Velogal's Blog

Wednesday, July 06, 2005



Lots of mixed feelings here at the Tour for us Americans: we’re happy for Lance and the guys being in yellow after the TTT, but so bummed for Dave Z. By now, you’ve probably heard that Lance refused to wear the yellow stage jersey at the start line of Stage 5, as a gesture of respect to Z, and good sportsmanship. Lance felt it was the right thing to do, and it was. I also heard that there was not the usual celebration by the team last night for the TTT win. And I heard it ws pretty quiet at the CSC team bus this morning.

After I posted my blog last night, the stage was shown on TV. The T-Mobile team was watching and Prodir Saunier Duval was staying at the Novotel. I think maybe Buoyages was there, too. There were lots of comments in languages that I didn’t understand, but when Dave Z fell, a dead silence fell, too, in the room. The group became very somber – I think they could all relate to how bad Z must have felt. Then the cameras showed close-ups of him slowly riding into the finish – bloody, tattered and torn, ugly road rash and black pavement stains. One side of his shorts was nearly ground off by the sliding on the pavement. At first, they thought he had broken ribs, but it turned out not.

The close shots of Z’s face told the story – my eyes teared up as I watched. I thought of his two past horrible crashes, of being in the hospital with him, and his thrilling yellow triumph the day before. Then the sudden, swift, heartless hand of fate struck again so close to the finish and victory. That’s cycling, they say… but when they do, they also hope to Hell it doesn’t happen to them.

Z will hang tough – he’s a fighter - he’s got guts, and a great future in the cycling world…

The photo is Z being interviewed by Frankie Andreu right after he crossed the finish line today.

8 Comments:

  • When I told my daughter, who usually has less than zero interest in cycling, what Lance did today--refusing to wear the maillot jaune at the start out of respect for Dave Z--she was truly impressed by the sport for the first time in her life and even more impressed by Lance.

    By Anonymous Amy, At 11:49 AM  

  • It is still amazing to discover that after all these years Lance hasn't yet understood that he has to respect the rules. The Tours has been going for more than 100 years and will still be going in another 100 years. Lance doesn't own the Tour, he is just a participant like all the others. How arrogant can you get.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 12:09 PM  

  • For more than a hundred years indeed. And it's a time-honoured tradition in the tour that when a leader goes down the yellow jersey is not worn the next day. Call him arrogant for not knowing that the rules had changed in favor of big bucks sponsorship, where it used to be a matter of sportsmanship. Merckx did the same in 71, Lemond in 91. Anyone who knows a bit about the sport knows that. Who's being arrogant?

    Ann

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 12:33 PM  

  • Yeah, I also read that on the US web sites too. Fortunately, I've actually been following the Tour "live" for the last 15 years and have seen how the riders who respect the tradition of the Tour conduct themselves. I don't know how twice in 100 years can be called a "time honoured tradition".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 1:58 PM  

  • 15 years? A rookie! :-)

    I'm glad to read that Dave Z, CSC's Alain Galopin and B. Riis appreciated the gesture more than you do.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 2:15 PM  

  • I was proud that Lance made the gesture (at least the attempt). He's a true champion and anyone who tries to find a negative with this gesture is nothing but a troll on here.

    Go Lance!

    By Anonymous Mark, At 10:40 PM  

  • Like in Baseball or any other sport there is a code of respect for individuals that have worked hard to get to a certain level of achievement in their careers. Bottom line is that you let your actions speak and that you do not draw attention to yourself for your accomplishments. Lance and the Discovery team knew after watching the tape of the TT that there was a good chance they would not have won the TT if Z did not fall. Previous riders in the same position like Merckxx have done the same thing.(Not wear the Yellow jersy the next day) The difference is that is those situations, the person that fell did not continue in the Tour the next day.

    By Blogger matt, At 9:10 AM  

  • Like in Baseball or any other sport there is a code of respect for individuals that have worked hard to get to a certain level of achievement in their careers. Bottom line is that you let your actions speak and that you do not draw attention to yourself for your accomplishments. Lance and the Discovery team knew after watching the tape of the TT that there was a good chance they would not have won the TT if Z did not fall. Previous riders in the same position like Merckxx have done the same thing.(Not wear the Yellow jersy the next day) The difference is that is those situations, the person that fell did not continue in the Tour the next day.

    By Blogger matt, At 9:11 AM  

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