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Diaries:
Marcel Wüst


USPS team replica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

87th Tour de France - Grand Tour

France, July 1 - 23, 2000


The Marcel Wüst Tour Diary

 

Entry 1 - June 30: Prelude

Hi from France,

YES...there will be a diary...same style as the Vuelta... but because I'll be busy doing other things as well it might be shorter some days and be cancelled because of no time, too much fatigue or shitty phone plugs in shitty hotels...whatever...

I'll still nominate the pestoso of the day and let U know what cd's I listen to going to the start in the bus and having a rub after the race...

Today was the medical check: here are my details:

181 cm, 72.6 kg, 6.17 litres of lungs, 135/85 bloodpressure (strong coffee at the hotel!) and resting HR of 54

And supernatural (santana)...we had it running during the massage

My thought of the day: It sucks to get to a race three days b4 the start...even if it is the Tour...

Until tomorrow, Ciao

mw

Q&A with Gabriella Ekström

What kind of responsibility do you have during the Tour?

MW: Stagewin!

Q: What are your personal ambitions?

MW: The same thing.

Q: Which stages are you looking forward to, where will you try to achieve those ambitions?

MW: During all of them. Especially Paris but it is a long way to go!

Q: How many times have you ridden Tour de France, and what is different this time from the first time you entered the race.

MW: This is my second time. The first time was eight years ago. I was more nervous then.

Q: Have you changed as a rider since then?

MW: No, I still can't climb.

Q: Do you feel that the race is growing more popular or do you think all the scandals has put a shadow over it?

MW: No I think it is as popular as ever, if not more!

Q: What is your opinion on the new tests they hope to use in a soon future?

MW: Better late than never.

Q: Are you using anything new (equipment etc) during the race?

MW: I bought a book to read, but that is all.

Q: Who do you think will win?

MW: From A as in Armstrong to Z as in Zülle. Everything's possible. If it's not A or Z, it's U.

Entry 2 - July 2: King of the Mountain

Myself the KOM jersey of the Tour De France...sounds like a joke but it's not. I was thinking of it since I first saw the climb of the time trial. 1km, not too steep, so I started easy on my normal bike and at the bottom I began what was one of the longest sprints in my career. The best time from bottom to top ( 1:19 min) was what they took to give the first KOM jersey in the Tour...and they gave it to me...after being leader in the Vuelta last year this was one of the best days in my career...and as there are no mountains until Wednesday I'll keep it at least 4 more days!!

Compared to this all the rest happening fades into insignificance...x-cept Dave Millar pulling the TT of his life out of his Giro helmet to take yellow...good onya mate..we need to take a photo together tomorrow...

b4 the start of the TT I listened to the "The Rocky Story" all the music of the famous movies...the right thing to get U going before a time trial and typing this I've got "Waiting For The Sun" by the Doors in the CD player.

My thought of the day: "....................." I just could not think of anything when they told me I had the jersey...

Wish me luck for tomorrow, until then

mw

Entry 3 - July 3: Pestoso Steels...

Well well, my first day as a king of the mountains...good feeling this was!! But it would have felt better if a certain Tom Steels sprinted straight instead of quacking me against Zabel at 150m to go. Still dunno how I stayed upright on my bike, but finally after seeing the replay on TV I'm happy that I did not crash...but still spewing 'cause today everything was right. Perfect position, great legs and the confidence needed to take this first stage in the 2000 Tour...coming from the left all the way across to the right to close the door on me gave him not only the stage victory but the first "Pestoso of the Day" award in this Tour De France.

Right now taping this after dinner I have "The Best of Crowded House" in the CD player...

Tomorrow morning we 'll be leaving the hotel here in Futuroscope, finally 'cause it's time to change but a big compliment to the staff here: really friendly and the pasta always cooked rite, not a normal thing in France... that means packing up all the stuff l have brought to the Tour: 70 CD's, CD player, speakers, internet connection kit and all the other things which make life nicer...

France just put the 1:1 in Euro2000 final against Italy so now they're going into overtime...but it does not matter who is gonna act like dickheads tomorrow...frogs or wogs

My thought of the day: "F#$%"

Entry 4 - July 4: The first loser?

It's already late so today a short verson...

I was 2nd...(first loser!) bummer, but still felt great, so my day will come.

of the day is the "Societe du Tour" to make us get into Nantes on the smallest roads possible, full of roundabouts and little concrete things in the middle of the road....no wonder there was the crash in the finale. They should take a look across the border...no stuff like this in the Vuelta finals!

No time to get the music installed so no CD of the day...it's almost 11 now

Good Nite

mw

Entry 5 - July 5: The jester

Hello from "La Bretagne" where it never rains when U ask the people who live here and where it always rains when I'm here...

So far so good. We got 6th in the TTT, alrite but not super happy. It was a big headwind so it was easier to recover in the wheels. It was still hard enough though.

After I got to the podium for the mountain's jersey we had a tranfer of 90km to the hotel, then lots of phone calls, shower massage and dinner at 9:15. coffee at a bar across the street with the Spanish part of the team and now back in my room and almost 11 o'clock so that's basiclly all U get...

The pestoso of the day was some guy after the finish who asked me 5 times if he could have my hat, and five times I told him nicely that he could not...nicely until he started asking if I would give him the glasses and gloves...I told him to F#$% OFF

That was my day...good nite

mw

Entry 6 - July 6: The winner

A dream came true...

I WON!!! After winning 12 times in the Vuelta and one stage in the Giro it finally happened. In the sprint I kicked'em all to finish off the nice work of the whole Festina team. They went flat out from 30km to go to catch the leftovers of the breakaway on the last straight. Thanx alot guys, that was awesome.

Same thing as yesterday...to the hotel really late, dinner at 9:45 after massage, getting some fresh air on the hotel carpark with the boyz and now taping another short report...

Winning is great and in a big tour it's even better...but with all the stuff happening after it's always late and U always get short reports...and in the mountains I might be too stuffed to write much...

Shit happens

mw

Entry 7 - July 9: Green is the colour
Sprinting for 12th
Photo: © AFP

First sorry for not being able to do day 6 and 7.

On day 6 we were in a Chateau hotel, the best hotel I've ever seen in France, but I could not be bothered to unscrew the phone to get online, and yesterday I was just to stuffed to even get the computer out of the bag.

Grovel with crosswinds and rain all day yesterday, and to top it off a throat infection and blocked sinus...I still finished 2nd of the stage and took the green jersey. but when my team asked if I wanted them to ride to bring back the lonely breahaway rider I said no because I felt so bad...

Turned out to be a bummer but that's life. So after 11 hours of sleep I woke up as a new person this morning. Feeling better in the throat after gargeling some horrible stuff every 2 hours, but at least it worked. Today was unbelieveble: Koos Moerenhout from Farm Frites attacked at the km 0 sign, and it looks like he eliminated his teammate Jans Koerts. Robbie and me looked for Jans all day but he never made it back to the bunch. I hope he's not eliminated but even if he's not Koos is "the pestoso of the day".

The rest of the stage was super fast with a break going away after 70km or so. They went superslow 4 a while until the "happy family" (Mercatone Uno) picked it up and put it in the gutter 4 the last 100km.

I won the bunch sprint to secure the green jersey... this is actually the only reason doing it because as all real sprinters, I think it sucks to sprint 4 12th place.

Typing these few lines my phone rang 6 times...I picked it up 3 times and the best conversation was the one I had with my son Alexander, giving me kisses and telling me all the things he did today. Because he's only 22 month old there was a lot of guessing from my side but I think I've got it rite...

Can't wait for the restday next week when I see him and my wife...now I get a rub and probably to Dinner b4 9pm tonite...

GREEN IS THE COLOUR!!

mw

Entry 8 - July 10: A bad day

Here we are still in the gutter...

Today sucked big time for various reasons: first lucky that this is not a voice diary...I've lost mine completely after the race, big swollen throat and when I talk I sound like a bad guy in a cartoon.

I lost the green jersey by finishing 22nd in the sprint...thanx Tour De France to let us go through 2 really tight roundabouts in the last 1 1/2 km... I predicted there will be a crash this morning... and it happened just millimeters away fom my front wheel. I lost Zabel's wheel and no way to move up again in the last bit...bummer but it was nice to have the green for at least 2 days...and the tour is not over yet.

Thanx robbie to take the points off him in the intermediate sprint. Then there was my team chasing all day into the headwind and not being able finish it off nicely is the biggest bummer for me, but shit happens in cycling also.

Next bad news is the weather forcast 4 tomorrow: cold and rain all day, I hope the tour wheather report is as wrong as ususal, because rite now taping this the sky is really blue and it seems to be the nicest day...we'll see tomorrow, but there is nothing worse than shit wheather in the mountains.

The Pestoso of the day goes again to the "Societe Du Tour" for the shitty finish today...there were many wide straight roads to be taken in the end... I wonder why these guys have ex riders in there? But none of them have really been sprinters. The only good thing about today was the start...we took off really easy, and most of us really appreciated it.

The hotel we stayed in was built by some famous architect...so it's pretty ugly and there is way too much furniture in the room, but at least the restaurant was good and fast...

I hope not to wake up my room mate Beloki tonite with my really bad cough, I might get a room by myself if I don't feel way better tomorrow. Wish all of us good weather for the first big day in the mountains and let the grupetto be big and early...

If U don't get anything tomorrow I might be too stuffed, but I try to drop at least a few lines.

mw

Entry 9 - July 11: Singing in the rain

prick of a day!! high mountains low temperatures and lots and lots of rain. my health is wrecked, can't breathe, can't talk and I'm coughing like whatever is the worst thing coughing in this world ... and sure todays weather did not help.

I'm getting hot and cold sweats and hope I don't get fever overnite. we made it b4 the time cut but I don't know if I should be happy about it, we'll see tomorrow how it goes.

220km, all really hilly and more rain. I really want to make it to the restday. it's gonna be great to hang out with the family and not ride at all ... supposed to be nice weather there too.

I've been typing way to much already for the factor of fuckedness I'm at...

nite

mw

PS I think i was rite to say b4 the tour: "lance will win the tour, no one can beat him..." good onyer champ, go 4 it the tour is yours!!

Entry 10 - July 12: Robo-bank

Lucky no one attacked at the start...I would have been gone 4ever...2 KOM's in the first 20km then an attack by Erik Dekker from "robo-bank"(yes robo like robo-cop not rabo...did U know that rabo is spanish for cock??) followed by some Kelme guy and that was the race.

Tempo in the bunch, myself suffering like hell and when Banesto picked it up in the cross wind @ 40km to go I lasted about 2...then on my own with Pascal Lino who waited 4 me at 15km to go. Horrible day, still really sick and definitely NOT riding on tomorrow's restday. just looking forward to seeing my family and getting a bit of health back...hope this is enough to get me over Ventoux and the Alps.

Well, once started whining: I've got an infected eye as well from the shitty weather and all the stuff getting in my eyes all day. One thing is is for sure and it is quite a big statement: "Now after being in the Tour (finally) my favourite race is still the Vuelta España".

There are too many reasons to type them down for you but anyway, the Tour is the biggest thing if U look at the media attention you get, and the biggest thing in many other things...but remember: bigger is not always better and sometimes size does not matter.

Wish me a good recovery!!!

mw

Entry 11 - July 17: The end

Well the Tour is over 4 me as U all know, and typing these lines I'm back home in Germany after I enjoyed a 3 day holiday with my family in the south of france...with all mobile phones switched off and no online connection...IT WAS GREAT!!

So I left the tour after my team doctor insisted that a rider with fever and bronchitis is better off the bike then on it...it was hard to listen but finally the intelligence won the fight against the little devil saying: "go to Paris man, you'll make it and stuff"

But I'm sure with the sickness in my body I would have lasted only 2 or 3 more days anyway. So now I get ready for the Vuelta in late august...motivation is there for two things: doing well and doing another diary...thanx all 4 your support during the hard days!

Until the Vuelta...au revoir and hasta la vista baby

mw

Marcel's Palmares

1989 [RMO]; 4 victories.
1990: 3 (incl. a stage in Tour of Burgos)
1991: 10 (incl. 2 stages in Route du Sud).
1992: 12 (incl. 4 stages in Route du Sud, 1 in Midi Libre and 1 in Tour de l'Avenir)
1993 [Histor]: 7 (incl. stage in Vuelta Catalonia and stage in Tour of Burgos)
1994: 2 (incl. stage in Dauphine Libere)
1995 [Le Groupement/Castelblanco]: 12 (incl. 3 stages in the Vuelta)
1996 [MX Onda]: 12 (incl. 1 stage in Vuelta Catalonia)
1997 [Festina]: 12 (incl. stage in Route du Sud, stage in Giro, stage in Tour of Burgos and 3 stages in the Vuelta)
1998: 17 (incl. stage in Tour of van Burgos and 2 stages in the Vuelta)
1999: 16 (incl. 2 stages in the Tour of Aragon, 1 stage in Tour of Burgos and 4 stages in the Vuelta)
2000: 7 (incl. stage in Tour of Aragon, stage in Tour of Germany and stage in Tour de France)

Some of Marcel's personal sponsors:

Specialized
Festina
Oakley

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