I can’t say 2008 has been my saddest summer but the blues are just starting to lift as we enter August. I spent most of July immersed in a spectator sport. Starting the Saturday after July 4th the Tour de France bicycle race started in the
This passion woke me for one 5:30 am early broadcast and a couple 6:30’s, at night I’d click off the prime time show, hop in bed looking forward to watching the live morning coverage before going to work. I watched the leaders of the various individual competitions change hands. And I saw a lot of bike crashes on slippery wet and dry surfaces in towns, on mountains, and on the long rides through the countryside.
It was with pride that I watched the 2 American sponsored teams, Garmin Chipotle and Team Columbia. George Hincapie, veteran who helped Lance Armstrong, shepherded the young Team Columbia to a good showing, including 4 stage wins by Mark Cavendish, a British cyclist to watch for in the Olympics. And American Christian Vandevelde of Garmin Chipotle finished in 5th place in the General Classification category, only 3 minutes and 5 seconds behind the winner.
But on Sunday the 27th the 95th edition of this bicycle race finished in
I miss seeing and listening to the blend of US, British, and Australian commentators, along with the on-the-road reporting crew, from Versus TV, formerly Outdoor Life Network, who were the guides of the Tour. Coverage was on-the-road action, Tour history, personal recollection since most of them are former Tour riders, and gorgeous scenery.
And even though I know at the end of next July I’ll still feel the same let down at the completion of the Tour, I’ll still watch. And I might even trying doing the on-line fantasy bike team competition Versus started this year. And over the coming months I’ll check into the Tour website, (www.letour.fr/indexus/html) to learn of the plans for 2009 and look at press releases.
Maybe it is time to revisit Donlevy and Samuel S. I remember being glad I’d read it and hope it will be satisfying once again.