Tour de France News for July 3, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Garzelli under the weather
Photo: © Sirotti
Vini Caldirola's top rider Stefano Garzelli, has not had an ideal run
into the Tour. The second place getter in the Giro has been suffering
from an inflamed throat, and has been taking antibiotics to try and get
over it before the Tour starts on Saturday.
Maier looking forward to Tour start
Austrian skier Herman Maier has just a couple of days wait before he
"fulfills a dream" and opens the Centenary Tour de France by being the
first rider off in the 6.5 kilometre prologue in Paris. "We've been asking
about it for a long time," he told DPA. "It surprised us that it came
off for the 100th birthday of the Tour."
Maier has been training every day on the bike, although he admits he's
had some problems with his time trial bike. "I had to get out the hacksaw
and cut a bit off," he said. However he is looking forward to "meeting
other athletes" at the Tour, as normally "you don't have the opportunity
to do this."
"I wasn't really able to prepare correctly. It is simply a big honour
for me to be here," said Maier, who also doesn't want to embarrass himself
against the world's best riders. "But I think I will do the time trial
in a better way than Lance Armstrong would complete the 'Streif (a downhill
Oldest starters: Udo Bölts & Viatcheslav Ekimov
The oldest starters in this year's Tour are German Udo Bölts (Gerolsteiner)
and evergreen Russian Viatcheslav Ekimov (US Postal). Bölts will turn
37 in August, while Ekimov celebrated his 37th birthday in February. Bölts
is in his 14th season as a pro, which will also be his last as he has
announced his retirement at the end of the season. Ekimov turned pro in
1990 and retired at the end of 2001, only to be enticed back to US Postal
in the middle of 2002.
Photo: © Alain Quenderf
With two days to go, the square in front of the Paris Town Hall looks
to be well ready for the teams' presentation that will usher in the Centenary
Tour de France on July 4.
As you can see in these images from Alain Quenderf, lighting towers and
video screens are in place. We wonder what's more nerve-wracking for the
riders: the ramp up to the stage or the start ramp for the podium!
Images by Alain Quenderf
Tour kicks off on July 4 with a presentation of the riders here
in the square of the Paris Town Hall.
that ramp is probably scarier than taking off down the prologue
July 2 preparations were well advanced for the presentations with
video screens in place.
quite the 2003 peloton in miniature.
Desgrange honoured on Maillot Jaune
The founder of the Tour de France, Henri Desgrange, will be honoured
in a special way in this year's historic race. The letters "H.D." will
be initialed on the Maillot Jaune (leader's yellow jersey), as they were
back when the race started.
Speedplay makes its full debut at the TdF - and joins the Fantasy Game
Photo: © Speedplay
Making its Tour de France debut this year as full team equipment on the
Team CSC bikes are the lightweight Zero pedals from US manufacturer Speedplay.
Although Speedplays have been used in the TdF by riders such as Jonathan
Vaughters - as he used the American pedals over the team's standard equipment
- 2003 is a significant milestone for the California-based firm.
To mark the occasion, Speedplay has joined the roster of prize sponsors
for the Cyclingnews 2003 TdF Fantasy Game and these lightweight, adjustable
float pedals will also be on offer as prizes in the fantasy game. To play,
entrants select their own dream team with the aim of accumulating as many
points as possible throughout the TdF.
The Major Prize on offer is a limited-edition, Giant TCR 100 composite
beauty with full Campagnolo Record groupset, 2003 Campagnolo Bora wheels,
Nokon cables and a host of lightweight goodies that will result in a machine
coming in well under the 7kg in weight and worth 10,000 euros. In addition,
there's an autographed ONCE jersey from the TdF team, as well as a Giro
We're also offering great supplementary prizes, such as a full Veloce
groupset from Campagnolo, team issue helmets from Giro and Bell, as well
as the latest Arione saddle from fi'zi:k, with even more to come.
For your chance to win and for full details on all the prizes on offer
in the 2003 Tour de France Fantasy Game, please visit the Fantasy Game section and register to enter your dream team.
The teams list is now updated with what is likely to be the final start
All teams already entered into the 2003 TdF Fantasy Game are automatically
eligible for the prizes.
Previous News Next News
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)