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Le Tour 2001

89th Tour de France - Grand Tour

France, July 6-28, 2002

2002 Tour de France rider journals

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TT favourite
Photo: © AFP

Bradley McGee

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Nationality: Australian
Team: La Francaise de Jeux

Bradley McGee can ride a four kilometre individual pursuit faster than some elite squads can ride as a quartet, averaging close to 60 clicks an hour for four minutes, all on his own. Scary, isn't it? No surprise then the good-looking New South Welshman has now matured to become a feared prologue and TT specialist, recently winning the prologue of the Dauphiné Libéré from his compatriot Baden Cooke - over a distance you might say was rather familiar to him: 3.6 kilometres. However Brad doesn't just want to be master of the chrono; he wants that and more.

Stage 5 - Thursday July 11: Soissons - Rouen, 195 km

A standard flat tour stage is...Neutral zone - Kilometre zero - attacks for up to an hour - break away - long pause as bunch decides who will chase - bunch chases - someone wins. Today we forgot the pause in the middle and the race was flat out from start to finish for an average speed of 46km/h. Not bad considering the wind was hitting is from the front!

Eventually the big man, Kirsipuu, got up the road with a few others and took a fine victory proving he is not so far off from after all.

I happened to puncture (first time for many months) at about 20km to go. This, as it turns out, was a fortunate thing as only a kilometre later there was a mass pile up in the bunch in the same spot I was riding. My mates Cooke and Casper just slipped through.

I then arrived on the crash scene at 65km/h, tucked into the convoy trying to make it back into the bunch only to find the road blocked with bodies, bikes, team cars and there mechanics running wildly with spare wheels and then of course the moto bikes with there camera men capturing all the drama on film. I managed to cut a path around the crash site via the grass, but was way behind the main field, leading to a 10km chase flat stick but too late to help pull the break away back. Cookie was second behind Robbie in the bunch kick and moves up to 3rd on points.

Still more sprint action to come over the next few days.
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Photo: © Brad McGee

I have a photo here of our little Aussie quarter in the team camping car. There is a lounge area down the back that doesn't seem to interest the Frenchies so we have gladly claimed it. Trying to make it feel a little more homely.

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