Who are the people who camp out for days at the top of the major cols? What do they do while they are waiting?

(2) What it is like to go on a road painting expedition -- do people paint just one section of a road or do some people paint several sections of the course? Do you have to watch out for the authorities or don't they care?

(3) Are there regional variations in support for riders or teams. I would expect that there would be more support for Italian riders/teams in the Alps and for the Spanish riders/teams in the Pyrenees. However, are there other variations?

(4) How is the race being portrayed on French television? As I have said here before, last year when I watched several stages on French television, I would have thought that there were two guys in the race -- Jalabert and Virenque, with some guy from Texas in a yellow jersey as a minor player.

(5) What do the riders do during the 18 hours of the day that they are not on the bike? What are the conditions of the riders' lives on the Tour? How do the accommodations and perks on the road vary from team to team?

(6) Are there groupies or camp followers that travel with the Tour? How much "interaction" is there between the riders and the groupies? Do the team authorities discourage or encourage "interaction."

(7) How does one get to work on the publicity caravan? Although I am too old and have a day job, I thought that it might be fun to ride on the Aquarel truck and spray all of the spectators with water.

(8) Do people bet on the race and how do you get in on the action? The one thing that struck me last year was the number of teams (e.g., FDJeux, Lotto, ONCE) and sponsors (PMU) that had something to do with gambling.
Where to find? (was More of the same . . .)orange_julius
Jun 11, 2003 6:15 AM
It seems that I completely missed teoteoteo's post in
reference. Is there a way that I can find his TdF coverage

Thanks in advance!
Where to find? (was More of the same . . .)teoteoteo
Jun 11, 2003 8:36 AM

I can mail you the original pieces if you like. The length caused them to be truncated and hard to read. Once the Tour gets closer this I'll let everyone know who I'm working with but i'd had to give away too much too soon or jinx myself.
re: What TdF stories would you like to see?--I need your help.african
Jun 10, 2003 9:02 AM
Definitly podium girls!! Thats number one priority.

Then some of the behind the scene guys, that give out the food bags, the mechanics, the towel boy.

Also like to hear stories about the accidents and wipe outs, war stories, scars etc.
re: Podie girls are a giventeoteoteo
Jun 10, 2003 10:06 AM
Thanks for the words everyone and the Podium girls is a given. The team personnel should be somewhat workable as those guys are pretty easy to deal with.

TREKKIN... I have just the crazies in mind, as a matter of fact I am doing a Dutch group and some Americans.

PEDDLE I had planned on featuring a family at the race--every year I have always meet a family or two that plans days or weeks around Letour. There is always a friendly Grandpa that has seen every tour for 30 years and scares me with knowledge

MS--Great stuff, like you mentioned I used that piece as a template for several ideas. Great idea on the accomodations/perks/conditions thats one I never considered. As for the regionlisms I have a bead on that one--all the flags and what not you always see on OLN etc.
Hey, how about...Gregory Taylor
Jun 10, 2003 10:27 AM
...the "other" race that the Tour organizers will be running in July. The Le Etape du Tour will be run over the route of Stage 16 on the second rest day. This is the mountain stage between Pau and Bayonne. It is technically a "race" with 7,000 riders. Based on the course profile, it looks like it will be a festival of pain.

I'm signed up to do it.

Look for a dude in a Team Lardbutt jersey. That will be me.

Who are you writing for?
Are you on the email list for the Etape UK website?ms
Jun 10, 2003 12:56 PM
Ron has been sending some very informative emails for this year's Etape. Based on the comments on the official French Etape board (which I read with difficulty even with the assitance of Google's translator) and Velo101, it looks like this year's Etape will be a lot harder than last year's. When the time for the Etape gets closer we will have to try to set up an RBR meeting at the Etape -- perhaps at the welcome village the night before the event -- everyone has to go there sometime to pick up jersey numbers and transponders.
Etape RBR pre-ride ridephilippec
Jun 10, 2003 2:03 PM

I'm going to be there, MS is going to be there -- want to ride the day before to "loosen" the legs? I've done the past few Etape's -- festival of pain sounds about right...


Sounds Great!Gregory Taylor
Jun 10, 2003 4:46 PM
I'm in!

By the way, did you see the news reports covering Lance Armstrong's Press Conference before the Dauphine? Hooo boy. Seems that he thinks that the Pau-Bayonne stage -- the Route of the Etape -- is the "sleeper" stage of the Tour as it has the "two steepest climbs" in the race:

"In the Pyrenees they look to the Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden. They look to the legendary stages, but they forget about the stage to Bayonne, which goes over two climbs that are probably the steepest climbs in the Tour de France. So for me, there are the famous climbs, but there are also these ones that nobody thinks about and I'm glad we saw, because they're very difficult and they could change the results of the race."

Col du Baraguiphilippec
Jun 10, 2003 10:46 PM
is the sleeper... my mates who race down south (Elite 2, which is approx. Cat1-2) did it in a race not too long ago ... said they were not getting above 10km/hr in the last part (argghh!). I'm starting to re-think my gearing!

What's your e-m, I'll contact you about getting together before the ride...


Oh my....Gregory Taylor
Jun 11, 2003 5:31 AM
My e-mail is:

I've begun to rethink gearing as well. I've got a 39/25 combo. Go for a 12-27 out back? I'm going to head to the hills for a final tune up before I leave and see how it goes.
Jun 11, 2003 6:05 AM
I'm 36, Régional category racer (equiv. Cat. 2-3 USCF) and will be swallowing my pride and slapping on a 12-27 on the back (52x39 up front). My team-mates were discussing the climbs yesterday and the vote is in, everyone is putting on 27's on the back (except for our house climbing monster and even he is putting on a 26!)


P.S. you staying in Pau?
This sounds like a real monster...Gregory Taylor
Jun 11, 2003 6:21 AM
I'm 42, an occasional racer (very occasional), and I think that I too will swallow my pride and spring for 12-27. Based on the way that my training is going lately, it's probably a wise move:

I signed up for this ride via Graham Watson Tours -- they made all of the arrangements for hotels, etc. We will be staying in Lourdes the evening before the race, either riding or taking the bus to Pau, and staying the night in Biarritz after the ride.
Hey, how about...teoteoteo
Jun 10, 2003 7:15 PM
Working on the Etape but not sure yet. Gonna try and do the Pre-ride. I'll give all the writing details soon--just don't wanna jinx but it's a done deal.
re: What TdF stories would you like to see?--I need your help.russw19
Jun 10, 2003 11:02 AM
The Devil! That German guy in the Devil suit... I want to know what job he has to be able to follow every stage of every Grand Tour so I can get a "job" like that too!

Also, I would like to see a piece on how nice of hotels the big boys like US Postal and Rabobank stay at, and poor of a place smaller teams like Euskatel or AG2R stay at. In other words, how big is the discrepancy between the teams hotel budgets if they even have to pay for it.

Something about the new helmet ruleScot_Gore
Jun 10, 2003 12:26 PM
I'd love to hear about how the helmet rules are impacting both rider and spectator.

I've seen some pretty heated arguments over errant fly balls from some no name hitting 186. What's the fury over a discarded Lone Star Giro going to be like.

If you like this story idea, I'll take a discarded whatever from some no name sitting 2+ hours back in the GC standings if possible.

the base of the last climb . . .ms
Jun 10, 2003 12:50 PM
I read something somewhere (how's that for attribution?) that people were hanging out at the base of final climbs in the Giro to snag discarded helmets before the team cars could get them. I haven't been to a professional football game in a long time. But, when I used to go to them as a kid (Baltimore Colts -- late 60s and early 70s), the stadium authorities would forcibly take back any footballs that went into the stands. I would guess that any helmet, even one from a no-name rider, is worth more than a football. I wonder if there will be any fights between the team cars and the spectators for helmets.
Jeez, where do I start?cydswipe
Jun 10, 2003 6:33 PM
First off, you lucky bastard. Second, I'd like to see maybe some Tour landmarks? Tom Simpson's marker, pics of past winners, you know, things that make the Tour so grandiose. Being the 100th, pics of the pavement on climbs where fans paint, groups of crazed fans supporting their favorite, I've never seen pics of what comes through BEFORE the riders. What do the fans do after the riders pass? How do the towns celebrate? How many more Americans are there now because of the USPS' success? I didn't read any other posts before I started typing. I would like to see it ALL!
Thanks to all!!!teoteoteo
Jun 10, 2003 7:12 PM
cydswipe...I hear ya' man I've got you down. Some big markers in this years edition..some big ones include the Fausto Coppi/Louison Bobet Shrine on Izoard. Also a story on the Caravan. Don't wanna give up all my secrets.

You guys all had great idea's and am happy to say some of you had great orignal ones, many of the idea's furthered some things I'd thought about. Before I take off i'll post where you can find my stuff. Don't wanna jinx myself just yet :-)