The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Only Compelling Sporting Event in Europe

My views on the World Cup have been made very clear. Wimbeldon is another bore, although much less boring than the World Cup.

The only really compelling event going on in Europe right now is, of course, the Tour de France. This is especially so because this year the tour is very wide open with the retirement of the Greatest Rider Ever.

There are more than a half dozen riders who have legitimate shots to be wearing the Yellow Jersey at the end of the Tour. And, of course, the strategy, tactics and teamwork are amazing to watch, to say nothing of the stupefying strength of these riders who bike for 5 hours a day for three weeks at an average speed of 25 miles an hour. (Try riding on a flat surface for one minute at 25 miles an hour.)

Tomorrow's time trial will begin to differentiate the supermen from the men and, when the Tour gets to the mountains, all hell will break loose.

I think that Floyd Landis has a great chance to win the overall competition. He has played the Tour perfectly so far, staying in the front, out of trouble, but not bothering to mix it up with the sprinters. His time will come tomorrow and in the mountains. I would also not underestimate the chances of George Hincapie or two other riders from the Discovery Channel team. They have the strongest team (so much so that they have four potential team leaders and have not yet formally selected any one of them) and have proven over the years to have the best strategy and tactics (of course, they also had Lance so it's hard to determine how much was Lance and how much was tactics).

The next two weeks will rock. Then France will once again have another 49 weeks of not having any purpose to exist.


  • At 3:11 PM, Blogger DovBear said…

    Tennis is a big yawn, but bike riding? Bike riding you call a fun sport to watch? Are you mad? Bike riding is worse than car racing. The Tour de France is just a snooty version of NASCAR, and Lance Armstrong glows in the dark from all the steroids he takes.

  • At 3:13 PM, Blogger DovBear said…

    "strategy, tactics and teamwork are amazing to watch" -- at a bike race???? You cry for days that soccer is boring because no one scores any goals (Me AMERICAN! Me want GOALS!) but you can sit there with a straight face and talk about how "amazing" it is to watch people manuver the bikes in front of other bikes??

  • At 6:38 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    Lance Armstrong has been tested more than any athlete in history. He has never failed a test. The French just can deal with the fact that an American (a Texan, no less) has kicked their butts for seven straight years so they manufacture rumors and innuendo. He's just better. period.

    In terms of strategy and tactics, I'm not going to try to explain this to a total am ha'aretz.

    And, the end of virtually every stage race is more exciting than any soccer game I've ever seen.

  • At 11:34 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    I started watching cycling DVD's while on the stationary bike and got really into it. My oldest son, who loves almost any sport, finds it hideously boring.

    In short, totally dependant on taste, and not something that can be resolved by any amount of discussion.

    The worst though, are people who's main weekly physical activity is rushing to the after shul kiddush (or worse the during davening kiddush club)while putting down other peoples' athletic enjoyments...

  • At 11:41 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    Moc - great call on Landis. He looks like the favorite now. He's kind of the anti-Lance. While Lance was disciplined to the point of obsession, Landis is cycling's version of Bode Miller. Hincapie was always the Yehoshua to Lance's Moshe (l'havdil) so I really would have liked to see him do better in the time trial. What can you do.

  • At 9:56 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    I still wouldn'r rule out Hincapie (or one of his teammates). Discovery still has a very strong team and you can make up a lot of time in the mountains. Nevertheless, Landis looks very strong and is, as you described, chilled out beyond belief.


Post a Comment

<< Home