The Spokesmen 70 – Name Association

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  • 2011 Tour de France Wrap-up

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23 comments to The Spokesmen 70 – Name Association

  • DanV

    Totally disagree with what you guys had to say about Cadel Evans!

    The way he ripped after Gilbert on stage one, and then nailed the uphill sprint for his stage win was the mark of a real champion. No he wasn’t the strongest climber but neither was Greg Lemond, and this win reminded me of Gregs performance in ’89 albeit with a much bigger winning margin. No one ever accused Greg of being negative even though he marked Fignon in the mountains and made up time in the time-trials.

    Were you guys even watching the first week? It is what made a good tour into a great tour to remember.

  • What about Farrar and his whining. Is he overhyped?

  • DonB

    I don’t know Phil Liggett’s history and why he may have used the word “colored.” I’m guessing it’s simply how he learned to talk. It was apparent to me that he did not use it in a condescending way. I do not hold it against him.

    If anything, he was heralding the accomplishment of the rider from Guadeloupe. It is not insignificant that this is the first rider of African descent in the Tour. I think it needed saying. He just didn’t say it in a way that is currently acceptable. But look at his other idioms. They’re not exactly “hep.” :-)

    That said, my eyes did come a bit out of their sockets when I heard Phil say it. For the record, it was only on the LIVE broadcast. I caught a rebroadcast only a few hours later and I was listening for it. At the moment he had said it, there was nothing. Just road noise. Versus apparently edited the comment out. No talking for the 2-3 seconds.

    I like Phil. I admire his deep history and knowledge of the sport. He appears humble and non-assuming. We need more commentators with his experience.

  • DP-San Diego

    Mostly an excellent show, but I have to agree with the DanV’s comments backing Cadel Evans. He was in the race from day one. He trailed by only one second during the first week! Throughout the mountains, we was obviously keeping the race close. When Andy opened his big lead, it was only Cadel who showed the spirit (some would say cajones) to keep the race from getting away from him.

    I love Paul and Phil, but I have to say I’m surprised nobody making a remark about Phil saying Cavendish rides like he has three legs.

    The tour wasn’t a bust for the Spanish. Sanchez won the Polka Dot jersey (although the presentation was obscured on Versus for an interview with Cavendish!). And Sanchez paired with Contador to lite up several stages.

  • Grant

    I feel that your comments about Cadel were a bit condescending and disrespectful. The fact was he wore the yellow into Paris. He has always been a little “prickly” and we Aussies have got used to it. He won’t win the prize for being Mr Charisma but did win a TDF!

    Great to see him show a bit of emotion. Yes we Aussie men are as “hard as a cat’s head” but he has been through a fair bit over the past few years. There was no looting or riots when he won, just a lot of people proud that one of our country men was able to take out cycling’s biggest prize. Well done Cadel.

  • On the surgeon – I’ve seen comment since was that he was trying to grab/grabbed Contador – that’s crossing a line.

    The “Plucky” Voeckler thing grated on me a bit – he’s a tough bugger, who absolutely would not give up, to the point that he yelled (at his bike? himself?) as he realised his tour was slipping away. Cute? Hmm.

    I think you’re wrong about Cadel too – the mad descent in the early stages, attacking the Schlecks(!). It was a courageous race, worthy of his year as World Champion. I can’t help thinking you’ve bought into the “Evans as wheelsucker” perception of previous tours & viewed the whole thing through that filter.

  • Go

    Very condescendingto all the riders involved. Do you know what makes a true TDF champion? Getting to Paris with the fastest time. How can it be said by the panel that it was a great TDF when the top three riders are boobs, whiners and idots?

  • Hi All,

    Thanks for your comments on the blog. I think the last post (from Gary) represents how many of you feel so I will respond to that. I’ll go back and listen again but I don’t think anyone meant any disrespect per se. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about the athletes we follow in professional sports, including The Spokesmen and you.

    As an example, I can admire Michael Vick for his talent on the football field, but off the field I think he is a detestable human being who never should have been allowed back on to an NFL team. And I think it is okay for someone to admire the achievements of a professional cyclist while being able to also say that they aren’t a fan of the guy personally (although I can’t think of a single professional cyclist who ever descended to the level of Michael Vick).

    I have respect for Cadel Evans and the way that he was able to bide his time and wait for his opportunity to take over the yellow jersey and win the Tour de France. That was good tactics, strategy, and perhaps even some luck. Still, he isn’t my favorite cyclist in the pro peloton by a long shot. Along those lines, I have always felt that Andy Schleck has the physical talent to win the Tour de France, but I am constantly disappointed by the way that he squanders opportunities either provided by his own efforts or through the massive efforts of his team mates. Unlike Cadel who was able to chip away at the Tour contenders until he stood atop the podium, you could say that Andy waited too long to make his move, and when he did make that move he made the tactical error of going a few km too early, thereby allowing Cadel and Voeckler to take time out of him at the end of that stage.

    With all that said, was the panel snarky? Absolutely. Were they disrespectful? As I said, I will have to go back and take a listen to judge, but I know for myself these are the things I said about the top three and I stand by them.

    Thanks for listening!

    David

  • I agree I was snarky about Cadel, but not because he was a supposed wheelsucker. I said on the show Cadel was a great winner but I wouldn’t want to see him win again. This is my personal opinion, and I didn’t even know I held it.

    After the show finished recording I expressed my surprise to the others on the show that I’d let rip on Cadel. Until that point I didn’t realise I held such strong opinions on the guy. Of course I respect Cadel for his performances. There was never any disrespect intended, but people tend to have favourites, and Cadel isn’t one of my favourite riders.

    I was rooting for him to win during the time trial but would have been just as happy to have seen one of the Schleck brothers power away on one of the climbs and grab five minutes.

    But I would have been even happier to see the impossible: and that was Voeckler in yellow in Paris.

  • Agreed on Voeckler – although in the current climate, it’s perhaps best that an “incredible” victory was denied us.

    I think there’s a long meandering piece to be done on Cadel; I’ve grown fond(er) of him, personally. I’ll add it to my list of stuff to get around to sometime.

  • franga

    your cadel comments were self indulgent and disrespectful. By your own admission they were personal attacks. i’ve been a fan for several years of this podcast but this episode really stung me. I will probably come back but…mmmm…..idunno

  • David, I’m not sure Cadel did bide his time.

    He beat the defending champion (CAS permitting) across the line for the only stage win by a serious contender in the early part of the tour. Various talking heads worried over he and his team riding too hard (to try & gain yellow?) too early in the first couple of weeks. He did launch a pretty amazing attack against the Schlecks on that (waves hands and tries to remember the stage) descent. He rode AGAINST them on the mountains, only (as I recall) not doing so on the day Andy (bizarrely) asked him to share the work on the front.

    It’s not the mountain goat style leaping away of Bert, or Andy – but that wouldn’t have been believable from Evans. It was a canny, and, I’d argue, aggressive race though.

  • During his ‘tantrum tour’ I was dead set against Cadel.

    This year I grew fonder of him, too.

    Just not enough to root for him next year.

  • Steve Trice

    There were some interesting opinions on the show. The strangest for me is that Neil still thinks that Horner could have been a contender this year. At 34 Evans is the oldest winner for nearly 90 years, and I recall that there was also a lot of talk that Armstrong might be too old before his last win in 2005 when he too was 34. So it stuns me that anybody can seriously consider that a 39 year old guy who has never been a Grand Tour contender was going to turn up and win it, especially with the hindsight of having seen his ToC Siamese twin, Levi Leipheimer, do nothing at all in the race in spite of being the last Shack leader standing.

  • Thanks for everyone listening to the show and commenting.

    My point of view on the show is a journalist and I say that repeatedly throughout the show. As such, I try not to be a “fan” of a racer as I might have to write something negative the next week. However, I’m a huge fan of the sport. So when I make a comment about Evans (or anyone) I’m coming from that place and calling it as I see it.

    Steve Trice – I don’t think anything was strange about me stating that Horner was my Wiggins of the Tour. Like I said on the show, he was in great form and I would have loved to have seen how he could have done in the mountains. I don’t think age is a huge factor of winning the Tour as long as the rider is smart about it. Also, I never said Horner was going to win it – Contador had always been my pick for the overall win.

    DonB – There was definitely a reason why you didn’t see Phil’s comments in the recorded broadcast or any other broadcast afterwards.

  • Michael

    No where near the standard of professionalism from either the fredcast or the spokesman’s prior casts! Is that really where the panel stands? Snarkey to sit and respond to a tour where so many gave their best and more. The panel should look at their projected anger and apparent personal agendas before gossip takes over these casts and kills them. The spokesman/fredcast were once an exciting homage to cycling- last few not so much. Bravo Cadel who seized his victory, Brothers on the podium with many tours before them, Alberto fighting to the end- guilty or not (that will get decided soon enough), commentators who can talk with passion for 4 hours at a time for years, NBC be damned, and so much more! Sad about the state of our sport when at perhaps it’s most fragile hour that it’s so called spokesman are reduced to gossip columnists. I loved the tour for what it was- and am hopeful for what’s possible next time.

  • Jimbo

    Cadel won by playing to his strengths. It wasn’t the most charismatic way to win, but maybe the smartest.
    I think he did have the biggest cajones to work hard to chase the breaks up the climbs when noone woould help him.
    I’m surprised the A Scheck fans aren’t jumping on you for mentioning his lack of aggresiveness. Or maybe that’s ‘cuz he really wasn’t?
    I just didn’t want to see Cadel win because I didn’t want to hear his little girl voice in post race interviews.Now, who’s snarky?

  • Listening to a quality podcast is a little like reading a quality newspaper, you always facts and you always get an opinion. You dont have to like or agree with the opinion, but without it there is no debate or discussion!

    I dont think anyone has ever said that Cadel wasnt the strongest rider in the Tour – L’Equipe gave more coverage to Cadel than even Voeckler ( so does that make Aussie’s are far more jingoistic thatn the French?) but Cadels style of riding, attitude to doping questions, previous way of handling himself and even his voice arent everyone’s taste!

    Long may the right to express an opinion (and the podcast) remain, long may we be able to debate it afterwards, well done Cadel and Vive Le Tour!

  • Full disclosure up front, I am an Australian and while not smitten by Cadel Evans, I do respect how hard he has worked for his victory.

    I have listened to almost all of the Spokesmen podcasts and have been tempted to post a reply at various times, usually favourably. However after hearing Episode 70, I feel compelled to object to the dismissive attitude shown to Cadel’s win, especially from Mr Reid.

    Cadel pedestrian? Did you see the first week? Cadel did win stage 4, set his stall out early, grabbed vital seconds at every opportunity, rode near the front of the peloton (and out of trouble) and was never lower than 4th in GC for the entire tour. He chased when he had to in the later stages, when no-one helped him and then produced a stunning time trial when it counted.

    As a rider he has transformed himself over the past few years since winning the 2009 World Championship. He honoured the Rainbow jersey the following year winning Fleche Wallone, a stage at the Giro (an epic one at that) and Giro points jersey. His confidence at this years Tour was clear to most and BMC were united behind him, something his previous teams were not.

    The Spokesmen have bemoaned the taint of drugs that has hung around previous Tour winners and yet show little respect for a winner that, so far, appears clean. He may not have the quotes of Cav or Lance or Cipo, but as winner of the most famous cycling race, he deserves a bit more than a derisory assessment of his riding and character.

    I suggest you read Robert Millar’s article on Cycling news about how Cadel beat the Schlecks
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/blogs/robert-millar/why-evans-beat-the-schleck-brothers

    cheers
    Andy

  • Bart

    Totally agree with comments from Andy C.
    I Was looking forward to some good dicussion about one of the best tours in years but got whinning about waiting outside a bus and sour grapes from Reid(maybe you should retire!).
    Very disappointing.

  • Tom

    Are they really criticising Sean Kelly’s commentary – talk about the pot calling the kettle.

    Bunch of wannabes.

  • Curious what we want to be.

  • Brian

    I do not know who said this during the podcast about how “who ever is doing the press releases for the Pro Cycling challenge getting it wrong”. I do not think they got it wrong. Christian VandeVelde’s Team did win the Team competition, which is what the press release said.

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