Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tour de France

I love the sport of cycling and I love the Tour de France. Mark Cavendish is one helluva sprinter- even McEwen says, he's "just too strong." That's saying a lot, considering the source. He's dominating the sprints in the way Cippolini once did.

But, the real dominator of this Tour is once again the drug scandals. It really sucks too. I am not so naive that I believed nobody would be doping at this Tour, but I hoped that it wouldn't be this bad and that it would only be riders that were clinging on for hope- the domestiques who slave away on the roads all day for their team leaders. Those drug cases seem to fade away from the press quicker since they are less sensational. But deep in my heart, I hoped nobody was doping... knowing that was foolish all along. It is a pathetic situation at the Tour, again. I still love the racing and I'm still reading the results and catching little bits of the coverage on TV... but it feels a lot like last year all over again. A little too much so. I'm not giving up, but I'm admittedly a little jaded.

The Tour rolls on towards Paris with Cadel still in yellow. Plenty of excitement still lies ahead. Maybe Evans will go down in the history books as the first Australian winner of the Tour. One thing is sure though- the peloton has gotten a little thinner because of riders taking stupid risks or just not caring about their fellow riders (or their teams) and the sport.

I'll be watching to see who gets crowned as winner this year and I'll be hoping (against hope) that nobody else is dumb enough to try and cheat. But even if they do and they (hopefully) get caught, I'm still in love with the sport. Kinda like me, it's battered and bruised but not broken.



Mark Ritz said...

Tim, thanks as always for your comments on this year's Tour.

It is a tragedy that doping has taken over the headlines for the Tour yet again. Beltran and Duenas I could stmach, but when Ricco was caught, I was almost physically ill. This was the man who proclaimed loudly that he was the "moral" victor at the Giro, since he was a better climber than Contador, and called the other riders "vegetables" for not attacking. Now he's caught with a 3rd generation EPO! Combined with Piepoli's victory at Hautacam (now fired by his team for "ethical violations"), does this mean that every dominating performance in cycling should be suspect? My God, I hope not. I am tired of having to explain to my non-cycling friends that all cyclists are not dopers. Of course, their sports heros (MLB, NFL, NBA, et al.) are hardly tested at all and if they are caught it's a small fine and a couple of days rest.

I, too, will continue to watch the race but with a sceptic's cynical view. And that makes me sad... said...

When I found out about Ricco it just about ruined my whole day. I wasn't even a big fan of the big mouth. I love watching the sport but I'm a bit jaded too. I feel a bit like I've been cheated. I keep telling myself most of these guys don't cheat but one by one the top guys get caught. When will the bleeding stop?