tour de france bike tour,beaux voyages logo image

     BEAUX VOYAGES
                       Cycling News
The following articles can be found on this page.  All translations from L'Equipe are by Walt
Ballenberger
Cycling News Home

32nd Tour Mediterranean- 2/13/05 and 2/11/05
Armstrong Disappointed but Serene- 1/21/05
Petacchi Renounces the Tour de France- 1/20/05
Arenberg Deleted- 1/13/05

13 Feb, 2005- VOIGT WITHOUT SURPRISE-
Le Dane (note- this is an error, Voigt is German. WB) Jens Voigt without surprise won the 32nd
edition of the Tour Mediterranean, concluded on Sunday (13 Feb)  in Marseille.  The 5th and last
stage, disputed over 122 km between Cabries and Marseille was dominated by the South African
Robert Hunter (Phonak team).  Note- American Bobby Julich finished 8th in the Tour general
classification.

11 Feb, 2005- Voigt OK
The German Jens Voigt (CSC Team) won a solo victory in the third stage, raced Friday (11 Feb.)
between La Garde and the summit of Mont Faron in Toulon, thus consolidating his place as race
leader.

The stage was animated at the foot of the first difficult section of the day, the col (mountain pass)
des Fourches after 32 km.  Five riders, the Frenchmen Mickael Delage and Lenaic Olivier, the
Italian Alessandro Donati, the Estonian Janek Tombak and the Belgian Kristof Trouve escaped
from the peloton and carried their lead to four minutes at the 80 km mark.  Behind, the team of
Jens Voigt reacted, aided in their task by the teammates of Davide Rebellin.

It was finally at the foot of Mont Faron, five km from the finish, that the stage was decided.  Voigt
and Rebellin took the lead before being rejoined by the Frenchman David Moncoutie and the
Italian Franco Pellizotti.

This lead group of 4 had a lead of 50 meters ahead of a small group of pursuers at the 135 km
mark.  With 700 meters to go before the finish, nine riders had a chance for victory on the day.  
But in the final turns, the German Jens Voigt pulled ahead for the victory, his second in this 32nd
edition of the Tour Mediterranean after his first success, Wednesday.

Saturday the fourth stage leads the riders from Bouc-Bel-Air to Berre-l’Etang, a team time trial of
36 km
1/21/05- Armstrong Disappointed but Serene- Translated from L'Equipe
by Walt Ballenberger

After the opening of a judicial enquiry for suspicion of doping, Lance Armstrong said he is
“disappointed” but “certain to be cleared” and desires to continue racing in France.

“I am disappointed by the decision of the judge to open an inquiry without having listened to me.  
I will make myself available at any time or any place to meet with the investigators”, stated the six-
time winner of the Tour de France.  “I also invite them to take a detailed look at my history of anti-
doping test record.  I was tested 22 times last year alone”, stated the Texan who added that he
will participate in the Paris-Nice race in March as planned.

The American, who has sued the authors and the editor of the book “L.A. Confiential, the
Secrets of Lance Armstrong” for defamation, has always denied using doping products of any
kind and reiterated in his statement: “I don’t use doping products and have never used them”.
1/20/05- Petacchi Renounces the Tour de France- Translated from
L’Equipe by Walt Ballenberger

According to L’Equipe of Thursday, Alessandro Petacchi has decided  not to participate in the
Tour de France.  The Italian from the Fasso Bortolo team has chosen to concentrate on the
World Chamionship in Madrid (25 September), which is more to his liking as a sprinter.  In order
to prepare for this, he will participate in the Tour of Spain.
Paris-Roubaix Classic

Arenberg Deleted

Fans of Paris-Roubaix are going to be disappointed.  The famous Arenberg gap, which is a
legend of the Paris-Roubaix Classic, is going to be deleted.  For safety reasons the
organizational authority, ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) announced its intention to take this
mythical section out of the race.

Used for the first time in 1968, it was not used after 1974.  Put back into the race in 1984, it has
been used every year since, most often in its downhill direction.  It’s worth remembering that the
Frenchman Philippe Gaumont (2001) and the Belgian Johan Musseuw (1998) had spectacular
crashes in the section.

“The condition of the road has considerably degraded in recent years”, according to the
organization, while pointing out that there exists “a dangerous section of 200 meters, which
results from a mine sink which created the Goriaux pond”.

“A thick buildup due to the constant humidity covers the cobblestones, transforming this section
into a real trap for the riders” added ASO in a communication.

For the next edition of the Classic on April 10, 2005, the organizers of “The Queen of the
Classics” have opted for a replacement route without lessening the amount of cobblestone
sections.

“There will be even 2 more kilometers of cobbles than in 2004, a total of 53.2 kilometers”
declared Jean-Francois Pescheux, sporting director for the race, and he particularly pointed out
the new section d’Avesnes-le-Sec, which has a length of 2700 meters.

La Dreve des Boules d’Herin (the official name of the Arenberg gap), a long false flat running
2400 meters, is situated close to Wallers and west of Valenciennes.

Before the announcement of the decision of ASO, the president of the local community of
Hainaut, Alain Bocquet, expressed his concern.

“There is certainly a dangerous section of about 200 meters, Alain Bocquet declared. (…) But it
is entirely possible to do some construction work, at a reasonable cost, to make this section safe
and everything possible should be done to keep this most prestigious stretch in the Queen of
the Classics”.

ASO positioned itself along these lines.  “ The solution would be to build up the road” agreed
Jean-Francois Pescheux, the course director.

“It’s not a question of keeping the Arenberg gap out of the race forever”, concluded the
organization, adding that they have already had discussions with local authorities “in order to
find a solution which will permit this legendary section of cobblestones to be used again”.
France Pro Cycling Trips | Normandy Bike Tour | Dordogne Bike Tour | Dordogne Culinary Tour | Rhone Valley Wine Tour | Alsace Hiking Tour |
Loire Bike Tour | Provence Bike Tour | New! Paris Sightseeing Tours