Tenspeed Hero Tour de France Coverage starts this Saturday with stage one from the Passage du Gois to Monte des Alouettes. Everyone in the cycling press is talking up the chances of Thor Hushovd and the sprinters who do not mind going uphill but at Hero Headquarters we are pulling for Philippe Gilbert. We think he really wants to show that Belgium National Championship jersey and then quickly trade it in for a yellow one. Our coverage will start with daily reports from stage one with the occasional Hero-relevant feature.
Now to be clear, the Tenspeed Hero team of Jonathan, Luke, Patrick and Heather will not be in France until Bastille Day but Maggie Hero back at HQ in Chicago has been working on a Tour de France Diorama war room. Imagine Churchill and Roosevelt in the White House basement moving around tanks, battleships, hand-made figurines and a mountain pass or two. It should be fun and we promise to deliver a punchy and brief recap with arms in the air, bobbled heads, and clinched teeth wrapped by a painful smile within a few minutes of a stage win. The reality of Tour de France coverage is dozens upon dozens of journalists in an ASO bunker outfitted with TV screens, laptops, extension cords, but pas de air conditioners (sorry). At Hero HQ we have lots of extension cords, air conditioning and twenty-year old interns pounding tables with their fists every last kilometer!
Many Heroes remember living in small towns before the World Wide Web waiting months to get your box of VHS tapes from World Cycling Productions. It is fair to say coverage and viewership has improved greatly. Yes, it took the star power of Lance to get the ball really rolling but we would like to tip our hat to the WCP folks and the tiny column in the NY Times where 200 word copy so efficiently summed up the day’s events. OH Pioneers…We Thank You! While respect for your elders is an essential Hero tenant, be prepared, your students are leaving the nest!