It’s good to be back with our friends Paul and Phil, even if we’re a bit indifferent to Bob Roll and, to be honest, a bit antipathetic toward Craig Hummer. The opening sequence of the coverage was deliciously campy, making the Tour sound like the subject of one of those History Channel programs about Hitler.
Our post title comes from the stupid motto of the quite decent beer paired with tonight’s stage, Koningshoeven Dubbel Trappist Ale. The broadcast is, of course, anything but silent, and Phil, though ancient, has the ability to sound like he’s alternating between purring and shouting for the whole three or four hours.
We’re glad to hear that they’re x-raying the bikes to make sure that there aren’t hidden motors, but really, come on. That trouble would be better put toward fashion design–the first set today, black vinyl jumpsuits or something, were easily the worst podium girl outfits we’ve seen.
A pretty fun start, considering how boring time trials really are. At least one of us finds Lance more like-able as aging brings him a kind of underdog status. That said, they’re certainly flogging the Contador-Armstrong rival just a tad too much. As Paul said, “we’re still talking 3,600 kilometers to the finish”–are they going to keep this up all the way round France?
Thanks to our DVR, we’re watching the morning Versus broadcast in the evening. LB snuck a peek on-line at the results. The lanterne rouge was Manuel Cardoso, who had an awful crash and finished in 16:20. In his honor, we threw our bikes on our trainers and biked for just that amount of time. My bike computer’s not working on the trainer, but I doubt we covered half or even a third of the distance of this TT. Still, it’s a sort of shakedown ride and we plan to add time with each stage. For the record, at the Official Weigh-In today I was 169 pounds. We’ll see what the combination of biking and eating/drinking does with that over the course of the tour.
And the beer? Top-fermented, deep red-brown Belgian/French style beer, made in Tilburg, about an hour’s drive from today’s stage, which is cool. We liked it, but thought it perhaps a bit over-rated (97Bottles gave it a 94). We like the molasses taste, and the considerable 24 BUs (bitterness units). It’s partly a question of style, as I like my bitterness in a much less syrupy package, such as the excellent local Hopalicious from Ale Asylum (hey, they should have a bike race here!).