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Le Tour 2001
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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 6 - Friday July 12: Fourges-les-Eaux - Alencon, 199.5 km

Close shave...

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Photo: © FDJ.com

I am not a big believer in luck and good fortune but today, something was on my side after rubbing the barriers at 60km/h just over 1km to the finish. Both myself and my mate Cookie thought it was all over after a Mapei rider suddenly moved left launching us both at the barriers. I had Cookie rubbing my left shoulder and my right shoe dragging along the feet of the barriers (needless to say I was also well clenched to my seat at this moment).

Surviving the crash was a big relief but no sooner had the adrenalin level dropped then I realized that Baden's chances of victory where also deflated. With no-one to surge him into the sprint zone it was an almost impossible task to roll Zabel and his Telekom lead out train.

Once again the race was flat out from start to finish in a fashion not often seen on Tour. Talking with the older guys in the FDJeux.com team, Durand, Guesdon and Mengin it seems these past few days are quite out of the ordinary. Normally breaks will go no later then 60 or 70 km into a fast stage but here it is not splitting until much later, around 110 to 120 km.

I guess it is just further proof of the importance of this race and the fact that everybody wants to be 'up the road'.

Tomorrow...may be a day to stretch my legs.


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