Whom to follow in the Tour de France …

The Tour starts Saturday. Yes, you should pay attention. First, follow NYVelocity on Twitter for colorful commentary, especially now that the site doesn’t offer up the daily Tour day Schmalz. Also, follow The Guardian, starting with their team-by-team guide. And watch it on NBCSN. I don’t care if you hate cycling. The commentary (dry-witted Englishmen Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen) and scenery are unmatched. Then a couple things as sure to happen as death and taxes … Phil and Paul calculating the chances of a breakaway working on a flat stage when we all know damn well it won’t, and … Continue reading Whom to follow in the Tour de France …

What I’m watching: July 21-31

Friday, July 21 6:10 a.m.: Water polo, men’s Worlds, USA-Russia, NBC Sports online 11:45 a.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, Sweden-Russia, ESPN3 2 p.m.: Track and field, Diamond League Monaco, NBCSN 2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, Germany-Italy, ESPN3 11:30 p.m.: Australian rules football, Essendon-North Melbourne, FS2 Saturday, July 22 7:30 a.m.: Tour de France, time trial, NBCSN 11:45 a.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, Iceland-Switzerland, ESPN3 2:30 p.m.: Women’s Euro 2017, France-Austria, ESPN3 3:30 p.m.: NWSL, Chicago-Orlando, Lifetime 4 p.m.: MLS, Minnesota-NY Red Bulls, ESPN 6 p.m.: UFC Fight Night, Fox 10 p.m.: Gold Cup semifinal, USA-Costa Rica, FS1 Sunday, July 23 Ongoing: Golf, … Continue reading What I’m watching: July 21-31

Cycling is the new golf?

From a participation point of view, anyway, according to this BBC Sport report. More worryingly for golf in England, participation has fallen by about 180,000 in eight years. Cycling, on the other hand, gained about 270,000 pedal-pushers in the last year alone. This figure does not include people tootling to work or down to the local. Cycling waxes while golf wanes. And a fun phrase here: Golf and cycling overlap in terms of their socio-economic profiles. Both sports can be reasonably cheap, but they can also be eye-wateringly expensive. Golf has always had players with ‘all the gear and no … Continue reading Cycling is the new golf?

Monday Myriad, July 28: Sprinter’s paradise

We begin this week with a view of a cycling sprint finish from the winner’s perspective. Sounds like that would be “nothing,” but Marianne Vos didn’t take the lead until the last few meters: Last 200m is strangely zen. RT @Bonnie_D_Ford Yowsers MT @velonews On-board footage from Vos final km/La Course. http://t.co/Igw8bPGtm7 … … — Jason Gay (@jasongay) July 28, 2014 And another point-of-view video from a winning cyclist, this time from BMX women’s world champion Mariana Pajon. Nibali cares not for your dropped call: Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali is a model of focus as he plows right through … Continue reading Monday Myriad, July 28: Sprinter’s paradise

Monday Myriad, July 7: Meb passed a lot of you

Best and worst in myriad sports this week: BEST CHARITY RUN Meb Keflezighi started at the back of the Peachtree Road Race. He couldn’t pass everyone — the top runners were had been done for more than an hour by the time he started — but he reached his goal of passing 25,000 runners. WORST COMPETITION We were used to the idea of Ronda Rousey being a better grappler than every woman in MMA. Once she got you in her grasp, you were likely to fall prey to the armbar she honed as an Olympic judo medalist. In her last … Continue reading Monday Myriad, July 7: Meb passed a lot of you

Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, purgatory and peace

The word “Tour” appears only six times (not counting the tour of his art collection) in this lengthy piece on Lance Armstrong: Lance in Purgatory: The After-Life – Esquire. The word “France” appears only once. It’s as if we no longer associate the man with his rise. Only his fall. The Tour is back on TV this week, and though it’s starting in England, it’s the same old Tour. It’s live shots of the peloton clawing back to catch the little-known riders in the day’s heroic but ultimately doomed breakaway. It’s Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen chatting about castle architecture … Continue reading Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, purgatory and peace

Woly Award: Bryan brothers, tennis

Two remarkable careers, one in tennis and one in cycling, are worth celebrating this week. Bob and Mike Bryan have been the top doubles team in the world for nearly a decade. Rewind to 2003, when they first claimed the top spot in the year-end doubles rankings, and see how the other names in men’s tennis have changed: Andre Agassi won the Australian Open, Juan Carlos Ferrero won the French, and Andy Roddick won the U.S. Open and finished first in the season rankings. After all that, the Bryans are somehow getting better. With their win at Wimbledon over the weekend, … Continue reading Woly Award: Bryan brothers, tennis

Monday Myriad: Feb. 4

Yes, this will be more of an evening thing from now on. The week’s headlines: – Jose Aldo defended his UFC featherweight title as Frankie Edgar suffered yet another close decision loss. The rest of the UFC 156 card scrambled the title chases in ways I’m still working out. Rashad Evans was supposed to fight for the middleweight title, but he lost a dreary light heavyweight fight to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. In the heavyweight division, Alistair Overeem was supposed to fight for the title, but Antonio Silva knocked him out. And now lightweight contender Anthony Pettis says he wants to … Continue reading Monday Myriad: Feb. 4

Lance Armstrong and the truth-tellers … well, sort of

The NYT has a curious piece hailing the independent media as the sole source of truth in the years before Lance Armstrong was buried under 1,000 pages of U.S. Anti-Doping Agency evidence. Nice shoutout to NYVelocity.com, home of the ever-classic Tour day Schmalz, but it’s a little unfair to split the cycling media into “brave, truth-telling, low-profile underdogs” and “those who were unwilling or simply scared to tell the truth.” (Or even worse, “enablers.”) The issue: For journalists to print doping allegations, they have to have something called “evidence.” The main reason we wait for evidence: It’s simply ethical to … Continue reading Lance Armstrong and the truth-tellers … well, sort of

Tuesday’s links: Pot in MMA, skeleton comeback, soccer launch, Armstrong albatross

The day got away from me, but I did some interesting reading in between trips tending to sick cars and family members who need oil changes. Wait, I’ve got that backwards. Anyway … MMA: Matt Riddle, “Chipper” from his TUF days, says he’s not a stoner but smokes pot because he needs to chill out. Having never walked in that world (apart from attending indoor Pink Floyd and Rush concerts), I can’t tell whether that’s a meaningful distinction. Speaking of odd behavior in MMA, remind me to get to this hourlong Jason “Mayhem” Miller interview when I have a spare hour. … Continue reading Tuesday’s links: Pot in MMA, skeleton comeback, soccer launch, Armstrong albatross