Monday, July 7, 2008

TdF - 3 Up, 3 Down

Well, we're three days into the TdF and I am already beginning to lose my resistance to the impending dementia caused by that infuriating "Take Back the Tour" commercial on Versus. I can only hope (with every fiber of my being) that the VS producers get as sick of it as I have and end the madness before someone (like me) gets committed to a mental institution. I'll be on the stretcher mumbling "I'm gonna get myself straight" right before they put me into the straightjacket.

Specifically, the reverse-footage is exceedingly depressing, a little offensive and the song kind of makes me want to kill myself. Or start doing drugs to numb my ears and the resulting suicidal tendencies. Good job VS!! Only two and a half more weeks to go!! I hope we all make it. The riders might be clean but now the entire viewing public will be pill-popping alcoholics by the end of the month.

Okay, back to the race. Well, sort of…

Alejandro Valverde is obviously a great cyclist. After all, he's been winning races since he was a kid and has continued a fairly steady rise to now challenge for the Tour de France. However, among a few other concerns, there is just something inherently cheesy about Valvoodoo which prevents me from enjoying many of his victories. I feel kind of bad saying it, but I call 'em like I see 'em and something about the Spaniard's style bugs me. Okay, I actually don't feel that bad.

From the historically low-cut socks (a little triathlon-weird looking but still better than Moreau's white tube socks), to the prematurely balding, yet oddly Jheri-curlish hair (just shave it off dude, trust me), to the overly-coordinated yellow, black and red of his new Spanish National Champion's kit (the yellow on the bike and helmet make it seem like he's trying too hard), the man who may or may not be DIRECTLY linked to Operacion Puerto has track record of questionable style (and nickname) choices.

But considering he got his big break in those horrendous old green Kelme kits – maybe he was doomed from the start. Or maybe Fuentes should have been a fashion advisor too. He seemed pretty slick in all those Mafioso-style photographs.

Anyway, despite the relative ease with which he won Stage 1 and coasted to the finish of Stage 2, I am sticking to my prediction that bad things will surface for Valv.Piti and he will not be sporting those garish yellow-gold Oakleys in Paris. ASO cannot be happy that he is prowling the top of the GC right now. "Umm…can someone get that Spanish judge on the line? Patrice Clerc would like to speak with him."

Scandinavian By Design…

I have said it for quite some time now and I'll say it again – I like me some Scandinavians. Especially Norwegians. Or should I say "Noorveejins?"

This goes for just about everyone I've ever met but Thor Hushovd seems to reinforce this opinion. My guess is that the French like Thor quite a bit as well. Considering the publicity he has been able to generate for Credit Agricole over the last 5-6 years, he should be an honorary Frog at this point. I bet he's more popular than Moreau.

These things I know: The sun will rise again and Thor Hushovd will win a stage of the Tour de France.

So Frisch and So Clean, Clean…

The Outkast song may not have been playing on the race radio but the title seemed apt after what our local Boulder representative Will Frischkorn did in Stage 3. After over 200k's off the front, the Colorado Buffalo alum just missed grabbing what may have been the most surprising stage win for an American since Greg LeMond's TT in 1989 and cemented the fact that Slipstream/Garmin/Chipotle are going to be able to do some good things over the next few weeks.

I hope to have more details about Stage 3 from the source in the near future. But in the meantime…Way to go Man!

Between Missouri, Milan-Sanremo and now the Tour, Willdren of the Frischkorn is making getting into day-long, race-making breakaways look remarkably easy. Come on…it's only 200k's off the front. Let's go.

It's probably nothing compared to the Bus Stop Ride though and I think the start in St. Malo must have reminded him of the chapel with the same name on Peak to Peak Highway.

Next Stop for Garmin-Chipotle: A Yellow Jersey for David Millar after the TT tomorrow. Cancellara can't possibly win again, can he? We'll see.


Tourette said...

Totally agree about the Versus ad.....was thinking the same thing...this is going to make me nuts before it's all over! Frankly - it's really sad to watch it.
I can see why "they" are doing it though from the "business" perspective - trying to prove a point - but it's all been so shaky and my heart breaks for those pictured - regardless of guilt or innocence. It's reminiscent of the them being put in stocks in the town square.
I can't help but wonder how those who have "abused" and just didn't get caught feel when they see this over and over....
The ad will stop when the first "infraction" for this tour comes up...maybe. We'll see. Do you think they would hush it up if it does come up this year?

Kk said...

It seems the strategy for Vs. promos and ads year after year is 'overkill'. I don't know if it's low budget in the art department or low opinion of viewership intelligence (they do spend most of their airtime on cage fighting and bull riding the rest of the year).If they spent the time and $$ to shoot it, guaranteed they'll wear it out - and wear us out with it!

Jesse said...

Totally agree w/ your instincts on Valverde. I have similar questions about him...

And then of course, I can't help but return to the TdF's judgment...not allowing Astana, but overlooking shady, undetermined cxns to Puerto? Hmm.

sebastian said...

what's this "take back the tour" ad? i'm away from cable television this summer . . .

fun tour so far. i hope your understandable aversion to all things badger didn't prevent you from enjoying yesterday's cameo . . . (if only there were footage of him punching out that protester in '78. apparently it really happened.)

CaliRado Cyclist said...

Yeah - the ad is killing me.

Sebastian - trust me you're better off not having seen it.

What was interesting was that they replaced a shot of Millar with Vino about a week ago. It's like someone said "Wait...he's a good guy now and we have lots of interviews with him and his team" so the editors used some Vino footage instead. Nice catch there VS. Glad to see someone is paying attention.

As for Hinault - I actually like him a lot now that he's retired. Kinda like McEnroe. The podium push was classic though. Then it was all smiles and handshakes immediately after.

I talked with Frischkorn about it on the podcast interview. Check it out on and get the response to the kit question as well. Pretty funny.