“19 years of professional racing, so it’s time to move on”

This was going to be a post titled “What would Jens do?”. But with the announcement overnight from Stuey, I had to change it.

You would have all heard that Australia’s Stuart O’Grady has called time on his cycling career, a day after completing a 17th Tour de France. It was meant to be after next years TdF, but “I’ve always wanted my career to end with something truly special and this year’s Tour de France has given me that”.

Tour de France - Stage 5 111494-an-ogrady 462306-stuart-o-039-grady 800911-stuart-o-039-grady art-svOGRADY-420x0 cyclingcentral Mavic-Moments-Stuart-O'Grady-Paris-Roubaix mcgrory-stuey o'grady_stuart_RS

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Stuart’s Palmares

  • 1992
    • 2nd Silver medal.svg 4000m Team Pursuit, Summer Olympics
  • 1993
    • 1st Jersey rainbow.svg Team Pursuit, World Championships
  • 1994
    • Commonwealth Games
      • 1st Gold medal blank.svg Team Pursuit
      • 1st Gold medal blank.svg 10 Miles Scratch
      • 2nd Silver medal blank.svg Points Race
      • 3rd Bronze medal blank.svg Individual Pursuit
  • 1995
    • 1st Jersey rainbow.svg Team Pursuit, World Championships
  • 1996
    • 1st Stage 3 Vuelta a Murcia
    • Summer Olympics
      • 3rd Bronze medal.svg 4000m Team Pursuit
      • 3rd Bronze medal.svg Points Race
  • 1997
    • Herald Sun Tour
    • 1st Stages 1, 6 & 8
    • 1st Stage 5, Bayern-Rundfahrt
    • 1st Points competition, Setmana Catalana de Ciclisme
  • 1998
    • 1st Overall PruTour Tour of Britain
    • 1st Stages 2 & 7
  • Tour de France
    • 1st Stage 14
    • Held Jersey yellow.svgmaillot jaune for 3 days from Stages 4–6
    • 1st Stage 2, Tour de Luxembourg
    • 1st Stage 5, Tour du Poitou-Charentes
    • 2nd GP Haribo
    • 2nd Silver medal blank.svg Individual Time Trial Commonwealth Games
  • 1999
    • 1st Overall Tour Down Under
    • 1st Stages 3 & 5
    • 1st Haribo Classic
    • 1st Stage 5 Prutour

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  • 2000
    • 1st Stage 3 GP du Midi-Libre
  • 2001
    • 1st Overall Tour Down Under
    • 1st Gouden Pijl Emmen
    • Tour de France
    • 1st Stage 5 (TTT)
    • Held Jersey yellow.svgmaillot jaune from Stages 3–6 & 8–9
  • 2002
    • Commonwealth Games
      • 1st Gold medal blank.svg Road race
      • 1st Gold medal blank.svg Team pursuit
  • 2003
    • 1st MaillotAustralia.PNG National Road Race Championships
    • Tour de Langkawi
    • 1st Stages 6 & 8 Tour de Langkawi
    • 1st Overall Centenaire Classification Tour de France
    • 3rd Overall Danmark Rundt
    • 3rd Tour of Flanders
    • 3rd Paris–Tours
  • 2004
    • 1st Gold medal.svg Madison Summer Olympics
    • 1st HEW Cyclassics
    • Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
      • 1st Stages 5 & 7
    • 1st GP de Villers-Cotterets
    • 1st Stage 5 Tour de France
    • 1st Stage 1 Post Danmark Rundt
    • 1st Wiener Radfest
    • 3rd Milan – San Remo
  • 2005
    • 2nd Overall Volta ao Algarve
    • 3rd Overall Tour Down Under
  • 2006
    • 1st Stage 1 TTT Vuelta a España
    • 2nd Overall Tour of Denmark
    • 1st Points Classification
    • 2nd Züri-Metzgete
    • 3rd Paris–Tours
  • 2007
    • 1st Paris–Roubaix
    • 3rd Dwars door Vlaanderen
  • 2008
    • 1st Overall Herald Sun Tour
      • 1st Stages 2 & 5
    • 2009
    • 2nd Overall Tour Down Under
  • 2011
    • 1st Stage 1 (TTT) Vuelta a España
  • 2012
    • 1st Stage 1 (TTT) Tirreno–Adriatico
  • 2013
    • 1st Stage 4 (TTT) Tour de France

A stellar career, an inspirational south australian, a genuine guy! Stuart will be missed.

____________________________________________________

Jens

Is this the last we’ll see of Jens at the Tour de France? Looks like it!

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Being one of not only the hardest men on the circuit, he is also one of the most respected riders of all time. It’ll be a struggle to see who can take his place.

Whilst father time has finally found a way to creep up behind Jen and tap him on the shoulder, he still shrugged it off for one last shot last Saturday.

“I thought about saying ‘Shut up legs’ to my legs today but I realized I’ve been saying that too often so we had a deal today.  I promised my legs if they would leave me alone today one more time that I wouldn’t hurt them too much again in the future.  

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I think probably this will be my last Tour and the Tour has been an important part of my life and career.  So I wanted to end on a good note and go out like in the old days, just me against the Tour one more time.  It doesn’t mean necessarily I’m going to stop cycling but some of the guys that are 20 years younger than me will be taking my place in the Tour.  I didn’t want to end my Tour like a beat up old man.  I’m 41 years of age.  At this stage, every month counts in my career, but I try to not think too much about my age and to block out common sense and keep going.   I’m the oldest Tour contender since World War II – that’s lucky; imagine if they would have said since the last Ice Age.”

And so we saw Jen’s last attack on Stage 20 which began along Lake Annecy and looped around to finish on the beyond category climb of Annercy-Semnoz, a place the Tour had never visited before.

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Jens joined the early break which settled down to a manageable 10.

At the 15.9km category one Mont Revard climb, Jens got some more out of his legs and shattered the leading group.

“Basically I knew I didn’t have a chance to win, but has that ever stopped me?”

Unfortunately, after leading the race for around 55km, the Peloton swallowed Jens up with 8.5km to go on the climb up to Semnoz.

“I think this time I’ve given it all I have so I’m at peace with the Tour. It’s time to close this chapter of my career.”

In 2001 he won his first Tour race on Stage 16, beating Brad McGhee to the line after a long breakaway:

“The next day, I had the top riders like Lance Armstrong and Mario Cipollini coming up to me in the peloton and saying ‘hey man that was nice, you deserved it’. I was like ‘wow how cool is that?’.

“It changed my career for the better. I was suddenly a more respected, better-known rider. And yes, as a nice side effect, I also raised my salary. That is important, because, along with a passion for the sport, I had to feed my family.”

CT_ShutUpLegs_tshirt_Fmode_V02

He’s been oft quoted over the years, and there have been some classics that have come out of that head, some of these being:

  • I see the Madeleine, Tourmalet and Galibier and say ‘oh hello, you again?
  • I tell my legs ‘just one more hairpin and then we will slow down’ but then I reach the next one and tell them the same again. Sometimes I am done – I would not be able to pull the skin off a custard – but my motto is to never give up.”
  • The only place I feel good is my right ankle. The rest of me is all road rash. I have had better days but I am still alive, so it is better than last year.
  • When you are not on your bike, you live like a monk for three weeks
  • If it hurts me, it must hurt the other ones twice as much
  • Maybe they just think I am a pretty face
  • No, I do not accept defeat here. I do not accept this
  • Shut up legs! Do what I tell you to do
  • Of course I am blessed with a little bit of talent
  • Oh, you poor thing, you’ve got no chance, you’re already beaten
  • You’re all beaten; I am just laughing at you
  • I get paid to hurt other people, how good is that?
  • You have got to be as insane as the insanity around you
  • In the hierarchy of the family, I’m just above the dog. But I like it that way
  • Having things organized is for small-minded people. Genius controls chaos
  • Oh man, it’s going to take days to kill all these people
  • While I’m not very talented at cooking, I am very talented at eating.
  • I am confident that when I get really old, the human lifespan will be extended
  • Everybody has to suffer, suffer, suffer until they’ve all had enough
  • Every time I race, I will race so fiercely my legs cry
  • I get paid to to inflict pain and terror, for other people!
  • If you go (with a break), you can either win or not win. If you don’t go for it, you definitely won’t win
  • I’ll burn, I’m ready to die for you on the bike
  • Cycling is not rocket science

fig,black,mens,ffffffWe will miss you Jens

Jens_DaysToKillPeople

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_________________________________________________

Mountain bike v TdF

You probably have heard about or seen the footage of the Mountain Biker jumping over the Peloton at the Tour.

Here i a little vimeo that took showing the making of the the jump.  They make it look so simple.

MB Jumper

If you can’t be bothered with watching the video, have a look at the screen shots below.

mb1 mb2 mb3 mb4 mb5 mb6

tumblr_lc1dbkFSWi1qa2ld9o1_500mb7 mb8 mb9 mb10

_________________________________________________________________

Tour wrap up.

Yeah, Yeah, it seems like such a long time ago now, but here are some great photos of the stages since last weeks posting.

Stage 17

Race leader's yellow jersey holder Team Sky rider Christopher Froome of Britain cycles to win the 32km individual time-trial seventeenth stage of the centenary Tour de France cycling race from Embrun to Chorges 027-IMG_9475_edited-1 PIC384796733 PIC384881682

Stage 18

Race leader Yellow jersey holder Team Sky rider Froome of Britain cycles among a group of riders climbing the Alpe d'Huez mountain during the 172.5km eighteenth stage of the centenary Tour de France cycling race from Gap to l'Alpe d'Huez

750050-adam-hansen-has-a-beer
Spot the Aussie – Adam Hansen

PIC385318526 AG2r La Mondiale team rider Riblon of France cycles to win the 172.5km eighteenth stage of the centenary Tour de France cycling race from Gap to l'Alpe d'Huez Riblon of France celebrates as he wins the 172.5km eighteenth stage of the centenary Tour de France cycling race from Gap to l'Alpe d'Huez, in the French Alps PIC385299660

Stage 19

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Stage 20

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Stage 21 – Paris

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CYCLING-FRA-TDF2013-LINE

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And, what would a bike ride be without a Sagan Wheelie?

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The Arch de Triumphe Lights – They were superb

1069833_539881829394534_672186703_n 1009772_10151475584132003_974062473_n 999682_10151477930177003_1578704820_n 969925_10151475581482003_2038217296_n 74908_10151472022527003_917604104_n 18961_10151475203732003_1701216544_n eiffel_tour_02

__________________________________________________

Phew: Next Grand Tour – Vuelta

Running from Saturday Agust 24th to Sunday September 15th 2013, the 68th Vuelta a España will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,319,1 kilometres. These stages have the following profiles:

  • 6 flat stages
  • 13 mountain stages
  • 1 team time-trial stage
  • 1 individual time-trial stage

Distinctive aspects of the race

  • 2 rest days
  • 27 km. team time-trial
  • 38 km. individual time-trial stage
  • 41 mountain passes and hills

The Vuelta Podium Girls

Ah, I found this facebook site last night.

Podium Girls

Well worth while a visit.

till next week

tight spokes

iPib

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