Marty Jemison’s 1998 Tour de France Diary

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Prologue, Stage 1 & 2:

I have not seen the results as of yet ,…….. but I know that I was 27 seconds off Chris Boardman's time in 5.6 kms!!! ..Chris clocked 6:12 and I was 6:39 ish .. I have not had a chance to see the official results.
(87th) My average was over 50kph and Chris 54kph!!….. For years while
climbing the cycling ladder even 50kph was a lofty goal, now , well now
,,…… there is still room to grow???? Whew!! If you are at all
curious…… go out and try to get your bike going 54kph…. then think
about 5.6k and even longer time trials which will have impressive times
etc….

Marty Jemison. Photo by Beth Schneider/courtesy Marty Jemison
Marty Jemison. Photo by Beth Schneider/courtesy Marty Jemison

Pondering this , “reality”……… was felt a different way for myself during the prologue…. after 1-2kms a wondering thought came to me …. a message really…. ” you are in the TDF prologue……..( shock), you need to push harder” , I was having a hard time getting the body up to speed…. many signals were telling me I was not going very fast …… my result is my result, and prologues are not really my thing. I have over 3-weeks and 2,400 kms to find my legs… If I lost 27 seconds , I could gain or loose 27 minutes in any given stage…… the prologue is only the start of a very long race… 

Ireland… Dublin, a busy city, lots of traffic which we have been
training through. I have seen many interesting buildings/ architecture…..
and great facades to pubs and cafes…. made of hardwoods or painted in
rich colors. Guiness must be a drink of choice………….. my college
year -senses twinged..

We did a 3-hour training ride on Friday (the day we arrived) In pursuit
of Wicklow gap , we opted for a loop which took us up to wide open
grasslands , in what seemed to be nowhere…… scattered mountain
sheep-goats were everywhere, nothing else. We did not see Wicklow gap, but
is it is anything like what we saw, Wicklow could be dangerous…

———

Stage One…… we started out very civil… cruising really,,,, for the
first bonus sprint though we made it up to speed…… very very fast! I
was hanging on to the wheel in front of me, kinda of in a blurry dusty
void……….. then that was it , back down to a normal pace ….. the
day was quite routine, a break got away, initiated by Jacky Durand.. so
going over Wicklow Gap ( in a headwind) was not too difficult…… with
30k,ms to go we were back up to 60 plus kmh….8kms from the finish there
was a crash….. I rode by Chippo on the ground with his Saeco teammates..
He would loose over 3-minutes…. Tom Steels won the sprint….. slightly
uphill and into a head wind…… sounds like Zabel went a bit early….

Eric Zabel is in Yellow and Chris Boardman has abandoned..!

The race is a bit nervous but I believe that the last few crashes have been
due to the strong winds. Today in the Second road stage there were a few
crashes…… a rider hitting a spectator who wanted a closer view!! Then
the crash with Chris Boardman, I rode by almost letting the race go up the
road without me, Chris was motionless with his head and shoulders wedged up
to a wall …… I was saying to myself ” move Chris ! move Chris” and at
the last moment as I passed I saw or believed I saw his arm move. I raced
to catch the speeding peloton, knowing that Chris was knocked unconscious,
but believing that I did see him move. .. a good sign…… Later there was
confirmation that he was conscious but being taken to the hospital….
along with other riders??? Many close calls, and then again in the final
15kms….. Frankie Andreau, my teammate was on the plane asking Jan Svorda
who was also next to us ” was that not you under me in the crash 15 kms
from the finish” Jan replied ” Yes” …Jan won the stage….. Two for
Mapei..

Transfer…. can you believe……

showers 1k from the finish ……. on a bus within 45 min… police escort
to the planes on the runway, … bypass any check-in or passport control….
the Tour de France is coming through. Flight of 1+ hrs.. land in Breast
(from Cork Ireland) then back onto a bus and drive 45min more to our hotel
arriving at 9:00 ,,,, all this after a 205km stage…. I am only writing
this now because I have some nervous energy left,,,,, but I am fading…

Chow..

Marty

Stage 3:

Yesterday while taking JC Robin to the front of the peloton, he in my
slipstream, Alonso from Banesto barked and had some apparent words for me
in Spanish, which I could not understand. I had pushed my in the wind
around the nose of the peloton…. Alonso was there keeping one of his
teammates in the front. My actions would force him behind myself and JC.
Alonso barked, and I barked back and challenged him to a duel so to
speak… all this at race speed and with dangerous crosswinds, we have
already had many crashes….. That was it, but I would keep my eye out for
Alonso….

Well , today Alonso found me in the peloton and offered his
hand..(handshake)…. a show of friendship I guess….. Point is though,
the tension is very high…… Yesterday we witnessed Chris Boardman
abandoning due to a broken wrist,,, stitches in head all after being
knocked unconscious from a crash that started— going what ? 50-60kph!
All day long there are close calls….. Zabel hit something in the road and
was on his way down just in front of me, but he pulled it off…. the
repercussions were that I had guys to my right and left touching bars…..
Do not have a moment of shock , that would mean your pulse would go up
along with breathing……. a waste of energy…… So the reaction is more
like aaahh look at Zabel hum … we might crash here….. No,,, OK ….
lets keep going…… Later I saw Tour favorite Jan Ulrich in a similar
situation…. full weight leaning over on to another rider…… time,
time, time, time…. and they are up…… cool . Later again,,,,, BOOM
dominos… Full slide , look for the gap…. and I am through!!!

Bastillion Day…… I think that is how they spell the French National
holiday…… and also the first stage back in France.. Today that is….
Fireworks in the race……. nearly 50kph ave!! in hilly rolling , never
flat Brittany France. Attack, Attack , Attack ,( I was in a short lived
break! after all I did spend 2-years racing in this area… motivation to
show myself….. caught that bug from the French….. it did though act as
a pick for George…) and then 9 riders are away……. from there it was
a drag race….. UNREAL FAST 169KMS IN 3:35 . We had George in the
Break! they finished 1:20 ahead of the peloton…….. Bo Hamburger takes
yellow and George Hincapie, my teammate is in second, 2 seconds down ,,,,,,
we will do everything possible to get him up in the front for the bonus
sprints….. sprints for seconds…… George , could be in Yellow!!!!????
that would be when I go to work at 100% efforts at the front , to defend…
burning matches etc.

Tired—–its Late,

Chow,

Marty

Stage 4:

Today was the longest day in the tour….252kms!!! The course itself was
not that difficult, but the distance and speed makes it another “day” in
the Tour de France..”hard always”

Marty Jemison and Viatcheslav Ekimov. Photo coutesy Marty Jemison
Marty Jemison and Viatcheslav Ekimov. Photo coutesy Marty Jemison

Going into the stage George was 2 seconds away from getting the yellow
jersey…. there were 3 sprints along the course where bonus seconds are
given…. Our tactic was to lead out George for the first bonus…. to go
100% We had to be the first team to start the sprint to show that we meant
business. We started form approx 4kms away,…. a single file line, we
would go as fast as could. I was on Eki's wheel and he took over with less
than 1k to go. Over my right shoulder I could see the Gan train
approaching…… I yelled to Eki….. to GO!!!!!!! he picked it up and I
came around him for the final pull….. Gan was passing on the right ,,,,
just when I was expended George called out to me,…. he needed to get by
me on the right. George was on Stuart O'Grady's wheel when they went by I
thought it was a perfect position but Stuart powered to line….
becoming the leader on the road. Stuart would add seconds to his margin
in the next sprint as well… At the end of the day he was awarded the
Yellow jersey!

What else….. it was just crazy fast in the last 30kms , cross winds and
a crash in the final.

Fifth Stage……228kms..

Today started with light rains; at first I thought the wind would be
dangerous, but it was not too bad.
I was in short lived break, with A. Tafi , P. Gammont and some other
rider…… we were in pursuit of a Rabobank rider who was solo up the
road…… Equipe Gan did not like this and had to have put in a hellish
pace to catch us , because the 4 of us were going very strong… Shortly
thereafter, 2-riders slipped away to join the one…… they would together
amass 3-4minutes….. Gan drove the train all day….. for the next 100k
(approx) . An uncomfortable pace in the rear…… fighting in the wind etc
etc. In the final 20-30kms Saeco picked up the pace to set up “Mario-y-O”
… it paid off , he won his first stage… (not particularly my favorite
rider in the bunch )……

Other tidbits…. when the gap was over 2+ min and we were getting close
30k or so to go , US Postal was ready to give a hand to Gan…. to protect
George's' 2nd place….. With 15k to go Bobby Julich let me know that JC
Robin had flatted……. so I dropped to the back behind the peloton to aid
Pascal and Tyler who were bringing him back…… from there the three of
us worked up the side of the peloton guarding JC from the strong
cross-wind…

Stage Six…..204kms………..

Rolling and hilly all day……. I like courses like this….. they
motivate me…… the flatlanders are at a disadvantage and the hills are
too short for the climbers……. when the attacks started , I made it into
2-3 very short breaks…. the peloton was quick to react…. for each
counter attack I would see either George, Frankie or Eki…… each of were
looking for the right combination. Eventually 3-riders would get away……
while the peloton, rested, or rather (the teams were nervously waiting for
the directors command as to who was to work… ) the break would reach a 4+
minute gap…. Eventually Saeco and TVM worked together. Gan was
exhausted, Stuart's team had worked very hard yesterday…. today rather
than killing the team they would pass responsibility to someone else. Other
teams will work, because they may be interested in a stage win, hence Saeco
and TVM at the front today…. in their wake , ready to work if the gap did
not come down in time was are team US Postal and Mapei… as well as
Casino…. This we found out because 20k from the finish 4-Postal riders
went to the front to help….. Pascal , Eki, Darius and Marty (me) . along
with us were leftover Saeco and 2-3 Mapei riders. We had picked up the pace
now, then all of a sudden near the crest of a big rolling hill 5-Casino
riders attacked!!!!!! BIG DANGER,……. EKI went in pursuit, he dangled
for the longest time, almost not making it…. Of course US postal quit
riding,,,, Eki would have a good chance of winning the stage if the
peloton could not recapture this surprise attack.. Can you imagine the
motivation in Casino , I was watching it…. I was thinking this could be
by-by….. What a story it would make. Anyway Mapei was quick to react, as
well as some other riders. There are too many riders who do not want to
loose time this early in the race.. The day would end again in a field
sprint…

What I did not mention was that earlier in the day prior to the counter
attacks, a large group escaped, there we saw 2-Spanish teams working
together in the front to bring them back.., when they were caught the
counter attacks started…

After Saeco and TVM had been at the front …… pushing two hours now. A
couple of their riders were getting dropped to the hills. I love this sport
at times and I like working hard.. On the decent these dropped riders would
move up the sides of the peloton,, calling out “Service” ( the respected
call), these men were on a mission. When I was blocking their path I
quickly opened the door and let them by….. back to the front they would
go…. ON A MISSION, working until ( as I know) their leg were absolutely
spent. Each team in this moment bonding in a way and not willing to show
any sign of weakness. Put 8-10 of these men in the front for nearly
2-hours, and that will be the locomotive of the day…. STAY OUT OF THEIR
WAY they have a JOB to do…

As for myself ….. I feel stronger this year….. I am looking for the
right break,,,, etc . etc.

Stage 8

58kms TT today!!

Very hilly , up, down lots of turns and on rough pavement. In the first
kilometer my aero handlebars came loose…….. (one of the risks when
receiving a new bike before the tour). In a way it may of helped…. to
make up for it I knew I would have to ride harder, and I would, because I
did not want to loose much time.. Being as technical as the course was my
extra effort may have made up for the aero benefit.

In the end my time was 1:20:20 which put me 48th in the time trial. But the
day goes to my friend and teammate Tyler Hamilton….. the revelation of the
tour. Tyler placed second to Jan Ulrich!!! 1:10 behind…. a fantastic
ride… I am very happy for him.

Stage 9

Yesterday was extremely HOT !!! 190kms…….. rolling….. hilly, I think
we did 4-catagorie 4 climbs. The rhythm , well there was none, it was very
uncomfortable, riders were suffering. I dropped back to the cars 6-times to
get water bottles. Each time I carry 6-7 bottles to my teammates. I
consumed
16 bottles of water… I just could not get enough. 40 degrees Celsius!
humid, two ,three days before we had light rains and it was chilly. What a
change!

Today was even hotter 42 degrees Celsius. An absolute heat wave… many
riders are suffering. On one of my trips to the car for water, I found
Tyler, I asked how he was and he gave my a sign ( finger into the throat)
meaning that he had gone too deep , he was really suffering. I asked if he
needed food or water. he said no, “I need a push” ( with 45kms to go!) So I
pushed, and a few of us pushed him. On the downhills I took him to the
front of the peloton, he would drift back on the hill, we did this more
than once. Tyler was experiencing a severe heat stroke.. It was impossible
to keep with the pace. I wanted to stay with him, I was waiting for our
director to make the call….. somehow the decision was made itself. Tyler
would have to make it on his own…. Ty would loose 18 minutes in the next
30-35 kms.

I do not really like to describe someone else's struggles…. we all
experience similar problems, Tyler is as strong as anyone I know, This is a
clear result of the extreme heat that we have had to ride in.

Tomorrow… the mountains , two Category 1 climbs and two more difficult ”
out of category climbs.

Stage 10…

I was better today than yesterday….. that is a good sign.

Where do I start…… Yesterday it was 42 degrees Celsius and today we
awoke to chilly weather and light rains. In the mountains we found it even
colder. Descending the col d'Aubisque and especially the Tourmalet I had
the chills and shivers. I crashed hard after our first climb (c d'A), and
had difficulty making it to the bottom , because of fear, pain from my
pelvis bone and cramping muscles. Through the valley I hooked up with M.
Lelli and Bart Leysen, it took us approx. 20k to make it back to the
peloton…… just before the feed. By this time the muscles in my hip had
loosened and the pain subsided. I pulled the plug about 6-7k up the
Tourmalet, to stay with the 60+ riders in front of me I would have to go
too deep. I do want to test myself further but after the crash ; today was
not the day. The Tour is too long, and I knew that many veterans had pulled
the plug even earlier. Knowing when and when not to go too deep is
important to finishing. My body was in a kind of shock today with the cold
weather and the crash. My 19-rider group rode at a very rhythmic pace… I
was able to eat and keep hydrated. I consumed “extra” and yet on the last
climb I felt the knock, bonk, hunger flats coming on. I fished everything
I had and luckily got a coke from a spectator.

Maybe tomorrow I will try to climb with the groups that will be ahead.

M.

! 17 riders abandoned!!!! I'm telling you it was harsh…. many crashes.
42-degree heat to freezing cold rain in the mountains. THE MOUNTAINS!!! all
day , nearly 6-hours. 123MILES! 4-major mountain climbs, each up to 18kms
long and very steep at times. C'est Le Tour !!!

11th stage….

Riders do talk with each other and today one of the lieutenants of the
Telekom team asked what I thought about stopping at Fabio Casartelli
Memorial (Fabio died in the tour two years ago). I told him that I was in
favor…… this would mean that we would all stay together over the
difficult Col de Ment'e. The Memorial was at around the 38km point, part
way up the Portet-d'Aspet. By stopping , it would make for a less difficult
day. I was in favor because my wounds from the day before were on my mind.
If there was an attack on the first climb my hip muscles might have been
too tight and sore to respond.

We stopped for only 2-3 minutes and then resumed. Before finding our
climbing rhythm a motorcycle with a photographer was trying to pass. By
not being “patient” he crashed and brought down several riders… I stayed
up but my rear wheel was knocked out of true. I replaced it near the top of
the climb being the last rider over the top…. it was single file, someone
had attacked…. I was the tail end of a whip that was being cracked…
around every turn I was sprinting for the wheel in front of me… not a
comfortable place to be.

Up the Col de la Core….. starting at 65km and ending at 79km, I had my
rhythm now but my replacement wheel was skipping gears. After several
attempts I finally had it adjusted to where I could ride again….. Telekom
was setting a stiff tempo; at least I knew there would not be a sudden
acceleration while I adjusted my derailleur.

On the col de Port the Peloton was already down to around 120 riders, after
the Col (126k) we were down to something like 80 riders….. Both Tyler and
I dropped back to the cars to get water through the valley. There must have
been some threatening attacks up front because we almost did not make it
back.———-

I offered Darius and JC water, then helped Darius hold position in the
front going into the first km of the Plateau de Beille….. Jan Ulrich had
a flat but regained very quickly…… the group was down to about 60 when
I went into the red zone.

Day Off——-yea …. 2hrs light training…..

Stage 12…

Today started with a protest by the riders ,lasting almost 2 hours…. we
sat , had debates etc.

We started to ride,… very easy, not knowing what to make of the day and
then BAM …. the attacks came…. it was started by Once' Soon it was a
break with both Jalaberts and Bart Voskamp, the trio would amass over
5-minutes with Telekom riding “all out in the front” It became the fastest
stage I think I have ever ridden…. the last 125 Miles were covered in
4-hours…. at the finished we learned that the pace was 48.5kms/hr….
there is speculation that from the attacks on the average would have been
50kph…. ” A day in the 11 boys”

.. I think a lot of emotions and energy were released………… to say
the least.

Stage 13

YEA!!!

I have meet one of my objectives in this years TDF! I wanted to be in a
predominant break , to really show and see my strength. Today was the day.
After 80kms or so I jumped on the wheels of 6-7 riders …. we then bridged
to another group of 5. Our break would have 12 riders with just over 100kms
to the finish. The group worked well together. Eating and Drinking was very
important, it was very hot. Before the finish there were two climbs , one a
small bump of 2-3kms, a decent and 5kms or so before a long Catagorie 2
climb……

Near the top of the “bump” there was a couple of attacks, not too serious I
thought…… then going over the top Tafi attacked…..4 of us followed,
the decent was dangerous, I felt I was taking risks in the turns to stay ,
but needed a good gap for us to stay away. Nardello would bridge by the
bottom of the climb. Now we were 6 -riders….. on the flats now the pace
was sooo fast , Tafi , Heulot, Garcia, Nardello , Koos H. I have a harder
time on the flats…. Next was the long Cat 2 climb, I was expecting fierce
attacks, but felt more confident, believing that I could stay in there .
There were attacks but short lived and covered easily. Near the top Garcia
and Tafi Lit it up again, this time, it was serious…. Heulot was in
pursuit and I was glued to his wheel . In a right hand turn my wheels
chattered, I was sprinting uphill holding on to Heulot's wheel. We all
regrouped going over the top.

We were together on the decent….. At one point though S. Heulot
accelerated and went through the corners a bit too fast for me… he had a
gap. I chased through the next few turns , actually putting a gap on the
riders behind me…. together we would bring Heulot back. It was a flat
15kish ? to the finish with a bit of headwind…. Our once 5-minute gap was
down to 3:20

Would Tafi attack for a solo??? I was ready for him , Nardello etc…. I
felt good now,,,,, as the kms went by I felt even stronger. Watching the
time gap come down, I did not think there would be an attack until the last
2-3 kms….. We would come down to a sprint…. 6-700meters from the
finish we were lined up single file on the right side of the fence….. I
was in the rear, my legs felt strong and snappy. I believe it was Heulot
who started the sprint, from about 550meters out…. I moved past riders on
the left with 400m or so to go …. I was quacked twice once someone bumped
my bars another time my shoulder. I sprinted on the far left, Garcia who
took 2nd was pushing me further to the left as I tried to move up on
him…. In the end I was 5th…… but I know that I had the legs and
without the bumps and quack my placing would have been even better…..I am
happy though, I have reached one of my goals in the TDF….. Next is to
make it to Paris higher in GC than last year 96th …. currently 57th…
Also I will help Darius and JC into the top 10…. etc… Others too with
stage wins…. I too will look for other break possibilities….

———-

Stage 15

I'm really not into writing tonight, the tour is in its third week and I am
getting tired. Everybody is getting tired. As much as I suffered today , I
do think I will have a better day tomorrow.. Maybe it is a good sign that I
am attempting an E-mail .

There was a war going on in my head all day….. the first 20-30k went
quite smooth , then on the Col de la Croix de Fer, the shit hit the fan!
This is too early in the race for me , as I am always blocked in the first
climbs… ( I think that's why I make a better Professional than
Amateur….. I open up later in long races…) Anyway I was deep in the red
on this climb.. 24.5kms at 5.1% ave. The peloton was being stretched
sooooooo…. it was breaking into pieces and I was further back , behind my
comfort range…. I fought hard to stay with a group ahead of me…. behind
the Eros Poli bus was forming.. too early for me…. I fought for the group
ahead….. I was dropped and yo-yoed several times…. I was dropped 2kms
to the top and blew a gasket to bridge to the three cars that had fallen in
behind the group…. Peter M in my wheel….. It was going to be an icy
cold decent , because riders had to put on jackets…. gave me time to make
connection. I managed to put my jacket on the decent…… taking risks
to do so

A fast and dangerous decent….. Ice cold rain…. we passed riders that
had crashed… the going slowed due to poor visibility… I could not see
more than 6-8 riders ahead, the fog was sooo thick. I was off the pace a
bit, when I tried to bridge I found myself nearly out of control going into
blind corners… you simply could not see far enough… Cars and
motorcycles were pulled over everywhere with their lights on and
honking…. trying to warn riders of the dangers… On the flats with.
those around me ….we regained the first group…. Here at the feed
zone….10kms to the next climb… 11.7kms 6.8%… another groupetto
forms…. I'm feeling a bit better so continue with the first group ,,,, for
3-4kms only , then I find myself riding with 6-8riders… after a short
decent we start the col du Galibier. 18.3kms at 6.8% Our group is now
15ish riders….ahead 1-2minutes we cold see the next group of 12ish
riders…. at the top of the Galibier it was 4 degrees Celsius…..
yesterday it was 40….. that's something like 100degrees one day and 40 the
next …. icy cold rain.. The decent of the Galibier was on of my most
miserable experiences…. I was completely numb… my hands were stumps.. my
knees were aching, swollen, frozen…. it was a very long decent. It was soo
miserable! I had difficulty shifting… by the next climb Peter M. and were
laughing at each other, we could not shift into the small chainring… I
had to use my right thumb as a hook.. Peter, Frankie and myself rode the
last climb together.. defrosting on the way up…

George H… thinks that with today's conditions…. we probably had similar
experiences as those on Everest….. I think we could definitely share
feelings with them…… It was extreme.

STAGE 16

20kms before the first climb of the day Col de Porte…… After yesterday,
you might think that we might make it to the climb sans attack…But NO!
Immediately there was an attack….. single file 60+kph!!!! Mercatoni Uno at
the front.. Luckily I was near the front. I had this idea that I wanted to
see Pantani in Yellow before he took to the mountains, hence out of my
view. We hit the base of col de Port A'block,( on the rivat) . I was
chewing on lactate acid…. and spitting it out… It was too early to get
shelled. Riders all around yo-yoed back and forth digging for power,
trying to keep the chain in tact. An ugly site!. Somewhat under control
M-Uno held a stiff pace….. The peloton was in more than one group…. I
knew George was in the group behind, but within site,,,(more on that) . I
dug hard to stay with the approx 60-80 riders…. like those around me.
Life will be easier later if you can stay with the first group as long as
possible.

On the decent George passed me! that means his group bridged a 1-min
deficit. Sick.. I am happy for George but to think of the extra matches I
burnt to stay with the first group…. It could have been better to save
them and ride aggressively on the decent..(risky sometimes) On the next
three climbs I was in nearly the same position…. clearing the Col with
the top 60-80 riders and each time in the valleys the group would swell to
over 100…

This is bad for moral… and each time you would have to fight in the group
for position, as the weaker riders would get dropped. At the base of the
col de la Madeleine I think there were at least 120 riders…. It exploded
within 5kms….. Find your group…..

I would ride up with Eki and 4-others until 5kms to go…. (had knee
pain….. leg power loss etc) . I took it a bit easier , riding with Pascal
Chaunter…. then we picked up Luc Leblanc….. who had blown a serious
gasket…. Pascal offered food and drink…. with 2kms to the top we went a
bit easier….. to keep Luc with us…. Honestly it was more of the right
pace for us…. as you tend to push too hard, tapping into the red zone on
and off.

I finished around 60th today……..

Stage 17

History in the making… Change…. Negotiations.. Communication. Law and
Order. Emotions.. It is all taking place in the Tour de France!!! Peoples
from many countries are very emotional and have strong opinions on many
different issues. Part of the beauty of this sport is that we must all
learn to (work-live?) together.

One thing is for sure, I am happy to be a part of it! I remember my first
stage races when I first came to Europe. Under different circumstances I
remember having the same feelings…. I had left the happy USA and was now
battling it out with Russian teams Spanish Teams , South Americans, all of
Northern Europe etc etc….

I'm not really in the mood to make sense….I do feel that we need laws in
our society and that there should be no interference with justice.. But at
the same time Society “The People” have a right to be heard. People have
rights.

Whatever is the outcome of today's protest and the incidents plaguing the
Tour, there will definitely be powerful results.. People are acting out and
speaking their minds….. Change is on the Horizon.

I will think more about what is happening, maybe then I will make more
sense. For tomorrow , I am ready to race and it is my goal to make it to
the Champs…

Stage 19

242kms today… plus a 5km neutral. Long-long-long…46.8kph ave!

the last climb of the tour was at km 218…. ouch! Yea!

I felt good all day, right up until about 15kms to go , then I started to
become very tired….. the legs were ok….. but the fatigue was setting
into my head. After the stage we had to go to “Velo-Club”
i.e. live French TV . I thought I was going to fall asleep with the cameras
on me… Luckily the Hotel was only 1 km from the finish…

Tomorrow is the Time-Trial… 50+kms….. to loose or gain 2-minutes would
do nothing for my GC. Tomorrow I will start with no stress and just push my
body up to threshold over time….. Riding without pressure often has
better results….. If the engine is good I will put in a good time.

Sunday—– Ride to Paris…… after a TGV train ride in the morning.

Today is the first day that I can hardly hold my eyes open ( after stage )
My body will be tired after this race, I thank it though for being sooo
strong throughout the TDF.

Stage 20

52kms TT.

Marty Jemison 34th, 6:45 (1:10:37) behind Jan Ullrich… at 1h03'52” (his
ave 48.851)

That's all I have to say….. Oh, Paris demain!

M

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