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Drummer Boy

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TdF 2019 General Discussion
« on: June 21, 2019, 18:21 »
 :D :win

https://twitter.com/hornerakg/status/1142099531460296705

Quote
Chris Horner is the oldest man to win a Grand Tour.
Subtle.  :lol

Quote
Chris Horner, the only American Grand Tour champion of the last 29 years, will make his Tour de France commentary debut with NBC Sports next month.

Horner, who became the oldest Grand Tour winner at the 2013 Vuelta a España at age 41, will be part of NBC Sports’ traveling studio coverage of the Tour de France, hosted by Paul Burmeister, with retired American cyclist Christian Vande Velde reprising his role.

Bob Roll will move from the studio to call the action with Phil Liggett for the Tour that starts July 6. Liggett’s longtime partner, Paul Sherwen, died Dec. 2 at age 62 after being involved in 40 Tours de France.

Horner made his NBC Sports commentary debut for Liège-Bastogne-Liège on April 28.

“Completely different than anything I’m used to,” he said. “I really just learned that it’s harder than it looks on TV. On TV, [viewers] just can’t understand how you miss that call or that play, but when you’re [a commentator] watching it on the screen and picking up some facts on the computer, looking down, looking up, it makes it kind of difficult to catch all of the action.”

By that description, it sounds if he'll be part of the evening, post-race coverage. Honestly, I think he will really shine in that role. If there's good chemistry between him and Vande Velde, they could offer some really astute race analysis along with a healthy dose of child-like enthusiasm. This could be really good.
 :cool
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  • « Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 05:06 by Drummer Boy »

    Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General discussion
    « Reply #1 on: June 22, 2019, 04:41 »
    Oh boy, this is getting a lot of heat online. To be expected, I suppose.

    But I must admit that in my haste, I thought it read "the oldest Grand Tour winner in the past 29 years." Without even noticing how nonsensical even that would be, I hadn't realized that what it really said was, the ONLY GT winner in the past 29 years."

    What a deliberately asinine press release.  :angry

    Why the distinctive cut-off date?



    I have endlessly mocked NBC on here for their pathetic handling of cycling over the years, and will freely continue to do so. But I still look forward to Horner's commentating. He'll entertain me, and I'll be more informed along the way. And that's more than Liggett could ever do.

    Do I care about the "other" stuff? Obviously, because I just posted a entire novel about it in the Dark Side. But it does it pertain to any of this? Nope.
     :-x

    I have absolutely no problem holding two seemingly-opposing views at once.

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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: TdF 2019 General discussion
    « Reply #2 on: June 22, 2019, 08:53 »
    But I must admit that in my haste, I thought it read "the oldest Grand Tour winner in the past 29 years." Without even noticing how nonsensical even that would be, I hadn't realized that what it really said was, the ONLY GT winner in the past 29 years."
    Nevermind Armstrong, Landis, or LeMond.

    "Only American Grand Tour champion" - Hesjedal, Quintana, and Carapaz want to have a word with the country that has adopted the label for a whole continent and applies it to its own citizens only, pretending that Canada and Latin America are ... what exactly?
    The bloody arrogance. :angry
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    Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #3 on: June 27, 2019, 12:22 »
    I haven't seen people talking about...


    The heat wave!  :o



    Isn't this likely to have as much effect on the race as failed electronic shifting and Instagram-worthy disc-brake injuries?

    A 'screaming' weather map basically captures France's extreme heat

    Quote
    (CNN)France is in the sweaty grasp of a hot weather phenomenon known as la canicule -- and forecasters are running out of ways to describe both its immediate danger and ominous long-term significance.

    Last week, meteorologist Ruben Hallali found an apt metaphor in this image: a weather forecast model for Thursday, June 27, whose patterns of temperatures across France just happened to create the image of a screaming skull.

    Global warming is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of dangerous canicules in the future, warns Météo-France. Extreme heat has killed before in Europe, and in 2003 scarred the whole of France with the deaths of more than 14,000 mostly elderly people.

    "Canicule" itself, derived from the Latin word for dog, is a term loaded with foreboding. Just like Italy's canicola and the US and UK's "dog days of summer," the term refers to the time of year when the star Sirius, also known as the "dog star" or Orion's Hound, rises with the sun -- a period that the ancients associated with both heat and chaos on Earth.

    In the Iliad, Homer describes "the star which men call Orion's Hound" as the brightest of all -- and yet one which "bodes ill for mortals, for he brings fire and fever in his train."

    Memories of 2006.  :onfire1 :onfire1 :onfire1 :onfire1

    Has it been this hot for the Tour since then?

    Who will wither?  :high

    Who will win?  :lll
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #4 on: June 30, 2019, 18:36 »
    I'll drop this here to share a preview of just how inanely bad NBC is at covering cycling.

    I can't remember seeing a more pointless exchange between two commentators before. I used actually like Steve Schlanger when he was first doing race coverage alongside Todd Gogulski, but this just bizarre. He just refuses to accept Bob Roll's perspective and experienced opinion, and so the discussion becomes completely circular and meaningless, while totally ignoring everything outside of Planet Ineos.

    If this is any indication, the 2019 coverage of the Tour could be NBC's worst yet—and that's saying quite a lot.

    Tour de France 2019: Who is the new favorite with Froome out?
    In the Saddle Ep. 12 | NBC Sports
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #5 on: July 01, 2019, 18:04 »
    Tour de France 2019: Who is the new favorite with Froome out?
    In the Saddle Ep. 12 | NBC Sports
    Listened to this, heard the name of *co Egan Bernal ... now want to burn all. :angry

    And this is in the country with possibly the biggest Spanish-speaking population that isn't officially a Spanish-language country. Is there really nobody at NBC who can teach people who to pronounce a Colombian's name?! :facepalm

    There's still a lot of work to do for @Cycl_Pronounced, I can see.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #6 on: July 01, 2019, 19:02 »
    Why should Colombian be any different?
    They can’t pronounce English properly and as for Geraint Thomas..... :D
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    Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #7 on: July 01, 2019, 23:06 »
    There's still a lot of work to do for @Cycl_Pronounced, I can see.

    What a fabulous project that is.  :cool

    I see that it's only been up since May, but have you been keeping this under wraps, or did I just miss the coming out party?
    :slow

    I've been clamoring for this type of thing for YEARS. Especially with all the TV coverage that the TdF gets, and the amount of down-time that so many stages provide, I've always felt that there should be segments offered throughout the race coverage where each team is featured, and every rider gets to pronounce their own name themselves.

    That way, each and every rider gets a little bit of camera time (as would their sponsors as well), the audience gains an increased appreciation for all the individuals, and any disputes about name pronunciation gets settled once and for all.

    The NFL has been doing this type of thing for years during playoff and Super Bowl coverage. The Offensive Line, the Defensive Line, Running Backs, etc. Four or five players at a time will be featured, each stating their name, the position they play, and which college team they played for. It's not for name clarity specifically, but rather to increase fan-awareness, and to place a name to a face that is otherwise generally obscured by protective gear.

    In the case of cycling, the same thing is often true with helmets and sunglasses making it increasingly difficult to know what a rider actually looks like. Add in the international makeup of the peloton, and the names can become an additional barrier to relating to the individual.


    I must admit though, even some of the clips in that excellent Twitter tread still leave me scratching my head a bit. Some of the riders pronounce their names to softly, or too quickly.

    I find that is true with many sites that offer audio clips of foreign pronunciation of various words. They often don't break them down clearly enough for the uninitiated (and the clips themselves are often cropped in a manner that the very beginning of a word or name is sometimes obscured).

    But keep up the good work, Lukas!  :cool
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #8 on: July 02, 2019, 23:14 »
    What a fabulous project that is.  :cool

    I see that it's only been up since May, but have you been keeping this under wraps, or did I just miss the coming out party?
    :slow

    But keep up the good work, Lukas!  :cool
    Thank you! :)

    You didn't miss any party. It has all been very low-key (and low-tech) so far, and tended to in what spare time I can find (as evidenced by the fact I forgot to mention it over here).
    I do want to set things up on a better basis, but that in itself also takes time. It's like a self-reinforcing spiral. :lol
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  • VeloLove

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #9 on: July 05, 2019, 03:01 »
    I will miss Paul but I think Chis should be good. Bob has big shoes to fill. Check out this homage to Phil and Paul

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  • t-72

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #10 on: July 05, 2019, 09:33 »
    I can report from my breakfast table in the wrong end of France that #ag2r Romain and #groupama Thibaut get about 30 minutes on national tv talkshows the night before the grand depart. Paybacktime for the sponsors  :cool

    Some guy named Thomas was also mentioned, is that #total Benjamin?  :S Sounds like he’s a bit of a mystery this year but still gets honorable mention. In other words, expect lots of the least knowledgeable cycling fans in the world along the road once the race breaks into France.  They will be enthusiastic this year.  :)
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #11 on: July 05, 2019, 11:26 »
    These are painful to watch.

    What I don't understand, is do they really believe that these clips are going to encourage people to watch the race? I can't get through them.

    Tour de France 2019: Richie Porte on his health and expectations ahead of the Tour | NBC Sports


    (Nice of them to throw in some gratuitous crash footage as well) 


    I won't even bother including the Sagan interview where he is asked if he's considered becoming a "GC rider."
    :S
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  • « Last Edit: July 05, 2019, 14:01 by Drummer Boy »

    Mellow Velo

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #12 on: July 05, 2019, 11:32 »
    I can report from my breakfast table in the wrong end of France that #ag2r Romain and #groupama Thibaut get about 30 minutes on national tv talkshows the night before the grand depart. Paybacktime for the sponsors  :cool

    Some guy named Thomas was also mentioned, is that #total Benjamin?  :S Sounds like he’s a bit of a mystery this year but still gets honorable mention. In other words, expect lots of the least knowledgeable cycling fans in the world along the road once the race breaks into France.  They will be enthusiastic this year.  :)

    I once coined the phrase: 3 Week Fans, to cover such folk. ;) :D##

    Bit of a rush getting ready for this after my return from sweltering Mallorca.
    Which reminds me. I must throw a CQ team together tout flippin' suite....
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  • M Gee

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #13 on: July 08, 2019, 19:01 »
    Hinault has spoken:
    Egan Bernal will win the Tour says Hinault
    I can just see Thomas at the team bus, muttering to himself: "What am I? Chopped liver?"

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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

    M Gee

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #14 on: July 08, 2019, 19:12 »
    I will miss Paul but I think Chis should be good. Bob has big shoes to fill. Check out this homage to Phil and Paul


    Brilliant.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #15 on: July 09, 2019, 03:26 »
    Well, well, well...

    NBC actually ran a spot featuring a clip from Lance's podcast with George.

    Now I'm very confused.

    Liggett is still there.
    Roll is still there.
    NBC highlights of year's past completely ignore Armstrong. He's been officially ghosted...

    So who is that guy they featured from the podcast?

    And how did that go down, exactly?
    Did someone from NBC reach out to Armstrong?
    Does Lance, or one of his sponsors, still have influence with the powers-that-be?
    Is he a part of the history of the sport or not? WTF?!?!

    And if they're going to take that step, then when will they share a clip from Floyd's assessment of the race?

    This is becoming more absurd by the day. Just restore the record books, put Armstrong's name back in, and get on with it.

    As to the content of what Lance and George had to say, I thought it was a very valid, and very interesting, take on Fuglsang's crash. But I didn't gather that from the NBC clip, I had already watched the podcast myself. It's good. It's corny at times, and slightly embarrassing other times, and Lance still is incapable of masking his never-ending disdain for his perceived enemies (the mention of Vaughters being the most recent name to reveal Lance's boiling hatred) but there is still some rare and valuable insight to be had. So as long as it doesn't cost me a dime, I'll watch and learn.

    And the daily audio-only podcast offered by the same production company (WEDŪ) with Johan is even better. Stage recaps and predictions for the following day are filled with nothing but enthusiasm for the sport, and and very sincere feel-good vibe. Yeah, I said it. I thoroughly enjoy Bruyneel's perspective and seasoned insight.

    Johan was a guest in the booth alongside Sherwen and Liggett during a GT some years ago (which one was that again? His team was kept out of one of the races, so he spent his time as a commentator. Was it during part of the Astana fiasco? I can't recall at the moment.) So if Liggett is still there, and Paul Sherwen (RIP) would've still been there, then why not have Bruyneel back in the booth? He's not banned from television, last time I checked.

    Either way, the networks need to make up their minds. Did those years happen, or did they not?

    Last time I checked, they did.
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  • « Last Edit: July 29, 2019, 13:19 by Drummer Boy, Reason: typos »

    M Gee

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #16 on: July 09, 2019, 15:50 »
    . . .

    Either way, the networks need to make up their minds. Did those years happen, or did they not?

    Last time I checked, they did.
    LOL - I'm enjoying the WEDU stuff from Lance. I've yet to check out the Bruyneel broadcast, but I intend to. It is becoming more apparent how big a role a good tactician in the car can be. Back in the Lance days, there wasn't sufficient transparency through the media, but today we get enough more. I think that the Nicolas Portal's skill has been a major factor in Sky/Ineos success. And Lance said, in the stage 2 podcast I think, that Bruyneel played the same role at USPS/Motorola/etc. AMOF, the way Lance phrased it, he was seeing evidence that many DS weren't doing as good a job as Bruyneel used to, although his prime example was Ineos, for not keeping the team out of the first start position in the TTT. Maybe Portal had other objectives.

    Anyway, broadcasters care about audience a heck of a lot more than relations with UCI or WADA. I'm good with "Lance got his come-uppance" - and let's move on. He still knows a lot about tactics, and I, at least, learn from it. As much as I like and admire Roll for his historic role, he's not a great commentator. As much as I like and admire Jens Voigt for his perennial entertainment as the hard man of the peloton, he's not even a good commentator. Flecha does a pretty decent job. My point is, though, that Lance is better than all 3, for insight, and big picture comprehension. IMHO.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #17 on: July 09, 2019, 16:14 »
    LOL - I'm enjoying the WEDU stuff from Lance.

    As I just mentioned in the live chat:

    To my great surprise, NBC just featured Armstrong on-screen, with Liggett and Roll, to get his take on the race. It was a surprisingly long segment, but then the tell was revealed: They're rebroadcasting the Armstrong/Tirico interview from a few weeks ago, immediately after today's Tour coverage—and, I suspect, they'll do it again several times throughout the Tour.


    Maybe one of those geniuses over at NBC woke up one day and thought, Hmmm, maybe we'll get more views on that Lance interview if we promote it and re-show it during the Tour de France, as opposed to the original time slot of a very late Wednesday night following an extra-period Stanley Cup game?


    It was quite strange to see him on TV during the live coverage though. Liggett and Roll should've both been shown the door as soon as Lance was ex-communicated. But if they get to stay, then why not him?

    They can't have it both ways.
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  • t-72

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #18 on: July 09, 2019, 21:50 »
    IMHO in a tour that celebrate Eddie Merckx (or the one that glorifies Pantani for that matter) Armstrong as a commentary sort of adds to the everybody dopes and that's ok impression. It takes time to replace old heroes with * in all lists with hopefully new ones that can be cheered with less restraints and no *. One thing is among the devoted cycling fans, the ones that could actually nod approvingly to seeing Phil Gaimon as that expert commentary instead of Armstrong. Gaimon is entertaining to read/listen to and he also knows a lot about cycling, so we would approve- but he isn't the kind of celebrity the US broadcasting networks like to see in that role. Someone widely recognized also outside the sport of cycling, for the occasional tv sports watcher. It's kind of painful but the only name I can think of the same calibre would be Lemond .. and then maybe this guy, if you could get him to talk. He's got the name but he doesn't seem to be the kind of guy that can lighten up a boring day in the TdF (his former team mate on 7-11 Dag Otto Lauritzen could teach him some tricks..)   
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  • M Gee

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #19 on: July 09, 2019, 23:20 »
    . . .Armstrong as a commentary sort of adds to the everybody dopes and that's ok impression.  . . . Gaimon is entertaining to read/listen to and he also knows a lot about cycling, so we would approve- but he isn't the kind of celebrity  . . .
    I know I don't hear Armstrong and think doping is somehow ok. I don't think others do, either. And, I think it's pretty obvious to young and impressionable youth that Lance got considerably more than a hand-slap. I'm not hanging out in junior cycling circles these days, but I would be surprised if any of them were thinking to themselves: "He got away with it, so why not me?"

    As for new commentators, how about Matt Stephens? Now there is a guy who is really and honestly a good, knowledgeable, AND entertaining commentator. Gaiman is another man I'm something of a fan of, but I don't think he's a great commentator, and I usually don't get his humor. Stephens, tho - they could let him have the whole gig AFAIC. He could manage.
      . . .

    They can't have it both ways.
    Oh, I'd say yes, they can!  :D

    Lance is still an egotistic a-hole, and he shows it often enough. But I don't have to live with it, and I do think his insight is deeper than we are getting from the official commentators. Ditto Bruyneel, except he wasn't the king ego a-hole that Lance was/is.

    BTW, I doubt the Live Chat group will see much of me this year. I'll mostly be watching via rerun. We have more live options than ever here this year, but I'm not on any of them - money, and stubborness I guess. And I've got other stuff going on that needs taking care of. Besides, I've gotten used to ES coverage, and going back to Phil is a downer. Bob, unfortunately doesn't help much. ES are kind enough to give us rotating commentators now, so we get a break from Kirby. Works for me.

    BTW, as long as the topic is somewhere near talking about new podcasts, Bobby Julich and Gus Morton have another new one worth a listen or two over on VeloNews. I've been massively disappointed in most of the other podcasts - CN has one - I forget who - but big names in cycling media - and they are a massive bore.
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  • « Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 01:14 by M Gee »

    Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #20 on: July 10, 2019, 13:35 »
    Gaimon is entertaining to read/listen to and he also knows a lot about cycling...

    Gaimon is just too weird though. His "humor" wouldn't translate (in any language), and I don't think he'd be able to hold anyone's attention for very long.

    I'm still curious about the forces that put Armstrong on screen though. I wonder if one or two of the financial people in his inner circle are close with some VP at NBC Sports. I wouldn't be surprised if ratings are down on the Tour coverage and someone suggested gently reintroducing Lance to the viewership in an attempt to improve that.

    It's a double-edged sword, of course. Lot's a people will be turned off by Lance's image, and the casual observer who might just be channel surfing will wonder why a "cheater and doper" is on their TV.

    Armstrong does have some interesting perspectives to offer at times, but not in a way that works on a corporate broadcasting platform. It's the raw, unfiltered nature of podcasts that brings out the interesting stuff. For the same reasons that you'll never see a Joe Rogan-like discussion on network television, you'll never hear what these ex-pros really think about the UCI, different teams and riders, or the general state of things when their are big sponsors behind the scenes.

    In adding Armstrong's voice, what they really do is bring out the worst of both worlds.
    His presence will irritate some, and you'll never unwrap the types of insight that make his commentary actually interesting.
    So in the end, it doesn't really reflect well on NBC or Armstrong.
    It's a lose-lose.
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  • M Gee

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #21 on: July 10, 2019, 18:24 »
    IMHO in a tour that celebrate Eddie Merckx (or the one that glorifies Pantani for that matter) Armstrong as a commentary sort of adds to the everybody dopes and that's ok impression. . . .
    BY THE WAY! I just ran across a tweet that makes me ask if Phil or someone made a comment in the NBC broadcast to the effect that "everybody did it" when they ran the clip from Lance. And that was why they were running it. If such a comment was made, that would be gauche beyond belief.
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  • L'arri

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #22 on: July 10, 2019, 19:36 »
    Fascinating few days. :D

    Neighbour calls up my wife last week and asks if I want a VIP pass to the Grand Départ. He had earmarked the weekend to do some decorating and otherwise had no interest in a free buffet or, as the Belgians disconcertingly call it, a "walking lunch".

    Well, as a loud-and-proud fan of our sport, I could hardly let the side down, could I? So I gave up my one free morning of the week for sleeping late and I went over there to this swanky art gallery where it was all kicking off.



    As it transpired, I felt I had to pass on the free booze because it was rather too early for my delicate palate and, after learning that my pass still wouldn't let me into the teams area, I was worried about getting a good spot in the compound.



    The Norwegian girl with the microphone here, she asked Naesen a couple of questions in German. He politely replies he doesn't speak it and she can't understand why not. He fills her in. I'm not German, he clarifies, I'm Belgian. I'm thinking it's the sleeves. So she continues in English and you can tell he wants to get away. What I would have asked him is why all the branding is coming off the shorts. It was obvious with Fränk in Suisse or the Dauphiné, I forget, and now poor Oli looks like he's wearing last year's kit too. Only it's last year's kit that's been through the spin cycle fifty times at fifty degrees. Pro it ain't.

    Couple of hours later some tourist kid asks me downtown why there are all these barriers about. I tell him it's the Tour and he asks me what that's about and do they really need to close off the roads for it. Evidently this portly lad needed to get out more and I told him as much.

    Next morning I wake up bright and early again to collect the keys to a friend's apartment from a well-known media figure who's been staying there. I'm still bleary-eyed after shooting the breeze with him for a bit when I think I just witnessed ex-Bora fugitive Manxman Peter Kennaugh jogging past. He's got to be twice the size, quite bulked up and, I later discover, training for triathlons. What hasn't changed a bit is the way he goes totally red-faced under effort, otherwise he's quite nice looking, really, for such an opinionated parochial sort. However, nobody but nobody can be as debonair as this fellow:



    I am always oddly jealous of the pros when I see them riding on roads I'm not allowed to ride on. All weekend they were doing just that, just sliding off the nice little routes I regularly follow and on to the autoroutes and sliproads with the smoothest asphalt in the country, indeed the only smooth asphalt in the country. You want to tell someone, anyone, what a tough little climb that is or why that part of the canal road is a deathtrap with passing vehicles but it's really something only another cyclist would understand.

    Monday morning my colleague asks me if I saw it, of course I did, and he adds that he was inspired to ride 17km himself. And, I think, that's really the point. It's not about the free lunches, the fawning over Eddy Merckx or all "that business sh*t" the media figure was complaining about. It's good enough for me if other folks get out on a bike.

    Job done well, Le Tour.  :P
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  • « Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 19:56 by L'arri »
    Cycling is a Europe thing only and I only watch from Omloop on cause I am cool and sh*t
    RIP Craig1985 / Craig Walsh
    RIP KeithJamesMc / Keith McMahon / Larry Sarni

    Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #23 on: July 11, 2019, 06:02 »
    Neighbour calls up my wife last week...

    HOLD UP!!!

    What was that, again?

    When did this happen?
    :slow



    My invitation must've gotten lost in the mail.  :P
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #24 on: July 11, 2019, 10:09 »
    The Norwegian girl with the microphone here, she asked Naesen a couple of questions in German. He politely replies he doesn't speak it and she can't understand why not. He fills her in. I'm not German, he clarifies, I'm Belgian. I'm thinking it's the sleeves.
    :S

    Couple of hours later some tourist kid asks me downtown why there are all these barriers about. I tell him it's the Tour and he asks me what that's about and do they really need to close off the roads for it. Evidently this portly lad needed to get out more and I told him as much.
    :fp :fp

    Monday morning my colleague asks me if I saw it, of course I did, and he adds that he was inspired to ride 17km himself. And, I think, that's really the point. It's not about the free lunches, the fawning over Eddy Merckx or all "that business sh*t" the media figure was complaining about. It's good enough for me if other folks get out on a bike.
    :cool
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #25 on: July 18, 2019, 06:30 »
    What

    the actual

    F***?!

     :S



    I missed this segment live, but they are (still) trying too hard with this. Way too hard.

    The fake background behind Lance, and overall low-production quality, reminds me very much the of the infamous UCI_Overlord "parody" videos from days gone by.

    Blend that with the second-rate, five-second audio delay, and it makes for very awkward viewing.

    Again though, what is the point of these?
    To rehabilitate Armstrong's image?
    To promote his podcast?
    Increase NBC viewership?

    The podcast itself (especially Hincapie's contributions) offers some genuinely insightful commentary. But these random one-off features with Lance do nothing of the sort. Softball questions and stock answers do little for either Armstrong or NBC. So I just don't get it. Every time he appears on screen they burn a few more bridges. There will always be the cheerleaders, but I just don't see how this does anything to grow their audience.

    Phill and Bob come off pretty poorly here, too. It's the worst of all worlds, but they keep running these. Each side under performs, as if they were unexpectedly just plucked off the street and given cue cards to read.

    Social media tends to eviscerate NBC for this, so what is the long game here?

    There's enough back-slapping going around to make me very suspicious of all of it.
    NBC strokes Lance, while Armstrong, Hincapie and Johan have gone out of their way to compliment the NBC broadcast team repeatedly on their own platforms. It's all a bit too convenient for me. Something is afoot. I feel like I've seen this movie before.

    As I've said previously though, and I'll proudly say it again: Johan Bruyneel's audio podcast, with his daily breakdowns and predictions, is the best commentary on pro cycling I've ever come across. It's informative, engaging, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable. But I don't know what to make of the above strategy.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #26 on: July 23, 2019, 08:36 »
     :onfire1 :onfire1 :onfire1 :onfire1 :onfire1 :onfire1

    The heatwave returns to much of Europe this week, but with it, according to current forecasts, will be thunderstorms for what could turn out to be legendary stages 17 - 20.

    Today's stage 16 is projected to be sunny and hot  :flustered,  but being a relatively flat sprint stage, the heat shouldn't impact the outcome or overall standings too much.

    However, with the Tour to be finally sorted out in the few days following, the weather on tap could prove to be quite eventful. 
    :cool

    I was expecting the heat to have devastating effects on some of the contenders, but it looks like the decisive mountain stages will be accompanied by thunderstorms!


    Although this race is shaping up to be one of the best editions of Le Tour in years, I was thinking that some "special" weather might be necessary to catapult it into one of the all-time greats. Is that what we have on the horizon?

    I wouldn't want to see the race determined by temps alone, and by which team might have the most cold bottles strung out along the course. But as the rain will likely bring a substantial reprieve from the scorching sun, bike handling, brake choices, and tyre selection may determine, more than anything else, who occupies the podium in Paris.

    It's been a mostly-dry Tour thus far, but if forecasts are to be believed, that's all about to change as the race heads into the Alps. 
    :)

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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #27 on: July 29, 2019, 14:38 »
     :flustered Black Monday: The Day After  :flustered

    I was going to start a new thread for this, but probably unnecessary.

    Closing thoughts? Final perspective?

    The intervention of Mother Nature in the closing stages turned out to be a huge disappointment for what was shaping up to be a truly legendary Tour. We are left with one that I feel is certainly memorable—for multiple reasons—but perhaps not legendary.

    Besides the obvious breakout performance of Egan Bernal, and the solidifying performance of Caleb Ewan, I'm left with a lot of questions and a sense of vacancy on a few fronts.

    Peter Sagan  #bora  #green #green #green #green #green #green #green

    Great accomplishment, on paper, but I find myself unmoved by this. He won only one stage, in the first week. He didn't do much to capture my attention otherwise. (And Erik Zabel, apparently, was not too happy about his record being broken.)

    Alejandro Valverde  #movistar #rainbow

    He lost some magical weight before the Tour, but was he even at the race? I barely noticed.
    However, Bruyneel pointed to a statistic I was unaware of: Apparently Valverde set a record by finishing in the Top Ten of 18 Grand Tours. Speaks for itself, I suppose.

    Movistar Team  #movistar

    OK, so they won the Team Classification...again. But does anyone care? With all the fire power they brought the Tour, I expected far more than just a mostly-solo win by Quintana. Confusion and dissent within the ranks did not seem to serve them well.

    Geraint Thomas  #ineos He came into the race with less-than-ideal perparation; crashed during the race; and all I really remember him doing was one significant burst on La Planche des Belles Filles. Granted, he was second in the iTT, but how did end up in 2nd in Paris as well? I would like to think that such an accomplishment would be accompanied by a bit more excitement or drama out on the road. Did I miss something?


     *usa *usa *usa *usa
    The four U.S. riders at the race:
    Tejay van Garderen #ef DNF
    Ben King #didata 62nd
    Joseph Rosskopf #ccc 73rd
    Chad Haga  #sunweb 134th

    I'm guessing that if they had all stayed home, few would have noticed.  :-x

    That's my Monday morning grumpy assessment and short-take on a race that seemed epic at times, but that left me wanting more. Had the last few days been raced as originally planned, I'd likely feel a bit different about all of it.

    Plenty of riders deserve praise and applause, not the least of which is most certainly Julian Alaphilippe *fr #deceuninck. But I suspect the that 2019 rendition of the Tour de France will be looked back upon more for what could've been, than for what actually transpired.

    I thoroughly enjoyed most of it though!  :P
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  • AG

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #28 on: July 29, 2019, 15:28 »
    I thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of the race.

    I am very disapointed that the final 2 stage fizzled out ... but totally understand that there wasnt actually much the race could do about it.  That kind of thing cant be forecast, or prepared for.  They cant have a plan B for a mountain stage once they are actually half way up the climb, so its not solvable.


    Winners

    Bernal - I did think he was the strongest left in the race, so feel he was a deserving winner.  I am super happy that he decided to go early on the climb, and got the gap before the stage was cancelled.  I would feel MUCH more anger and frustration at the situation had he not gone solo on that climb.  We would have had a situation where the yellow jersey would have gone to the next best on GC (as Alaphilippe was dropped) - and Geraint Thomas won effectively by default.    Its not that I dont like Thomas - I actually really like him.  I just think that would have been an unfortunate way to win.    In the end though, Bernal attacked ... got away cleanly and I was confident he would have stayed away.

    Ineos - 1-2 in the Tour is nothing to be sneezed at - especially when your best and most accomplished rider is sitting in a hospital bed and looking at months of recovery (if ever).  I thought they played the race well.  They didnt do what was expected and control things all day every day ... they let other teams do it.  And it worked for them.  (and it was much better to watch !!!!!  :cool )

    Thomas - (seperate to the others) - his graciousness and overall manner is always great.

    Alaphilippe - what a Tour for him.  Breakthrough.  Quicketep did well - they played the cards they had pretty well indeed and made the most of the oportunity.

    Bora Hansgrohe - Buchman punched way above his weight here, and with Ackerman developing nicely too they are much more than a 1-trick pony these days.

    Jumbo Visma - Kruijswijk showed himself as a genuine contender here.  He stepped up that next level and proved that the Giro (disaster notwithstanding) was not a one-off.  That he can be good enough.    And they supported him.  Well.     I do think they made a mistake not bringing Roglic to the Tour though.  Kruijswijk probably could have won the Giro, and Roglic definitely could have won the Tour.  Add Tom D to that mix ....       Not only that they had stage wins with 4 different riders, and a few days in yellow.  All in all a super successful tour for them

    Trek Segafredo - after a rough few seasons, Ciccone is a shining light for them.  Animating things, trying something different and generally giving them some return on investment.  Much more so than Porte who once again failed ...  Sometimes riders are just unlucky, but you have to look at what he is doing wrong.  Bike handling?  positioning?  general race nous?    He just seems missing that top bit every time and something happens to keep him out.


    Lotto Soudall - 4 stage wins, and the enormous man that is Thomas DeGendt ... they had a great Tour.

    Wanty Group Gobert - I have them as a win because I thought they did well at animating the race.  They were in almost every break, and tried to do something to earn their invitation.  Certainly for me they did enough to be invited back.  Unlike a few others.

    Meh
    Bardet - while he won polka dots, he should rightly be incredibly disappointed with his Tour.  He is capable of so much more

    Sagan - same as Drummer Boy - he won but without his usual panache and style

    Michelton Scott - 4 stage wins is actually their most successful Tour, but it still is in the loss column for me given they structured everything - and gave up Caleb Ewen - for a GC result.


    Losers
    Movistar - 3 riders capable of winning and the best they get is 1 stage win.  Not good enough.

    FDJ - Pinot  :( 

    CCC - were they even in the race?

    Education First - Uran didnt live up to expectations.  They started the move in the crosswinds... and then missed the split.  All up a pretty disappointing Tour.





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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: TdF 2019 General Discussion
    « Reply #29 on: July 29, 2019, 17:22 »

    Geraint Thomas  #ineos He came into the race with less-than-ideal perparation; crashed during the race; and all I really remember him doing was one significant burst on La Planche des Belles Filles. Granted, he was second in the iTT, but how did end up in 2nd in Paris as well? I would like to think that such an accomplishment would be accompanied by a bit more excitement or drama out on the road. Did I miss something?



    The answer lies in asking the same question of the guys who finished 3rd and 4th. ;)
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