The Tour: The Versus Boys Are Back

We’re having our traditional Tour de France first stage party this morning: Usually we get up when the live broadcast starts (5 a.m. here in PDT), have a few neighbors over, and watch the peloton race toward the usual sprint finish. Today we overslept, so the festivities didn’t begin until after 7.

Phil Liggett, MBE, is doing his usual charmingly hackneyed, loopy race call. Just now he said, “The peloton are being led by the boys in blue.” It’s always “the boys.” His best moments today:

“The Tour’s Yellow Peril.” Referring to prologue winner and race leader Fabian Cancellara, who of course is wearing the yellow jersey (and using yellow pedals and a yellow helmet as long as he’s Number One). Yellow Peril: I’m sure that one popped into his head without any idea of its origin.

“The sprinters have their bird teeth out.” Bird teeth? It’s a mystery what he meant, and my early online research is no help. If you come across this and know what the heck he’s talking about, please help interpret Phil for me. [Hmmm: The insightful Kate speculates that Phil meant “egg teeth,” which embryonic birds use to break through their shells.”

The team domestiques are out of the kitchen and working hard.

And from Phil’s “analyst” partner, Paul Sherwen, on Robbie McEwen, who rode from the back of the pack to win: “He never panicked. He kept his calm like a magical poker player.”

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