Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Stage 11, Completed

Stage 11 just wrapped up, and Alexandre Vinokourov of T-Mobile took first and Santiago Botero of Phonak took second, with the usual cast of characters coming in one minute later. The general standings haven't changed much since yesterday, though.

My gripe today comes, again, with Sheryl Crow. The picture at right was featured on Yahoo! Sports, and as with the Sheryl Cam that OLN resorted to during the individual time trial last week, annoyed the hell out of me. Why? Because she's not a cyclist. Because pictures of her gripping herself in suspense, smiling, or hugging Lance are uninteresting and unimportant to the progress or result of the race. Because short of her busting out a guitar and singing "Strong Enough" while hanging out of a team car, nothing she does during the Tour will be mildly interesting or newsworthy. Yes, she's a celebrity. And yes, she is dating Lance Armstrong. Do cycling fans need to know much more, let along express any sense that they care about her? No.

I'd much rather have pictures of cyclists barreling down hills and ungodly speeds, of faces contorted in pain, of real cycling fans that set up camp along steep mountain passes for days prior to a stage just to see their favorite riders and team pass by for mere seconds. Sheryl Crow just doesn't cut it.


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