We've had a lot of stories coming in pretty fast lately, so to the untrained eye it might be pretty hard to tell how things work around here. So here's a quick rundown of what you can expect to see at the Podium Cafe over the next 3+ weeks.
- Daily live stage threads
This is a pretty long running feature here, where people who are watching the stage live can make comments, chat, snark, predictions, etc., and people who are stuck at work can follow along. Obviously there are 25,000 ways to follow the Tour live, but the Podium Cafe crowd has its own wrinkes. Anyway, I'll post a live thread the night before so when TV coverage of the stage kicks off in the morning, people can start snarking away. I plan to be on every single day, as parenting and work demands allow.
- Daily stage previews and wrapups
We'll put up a map (if it's at all interesting) and create a forum for getting ready for the next day's stage. And I'll do what I can to round up post-race quotes, to the extent anything happened that was worth hearing about.
Everyone is invited to post whatever they want, as usual. But I would especially like to invite any and all diaries from people who will be in France for the Tour. I can virtually guarantee promotion of any diary from France where you can provide us some insight into your experience. We know who won and why, but those of us stuck at home have little feel for what it's like to be there. These are always very popular. Search "tifosa" for an excellent series from the Giro d'Italia.
- Daily Power Polls
Monday thru Friday, I'll put up a power poll, in accordance with the following schedule:
Mon: Sprinters/Green Jersey
Tue: Best Young Rider
Thu: General Classification
We've done three initial polls (GC, teams, sprinters) to get the ball rolling, and I may be able to kick out the other two just cuz.
- Le Tour Virtual Directeur Sportif Contest Updates
Except when Clydesdale is tied up, expect daily stage results and overall standings for the VDS competition. These threads often present ripe opportunities for denouncing others and singing the praises of your own mythical squad. No, really.
- Podium Cafe Prologue Challenge!
Thanks to a stroke of genius by Kevin, we are hosting a challenge to see who can ride a time trial roughly similar to the London Prologue within the Tour de France's elimination cutoff. Read the details below and see how this got started. The rules are, you have to post a time over 7.9km (4.9 miles) that's no more than 25% outside the actual winning time in London. Of those who make the cutoff, the fastest time will receive a free pro team jersey of your choosing from ProCycleGear.com!
One other rule: the London course appears to have five corners. The course you choose must have five corners, or you will be assigned a penalty of three seconds per corner less than five. So if like me, you're planning a completely cornerless assault, you'll incur a 15 second penalty. Every course has a zillion factors we can't harmonize with each other's, but corners are the one significant factor which we can build in. I'll try to keep an open diary thread available at all times for people to post their raw times plus number of corners. Feel free to write up a separate diary on your experience. Competition ends when the riders get to Paris.
- Musette du Jour
I will try to kick out a links/notes feedbag just about every day, save the weekends. There are always smaller pieces to the big picture. I probably won't have time to survey the blogs, but if you want to, have at it.
In all cases, people are free to take some of these tasks off my hands. Write something up before 9am Pacific, and I'll just nab it off the diaries. For longer pieces, feel free to shoot me an email letting me know it's coming, so I won't put up anything on that subject ahead of yours.