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Monday, July 30, 2007

Tour Talk

So the Tour de France is finally over with a 24-year-old Spaniard taking the top spot in the Champs-Elysee. It was a very tumultuous tour which saw Astana and Cofidis pull out from the Tour because of positive doping tests from one of their rider and withdrawal and firing of then-race leader Michael Rasmussen.

I am surprised at myself. I would think that I'd be disgusted by all the scandals that happened but I'm not. I'm actually quite calm and happy of the outcome. I guess it's because I know that the anti-doping measures are starting to work. It may not be 100% clean and I'm sure there are some riders out there still cheating, but it's getting there.

Some ramblings for this year's Tour:

1. After pulling out Rasmussen from the Tour and firing him, I'm glad that Eric Dekker and most of the Rabobank boys chose to still ride and finish the Tour de France. It was a very hard step for them to do after what happened, and I applaud them for this.

2. I didn't even think that he had it in him to finish in the podium until I saw his performance at the Stage 19 time trial. Now Levi Leipheimer has my respect. Moving forward, I think we need to see more aggression from him if he wants to see move up in the general classification.

3. Kloden is thinking of retiring, and quite frankly, I think that he should. He's always at the wrong team at the wrong time anyway.

4. David Millar's mechanical problem in the Stage 19 Time Trial will be a blow to his wheel sponsor. I just don't know how significant it will be.

5. The sport of cycling isn't exactly at its high point with all the doping scandals. With a number of teams looking for sponsorship next year, I wouldn't be surprised to see some of them disintegrating and their riders moving to other teams. If Discovery finds another sponsor in time (they said they're already finalizing it), expect Bruyneel to be getting more riders for Contador's defense next year.

6. Rumors are going around regarding big George Hincapie. They say that (a) he's leaving Discovery for T-Mobile, (b) he's transferring to Jonathan Vaughter's Team Slipstream, or (c) he's retiring. Whatever it may be, I just hope he gets another shot at the Paris-Roubaix before he even thinks of riding into the sunset.

7. Giro is not taking full advantage of the exposure of their new eyewear line with Contador. Seeing him in his new yellow Giro shades, potential customers would log in to the Giro website only to discover nothing.

8. I don't know if I admire Cadel Evans or not for what he did on the last day. On one hand, he respected the tradition and didn't attack. On the other, the few seconds difference between being on top and being number two would forever haunt him. Nonetheless, he has my admiration for finishing a strong second place in this year's Tour.

What do you think? Leave a message in my comments link below.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting points.

    #2 - Okay, yes, he has my respect too BUT I really don't think he has the potential to be the winner of the Tour. I don't even see him like Popo - a great domestique in the mountains.

    #3 - I disagree. I like Kloden, I don't know why. Maybe it's because of his loyalty, and because he delivers when he's needed. He can be a great mountain guy in Discovery!

    #4 - Yeah, that was really bad. It BLEW UP! Yikes.

    #5 - I wish a digital/online/multimedia company can sponsor one of the teams - that would be awesome! Google Team or Yahoo team. Cool!

    #6 - If a) or b) is correct, I wonder how his relationship with Lance turn out. I love Georgie!

    #7 - Tsk tsk poor marketing guys.

    #8 - As you said, it wasn't really respecting tradition because he intended to attack, he just couldn't because the sprint teams were controlling the pace. I don't believe in the tradition thing - heck, if you have a chance of winning the Tour de France, GO FOR IT! It's the FREAKING TOUR DE FRANCE! He just couldn't, I guess. Imagine, winning the Tour de France at the finish line - that would be so damn cool!

    ReplyDelete

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