Vive Le Tour!
Good news: The Tour de Lance is underway and it's broadcast live on television for several hours each day. Bad news: It's still on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), a small cable channel with mainstays like huntin' and bullridin' and beach volleyball. Not every cable provider carries OLN, so where to cheer for the Discovery team?
Live feeds from France begin at 6:30, 7:30 or 8:30 a.m., depending on the stage, which can make finding a place to watch a little tricky. In Adams Morgan, the Diner is open 'round the clock, and one manager tells me they are showing the race live every morning. Summers Grill & Sports Pub in Arlington is best-known for showing soccer from around the world, but cycling will be on some of its 54 screens every day. Doors open at 7 a.m. for breakfast.
When it comes to OLN's nightly highlights of the race, most sports bars with a satellite dish package carry the channel and are happy to show it if you ask -- though it probably won't get the big-screen priority given to the Nationals or even the Yankees.
Want to see the Tour on a really big screen? Local cycling enthusiasts Route 1 Velo are hosting a special viewing party at the Arlington Cinema 'N' Draft House on July 17 to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. That day's stage is a grueling 205-kilometer ride through the Pyrenees mountains from LÃ©zat-sur-LÃ¨ze to Saint-Lary Soulan (Pla d'Adet); you'll be able to watch the cyclists muscles throb during the ascent, thanks to the huge movie screen. General admission is $30 and includes a breakfast buffet; the $50 VIP admission adds tickets for a charity raffle and the chance to win a jersey signed by Armstrong and fellow cyclist Davis Phinney.
Tickets and more information are available from route1velo.com.
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