Ah, La Grande Boucle seems to be going ahead, to the delight (and frankly relief!) of all cycling fans amongst this community no doubt.
I recommend Ned Boulting and David Millar’s commentary on ITV four with often fantastic technical insight from people like Pippa York (once Robert Millar) and others during the day coverage. I have tried Eurosport but it’s often hackneyed (Drinking game - how many times the Eurosport commentator when talking about Vincenzo Nibali gets a twisted metaphoric reference to his nickname of ‘the Shark’ - take a sip. You’ll be drunk in no time).
It’s promising to be a potentially great year. Ineos are there but not quite as dominant as they might be. They’ve got some stars, but Froome and G are not going to be there. Bernal was not looking so good at the Dauphine, but he’s only just out of nappies so really, he’s an amazing talent. In fact, this year could be amazing just taking the Colombian talent around…
Jumbo Visma look really interesting. Primož Roglič is a hugely talented rider, at home in the mountains, and doing for Slovenian love of cycling what Sagan did for Slovakia. (Expect to have to look hard to see which flags are which). He crashed out in the Dauphine but hopefully he’ll be on the mend. As the first few stages of the Tour are notoriously crash-prone with the peleton being very twitchy, maybe it’s good to get an injury in early.
There’s also Domoulin and Kruijswijk, so good value.
EF Pro Cycling won the Dauphine (talking about Colombian talent) - there’s some good talented people in that team, and they’ve an excellent attitude - I like them and hope they do well. They were based on the old Garmin team and are very strictly clean. They do a lot of terrific youtube videos which are worth catching.
I’ve great respect for the very thoughtful and decent Roman Bardet of AG2R - really hope it might be his year in the podium. He’s a good sport and really goes for it. I remember watching the sufferfest that was the 2018 Tour Roubaix stage, where he got a puncture, made up time, then… got another. Again and again. Like Groundhog Day with cobbles. And bleeding elbows and knees.
There are greats like Julian Alaphillippe who always make things interesting. I remember watching him slow down and actually wait when Adam Yates crashed when they were both out ahead, decending on the 16th stage of the Tour de France from Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon in 2018. I enjoy when you have such talent but mixed with such sportsmanship. And another time he nicked the trident from the guy who dresses up as the Devil and took it up the hill. A very individual and brilliant rider who wears his heart on his sleeve.
So - who do you like? Who do you like watching? Who will you be cheering along? Who for you is interesting?
And what wine will you be drinking in the evening to calm down?