It Must Be Tour Time

Jun 22 2010

Bicycle swag (not mine)It must be getting close to Tour time because emails from PR firms are starting to roll in again. It’s a strange distribution model, really—especially for books.

Come up with an idea, send out a bunch of letters to convince some company to pay you to write it, and have that company in turn hire another company to tell people about it. If only technology existed for writers to write something and deliver it to everyone themselves.

But far be it for me to dismiss the ability to Google “cycling blog” and send an email as market interference—especially if it results in free stuff for me and clean-as-they come reviews for you. I’m not sure I can really revive the old reviews format—that was more for equipment, back when I was buried in shop promotional gear and had employee purchase—but I assure you, there are still no conflicts of interest that would prevent me from giving a even-handed review.

Speaking of conflicts of interest—and another sure sign that the Tour is right around the corner—the UCI has attempted to settle its dispute with the French anti-doping agency by announcing that independent WADA observers will be allowed monitor drug testing at the 2010 TdF. It’s a face-saving compromise and should prevent any more controversial coffee breaks—though it will have the side effect of another spectator unwelcome spectator as riders attempt to submit samples.

Still, no solution is going to fit everyone. Take Pieter Weening: he fired the snot rocket heard round the world when he nipped Andreas Kloden on the line at the 8th stage of the ’05 Tour, but won’t be making an appearance this time around. Same with SaxoBank’s Gustav Larsson, who, barring a teammate’s misfortune over some camera cables, has missed the cut for this year’s SaxoBank squad.

Or is it possible to please all parties? Lance Armstrong certainly seems to think so—speaking of his newly-accounced TdF squad, the seven-time-winner refused to name any rider as the favorite. We’ll see how long that holds up. As I recall, it only took a few days for the Texan’s party line to change from “here to help” to “here to win” in 2009.

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