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17.07.06 3:06 pm9 comments
Le Tour de France. cyclingnews.com. Bicycling Tour de France. Live, Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwin
RE that first heading: This is not a sports website ... but it’s Le Tour, OK: Don’t apologise lindz. Sport is part of the great tapestry…....
Its only a matter of time before Tassy is represented in the great race again. I think Michael Wilson, who still rides A grade locally and gives most of the young champs what for, was the last.
His boy Josh might well follow in his footsteps. I’ m pretty sure he is riding in Europe at the moment. In Tasmania he has no peer in the mountains.
I think from memory he rode a Mt. Wellington TT from last year in a tad over 50 minutes and smashed Olympian Sid Taberlay’s record.
Cadel Evans who may well feature on the podium in Paris plied his trade on the slopes of Mt.Wellington. Indeed, it was whilst watching Cadel destroy his competitors and make a mockery of the 21km climb with its vicious gradient to the summit of Welly that Phil Liggett would obswerve “this young man may one day TDF”. Cometh the hour cometh the man?
At last, some sensible commentary on Tasmanian Times. Some welcome respite from the NIMBY brigade, and a topic altogether removed from cutting down trees, conspiracy theories and worrying about the impact of a development on ``pristine’’ Ralphs Bay’s already toxic environment.
Go Aussies. At least this is a world sport, not like the euro-centric round ball game.
ps. Michael Rogers for the win, Cadel Evans second. McEwan to round things out with a green jersey triumph.
Oh, with all this list from a bicycle exercise machine in front of the TV, “a bit of balance please” is surely destined to come a real cropper.
Those helicopter shots of le tour countryside make for very pretty postcards, but the ground level shows that they typify the barren environment that the rest of world is headed for, the last stands for a few last-stand species that can survive the utter exploitation of homo sapien.
Things are happening in our back yard indeed.
But I’m dreaming of seeing in the future a kid riding a bike past a real-world Ralphs Bay that has its place in the evolvement of some God’s plan rather than a short-term, exploitive development that wil make money for this generation and be recognised as a disgraceful debalce by the next.
I know I am in danger of being labelled a rabble-rouser but I just cant see the attraction of sports such as cycling. Like other mostly individual-oriented sports, such as golf for example, why would anyone care who wins? Some guy riding a bike fast looks like the next guy riding a bike fast to me. Maybe you have to be a bike rider to appreciate it?
I am no fan of team sports but I can sort of understand why you might barrack for a particular team, or for your country at an event such as the Olympics or World Cup if you have a nationalist bent. WIth some sports, the athleticism is on show, such as in AFL or football (aka ‘soccer’) - so it may be attractive to watch.
Individual based sports - particularly professional sports - strike me as egotistical and extraordinarily selfish. I guess it all comes down to sponsorship, advertising and what the average punter wants to spend their time on. And yet there is no money to reward those quite achievers who devote themselves to helping others. Still, I guess the punters dont want to watch health care workers in indigenous communities on tv or read about in the newspaper.
Actually while the Tour may appear to be an “individual oriented sport” there is a great degree of teamwork involved. This develops mainly from riders employing slipstreaming to work together - thus a rider can rest behind a teammate. Riders can also work together with riders from different teams. These simple facts make a long race like the Tour de France a very tactically rich affair. Lance Armstrong would not have won seven tours in a row without excellent teammates saving him work (often to the detriment of their own chances) in the early portions of many big mountain stages.
I say this not to take a position on the issue of individual vs team sports but just to indicate that the Tour falls somewhere in between the two. I have found it very enjoyable to watch (and this year’s particularly - the team tactics have become especially tricky in the absence of obvious team leaders) although I would personally fall off anything with wheels thinner than a BMX. (Similarly, I enjoy watching motor sport, although I cannot drive!)
Great news that Launceston Cyclist Matthew Goss has been asked by big European team Davitimon Lotto to consider a 2 year contract ( on a team that contains other Aussie champs Cadel Evans and Robbie Mckewen). Word is that DL are not the only team courting young Matt. These are huge opportunities for Goss and possibly the biggest career news for a Tassy cyclist in quite a while.
It is not suprising however as Gossy has been slaying them in Europe this year, winning several high porfile races not the laest being a recent stage victory in the prestigious under 26 Giro D’Italia. I will never forget the night of the last Launceston International criterium where Goss, barely 18, took on and beat the cream of Austalian Cycling including names like O, Grady, McKewen, Magee, Cadel Evans and Baden Cooke. Sadly, this race is no longer, no thanks to the lack of support from the Launceston City Council.
Matthew Goss was of course also a member of Australia’s gold medal winning Teams Pursuit at 2006 the world Track titles. Another member of that team was NW coast star Mark Jamieson, whom I believe also has the talent to ride the big Tours.
As usual Tassy cyclists, (most are from the north and NW of Tasmania) are quietly achieving around the world. Indeed, I note that young Flowery Gully cyclist and TIS scholarship holder Wesley Sulzberger has just won a prestigious criterium series in Canada. Wesley who had a great domestic road season in 2005/6 is from a very talented family of cyclists that include brother Bernard and sister Grace(also a TIS athlete) and who are also top local performers. Indeed Tasmania would go close to fielding a very competitive pro team if one also considers the likes of young Josh Wilson (son of ex TDF cylist Michael), ex triathlete Karl Menzies who is rding successfully for one of the biggest pro-teams in U.S. Although Menzies is in his late twenties, i believe that he is top shelf and capable of riding in the big European Tours. Then there are blokes like Sean Sullivan, Caleb Manion, Matt Rice and Olympic and Commonwealth games MTB rep Sid Taberlay who is also a very accomplished roadie. There are also a host of young locals like young Tim Walker, Jai Crawford, Daniel Furmiston, young Tom and Will Robinson and Ritchie Porte who will soon be knocking on the door of national and internatrional duties
I have to say I find the majority of annoyings contribution to this thread bemusing and poorly thought through. He is more than welcome to add further comments of this quality to the thread, but I would actually urge him to first do a little research. I do hope the reason for his comment was not just to “rabble rouse”. Broad sweeping comments like
“Individual based sports - particularly professional sports - strike me as egotistical and extraordinarily selfish”.
are very provocative and almost impossible to defend. I,m sure if he presented himself and this idea to the boys in the pelleton at my local race this weekend he would be in danger of getting a bike pump inserted into one of his orifices!! Annoying, have you never heard of the work of local Tasmanian cyclist Graeme Milburn?
As Kevin Bonham has alluded to, cycling is fundamentally (road in particluar) a team sport. At the pro level it is every bit a team sport as footy or soccer. Cycling would argue even more so, because of the sense of camaraderie derived from such a high degree of communal suffering Indeed, you cannot just enter a race like the TDF as an individual. The TDF like the vast majority of pro-races are comprised of Teams (9 riders in a TDF team). Every member of the team is in there for a reason and according to there individual strengths and weaknesses will have definite roles to play over the course of the race.
For instance, as Kevin has also alluded, a rider (like Armstrong) in a team with the ability to win the overall race (finish with the fastest time over a multi-day race, or cross the line first in a one day race) is supported in every possible way by the rest of the team. Other teams members (sometimes known as domestiques) will literally sacrifice themselves and their race aspirations to ensure the easiest possible race is had by the team leader. Believe me though, road racing is not easy, even at the local level. At an elite or pro-level, you probably could not pick a more brutal sport. It is poorly remunerated, yet when individulas do win money, it is usually spread evenly across the entire team.
My thanks to Kevin B and Rick P for giving me insight into cycling from the enthusiasts point of view. I dont retreat from the perspective that professional sports is largely an egotistical exercise - and for some, like golf, bizarrely lucrative. But I should acknowledge that participation and interest in these past-times is also stimulated by the love of the particular game. That I can only have a more clinical appreciation of sport does not make my point of view superior.
Golf is still one I dont understand - why does it need to be on the telly every night? And why does the 300th to 500th best players earn more than a school principal? But I guess it is because I am not an enthusiast…
The other source of annoyance is that the World Cup and now the Tour are eating up valuable time on my second favourite public broadcaster! Still, I don’t begrudge SBS the ratings.
Well, I agree with Super Dooper (that’s twice now ... better watch myself, eh?) - in my opinion “sports” like golf and cycling are incredibly boring to watch.
But team sports can also be very boring, so I don’t believe that the difference in entertainment value lies there - ie, Australia’s last game at the World Cup and many of the subsequent round of 16/quarter/semi/final games that ended 1-0 or 0-0 and were BORING in the extreme.
In the end you (well ... I) just can’t go past rugby union or AFL for watching and cricket for the background radio in summer (so long as there’s a TV nearby for highlights/wickets).
Has the little ol’ TT scooped the Ex and Mockery on sports? surely not.
For lovers of cycling, the TDF and Tassy sports in general I just wanted to add some late breaking news to my earlier ramblings about young Tassy cycling champ Matt Goss.
Little birdy whispered to me this week that big European outfit, Team CSC have secured the services of Matthew. This would be a huge opportunity for Matthew as Team CSC are one of the biggest teams in world cycling. The opportunities this affords young Matt cannot be overstated. A start in the Grand tours beckons, of course including the TDF. Whilst I believe this is still 2-3 years away for Matt, at 19 he has plenty of time.
CSC are owned by danish 1996 TDF winner big’ Bjarne Riis. Riis was the man who famously stopped Miguel Induarain from winning his 6th consecutive TDF. CSC’s Team leader is Ivan Basso, who up until his withdrawal from Le tour due to an investigation by spanish police into drug allegations (yet to be proved) was to be Lance Armstrong’s heir apparent.
Basso quite simply is the best GC rider in the world at present, having just completed a commanding win in the Giro ‘d itlaia. CSC is also home to aussies Stuart O’grady and Luke Roberts (both olympians)as well as Jens Voigt, a long time patron of Aussie racing.
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