While I could do without the music, and the grainy VHS-to-flash video quality, this Team 7-Eleven classic is definitely worth watch. It’s not often a 10-day stage race comes down to an intermediate sprint…
You’ve got to wonder at the behind-the-scenes machinations preceding this final stage. It strains credulity that Panasonic, after 10 days of racing, and shattering the field up the final climb the day before, could have controlled the entire peloton with their legs alone, before putting an all-rounder like Winnen in prime position to win the sprint.
7-Eleven, on the other hand, even after two years in the European peloton, probably didn’t have a lot in the way of leverage. Certainly, the team meeting gives an impression of isolation, with no mention of strategy beyond “stay close to Andy and don’t take any guff”.
Hampsten was indeed well-defended; you can see his yellow jersey about 15 riders back in the final bend before the sprint. But Ron Kiefel—who likes his victories improbable—was 7-Eleven’s point man on the day, trying to take the 10-second bonus from the Dutchman “If I’m in position”.
If I ever meet Kiefel, I’ll ask about the battle it took to find Winnen’s wheel coming into the line.
thoughts on “1987 Tour de Suisse”
That’s Gold, precision timing by Kiefel, and in Switzerland too, well worth the watch.
Director: “Wait, why did you cut to the truck? Noone wants to see that truck!”
Editor: “I have this new ‘back of the truck’ wipe effect, watch this”
Editor: “See? How cool was that!”
Director: “…You’re fired.”
why does the tour de france not have sprint bonus anymore?
The piece definitely tries to insinuate that Panasonic had forged a set of strategic alliances against 7-Eleven, but without further documentation (so to speak) it’s a little hard to distill the facts from the general Americans-overcoming-the-odds narrative that saturated this old coverage. Anyway, gotta love the Roll/Boyer Hair-and-Pronunciation Contest; and the Tesh music, for better or for worse, still brings back childhood memories.
Also, I always wondered why Ron Kiefel didn’t win more races in Europe. He had a real kick and was well-rounded too. 1985 was his big year, with a stage win at the Giro and also the Trofeo Laigueglia; but besides the 1988 Tour of Tuscany most of his other victories were in the Coors, the Tour de Trump, etc.
Are you kidding me, Cosmo? The music totally makes that video.
I loved that vid when I saw it on velogogo. Keifel looks like a Hardy Boy.
I got the impression that the 7-Eleven team meeting was done for the cameras. Asking what’s-his-name if he was sized similar to Hampsten – as if everybody there but the guy with the camera on his shoulder didn’t know.
also, lol at the truck gag.
@joe: probably to avoid mayhem like this.
There was a problem back at the ’05 TdF based on time bonuses. I think Vino’ passed Levi for 5th on GC, due to bonus seconds on the finish line (Vino’ broke free to take the last stage). Organizers announced that all sprints had been neutralized due to the wet cobbles, but that apparently didn’t include the finish.
@Sebastian: I’ll agree that the narrative was probably played up a bit by the announcers, but as you watch the final meters, it looks like the last man to lead out Winnen (who pinches off the inside of the bend after peeling off) is the very same dude who has been chatting with the Panasonic boys earlier.
You’re right! I hadn’t noticed, what with the graininess and all.
Check out how tired the guys are at the finish line? Sissies or clean riders?