With the Royals assuming their usual seat at the bottom of their division, and the Chiefs gearing up for another lackluster season, we're kind of entering the dog days of pro-sports in this town.
But fear not, local sports fan. Starting Saturday, the metro area's newest pro sports team takes to the field, or rather road, when the 2008 Tour de France commences with it's first stage from Brest to Plumelec.
That's right, Kansas City's (well, Olathe's) hometown GPS house, Garmin, is the primary sponsor of the Garmin-Chipotle team (aka Slipstream).
Each summer I look forward to the Tour to fill the void created by crappy reality TV, lackluster baseball and lame sitcom reruns. This year I was pleased to see Garmin and Chipotle pick up the sponsorship of Slipstream, especially given the "clean cycling" mantra of the team.
In this case, clean cycling has nothing to do with lower carbon footprints or eco-friendly biofuels. Rather, it's the team's goal of trying to shed the shadow of doping that has darkened the world of pro-cycling for years.
It will be interesting to see how this team does. One of my favorite rising stars of the past few tours, Dave Zabriske, is on the team, but he suffered a serious crash in Italy, so I'm not sure if he'll be available for the Tour. That's a shame.
Otherwise, the team has a pretty good lineup Tour riders including some experience in David Millar, Magnus Backstedt and Christian Vande Velde, and it is headed by former pro Jonathan Vaughters.
Still given the focus on eliminating performance enhancing doping, it's questionable whether any of the team members will be on the podium when the Tour rolls in to Paris on July 27.
But if they can live up to their anti-doping philosophy, it's a team that Garmin can be proud to sponsor.
tagged: sports, cycling, doping, Slipstream, Garmin, Tour de France, Chipotle