Matthew Keenan

Matthew is a regular SBS commentator at the Tour de France. Prior to heading into the commentary box Matthew spent two seasons racing in Europe and rides as often as possible to remind his legs of that feeling of grovelling up a climb.

Now it begins

19 July 2009 | 0:00 - By Matthew Keenan

After what can only be described as a phony war, the Alps mark the beginning of real hostilities, writes Matthew Keenan.

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There are stll many questions to be answered in the Tour de France (AAP)

After two weeks of trying to work out who has the best legs and is most likely to wear yellow into Paris, some real decisions are about to be made as the race finally reaches the Alps.

The true nature of the relationship between Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador will be revealed under the pressure of the mountains and the inevitable attacks from their rivals.

Contador looks the strongest. But no one really knows how good Armstrong is. The American is yet to be fully put to the test in his return Tour de France.

Cadel Evans is more the three minutes behind and has only one option. He must attack.

As Bernard Hinault, the five-time winner of the race, said, “there isn’t thirty-six solutions, they must attack.”

Andy Schleck, although only one minute and forty-nine seconds down, is in exactly the same position as Evans.

Schleck needs to take just as much time as Evans in the mountains, if not more, because based on past performances, he’s likely to lose more than a minute in the final time trial.

So like Evans he needs to take three minutes, or more, in the mountains.

The defending champion, Carlso Sastre, is in the same boat as Schleck but coming from two minutes and fifty-two seconds down.

The wildcard here is Bradley Wiggins.

The Brit is yet to be truly tested in the mountains by the general classification contenders.

If Wiggins can stay with the more fancied favourites there, he may provide one of the biggest surprises in Tour de France history.

Back-to-back gold medals in the individual pursuit at the Olympics and third in the opening time trial indicate he could take time in the final test against the clock.

In addition to his climbing, the other question needing to be answered is his ability to time trial after almost three weeks of racing.

Knowing the struggles he had as a child after his Australian father left him and his mother to fend for themselves when Wiggins was only two years-old - and how hard he has worked since the Beijing Games - a podium finish would be well deserved.

These are just a few of the contenders within striking distance, others like Christian Vande Velde, Kim Kirchen, Tony Martin and Roman Kreuzinger are also likely to feature.

As Armstrong himself has said the race may be 50 per cent over but is less than 25 per cent decided. It all starts now.

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24 Jul 2009 12:05 AEST

James Drake

From: Melbourne

Wild - The Numbers do the Talking

Wild - Look at the agrees and disagrees with what your saying compared to Peddlers comments. You calm down a bit and make a sensible comment to which Peddler responds accurately with an obvious grammer error (lets be honest he does need to proof read himself) but then you go out on another rediculous rant. Would you protet your mates if someone was having a go about them?? Maybe you are a friend of Robbie McEwan's? I have heard through some cyclist friends of mine in france that he was asked to do comments for SBS but he wanted some rediculous fee..... its a rumour and I love Robbie he is a Champion both on and off the bike, but hearing how he rolls when it comes to the coin that rumour could be true .......

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23 Jul 2009 16:52 AEST

wild

From: melbourne

peddler not to be trusted

peddler i knew you did matt personally!! i just knew it! your bias makes your comment really uncool

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23 Jul 2009 16:38 AEST

Peddler McSwifty

From: StKilda

Wild

Hi Wild, Never said that I didnt want a current pro/ex-pro there I just think that we have one of the best Commentary teams going about and saying what u said didnt take into consideration the ex-pros that are there (Dave Mac - Phil Anderson). There's another good duo that includes Sean Kelly going about but as far as a whole team goes we have it all really. To make your initial comment so much worse was that I and obviously most people who come online agree that Matty Keenan is by far the best Commentator going around. I do Matt personally but I dont stroke him mate his wife wouldn't like that. Matt gets commentary jobs from ASO, the UCI etc all over the world including the big racer that we dont get to see or hear about back here in AUS. Your comment was just really un-cool.

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23 Jul 2009 14:08 AEST

wild

From: melbourne

wild on

hi guys, i've settled down a bit. but what i don't understand is why none of you want a rider who can give special comments. we do hear racing tactics and such from the commentators but we don't have the gift of current or just retired pro rider who can give us some great insights. Considering this tour has been pretty boring, insights that a specialist commentator could give us would spice up the coverage. Do we all agree??

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22 Jul 2009 22:05 AEST

wild

From: melbourne

Matt Keenan for president

sorry guys you are all correct. Matt Keenan is the best thing since slice bread and we all should bow down to him. He is the king of all commentators. yes. go matt keenaan. god of cycling.

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22 Jul 2009 20:16 AEST

Rach Smith

From: Perth

WIld is not on Performance enhancing Drugs he's on brain effecting one

Wild Seriously!!!! What are you on? We are trying to clean up the sport and you come on here after obviously taking some sort of drug that has clearly effected the workings of your brain.

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22 Jul 2009 19:56 AEST

James Drake

From: Melbourne

Wild

Wild, Peddler has got you sorted. Get a grip Mate, and read his comment again it makes sense where are yours is utter dribble. Keenan is accurate, has outstanding knowledge and I challenge you to watch the tour with the sound off and recognise every rider and know there background and the races they have won etc etc like Matty does. Your a joke mate or as Peddler would say a Tool.

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22 Jul 2009 19:37 AEST

gregort Saunders

From: south melbourne

dont understand

wild of melbourne i dont understand what more you can want from a commentator keenan gets the riders correct every time , he can read a race and the other night when all the riders had there rain capes on he seemed to be the only guy that new what rider was who . so why not just support one of our own instead of just hiding behind a key board and whats the term cyber bullying . i would love to sit down and have a coffee with you and find out your real motivation behind all of this , its probably you wish you had keenans job just like i do cheers greg. my real name not some aka

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22 Jul 2009 18:17 AEST

James

From: Brisbane

Better coverage for Stage 16

Credit to SBS for a more "streamlined" stage last night. Not long after starting they briefly highlighted the start of the race and then moved into live pictures. SBS, I hope you can continue with a similar format for the remainder of the stages.

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22 Jul 2009 10:12 AEST

wild

From: melbourne

peddler is a flog

mate your pulling me up on my spelling? Look at yours - "Hey Wild from Melbourne Firstly - Robbie Mc Who?? If you are gonna start Dissing Matty "EnCYCLINGpedia" "The next voice of Cycling" Keenan at least get the spelling of one of Aussies most famous sprinters names write". Mate you didn't get it 'right', And you suggested Rupert Guinness?? Please what a shocking option. Mate Robbie is still a pro rider and knows these guys and is still involved. He would contribute far more than any one else you said. You are an absolute goose mate. Your obviously a friend of Matty as it sounds like you like to give him a stroke. If he is going to take over Phil, then i will watch the tour without sound.

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About this Blog

Matthew is a regular SBS commentator at the Tour de France. Prior to heading into the commentary box Matthew spent two seasons racing in Europe and rides as often as possible to remind his legs of that feeling of grovelling up a climb.

Matthew Keenan Matthew Keenan

 
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