Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bob Roll off to Tour DAY France...or is he?

Saturday is the start of the best known bicycle race in the world, the Tour de France. This three week event starts with the prologue in Strasbourg and ends on July 23 on the Champs Elysees. In between, the 2006 champion will rise to the top and everyone can finally stop speculating about who will succeed 7-time winner Lance Armstrong.

The event is a grueling one as anyone who has ever watched it can tell you, never mind those that have actually competed in the craziness. The Tour de France blog has this quote about the Tour DAY France from Bob Roll that I just loved - it's a great visual.

"It's basically a penitentiary," says Bob Roll, a former Tour rider and an anchor
for OLN TV. "You've got your walking boss, you've got that sneaky little
bastard who was in "The Longest Yard," you have the honorable
veterans, and then the guys who are just doing time,
which is most of them. Nobody wants to be anybody's boy,
but sometimes you have no choice."


It is comments like this that make me tune in every night for the re-televised OLN coverage when I've already listened to the stage on the computer live. Bob is priceless.

I thought I could report that he was on his way to France this evening, but I hear that there was an airline snafu and Bob is still at home. I'm sure they will have it all sorted out in the morning and he'll be in Strasbourg in plenty of time to report on all the great tidbits from the peloton.

Bob did tell me who his pick is a couple of weeks ago, but I'll let him tell you all during the OLN coverage this weekend. I wouldn't want to spoil the fun! Maybe he'll change his mind after being over there and getting the latest scoop, I don't know.

This Tour will be an interesting one without Lance, that's for sure. Joe Lindsey from Bicycling has an interesting take on the teams in his Boulder Report titled, "Tour de Springfield". It's an entertaining read. During Le Tour my friend Tim Jackson has vowed to do his famous Tour commentating from where he sits in Cali. It was a huge hit last year; I'm sure this year he will be equally as insightful.

Since we are close to the prologue it's time to make my prediction - after all, that's half the fun, right? I'm sticking with my original pick - Ivan Basso. 3rd two years ago, 2nd last year...well, it just feels right for the top spot on the podium this year. Although I won't tell you Bob's pick, I can say that we don't agree here. Then again, he knows a heck of a lot more than I do about all of this! I'm just going to sit back watch some great athletic achievements and listen to the great commentary.

So....who is your pick?

Just a little cycling tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.

17 comments:

Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

I'm having a hard time picking a clear cut favorite for this year.

I think Basso has the legs, but has he recovered enough after the Giro?

Can Ullrich find his head early enough that he can win, rather than later when he can't anymore?

Will Landis find the form of his life? Or Leipheimer? Or Hincapie? Or???

I love Bob; I wonder if the Bitch Kittie made it into his suitcase...

Michael Wagner said...

I feel like the young kid getting to hang out with the older ones. I haven't got a word to add. Don't know enough. But like you Donna, I watch OLN and take in all the commentary.

And sometimes I am left just wonder about meanings like "Bitch kittie".

I have watched and read about the sport and the Tour and tried to open my heart to its lessons.

Thanks for letting this "kid" hang out in this conversation!

Reva said...

Donna,

I think you are right on with Basso, but as Tim says, has he recovered from the Giro???

My other favorite is Landis. I just like him! He seems nice and he won the Tour de Georgia (including the time trial that ended here in Chattanooga!)and did well overall in the spring so I'd like to see him excel in France.

Bob is hilarious! And his commercials are always a hoot. They make it even more fun to watch!

Donna Tocci said...

Um...Tim...was there a prediction in there somewhere? :) C'mon, you know this so much better than I do...I'll bet you have a good intuition here.

Michael, you are welcome in our conversations anytime! I really just enjoy the excitement of it all, but don't live and breathe the spring races so I'm not as in tune with the riders as I could be - it truly is a guess with me. But, I learn a lot when I watch the coverage and I appreciate what these athletes do every single day for three weeks. I truly do not know how their bodies handle it day after day after day. I admire their dedication and drive like no other athletes.

The coverage makes it even more fun with Bob Roll at the desk and the sites you see along the way are priceless. The painted roads, the wine and cheese on the side of the road - Le Tour is a way of life for three weeks in France for sure. I'm very much looking forward to the race this year.

Reva - I'm with you with Landis. He just seems nice and fun and I'd be happy to see him win, too.

The one thing I've said this year, too, is that if Ullrich won I'd be good with that, too. Why? Because he seems like a normal guy - he's got flaws like the rest of us including liking to have a few extra servings of cookies or whatever in the winter time so he gains a few pounds. Excuse me...who of us doesn't? It just shows that he doesn't let his job consume his whole life. He's (GASP) human! Get off his case about the weight already and give him a little break for goodness sake. He's talented and does quite well every year. He may just take it this year. But I'm sticking with Basso...really. :)

As for commercials...Reva, I know Bob was in Austin not to long ago shooting a commercial so there is at least one new one coming. I'm sure it will be entertaining!

Thanks for stopping by everyone - this is fun!!!

Bitch Kittie said...

Hey Sport Fans!
Sounds like we will all have to tune in and see if our hero makes it to the big race! What drama. As for the picks. Mr. Roll stated on Cyclism Sunday on the TdF preview that George Hincapie was going all the way. Inside scoop here is that I talked to Georgie Porgie's brother on the phone yesterday and all systems are go. As much as I love Basso and think Floyd is a neat-o guy, I gotta stay with the boss man on this one.
As for Bitch Kittie climbing into his suitcase. . . don't have to this year. I'll be dropping the kids and heading to the big race on July 14th just in time to catch that one big hill and go to the Discovery Party and congratulate my new boyfriend, George.
Hope all is well in cycling world for y'all. Tim - Glad to see you're still kicking it. I was getting worried about you!
BK

Bitch Kittie said...

Hey Reva!
Commercials are game on. . . funny as heck. I previewed them a few weeks ago. . . .
bk

Donna Tocci said...

Hey there BK - thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation. Ok, I admit it...I missed the preview show so I missed that Bob had already given his pick. That's the same one he gave me so I guess he's stickin' with George. Cool. Still goin' with Basso - we Italians need to stick together.
Commercials are fun? You big TEASE! Can't wait to see 'em.

Reva said...

So not fair that SOME people (no names, but bk comes to mind) have to rub our noses in it that they get previews of the cool stuff....Well, I have some cool stuff in my world too! HA!!

Reva

Hope the humor/jealously comes across in the typed word!!!

Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

BK- Georgie is married to a podium girl. You and I are tight and all, so you know I love ya, but...

And yes, I'm very much alive... just tryin to wrap up a catalog (was in one photoshoot today and have another tomorrow) and get ready for our National Sales Meeting... then the shows (Montreal and Vegas). It's been a zoo... of epic proportions.

Landis could do it. I've ridden with him many times over the years and the last time scared me; he's on fire right now (and he really is a super nice guy). Leipheimer? Maybe podium... but it's a stretch. I like him a lot... but I dunno.

Basso- easily a favorite, but is he too tired? Ullrich- big favorite, but is he fit right now? Will he have to find his form as usual in the closing week... when it is too late?

Hincapie? I love the guy- he's a big boy after all and we big boys have to stick together- but I just dunno.

BK; I think I have to take back the "love" thing. I think I hate you now. Going to the Big Dance without me. All I can say is that there better be presents for me in Vegas or I'm gonna take back my offer to get you liqoured up!

And, yes, I will be doing daily coverage of the race again this year- though some posts may be late due to our Sales Meeting. AND I'll do a pre-race prognistication and in-depth analysis... Masiguy style.

Bitch Kittie said...

Hey y'all -
Donna you have the best blog ever. Mr. Roll could sure learn a thing or two from you. :)
Anyways - Ms. Reva. . . I don't mean to rub your nose in it but I will say the 4 days in Austin filming them were pretty knarly. Like road rash, but more painful. Bob dressed in drag? Lord. Even my mother who adores him cringed. THat's all I have to say about that. I'm not herer to do you wrong, sister. Us Bike Gals have to stick together. :)
Tim, I will state for the record that I agree with your 'dictions on the most part, but I've got the inside slide on GH and I think since the crash he got pissed and we allllll know another guy who rode for Discovery who won a few little rides on rage. I think the quote from Brother GH was "best shape of his life." I just wouldn't discount him yet. I don't care who he's married to. He can still be my secret boyfriend - as all good TdF winners are (did you miss the LA pic?)
As for Ullrich - I want clean blood. :) Kidding. Kind of. You better still love me Tim Jackson Masi Guy . . . did you ever hear to keep your friends close and your enemies closer? :)
Here's to the big race.
Also a cheapie about Bob's FREE PODCAST "Ride the Tour, Stay at Home" gig. He did this with Chris Carmichael. Pretty cool deal because it's freaking free. You can check it out at www.trainright.com.
Ok. . .shameless, I know.
Here's until Tim says something else totally smartass. . .
bk

Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

I'm shocked that you would insinuate that I would make some sort of "smart ass" comment. Shocked I tells ya...

GH- Is his "best form ever" good enough though? Can he handle the stress of being a leader for 3 weeks? Not knocking the guy, jus' axin the questions. It''s the kind of hardhitting journalism people expect from me...

I might warm back up to you after a few drinks... but I'm not makin' any promises... unless that suitcase comes back from France with gifts for me. I might still let you listen as I interview Bob in Vegas though... I'm a giver after all.

Donna Tocci said...

This is some great Tour banter gang! I wouldn't expect anything less from true cycling fans only a few short days from the "Big Dance", as Tim calls it.

Reva - you and BK are very similar, she'll get your humor every single time. No worries there.

BK - Thanks for the compliment. The blog is only as good as the conversations that get going though so thank you! :)
Bob in drag? I'll be glued to my TV, although note to self, do not be drinking or eating anything during commercials so I don't choke while laughing!

Tim - I agree with you about George. Sorry BK.
Hmmm...Tim, we might want to be nice to BK...maybe we can con her into calling us with behind the scenes info for the blogs during her trip to the Tour DAY France....didn't think of that, did you?? :)

Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

Way ahead of you DT- I had a microchip inmplanted in her head while she was sleeping. I get her thoughts emailed to me daily.

By the way BK, stop thinking that stuff...

Bitch Kittie said...

Oh My Stars!
You guys are a HOOT! Say what you will about my boy. . . Lance didn't always carry 3 weeks either. New regime, new tactics. It's an all new world out there, folks.
I think it's great we're all going to hook up in Vegas so I can put in Masi Guy's face that GH is the man. Even if I don't have that opportunity, I know it will just take a jean skirt, a push up bra and a vneck tee to get him back in my good graces.
As for that microchip, Smartypants, I smelled you coming (as any good BK would) and put my friend Dirty Mary in my place. That girl has some rotten things piling up in there. Oh Tim, the poor dear, bless his heart. . . .
Let's remember this is all fun & games folks, we don't have to get all C R A Z Y (Imagine me with me arms waving like a mad child above my head - with jazz hands of course) and personal. I love you Tim Jackson Masi Guy. :) You had better watch it or I'll give Donna the exclusive on my TdF info!
Hey Ms. Reva - do you still hate me? I hope not.
BOB ROLL UPDATE
He did get to France. I got a text from Sherwen that Bob arrived today. . . . . over 24 hours after leaving. I'm sure he was pleased. I have yet to talk to him or hear from him, but no word is good word.
Ok Sports Fans . . . that's enough yammering for now. . . .
bk

Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

Nobody ever said I was a nice guy. I can take BK in 2 rounds. Even with the Irish blood of hers... I predict a TKO in 2; "T" because I'll prolly have to digress to hair pulling and pinching.

Vegas will be great!

Good luck to Bobke. I'm really looking froward to this Tour- should give him lots to talk about.

Bitch Kittie said...

OMG TIM JACKSON MASI GUY!
You just wait until I let the kittie outta the bag. Stop this insanity. I love how insecure men stoop to violence when they can't think of anything witty to say. I'm SERIOUS. Let's get down to the real deal here, Tim-a-licious. I sent you a tshirt and if I remember correctly, it freaking made your day. You even went into the studio and had your picture taken by a professional in it to send me. All proud like a kid who went across the monkey bars for the first time. You have asked for my address THREE TIMES to send me and Bob some crap and I've seen NOTHING. I'm tired of using Donna's really cool blog to take your shit. You have my email. Be a man. We don't need to abuse Donna and my new pal Reva with your insecurities. . . .
(insert evil laugh here)
bk
ps. Bobke doesn't need your help. He's a Real Deal Super Star.

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