For three weeks every July, I wake up in the morning, walk down the stairs, and sit down to watch the Tour with my Dad. Other than the occasional concert that my Dad has taped to enjoy while he reads the paper on a random weekend morning, we NEVER watch television in the morning, and, in fact, compared to my friends I am quite TV deprived overall, but the Tour is always the exception. I have been watching as long as I can remember and I have to admit that some of my Dad's comments while we watch may have influenced me, but here's what I have to say:
Crashes: Way too many. Way too many people out. Way too many concussions. I guess there are more teams and so more riders, as well as more vehicles, but it is still too many. Which brings me to my next topic.
Vehicles: There are more tv cars and camera motorcycles this year. It is cool to see cameramen standing on the back of motorcycles, especially around corners. Day 5 held a bad crash involving a motorcycle ripping the bike out from under Niki Sorenson; although bad, it was not the worst crash involving a motorized vehicle. (and I don't mean Cancelara's bike). On day 9, a French television car attempting to pass a breakaway swerved into Juan Antonio Flecha, who hit Johnny Hoogerland and sent him flying into a barbed wire fence. Ouch. On a cheerier note, I like team Leopard-Trek's Mercedes R-class team cars with the matte black paint.
Cavendish: I don't like him, but the dude has legs.
Thomas Voeckler: He got the maillot jaune because the peleton slowed down for the crashes and he did not, even when two of his group mates were hit by a car. Flecha said, when asked about the video making it look like Voeckler sped up when he and Hoogerland were taken out by a car, that that is exactly what he would expect from Voeckler and that that is the kind of person he is. I want him to loose yellow soon. Even he says that he can never keep the jersey and win. He should just give it to Brother Franck.
Schlecks: I like them. I want them to win. I don't much care which one, but I don't want them to win this year. I want them to climb well and ride away from Contador over and over, year after year. And I want them to take first and second place, switching off every year, but not this year.
Evans: Cadel Evans. He has a butt chin and a jiminy cricket voice and, this year, good legs. I want him to win. I like Australia and I like BMC and I like him.
Contador: I've never liked him. And now nobody else does. He seems to think everyone loves him, but he was booed at the ceremony before the tour. He was rumored to have a festering saddle sore and seems not to be on good form this year. Maybe he forgot to eat some "contaminated beef" before this year's tour?
Liam McHugh: The best fourth commentator in my memory. Al Troutwig was boring and Craig Hummer was annoying.
Todd Gogulski: Go Go Gogulski. I just wanted to say that.