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Following the TdF(2 posts)

Following the TdFRuss
Aug 8, 2001 9:28 AM
Someone who responded to one of my questions about Racing Triple I was contemplating for TdF said something about wanting to hear how it went.

It went great! Though I am about 20 lbs overweight, I got a lot out of it. As usual, I was the slowest fast guy/fastest slow guy. Rode off the front of the slower group a couple of days, and would wait at the next town for them to catch up. Climbed at my own pace. I needed the two lowest gears the triple gave me.

Rode 6 of the 10 days I was in France, about 250 miles. Didn't ride the last two days, in Paris. Did Col d'Aspin and Luz-Ardiden (all but the last 1.5k). Luz was nine miles, quite a bit of it over 10%. I'd have stopped lower down but had to keep going to get to water vendors at the top. Eventually stopped at a the first bar, past the 2km sign, and had 6 Oranginas. Lance passed within 2 feet of me that day.

Went with Bikestyles group, run by a great Australian guy. Icon was on cyclingnews.com main page. About 2/3 of the folks were Americans. Cost about $200 a day single occupancy. Included at least 2 meals a day. Had a Mercedes bus with room for bikes below. Stayed at central locations, which usually meant a bit of time on the bus, either coming or going each day. We'd meet the bus at the stage finish.

Another group I heard about, Velo, was $3500 for 10 days. I think they were changing hotels more often, and staying nearer to the finish than we were. That means they'll have missed the 25 mile downhill back to Lourdes after Luz, one of the best rushes of the trip.

The energy of the TdF is intense. The locals seem to take it for granted. The Pyrenees are beyond beautiful. The rest of the country is great as well. It was very hot, especially once we left the Pyrenees.

Some of the participants sacrificed to make the trip, leave w/o pay, not sure if they'd have the same job on returning home, etc. I don't think anyone regretted doing what it took to be there.
re: Following the TdFBig Lug
Aug 16, 2001 12:00 PM
I'm sooooo envious. I'd love to make a trip like that. 25 mile downhill?! Oh my god, that must have been more fun than you could stand. Any crashes?

Congratulations dude. I'm happy for you.