Tour de France News for July 10, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones & John Stevenson
A Colombian in yellow
Victor Hugo Peña realises a dream
By Gabriella Ekström in Saint Dizier
Peña was part of the winning team
Photo: © Olympia Photo
US Postal's amazing ride in the team
time trial between Joinville and Saint Dizier gave Colombian rider
Victor Hugo Peña a special present for his 29th birthday tomorrow. More
valuable than gifts is the honour to ride over the start line in Troyers
tomorrow as the first ever Colombian rider in the yellow jersey. Victor
Hugo, named after his father Hugo and the more famous French author, knew
the possibility to seize the jersey existed before the stage. USPS sport
director Johan Bruyneel told the press after the stage that Peña had made
an effort to do a good prologue in Paris, so that the yellow jersey should
still be within reach, should he get the opportunity.
Victor Hugo Pena interview
Stage 4 full results, report
Haselbacher hits back
Gerolsteiner sprinter Rene Haselbacher has been roundly criticised for
the crash at the end of stage 3 that put Robbie McEwen and Baden Cooke
out of contention for the stage victory and put Haselbacher himself on
the floor in a big heap. Robbie McEwen was blunt
in his criticism yesterday, calling Haselbacher "a kamikaze".
Asked by Belgian TV station VTM if he heard what McEwen had to say about
him, Haselbacher said, "Mister McEwen is so quick to criticize but if
you look at the images from the helicopter from a bit earlier on, you
can see that I was on Zabel's wheel first and that McEwen and then Cooke
tried to come on my right, pushing their way through a space that was
not big enough for the three of us. I admit, I leaned towards the left,
onto McEwen, who was trying to run Cooke in the barriers, and doing so
I lost my balance."
For those who would like to make up their own minds, streaming video
in Windows Media format of the stage finish is here: boss.streamos.com.
Aussies impress French media
Translated by Melanie Leveau
The first few days of the 2003 Tour saw unprecedented success for Australian
riders, with Bradley McGee in yellow, Robbie McEwen in green and a stage
win by McGee's team-mate and friend Baden Cooke, who also rode himself
into the white jersey of best young rider. You might expect the often-prickly
French media to be less than pleased with more Anglophones dominating
their national race, but the general good humour and positive attitude
toward the host nation displayed by McGee, McEwen and Cooke seems to have
won over the press, as these extracts from recent coverage show.
Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace - 8 July
Everywhere, these kangaroos are everywhere. In these beginning stages
of the Tour, Australians have put their paw on the race. All is success
and smiles - and moreover they want everything.
Three of four jerseys, two of three stages, an exploding applause meter.
It is their Tour!
In Paris, they were seven, as many as the Dutch and a bit less than the
Belgians, two [traditional] cycling countries. After only three days of
racing, they are justifying this promotion. They are making Australian
colours shine, forcing their countrymen back home to live upside down,
sleeping during the day and staying up very late. In the past, lovers
of cycling were regarded as untouchables but nowadays they are acknowledged.
Robbie McEwen is in green, Bradley McGee still in yellow, Baden Cooke
in white and as if it was not enough, the latter added yesterday's stage
to his palmares.
Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace
Australia takes a grip on the Tour
Ouest-France - 8 July
Bradley McGee in yellow, Robbie McEwen in green and Baden Cooke, stage
winner in Sedan, in white: Australians riders are booming in the beginning
of the Tour.
Rolling on Champagne's roads towards the Ardennes, the Centenary peloton
found its new lords yesterday. They come from the very end of the world
and are Australians, something the creators of the race certainly never
A stage win for Baden Cooke, Yellow jersey for Bradley McGee, Green jersey
for Robbie McEwen, White jersey for Baden Cooke: very hard to do better!
The very simple happiness of the "kangaroo-winners" is pleasant to see.
These young men coming from so far to learn the very hard job of being
a professional cyclist, are gliding effortlessly through the Tour!
Aussies have fun in France
Tour official website - 8 July
Australians feel more and more at home in our country and after Brad
McGee's win under the Eiffel Tower and his faithfulness to the Yellow
jersey, Baden Cooke - his FdJeux.com team mate - won in Sedan after a
sprint. The high-spirited Australians are really having fun in the hexagon
in these first day of July but not everybody appreciates this domination.
First of them is Frédéric Finot, the unhappiest rider of the day.
It started with these voracious Australians taking over the beginning
of the Tour - and moreover the Centenary Tour. Bradley McGee is in yellow,
Cooke is not far behind. The same Cooke captured the white jersey; the
inevitable Cooke is now second in the points classification still dominated
by Robbie McEwen - an other Australian of course!
Finot had a dream
During his 197km escape Frédéric Finot (Jean Delatour) dreamed of ending
this Australian invasion but was devoured 2500m from the finish line by
a peloton led by the yellow jersey himself, stretching the peloton for
his friend Cooke. The sprint went without a problem for the FdJeux.com
Australians, but also without Petacchi and Di Luca.
Speaking of Italians, we have to remember Bettini who led the peloton
for several kilometres approaching Sedan where he found enough energy
to finish seventh.
It is reassuring to see that non-Australian riders can still impress
in these first days of the race.
Worldwide distribution for Tyler's brain
Brain Power, the IMAX movie featuring Tyler Hamilton's brain that is
currently being shot
at the Tour de France, has picked up a worldwide distribution deal
with nWave Pictures. The film, due for release in 2004, will document
the processes that occur in the human brain by following Tyler Hamilton
as he trains and participates in this year's Tour.
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