Marco the Beast

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I cruised over to the DC Tumblr page as I settled in for my post ride recovery beer(s) this evening. Although I’m not quite sure what this thing is all about, I do know that Big Jonny does a hell of a job putting up badass images and commentary. This little blurb caught my eye:

I have this race on DVD, the 1998 Tour de France. I watch it occasionally. Stage 15 was insane. The pain of that day is unreal. I wish I still had the full stage (or what passes for a “full stage” on American television) I recorded back in the day on a VHS tape. Fuck. Talk about the hurt locker.

For Ullrich, it was the way of the cross.

In 1998 I was still in college working at a shop and  just eating up whatever coverage of the Tour that I could find. I remember watching this stage and I recall being just as in awe of the speed at which they climbed back then as I am today. What a year it was for the tour. Starting in Ireland with that Prologue through the streets of Dublin. It had Zabel, Steels, and Cipollini in the sprints. Bobby Julich finishing on the podium in Paris. The unthinkable removal of Alpe d’Huez as a stage and replaced with some lesser known hill called Les Deux Alpes. Only to see Marco Pantani blow the whole Tour to hell upon it’s slopes. This was the stuff of legends. But it will always be tainted and remembered as the year of  the Festina Affair.

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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single women and single malt. Currently in Carbondale, CO Follow on Instagram @dirty_biker

9 Replies to “Marco the Beast”

  1. I remember this tour well. I set my VCR (that’s a video cassette recorder) every day and watched every stage at night after work. I enjoyed it for the intense racing and all the drama.

    In those days, the only announcers were those two phony asshats: Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett. They constantly lied about all the doping and downplayed the scandal. I distinctly remember Liggett saying that the crowds were “cheering” on the riders. Fucking lying piece of shit. The truth was that the European crowds were hurling insults and taunting the riders for all their doping. The euros knew the emperor wore no clothes. I didn’t.

    Ahh bring back the good ol’ days.

    My new year’s resolution is to watch racing again without cynicism. Of course they all dope. But what an attack! Damn, the peloton looks pretty as it snakes it way through that medieval French village. How many of the riders will take the wrong way around the roundabout?

    Not much hope of success keeping skepticism at bay, but I’m gonna try.

  2. Yes, I’m sure Bobby’s breakout season was a result of hard work, determination, being on his bike 6 hours a day, sleeping in an altitude tent, and weighing his food. That must have been what did it

  3. Loved Ullrich-style riding. RIP Pantani, no one can currently climb like you, dancing up the fucking mountains.

    And I want to throw a water bottle at Steels, just to laugh about it as he beats me to death.