Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
This Saturday, the 2019 Tour de France kicked off in Brussels, Belgium. This year’s race brings many changes to teams, especially the top team of the last several years, Team Sky. The team is now sponsored by Ineos, a multinational chemical company in the UK, and for the first time in many years, will be without four-time GC winner Chris Froome.
Last year’s winner, like the previous three, came from this UK team in the form of Geraint Thomas, who followed three straight TDF victories by Froome. Thomas would have to be considered one of this year’s favorites, although not in a Froome-type way, as he’s not clearly the best rider in the race.
Podium Cafe, SB Nation’s excellent professional cycling site, has some of this year’s riders to watch for the GC. Some of my favorites that I’ll be watching this year are:
- Nairo Quintana - He just keeps getting better, and is always among the top riders.
- Peter Sagan - A long-time favorite who is the world’s best point-getter, but needs to challenge for the GC win. Few believe he can, but he’s always a great one to watch as he’s always around the action.
- Vincenzo Nibali - Another perennial challenger who is about due. He is particularly fun to watch on the mountain stages.
- Tejay Van Garderen - The US rider who has been at the top of his team for several years. He’s 30 now, but Thomas didn’t win until he was 32.
- Adam Yates - Along with brother Simon, this rider for the Michelton-Scott Australian-based team is always among the leaders, but rarely the winner. Still, his form is good and he is fun to watch.
- Alejandro Valverde - One of the “old men” of the Tour at 35, he loves to mix it up
With so little going on in sport this time of year, spending some time with the Tour de France is an easy way to scratch that itch, and see some of the most beautiful and historic scenery in the world in the process.
Tweet of the Morning
This is the time of year when I turn on the Tour de France, watch random people bike through French countryside, drift in and out of sleep and then wake up for the finish— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) July 9, 2019
It’s my favorite random sporting event
- Three former Louisville Cardinals donate money to Jared Lorenzen’s funeral expenses. That is awesome and heartwarming to see.
- Kentucky was an easy choice for Flint, Michigan wide receiver Earnest Sanders.
- Ten people on the spot for Kentucky’s 2019 football season. I’ll bet you can guess who #1 is…
- The 25 best players in the SEC for 2019. Yes, Kentucky has an entry.
- The tireless Coach Cal.
Four-star forward Cam’Ron Fletcher with John Calipari during his recent unofficial visit to Kentucky (via Instagram). pic.twitter.com/GiUgtCAMJw— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) July 9, 2019
- Speaking of Coach Cal, he’s pulling hard for Hamidou Diallo in the NBA Summer League. An injury has temporarily sidelined his career, but he’s attempting to restart it this summer.
- Meet the 2020 recruits Kentucky is targeting.
Other Kentucky sports
- Remember AJ Reed, who won the Golden Spikes award when he played baseball for Kentucky? He has struggled of late in the majors and will be getting another chance playing for the ChiSox, who claimed him off waivers from the Astros.
- School record five women’s golfers named WGCA All-American Scholars. Congratulations!
- Several of the 2019 NBA Draft’s lottery picks weren’t even talked about as NBA players until they came to college.
Other sports news
- A Mychal Mulder sighting, and an impressive one.
Mychal Mulder with a Reverse jam today for the Bulls!— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) July 8, 2019
He led Chicago in scoring tonight with 18 points pic.twitter.com/LFVS4YcjqP
And then, a not-so impressive one.
Mychal Mulder got dunked on badly— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) July 9, 2019
Let’s not speak of it again pic.twitter.com/uEQeoHqZVE
- Remember the OJ Simpson drama? It captivated the nation. Here’s a story from the SI Vault.
- Hubble views the lonely dwarf galaxy, NGC 1156.
- Scientists discover “quirky” quantum tunneling.