Saturday, 06 July, 2002

Tour de France

The Tour de France started today, with the Prologue—a 7 km individual time trial in Luxembourg.  Lance Armstrong, who is favored to win this year's Tour for the fourth consecutive time, won today's stage with a time of 9:08.  That works out to an average speed of 46 km/hr, or about 28.5 mph.  That's a respectable pace on a flat course, and nothing short of amazing considering the course profile.  The first 3 km was downhill with lots of twists and turns, and the last 2.5 or 3 km was up a respectable hill.  The tour continues tomorrow with a 192 km stage that contains some small but difficult hills, and an uphill finish.

If you're interested in Tour coverage, probably the best place to start is Lance Armstrong's site.  They have their own coverage, and links to all the major TdF and cycling news sites.  The official Tdf site is www.letour.com.  They have coverage in French, German, English, and Spanish.  They feature stage profiles, individual and team standings, and 5-minute (approximate) updates during the stages.  VeloNews has live coverage with an automatic 90-second update at http://www.velonews.com/tour2002/liveupdates_index.html.  Click on the "Live Coverage" icon to open the window.  Finally, if you get the Outdoor Life Network (OLN) on cable, you can see live Tour coverage every day from 9:30 am until 11:30 am Eastern.  They re-air the live coverage from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm Eastern, and also have a 2-hour commentary and analysis from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  See their full schedule.  If, like me, you don't get OLN, you can hear the commentary live via webcast on theirListen Live site.  CBS has recap coverage on Sunday July 14 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm Eastern, and on Sunday July 21 and July 28 from 2:00 to 3:00 pm Eastern.  Cycling, unfortunately, still isn't a real big thing here in the U.S., so major network television coverage is pretty limited.