The first few days of the Tour are really about funny previews, the scenery and the dark art of peloton survival:
The latter is important, because massive sprinter Peter Sagan thinks all these noobs are ruining things (VeloNews):
Now in the group everybody is riding like they don’t care about their life — it’s unbelievable! … Before there was respect. When someone did something stupid, everybody throws their [water] bottle on him or beats him with [tire] pumps.
But VeloNews has already prepped us for these quotes with a handy cliche translator:
There’s no respect in the peloton — I’m not as young as I used to be / Get off my lawn.
And save the rough stuff for the peloton and not, say, a random punch-up with some drunk people, as Podium Cafe reminds us.
VeloNews also has a fun read on the so-unsung-they’re-actually-overrated men of the Tour, the “lead-out men” who get their team’s top sprinter in position for a Tour win.
Want to watch but don’t have cable or a dish any more? NBC has a package of the Tour and a lot of other races for $29.99.
I did promise funny previews. Take your pick (or read both):
NYVelocity: The “Tour de Schmalz” isn’t the daily riot it used to be, but he’ll still chime in from time to time. He explains why Chris Froome is the overwhelming favorite:
The 2013 and 2015 Tour Champion is coming off a win at the Dauphiné and is looking like a wobbly-elbowed juggernaut backed by a team of Rahpa-clad robots hellbent on delivering victory via a panache-smothering, soul crushing stomp through France. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2016 Tour de France, brought to you by Skynet.
Don’t worry — you’ll catch up to the lingo quickly, and it’s worth the effort. He’ll help you put a human funny face on an unfamiliar group of names.
Podium Cafe offers a day-by-day approach, weighing whether to catch the day’s action live or go play cricket, which sounds like a pair of options I wish I had. Today, I believe he’s out at the wicket:
There’s nothing like a long, boring, flat stage to bring the Tour de France south to the mountains.
And don’t forget, you may see some of these same people in Rio later this summer, where the velodrome is done … sort of (VeloNews again).