J'adore Le Tour! Viva la Phil et al... etc.
ITV is regularly dismissed for its coverage
of sport – but you know what, it was bang on for this year’s Tour de
Since the days of my dad trailing us all
over to get to his weekend time trial races for the East Anglian Cycling Club,
reading his subscription to Cycling Weekly and him taking me through the virtues of
sport’s greatest race, I’ve always loved Le Tour.
Even though I lost my way from it in recent
years – not helped by some shameful cheating and ropey coverage – I fell in
love with it all over again in 2010.
It helped that the race was a cracker.
Mark Cavendish, struggling for form early
on, took five stages in seemingly invincible style.
Andy Schleck came good – and then unstuck by
the width of a chain ring. The fact Alberto Contador won overall by the exact
margin he picked up on the Port de Bales is so delicious an irony, it’s almost
poetic… ignoring the slightly bitter taste from the whole episode, of
And – the usual annoyance of starting an ad
break every time a treacherous descent begins excepted – ITV did it justice.
From the live coverage, highlights and
podcasts. Matt Rendell, Ned Boulting and Chris Boardman were opinionated and expressive. No
airs and graces – just telling it like it is.
You just don’t get that on other sports –
football on television being the prime example.
Gary Imlach, Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett are
Tour legends – I suppose they could ensure the coverage was good no matter what
But still, viva Le Tour.
posted on 26 July 2010 14:40 byMichael Bailey - Sportsdesk