Friday, July 1, 2011

Things I'm hoping for in the 2011 Tour

The Tour is starting tomorrow and I am EXCITED! I love this time of year, even if it means I spend inordinate amounts of time watching Versus every day for 3 weeks. A lot of my friends don't really understand how I can watch cycling... like watching golf, they'd rather

But I love this time of the year. I love the drama and the spectacle that the Tour brings every July. Sure, the Spring Classics have a lot of drama packed into a single day. Yes, the Giro has some of the most stupendous climbs and that luscious link to Italian cycling culture. But no race has the grandeur of the Tour. You can say that it's too commercialized and too slick... but there is still no other cycling event that is exactly that... an event.

Here are a few hopes, predictions, and thoughts about this year's Tour:
  • Garmin Cervelo's new kit for the Tour looks awesome. This is the way the kit should've looked from the very beginning. They should keep it for the rest of the year... instead of looking like the fraternal twin of Team Sky and Team Leopard Trek.
  • The team presentation ceremony was incredibly tacky. Thor in a long-haired wig just looked strange!
  • Cervelo's new S5 may be the fastest aero frame on the market now... but it also looks like someone took the back of an S3 and beat it with the ugly stick. There are some things that don't really go together. P4 + S5 is one of them. (Think Billy Joel + Christie Brinkley.)
  • I think Philippe Gilbert will win stage 1. That's all I'm willing to predict in terms of stage winners for today.
  • I'd love to see Jens Voigt and George Hincapie win a stage each. In the waning years of their careers, it would be really kind of awesome. Especially a crazy Jens attack from 10km out to take the stage....
  • It would be more interesting if the Tour became more than just a rivalry between Contador and Schleck. If just one more GC contender could make it a race, there would be so much more drama. I'm thinking maybe Ryder Hesjedal.
  • I am playing fantasy Tour de France this year.... which is dangerous. It means that for the next 3 weeks, I'll be spending way too much time thinking about this damned race. Say goodbye to productivity.
  • And of course, the podium girls....

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