What is yellow, green, and polka-dot all over?*

Yes, it’s the great and magnificent Philippe Gilbert, champion cyclist of Belgium, and today also of the Tour de France. Bravo on your amazing performance today Monsieur Gilbert.

That’s right dear readers, it is July, the month I officially excuse myself from a self-imposed limit of only a couple of hours per week of television (without this limit, I would be able to recite you all the main events and storylines of Dexter, Heroes, The Walking Dead, Lost, and Breaking Bad. I would not, however, have clean laundry, a job, or any muscle fiber beyond what is necessary to click buttons on the remote and carry popcorn from the kitchen to the couch).

I estimate I will spend at least sixty-five hours glued to the idiot box this month watching the world’s most amazing (male) athletes perform feats of monumental courage, strength, and athleticism in spectacular France. This does not include the untold extra hours before and after each day’s viewage that I will spend reading news about what happened in each stage, why it happened, predictions about what will happen in the following stages, and obsessively reading and sending tweets with the same fanatical compulsion my dog has when vacuuming up rabbit pellets whenever he thinks we’re not looking. Whatever. I watch the Tour for inspiration, which is a requirement for a healthy soul. And because I have ridiculous bike envy.

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who give a flying boomerang at a running kangaroo about the Tour, and those who don’t. I’m quite certain I’ve already lost those who don’t. So, for the remaining readers of today’s post, don’t worry. I’m not going to bore you with a recap of the first stage, because I know you too were up at 5 a.m. and watched it yourself. Instead, I’ll just share a few of my favorite online resources and twitter tags. Oh yeah, it’s gonna be a great tour!!!

Wait, do kangaroos run?


To watch it streaming live on the ‘net for $29.95:

Places to watch it live streaming for free:

This is a great site out of Boulder. If you love snarky and irreverent, you will love these folks. Also on Twitter and Facebook.

Good list of this year’s teams:

Aussie network cycling site:

Girls and Cycling:

And of course:

Twitter Tags
#tourdefrance (where I spend most of my waking hours)
#(any team)
#(any rider)
(whew! that’s enough tags for one race)

Feel free to give me a shout too @tammysalyer.

So friends, I’d love to hear your hopes, predictions, thoughts on Contador and the doping issue, and anything else Tour related. Think Lance will show up for a “cameo” appearance and spend a day hanging with the Radioshack crew? Will Levi amaze or disappoint? Now that Vinokourav is out of Contador’s shadow, how hungry do you think he is for a win? Do Wiggins and Cadel have much of a chance? Oh, the drama! The excitement! The tight spandex!

I’ll leave you with one of the greatest Tour moments of all time.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr89ku-K2WU]

*For those who aren’t cycling geeks, yellow, green and polka-dot refer to different colored jerseys competitors win each day for points totals in different categories. The yellow jersey, or Maillot Jaune, is awarded to the racer with the best overall time. The green jersey goes to whoever has the most sprint points. And the polka-dot jersey goes to the racer who has the highest number of points in the mountain climbs.