1987 Tour de Suisse

Jan 9 2010

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…

(via velogogo)

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.

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10 Responses to “1987 Tour de Suisse”

  1. Bikey 10 January 2010 at 1:50 am #

    Great find.

  2. rainbow 10 January 2010 at 4:22 am #

    That’s Gold, precision timing by Kiefel, and in Switzerland too, well worth the watch.

  3. Baz 10 January 2010 at 7:17 am #

    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”
    Director: “…”
    Editor: “See? How cool was that!”
    Director: “…You’re fired.”

  4. joe 10 January 2010 at 9:26 am #

    why does the tour de france not have sprint bonus anymore?

  5. Sebastian 10 January 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    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.

  6. Spencer 11 January 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Are you kidding me, Cosmo? The music totally makes that video.

  7. matty 11 January 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    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.

  8. cosmo 11 January 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    @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.

  9. Sebastian 11 January 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    You’re right! I hadn’t noticed, what with the graininess and all.

  10. Cebiner 21 January 2010 at 1:45 am #

    Check out how tired the guys are at the finish line? Sissies or clean riders?

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. 1987 « no one line - 12 January 2010

    […] posted it and Cyclocosm added some good thoughts, namely: If I ever meet Kiefel, I’ll ask about the battle it took to […]

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