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Tour de France: Today's Dippin Dots


Just parked on the couch watching the Midsummer Classic, or at least what baseball calls a "classic" (cough). Everybody looks very clean and relaxed, colorful and well-fed. In other words, we're about as far away from Paris-Roubaix as it's possible to be.

Tdf-bullseye_mediumAnyway, another travel day has left me scanning for fun Tour stories. But I've covered the green jersey five different, increasingly tedious ways; yellow is a sideshow so far; and I no longer have to work hard to convince people that Johnny Hoogerland is awesome. In terms of big stories, we've reached that point in the Tour where there's nothing left to say. It's like that place in the Pacific Ocean where the winds all spin themselves out. What's left is the media equivalent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Or for big stories anyway. So I'm trolling for fun little bits. You know, like those dippin dots? How can something so small be so delicious? That's what I'm talking about. The Tour is full of dippin dots stories. Like these...

  • Alberto Contador's knee injury was the subject of no small amount of chatter on the rest day. As one commenter put it, rest days often overlap with the World Sandbagging Championships, and lo! A day later his knee seems to have healed. Did his old soccer coach hit him with the magic spray?
  • In the time it took you to read this sentence, Levi Leipheimer has crashed again. How is he still OK? I can't wait for him to take flight in the Pyrenees.
  • Twitter is all about some chucklehead from ESPN who said that the crash caused by the France TV car was funny. Obviously he's an ignoramus, but do we really need to muster outrage over every ESPN doofus? Can we just ignore the annual obscure bobblehead scream for attention, and just acknowledge that Bonnie Ford deserves hardship pay?
  • Right now CN has headlines touting "panache" and "courage." Have they been in country too long? Do we need to send Captain Willard up the Seine to collect them before they go mad?
  • Robert Gesink sounds like he's OK. Not great, but coming around, despite crashing again today. On a serious note, it sounded like he was in the emotional tank this week, between his injuries and the birthday of his father, whom he lost last fall. Psychology's role in cycling is sometimes underappreciated, IMHO. Not so much in the classics, but three weeks is a long time, and the intrusion of humanity into the race is inevitable. Add in the immense pressure of the Tour, the months of all-in investment that its stars so often make, investment that can vanish in a flash, and, well, it's about much more than watts per kilogram.
  • HLN is already starting to track post-Tour criteriums, and the big news!!! is that Philippe Gilbert has won the Sint Niklaas crit scheduled for July 29.

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