Bicycle Bob's 2004 Tour de France Experience

BLT's TDF Journal or Click here to read a quick summary
Click here to read daily updates extracted from emails sent from Europe

or write to Bob at bicycle.bob (at) gmail (dot) com

 The 2004 Tour de France route

What the Peloton did.

 



I will be going along on some of this - I don't know how much and I won't decide until I find out if the along the road life near the tour is all more fun than hassle. I fly Lufthansa out of JFK on June 30th to Frankfort and on to Paris. I return on July 26th. I have hotel reservations for 2 nights in Paris on arrival and two nights before my departure. I have ten days of Eurail Flexipass travel to use in between.


"ADVENTURE!" you say? You bet.

Stay tuned to see how it all turns out.



What I did.

 

OK so what is CNYC? Central New York Cyclists - Peter Martin's bicycle club. I help with their web site and with their races. They usually hold two races per year in New Lisbon, New York just north of Morris, New York on NYS 51 one in April that has been canceled twice due to snow and/or ice and one in July.

  

Above: July 6th 2004 - Getting ready to ride from the youth hostel in Namur to the train station to catch a train to Arras. All the stuff on top the trailer could be stuffed into the trailer but at times it just seemed more convenient to use bungee cords and keep some stuff on top. The orange sack is a net bag with wet hand washed clothing. The burgundy bag is a daypack that I will keep in the seat with me for the train ride.

Below: Yours truly on a Memorial Day (May 31, 2004) training ride that went 122 miles from Morris to Chittenango Falls NY and back. Most of it in cool windy weather but the last 3 hours in a chilling soaking rain with the wind still blowing. So we looked like this when we got home. Nothing like a good case of helmet head to make your hair look good. That's my Bike Friday Pocket Rocket . Bought it this spring for the trip to the Tour. People look at it and say, "But the wheels are small. It can't perform like a 'real' bike." Oh, but it does. It climbs well and it flies along on the flats. I set a personal best for a local time trial. I will be pulling my gear in a trailer that doubles as a travel case for the bike.

You have to understand that I put plastic bags over my knees and hands and under my helmet because I was getting hypothermic in the worst way. The future is in plastic or you could lack a future if you couldn't find enough plastic on such a cold rainy and windy day.

Want to read about some of my other cycling adventures - go here.

http://employees.oneonta.edu/thomasrl/cycling.html

 

 

 

The Stages - want to know what happened each day for the cyclists in the peloton? - check the links below to get the details.

Cyclingnews http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2004/tour04/

The Daily Peloton http://www.dailypeloton.com/tdfmain.asp

or the official Tour site http://www.letour.fr/2004/presentationus/index.html

Finally there's the Velonews site http://www.velonews.com/

site You can always check out Lance Armstrong's site at http://www.lancearmstrong.com

site And don't forget to Wear Yellow - http://www.wearyellow.com

Prologue - July 3: Prologue Liege ITT, 6 km
* Stage 1 - July 4: Liège-Charleroi, 195 km
* Stage 2 - July 5: Charleroi-Namur, 195 km
* Stage 3 - July 6: Waterloo - Wasquehal, 195 km
* Stage 4 - July 7: Cambrai - Arras TTT, 65 km
* Stage 5 - July 8: Amiens - Chartres, 195 km
* Stage 6 - July 9: Bonneval - Angers, 190 km
* Stage 7 - July 10: Chateaubriant - Saint Brieuc, 208 km
* Stage 8 - July 11: Lamballe - Quimper, 172 km
* July 12: Rest Day: Transfer to Limoges
* Stage 9 - July 13: St Leonard de Noblat - Guéret, 160 km
* Stage 10 - July 14: Limoges - St Flour, 237 km - Profile
* Stage 11 - July 15: St Flour - Figeac, 164 km
* Stage 12 - July 16: Castelsarrasin - La Mongie, 199 km - Profile
* Stage 13 - July 17: Lannemezan - Plateau de Beille, 217 km - Profile
* Stage 14 - July 18: Carcassonne - Nimes, 200 km
* July 19 - Rest Day: Nimes
* Stage 15 - July 20: Valreas - Villard-de-Lans, 179 km - Profile
* Stage 16 - July 21: Bourg d'Oisans - Alpe d'Huez ITT, 15 km - Profile
* Stage 17 - July 22: Bourg d'Oisans - Le Grand Bornand, 212 km - Profile
* Stage 18 - July 23: Annemasse - Lons le Saulnier, 166 km - Profile
* Stage 19 - July 24: Besancon - Besancon ITT, 60 km
* Stage 20 - July 25: Montreau - Paris-Champs-Elysees, 165 km

Route Summary

* 3,395 km total distance in 20 stages + prologue
* 11 flat stages
* 6 mountain stages
* 2 individual time-trial stages (75 km total)
* 1 team time-trial stage (65 km)
* 3 mountain top finishes
* 21 Category 1, Category 2 and Hors Categorie (HC) passes
* 2 rest days (1 transfer by plane and 1 transfer by train)
* 7 new stop over towns: Waterloo, Cambrai, Chartres, Lamballe, Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, Guéret, Annemasse
* Prize money: 3 million euros total, 400,000 euros for the winner

 

 

The Climbs

10th stage (finish in Saint-Flour)

Km 67: Col de Lestards, 7 km at 4.7%
Km 162: Col de Néronne, 8.3 km at 3.5%
Km 173.5: Col du Pas de Peyrol, 5.5 km at 8%
Km 205.5: Plomb du Cantal, 8.2 km at 6%

12th stage (La Mongie)

Km 173: Col d'Aspin, 12.5 km at 6.3%
Km 199: La Mongie, 15 km at 5.7%

13th stage (Plateau de Beille)

Km 49.5: Col des Ares, 9 km at 3.8%
Km 71: Col de Portet d'Asp, 10 km at 5.4%
Km 107.5: Col de la Core, 14.5 km at 5.8%
Km 139: Col de Latrape, 18 km at 3.3%
Km 153.5: Col d'Agnes, 9.5 km at 8.4%
Km 217: Plateau de Beille, 18.5 km at 6.4%

15th stage (Villard-de-Lans)

Km 15: Côte d'Aleryrac, 3.4 km at 4.7%
Km 38: Côte du Puy-Saint-Martin, 3.9 km at 3%
Km 91.5: Col des Limouches, 10.7 km at 6.4%
Km 121: Col de l'Echarasson, 12 km at 7.4%
Km 137: Col de Carri, 6.2 km at 2.6%
Km 164: Côte de Chalimont, 10.3 km at 5.8%
Km 179: Villard-de-Lans (Côte 2000) Montée de 2.3 km at 6.6%

16th stage (L'Alpe d'Huez)

Km 15: L'Alpe d'Huez, 13.8 km at 7.9%

17th stage (Le Grand Bornand)

Km 36: Col du Glandon, 27 km at 4.5%
Km 86: Col de la Madeleine, 19.5 at a 8%
Km 143.5: Col de Tamié, 9 km at 6%
Km 166.5: Col de la Forclaz, 8.5 km at 8%
Km 200.5: Col de la Croix-Fry, 12.5 km at 6.8%

18th stage (Lons-le-Saunier)

Km 34.5: Côte de: Collonges, 2.5 km at 4.2%
Km 75.5: Col de la Faucille, 11.5 km at 6.3%
Km 87.5: Côte de Lajoux, 3.7 km at 5.4%
Km 119: Côte de Saint-Lupicin, 6.2 km at 3.9%
Km 127: Côte des Crozets, 6.3 km at 3.7%
Km 153: Côte de Nogna, 2.2 km at 4.3%