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92nd Tour de France - July 2-24, 2005
The Tour de France of give-aways and competitions
Don't miss out at Tour time!
Resident freebies expert, Rufus Staffordshire, sniffs out some competitions where up to $1 million in prizes are on offer as manufacturers clamber for your eyeballs. Woof!
The Tour de France is not only a reasonably popular bike race, ahem, it's also a great opportunity to win an incredible range of prizes and competitions on offer from manufacturers, publishers and distributors.
Many of our sponsors are offering Cyclingnews readers a schwag-fest of give-aways during the lap-around-France. The prizes on offer range from Volkswagens and vaccum cleaners through to trips to Paris for the 2006 TdF, as well as actual kit being ridden by top pros in the Tour.
There are also two fund-raising raffles being hosted by Peloton Project members to raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (see below).
First cab off the rank, is of course our own Fantasy Game, where we offer the very best in pro cycling kit. The top prize is a Trek Madone 5.9 painted in the Discovery Channel colour scheme, plus prizes from Bontrager, Speedplay, fi'zi:k, Carmichael Training Systems, Specialized (offering daily prizes of choice sunnies), Giro helmets, DMT shoes and more. However, entries for the Fantasy Game have had to close but we had to plug it - sorry - because the prize sponsors rock.
But wait! There's definitely more, a lot more.
Below we present - in alpha order - a cross-section of the array of competitions our sponsors are offering Cyclingnews readers. Many are free to enter, some are restricted to particular territories, while others do require purchase of a cycling-related product, and then there are the TdF-deals that are also on offer.
Avanti - choice bikes, bro
Avanti: the New Zealand-based bicycle-maker Avanti is offering New Zealand readers the chance to win an Avanti Corsa, worth NZ$8799. The Corsa is Avanti's ultimate race machine with Dura Ace 10 speed. The frame is made from Italian Columbus Airplane tubing with Carbon Seat and Chain Stays. This bike is ridden by New Zealand's Athens 2004 gold medallist, Sarah Ulmer, and Athens gold medal triathlon champion Hamish Carter.
See: Avanti bikes
Magazine goes all the way to Paris
Bicycling Australia is a bi-monthly Australian cycling magazine that is offering new subscribers the chance to win a schwag of prizes, topping out at over AUS$9000 in value, while the July/August TdF special issue includes a coupon to win a trip worth over AUS$14,000.
New subscribers have the chance to win a Trek Madone 5.9. To win the Trek and related kit, you have to take out an annual subscription, worth AUS$47 in Australia, AUS$80 for New Zealand and AUS$90 for North America, Europe and Asia.
Even if you don't subscribe, and simply purchase the July/August issue of the magazine, inside is a coupon allowing you to enter another great give-away - a trip to see next year's Tour de France, worth AUS$14,568.
The prize includes two return economy airfares from any Australian capital city to Paris, flying Cathay Pacific, and then a 10-day tour to see the opening stages of next year's Tour de France with our friends Lawrie and Natalie Cranley at BikeStyle Tours
See: Bicycling Australia
Cervelo's newest model up for grabs
The bicycle sponsor of Dave Zabriskie, Ivan Basso and powerhouse Team CSC is the innovative Canadian firm, Cervelo. The company is offering a Soloist Carbon model as part of its sweepstakes competition. The Tour de France will see the debut of the Soloist Carbon (see story), said to be one of the most significant development in road bikes this year. No longer do the riders have to choose between the ultra-low weight of the R2.5 and the aerodynamics of the Soloist, with the Soloist Carbon they get both. The frame is around the same weight as the R2.5 and even more aerodynamic than the regular Soloist.
Lance's coach, naturally
Chris Carmichael is - as we all know - a cycling coach. His athletes include this bloke from Texas who goes OK in July.
Seeing they're good friends, he's inviting his mate's team - called Discovery Channel - to go for a training ride with YOU. In fact, Carmichael will also fly you to his place for the weekend - as long as you live in the USA - set you up, go for rides, offer coaching advice, and give you enough PowerBar products to last for a year.
And did we mention you get to meet and ride with the Discovery Channel team? Yes, OK. In fact, CTS is offering another prize - a private CTS camp in Colorado Springs, including single occupancy for two nights, kit including a Giro Atmos helmet, Nike sunglasses and Triax Elite heart rate monitor, and full CTS kit. This also includes a year's supply of PowerBar products, five CTS Train Right DVDs, plus autographed copies of Carmichael's book series.
Radical scavenging - free offer!
The thought of taking something that would act as a scavenger of free radicals sounds like special medicine East German athletes may have been given in the '70s, but in fact, it's the latest in recovery drink solutions.
While Cyclingnews can't report if it will affect your political viewpoint, the Free Radical Scavenger (FRS) product does have many convincing testimonials from athletes who claim it helps with their recovery after a big workout, and while the Tour is on, the company is offering a 'free' bottle of FRS.
Seriously, FRS is said to combine "some of nature's most powerful flavonoid antioxidants with key vitamins and metabolic enhancers".
Litespeed extends $1000 discounts
The Tennessee-based titanium specialist, Litespeed, has decided to extend its "1000 reasons" program until the end of July, again to coincide with the Tour de France. The "1000 reasons" program is basically a US$1000 discount on a wide range of complete Litespeed bicycles.
Trucker's cap with any purchase
At the other end of the scale, tyre company Maxxis is offering a 'free trucker's cap' for all online purchases at its store. In fact, the Cyclingnews office has just received some of the latest products from this tyre company that you will soon see in our New Arrivals and later on, they will be put through the Dr Jones' Belgian Torture Test.
Buy one, get one free, etc
Online retailer, Performance Bike, is offering Cyclingnews readers a range of special deals on nutrition/hydration products, such as PowerBar gels and drinks.
See: Performance Bike
Train with Lance's coach, win Lance's bike, and meet da man himself
Speaking of PowerBar, the company itself has gone all-out with its 2005 Sweepstakes, offering a trifecta of prizes that would make any Lance-fan drool.
The 'Grand Prize' winner of the 'Live Like Lance' sweepstakes will win the opportunity to meet Armstrong at the Ride for the Roses in Austin, Texas, this October 21-23, as well as the almost-ubiquitous Trek Madone 5.9 bicycle (as used by Discovery Channel team) and a training ride with super-oach, Chris Carmichael.
There are also many supplementary prizes on offer, such as Ciclosport heart rate monitors, jerseys signed by Armstrong, plus loads of PowerBar products.
Team CSC's eyewear on offer
Smith Optics has a prize offering of a range of eyewear (sunglasses) available during the Tour - the same as used by Team CSC.
Winners of this competition will be given a choice of the Limited Edition Team CSC Frontline, the Limited Edition Team CSC Frontline Max, the Limited Edition Team CSC Theory or the Limited Edition Team CSC Theory Max.
Smith is a well-established supplier of eyewear in the skiing and MTB market, and now is giving the road cycling market a serious tilt with a range of specially-designed eyewear for road cycling's unique requirements.
Win actual pedals used in the Tour
Innovative American pedal specialist Speedplay plans to offer the actual pedals that will be used in the 2005 Tour de France by its sponsored riders.
There are four grand prizes of a pair of Speedplay Zero Titanium Pedals that will be actually ridden in the 2005 Tour de France by Team CSC's Ivan Basso or Bobby Julich, or Phonak's Santiago Botero or Floyd Landis.
Speedplay says, "We are taking these pedals right off of the bikes that these guys are racing in the Tour". In addition, Speedplay is also offering five weekly prizes of Speedplay 'Schwag Packs' that include a bunch of Speedplay goodies, such as backpack, hat, water-bottle and key-ring with bottle-opener, all emblazoned with the Speedplay logo, naturally.
Scratch and win with Trek
Trek has come up with a 'scratch and win' game that can be played over the Internet, thanks to the miracle of Flash technology, as Macromedia might say. This unique game - branded the "Lucky 7 Sweepstakes" - uses the popular 'scratchie' approach, like those 'scratch-and-win' lottery tickets, but you can play over the Web.
And the prizes Trek has on offer are not inconsiderable - how does a total prize pool valued at US$817,848 sound? And a one-in-22 chance of winning? Read on.
Some of the prizes on offer include two "Rides with Lance" from Trek Travel, two Trek 'Livestrong' Madone 5.9 bicycles (there's 'that' bike again), 50 HP laptop computers (yes, fifty), two x two-year leases on brand new Volkswagen Jetta motor cars, 25 Bontrager Race X wheelsets, 50 pairs of Shimano Dura-Ace pedals, 50 Bissell vacuum cleaners (Why? They are a team sponsor, that's why), and then well over 100,000 supplementary prizes including Discovery Channel jerseys, tee-shirts, caps, etc, etc.
The game - which is also available at Trek dealers in the USA - allows players to scratch away at grey panels placed over three 'cards', each card revealing the name of the prize. Match them up and hey presto - you've won. It's free to enter and if anything, a great example of clever use of the Internet to engage players.
If all this gorging on freebies makes you want to feel more virtuous, there are always folks who think of people other than themselves, and two have set up TdF-time fund-raising raffles to assist Armstrong's most noble pursuit, his cancer foundation.
Online retailer, Competitive Cyclist, has teamed up with Peloton Project member Andrew Clarke of Greeneville, TN, to raise US$25,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). As part of this fund raising effort, Clarke will hold a raffle for a variety of high-end roadie accessories. He will limit the raffle to 100 entries, and each raffle ticket will cost $100 - "every penny of which goes directly to the LAF and is tax-deductible". Participants in the raffle will have a one in ten chance of winning prizes whose total value exceeds $5,800.
The grand prize of the raffle is a SRM Professional Dura-Ace 10-Speed Powermeter system valued at $3,400. The first place prize is a Power Tap SL hub built on a Zipp 280 carbon rim valued at $1,625. Other prizes include jerseys from Giordana and Litespeed, a set of Vittoria tires and carbon bottle cages from Arundel.
To read more about the LAF, this raffle, and to purchase one of only 100 tickets, please visit www.competitivecyclist.com/livestrong.
Another Peloton Project member running a special raffle in aid of the LAF is Pam Whitehead, a Peloton project member since 2001 and a five-year cancer survivor. For the last two years, Whitehead has raised over $20,000 for the LAF and last year received the organisation's Lori Tilton Triumph Award, given to the Peloton Project member who best exemplifies the spirit of the organization.
This Saturday, Whitehead is running a fund-raising party for the LAF and is also raffling a unique bike to raise funds. Donated by New Belgium Brewing Company, the bike is a limited-edition Fat Tire Amber Ale Cruiser, one of a small number of bikes the brewery has made each year, and very much not available at your local bike shop.
The raffle is open to anyone in the Continental USA; details of the raffle and the bike are here: www.saccycle.com/LAFBikeraffle.htm, while you can get details of the party here: www.saccycle.com/lance.htm.