There’s nothing like pre-race jawboning to raise the hype for a sporting event, and this year’s Tour de France pre-chatter is not disappointing.
First, our local hero, Wenatchee’s Tyler Farrar, says his goal is not the green jersey but simply his first Tour stage win ever. Or maybe two. Or actually, if by some freak happenstance (such as Mark the Mouth Cavendish getting disqualified or something) he did manage to qualify for the green jersey — well, hey, he wouldn’t turn it down.
Then there’s the flap over at Team Saxo Bank, where they’re whispering that Andy and Frank Schleck, Nos. 2 and 5 in last year’s Tour, are set to bolt to a new team based in their home base of Luxembourg and captained by Kim Andersen, formerly with Saxo.
And Ivan Basso would love to match his Giro title with a Tour win … on a Cannondale of course.
As for Lance Armstrong and his Team Radio Shack, they’re making headlines by keeping quiet. No press conference, no pre-race hoopla. Speculation is that TRS doesn’t want to face a press corps full of questions about doping, but our suspicion is that neither Lance nor team manager Johan Bruyneel, who would be the natural focus of a press event, have much to add to what’s been said, or at least tweeted, already. Brer Fox he lay low. Brer Fox he say nothin’.
UPDATE! Lance tweeted that Stage 3, the cobblestoned nightmare, is and we quote: “Going. To. Be. Carnage.” As cool as Lance is for biking, we love how he really truly “gets” Twitter.