Struggling to get excited by the Vuelta?

I don’t know why I can’t get myself caring about it as much as other races in the calendar so far. OK I’m still dashing home to catch the end of the stage on Eurosport but I’m not putting myself out to follow it. Anyone else feeling a bit lacklustre about it?

Yes, I know there’s a different, more elegiac dynamic to it due to it being further south in Spain and at a hotter point in the year than the other Grand Tours, but I’m not getting a buzz off it quite yet. I love the blasted earth and deserted highways that it covers but there’s something getting in the way of me truly enjoying it. Here’s a few possibilities

  • I’m on the early shift this week, I don’t do “early”
  • The race hasn’t really caught fire yet due to predictable stages
  • I’m all whooped out after the Olympics

Then there are the things that are bugging me, in particular about the coverage. Yes, we lose reception due to mountains and valleys sometimes, occasionally atmospheric conditions, but this is 2008 and there’s basic things that just shouldn’t happen.

The TDF was in HD, Eurosport has an HD channel yet there’s moment during the last few days where the picture quality being transmitted was akin to an old Sony Trinitron with a coathanger for an aerial. Heck a lone breakaway almost looked like a bunch at one point the ghosting was that bad.

The camera work seems to be going for excitement and action but keeps on hitting the FAIL! button remarkably hard. If it’s a sprint finish I want to see the sprint goddamn it! Not a view from 300 metres away, head on and with no descriptive shots so I can’t even take a wild guess at what’s happening.

Tour of Britain starts this weekend so I’m in blag mode – press passes, corporate hospitality, sundry free stuff – although at a British race the extend of that is usually 10p off the fruit cake and a proper mug for your tea. All free stuff gratefully received. I’m look at you Raph-Condor, you Rock Racing and yes, you Garmin-Chipotle. If there’s no burrito action in Parliament Square I’m gonna be sore disappointed.

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