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Behind the Blue Curtain
Inside the Discovery Channel bus with Chris Brewer
Chris will be bringing us daily updates from within Discovery Channel HQ, getting the lowdown from team management.
Discovery Channel is the team on everybody's lips at this year's Tour de France. Why?
One name - Lance Armstrong.
This network of riders and staff previously existed as the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team, helping Lance win his six Tour de France crowns, and in 2005 they're gunning for a seventh title. Follow the progress of the team here on Cyclingnews.com from 'Behind the Blue Curtain'
July 16, 2005: The Disco team car
Since we recently went on the team's bus I thought it only appropriate to also go inside a team car as well. As you might guess, with Lance being a national spokesperson for Subaru, their Legacy model is also the car of choice for the team, too.
Working from left to right, Johan's in the driver's seat (of course) and has a ready supply of Powerbar product in his door. In the centre console there is a TV attached to the top of the dashboard, then a GPS navigation system in the main console. The team radio hangs from the rearview mirror, plus Johan will have at least one cell phone and a blackberry with him as well.
Depending on the day and circumstances, either a guest will be in the passenger seat or possibly another DC staff member.
In the back the mechanic takes his place; usually it's Chris Van Roosbroeck with Johan. The wheels are stacked for easy access, the tools and maps all in their proper place as well. But according to team mechanic Geoff Brown, the one important item you cannot forget is the small blue cooler on the floor - it has their lunch in it!
And there you have it - an inside look at the Discovery Channel team car.
Ciao for now!
July 15, 2005: Iconography
When Lance Armstrong rolled out his new Trek TTx bike for the Stage 1 Time Trial, it was not only aerodynamically and mechanically fast, but very fast looking as well. Painted Lance's favorite "bad ass" black, the TTx also had a very new look, and especially the rear Bontrager disk wheel: lots of symbols all around the disk. I caught up with Nike's Scott MacEachern and he explained that this was all about "Iconography" and it revolved around Lance and a former / famous graffiti artist named Lenny McGurr, aka "Futura 2000".
"Lenny came to the Tour last year and was super-inspired - he's a former racer himself as well as fixed gear messenger back in the day in Brooklyn, New York," Scott said. "He's a well-known graffiti artist and came up with the concept of telling Lance's story through icons. Nike thought this was really cool and started collaborating with Lenny to further inspire him and to develop over 40 icons."
Just before the Tour de France Nike launched Lance's new "10//2" signature line of clothing. "We thought it'd be cool to include these icons as a part of the 10//2 program," Scott said. "We felt that by using these icons as a form of language we can tell his story in a new and in-depth manner that's never been done before."
And as everyone knows, there's always something special done on the last day of the Tour, but Nike's going to up the ante this time around. In the final six days of the Tour you'll see a different series of special icons along the top tube of Lance's bike, commemorating his life and his 6 previous Tour de France victories.
So be on the lookout for "Iconography", and thanks for checking in.
2005 entries - the Tour de France
Previous Cyclingnews articles on the Discovery Channel team