I clearly wasn't the only one feeling snappy after episode 1 of the Women's Tour as a certain amount of sock-pulling up was in evidence from the camera, crews, commentators and presentation -- there was even a short spot about eventual winner Marianne Vos's cat, which travels with her in the tour coach (awww) and some satisfying drama, helicopters, muddy crashes, etc. They even stopped shooting the interviews from odd angles and focussing on the rider's mascara, and switched to straight-on talking heads chats, with mud sweat and tears, in common with the coverage offered to gentlemen cyclists. Funny. When you watch a certain type of programme (women's sports. some BBC4 documentaries) there's the sudden striking impression of female face shapes being a lot more diverse than television normally admits. It's a strange thing -- not exactly racism or sexism (though of course elements of both), more a sort of permitted deviation from an attractive norm allowed for a public face, which for men occupies a much broader space, and allows for many more outliers.
Hats off to ITV4 though, lovely job on the Women's Tour. And so to the Giro D'Italia, or so I thought. But it turns out that The Tour of California has been scheduled against it, splitting both riders and commentators across two continents. The riders went to California, all bar Kittel who (particularly following three days of sheeting rain and terrifying crashes in Ireland) is in for a bit of an uncontested Giro. The better race coverage is at the Giro - still on Eurosport, so far from perfect - but thanks to California it's now buried in the small hours. So I'm not sure I'll stick.
I feel unreasonably whiny. I remember having to follow the Tour de France on Ceefax, three lines of green writing dissolving into blocks, a crash, a win, the time gaps. I should count the good things. What did I want and get? In the Women's Tour, a helicopter.