Saturday, July 01, 2006

Le Tour Preview, Beckham Blows Load


For most people, the Tour de France is nothing more than a bunch of grown men in flamboyant leotards riding their bikes through a country of arrogant people. For others, Le Tour is an emotional, psychological, and physical odyessy where teamwork, determination, and courage triumph in the end. HPO's very own in-house cycling expert, Mr. Drugs, offers the following analysis:
Our pick to win it all is Levi Leipheimer. Riding for the Gerolsteiner Team, this American is in his prime, winning the Dauphine Libere just weeks ago. Vinokourov would be my pick for #2. Irregardless, the show must go on. This train stops for no one.

This year's tour will make it's loop around the vast, beautiful, and hexagonal countryside of France in a counter-clockwise fashion. Beginning with the prologue in Strasbourg, the riders will proceed west in a series of largely flat stages through Normandy before heading south to Bordeaux. Then comes the steep and mysterious peaks of the Basque region, the majestic zeniths and valleys of the Alps, and finally the descent into "Gay Paris" and the glorious climax on the Champs Elysses. The highlight should be the mountain stage finishing atop L'Alpe D'Huez, arguably the most forbidding and difficult climb in Tour history. I have the time trial up D'Huez in 2004 on tape if anyone would like to watch it with me.

For the uninformed among you, each tour begins with 21 teams of 9 riders each, bringing the total to 189 men with titanic quads in tight clothing. The race takes 23 days including the Prologue and 2 rest days, and also includes 2 individual time trials and one team time trial. The Prologue (which happens tomorrow) is a short individual time trial, meaning each rider will be alone on the course starting a couple minutes apart. This is meant to separate the riders by a few seconds so that when the first day of racing begins, someone will be in the lead and can wear the yellow jersey. The jersey competitions include the Yellow, Green, Polka-dot, and White jerseys. Yellow is for the leader in the GC (General Classification - best time overall), Green is for the leader in the sprint competition, Polka-dot is the "King of the Mountains", and the White is for the best young rider under 24 or 23 or something. There is also a team competition. Each of these is a coveted prize, so there is plenty of excitement aside from who gets the Yellow Jersey.

So, uh, yeah... it should be interesting.

Tie one on, Beckham.
Are we the only sane people left on the face of the earth? Has the whole world gone crazy? What is everyone's obsession with David Beckham? The guy is a ponce, and nobody seems to notice.
Here's why it's easy to hate Beckham:
1. He's not that great of a soccer player. He never scores, he is a bad passer, he flops, dives, dogs it, gives up on plays, and can't finish. He has a reputation of choking in key situations. All he is good for is taking penalties.
2. His wife is much better looking than your wife.
3. Beckham is a moron.
4. He's a pretty boy.
5. Every so often, he puts on a show like he did today. It was hard to tell exactly what happened, but Beckham was on the sideline crying. Crying like a little school girl. Bawling into his jersey. What a wiener. He broke a nail, or twisted his ankle, or sprained his pussywillow ligament or something.


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