Le Tour – La Fin


Good on ya Brad. Well done. I’m a believer. What a year for the Brits. One-two overall and seven stage wins! My favourite Wiggins quote is from last year when he crashed out on stage 7 with a broken collarbone: “When it’s all said and done….it’s only the Tour de France.” Chapeau.

Let’s wrap it up:
Stage 16 Voeckler

As Nicole pointed out, Little Tommy V has more animation than the rest of the peloton put together. Head lolling, tongue slithering all over the place, incessantly berating others, muttering to himself, screaming, throwing water bottles….
The classic turning-yourself-inside-out rider. Refuses to wear a race radio (“I don’t want to be told what to do”), no heart rate monitor, no power meter (“I want to race by feel”). So belligerent, so French. This was a huge stage to win, 4 mountains, and he rode away from a break of 38. Eking out a steady pace while wheel-sucking behind your team with one eye on the power meter is one thing, this is another. Is TV the new JV?

The Australian fans lending a hand:

But to no avail, Cadel cracks and loses a huge chunk of time. George is with him at the end. BFF:
I don’t mind saying I shed a tear.

Stage 17 Valverde
Another (unrepentant) doper.“I’ve done nothing wrong” doesn’t cut it. You got caught. Doing something wrong.

The fire’s gone out, more time lost:

Froome indulges in a few “c’mon” hand gestures to Wiggins to make it clear to everyone, he’s waiting for him. Bad form.

Stage 18 Cavendish
Wow. This is the point where the Universe is focused into a tiny screaming dot on the finish line. Matt Goss a very long second. What can you do?

Meanwhile, the results of Fränk Schleck’s B sample has also returned positive. I don’t know what the peloton is coming to. I mean Tyler Hamilton came up with the twin-absorbed-in-utero story to explain the foreign cells in his blood. Floyd Landis came up with the too-many-whiskeys-the-night-before to explain his elevated levels of testosterone. Contador came up with the tainted-spanish-steak for the clenbuterol.
And Fränk? “I’ve been poisoned“? This is laziness, or he’s just not trying.

Fränk is determined to find the source. I’d suggest, as a first step, he analyses the blood he transfused on the rest day.

Stage 19 Wiggins
What a great ride. All doubts put to rest. Typically a British team has eccentric cranks. My old Repco had Biopace cranks. I thought it was a gimmick, but maybe they’re part of the “marginal gains”.

Sky:
Froome. There is a word for this, I think its “ectomorph”.

Porte. A Tasmanian porsche.

Rogers. The man from Canberra.

And Voeckler, the entertainer:

Stage 20 Cavendish
That’s 4 wins in a row on the Champs-Élysées. Sagan second, Goss third.

Who won the Tour? Another Brit.

There is a marvelous photo essay of Wiggins by inrng here.

I’d forgotten Wiggins and Cavendish were previously on the same team. This is only 4 years ago:

And guess what, Wiggin’s Dad was a Victorian who raced track in Europe:
Died in sad and murky circumstances near Muswellbrook. The Daily Star takes up the story.

I couldn’t find the “This is a victory for clean cycling” quote, but this is pretty close:

“I think the Tour is a lot more human now,” Wiggins said. “If people want to see incredible 220km lone breaks in the mountains, well maybe that’s not realistic anymore, as wonderful and as magical as they were to watch. I remember in the 90s watching people like Virenque, but maybe the sport’s changed now.”

“Someone is going to have to sustain 500 watts over 20 minutes of a climb to stay away which is not possible anymore unless you’ve got a couple of extra litres of blood. That’s the reality of it. It really is.

“It’s all these small little percentages that make the difference in sport. That’s our philosophy at Sky and at the start we got laughed at, small things like the warming down.”

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2 Responses to Le Tour – La Fin

  1. Nicole says:

    UK Postal has left their mark, but I still wasnt all that impressed. King of the Mountains and Sprint comps were so much more exciting this year. I’m loving the polka dots and a man with some grit and determination, doin it on his own. Till next year…… Oh wait, till the Olympics.

  2. ducatiboy says:

    well no wonder he won if he’s got Aussie blood in him.

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