Thursday, July 02, 2009

Your Tour de France Preview, Part Quatre; and, Boonen's In!

All right folks, we're in the final run to the start line at the venerable Grand Boucle, so let's wrap up our preview so's you can hit the ground screaming your head off for your faves!

1. The Jerseys: When you see someone not wearing their team
kit, they're either wearing their national championship jersey, or one
of these: Green is for Points/Sprint. White is for Best Young Rider.
Polka-dot is King of the Mountains. And Yellow, of course, is the only
one that matters in the end.

2. The Time Trials: there are both individual and team time trials
in this year's Tour. Team time trial: Garmin (blue-and-orange argyle
uniforms); Astana (baby blue-and-yellow); Columbia (yellow black and
white). Individual time trial: normally, it'd be Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), by far the best in the world; American Levi Leipheimer (Astana), has won this
multiple times at the Tour de France before; Dave Zabriskie (Garmin),
crazy American hippie; but the opener's hilly so a GC guy might be better suited. Used to be Brit David Millar (Garmin), but since he stopped doping--which of course is a good thing--he sort of, well, not *bites* exactly, but certainly at least, um, nibbles. Lance was a great time trialist as well--will probably place highly at least.

3. The Breakaways: the French haven't had a GC contender for their
own Grand Tour in over a decade, which is pathetic, so stage wins in breakaways are basically their only hope. Did I mention it's pathetic? Anyway, riders to watch are Sylvain Chavanel, Christophe Moreau, David Moncoutie, Thomas Voeckler, and Sandy Casar, who crashed in the Tour quite badly a few years back when some idiot let their dimwit Golden Retriever wander right into the course when the guys were going like 45 mph so of course I'm always rooting for him. Another rider I love to watch in the breakaways: Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank), a great old warhorse who speaking of dogs is like a big happy slobbering Labrador retriever going after a tennis ball-he basically just mopes around (but is working hard) the whole race itching for his team director to let him off the leash in a breakaway.

4. A Link to a Basic Cycling Dictionary, and a Coupla French Cycling Terms You Need to Know: When you're watching the race on Vs., the screen says what's going on in French, and here's what it means. "Tete de la course" is who is at the lead in the stage so that's what you want to look for; "Poursuivant" is the chasing group; "Peloton" is the main group behind them; and "Totally !@#$%&!" (technically, "autobus") is the guys who are dead last. Note: You will hear the spectators yell "Allez, allez!" (go, go) as the riders pass. The Americans, of course, paint the US flag on their hairy beer guts and run alongside Lance as he goes by--it's embarrassing.

Free Tom Boonen!: as the narcs announce that another 4 or 5 riders may still yet be nailed for doping before the Tour even hits the start line--and not to argue with UCI's timing on this, but if you want to convince everybody that the sport's cleaning up, mightn't you try announcing this stuff in, oh, February when no one gives a rat's !@#, instead of when even the freakin' no-neck American football fans are watching?--I'll say it again, and I'm not even Tom's dealer so it's not like I have a pony in this race: would you clowns let this boy race? He is the *least* of the peloton's problems, and doesn't anyone want anyone besides Cav to take a sprint so we limit how much we have to hear Cavendish wank to the press? Worse, you just made Quick Step drop this overgrown club kid into Monaco, home of some of the world's most decadent nightlife, while he waits to hear his fate--if you want him to stop with the coke, that's maybe *not* the optimal plan. Not to suggest he'll ever do anything wrong again--I'm just sayin'!

Update: And, he's in--now we're gonna have some sprints worth watching, baby!


randie said...

ONLY ONE DAY LEFT! HURRAH! The excitement is overflowing.

Anonymous said...

Cocaine, although illegal, is not considered a performance-enhancing drug unless consumed within two days of a sporting event. Boonen's tests were not carried out in connection with a race.
I'm sorry but isn't that one of the dumbest, funniest things you've ever heard? Cocaine is okay to take as long as it's out of the 2 day window? Seriously.

And of course: W00t!

And Cavendish looked dreamy in his Tour presentation pics.

kalavo boy said...

As your third and newest reader (well not newest as I've been reading your column for about 6 months now) I have to say that I'm looking forward to your earnest and straight forward commentary. I, for one, am a Sylvain Chavanel fan and hope to see him, maybe, wear yellow for a couple of days! Let the race begin!!!