Monday, 27 October 2008

That Tour de France presentation zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The crowd at yet another riveting Tour presentation.

There was a time when the Tour de France presentation consisted of a few town names scribbled on a back of a cigarette packet and handed out to riders at the start of the first stage.

Oh how times have changed. Nowadays a crowd that wouldn't shame a bunch of has been stadium rockers sits in rapture as that nice Mr Prudhomme explains in detail the twists, turns, highs and lows of the route and the reasons for their inclusion.

Now in the past I've read the news reports and looked at the pictures of the great, the good and the scum of world cycling sitting agog as the route is presented to them.
Wow I've thought, this looks fun, I'll have to watch it live. And, so this year, thanks to the living miracle that is Cycling.TV (motto: 3 years in beta) I set aside time in my diary and sat back for what promised to be a once in a lifetime experience.

Now there are many reasons pro cyclists take dope, these include, they are cheating scum, they are bastards and they are piss taking twats who deserve a good kicking. But now I have seem a Le Tour presentation I can add another reason to the list, Being out of your tree is a good way to get through that crap and not let it affect you. Boring? Boring? God, it was like nothing I'd ever seen on earth. I've seen some dire presentations in my time, but little to rival the mind numbing cobblers that is a Le Tour presentation.
Of course this could have been partly due to the quality of the CTV feed, which was junk, but even with a full HD, super surround sound extravaganza I think it still would have been like replacing your saddle with a cheese grater and going on a 200k training ride.

The whole thing could have been neatly summed up and all over inside 10 minutes, but hey, if you have assembled the worlds media, most of the world's potential tour riders and a few of their dogs (say hi Molly.) You have to justify your existence don't you.

Next year they should go back to the cigarette packet routine, it's got to be the way forward in the anti doping fight.

Pinky and Perky assess that Tour route in Full.

So, to put a little more flesh on the bare bones, so to say. Here are the details of the 09 Tour de France in full.

Total length: 3,450 kilometers

Time trialling: 55 kilometers individual, 38 team time trialling

Mountain top finishes: three

Days of mountain climbing: eight - three in the Pyrenees, three in the Alps, one in the Jura, one up the Mont Ventoux

Number of rest days: two

Number of stages won by riders who subsequently fail dope tests: 5

Number of jerseys won by riders who subsequently fail dope tests 1

Number of riders having inappropriate relationships with their dogs: 1

Number of riders blaming dogs/whiskey/grandmothers/aliens for failed tests: 3

Number of times Cadel Evans threatens a journalist: 27

Number of times a French rider will launch a suicide break: 237

Number of French suicide breaks that will succeed: 2

Number of Lance Armstrongs riding: 0

Number of times Pinky and Perkey (Phil and Paul), will claim they 'have never seen anything like that before': 17

Number of giant cocks painted on the route: 4 (down from a 2006 high of 54).

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