Tour Talk – 2019 Tour de France

I am sure you already are deep into it, but for those of you who are behind the curve, the 2019 Tour de France is underway.

In my distant youth I did a little cycling, so I have a taste for this already.  A real draw for me each day, however, is the marvelous video coverage.  There are spectacular ground and aerial shots of the scenery.  The announcers and commentators are well prepped for the landmarks along the way, with good descriptions of the churches and chateaux, history and geography.

I record the coverage each day and skip commercials.  At certain points in the recording the commercials rather pile up so that toward they end they can run without them.

Today they cycled from Reims, with its amazing cathedral, to Nancy (213.5km – 132.7m).

So, anyone interested in some Tour Talk, chime in.

Team?  Individuals?   I rather like Team Astana because they are from Kazakhstan, as is one of my favorite bishops.  Ineos looks good also for “Say the Black, Do the Red” reasons.

BTW… that would be an officially Very Cool ham radio special event – transmit from the route of the Tour.


Today there was a visit to Chateau Ruinart, 300 yr old producer of champagne.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Fr. Brady says:

    Catholic Tour de France Talk!?! I’m in!!!.
    GC wise it is only safe to say who is out Bardet, D. Martin, Zakarin. Thursday will show us who is in for the podium or not. Either way, there will be a lot of climbers who can vie for stage wins. It is stacked which will have an effect on the GC riders who can go with them for time purposes. GC guesses for now? Ineos Bernal & G (He’ll get stronger as this goes on), EF ED 1st (Van Garderen could be a sleeper), FDJ with Pinot, Lotto-Jumbo w/ Kruijswijk (He is going to be hard to displace this year).

    It is easy to see how France was the little daughter of the Catholic Church as she so graciously venerated her Mother Mary. Every major town’s principle Church, more often than naught, is Our Lady of….. Our Blessed Mother is faithful, we will see how she re-corrals her children.

    [It’s pretty early to start projecting leaders, but you have to think that Sagan is going to show up. You never know about accidents. Also, the coverage of these stages is amazing. You can see in nearly every town and village they go through a little jewel of the church. I’ve had a few driving vacations with friends in France. Watching this makes me want to rent a car and go again.]

  2. Mariana2 says:

    Alexander Kristoff from Norway was second today, so good for Scandinavia. The Champagne region was beautiful, yesterday.

  3. acardnal says:

    Kazakhstan. I’ve been there on business actually . . . Almaty, when it was the capital. It’s now Astana . . .unless they moved it again. I enjoyed my stay there.
    Quite a mix of ethnicities. And I located a Catholic church, too, where I attended Mass on Sundays. Unfortunately I did not see Bp. Schneider.

    The TV coverage of the Tour de France is magnificent.

  4. teomatteo says:

    Watch the Tour? I’d rather breath slowly into a paper bag!

    [And so you thought you would jump in here with a negative comment. How thoughtful.]

  5. acardnal says:

    Sour Grapes is back! Love it.

  6. Charles E Flynn says:

    There is simply no other athletic event that compares to the Tour de France, in either its present-day demands, or its overall historical significance.

  7. Charles E Flynn says: no other athletic event

    Just think of the conditioning, the toughness, even the calories consumed and burned, the amazing technology of the bikes now, over cobbles and dirt and regular roads, all kinds of weather. Sheesh.

  8. teomatteo says:

    Charles, one word: Marathon.

  9. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Even the extreme ultrarunners and marathon guys do not run every day, in a pack, for a month.

    Pish tosh, unless you bring in round the world yacht races.

  10. PostCatholic says:

    If you’re a cycling fan, I’d like to recommend the movie “The Ataxian” to you. It stars my former student Kyle Bryant and I can assure you, you’ll come away inspired by him. You can rent it from Amazon.

  11. jravago says:

    I have been racing bicycles since I was 12 and at 46, I still love watching the Tour. It my favorite time of the year. From a Catholic Perspective, I am impressed by the coverage and mini tours of some of the beautiful churches. Also, I notice that Italian, Spanish and Columbian riders make the sign of the cross more often than any French or other Catholic countries. I am hoping to see Mikel Landa finally break through and win the Tour. I do not think Quintana is podium contender but his countryman, Bernal has good chance. I have always liked Geraint Thomas.

  12. BTW… yesterday I was pretty surprised to see a fairly long interview about the Tour with Lance Armstrong.

  13. Also, today, I saw something amusing. There was an overhead shot of an intermediate sprint Peter Sagan was involved in…

  14. Julia_Augusta says:

    I love the Tour de France. I follow it every year. I’m usually on holiday in July somewhere in Europe. It’s challenging to watch it from a country where I can’t understand the language (once I was in Hungary, right now I’m in Turkey) but I watch the Tour on the TV without sound, and turn on the Internet radio broadcast (English or French or Dutch are fine) on my iPad, and voila!

    In 2013, I had the privilege of watching the final stage in Paris from the VIP stand. A friend of mine who worked for the Tour de France’s parent company obtained VIP ticket for me. It was also the 100th anniversary, so that particular Tour finale had more festivities than usual. I managed to get a ride in one of those cars that follow the cyclists around the Champs Elysees. They drive so fast! It was scary.

    Today’s stage, which ended in Colmar, brought back a lot of good memories of my trip to Alsace. The area near Colmar, particularly the village of Kaysersberg, is marvelous. The food and wine are amazing. France is such a beautiful country. I always love seeing the helicopter shots of castles, abbeys, fortifications, lakes, etc.

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