Sunday, July 6, 2008

The 2008 Tour de France Stage 1 is in the books

Since the weather here in New Jersey has been less than perfect this 4th of July weekend so I watched the live feed of Tour on Versus beginning at 8:30 AM. Since there was no riding I also watched the replays throughout the day including the primetime coverage at 8 PM.

This year's race opened with a stage race rather than a time trial prologue. I am not a big fan of watching the time trial stages since it is sort like watching NASCAR qualifying with a better chance of seeing a crash. In fact I usually only casually watch the coverage on the time trial days and then check the results online later in the day.

I am a big fan of the live coverage by Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. There is a new guy with Bob Roll for the prime time show. I miss the MSG announcer that has been Mr. Roll's partner for the last couple of years.

The stage 1 winner (Alejandro Valverde of Caisse d'Epargne) has a good chance of being in the Yellow jersey when the tour gets to Paris. I checked out the website of Caisse d'Epargne and it does not have an English version only French and Spanish. I browsed through it in French to find out what kind of bikes they are riding (Pinarello). I could have gone to Wikipedia instead which would have been much quicker. I think I used to work for a company that has since become part of Caisse d'Epargne but I am not sure since the details are a little hazy.

The finish of Stage 1 was exciting. The sprinters did not come to the front but a couple of GC riders took off after the leaders and Mr. Valverde hit the gas and took the lead. I think it is going to be a good Tour.

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