Archive | May 2013

Tour of Belgium

As I said, we’re watching this a bit after the fact since we were completely caught up in the excitement of the Giro. Now we’re settled in with the remote, a glass of Leffe Blond for starters (the proper glass and all I will have you know…) and the National Geographic Atlas app on the iPad so we can figure out where the ride is headed. Stage one up to the North Sea coast and look at those pretty houses, from the helicopter it looked like a model train town! We had to know….3 bedrooms for $500k? yikes. Must be freezing in winter and crowded in summer, did you see all the beach cabanas? Ok, back to racing, I’m warming up to Andre Gripel. What was wrong with Cancellara’s shoe? Kids, don’t try that at home. Seriously? Steve and Todd suggested he was just wasting time because he wasn’t ‘serious’ about the race. Seriously? 

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Sometimes it doesn’t go as planned…or ‘Oh Fuck….”

Our pal on this site, Roo, out with his head camera has an adventure. If you’re not familiar with Mendocino, CAs terrific mountain bike trails, come and see us!

No More Giro

And that’s the end of the Giro for 2013, really enjoyed the coverage offered by Carlton Kirby and Daniel Lloyd, hope to hear their voices again soon.

Congratulations to Mark Cavendish on an incredible Giro! Woohoo! 

Now, to catch up on our Belgian beer drinking, we will turn to TiVo for our Tour of Belgium catch up sessions. Stay tuned for a fun diversion from all this pro road cycling…

All Cavendish all the time

Well, perhaps not alllll the time, but we’re so chuffed that Cavendish has cleaned up on the Giro d’Italia so far. Well done! Most of the time our own Cavendish is sound asleep on the couch but when he hears the tv screaming his name he becomes quite animated. We’re finding ourselves developing new GC favorites, Cadel is doing nicely, Niboli should learn how to smile to prove he’s not just an automaton. The field is full of unfamiliar names. But the BIG highlight of this year’s Giro has to be the announcers on BeIn Sport….Daniel Lloyd and Carlton Kirby are terrific! Funny, wry, informative, great rapport with each other. Once we got them to turn up their mics and turn down the motorcycle roar we find ourselves getting more used to their soft spoken British ways….and we love it! I’ll have another pint on that, mate.

It does seem that the pressure was too much for Bradley Wiggins, tough luck. Hard to not perform well with all eyes turned your way. (not that we’d know anything about that…but we surmise). It will be interesting to see what happens to Sky come the Tour. Mark Cavendish proves time and again that he is the most generous cyclist on the road, never fails to credit his team mates. Cheers to you Cav. 

We’re not quite through the Giro, but it has been entertaining with truly horrible weather, some lovely scenery of some very out of the way places. Hard to know what to drink along with images of Alpine mountains and rolling fields planted with grapes. ice wine maybe?

Tour de California

Tour de California – Stage Five

Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s the startling absence of stunning scenery–it is California, after all–maybe there just isn’t anyone in the field with any panache, but this 2013 Amgen Tour of California has been a hard one to stay geared up for. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they brutalized the riders by making them climb a mountain in 111 degree heat, or ride through the dust and road trash of one of California’s ugliest places. At least the tv viewing audience around the world couldn’t see the shame that is the trash filled desert. I doubt the riders are happy being trimmed down and sand blasted the first two days with heat and sand.

Mind, it’s not over yet. Kudos to Phil Liggett for acknowledging that the podium girls have names! Joanna and Alison. Nice one, Phil. Put a name to a beautiful woman and suddenly she’s not so pincheable is she….

And then, just as we were about to suggestion fast forwarding to the finish line on Stage 5, there goes Jens Vogt! And we’re out of our chairs yelling at the tv cheering him on. Nicely done, Jens!

Oh and in all that we did get the message that we’re supposed to think Peter Sagan is a nice guy. OK, open mind, shut mouth, wait and see.

Giro d’Italia #1 hmmm or rather #3

Well, whew, after last minute, or more post-minute scrambling we found coverage of the Giro on beIN network…never heard of it before but, ok, we’ll check it out. No thanks to Universal for neglecting to fess up that they didn’t get the coverage contract. Can there be a silver lining to the pink jersey? We’ll see. We, sadly, missed Cavendish winning a stage…but we’ll move forward with the viewing hoping to see more of him.

Or we would except that it is nearly impossible to hear what the announcers are saying….dudes! the ‘background’ grinding of the motorcycles or helicopters is supposed to be….hello…..just that….BACKGROUND. What we can glean seems like the guys, still can’t catch their names, are pretty funny in their own Brit ways…chatty, informative…just turn off the fucking noise will you please???

And, well, it’s Italy. So the scenery is, well, Italian…hillsides dotted with stucco and tile villas, narrow roads, not too many fans along the roads but those who are there are adamant.

It is great to have a third access of coverage of cycling…Universal, NBCSports and now BEIN…not bad, more races than we’ve ever had before, doesn’t make us complacent, mind, we still want excellence, but we’re researching Italian wines and will be in touch shortly with appropriate advice for the future stages dining experience.

Who won Stage 3? Check in yourself and find out.