Photo: Laird Rickard.
I am in the upstairs appartment at service course. As a native Iowan, I am rather stunned at how much Belgium reminds me of my home state. I kid you not… The view out the front window is of a cornfield directly across the street. Yesterday we got in a short ride - I am borrowing Pinotti’s road bike from last season. Fastest and lightest bike I have ever been on - an I don’t even have aero wheels, just plain Ardennes. We rode out and within 5 minutes were on a country road, only about 1 1/2 bike lanes wide. Potato field on one side and corn on the other. I was following the ‘72 olympic tandem gold medalist (in the scratch race I think) - a Polish guy named Andje. The road was already small , and then he turned off onto a gravel path about 2 feet wide, and we cut over to to the canal for a flat and windy hour. Got back just in time to see the sprint for Stage 1. Service course is a racing nerd’s nirvana.
I’ve ridden one of Columbia’s ProTour bike and it was right at 14 pounds. If Andy has time, he’ll check in with us again. He’s expecting a busy day tomorrow.
While Andy’s at the Tour, we’ve got a new set of Stinger 4s he sent us on test; raced them yesterday, after Mark V glued ‘em up.
I’ve been trying to bring myself to write a post about the upcoming glory and spectacle of the Tour de France, but so far I’ve got bubkis. Nothing. Zero. Why? Well because this year I just don’t give a shit.
It all started last year when Versus went back to saying the name Lance every third word. It’s not that I don’t like Lance, I thought he was dandy back when it was his Tour de france and it wasn’t a big comeback story. Actually maybe that’s part of the problem. It’s not really a comeback story in the sense that a comeback story usually has the returning champion return to glory. Each stage of last year’s Tour Phil and Paul would comment about how it looked like Lance was just about to strike. Only he never did.
Then it was doping. And more doping. And so much more doping that now even bicycles are doing it. Floyd pulled a Greg and now we’re waiting to see if the FBI arrests everyone ever involved in US Cycling for fraud. Ugh.
Then Bicycling magazine came yesterday with a photo of Lance and Alberto on the cover. And a photo of Lance on page 3. And page 5. And in some ads between pages. And in the Tour highlight coverage. And in the bound-in booklet for the Nissan. And in the classified. And in the product reviews. I’m surprised he wasn’t listed on the masthead.
Hey, how about a photo of Alberto in there somewhere guys? You know Alberto, the guy who won the tour recently? The guy who will probably win it again? Should win it again?
I’m so media weary already that I can’t stand to watch the Tour this year. Really, I can’t stand the thought of the Versus intros and outros doing profiles on Radio Shack. I can’t stand the thought of every climb being compared to the one with The Look. I can’t stand the thought of seeing a ton of Radio Shack and Nissan ads.
Really it’s not about Lance for me. It’s about battle fatigue. My sport has been besieged by more marketing campaigns than I can stand. More doping than I can stomach and more potential for the possibility of future cataclysmic fallout from alleged doping I care to think about it.
Hey we love you readers and want to bring you our flava of Tour coverage this year, but last year it overran the site too much and we’re working on writing projects into the Fall. So expect less Tour this year, but Cap’n the Pug is still interested. She can’t read so doesn’t know about Floyd, the Federal investigation, and Jim Ochowicz telling the NY Times
“But I have no clue what went on. I wasn’t a part of it.”