I am in a good mood these days. The Tour has gotten off to a great start. This is due to a variety of factors.
The Course: Without being obsessed at making the course “Lance Proof” and the absence of a Tour winner or even a true Tour favorite, the organizers have focused on designing an interesting course. They have even made the first week interesting. The additive effect of removing the time bonuses at the finish, no prologue, a short but difficult time trial, and some interesting finishes have created something shall I say Giro like?
The Coverage: Giving credit where credit is due, I have to say the coverage on Versus has been great to this point. I was worried the coverage would be second rate since no American has a real shot at the podium. But with each day having at least 3 hours of live coverage, I can’t ask for more. My TiVo is getting a work out. By the way, I don’t know the results of the days time trial so don’t tell me. The addition by subtraction of Al Trautwig is a plus and Craig Hummer is really stepping up and doing a great job setting up Phil, Paul, and Bob. He is a refreshing presence on the screen.
In addition to the traditional camera coverage, Versus has invested in some Web 2.0 tools such as the Tour widget below.
By adding new keywords for the Fly to the Finish contest in this widget along with some interesting hear rate data, these little touches are sure to peak interest.
The only question mark here is I heard that coverage would be in HD. So far, I have not gotten a broadcast in HD. Am I being picky?
The Riders: We are seeing some great racing with exciting breakaways that keep you guessing until the finish. In fact one actually got away. While I expect the GC men to ride conservatively when the roads turn up, right now, things are fun.