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Monday Quickie: Wish You Were Here... and Some PodCafSt Notes

The serious season is officially over.

Le Tour de France 2014 - Stage Twenty
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Man, what a Tour!


OK, well another slice of history is in the books, for better or worse, and it’s time to review what happened take stock of things pointlessly mess around with the subject. But first...

Podcasting has been really fun for Conor, Andrew and me, and I hope people enjoy it. I think it’ll remain a feature here as long as people have time because it undeniably adds an element of entertainment to the site, and they aren’t difficult to produce. [Maybe they’re difficult to produce well, but that’s another matter.] One thing they aren’t is a two-way street; you can comment on the PodCafSt post but chances are that if you listened, it wasn’t while you were at your computer. They’re mobile entertainment, which overlaps very little with being here at the Cafe.

So with that in mind, I declare here and now that any questions you want to ask us will be answered on the next PodCafSt. Possibly with angry refusals to respond, but probably not. The things you can ask us about are bounded only by the limits of decent society, but might be more fun to discuss if they have a cycling angle.

And speaking of the PodCafSt and the inability to start a conversation here from a conversation there, I am jotting down a little game I played with Andrew last time, to invite your participation. The game was “Wish You Were Here,” and it wouldn’t hurt to spin a little Pink Floyd in the background while you play, but basically consisted of asking who you would have liked to see at the startline and/or finish of the 2017 Tour de France.

Andrew started with a sprinting duo of Sagan (reinstated) against peak-form Mario Cipollini, to liven up the Green Jersey comp. He then added Alejandro Valverde (reluctantly) as the all-round challenger, and finally Peter Velits from the year he came in second at the Vuelta, as the guy who, if he could hang through the climbs, would scare the bejeezus out of Froome in the final ITT.

I went with Richie Porte (duh), as well as 2014 Vincenzo Nibali and the love child of Bernard Hinault and Alexandre Vinokourov. The latter might involve some complicated science, but if it could be managed, then you would get a good, exciting attacker. As for peak-year Nibali, that serves the dual purpose of injecting some drama into 2017 with a tremendously efficient rider whose diverse skills would have fit this Tour like a glove, plus maybe giving Nibali the chance to beat Froome, which is the one clear caveat to his run of grand tour success.

I’ll add one more: Obviously Doped Danilo DiLuca. Now, you ask, why insert a cheater to a clean race? For one, an obviously doped Italian rider is to a French race jury like a plump juicy seal is to a great white shark. It would only have been a matter of time. As for why this would help the race, I just think that reality TV thrives when it has a clear villain. How could you not watch when ODDDL shows up at the start line with blood trickling down his arm, or is interviewed while working a centrifuge? “But isn’t he banned from the sport already?” Sure, but would anyone be surprised if the UCI computer failed to catch the similarity between O-TripleD-L and Danilo DiLuca, and granted him a license? Plan B would be he could apply under the name Killer Di Spotole and insist on wearing a Mexican wrestling mask at all times. Defo gets a license that way.

[I don’t wish to heap scorn on Di Luca, who is my all-time favorite doper. There’s more love in that statement than I care to admit.]

OK, who do you wish had been at the Tour? Obviously it’s not confined to non-ridiculous scenarios. Have at it!

And send us questions. We will answer. Fo reals.