Friday, June 28, 2013

Tejay van Garderen in 21

OMG!  O.M.F.G.

I don't usually communicate like a 14 year old girl, but really -- the hundredth running of the Tour de France commences on the morrow.  Lord have mercy.

I'm trying an experiment:  That being, I'm paying the twenty-some bucks to get live feeds on my computer/iPad.  I'm going to be jumping around quite a bit in July, with a lot of time in NYC, and sometimes the Tour is harder to access than a rational person might suppose.

We'll see how it works.

The title of the post, by the way, is both a nod to my recent spate of NBA predictions and a reference to the number of cycling days it takes to make your way around France at the leisurely average pace of about 25 mph.  Have you ever tried to sustain 25 mph on a bike on a flat road for, let's say, an hour?  Very few people can.  Now try doing it for five or six hours a day for three weeks, including two trips up l'Alpe d'Huez.

[Disclaimer:  I know you people count on me for a certain level of steely accuracy, so let me just say in advance that 21 days is accurate to within one day.  I'm not sure exactly how many days in this year's tour, but it's always about three weeks.]

Tejay van Garderen, by the way, is the American rider with the Dutch-sounding name.  He's a state-of-the-art rider, but he probably won't win.  Chris Froome will probably win.  Best team, plus the departure of the sprinter Cavandish leaves them with a sole focus:  the General Classification win.  If not Froome, then perhaps that knucklehead Contador, fresh off his two year drug suspension.

It will be interesting to see how the peleton responds to Contador.  Doping is by no means dead in cycling.  But it is less prevalent than it used to be.  And I say this not because I'm stupid enough to believe what the cyclists themselves are saying but because the climbing times for the major Tour summits (which they recycle every couple of tours, so there's a wealth of data) have been dropping slowly in the past several years.

Same reason why hitting 50 home runs in a season is a big deal again.

There is also a more vocal antidoping subset of riders than ever existed before, and the possibility of some ostracizing of Contador is tantalizing.

Tour de France!  100 Years!  OMFG!

I leave you with a photo of Fausto Coppi ...

If the photo was in color, you'd see he's riding a beautiful Celeste green Bianchi.  And that thing wrapped around his shoulders is a tire tube.  The car following him should give you a hint as to the rough date.  If you're bad with cars, think late 40s/early 50s.

Fausto, รจ magnifico pezzo di un uomo.

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