Au Revoir TdF!

by CyclingTips

I hope this spoiler didn’t come as a surprise to anyone

I always feel so empty the morning after the Tour de France finishes.  Tired, used and beaten up. This year is worst than most.  After being there in amongst it all and understanding what the hype is all about I’ve become even more of a cycling fan than I already was.  It was already a dream come true getting to go to the Tour this year and even if it never happens again my life will still be complete!

The scandalous part of last night’s final stage that got everybody talking was Radioshack’s jersey change.  I was watching twitter and people were all fired up over the race officials making them change back from their “28” branded jerseys.  I was thinking it was a stupid as well, but after considering it I thought the officials made the right call.  All of the Radioshack riders originally signed in with their regular jerseys and then switched. This would have been confusing for race officials and the rest of the riders.

This isn’t the first time that Lance’s teams have done this.  In 2003 after Lance won his fifth TdF, his USPS team wore a special jersey with the old U.S. Mail logo from the 1970s marking the centennial of the race. Also, in 2005 when Lance won his seventh victory, his Discovery Channel team wore a slightly different jersey featuring seven yellow stars.  The ASO didn’t make them switch their jerseys back then, but the main difference was that Lance had won the Tour in both occasions and they probably signed in with those jerseys (I made up the latter fact. Not sure if it’s true).

Lance isn’t stupid.  The guy is a marketing machine.  Of course he knew that the officials would not allow Radioshack to wear those jerseys after signing in with the other ones.  As much as I dislike many of the ambiguous and senseless rules that the UCI makes, these ones are fairly clear.  They do bend the rules from time to time as we’ve seen, but this final stage is about the yellow and green jerseys, not Radioshack and Livestrong’s day for self promotion.

The rules state:

1.3.035 Each team may have only a single design for clothing (colours and layout) which may not be altered for the duration of the calendar year.

1.3.028 “Save in cases expressly provided for in The Regulations, no distinctive jersey may be awarded or worn.”

It was a big publicity trick that got the jerseys talked about a thousand more times than if they didn’t have to change them.  Just watch them sell like hotcakes.

What did you think of the 2010 Tour de France? Exciting? Boring?  Personally, I think it was probably the cleanest Tour we’ve ever seen. I think it was reflected in the racing and the lack of “superhuman” performances we saw (except for Jens chasing back onto the groupetto after crashing at 70km/hr!).  Most of the drama came from crashes and misfortunes of riders instead of dominating attacks in the mountains.  I don’t think we’ve ever seen so many crashes and battered riders.  Stage 2 in Brussels, Stage 3 on the cobbles, Stage 4 on the descent of the Stockeu, Cadel, Gerro, Hansen Jens…the list goes on and on.  Of the 197 men who started the TdF, 170 finished.  27 riders abandoned due to crashes, illness or disqualification.  Usually there’s a couple positive doping test during the Tour which creates it’s own dramas, but there were none that I heard of this year (except for Xavier Florencio who failed Cervelo’s internal test for ephidrine in his saddle cream before the race even started. WTF?)

Thank you for your participation in the TdF trivia competitions, you comments and opinions and for simply stopping by.  It’s been a joy writing about the TdF nearly every day and your visits and interaction makes it well worth it.  I have lots of little things that I’ve stored away from my trip to Switzerland and France throughout the last month that I’m looking forward to sharing over the coming weeks.  Viva la Tour!

Could you think of a better backdrop for the final stage of the TdF?
Lance will be in retirement v2.0 now, but I think we'll be hearing lots more of him in the coming months.

Even though the last stage of the TdF is largely cerimonial, these guys know how to put on a show once they hit the Champs-Elysees
Even though it looks close, Cav is two bike lengths ahead
In the past three weeks we went from saying that Cav is washed to him winning five stages. There's no doubt he's still the fastest sprinter on the planet
Contador's five Grand Tours will undoubtedly put him in the history books with the best
Love him or hate him, you gotta love him!
Nobody cares about the Teams Classification, but it was one last attention grab for the outlawed #28 jerseys

The four jersey winners, Schleck, Contadore, Petacchi and Charteau
You're a fairly cool cat until you do the fingerbang Alberto!

TdF Trivia Prizes

The Stage 16 CyclingTips kit prize presented by Wattbike worth $350 goes to ***RohanS***. Congratulations!  Please get in touch with me and provide sizing and shipping info. (cyclingtips at gmail dot com)

The Stage 17 prize presented by Apres Velo cycling apparel worth $250 goes to ***MarkR***.. Congratulations!  Please get in touch with me and provide sizing and shipping info. (cyclingtips at gmail dot com). Also, if you want to buy any Apres Velo clothing on their website, enter the code “cyclingtips” at checkout and you’ll receive a 20% discount.

Thank you to all the sponsors for their generous support of Cycling Tips and for giving away these fantastic prizes.  Be sure to check out their TdF specials and other offers below.

Wattbike – Long time supporter of Cycling Tips.  If you want a way to improve your cycling this winter on one of the best indoor ergos on the market, check them out. Also, thank you for giving away over $1000 of Cycling Tips kits throughout the past three weeks.

BMC – In the very near future I’ll be doing a post on their 2011 product line and their new flagship bike, the Impec.  BMC is the brought me to Europe and gave me the experience of a lifetime.  They also contributed some fantastic TdF prizes including a BMC team kit and messenger bag.

<C-4> Bicycle Components: Check out the new wheels and hubs they’re importing into Australia. Product review for their CA3.0 wheels can be found here.  Thanks to C-4 for providing the titanium skewers as trivia prizes.

Bike Force Docklands: A keen supporter of Cycling Tips and they have prices that can actually compete with the online bikeshops.  Thanks for Bikeforce for their accessory pack giveaways during the TdF.

Cycling Edge: Long time supporter of Cycling Tips and top shelf products.  Moots, Independent Fabrication, Parlee, Edge Composite and Topolino Wheels.  Head on over to South Melbourne and check them out – even if it’s just to dream!

Avanti Plus: Click here to find out more about their Tour de France promotions and deals.

Scott: Enter to win a Scott Addict R3 road bike valued at $3500.

Ride the Worlds: A once in a lifetime opportunity to ride the same closed course as the PROs will be racing on for the 2010 UCI World Championships in Geelong.  Thanks to them for giving away some free entries to this event.

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