Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A 2015 Bore de France Preview

The Bore De France contenders breakdown.

With the Tour de France rapidly approaching, it's time to get out our Merxx colored glasses and pretend that the epic race will be peopled by legends and giants, rather than the rag tag crew of skinny nerds, one of whom will win simply because somebody has to.

Vincenzo Nibali (Italian)
  Can he repeat? Can he recover from Giro? Is he tall enough to pass the height-limit bar and go on the bigboy rides at Great Adventure? Vincenzo will probably not repeat, because he is just too cool. Ever since The Roman Empire and Mussilini, the Italians have been suspicious of over-extended ambitions. Expect to see Vincenzo getting along with other nations, and avoiding axis-like, on-the-road pacts with Japanese and German riders.

Nairo Quintana  (Columbian)
   A Columbian will never win the TdF… never. They attack with gusto on mountains and accelerate to breath-taking gaps. But are then caught when large-boned Europeans reel them back in with surprising ease. He will probably win a stage if there is a mountain finish at 25% grade. And he will stand on the podium and get kissed on the cheek by podium-girls that are a foot taller. He will grin from ear to ear, and look like a little boy.

Alberto Contador (Spanish)
   When he wins, Alberto makes a pistol shooting gesture with his hands. Them call him Pistolero. I suppose this is ALL lost in translation for an American… because to me it looks completely retarded. But none-the-less… I hope he wins and redeems himself against all the nay-sayers. Plus, Alberto is one of the last connections we have to the reign of LANCE ARMSTRONG!!!!!!!    I really hope Alberto kicks butt, because I really, really hate seeing that look of suffering on his face. It's so undignified. The Spanish should be solemn, not sad... and certainly not cracking like a dried twig in the last two kilometers.

Chris Froome (South Africa)
   Froomy will probably win. He looks to be the unnaturally skinniest person in the race, and that will probably be the edge he needs. Also, he has the powerful Skye team around him… whose riders and management seem to have been cast from some distopian novel about rationalistic control of a future where grim-faced brits dominated a permanently raining urban squalor.  Froome's post-race interviews are the model of the charming winner who gives credit to his opponents and references the moments when he too felt victory had slipped away. And therefore I don't like him. Give me Armstrong's smug arrogance any day.

Thibaut Pinot (Tee Boh Pee No… French, obviously from the unpronouncable name)
   They always have to put some wannabe French rider in the list of contenders. But no Frenchman will ever win the Tour again. Ever. Bernard Hinault is the reason for this. Because Hinault threatens the lives and families of all French contenders. If a Frenchman wins, Hinault will have to start paying for his wine and cheese.

Rigoberto Uran (Columbian)
   Yet another Columbian who cannot possibly win. The Columbians are like the French… they just don't care enough. In this regard too… his name is eerily similar to another famous quitter… Robert Duran. NO MAS!!

Tejay van Garderen
   Oh good god… not TEE JAY.  I hate this guys constipated face and post-race interviews, where he sounds like an absent-minded hippy. Plus, he choked in the Criterium du Dauphine… loosing to Froomy on the final climb. What a loser. I hate that he is the main American contender. He's such a wimp. He is actually taking over the tofu-eating, hippy-dippy, "I did my best"-ISM made so famous by the mythically underperforming Levi Leipheimer… who could roar in the tour de california… but have tragically bad days in the Tour, and lose by 15 minutes.

So there you have it. But all kidding aside, I will be glued to the set. Because even if all of these underwhelming personalities leave me frustrated... I am never frustrated by listening to Phil Ligget, who is a freakin' genius of narrating the poetry of the great race. And not just Phil, but his trusty side-kick Paul Sherwin... whose oratorical skills are to Phil's, as the faithful dog's bark is to his master's voice. Maybe that's a bit harsh. Let's just say that Paul is a domestique for Phil. If Phil gets thirsty, he sends Paul to the team car for a glass of water. If Phil's microphone suddenly breaks, Paul will give his to Phil. That's teamwork. And just like in any team, Phil occasionally let's Paul call (perhaps) an intermediate sprint or time-check. That's what leaders do. They spread the glory around.

Viva la tour.