Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Why I Love The Tour

I know I said I'd bury the cycling commentary, but thought I'd offer a (brief) explanation for you non-cycling fans as to why I am so consumed with this sport.

In a nutshell, pro cycling, believe it or not, is a thinking man's sport. Sure, fitness counts for a lot -- the strongest rider generally wins -- but at the same time it's very much a team sport and a keen understanding of strategy and tactics are essential. It's the closest thing you'll ever see to a "live" chess match. Riders need to know when to ride on the defensive and when to go on the attack. Sometimes offensive riding/attacks -- are planned, and other times they are based on split second decision making. Rider needs to be smart. At the same time, it's a merciless sport -- the timing of attacks is often absolutely brutal, but at the same time they play by gentleman's rules (as an example: if a lead rider gets a mechanical, i.e. a flat the peleton needs to slow down until the rider is able to regroup). Often times teams that are mortal enemies -- I think of Postal and T-Mobile back in the Lance days -- need to strike unlikely alliances in response to attacks and breakaways.

It's a brilliant sport and the truth of the matter is when you understand the basic fundamentals, which I could probably explain in about 15 minutes, it becomes utterly fascinating. It doesn't hurt, either, that many of the riders are total characters. And that about explains it and also explains why I don't care so much about the doping issue. I mean I certainly don't condone it (Jeff!) and wish it were clean. But my love of the game, so to speak, trumps that issue.

So, if you get the Versus channel (formerly known as OLN), give it a go. I think you'll find it entertaining.

Just got back from LA. What a crazy but fun CIty (though it isn't really a City, obviously. Not sure what it is really). Last night while watching TV in my hotel room, I officially gave up on John From Cinci. I am sure now that I've gone on record with this all the critics will start coming out of the woodwork calling it the greatest show on TV, but I don't care. Too meta-something or other for me and I simply dont have the patience.

The Wife won't stop talking about the Victoria Posh show. Her first words, when I got home toniight were, "Can you go find out where she lives? I want to be friends with her."

Can you imagine?

Anyway, she's go it on the TIVO, so since I have no shame, I'll give it a viewing. Stand by for a review tomorrow.

Back to the Tour (on the bottom of this post, mind you): Team Discovery Rocks. Popo and Contador have just been freaking awesome and Contador is quickly becoming my favorite rider. Levi remains in the hunt but is as enigmatic as ever. I don't think he's shown great form in the Alps, but he is stil within striking distance of a podium spot. Right now I'd say the prohibitive favorites are Kloden. Valverde, Levi, Cadel Evans and maybe Mayo. People are talking about the importance of the Pyrenees next week -- and they will be critical -- but I am starting to think that the time trials will be decisive.

Stay tuned for more, as this is shaping up to the best tour I have seen in many, many years.


Crazymamaof6 said...

well know you explain the strategy I am sold! Just kidding! but glad YOU love it! and i had to google posh, just so i knew what was up with that part. interesting, very interesting!

michael said...

john from cinci is, hands down, the best show on tv right now, save maybe flight of the conchords.

as much as i love biking (i refuse to use the word cycling, mainly because of all the pretentious cycler douchebags in chicago), i can't get into the tour. just tell me who the winner is when it's over...

neil s said...

Julie and I watched some of the Beckham show. It was pretty great. Wait 'til you see the woman who did the dolphin imitation. Trust me, that cackle will stay with you for years to come. Dude, you should really be putting your efforts into catching up oin the Wire. Right now, I'd say it rivals The Sopranos as best HBO show ever made. Season 5 is fast approaching.

foodmomiac said...

Haven't tried John from Cincy, yet. I'll need to check it out On Demand and see if I agree. I'm all about Big Love lately, though. And the Style channel. I've been forcing Michael to watch Split Ends - it's like Wife Swap, but with hairdressers. (He was totally into it.)

HowardSol said...

WIley watching the Style Channel -- now THAT is good stuff!