Tag Archive | Cycling

Swiss Cheese

Swiss Cheese

Tour de Suisse coverage on BEin Sport, or is it, beIN Sport? Whatever. We really like Magnus Backstedt and Rob Hatch’s coverage. They aren’t funny, we like Carlton Kirby better for that, but Magnus really knows bike racing and makes watching even the slowest race interesting.

Meanwhile, Teejay Van Garderen (Teehayay the Spanish announcer called him) once again disappointing us with his self centered behavior. Remember during the Tour last year when he left Cadel Evans at the hill during the tacks incident? With no apologies either. Well, he did it again to Mathias Frank, the yellow jersey wearer and the rider he should have been protecting…but no….Teejay is all about…Teejay.

There’s been a lot of snarkiness in the peloton, not exactly sure why, maybe there always is and we only know about it because of the excellent coverage by Magnus and Rob. Oddly, every time they started talking about it the BeIN people went to commercial.

We’d like to see Peter Sagan move into being a GC rider…get him out of Cavendish’s way. We still think he’s an ass, and apparently we’re not alone. Perhaps he and Teejay can teach each other a lesson.

Switzerland is gorgeous. Don’t know where all the people are, but we’d love to visit – have only been to Zurich and on a train en route to Milan. Sometimes we do long for Green with a capital G.

Overall it’s been a great 9 stage race and we’ve enjoyed every minute. Thanks guys!

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Where TiVo and Cycling Meet

In hell, that’s where…missed the ending of Stage 4 of the Criterium because of hockey, and then missed THE ENTIRE RACE of Stage 5 for the same reason. All the technology in the world doesn’t seem to make recording cycling work 100% of the time. Looks like we should just record the entire day. Not. It has also seemed to us that no one in the broadcasting production booth has bothered to figure out that the point of cycling only becomes clear in the last 5 minutes of programming. WTF! So I get that hockey fans need to see their matches, but seriously, do we need to see the players heading to beddy-bye in their hotel rooms, rumpled sheets and all? NBC has a history of sloppy work with timing, let’s hope they can get it right for the Tour. Surely they realize that 99% of the fans watching cycling are doing so on recorded tv? (because who would be dumb enough to sit through all those stupid commercials? never mind that European cycling happens at times of the day that we usually aren’t in front of the television.) Pull it together NBC, the technology isn’t there to know that the previous program has run long, it’s up to you. Move Cycling away from programs in the schedule that might run long.

 

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? 

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.

La Fleche Wallonne

More Belgian countryside, and nice to see Andy Schleck smiling. Sorry not to be seeing Frank racing yet, out on suspension for an unintentional drug ingestion. So how does that work? Note to riders, don’t take water bottles from anyone but your team crew. Anyway, noticing, over a nice Leffe Blonde – definitely the beer to start with– that most Ardennes villages have new construction, meaning post WWII 1945, with now and again a skeleton of a medieval church or abbey. 

Moving on to dessert beers (who knew?) we love the framboise but certainly Krek cherry beer is the famous one. If the races continue to be boring we may have to start talking about the exotic Belgian beer making techniques unmatched anywhere else in the world. 

Uphill finnish up the Huy, rooting for Phillip Gilbert but….oh well…who? Doesn’t matter, at least they beat Peter Sagan. 

Now here’s the real point of this coverage….women ride bikes? Who knew? Congratulations to Marianne Vos who apparently wins this one all the time, but even now we only get to see her cross the finish line…it’s a complete aside…perhaps we could at least have a small version of the race? The truth is, men don’t care about women racing bikes, and who runs the sports networks? yeah… hey, cycle-girls, you should BOYcott…girlcott?  whatever….