Sunday, July 26, 2009


Pretty much every summer I make a pilgrimage to visit in-laws in Europe.
The timing tends to be pretty consistent. Usually it means I am on the continent during the British Golf Open and so miss any coverage of that event (where I stay they do have satellite TV but the British Open simply does not make the cut). This year that was especially galling, though I was lucky enough on the last day to be with the one set of relatives who have a decent internet connection so I could see Watson's self-destruct button go off online.
And then there is the Tour de France. For many years it was a thrill to be in Europe and enjoy the excellent coverage every day on ARD/ZDF in Germany, coverage one could not imagine over here in Canada. Of course now this has reversed itself - Canadian coverage is superb and ARD/ZDF have retreated, now providing at best symbolic coverage. And the ORF in Austria seems to have punted completely. Eurosport still follows the event pretty well, and the English language coverage features the excellent Sean Kelly, so things are not entirely lost, but there is ZERO benefit being in Europe, as the Canadian TV coverage is at least as good.
The Tour ended today, with a fitting winner in Alberto Contador, a deserving Schlek in second, and a surprisingly classy and strong Lance Armstrong in third. The race was inadvertently slightly exciting in the first week, utterly boring in the second week, and thrilling in the third week. I somehow doubt the strategy of deliberately creating a boring second week is sustainable but we will see next year. Whatever country I am in, I plan to watch!


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