I think they have saved money by just doing the green jersey with Peter Sagan’s team sponsors on it…
Ah, yes, I usually do that. But the problem is that I have the iMac with really high quality sound through the hifi and I can’t do that. May go back to the Tivo and suck up the lack of quality on the rubbish old telly we have there…
Ah, so already this thread has found the hardcore of the cyclist fans here - the ones who are lost for three weeks (sometimes physically, definitely mentally) from their families.
The one’s whose partners are used to their topics of conversation during this time pretty much only being:
“that amazing break - they were out for hours, so gutted to see the peleton catch them”
“it was crosswinds glaore - those echelons!!”
yet another funny thing Ned Boulting/ David Millar said,
“Oh, that mountain stage! Did you see them on Alpe d’Huez/Ventoux/etc etc it was amazing, the decent/climb/fans” etc etc
It is the one televised sport I am absolutely not allowed to watch in the evening until my wife has gone to bed. She finds footage of Lycra clad men riding up big hills completely bewildering as entertainment.
LOL ! Or thinking that my friends might be interested in seeing Tom Dumoulin taking an emergency toilet break in a field, when leading the Giro in 2017, which necessitated the removal of his bib shorts. Thankfully the camera panned away when the director realised he wasn’t just taking a pee !
He can really grind my gears. The constant use of word association and metaphors drives me nuts at times. As does the criticism of the motorcycle outriders, when he comes on, like some kind of self appointed safety tsar. However that’s nothing compared to his criticism of some of the riders descending techniques. So what, if they lock the brakes, miss an apex, or run it wide, it’s because they’re trying their damnedest not because they’re hopeless.
There was a famous example on Twitter of this guy - who wasn’t at all anything of a cyclist, but who decided to ‘explain’ (or man-splain) about how the ‘ladies’ should corner after Annemiek Van Vleuten went off and was actually thought to have died in the women’s race in the Olympics.
The replies to this from cyclists, both male and female, were often extremely funny and often a little upset. Funnily enough, the chap deleted his account in the end.
Kirby can also be very condescending and negative about individual riders, claiming from the comfort of his armchair that they’re overweight, not bothered to put in an effort, been generally off the mark for the last 6 weeks, etc
If only he could commentate on snooker and tennis, then presumably he wouldn’t be available for any of the cycling
Yes I notice nobody on Eurosport ever says that a biathlete is overweight or not pushing hard enough. But then, they spend their entire lives training to cover inhospitable terrain quickly and then calmly fire a rifle with exceptional accuracy. Probably people worth being nice to.
Did I notice the team car handing piere pallard champagne to the winning riders last year or was I horribly biased, just hope it was purchased from tws.
The first time Sky won, I think it was Ned Boulting from ITV 4 ended up with their black credit card going round off-licenses around where they were staying trying to source champagne - it’s a tradition Sky didn’t know about until they won that the winning team buys champagne for the others.
Talking about commentators who do walk the walk (and who don’t tend to criticise the riders like that), Boulting and Millar take Brompton foldable bikes along with them and try to do a bit of each stage before they have to commentate. There’s a lovely short film of them doing the Roubaix stage and it’s slowed down and you can see their arm muscles flapping as they try to navigate the cobbles at something approaching race speed.
Millar, of course knows what it’s like to be a pro cyclist, and knows what it’s like both to be out on your own on a break, and to be spat out of the peleton if you’re in bad form.
Another guest commentator, Pippa York, was once Robert Millar and one of Scotland’s greatest cyclists at that time, and her really geeky technical insights (e.g. getting out of the saddle on a hill and how much meters you lose getting out of the seat versus staying in the seat) are very illuminating, especially with a Scots wry humour…
You talking of David Millar reminded me of my school friends brother Arthur Metcalfe, they lived a few streets away 2 up 2down, the pavement outside was like bike service centre for all the local bikers,1 bike cought my eye, a curly wurly in green enamel, Don’t know what he would make of the tour now.
Well, that was an eventful first day! Conditions really played a major role and prevented some of the fun and games we maybe hoped to see - but just good to get the race going.
For me, the highlight of the day and best race was the women’s La Course race in the morning. With teams turning up expecting it to be a sprinters race and the world class cyclists just blitzing them on the 30 minute climbs. In the end it was a sprinters race, but you had to stay with the front 6 for the final climb first.
Bring on day 2
Sun is out here, BBQ planned for later and a glass or two to watch the cycling with is surely on the cards.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching La Course too, especially the finish !
As for Stage 1, agreed, conditions really dictated the day. Lopez had a lucky escape when he aquaplaned into a sign at the edge of the road ( still save of the day ! ). It’s a shame there were so many crashes and so many bruised and battered riders as a consequence. Fingers crossed for better weather today on what should be an exciting stage.
Enjoy the BBQ too !
That is pretty much my wife - she loves her Tour on telly.
La course was excellent. I think the route wasn’t hard enough for Van Vleuten. She spent a good while hurting the peleton and the breakaway and still the breakaway hung on to her. She looked like somone who’d run out of options.
Especially with the wily fox Marianne Vos (‘vos’ means ‘fox’ in Dutch) hanging on and biding her time. But Lizzie Deignan played a stormer having that one other teammate. She was truly fantastic, and Chapeu to her. She’s an exceptional rider and played that like the most cool game of chess at the end. Vos I really respect - she’s a phenomenon - and she’s finally back to form. It’s wonderful to see. Some have argued that she is THE greatest rider of all time, and has actually done better than Eddy Merckx.
I really, really don’t know what Van Vleuten was doing working so hard on the front. She’s so powerful but maybe her winning is usually about the power time-trialling (like the finish where she powered up to beat Anna van der Breggen at that famous La Course a few years ago) and just able to absorb the pain. Maybe her main tactic is a bit like Chris Hoy used to do - basically get out in front and keep riding like mad.
I thought Vos had it in the bag but Deignan timed her throw at the line perfectly.
Maybe Van Vleuten thought she could eventually power away from the breakaway and then time trial to the end to win ? If so, it didn’t work and as you said, she eventually ran out of options.
Really enjoyed stage 2 ( no spoilers ). lovely weather, amazing scenery and some great racing towards the end.
Nice is really beautiful!
I spent Christmas there a couple of years ago, which was amazing. Had a really great what I think was a Vermentino/Rolle (they wouldn’t tell us the grape but said it was local and very unfashionable).
I enjoy the travelogue as much as the racing, and I must say, everywhere In France looks beautiful when the sun shines !
I used to have the coverage on without sound on a second (or occasionally third!) screen as pretty colours and movement during my time in academia. It’s what got me into following it more seriously.