03 July 2010

2010 Tour de France begins today!

8.9 km Prologue in Rotterdam
It is a foggy cool morning in the Vallee d'Arrens in France. Rain is expected today in Rotterdam. Everyone is by now in place at the start of the Tour de France; the teams, the journalists, the support crews, the caravan kids, the podium girls, and hopefully the fans - even in the rain I hope they turn out.
I think of the prologue as a show, almost a parade, when all the riders are present for what could be the first and last time in this long race. The prologue will be an 8.9km individual all out sprint time trial. The prologue will not be a day for the climbers, and maybe not for the GC (overall) contenders. This day is for the guys who sprinted home from school, against all the other kids, on their bikes. Long before fatigue and fate and team tactics have set in over the coming days of the Tour de France, you can expect only smiles and good legs at the Prologue.
The fun part about being in France in July, is the TV coverage of the Tour de France is complete. I won't only see the last 35km or a 1 hour summary of the day on Versus. Any time between 16:15-19:42 (8:15-11:42am Colorado time) I can watch the Tour de France in a local bar in France or at my Chambre de Hote. Awesome!
Just as I like to see the before and after pictures of our President when he takes office and again on his last day. Someone should take a before and after picture of the riders when they start the TDF and three weeks later, when they finish the TDF. Could a man get any skinnier? Here we go again with these three:
Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong. Add Evan Basso and Cadel Evans, a few cobbles in Stage#3, some illness, some falls, some unexpected attacks, some rain and some hot weather - and we have a race worth watching all the way to the final podium in Paris.

TDF reading assignments:

A good post today on the Irish Peloton
Another good blog post from yesterday on Pave
I like reading Andy Schleck's diaries: My thoughts on my Tour de France rivals
You want images, videos, maps, all facts TDF go to: http://www.steephill.tv/tour-de-france/