Here’s the deal – I’ve got nothing concrete to say about this year’s Tour de France. In a way, it’s a phenomenal race – after two and a half weeks, there’s seconds separating the top riders, and a couple of time trialists within minutes before a 50km trial on Saturday.
But I’m still kind of cold on the whole thing. All of the leaders have been riding the careful, calculating, race that’s all about waiting for other riders to make a mistake instead of riding away with the race.
But if that’s what a clean Tour looks like, I’ll take it.
Podcasts – The best, by far, is the ITV podcast (search for “ITV Cycling” on iTunes). Great British regulars, and a regular dose of Bob Roll. Today’s stage, stage 18 (day late), started with Phil Sherwin and Johann Bruyneel, and the rest of the commentary is the greatest.
My second favorite is the Bicycling.com podcast with James Start. It’s short, and the production value is terrible, but Start’s got a great combination of wide-eyed wonder and akwardness, highlighted by his handling of the sponsor – the Saab 9-3 Turbo, Born. From. Jets.
The last one I’ve found worth listening is the bikeradar.com podcast. The biggest drawback is the intro and outro by Brad Gibson. He just sounds artificial in a way that isn’t amenable like Start’s. But aside from that, it’s usually pretty good.
Astana, Johann Bruyneel’s team, and somewhat a continuation of USPS and Discovery Channel, canned Vladimir Gusev today for abnormal blood chemistry in the team’s internal testing program. Sucks for the Goose, and a bold, bold move by Bruyneel, who wasn’t invited to the Tour despite having last year’s winner.