Monday, July 26, 2010

Tour de France

Well, the epic race came to an end on Sunday as the peloton peddled its way into Paris. By the start of the last stage, the outcome for the overall winner was already determined but that didn’t mean the finish wasn’t exciting. Alberto Contador won the finial Yellow jersey by 39 seconds over Andy Schleck. That result was determined on Saturday when Contador beat Schleck in the individual time trail. Like I mentioned, the last stage was still exciting when the race for the Green jersey which is the prize for the sprinters. So with the standings still in the air for the sprinters, the finial push on the Champs-Elysees became even more exciting. The stage was won by Mark Cavendish who proves that he truly is the fastest sprinter on the planet right now. That was his 5th stage win this tour and it gives him a total of 14 stage wins in his Tour de France career!

Mark Cavendish crossing the finish line in Paris!

This tour was another good one, even though Lance Armstrong didn’t get on the podium. It seems as though all of the good luck and positive breaks that he got in his run to 7 tour wins, was no where to be found this year. Lance hit the deck several times this tour including one day where he crashed three times! He never had issues like those when he was winning. Not to say that if he hadn’t of crashed he would have won again, but he probably would have finished in the top 5 or 10. I still think Contador and Schleck were the best riders this year and those two guys deserved the top two spots. Denis Menchov came in third place to finish off the podium standings.
The top three on the podium!

Lance realized his chances were slim to win his 8th tour and had said this would be his last tour no matter what, but he still wanted to race to help bring awareness to his foundation and to the finding a cure for cancer. He did finish in 23rd position which in not to shabby for a race like that! His team, the Radio Shack Team, won the team competition and so he did grace the winner’s stage when it was all over. In a way to honor the 28 million people living with cancer, the team accepted their award by wearing a black jersey with the number 28 on the back. They had planned on wearing them in the finial stage but the tour officials didn’t allow that.

Team Radio Shack wearing their black jerseys.

I have been following the Tour de France long before Lance was competing, I remember following Greg LeMond and his 7-11 team back in the 80’s then team Motorola and US Postal in the 90’s so I am not a new fan to the sport. But every time I watch this incredible race of endurance I am amazed at the athletes. I also love to see the scenery that the traveling circus covers. It really is an amazing event and I look forward to it every year. I am already excited about next years tour when the rivalry heats up again between Contador and Schleck. I predict, baring injuries, these two guys will be going at each other for several years to come.

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