The long drought is over. Cycling is back. And I'm glad that Paul Sherwen and Bob Roll got the nod to do the commentary for the Amgen Tour of California nightly telecasts on ESPN2. It was like hearing from old friends.
Roll sounded in midseason form with his fractured Tour 'Day' France pronounciations, and Sherwen had no trouble getting all hyped up calling the finish for some of these cyclists just crawling up the Coit Tower hill to the finish line.
Sherwen even commented one of the cyclists was “dancing on his pedals;” I though that was a Phil Liggett trademark.
One of the broadcast's drawbacks was use of the Google map tool. Although it's cool to use on the computer, it looked blurry on TV when used in the satellite mode. Zooming and tilting the views was just plain annoying.
I found VeloNews did the best job of reporting live from the race; they updated every three minutes on their website. (Check out Tour of California list of stages in the upper left-hand sidebar on this page for the current day's VeloNews live feed.)
The RSS feed from the official Tour of California website was completely botched. It didn't do updates during the race, then dumped a slew of posts in chronological order on my website. Check the bottom of the left sidebar. (I removed it. Plain didn't work.)Shouldn't an RSS feed have the latest news at the top? Maybe they'll work out the feeds tomorrow.
Stage 1 starts at 11 a.m. in Sausalito. The 84-mile ride expected to end at 2 to 2:30 in Santa Rosa. Let's see if the Gerolsteiner squad can protect Levi Leipheimer in the golden jersey.
The photo at top of Leipheimer and the Guvernator is from visceralpleasures at flickr.com.