the tour

I'll be on vacation from July 4-July 26.

Ok, that's not true. But I wish I was. I actually wish I was on vacation in France.....watching le tour. But instead I'll be here in Shelby (which is almost as good, right?) where I've turned our bonus room into Tour de France central; complete with cowbells to cheer on our favorites and nutrients to make it through the 3-4 hours a day of live coverage.

Some of you out there might be asking "Why the heck is this whole 'Tour de France' thing so big?" That's exactly where I was, seven years ago, before Josh introduced me to the cycling world---bless his little heart. And while I can't answer for everyone, I can say that for me the Tour this year is a combination of things: world-class athletes pushing their bodies to the limit, unbelievably beautiful terrain, watching adults work as a team, hoping for a victory for 'the good guys' of cycling (the openly anti-doping teams), taking a break from the chaos of what's happening around the world and of course the unbeatable combination of Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwin and Bob Roll (pictured right).

So who am I cheering for this Tour? I thought you'd never ask:
I'm only rooting for one team this year: Garmin-Slipstream
Why only one team? Because I can't have my alliances spread all over the place, geez.
Why this team? For so many reasons! (A) they are dedicated to riding clean and are leading the way in the most progressive anti-doping system in professional sports (B) they have snazzy outfits, check out that argyle! (C) they used to be sponsored by Chipotle, yummmmm (D) we've been following them for several years at the USA pro tour in Greenville, SC (see the picture on the right)

This year's Tour roster stars: Julian Dean, Tyler Farrar, Ryder Hesjedal, Martijn Maaskant, David Millar, Danny Pate, Christian Vande Velde, Bradley Wiggins and David Zabriskie

Look how much better Christian is doing since his crash!!

Cadel Evans (from Australia, on team Silence-Lotto)
He's won second place twice, both times by less than one minute.
I think this could be his year, as long as he can handle the pressure of leading his team.

Andy Schleck (from Luxembourg, on team Saxo Bank)
He's great at time-trials and he can climb like a maniac....and he's so darn cute!

Denis Menchov (from Russia, on team Rabobank)
This guy is a quiet, underrated rider that just might surprise us all this year...he's a really steady rider, not all that spectacular at time-trials or climbs, who has a lot of fight in him--which is really what you need to finish this thing!

Possible drama aka "word from the gossip mill":
Team Astana: There's three top riders on the same team: Alberto Contador , Levi Leipheimer and Lance Armstrong. While Astana is one of the strongest over-all teams on the Tour, there's no clear leader for this team...and historically, the Tour is always won by a team that can throw 100% of its energy into one single rider. So stock-piling such great talent on one team might actually hurt Astana this year---who knew?

It looks all friendly, but I think there's a lot of tension on the team.


chelsea said...

look at you with all the info. let's go to france and stalk team garmin-slipstream. i was just going on and on at lunch today with an associate about how they're the best team in the race. also, i too was defending the sport and why it was so great. people just don't get it! i'm so excited. we need to have a tour party.

also, can i be andy schleck's groupie?

Anonymous said...

A true aficionado would watch like this:

Images by Freepik