It's getting harder to find good things about this tour, but I'll give it my best shot.
1. Sylvain Chavanel. Of course he'd end up on my list. There's no question. His attacking, of course. But mostly his amazing and wonderful performance on the ITT. HE just really made my day and blew my mind. I know he was just 8th, but it was pretty damn impressive.
2. Alberto Contador. There's something special about this kid and I hope that he manages to be clean and if he wins this tour, like so many think he might, I hope it counts. I want to see him do well and I'd hate if he didn't.
3. Mountains. They've been brilliant so far. Painted and beautiful and the crowds have just come out to cheer the boys on. Sometimes it's a bit of an irony (people holding giant syringes) but at the same time it's so nice to see them there and supporting these boys.
4. David Millar. Kicking ass while in a lot of discomfort. Not Vino or Hamilton-like discomfort, but the worst kind. Where you can't do anything about it and you just want to scratch. And also, kudos for him for speaking his mind.
5. Vinokourov. I was of two minds on this one and so he'll be in both places. Prior to today, this man was pretty much a wonderful thing. He was fighting against all odds and battling to win stages and make his name known. And for that, he belongs here.
6. Vinokourov. But then there's the doping scandal. There's Astana leaving the tour. There's so much here that's so wrong. He belongs on this side of the my list as well. It's hard to know what to think about it, so I'll just leave it as this: he gave everything and clearly (if these reports are to be believed) that wasn't enough.
7. Rasmussen. I liked him when he only cared about the KOM. But I recall, back during his run at the Vuelta, that something about him bugged me. I still don't know what, but I didn't like him. And now I don't again. Whatever he's done, he doesn't really deserve to be in yellow based on his behavior. Someone with so little respect for th rules shouldn't get the play the game.
8. Doping. Once again it's the story. Partly I'm glad because maybe something will change. Realistically I am not hopeful, because I don't think anything will. Perhaps I should feel good that people are getting caught, but so much for the clean tour thing.
9. Patrik Sinkewitz. What an idiot. I don't know what else to say about him. If it's true, he's so incredibly dumb that I can't even begin to understand. For his sake, I hope he's innocent, but it's so hard to believe that any more.
10. UCI/ASO/ETC. Their failings are becoming so obvious. Nothing has changed and the Tour has just showing that to be the case. The drug tests are catching riders, sure, but it's not enough and it's so blatantly clear that there are problems. There is something wrong with the system and it needs to be fixed.
The tour is not over and it won't be over until Sunday. But it will be one of the oddest Tours I have ever watched. With Astana gone, everything's a little different. And you can bet your ass I'll be getting up at 6:30 am to see what happens.