21 July, 2009

The "good" old days of Tour sponsorship

Back in the day, local sponsors would do something for the riders, or the lead rider, or a local rider in order to get a little press. The Tour has largely moved on from that era.

I'll concede that such a tradition can seem a little low-budget and possibly bush-league, but I like the intimacy it confers. You can still see the tradition in some places, like the winner of Clasica San Sebastian wearing a Basque beret, or when I was at Driedagse De Panne when the winner of the stage got a huge chocolate cake/brownie/treat.

So I was happy to see Alberto Contador posing on the podium with a St. Bernard dog at Verbiers, and then again at the start of Stage 16. I wonder if they gave him the dog. In years gone by, riders have been awarded horses, watches, wheels of cheese.

No comments: