By Anthony Tan in Paris
For Discovery Channel directeur-sportif Sean Yates, his feelings at the start of the final stage of the 2005 Tour de France were not that dissimilar to how he felt at the Giro d'Italia two months ago. In Italy, Yates directed the Discovery Channel team to its first overall victory with Paolo Savoldelli, and like the peloton's final procession to Milano, last Sunday's ride to Paris had a similar affect on him.
"Obviously, when you have such a big goal in front of you and it looks so daunting and it looks so far away, what lies between yourself and the end is so huge, it feels like it's going to take forever... are you going to make it, you know?" said Yates to Cyclingnews.
"And when you get there, like I said before when I used to ride [the Tour] and get to the Champs Elysées, after three weeks of suffering, getting over all these mountains, when you get there, it's like, 'Is that it?'"
In his 15 seasons as a professional, Yates rode 17 Grand Tours including 12 Tours de France, so the now 45 year-old from Surrey, England knows what he's on about. "You'd lose your right arm to get to the Champs Elysées," he adds. "But here, it's a special occasion. We've won the Tour for a seventh consecutive time - I've only been a part of this last one - but that's it for Lance, you know, no more bike racing.
Click here to read the rest of the story.