So I'm at Mr. Van P's house after a long day of airport nonsense, only to find talk of tennis and skiing. Pshaw! Have to say, it's hard to keep up with all the racing right now. I'm getting a little resentful of the Tour de Suisse because I really want to start focusing exclusively on the Tour, but maybe the proper way of watching these races is with their Tour implications in mind anyway.
Speaking of which, if there were any confusion about the magnitude of the Tour, ask yourself, does the Giro or the Vuelta spend the entire previous month doing very high-profile dress rehearsals? The Tour de Suisse and Dauphine Libere are really spectacular races in their own right... and yet, these days at least, they are part of the racing entourage of le grand boucle.
The one nice thing I'll say about plane rides is that they offer people with small kids a chance to actually read something longer than a web entry. I polished off Dino Buzzati's Giro d'Italia, a book that has to be read slowly to absorb the power of the language. Hyperbole aside (though it's warranted), the book does a stunning job of setting the complete scenery for the Giro in postwar Italy -- a mix of war recovery, Italian culture, scenes from the gregario's POV, and the tale of an epic Coppi-Bartali battle. On the way home I'm moving on to Robin Magowan's Tour de France, another book spoken of in hushed tones for its history of the Tour enmeshed with the story of the 1978 edition.
Anyway, back to the road. Epic battle in a few hours. Time for a brief snooze...