Monday, July 28, 2008

Vive le Tour!

Well, the Tour de France ended on Sunday as the riders rode the finial stage of the 20 stage event onto the cobble stones of the Champs-Elysees. The finial stage of the race is usually a pretty relaxing stage for the riders since most of the jersey winners are already determined before they get to Paris. This tour, the winner of the Yellow Jersey was decided on Saturday after Carlos Sastre rode the time trail of his life to keep the lead over Cadel Evans and Bernhard Kohl. The highest American finish was from Christian Vandevelde who finished in 5th place overall. That is a very strong showing by Vandevelde who did a great job carrying America’s hope for another tour victory. Maybe next year Levi Leipheimer and his team (Team Astana) will get invited back to the Tour and there will be two American hopefuls. Team Astana was not asked to compete after a few of their riders were caught doping last year. But the team has cleaned house and brought in all new riders and team director. Johan Bruyneel, the team director for all of Lance Armstrong’s wins is not the director for Team Astana.
This year’s tour was pretty exciting because no one really knew who was going to win the stage much less the overall race. There were some great sprints, and killer mountains. There were some pretty good crashes and scary moments with the fans. The two American teams (Team Columbia & Garmin Chipotle) had good showings in their first tours and I look for them to come back strong again next year. I know most people could care less about bike racing in France, but it truly is one of the most grueling events in sports and that alone makes me want to watch! This year, the most consistent rider ended up winning it all. It was an overall good tour.

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