01 July, 2009

A Culinary Tour de France...In New York City

Since a Tour de France means any number of things, some New York restauranteurs teamed up to offer a tour of French restaurants in the big, bad city. If we go by their map, the first stage is at Nice Matin and the finish at French Roast. The finish is already looking like a disappointment, but perhaps appropriate.

Allan Davis' Tour is in Doubt

Allan who? Australia's Herald Sun newspaper wants you to know that it is currently undecided whether or not their homeboy will ride the Tour. To them, this is big news.

Davis, despite his relative anonymity, is currently ranked fifth in the international cycling rankings. Pretty good; for most teams, having a sprinter that good should be enough to guarantee a ride in Le Grande Boucle. But he has the luck of being on the same team with Tom Boonen, one of the most famous cyclists in the world, a wearer of the green jersey, winner of several Tour de France stages, and a national hero in his native Belgium.

Relevance? For most of the world, the headline would read Tom Boonen's Tour In Doubt. Boonen again tested positive for cocaine in an out-of-competition test, which makes him a felon to Belgian law, but still clear to race. Sort of. The Tour doesn't want a cokehead in the Tour. But the cycling federation, Boonen and Davis' Quick Step team, and all of Belgium wants him in. Davis only rides if Boonen is banned.

LES CHIENS dans la rue and a Certain Lanterne Rouge

The Irish Times has given the world the binary equivalent of Pierre Salinger and Brent Mussberger adding "french flavor" to the old television broadcasts of the Tour on ABC and CBS with their Monte Carlo's Tour de Force. How I loathed those segments where these allegedly august commentators of sport forced us to take a step back from their networks paltry servings of the Tour and appreciate French Culture. I hope they used their ration of Tour de Force for the year with this article.

The culture was and is fine, but we were watching because of a certain bike race.

The reason for mention of this otherwise forgettable article is a little bit at the end. Don't know whether to believe it or not, but it does intrigue. "As you watch the spectacle you might care to ponder that Samuel Beckett, a keen cyclist in France, was aware of a veteran competitor, surname Godeau, and one of life’s natural lanternes rouges ."