On July 10, 2003, saxophonist and bicycle racer Marion Meadows will witness history in the making when he travels to Europe to watch American cycling champion Lance Armstrong pursue an astonishing fifth consecutive victory at the 100th Anniversary of the Tour de France.
Like other people around the world, Meadows found inspiration in the story of Lance Armstrong a world-class athlete nearly struck down by cancer, only to recover and win the Tour de France in 1999. For a record tying fifth year in a row, the US Postal Service rider will attempt to win this legendary test. The three-week bicycle race, famous for its grueling intensity, is scheduled for July 5 27.
"This is a dream come true," says Meadows. "I have always wanted to go to the Tour de France, and now I will get to actually ride in the Alps on the same course as Lance and the US Postal team."
Meadows and his Bicycle Ranch/Dial teammates are riding at the invitation of Trek Bicycles. Trek will provide Meadows’ team with a full riding and tour schedule for ten days and will have bikes waiting for them when they arrive in Annecy, France.
According to Meadows, "Every January, Trek holds its annual winter training camp in Phoenix, when Lance and the boys come out to ride and prepare for the upcoming racing season in Europe. My team sets up the training rides for the US Postal Service guys, and we have a great time riding together and talking shop. It’ll be great to see them again and to be in the thick of things as Lance tries to capture his fifth Tour victory!"
Meadows and Armstrong not only share a love for competitive cycling, but also a commitment to practice and hard work, and a loyalty to the people that never gave up on them or their careers.
"Over the years, my fans have come to expect a certain type of sound from me, and I’m always happy to keep the music centered on that spiritual center, the emotion and energy of my playing," Meadows says. "But it’s also a lot of fun to broaden our horizons because in essence I’m taking them on a journey, and you can’t stay in the same place all the time."
When he’s not on the road, Meadows enjoys a more relaxed lifestyle now that he lives in Phoenix, Arizona. His first two Heads Up recordings, Another Side of Midnight (1999) and Next To You (2000), reflected different aspects of his experiences in New York City, from the uptown R&B to the Latin rhythms. His latest release, In Deep (enhanced CD HUCD 3070), blends elements of those vibes with a seductive mix of retro-soul and modern hip-hop influences.