1989 Tour de France

Aug 12, 2010
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Just watched ABC's coverage of the 1989 Tour for the first time in years and was reminded of how much cycling has changed. (other than down tube shifters, first generation aero bars and steel frames!) If I ever feel the urge to complain about Liggett and Sherwen, I'll just have to listen to Al Trautwig, Pierre Salinger and Sam Posey again.

Star riders actually attacking each other and reacting late in a mountain stage, not using their army of domestiques to keep the tempo high for hours and then attacking with 4 km to go. Racers actually looking tired after a hard stage, slumped over their bike. LeMond had no one to lean on but himself in the crucial points of the race, and Delgado and Fignon weren't surrounded by domestiques either. Paul Kimmage, in 161st place, abandoning in tears a couple of years before writing his book.

Ah, the memories before EPO. Of course, they still doped, but it seemed more human. One thing that hasn't changed, the known dopers in the race (Pedro Delgado and Gert Jan Theunisse) got the kid gloves treatment from broadcasters. A brief mention of past indiscretions and free pass issued.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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Oh God, I remember Pierre Salinger's diversions into everything that had nothing to do with cycling at all (as if we'd never heard of France before).

And you're right, by the time the real action was happening, the water carriers had already done their jobs and were back cracking jokes with each other in the "grupetto". Lemond, Fignon and Delgado were on their own, and they actually attacked with nothing more than their own intuitions to dwell upon (and perhaps the knowledge of their time gaps).
 
Oct 16, 2010
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pleyser said:
Ah, the memories before EPO. Of course, they still doped, but it seemed more human. One thing that hasn't changed, the known dopers in the race (Pedro Delgado and Gert Jan Theunisse) got the kid gloves treatment from broadcasters. A brief mention of past indiscretions and free pass issued.
Yeah, those were them days. Theunisse tested positivie for testosteron during the '88 tour and received only a 10 minute time penalty. Man, did he come back strong in 1989. He held the Alped'huez record for several years. Was that 1st generation EPO or just cortison, which he later admitted having used?
 
Oct 29, 2010
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pleyser said:
Star riders actually attacking each other and reacting late in a mountain stage, not using their army of domestiques to keep the tempo high for hours and then attacking with 4 km to go.
Mostly, though Stage 9 had Delgado's young teammate Miguel Indurain on a huge solo breakaway that he eventually won.

Ah, the memories before EPO. Of course, they still doped, but it seemed more human.
If death is human, yeah.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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Gaear Grimsrud said:
Mostly, though Stage 9 had Delgado's young teammate Miguel Indurain on a huge solo breakaway that he eventually won.


If death is human, yeah.
I'd imagine that before random Dutch riders were dropping dead of heart attacks, they were probably "inspired" to use EPO by someone else who'd had good results.

Boy, Mig sure keeps a low-profile these last several years.
 

Polish

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Mar 11, 2009
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pleyser said:
Just watched ABC's coverage of the 1989 Tour for the first time in years and was reminded of how much cycling has changed. (other than down tube shifters, first generation aero bars and steel frames!) If I ever feel the urge to complain about Liggett and Sherwen, I'll just have to listen to Al Trautwig, Pierre Salinger and Sam Posey again.

Star riders actually attacking each other and reacting late in a mountain stage, not using their army of domestiques to keep the tempo high for hours and then attacking with 4 km to go. Racers actually looking tired after a hard stage, slumped over their bike. LeMond had no one to lean on but himself in the crucial points of the race, and Delgado and Fignon weren't surrounded by domestiques either. Paul Kimmage, in 161st place, abandoning in tears a couple of years before writing his book.

Ah, the memories before EPO. Of course, they still doped, but it seemed more human. One thing that hasn't changed, the known dopers in the race (Pedro Delgado and Gert Jan Theunisse) got the kid gloves treatment from broadcasters. A brief mention of past indiscretions and free pass issued.
Ligget started covering the Tour back in the 70's with Eddy and was a BIG LeMond fanboy when he covered those Tours....

And Phil remembers the good old days of plain old EPO - before second generation EPO, CERA EPO, and EPO 4G lol

BotanyBay said:
Boy, Mig sure keeps a low-profile these last several years.
Last several years?

Big Mig has ALWAYS kept a low-profile.
A True Champion to be Sure!
 
Oct 25, 2010
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Polish said:
Ligget started covering the Tour back in the 70's with Eddy and was a BIG LeMond fanboy when he covered those Tours...
Ligget's not a journalist, but rather a color commentator. A fanboy of whomever is in front and ripping-up the road.
 
Dec 5, 2010
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BotanyBay said:
Ligget's not a journalist, but rather a color commentator. A fanboy of whomever is in front and ripping-up the road.
Ligget's just a paid up charter member of Armstrongs Jobs For The Boys Club as far as I can tell. What other reason can there be for shared business interests, flying with LA all around the World in his private Jet and (very rarely!) commenting on possible case outcomes as if Lance is a naughty child more worthy of a hair ruffle than serious action.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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Velocentric said:
Ligget's just a paid up charter member of Armstrongs Jobs For The Boys Club as far as I can tell. What other reason can there be for shared business interests, flying with LA all around the World in his private Jet and (very rarely!) commenting on possible case outcomes as if Lance is a naughty child more worthy of a hair ruffle than serious action.
I know that Phil & Paul do color commentary for other Euro-media outlets, but it is well known at Versus that "shhhhhhhhhh" is the name of the game. The sponsors are paying for a "grand spectacle", and Phil & Paul are paid to deliver that.

How does the Euro coverage differ from what we see in the States? Are the commentators more hard-hitting?
 
A

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BotanyBay said:
I know that Phil & Paul do color commentary for other Euro-media outlets, but it is well known at Versus that "shhhhhhhhhh" is the name of the game. The sponsors are paying for a "grand spectacle", and Phil & Paul are paid to deliver that.

How does the Euro coverage differ from what we see in the States? Are the commentators more hard-hitting?
The difference between Harmon, Backstead and Phil and Paul is like night and day. Eurosport dont overly dwell on things, but they do discuss doping and allegations, Harmon made no secret all season of his disgust towards valverde, and was pretty scathing about vino, and ricco. On the subject of lance they seem to just go with the "its best to say nothing" approach. Im assuming theres a dont slate lance clause with eurosport as they show planet armstrong, but they certainly dont hype him up.

for those who havnt seen it, this is just how nauseating phil is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eixpUlYCkWk

but then, back in 2006 Phil had this to say about landis
http://www.vidoevo.com/yvideo.php?i=Q2Z1N1BfcWuRpZ0xURkk&phil-liggett-on-the-landis-affair=
"tested 9 times during the tour, only one positive"
"the laboratory is unscrupulous to say the least" (because they tested lances old samples ;))
"im very sceptical about the whole thing"
actaully that whole interview is sickening, his talk of 18 riders exonerated over puerto.. the guys middle name is omerta
 
TeamSkyFans said:
The difference between Harmon, Backstead and Phil and Paul is like night and day. Eurosport dont overly dwell on things, but they do discuss doping and allegations, Harmon made no secret all season of his disgust towards valverde, and was pretty scathing about vino, and ricco. On the subject of lance they seem to just go with the "its best to say nothing" approach. Im assuming theres a dont slate lance clause with eurosport as they show planet armstrong, but they certainly dont hype him up.
Eurosport probably just dont want to risk it with Lance. I see it with the TDF panel as well. They mentioned the existence of the Landis allegations, and didnt go either way about it, just said Lance has trouble back home.

As for Harmonn treating Lance with similar contempt as he does Ricco, remember that in those circles the "never tested positive excuse" has legs. Its easier for him to say Lance is controversial and leave it at that, than it is to start talking about doping. With Lance if they wanted to say something negative about him, they would actually have to talk about doping rather than just say " got caught" which they can with Ricco, Vino.


I think Harmonns hatred for Vino died down a bit as well. He praised Vino in Mende and was happy for him the next day.I mean even Harmonn must have loved the excitement which Vino single handidly gave 2 days in a row.

I suppose one could argue that they treat Basso more lightly but its still not a big difference.
 

flicker

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Aug 17, 2009
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Velocentric said:
Ligget's just a paid up charter member of Armstrongs Jobs For The Boys Club as far as I can tell. What other reason can there be for shared business interests, flying with LA all around the World in his private Jet and (very rarely!) commenting on possible case outcomes as if Lance is a naughty child more worthy of a hair ruffle than serious action.
Haters are just born to hate. Lance is cycling, Phil and Paul just do there jobs to report on Lance he is the man!
 
flicker said:
Haters are just born to hate. Lance is cycling, Phil and Paul just do there jobs to report on Lance he is the man!
I hate Novitzky. I hate D1ck Pound. I hate WADA. I hate Damien Ressiot. I hate GL. I hate his daughter too. I hate my father. I hate my adopted father. I hate Simeoni. I hate CVV. I hate Phil Anderson. I hate Floyd. I hate Betsy, and I just might hack her computer again. I hate France. I hate journos, and am going to put them on my black list. I hate Alberto. I hate Astana, and I am not going to wear their jersey. I hate Cofidis. I hate anyone who doesn't believe in miracles or doesn't love cancer.

Dave.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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I advice you guys to watch Paris-Nice 2007,2009 and 2010 if you think the super stars never attack from far out or that they always are surrounded by domestiques that pace them.

Ask Sagan who paced his successful breakaway at Paris-Nice this year :)
 
Sep 30, 2010
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veganrob said:
Yeah, that was bike racing back then. Leaders attacking each other, chasing down breakaways. Yeah. That is why they should ban radios. But that is probably for another discussion.
+1. More riding on instinct and less on script read from the DS car.
 
Agree with the OP. Racing was great back then. Great fun to watch. Much more so than trains going over passes until the last 4km. Zzzzz. Radios are part of the problem. But so are time splits. Teams should be smaller as well. I'm also a big supporter of more wildcard teams.

Though he himself has referred to 1988 as "testing positive", I never thought of Perico as a huge boiler.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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Yeah I love watching old racing too. Just brings back some great memories, sitting on the couch all day eating sugar puffs watching the tv then heading out on the bike to meet the lads & reanacting the whole stage!! Hah the innocence!!! I wanna be a teenager again !!
Really cant wait for the earpieces to be removed from racing also. I want improvisation & blind panic once more.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Agree with the OP. Racing was great back then. Great fun to watch. Much more so than trains going over passes until the last 4km. Zzzzz. Radios are part of the problem. But so are time splits. Teams should be smaller as well. I'm also a big supporter of more wildcard teams.
Not sure I quite understand you on the time splits issue. Removing radios would prevent the time gaps being constantly fed to the rider, but before radios there was the chalkboard guy who flagged the break's gap to the bunch.

Teams in 89 comprised 9 riders as they do now, although they rarely had as many riders overall.

Wildcards, I agree, spice things up as they rarely have anyone capable of the overall. Having said that I think ADR were invited rather than being there by right.
 

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