The Tour de France Departs in 10 Days from Nice. Nice! 10 Changes in 2020

Professional cycling’s biggest event was rescheduled from July to begin August 29, thanks to you know what. A few other pro racers have happened, and so there is hope Le Tour will start, and end, without problems. Of course there are always problems; it’s the nature of sport. Last year’s edition saw a huge storm blow up the last few stages with a landslide and flooding caused by snow and rain. This year is no different, except it’s completely different, again, thanks to coronavirus. Here are 10 changes and what to expect in 2020 with some of my commentary.

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The Need for Speed: Watching Bicycle Races at the Driveway Series in Austin, Texas

Off to the Races!

Thursday evening I moseyed on down the Southern Walnut Creek Trail to a small racecar track in southeast Austin.  It was bike night, and the races were on.  I rolled up to a small sea of cyclists milling about, and a group of maybe 60 riding on the .62-mile track. Held from April to September each year, the Driveway Series (or just the Driveway, in Austin) was selected as the best races in the United States, according to a chat I had with the congenial and sometimes funny announcer Logan.  A former racer, he’s very familar with the sport and most of the riders, and was happy to share details between laps.

Sanctioned by USA Racing, these are the real deal.  There are different levels, 4/5 (beginners), 1/2/3, Masters (over 35), and Pro for men (which some women race in) as well as the same for women.  But it’s also a festive atmosphere with beer and food trucks, repair vans, sponsor tents, and music playing on the loudspeakers.  There were serious-looking cyclists from the not so fit to the super skinny lean young guys, and the super-strong beasts and some very nice and expensive bicycles.  Come along for a short lap!

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