Okay, withdrawal time. A dramatic, transformative Tour de France has been decided by one of the narrowest margins in the 105-year history of the race. Cycling fans who've been following the Tour for the last three weeks must now grapple with a void in their lives, a Bobke-less universe.
Still, what a difference a year made. Sorry to keep beating this bongo, but, to me, the most important aspect of Sastre's win was that he rode for one of the three teams in the race willing to spend a small fortune on independent, third-party drug testing. (The other two, as I believe I have mentioned in every single post on this year's Tour, are the American squads Columbia and Garmin-Chipotle). The significance of this, after the bottom-scraping humiliations of the '07 Tour, is tough to overstate, although I think you'll agree I've been giving it my best shot.
I wrote on the eve of this Tour that "with 180
And so there were. The fourth rider to get the thumb was a Kazakh named
Time to hand out a few superlatives as we look back at this year's Tour.
Serious cycling fans recall how, two years ago, Schumacher won the Tour of Benelux after hooking
While Cavendish is not a guy with "particularly great physiological test results," says Stapleton, he does have, in addition to his warp speed, "a real tactical instinct that you just don't normally see in young riders. He's at the stage tactically at 23 where an
He lost touch with the leaders grinding up the Cime de la Bonnette-Restefond, summitting 35 seconds after they did, which is not big deal, really. But his crash on the descent cost him another two minutes and, in all probability, knocked him off the podium. As he told Versus'
• Stage 16: After summiting the Bonnette first,
• Stage 13:
• Stage 7:
• Stage 15: You know how the main bunch splits in half when it gets to a roundabout? On this occasion, at least 10 riders on both sides of the rain-slick roundabout ate it, eliciting these words from
Enough already. I've come up with a Post-Tour plan to fill the void in my life. I'm headed out on a ride.