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When did you FIRST start following the Tour de France?

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Aug 4, 2009
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1956 and watched every one since that was before Phils comentry.
Still have a copy of Cycling Weekly 1967 TDF headlines Simpson Dead writen by none other than Phill Liget.

It was 1970 before we were able to get it in colour but in them days it was usualy 8mm movies then we progressed to Vidio but get picturs of some sort was all we wanted.
I wonder who worked the riders or the fans
Now its too easy
 
Apr 29, 2009
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First tour and full cycling season I watched was 2006, I was 17. I got into cycling as a whole immediately, not just the tour to begin with.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
Not sure if you're being facetious or not, but I have very nostalgic memories of that time, and thought some of those John Tesh packages were great, and wish the sport would put together more of them. Like this one of Team 7-11

Not at all. Its what got me into cycling and join my local club. I was 13 at the time. I recorded them onto VHS and wore the tape out watching them over and over and over again. Back in those days you could only read about the Tour via Winning magazine which would arrive in Australia about 4 months behind its publication date. These days with the internet you can see anything anywhere.
 
First aware of cycling in 1976, when George Mount was on TV for maybe two minutes in the Olympics RR. I'd pull out a fingernail to see that footage again.

Read about GL winning the junior worlds, and read about the Tour de France in 1979 or so.

Read about a rider with my name leading the 1981 version, that piqued my interest.

Cycling hitting TV in about 1983 or so helped, but really, Greg's 1986 win got the ball rolling, and team 7-11 making it to the big show was great to see.

Didn't pay much attention to the Tour in 1994-1995, the former being the most boring Tour ever. Stopped believing in Lance in about 2001 or so (Ferrari), the Postal train seemed superhuman, and didn't watch again until most of 2003. The two years after that were very boring. Been watching since though.

(Keep in mind, these comments are mostly on the Tour, many of those years I watched most the rest of the calendar).
 
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I believe it was the 85 event. Remember Lemond crying after a stage, because he was ordered not to work with Roche after Hinault crashed. The lack of time gain made him loose the Tour. On the other hand, it was correct teamwise that he recieved the order.

Had Lemond been French, he probably would have won at least another Tour. But obviously one can't base history on ifs.
 
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Kingsley A said:
When did Channel 4 (UK) first start covering the race? I suspect it was then.

this is what im trying to work out..

i definately saw millar get polka and fignon win.. 1984, but im not sure that that was my first tour

channel four started i beleive in 1982

so possibly there coverage started in 1983?
 
Kingsley A said:
When did Channel 4 (UK) first start covering the race? I suspect it was then.

I just wish every race would have free worldwide online coverage of the quality that this year's Tour of Missouri did. It may not be the best race on the calendar, but it was by far and away the best internet coverage of any sporting event I have ever seen!

Channel 4 first covered the Tour back in 1986. All of us who are old enough will remember Lemond and Hinault crossing the Alpe D'Huez line, together.
That was when tv gave us the option of "watching" the Tour from our living rooms.

As for watching stages, the earliest I've seen "as live", thanks to French tv, would probably be the Thevenet/Merckx 1975 battle, at "punchy" Puy de Dome and Pra Loup, (Merckx's attack and subsiquent collapse - Puegeot off the precipice) the following day..........
http://vodpod.com/watch/1153878-eddy-merckx-tour-de-france-1975-stage-15
For a taste.

Now, I wonder when everybody started following the Giro and the classics?

dimspace said:
this is what im trying to work out..
i definately saw millar get polka and fignon win.. 1984, but im not sure that that was my first tour
channel four started i beleive in 1982
so possibly there coverage started in 1983?
Me too, but obviously, not on C4????????? See above.
 
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Mellow Velo said:
Me too, but obviously, not on C4????????? See above.

when what the hell did we watch it on..? i definately remember highlights packages..
 
brianf7 said:
1956 and watched every one since that was before Phils comentry.
Still have a copy of Cycling Weekly 1967 TDF headlines Simpson Dead writen by none other than Phill Liget.

I'm just scrolling through this thread now, (well done Polish, this is one thread that DOES interest me).I thought I may be the earliest follower of the Tour in this forum; but Brian has already beaten me.

My first recollections were around 1964, when I first started cycling seriously as a junior, (time trials). The only coverage around that time were Cycling Weekly and monthly Cycle Sport. However they DID give good coverage and great stories about all the top European races. So it wasn't all about the Tour de France.

In fact I loved reading about the Classics, (the rain, the cobbles, the sprint finishes, the Hard Men!). My earliest hero was Rik van Looy: he won so many races. Now there's a man MC should aspire to emulating!

I remember Brian Robinson winning a stage from a long breakaway that he had planned. He put light tyres on his bike for the stage, took plenty of food on and broke away early at the feeding station and went on to win by around 18 minutes. (That did make the National papers in the UK).

Later Jacques Anqueteil became a big favourite of mine. He was as you all know, a master time trialist. The Race of Truth" had big street cred in England, where most racing was Time Trials; you needed a different racing licence to do Massed Starts.

Then of course, every pommie cycling fan took on Mr. Tom. He was very popular as a rider and a person. Jounos loved him as he would clown around for the cameras and then World Champion (beating another fast man hero of mine, the great German Rudi Altig). Sadly Tommy's other cycling achievements, in the Tour and other major races, got dwafed by his death on the mountain by the general media.

So there must be other oldies here who can still remember a bit from the earlier days? I was 62 yesterday and celebrated with my first bike ride since having a total hip replacement three months ago.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Like many others, first with my dad. I remember 93 indurain vs rominger, but my favourite all time memory was the 95 final TT. I remember the road turned slightly upwards, indurain didn't appear to do anything other than push harder over the small rise, it was awesome. May not have happened quite the way I remember, but who cares.
 
Nov 23, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:
Now, I wonder when everybody started following the Giro and the classics?
Good question! Its either the Olympics or the TDF that hooks people into cycling. I got into cycling in 2005. Lance's last win, Vino's crazy attacking, Cadel's first TDF top 10, Robbie McEwen, Vino's Champs-Elysees win!! Was a Lance fan (shame on me).

Got into the rest this year when I moved to Western Europe. It helps when you can actually watch them on TV.
 
dimspace said:
when what the hell did we watch it on..? i definately remember highlights packages..

I dunno......the problem with going back so far is age tends to dull the memory specifics.
I actually Googled C4's screening dates, as I was fairly sure some of the stuff I remembered, pre-dates their daily coverage, as indeed, it does.
WORLD OF SPORT ITV maybe?????
 
First followed the Tour in 87 because an Irishman was winning but it was the 89 race that got me hooked into cycling. Even though the Tour was the ultimate, I quickly became very aware of all the other races, especially the Classics as Irish TV regularly showed the classics(Live or highlights) in the early 90s. I also enjoyed learning about the history of the sport, Cycle Sport magazine was very helpful with this area.

Honestly I prefer the classics and other GTs over the Tour now, Tour is just overhyped boredom usually, especially when there is a dominant rider.
 
Jun 10, 2009
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First recollections of the tour are highlights on TV back when Phil Anderson cracked the big time. After that, no specific memories until the LeMond-Fignon duel.
Became a cycling tragic around 1989, and went through a period of a few years where I bought every issue of every cycling magazine I could get my hands on (mainly Bicycling, Cycling Australia and Australian cyclist, what dross! the british magazines were hard to come by)
Watch most stages live on SBS and spend a month suffering the consequences of sleep deprivation! Tragically I ofte watch the highlights as well...
 
Jun 18, 2009
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first 97 at the age of 13...but in 2000 i was at the level where i would have been happier if Jan would have won the Tour than if my national football team won the WC.

p.s. i'm not a german
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Can not nail the exact date, but Le Tour first etched itself into my memory when Steve Bauer had the maillot jaune for over a week or so. Of course since then I've come to realize that the cycling season doesn't hibernate for 49 weeks of the year, but has other great races such as the Giro, Paris-Roubaix, Ronde Van Vlaanderen and others.
 
1990, but only highlights and the odd stage the first years because I usually worked 12-14 hour shifts in the summer. An injury in 1994 that later made me quit that job gave me the chance to follow the entire race and I have missed less than 10 stages since then. I don't work any more since this spring, but I would always place my summer holiday so I had the last 2 weeks, if not the entire Tour, off.
 
Oct 6, 2009
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Polish said:
I first became aware of the TdF in 1986 - because of Greg getting exposure.
I do NOT remember Roche in 87 or Delgado in 88, however.

But 1989 and every year since I have followed the race day after day:)

So, who has the earliest memory?

Anybody "watching" during Hinault?
Anybody remember watching Eddy eat people?
In Black & White?



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I started following the Tour de France in 1986 when Greg Lemond, an American, was getting coverage in the USA.
I really became a fanatic when the Armstrong phenomena hit the USA. I try to watch every stage, because you never know who is going to something special or when.
 
Jul 16, 2009
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Started watching daily coverage on ESPN2 back in the early-90s. I remember Pantani could climb better than anyone. I wanted to be just like him. Then there was Ullrich, he would just motor. I figured he was more my style of rider since I was a bigger dude. Jan is still my idol from my childhood (I don't care if he was doped, the rest of the competition was also).

Before that, I don't believe there was any daily coverage that I could find and highlight shows are not good for choosing a rider to "like" since they are telling you who to like.