The doping scandals that followed the finish of last year’s Tour De France has certainly put a damper on this year’s professional cycling summit. Big-name bikers Floyd Landis, Jan Ullrich, and Ivan Basso are all out of the race while seven-time champ Lance Armstrong is long-retired and now divides his time between partying on his Austin, Texas ranch and planning a run at politics.
TSN’s low-rent sibling sports net OLN (Rogers 58) has begun airing coverage of the 21-day Tour — or, the “Two-er Day Franz” as annoying analyst Bob Roll constantly calls it — but this year’s proceedings lack star power. How to tell no one’s watching anymore? Half the commercials that regularly interrupt the race are public service announcements. Still, Saturday’s opening time trials in London were terrific if only for the aerial footage of Buckingham Palace. Who knew Queen Elizabeth kept such a tidy back garden?
To rebuild its reputation as well as its ratings, the Tour needs big names to get big numbers. Might I suggest the following cycle-centric celebs? And they’d all look great in Spandex shorts!
5. Matthew McConaughey: Bongo boy could borrow an old 10-speed from his BFF Lance.
4. Jack Layton and Olivia Newton Chow: NDP tag-team on a tandem!
3. The Toronto cast of Queen musical We Will Rock You: “Bicycle! Bicycle!”
2. Sheryl Crow: Has already visited every finish line.
1. Paris Hilton: So beloved by the French, they named their capital city — and the Tour’s traditional finish — AND a hotel in her honour.