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  • awesometown

    I love these articles. Keep them coming!

  • Classy guy with big balls!

  • Bärlach

    I wonder what gear ratio he’s in when climbing Mt Ventoux – 39 x 25 perhaps?

  • Warwick

    Great article Russell, thanks for the entertaining read.

  • Gavin Adkins

    This is just great. I remember vividly watching the highlights of this stage on SBS. I must have been about 12 and the cycling bug was just beginning to bite. I just thought it was the most amazing thing. This weird sport with so many unwritten rules, everyone with funny sounding names and sponsors I’d never heard of covering everything. To a kid in whitebread suburbia in Melbourne, Australia it seemed like another world. I know it’s good for the sport that it becomes more mainstream, and I love all the coverage you can get now, but I do miss it being a quirky European sport.

  • Kenny Traving

    Superb article. I still recall watching it happen on TV when I was a kid. It was awe-inspiring.

  • Ashok Captain

    Brilliant article, super photographs and video that tell the story of an amazing ride by a hard man! The finishing bow with a flourish – very Italian, very cool. Chapeau (with the crown of the cap cut off), Signors Poli and Jones!

  • Paras Jethwa

    I met him last year at St Remo – lovely and very modest chap. Deeply embarrassed that I did not know more about him. Hell of a career.

  • Fredfalcone

    Thank you for this story. It brings back so many memories that I was motivated to share. Hope everyone enjoys it.

    I had just moved to France a few months earlier, a newlywed as well. I was still living in temporary quarters (hotel) in Grenoble but having been a racer/cyclist moving from NorCal, I made sure I packed my Bottecchia steel bike (it was 1994 after all). Hearing that the famous Ventoux stage was on Monday, we decided to head down to Avignon early Sat morning to find a hotel and catch the stage on Monday. We lucked out as one of the very expensive hotels had Napolean’s room available for several nights so we booked it. What the hell right.

    On Sunday morning, I decided to ride up Ventoux, from Capentras, so rode up to Chalet Reynard. The climb was filled with fans and the slopes were starting to get crowded with other riders/walkers as well. My plan was to arrive early on Monday and climb up to the top of Ventoux. Being hungover from too many bottles of win the night before, I arrived later than I wanted but proceeded to climb the mountain. Riding thru the forest to Chalet Reynard was amazing. Fans everywhere, egging you on. Once I hit the bare part of Ventoux, after Reynard, I saw the top of the beast up close for the first time. I kept going but decided to stop at the Tom Simpson memorial. From this spot, we waited for the riders. A fan had a radio so was providing updates and knew that Eros Poli was the sole breakaway rider. Fans went crazy upon hearing that he was starting the lower slopes at Bedoin. We could finally see the giant figure of Eros laboring away on the pedals. He was going so slow we thought he was either going to crack or get caught. Fans yelled words of encouragement. It was amazing. Minutes later, Pantani, Indurain, De La Cuevas, Virenque, Zulle zipped by. It was a total madhouse by then. Someone yelled out that the radio had just announced Eros Poli had survived and won. Everyone cheered, some cried and we watched the rest of the riders lumber by. What a day……

    I waited until the roads were somewhat clear, having shared swigs of wine with fellow fans, and proceeded to walk down the mountain until I could ride it further down the slopes. I finally got clear of the slopes but there was a lot of traffic in Bedoin so the going was slow. I rode slowly to Carpentras where my ride back to Avignon was waiting. My wife said I had this big smile on my face like a kid and heard an Italian had won it. Yes, an Italian had won. What a day. I will never forget it.

    • Thanks for sharing Fred…What a day on Ventoux it must have been!


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