Versus Tour de France Videos – Ask Bobke – Bob Roll talks the Tour de France on Versus

News Tour de France

The Tour De France is one of the most intense and grueling events in all of sports!

VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the Tour De France, is celebrating clean competition with “Take Back the Tour”. The campaign was created to champion the riders who compete clean, while giving a platform and a voice to the passionate fan base that supports them.

Check out Bob “Bobke” Roll give his thoughts on the Tour and answer questions from viewers on Versus TV. Check your local listings or for more details

ASK BOBKE Question…

“What makes a perfect team? How many climbers, sprinters, all-around riders? How many young versus experience riders?”
-Brad Benson

About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.

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  • Michael says:

    Hey I was wondering about Christian Vandevelde–it seems like every time he gets interviewed after riding the past few days he is coughing–or losing his breath like he has asthma or something. Is he sick or is he just having a tough time adjusting to the altitude? No one else seems to be coughing, so I was wondering what was unique and if he’s ok.

  • David Burns says:

    We’ve seen the riders continue racing when it rains, I wondered if there was any extreme weather that would halt the race? Have stages in the past ever been delayed due to weather?

  • David Burns says:

    Is there a way of finding out the most popular bicycle brands in the tour, or a breakdown showing how many teams use which brands?
    Does a team mix brands, for different stages, or are they dedicated to a brand for the whole tour?

  • What gears are used by most sprinters on a relativley flat run in? This seams to be a question no one wants to answere! Why?

  • Patrick Jones says:

    A big kudos to all the commentators! Every summer it is like visiting with old friends again.
    My question is more about some great footage: last year (or two years ago?) you had some awesome footage of Bobke during his racing career. I think he was almost embarrassed by the end of you all showing it, but it was so funny and awesome! I would buy that guy a bottle of wine and gourmet French dinner any time. Any way you could show it again along with some classic footage of the other guys (Paul, Frankie, and the rest!)during the extended coverage? Give chalk-bot a rest day. : )
    As always, 100% totally great job guys. Keep it up!
    – From Austin, TX (gooooooo Lance!)

  • Carn Cahoon says:


    Why do they continue to allow fan “atics” to block the roadway and endanger the riders?

  • Wayne Stewart says:

    Bob: Do the Tour rules require that all bikes are the same weight?
    If so, how light could the bikes be, if there were no weight regulations?

  • Chris Clark says:

    When Lance took off yesterday he was 1 minute 30 seconds behind Kloden. When Lance reached the top of the mountain he was 48 seconds back of Kloden. Lance regained 42 seconds on Kloden in one kilometer going up the steepest climb of the toughest stage in this years tour. Do you believe that Contador, the Schleck Bros, or anyone for that matter, could have hung in with Lance if they had all been togeather. I took my times from the scrolling times at the bottom of the screen during the race. I salute Lance for sacrificing himself for the team I do however believe he has shown he is much stronger than Contador overall.

  • Rebecca says:

    Just wondering if Floyd Landis is or was riding in the 2009 Tour de France? My husband had read an article saying he was going to ride, but we have not seen or heard anything about him

  • Barb Lathrop says:

    the tree you guys were asking about this AM – is either a catalpa or a Princess (paulowina) tree. Catalpas usually have whorled leaves, princess tree leaves are opposite. Flowers on catalpa are white, paulowena are purple. Look up hose 2 for specific differences, it’s hard to see on TV any real differences. They are both in the same Family.

  • Rik DeRoosteer says:

    Dearest Bobke -

    Here is my question -

    With the upcoming mountain stages the question I have is why isn’t there more work done on aerodynamics as it relates to descending?

    I know virtually all team leaders have spent time in the wind tunnel working on their positioning especially how it relates to getting set-up on their time trial bikes, but as far as descending there seems to be a couple different approaches to art with little actual respect for aerodynamics.

    The approaches as I see them are – 1) rider’s nose on the stem, hands close together, backside on the saddle, knees squeezing the top tube and

    2) rider sitting on the top tube, body contorted into a ball, hands possibly in the drops of the handle bars.

    Certainly in a wind tunnel one approach would be ruled as superior… why hasn’t there been a verdict on this?

  • Will Tully, Loveland, CO says:

    Is there a pecking order on who gets to go to the front when the coobles are coming up? Does it have anything to the number of tours you may have won? Seems like all the past winners are at the front.

  • Dale Parfitt says:

    Hi Bob,
    Why did Lance not switch bikes when he had the flat on the cobbles? There were not that many miles left and it seems a bike switch would have been a lot faster than the 45 second tire swap.


  • Scott from Corpus Christi says:

    Hi Bob!
    Happy Birthday! Enjoy the champagne! I was wondering if women are allowed to participate in the Tour de France?

  • Ed Buerger says:

    Why doesn’t the winning rider win all the jerseys? How does the sprinter or hill climber win his jersey? How are points awarded during the race?

  • Paul E says:

    Yesterday, Mark Cavendish saw he could not beat Alessandro Petacchi and stopped trying. He was right in the middle of the pack and riders had to go around him. This looked dangerous. Can the tour official reprimand Cavendish for doing this.

  • Jayt says:

    Hey Bobke! How can I get one of those jerseys that you guys get when you predict the winner of the days stage? I own a Caddi and I want one of those jerseys.

  • Raydonia says:

    Happy Birthday, Bobke! Love spending time with you and your fellow commentators. Instructional and fun but say, where is our favorite cycling theme music? Heard it during highlights of the Giro d’Italia, but now I have to hum it to myself for the Tour de France? What’s up with that?

  • Dr. Gerald Smith says:

    The adverse effect of Robbie McEwen’s legs feeling heavy following the tetanus shot is primarily due to several of the toxic substances found in tetanus vaccine namely sodium hydroxide, formaldehyde, aluminum and the inexpensive preservative ethyl mercury (Thimerosal). The best way to counteract this effect is to chelate the Thimerosal and other chemicals out of the body. Use of the herb cilantro in the form of a tea or concentrated in pill form and antioxidants like dihydrolopoic acid, superoxide dismutase (SOD) found in pomegranate and vitamin C from limes will help neutralize these substances. The heavy metals like mercury and aluminum have an affinity for nerve tissue. In fact Thimerosal is a known neupotoxin that will damage nerve tissue. Professional athletes and specially their trainers must become more familiar with these health tissues if they want to protect their athlete’s careers.

  • Elyot Whitney says:

    Somewhat theoretical question:

    Let’s say a rider does overwhelmingly well getting points (e.g. sprinting or climbing). On the last day, or 2nd to last day of the race, he drops out due something like a crash & injury. At the end of the tour the rider who has dropped out has the most points in his category, but has not finished the tour. Does he win the sprint/climbing jersey for the whole race, or does that go to the next person who finishes the race, even though he may have many less points?


  • Jeff Curry says:

    How does the feeding station operate and how do the riders in the peloton get food from the station?

  • Brian Lamb says:


    Every year we see a number of riders take yellow for one or more days. What’s the typical number of different riders who wear yellow in a tour? What’s the record for the largest number of different riders wearing yellow in a tour? Who holds the record for most days in yellow in a career.


  • Jeffrey Lands says:

    How is it that an elite rider like Cancellara can be so incredibly strong and so able to suck up pain in time trials cannot translate those same skills into climbing?

  • Susan Wright says:

    Who is considered the “Ladies’ Man” of the Tour? Besides you of course, Bob!

  • Kevin P. says:

    Several years ago during Lances run of victories the Vs crew did a story on Lance’s living in France during the lead up to the tour. During the segment we were introduced to a gentleman who kept Lance’s tires and tubes in a cellar for several years to “age” them to perfection for the tour. My question is… does this still happen for Lance?

  • Kevin P. says:

    How about a contest where we can win prizes autographed by the Vs team????
    You guys rock… I would not be nearly as interested in the tour if was not for your coverage.

    P.S. Loving the HD this year.

  • Jack says:


    Why did Radioshack not put someone in the break today? i thought that was a good strategy a few years back.

  • Pam Henderson says:

    OK, I’m arriving in Paris on the 22nd of July. Can you PLEASE tell me about what time (Paris time) the race will approximatly start to arrive?

    I am 63 and have never been to France and have saved up for a very long time just to get a chance to see Lance Armstrong. Saying that, I also have a lot of cariac problems so I want to be there and not miss it or kill myself waiting all day, please help!


  • Bradford Davis says:

    ode to chemo

    paul sherwen says Lance is broken.
    paul sherwen says Lance should re-evaluate his role.
    it was called a day he will want to forget.
    his worst in all his tours.

    paul speaks rubbish.

    pick yourself off the pavement
    after an embrace at 60 kph
    that’s more than 35 mph

    in old money

    and finish the most strenuous leg
    of the tour to date.

    who among you has done that?

    11 minutes…

    tick tock
    goes the clock.

    who cares?

    the podium?

    who cares?

    the tour resumes tuesday
    the gap is what it is.

    will it close?
    will it hold?
    will it widen?

    this is all that matters.

    on the rest day tomorrow
    the 38 year old body will stiffen
    tuesday it suffer.

    there is a price to be paid for the head candy.

    the alphonse,
    the ultra light,
    the leaf.

    Le Tour does not suffer such self-indulgence well.

    but that debt was repaid today.

    Lance is now free.

    free to be Lance.

    free to fight.
    free to fight.
    free to fight.

  • Laura Velez says:

    Hey Bobke..
    What’s a slud? As in your comment about American slud mentioned on 7/11/10

  • Chrisann D. says:

    Hey Bobke!

    What happened to your unique pronunciation of the Tour de France this year? Bring it back, it adds to your charm.

  • kevin merritt, ruston LA says:

    hey bobke
    For what can riders be penalized?
    What are the penalties a rider can be subjected to besides getting booted from the tour or having minutes added to the final time?

  • kevin merritt, ruston LA says:

    Are there some obscure rules, penalties or traditions of which you can inform us?

  • naod says:

    Sami Sanchez was asking alberto to saty away from following him in the last kilometer of the climb. Check out the video again. When alberto responded to the first attack at the last kilometer, sami was giving hand sign back to alberto to stay away…then once sami was caught he complained to alberto…then Ande shlek attacked, alberto let sami to follow ande shlek..I think alberto didn’t respond to ande shlke hoping that sami will get the stage win….Just look at the replay.

    That is what i Understood. Alberto was not tired but he was favoring his country man to get the stage win..i think so

  • Leana says:

    Bob, why don’t they allow women to ride in the tour?

  • ronnie landry says:


  • Richard says:

    Please explain the purpose of the red car and the yellow car driving along with the peloton.


  • Susan A says:

    What are the necklaces the BBox team is wearing?

  • Glenn says:

    So many crashes in this years TDF and most of the riders are able to continue. Is there anything a cyclist can do to survive a crash without serious injury?

  • Paul Boyce says:

    Would you please ask your technical team to record the sound of the peleton (I hope I spelled that correctly) passing at full speed on a level asphalt surface; and then play it back for us during your show?
    Greatly appriciated.

  • jay says:

    Is it just my imagination, or is Craig Hummer acting more like Al Troutwig every year?

  • gw says:

    How big a prize is it within the peleto to win the TDF team competition?

  • Nam D says:

    Hi Bob,

    As an Australian, it was surprising to see Cadel Evans wearing yellow crack so easily on the Col de Madeleine. In some ways it gave fuel to the fire for those critics who believe Evans is not a top contender for The Tour. Now I am reading that he actually fractured his left elbow during a crash early in the previous stage.

    Can you elaborate how much that would have affected Cadel’s ability to defend the Yellow Jersey? How much pain would he have been on those climbs during Tuesday’s stage? Was withdrawing an option or because he had Yellow, it was never an option for him and he rode out anyway to do the Yellow justice?


  • Mary M. says:

    Bob, What is the criteria for winning the White Jersey? Thanks.

  • Vic says:

    Bob, haven’t seen El Diablo this year. Have you heard of his retirement? He is the “where’s Waldo” of the TDF TV coverage!

  • Vic says:

    Where’s El Diablo this year?

  • Sunny says:

    Greetings Bob,

    I’m a big fan of your comentary and appreciate your insights on the Tour.


    “Is it possible for Lance to joint a break-away team and make up time on the current GC leaders?”

    Once again, thanks for your cycling contributions!

    Redondo Beach, CA

  • AC Surek says:

    This is my question, … Why you not speak to mach abaut Fabian Canchilara. What happen whit him. I try to wach the Tour de France aafetr work. Or Where is Fabi?.

  • Tim Modesto, CA says:

    My wife is more of a fan to Phil, Paul and Bob than any of the riders….even the studly Fabian. Every time we go to a stage of the Amgen all she wants to do is try and find you guys.

    QUESTION: She asked me what age is the youngest rider in the tour and the oldest rider. Also, what are the ages youngest and oldest winners of the tour?

    We hope Amgen comes to Modesto again next year!! thank you for such awesome coverage of cycling. I am old enough to remember waiting all week for the 15 minutes of coverage on Wide World of Sports. Cycling is the only sport I have ever followed in my 38 years.

  • Dave Hudgens says:

    It seems that everytime we see a helicopter view of the peloton the riders are packed in like a jar of olives. Yet, it also seems that riders can rotate in and out of the middle of the pack almost at will. What is the process?

  • John R says:

    For the mountain stages the profile gives the elevation of each pass. Is this the altitude above sea level – or the vertical feet climbed? Curious in Co.

  • Jack says:

    Why, in almost every case, is there is only one rider per team in a break?

  • william says:

    Will riders change gear ratios depending on the terrain, or do they all use standard gears regardless of mountain or sprint stages & what are the most common ratios.

  • Prof Heim says:

    Question: What is the CG that you and the other commentators refer to?

  • Paul E says:

    Bob you may need help with this question. I think Phil may be able to help. Wasn’t he on a tricycle back at the beginning of the TDF. How can this be the 100th anniversary of the Pyrenees when it is the 97th TDF?

  • Maria Lopez Ortega says:

    Question: Why does it seem that Radio Shack (team) is not working as hard for Levi Leipheimer (to put him in the podium) as they where working for Armstrong?

  • Edwina Putney says:

    Carlos Barredo hits another rider with a tire and they fight but neither is ejected from the TDF. Mark Renshaw head-butts another rider and is ejected. Tour rules say fighting = ejection. Why the irregular enforcement of the rules?

  • Brian Lamb says:

    Bobke, curious, do most riders in the TDF rely exclusively on cycling for their income or do they have other professions whereby they may train early in the AM or eve? Also, in terms of prestige what are the top 5 bike races each year that the big guys want to win? Thanks and love the TDF coverage, watch it everyday and I don’t even own a bike.

  • Carolyn Gubelin says:

    Bobke, I am curious as to why good sprinters do not also make good climbers and vice versa.



  • Pam Green says:

    Bobke – how many teams still have all 9 riders in the race. What has been the lowest number of complete teams and the highest number of complete teams and the last day of the tour?

  • Ralph Filer says:

    During stage 11 I noticed one rider with an oblong gear on front. Is there an advantage to this sprocket?

  • Matt Knowlton says:

    I am old school, my first bike was a biachi brava, the bike was equiped with a shimano groupo.
    The big ring was oblong, I think it was called octalink or something like that.
    As I was watching the tour, I have noticed when the camera show close ups that it looks as if some of the riders have the same oblong big ring, Is this a fact, or is it my imagination???? I thought there were many riders opposed to that oblong ring when it came out or at least in the 80′s ???
    Can you explain the pros and cons on that type ring?
    You’re the man Bob…
    Matt Knowlton

  • Jeff Kalins Fayetteville GA says:

    I have watched The Tour for many years and I am perplexed- during the World Cup matches the players sweated profusely despite the cool temperatures; during the NBA finals the players sweated profusely despite playing indoors, yet during The Tour the riders appear to glisten (a Southern term) and don’t appear to be sweating despite 5 hours on the bike and 90+ degrees. Can you explain this? Thanks

  • Mary Magnuson Wayland, MA says:

    Two questions for Bobke:
    1. Why are there no women in The Tour?
    2. History question: am I making this up or did Erik Dekker actually fall off the mountain about 5 years ago while eating a sandwich? I remember it as: he was riding and eating, then boom, disappeared, and reappeared a minute later, sandwich still in hand.
    I was so impressed, I named my new puppy Dekker. Oddly, though, whenever I tell the story, no one remembers this and I’m regularly accused of exaggerating the tale.
    Little help?

  • Brian Critelli says:


    What type of toll does riding in the fog create in terms of medical issues for the riders. How many guys come down sick after riding in a very moist foggy environment like the rode in today. I would wonder if their physical resistance to illness is really tested when you ride in the wet and cold conditions. What has your experience been?

  • Jason says:

    What is the perfect road bike for a sprinter?

  • Bill & Susan says:




  • Jim Tolar says:

    It’s pretty much a given after yesterday’s (Thursday) stage that Contador will have a lead after the Time Trial. Wouldn’t it be cool if Schleck’s team manager told his boys to treat the stage into Paris like a TTT and see if they could get the time back? Might it not catch the rest of the race unprepared? Sure, it’s against the “unwritten rules”, but that’s already been done this year.

    TdF – we race from start to finish.


  • jeff says:


    I watched an the interview with Carlos Sastra today. He talked about how they don’t wait in motorsports when something wrong happens to a competitor. I began and keep watching pro cycling because of the sportsmanship of cycling. What are your thoughts on the future of sportsmanship. If the trend is going to go away from this idea in pro cycling then I will stop watching. Just a side note I am not a fan of Alberto Condator, but he did redeem himself somewhat in my eyes yesterday whether he couldn’t (i don’t believe) or didn’t attack yesterday to win the stage after Andy Schleck had done all the work up the Col de Tourmalet. This is the sportsmanship I’m talking about. What are your thoughts?

  • emily says:

    love the commentary on the tour:) all of you are amazing and so are the riders:) I will miss it after Sunday’s finish. Thank you for a job well done:) my question is who designed the dresses for the presenters during the “king of the mountain” presentations?? they are different and beautiful:) this is only my second year watching the Tour and am absolutely blown away at the sport and what strength and endurance it takes:) Thank you again: emily

  • Barbara Ann says:

    Who picks up all the garbage discarded by the riders? Some of it is thrown into the crowds lining the route but a lot
    of it is thrown away into areas where there are no fans. Are there cleaners that walk the route, picking up?

  • Robert Archer says:

    Bob, How do they get all the barriers setup for each stage? Do they do these a day or two ahead, or what? This seems to be a large task.
    Thank you,
    Bob Archer

  • Mark says:

    Hi Bob,
    I love your take on the tour. My question is why isn’t a five time winner like Miguel Indurain not on the podium etc. in the recent tours? Is he just shy or what? Thank you Bob!

  • simon says:

    Bob, why does A. Contador always looks like he is sliding down his seat when doing a TT. He constantly has to reposition himself every 5 seconds?

  • neil says:

    Why aren’t people outraged that Contador stole the Tour by attacking the yellow jersey when there was a mechanical problem with Andy Schleck’s chain? Very chicken!

  • Sherry Ollar says:

    If Contador and Andy Schleck both would have finished the TT with the exact same time, how would the winner of the Tour be determined? By the number of Stage wins?

  • Craig says:

    Do deals get made in the break aways. ie– If you pull for me and the break today. I;ll get you a job with Cavendishs team next year. or pull tomorrow.

  • John says:

    Please verify this, but didn’t Andy loose 39 sec when his chain came off. Then Alberto won the tour by 39sec. Since the TT was basically the last stage, what happens if they had the same time going into the last ceremonial ride to Paris…has this ever happened? Wouldn’t it have been GREAT to see this. I didn’t hear the guys on Versys talk much about how close we were to,… “a tie”?

  • J. Hunter says:

    Why hasen’t Contador been suspended? If it would have been some John Smith he would have been. God forbid if it would have been an american. He would have been shot.

  • Ron says:

    Will the Tour ever go thru Cap d’Agde?

  • Lisa Suhay says:

    I feel silly asking, but what is the red flag with the vertical white flamelike lines everyone is holding? Is it the flag of the region?

  • Dick Davidson says:

    When there is inclement weather (drizzle or rain) how does this affect the clothing from head to toe (helmets, outerwear, gloves, shoes, etc)?????

  • Lisa D. says:

    I just purchased a new Serotta Classique Ti frame. Decided to go with the new Di2 Shifers. I absolutely love it. Couldn’t be better and don’t think I could go back to the other type ever again. What’s the feedback from the riders in the Tour de France on the Di2 shifters???

  • Bill Stewart says:

    I recall that a few years ago Lance Armstrong tried to start Stage One not wearing his yellow jersey as last years winner. The race organizers we\ere adamant that if he did not wear the yellow jersey he would be disqualified. Alberto did not wear a yellow jersey on stage one. New rules or what?

  • Klara says:

    Which nation/country has the most winns in the Tour de France.

  • John Brown says:

    Sylvain Chavanel and Thomas Voekler are two very strong cyclist. However, both have been quiet thus far in the TdF. Is the route thus far not suited to their strengths, not on form, team issues, or do you expect something more from them later in the race?

    Also, While Thor is wearing the yellow jersey, one of his team members is wearing the rainbow jersey. Why is the rainbow on another rider and how do they determine who wears it?

  • Sue and Jim Mooney says:

    I was amzed at Alberto flinging that expensive bike to the side of the road! What happens to those bikes??

  • George in Florida says:

    Has anyone in the original break out group ever won a stage in the tour? Heard one of the casters on Versus state that there is a five percent chance to win.

  • Tom Lamoree says:

    Hey Bobke,
    Paul and Phil say, \Two-er de Frawnce\ Liam and Robbie say \Tore (as in Thor) de France (as in how americans say it). Bobke, can you get the Versus team unified?

  • Corky says:

    I have always wondered. Sometimes they kiss 3 times on alternate cheeks, and sometimes only 2. How many kisses should you give a podium girl?

  • Pat and Liz Johnson says:

    Question: How different were the bicycles and roads during the very first Tour as compared to now.

  • Murray Church says:

    How about some love for ALL of the top 30 — especially Ryder Hesjedal???

  • Fred Davidson says:

    I notice that many riders have a bit of white tape on the brake/shifter lever, about 2/3 the way down. What is the purpose of that tape? Thanks!

  • BobkeFan says:

    Heay Bobke , Here’s an easy one for You . What’s in a Typical Mussette Bag , My Gurl really wants to Know , Also The riders are doing 50 miles an hour , Do They have the same Gearing or Chainring sizes that the general public can buy ? . Lemme Know , Peace Bro , Kman

  • Joe says:

    Do the riders go out and ride the route in the team bus or cars before the race starts?

  • Dave bradford says:

    So Bob, when are you going to race Leadville?

  • Paul Castro says:

    Sometimes during the coverage you mention how many watts a rider is currently using. How many watts would Cavendish use during a sprint and how many would Schleck use? Also what is the newest type of meter that the pros are using to measure power?


  • Chris Horner says:

    Hey Bob hi,
    Do you think Johan’s decision to have four possible leaders rather than having the team focus on one person has contributed to the radio Shack \bad luck\. Schleck and Cadel have full full support and protection from strong teams. Contador is doing it on his own again and he’s not having much luck either.

  • Jack Oulund says:

    How come the team director, the busiest person in the car, is allways the person driving?

  • Marcus San Diego says:

    Hey Bobke
    I noticed that Contador is wearing a helmet from a different manufacturer than the rest of the team. He has a Giro helmet and the rest of his team has Specialized. What gives? I thought that when you joined a team you got your kit, bike and helmet.
    Marcus San Diego

  • Laura Spillers says:

    How do the riders keep from swallowing bugs as they ride and what happens if they do swallow one?

  • CONNIE says:


  • Brian says:

    Did Thor Hushovd knowingly give up the yellow jersey when the peloton slowed to allow the fellen riders to catch up and why did the breakaway not slow also?

  • rita says:

    When there is a crash in the peloton the peloton will wait till the riders catch up and then start racing again. Why doesn’t the breakaway have to do that? They would not lose any time because they will know from their teamcars when to start back up. S
    eems like an unfair advantage.

  • Robert H. says:


    What will the race officials or the French Government do to the car driver that hit Flecha and Hoogerland? Civil or criminal actions? In the fifteen years I have followed the Tour, I have never seen such a blatant disregard for the rider’s safety. The actions were wantonly reckless and in complete disregard for the rider’ safety. What irresponsible, inexcusable and shameful conduct. What message does it send if the only penalty is mere expulsion for the remaining part of the race. We expect such non-sense from the paparazzo, but not during the Tour. Hope you, Phil and Paul will not let this drop.

  • Tim Thomas says:

    Today a rider on the lead breakaway was run off the road by an outside agency (TV Van) and launched into barbed wire. Earlier in the week one was dragged down by a motorcycle. I understand crashes, dogs, onlookers, pedestrians but for a race sanctioned vehicle to be driven as wrecklessly as this vehicle is unconcionable. In situations like these, the Tour should have the latitude to grant that rider the time of the peloton if they cannot ride back to the peloton. Again, this is a race sanctioned vehicle being driven in a wreckless manner and affecting th outcome of the race and possibly the career of a cyclist. What say you?

  • carrie keohane says:

    Dear Bobke,
    How come on the podium some racers two kiss or three kiss? Is it Northern Europeans vs Southern Europeans? Married racers vs single racers? Sophisticated watchers need to know!

  • Karen Clark says:

    In the spirit of Kim Kardashian, I have noticed what I believe is extra “seat” cushioning. Is this a normal practice allowing padding sown in the guys’ uniform?

  • Josef says:

    What do you think should be the punishment for a driver who hits a bicyclist at the Tour de France? Should they be guillotined in Paris or should they be given a blindfold a cigarette and shot by the Foreign Legion at dawn?

  • Bob Prislovsky says:

    Bobke-Did anyone see what happened?
    watcher: Just as the pelaton approached a sign warning “Danger-falling rocks” one rock came out of nowhere, rolled down and hit Contador on the shoulder knocking him off his bike!
    EMS: What happened here?
    Local: Contador stopped for a natural break and was standing beside a dumpster. The collection truck came along. It picked it up and he just stood there until the truck set it down on his foot!
    Official: What happened here?
    Cyclist: One of the men was eating a snack. He threw the wrapper toward the grass just as Contador was passing. It stuck to his glasses and he ran off the road!

  • Hi Bobke, Why is it "a brave new world?" says:

    Great coverage this year. Would love to see more past Tour rider history…more comments and guests from the old days Bernard…Eddy..really enjoy the views from helicopters of castles thank you for making July special each year for us…really though Why is it a \Brave new world?\

  • Anna says:

    Hi Bob,
    My family was watching Stage 9 of Tour on TV and we saw that horrible EuroMedia car clip the riders (Juan Antonio Flecha and Johnny Hoogerland).
    Will the tour directors “bend the rules” and give these riders the same time of the peloton? and what are the consequences for the driver of the car?
    Thanks in advance!!!
    We (the family) love the Tour and your commentaries!!!

  • Mom says:

    Hey Bob,
    My question is–Since there have been so many crashes and loss of riders I was wondering if a team has to have a minimum number of riders to continue in “Le Tour”?
    Thanks and have a Great Time over there.

  • FRANK says:


  • Paul Basten says:

    Will the driver of the TV car that blasted the rider to the road and the other flying into the barbed wire fence, be taken to court for any charges?

  • Loren P says:

    Hi Bobke/Bobka,
    Why have the officials that govern the Tours not made some fair play rules that would let the riders that are in a crash and can still ride be allowed to join up with the peloton in their original positions , without the Peloton making the decision to slow down to let them return. All the other riders should be held in their positions until the crash can be cleaned up and the riders back in their original positions. This would stop the runaway breakaways as in stage 9 of the tour 2011.

  • Donna Finkle says:

    Why do you dislike Contador so much? You are making it so apparent. Shouldn’t you at least try to be fair?
    If his lack of concentration is the cause of his crashes then the Radio Shack team is clearly on another planet. You never say anything about the other teams that are having issues. Everytime you say contador name it is like a bad taste in your mouth. I am not sure you are aware of how poorly you doing this year, I am ashamed of you.

  • Dan Roy says:

    This is a brutal event. I’m a fairly active runner and cyclist just trying to get through the daily stages. Day after day of sitting on the couch watching the Tour is killing my back and making my butt numb. :) But my real question is —

    The boys leave it all on the roads at the end of the day. What is their secret for fast recovery?

  • Why not more ITTs in the Tour de France? says:

    apologies if this has been asked previously. Why would they only have ONE individual time trial in a 3-week race? Just about every week-long race has one ITT. It seems like 2-3 would be more adequate?

    Also, what in your opinion is the ideal length for an ITT? How would you decide the length based on how much a cyclist could/should loose during the ITT that would counter what someone else (an opponent) would/should in the combined time in the various mountain stages?

    Omar, Lyons, CO

  • E Allison says:

    Is it legal for a rider to borrow a fan’s bike if their bike breaks, so they don’t lose time waiting? Assuming the bike is only used until the team car can catch up?

    Also, with regards to the team car. Why does the driver have so many responsibilities? It seems like they do everything for the riders, while the others in the car are just along for the ride.

    And lastly, do the riders prefer tubulars or clinchers?

  • J Wells says:

    What gear do the riders use when going up hill in the Pyrenees and the Alps. What cassette will a rider choose for mountain stages vs. Flat stages?

  • Jim and Jeanne Hewitt says:

    What is the calorie count riders aim for? What are they eating on the road? At night?



  • Jim and Jeanne Hewitt says:

    What calorie count do the riders aim for? What is in their food bag? What is served for dinner?



  • Russ K says:

    Bob / Bobke:

    If you were to put a police ‘radar detector’ on Mark Cavendish just before the finish line when he is peaking full out; what would the speed be in MPH? I am guessing between 45-50 MPH on a flat (i.e. no gravitational help or hurt, just ‘man and machine’)?

    Russ K

  • Danny C Booker says:

    What are sizes (width) of the tires the riders ride on average during the different stages?? Flats, hills, mountains, time trials, cobble stone streets, etc..

  • Jack Smith says:

    What if any punishment was given to the car that ran down the two riders on Sunday’s stage?

  • Amanda Jensen says:

    I understand the concept of team cycling – protecting, supporting and in general strategizing for the success of a single cyclist. What I do not understand is how each team determines who that ‘single cyclist’ is. And in a race like the Tour de France – does that top rider ever change during the course of the race?

  • Dallas Poynter says:

    Hi Bob,

    With all of the crashes taking place on the Tour, I wanted to take the time to tell you very quickly about my crash on Monday. I went down very hard and thank God I was wearing my helment. I do any time I ride however I am a very strong supporter of being as safe as possiable while out riding on the road. The helment took the brunt of the blow and has eight (8) breaks or cracks to the interior of the helment.

    I am certain it saved my life and at the very least prevented me from sustaining very serious head injury. I did in fact was knocked unconscience for a few moments.

    Please if you can with all that is happening with the crashes on the Tour take the time to re-emphasize the necessity of wearing a helment while out riding.

    This was my first real serious crash and I have the road rash to prove it as well. I would like to send you a picture of the helment so you see the damage done.

    Thank you,
    Dallas D. Poynter
    SFC, US Army (Retired)

  • Chris in USA says:

    Hi Bob, With the Tour heading to the mountains my question is about precentage of grade.
    What is the percentage of and how is it measured?
    What is the steapest percentage of grade the riders will encounter in this years tour?

  • JoAnn Weaver says:

    Hey Bobke,

    Why is there no Women’s Tour de France?

  • JoAnn Weaver says:

    Hey Bobke,

    Now that Tom Danielson is in the Tour can you equate a stage that compares to the Colorado Bob Cook Memorial / Mt. Evans Hill climb race? Tom Danielson won it in 2007 at a time of 1:43:04.

    The climb is 28 miles in length. The start is at 7,540 feet in Idaho Springs, Colorado and proceeds to the summit of Mt. Evans at 14,264 feet.

  • Robin Waddell says:

    Carpe diem Bobke! Please relate your thoughts on stage 9 regarding Garmin-Cervelo. Did Jonathan Vaughters inadvertently allow Thor Hushovd to lose the yellow jersey by not directing the team to expressly pursue the breakaway? What unforseen factors were involved (besides the crash of the year). Was this a poor timing or poor strategy issue? Thank you.

    P.S. Please edit this question as necessary. I want it to be “Bobke Friendly”.

  • Mike Daniel says:

    I have two questions.
    1. In 2010 some consider Contador’s taking of the overall lead and yellow jersey from Andy Schleck to have been unsportsmanlike. How is Voeckler’s similar action in Stage 9 in 2011 different?
    2. Why do you make it so difficult to find where to ask Bob Roll questions? It took me minutes, minutes to find this.

  • Mark J says:

    Not much has been said about Contador not only racing in but winning the Giro this year. Can he pull off the double or is he too tired?

  • Harry W says:

    Hey Bobke,

    Any plans for a Bobke bobblehead doll? See ya in Paris on the 24th.

  • Dan Plesoianu says:


    Is it possible for a rider who suffered an accident and left the Tour to come back after a few days, if he is recovered, and continue racing ? This would be only fair for him and and for his team too (take the case of Chris Horner, for instance, or other similar ones)!

  • Jarvis says:

    In prime time, how about fewer “omniscient” comments from guys who know how the race turned out? That’s really bush league.

  • Darren Robinson says:

    Hey Bobke,

    I know the era’s are different but how would you compare the Mark Cavendish’s HTC-Highroad team with Mario Cipollini’s Saeco-Cannondale team in the sprints?

    Keep up the great work!

  • Lora says:

    Bobke, lookin’ good with the haircut! :)
    Can you please tell me why some people on the broadcast keep saying “Thor” de France? Is not the correct pronunciation is “toor?”
    Thank you,

  • Sutton in Kalamazoo says:


    This may be a stupid question but with the Radio Shack team nearly whiped out the thought occurred to me…. has a team ever helped out another national counterpart when it became obvious that their own team interests were over? With that would there come a time where Levi would help out his countrymen?

  • Paul S Lambres says:

    bobke, I can’t seem to find a copy of the first ‘Bobke’ book for less than $60. Anybody have a used paperback they are will to let go of at a reasonable price?
    Thank you

  • Bikelunatic says:

    With all the coverage on the guys, is there still a Tour de France (Feminine)?

  • Bikelunatic says:

    Please disregard my earlier question.
    #132 (Jo Ann Weaver)) has already brought it up.
    It’s just that there was a “Feminine” version many
    years ago>

  • jennifer says:

    ive been watching the tour de france for a few years now and i have to say u r one of my favorite commentaters, but i do have a serious question for u,,, if they tied ur hands together and tied them down would u explode when u tried to talk?? never seen u talk without ur hands flying. must have been hard when u rode in the race if u had to talk to a teamate. lol love ya bobke

  • Travis Russell says:

    At what speed are the leaders going when climbing hills of 9%-10%?

    Thank you

  • Jerry Petross says:

    Your Equipment spot on helmets indicates a resistance to 60mph strikes. If so, why so many concussions?

  • Jeff Dukay says:

    How does motor pacing how a cyclist train?

  • Lisa Toliver says:

    I have just recently started watching cycling with my husband and noticed the men when they take a bathroom break and was wondering what do the women do when they need to take a bathroom break?

  • Lisa Toliver says:

    I have just recently started watching cyling with my husband (which I enjoy) and have noticed the men taking restroom breaks. My question is when the women are racing how do they do the same thing?

  • Michael Graback says:

    Hey Bobke, how about a senior bicycling tour like in golf. You in?

  • Larry Mele says:

    With all the modern communication systems that the riders have in the tour are their any standardized hand signals that are still used other than the “elbow flick” & hand raise for assistance? Since many of the riders have different native languages or may need to communicate with other teams or officials not on their radio’s I was wondering there are signs/signals that are used as in many other sports.

  • cindy says:

    Bobke! I’ll ride with you during Stage 5 of USA PCC in Breckenridge, CO!!!

  • Byron Patterson says:

    In the mountains do the mechanics change the crank set to a different ratio from those used in the flat stages in order to have better climbing ability? Thanks,

  • Bruce coats says:

    Why does the yellow neutral car have bike on it? So far we haven’t seen any bikes or even wheels be used from this neutral vehicle.

  • Bill Ortmayer says:

    Why does the peloton allow small groups to break away and get several minutes ahead and then have to struggle at the very end to catch them?

  • Carolyn says:

    How many people support the team? Bicycle mechanics? cooks? doctors? others?

  • Mary says:

    Dear bobke
    Why are there no women in the tour de France?

  • Brian Verstegen says:

    Why did Leopard/Trek chose to burn out Cancellara through Voigt in sequence instead of using a pace line to punish the peleton on the ascent of the Col du Tourmalet?

  • Jeff jesch says:

    Why does the rider bend his knee toward the mountain when going into a corner? Does he gain aerodynamics or is it for balance?

  • Whitney Blair says:

    i’m interested in your take on the use of radios in the Tour and the ban on same, perhaps throwing in your own experience as a rider in the Tour.

    (as a side note, i’m perplexed by the too often decision to put the cameras on backs, faces, helmets … pretty much anything but the riders’ legs when it’s the actual cycling that’s interesting to watch. is it so wrong to want to see the rider and his bike at the same time?)

  • big bill says:

    on an aggressive race such as the 12 th stage, how much weight will a rider lose?

  • Sue Mac says:

    Why is Voeckler taking the lead during 2 serious accidents not considered unsportsman like conduct?? Is it because he is French? Seems so unfair!

    Bob, we think you are the greatest!!

  • Mary Anne says:

    Who are there riders called domestiques? They must be good enough to qualify for the TDF, then why relegated to this seemingly minor role? Who are they? Are they comfortable being good enough to get in but not “good” enough to race with the peloton?

    Also, I am often confused when the first races cross the line for a segment and points are given and then a 2nd group or peloton cross, more points are awarded for the same does this all work? isn’t there one set of points based on who wins them first and everyone else is out of luck? Very confusing to a new watcher trying to learn…still love it and you Bobke!

  • dave davies says:

    Do the riders find a need to pee over the course of a day, and how do they do it?

  • Laurie Dunnagan says:

    By now, has every hamlet, town, and city been visited by the Tour? Thanks, and we love you and the guys in Anchorage, Alaska!

  • JEFFRY HELMS says:

    Mr Bob Roll, hello, I was wondering why are there not any asian’s in the race?? Was there a conflict in the past??

  • Mary Ann Konczal says:

    What is the average salary of a professional bicyclist? It looks like a real grueling sport. Thanks Bobke.

  • doogan says:

    Hey Bob, with all the crazy bike handeling crashes this year could it have something to do with the new bikes finally getting too light and the brake/wheels getting so strong that the center of gravity is so high now that there just isnt enough modulation befor lock up and endo?

  • Greg says:

    Why in the name of all that is holy don’t you get more air time Bobke? You add a certain panache and experience to the coverage of the Tour. You are a great color man. You make what is sometimes a rather dull stretch enjoyable with your humor and anecdotes. So many of my friends, who may not be especially big bicycling fans, fascinated by your fabulously entertaining insights. When will the network recognize your true worth?

    Greg B.

  • Alexis Zaccariello says:

    There are so many fans at the top of the mountain stages and they seem to really get in the riders personal space. It would drive me crazy. Does it bother the riders or are they used to it?

  • Dave Roach, Horn Lake, MS, USA says:

    Hey Bobke, what a great tour it would be if Frank and Andy Schleck were to finish 1st and 2nd. My question is… Has any brothers ever done this in tour history? and do you think Frank and Andy would race each other for the win?

  • Thabilldozer says:

    What is up with the non-coverage of Ivan Basso ?? Here is a guy that is a 2 time Giro winner, a guy that places 2nd and 3rd behind Lance Armstrong, AND who has been in the front of the Peloton right behind the Schleck brothers every single day this week in the mountains. YET, you guys refuse to give him any coverage.

    Is it that you guys do not consider him a “real contender” ??

  • Tour Fan says:

    Could you have the announcers tell us about the doctor–she appears to be a miracle worker! Thanks!

  • Marshall B in Seattle says:

    The Euro prozes for sprints have been frequently mentioned, as well as mountain tops, but what are the daily prizes for stages? For each of the main jerseys, on a daily basis? Thanks.

  • Karen Solis says:

    Why do they give a penalty when a person comes off their line at the finish but they don’t give one for the boxing in like what the Schleck brothers were doing up the climbs on Saturday?

  • Diane says:

    What is the most number of different jerseys any one rider has had on a single stage?

  • Ron Kannegeisser says:

    Has the drug testing in the tour improved to the point that the riders cannot cheat? It seems very apparent that none of the top riders can dominate each other as in past tours.

  • Eric in NC says:


    How bothered are Tour level riders with roadside “fans” encroaching on them, sometimes touching them, especially in the climbs? You know any riders who actually got off the bike and went after one?

    And to agree with Whitney, smash close-ups of faces, numbers, pedal action etc. is annoying…showing longer shots works much better.

  • Tommy says:

    Bob, you want to go for a ride?

  • Jon Standaert says:

    Hi Bobke;

    Wondering why nobody ever wants to go for a ride with you?

  • Peter Carlson says:

    Why haven’t you guys on Versus listed Thomas Voeckler as one of the ‘contenders’ at the end of the show?

  • Holly Webster says:

    Hey Bob, you are so cute. I love watching the crazy crowds but I never see USA flags this year. Why not? If I can come to the tdf in 2 years should I just make my own arrangements or should I join a travel group? If you recommend joining a group can you suggest some? livestrong, holly

  • lee dumont says:

    bobke 3 questions

    I always loved the Prologe – it was a classy way to start the Tour – I feel they are taking away too many great tradititions and will eventually make this just another race?

    Do you think that not starting a yellow jersey and the Prologe are casualties of the doping era? I do.

    Do the riders that receive the special painted bikes that match their hard won jerseys get to keep those bikes?

  • Mike Lee says:

    Bob, I haven’t heard the cow bells very much this year. Any idea why this is?

  • Larry says:


    Will there ever a female version of the tour of France?

  • Angela says:

    Hey Bobke,
    My fiance is making me watch the Tour and I am really getting into it, GO TEAM BMC!! but what is up with the guys up in the mountains running in their skivvies? We are really wondering what the significance of it is. Thanks a new Fan!!! Angela

  • Robert says:

    I have come to the conclusion that the ideal job in this world is flying the helicopter at the Tour de France. How do I apply for this position?

  • Bill Menchak - St. Louis Missouri says:

    Bobke – during the Tour de France (or any other major race) why don’t they focus on what brand bike each team is riding? It’s always difficult to see the bike manufacture during the race.


  • Claudia says:

    What’s up with Phil taliking up the the pro cycling tour “Tour of Colorado” on Sundays show? What happened to the Tour of Utah? Isn’t this Colorado’s first year of hosting a major tour? Utah is welcomes pro cyclists to experience what us locals ride every chance we get. By the way…I’m with Tommy – Wanna ride?

  • Patty in Kansas says:

    What is a typical day for a rider after the completion of a stage? Recovery process, team meetings, meals, hours of sleep, etc… Do they have any personal time during the tour?

  • Sharon V says:

    Dear Bobke,

    Your Road ID commercials are so funny, and I was happy to see Phil, Paul and some of the riders featured in them, too. Hilarious!

    My question is: some of the young riders seem to be riding for the stage win themselves instead of bringing their team leader to the stage win. How does that impact the team leader’s morale and the structure of the team?

  • Kathy Ostlund says:

    Hey Bobke…saw you at a USCF banquet in MN ‘years’ ago! You hardly used your hands. ha, ha.

    Hey, I want to know why there isn’t a women commentaor with you men??? Our local Teresa Moriaty is tough to beat and when the Nature Valley races come to MN, nobody acknowledges the women – like Kristen Armstrong, Jeannie Longo (the world champion),Laura VanGuilder or any other riders? Yeah right, you have a female referee this year in the 2011 Tour.. Whoopee!! Took long enough!

    Our local young man, Bjorn Selander is our homeboy. He proudly rides in his Team Radio Shack kit along with his Dad, Dag Selander… (hey, wasn’t he on your 7-up team eons ago?) Dag Selander is a teriffic mentor. Bjorn got started due to his dad, and to this day, Dag is the coach and mentor to juniors who want to ride and race… you can hear his echo blocks away… “spin, spin, spin”…as he comes up behind you on a training ride….

    You, Phil, & Paul do an awesome job, but the new guys?? really?? who the heck are they?? Get a women’s perspective…I challenge you. o I need to present this as a Bobke question of the day?

    Anyway – thank you! Your hand expressions capture it all again this year in the 2011 Tour. :-)

    Kathy Ostlund
    Hudson, Wisconsin

  • Mom says:

    Hey Bob,
    No question this time. Just wanted to say Thanks for working answers to questions that do not get read on air into your commentary.

  • Rick Bertram says:

    I am wondering why at the beginning of The TDF race officials were so concerned with the bike saddles being level. Aren’t the riders supposed to be fit to their bikes? Does a saddle at a certain angle to it give the rider some kind of advantage?

  • Angel says:


    The graphics of the pace line commented by Phil Ligget shows the riders rotating forward into the wind. Shouldn’t the riders be rotating the other way?


  • Lori Brock, Austin TX says:

    With the current no needle policy, are only topical anesthetics given when the cyclists require stitches?



  • Rosemary says:

    Hello Bobke,
    I love, love, love the tour! I was turned onto it by my sister and her husband, who is from the Bordeaux region. I have a question: When you were still competing did the occasional outrageously outfitted spectator ever cause you to do a double-take? Thanks – Rose

  • Harold Phillips says:

    Bob, this conversation regarding Cavendish taking pulls from vehicles; couldn’t his GPS locator give him up if his location became erratic?

  • iris says:

    Bob, not really a technical question, but since I am not only a cycling/Tour fan, but also a musician…..was wondering: Who composes the theme music for the Tour broadcast each year? It’s always haunting, stately and melodic, and I am humming it for weeks after the end of the Tour each year.

  • Terri says:

    Do all teams bring a yellow bike? How do “surprise” yellow jersey holders suddenly have a yellow bike to ride?

  • gemo says:

    Mr. Roll, you do a great job on versus. Always look forward to your insights and humorous comments. Can you explain to me why some breakaways are able to get off the front of the peleton and some aren’t? Thanks, Gary Midgette

  • Joan from Peoria, Illinois says:

    At the end of each stage, the winners are given stuffed animals. The winner of the yellow jersey is given a lion. What is the stuffed animal that is given to the winner of the green jersey and the red and white polka dot jersey?

  • Jeff says:

    how does it work when a rider wins 2 jersey at the end of the tour. does he get both

  • Susan Burr says:

    How and when do the riders take a nature break?

  • Katherine says:

    Hi Bobke –
    I know it’s a lot easier for the guys who are drafting on someone who is leading, but does it affect the leader to have a train of riders, or even one, behind? Does it change his aerodynamics at all?

  • Christine from CA says:

    Bobke, why does Bernard Hinault always wear a lavender shirt and tan pants at every stage win. Is this a TDF thing?

  • Lisa D. says:

    I’m curious about detailed information and cyclist’s thoughts & feedback on the Shimano Di2 shifters that many are using this year. I chose to buy those for my new Serotta bike in May and absolutely love it. I know that several teams are using them this year, but have heard nothing about it.

  • Lynn Mueller says:

    Hey dude. Do you want to go for ride? ahhhh. I’m a greenhorn rider and I would LOVE to go on a ride with you to learn a few things. Hopefully enough to blow my husband out of the water. I just started riding to work 3 weeks ago and I want to know if you would like to ride with me. I haven’t missed a day yet. Matter of fact I have NEVER watched a day of the Tour de France in my life until now… (truely a F1 fan) However, I’m lovin’ it… and yes lovin’ it more than Mickey D’s. I hope you are up for the challenge and I think your coverage is awesome. My 23rd wedding anniversary is quickly approaching and all I want is a Bobke T-shirt. I just want you to know that it’s not a date… It’s just a ride… Hopefully you will say maybe. Ahhhh. :-)

  • Tap says:

    I saw a picture of poor Johnny Hoogaland climbing out of the bob wire fence. Among the cuts and scrapes was some bumpy bubbly stuff under the skin of his left butt check. Is that normal for a tour racer to have some kind of cellulite?

    Thanks Bob your the best.

  • mikey says:

    Hey BobKe what do the riders get paid for, such as podiums, sprint wins, times in the breakout etc, etc? Or do they just get paid a salary to ride and the rest is just ‘nice’?

  • Cheryl Hodges-Selden says:

    I love the podium girls’ yellow dresses. Who makes them, and where can I order one?

  • Elizabeth R says:

    There are a couple of riders with NEGATIVE numbers in the points classification. What gives?

  • Sebastian says:

    Has any rider worn the yellow jersey all the way through the race from start to finish? If so who and when was it done?

  • Roger Truitt says:

    How do riders acquire negative points in the competition for the green jersey?

  • Michael Thompson says:

    Hey Bob, When was the last time the Tour de France was won on a conventional steel bicycle? Thanks, mt

  • Mike Stansberry says:

    Hey, Bobke. Come to Colorado Springs, CO. I’ll ride with you!

  • Greg Wind says:

    Have American teams ever won 10 stages in a single tour?

  • Franklin Duddy says:

    Ask Bobke: I have been watching the Tour de France for the last couple of years. I noticed that there are no women participating in the race. With women in every sport from Indy car racing to Thorobred racing, and everything else, why no women?

  • Keith says:

    On the 17th stage with about 82 KM to go I saw the riders pass a sign that said “pizza.” I watch the food network all the time and have never seen a reference to pizza in France. So my question is: Is there pizza in France?

  • Ramin Royai says:

    Can you explain the general difference between category 1,2,3, or 4 climbs on the tour vs USA or elsewhere ? Thanks.

  • dragon says:

    I have a strange question are all the motercycle riders camerapersons or are some of them first responders to crashes or unforseen circunstances during the tour de france?

  • Jeff Thompson says:

    I like seeing a rider’s real-time wattage output and heart rate during a stage. Why can’t we get this information when they are really cookin’ it? Such as when Contador is attacking on a climb or Cavendish is sprinting with 50 meters to go?

  • Tim nixon says:

    Who are the two new knuckle heads you have to work with. They don’t seem to know much about cycling. Also where the heck is Frankie??????

  • Mary Schrock says:

    I do have a very technical question for you today. What “gives” with “the Devil”?

  • Addie Chapman says:

    Why is there not a women’s Tour De France?

  • Jack & Wanda Collins says:

    Bobke we will ride with you. It’s a great commercial.
    Our question is, how many stages did you win, or how close did you get.??

  • Frank Williams says:

    As a long time athlete, I believe in sportsmanship. Two or 3 tours ago when Lance Armstrong had a bike problem, Contador accelerated like a pride of lions was on his tail. The next year when Andy Shlek’s bike broke, Contador did the same. In this year’s tour, Contador threw his $20,000 bike in the gutter with disgust, like it was a piece of trash. You mentioned in another comment of this sort that (in so many words), when your enemy is down, kick him, and kick him good, that’s the way of the tour. I don’t agree with that, and I think the tour judges were wrong to not penalize Contador at least 3 minutes for his obvious lack of sportsmanship in each instance. Incidentally, how can a person who has such a small physique be able to accelerate his bike like Contador does unless he’s loaded with dope or using blood doping? I hope they catch him, and soon.

  • Suzie says:

    Today’s stage up the Col du Galibier was awesome! A few questions come to mind. The Schleck’s will have to attack again if either wants to be in yellow in Paris. How much will today’s tactics affect them tomorrow? How will rest of GC riders be able to respond to another intense day? Does this play in to Contrador for an attack tomorrow? What is the purpose of Frank seemingly marking Contador in every stage? Is it just a mental tactic? Thanks

  • Larry K. Shumway says:

    Why doe’s every tour bike I have seen, have their computer pick up mounted on the right fork leg?

  • Pat Turner says:

    What is up with the ugly outfits they put on the polka dot jersey podium ladies. Do they not like these girls. All the others have nice outfits but the weird pants they had on today were hideous and some of the dresses that look like umbrellas. What is up with that.

  • Ramin Royai says:

    Dear Bobke:
    Can you explain the difference between mountain ratings given to the climbs : 1 through 4? Do they vary by each race or country?

  • Women in the Tour says:

    Hey Bobke,
    Heard your response to tonight’s question about women in the Tour de France. Your
    comment that the ladies are \too smart\ subject themselves to the tour was cute, but not accurate. In the mid 20th century, men and women rode side by side in the tour, and in your heyday of the 1980s, there was a woman’s Tour de France. Why was the women’s tour discontinued?

  • Tobi says:

    When did it become mandatory for riders to wear helmets in the tour? I have looked for a specific date/year but can’t find any information. I did read that riders can remove their helmets, is this true?

  • Doctor Trout says:

    The planned bike exchange by Contador leaves me cold because he used the auto caravan to erase the lost time. I can understand why “Le Tour” allows cyclists to use automotive draft to erase lost time, when lost time is due to an accident, often caused by another cyclist. The contrived change and contrived draft does not pass the smell test. I am angry about this. Contador should be disqualified. What’s your view?

  • Dan Kuehl says:

    Bobke…where is the Red Devil this year? I don’t remember seeing him. In fact, why don’t you guys do a “top ten doofuses”/colorful characters seen alongside the tour? (Such as the two guys in the yellow one-piece “man thongs” from a few years ago…I was scarred for life! LOL!)

  • david a may says:

    i think it hazzardous to have the support vehicles following so closely yo aide the riders. they should all be at the back of the pack. if something like a flat occurs it just becomes the luck of the draw and they can fix it or wait for help. tour directors and tv crews are ok. ( i know this is never going to happen, however).
    i think viewers as a whole would like more technical information and riding tips to help our rides during the challenge. i;e; what gears are they riding in on the flats, small climbs, large climbs etc. perhaps a few lessons on cadence and pacing, braking.
    lastly, i know the riders go down fast and hard during spills, slips, and crashes. at those speeds are they able to quick release from their pedals? does just the force of the fall release them? or is it just reflex? reason i ask is that i rarely if ever hear of them tearing muscles.

  • david a may says:

    what’s it like to get a flat at 40+ mph? what steps can one take to take control and prevent serious injury? someone will probably develop stability control and anti-lock brakes on these machines someday, but until then knowing the skills to remain in one piece will have to do.

  • Mimi says:

    What is the largest gap that was closed with only two days left in the Tour?

  • Leslie from Denver says:

    Bob, Why do you all call Cunego Le petit Prince.
    I’m sure he’s not the little guy St. Exupery meant?

    Thanks for great Tour comments.

  • Tony Hayward says:

    Tour de Liberty,have you heard of this ride? It takes place in June, and from what I understand the motorcycle Gendarmerie who ride in the Tour de France, use this as a training ride each year for the Tour De France. I rode this ride back in 1994, to comemorate the 50th Anniversary of D-Day during WWII.

  • Kevin V says:

    Dear Bobke,
    What defines a climb’s category? Is it the slope, length, height?
    Thanks and viva le tour!!!!

  • Marnie says:

    Bobke, I have a very odd question… What does a rider do during the ride when he has to go to the bathroom???

  • Michael in Alaska says:

    Dear Bobke,
    Your co-announcers seem to have every riders name and team and history for each and every rider at their fingertips, how do they do that and be as smooth in their commentary as they are. Are they just brilliant?

  • Jeff Hutchinson says:

    What is the estimated number of people who watch the Tour de France? All 21 individual races combined- live fans on the road? On TV?

  • GW Shopbell says:

    Hey Bob I see no one want to ride with you. well come on over to Killeen Texas and this old man will ride wiht you. If I can hang wiht a pro that is.

  • Bat Guano says:

    Isn’t it a bit unfair and unethical if not illegal for Sanchez to be helping Contador? Doesn’t that give Contador an unfair advantage, having two teams to help him? It’s a continuation of last year’s unsportsmanlike conduct. Then people like Paul wonder why he’s booed at every introdution.

  • Mark says:

    Bob might want to rethink his answer on triple chain rings. It made no sense at all.

  • beth fite says:

    dear bobke, what a tour!!!! Enjoying it very much as well as the commentating!

    My question? If Andy Schlek was so upset about Contador leaving him with a mechanical problem, better known as chaingate, why did he and all the riders leave Cadel when it happened today? Seems like a double standard to me. What goes for one should go for all….

  • Morris says:


    If a rider is only down five seconds or so from first place or a podium on the last day of the Tour, why wouldn’t he challenge on that day. Not challenging is a waste of a stage. If it’s only going to be a ceremonial ride why bother?

  • Garrett says:

    How is it that teams decide who they are going to try get to the podium. Why is Andy Shleck favored over the other team mates for example

  • dylan cocklereece says:

    who do you think will win

  • Julie Lusk says:

    My question first question is what is the origin/history of the word peloton?
    Second, What is the origin of the Tour de France? Who thought this was a good idea? These guys are crazy.

  • Randy in Lexington KY says:

    Bob, Have tour officials ever discussed the possibly having some of the premier riders being “mic’d up”, so viewers can hear what the riders are discussing throughout the race.

  • Don Lamson says:

    Hey Bob -
    Why don’t they have a criterium in the TDF ? Too dangerous?

    I’ll go for a ride with you!

  • Margaret Bowker says:

    Have the tour planners made the mountain stages too hard? It’s OK for the climbers, but the large pack of sprinters and domestiques who consistently can’t arrive under the elimination time suggests too extreme a stage. Sprinters should have the hope of finishing without the race rules being waived. And the 20 point penalty seems absurd.

  • Buck says:

    it would seem day 21 is always just a formality. has any rider either taken the lead (and the race), or attempted to take the lead/race on day 21? is it possible? if not, why not?

  • Bobke Valsi says:

    Why do riders wear long sleeves during a time trial? If they claim it’s more aero, why don’t they just shave their arms and not put themselves through the extra heat their body takes on. It takes them ice age conditions just to wear arm warmers.
    Thanks and God Bless,

  • Victoria says:

    I am wondering why a tour is won by a time trial? time trials are usually for placement in a race. Take car racing for instance. If we did a drag race at the end of an indy car race and someone could get points that way, what kind of results would that give? Is that really about what the tour is? these guys go through a grueling tour only to have to do a time trial at the end of a mountain race? I do not think that is what a tour is about. The riders have shown their qualities.. to me it takes away from all the riding that just transpired over the last three weeks… if you want to have time trial races, then have that be its own race like at the beginning for placement… I do not see the benefit or the relationship to the race at this point in time. it was very disappointing to me that someone like Andy Schleck who worked his heart out, had to loose in a time trial after giving his all in the mountains… it totally ruined the race for me.

  • Artemis DeMille says:

    Who was “The Lady in Red” this week? I’ve watched Le Tour for 20 years and have seen the Devil and the Bottle – but never a lady wearing a quite sensual red silken gown with small straps. Stage 18 in the mountains.

  • Camille says:

    How are the teams chosen for the Tour de France?

    • Terry says:

      What kind of radios do the riders/teams use, the brand name, etc. It has be difficult if not impossible to find out from anybody in America, not sure why, but that includes Motorola? Let us know.

  • Frances in California says:

    Hi Bobke,
    How is it when a biker wins the yellow, green, white or polke dot jersey their team name and sponsers are already printed on the jersey? I understand jerseys are probably made for the favorites, but sometimes an unexpected biker wins one of these jerseys and it is already personalized when they step on the podium?
    Thank you.

  • Hannah Westbrooke says:

    Great job as always by Team Versus…Have there been many tall lanky men who have been good at the Individual Time Trial? It seems like it is very difficult to get all of those body parts into the best aerodynamic position on the bike.

  • KF from Philly says:

    Bob, did I hear you incorrectly, or were you kidding?
    During the PreRace show the other day I thought you said that you were going to not be around next year. I sware that my heart skipped a few beats before I could regain my concentration.
    I have been listening for you, Phil, or Paul to say something more. Now,I adore Phil and Paul’s work on the Tour, but I NEED my daily Bobke fix! I haven’t heard anything. Please tell me my brain was playing tricks on me!

  • RLong says:

    PLEASE remind the tour MD to put gloves on before helping an injured rider!!!! Recent case in point, that MD just opened a bandage in the car’s back seat for Horner’s knee, and had his fingers all over the part that went on his patient!!! That MD should know better.

  • Mary - St. Louis says:

    Scott (mr. no personality) Moninger at the Tour de France – Really!

  • phillip ray says:


  • Paul says:

    I realize France doesn’t typically get severe weather like we get in the states, but what does the tour do for riders safety if severe thunderstorms, micro bursts or tornados cross the tours path?

  • Ryan S. says:

    Has there ever been a rider that has “worn” all four jerseys at one time (knowing you can only wear one at a time)? If not, who has worn the most at one time?

  • Pete Theriault says:

    Hello Bob, Again we are staying glued to the tour. We appreciate the commentary and the video shots of the stages. My question is,”Can the individual team directors see the overhead shots of the race that your great video photographers produce from the helicopters” I would think that would be a great help to see exact location of a bike rider, or a team.

  • thomas hastings says:

    are there different brake pads on the bikes for mountain stages for the down hill runs so that the pads don’t melt? also, how does the motorcyclists drivers, carring photographers and video, earn a right to ride in the tour? lastly, with all the bike crashes happening, does any of the support cars have any accidents?

  • Robbie Brunner says:

    Question for Bobke?

    Why are there NO women in the Tour de France?

  • Chris from Redlands says:

    Hey Bobke,

    Why do the stages start later in the day instead of in the mornings?

  • Marshall Brown says:

    Bobke — What’s the most common language in the peloton (assuming a rider is not talking to a countryman)? Thanks. — Marshall in Seattle.

  • Mark Schafhauser says:

    Why isn’t Peter Sagan wearing the young rider jersey?

  • Rick from Columbus, Ohio says:

    Hey, Bobke !

    you rock ! thanks for your insight.

    interesting to hear that 3 riders have won every stage……..what is the record for total Stage Wins………..without winning the Tour ? And, they have a Young Rider jersey…….how about an Old Rider Jersey ?? :)

  • Marshall Brown says:

    Bobke — How are mountain ratings — Cat 3 to HC — calculated? By whom? There is a climb in Wa state I’ve done a couple of times, SR20 from Newhalem to Rainy Pass, 47 miles, I think (certainly over 40 with nary a false flat), but only at 4%-6%; how would it rate? — Marshall in Seattle

  • Leslie says:

    Bobke – why do riders gt the same time even though they finish farther behind? At what point do they get a later time?

  • Shari Stone says:

    Hi Bobke, I am sitting here with some non bikers and they have asked me about the natural breaks. They don’t believe me that they take their break from the bike. Can you help me with this question. SS

  • Kathie Pelletier says:


    I am curious about the process by which the time is calculated between the breakout and the peloton. In other words, how do the folks in yellow riding on the motorcycle calculate how many minutes/seconds the breakout is in relation to the peloton?


  • Jerry Philipp says:

    Bobke: on the podium you see the winners do a two or three side kiss. What is the correct protocol, two cheeks or three checks?

  • Dawn M Key says:

    Has a woman ever tried out for the tour de france

  • Mariann Gibson says:

    My sons and I are trying to ID the riders in the Road ID commercials. Will you ever post the names of the riders who are not identified? With the wigs, there are a few I just can’t tell.

  • Mariann Gibson says:

    Please tell me who the riders are in those creative Road ID commercials.

  • tom knost says:

    hey Bob
    i was watching wigggins during the time trial
    his front socket looking non-circular?
    what gives?


  • Skip Schneider says:

    Our local club sponsors a Criterium race, a multi lap race of a 1.5 mile circuit in our downtown area. I watched the spring races on NBC sports and see some are named for host cities or areas, some called criteriums, and then there are the tours. Is there any criteria for how the events are designated? or is it just the sponsors and history?

  • Dave Humphry says:


    Do team members eat dinner together, with special meals, etc., to insure proper dietary intake? Do they eat at restaurants in the area, or do they eat in a “training table” like setting?

  • walt sparks says:

    what are the gears on the front chain rings and rear cassette on mountain stages ,, flat stages and time trials

  • Pam Everhart says:

    When a cyclist wins a jersey, do they get to personally keep it? and if they win 2 jerseys in one stage, do they get to keep both and the jersey that was given to another rider.. do they get one as well?
    Great job hosting TDF 2013!

  • Jon Shilling says:

    please explain why pro team don’t use tire protectors IE MR Tuffy ….
    when i think of the time lost and energy needed to recover time in the GC , the weight
    means little surely .
    please let me know ….
    yours, an ex-puncture victim .

  • Trish Walsh says:

    Do they use different bike for different parts of the race. If so why?

  • Trish Walsh says:

    What if they have a bad lighting storm around the peloton. Do they stop.?…..what about their safety????????

  • Carleen C. says:

    How do riders in the tour communicate with their teammates if their all from different countries?

  • David Barnett says:

    Hi. I am enjoying another Tour thanks to you and the other commentators. Have a great July in France,

  • Tom Peck says:

    What is Sky? Could you give the sponsors more air time in your coverage?

  • Warren Ghens says:

    Just a comment: ‘Peter the Wolf’.

  • Peter Stone says:

    When the fans close the road down aren’t changing the racer’s line through the race course thereby changing the length of the course and the riders’ speed for some of the riders? This would not be tolerated in any other racing sport, so why in cycling? Also, is there any reward for the team members who aid the leaders in winning? The GC winner gets the yellow jersey, why doesn’t the team members get some kind of jersey like a yellow and white striped jersey? Thanks

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