Monday, July 30, 2007

Stage 20 - Sunday, July 29: Marcoussis - Paris Champs-Élysées, 146km

I had too much to do after the final stage yesterday (watching Arsenal beat Inter Milan and then visiting my grandmother and grocery shopping and ... laziness, really) and I wanted to think about this tour before I wrote my final '07 TDF blog post. I've thought a little, but mostly I feel I've already formed all of my opinions. So I'll just get this done and then we can go on reporting about doping, because that's what we all want to hear, right? I'm kidding. Mostly.

So, the final stage, right? It was terrible. Not only the lack of racing (I mean, not even a breakaway guys? Really.) but the whole Versus losing their feed thing. That really pissed me off. But that wasn't their fault, at least not the station. Most likely some satellite's problem or something. But because of that, I missed the most exciting part of the race and when Bennati crossed the line, it was a big letdown. It shouldn't have been, as I like Lampre and Bennati, but ...

Aside from that, the tour was quite interesting and I eagerly await all of the post-Tour positives that will certainly start to appear. I don't know who (well, we're not talking about the one that just came out a couple of hours ago). Also, all the hype surrounding Contador just makes me feel like people are setting themselves up for disaster (which is fine, I suppose -- that's the nature of the sport).

AS for Contador's win? It's weird to see him up there. Odd that Leipheimer and Evans are there. But it's kind of interesting how Discovery managed to do a lot that they'd never done while Armstrong was there. The previous teams threw themselves into the race for Armstrong, but while they had a leader this year, they also managed to win the race with someone, have two riders on the podium and win the team competition. It was surprising and nice if you are a Discovery fan (which I am not).

Boonen won the green jersey and Soler took the KOM one. And, of course, Contador had both the yellow and the white. It's kind of a crazy podium to echo a crazy tour. If only the final stage could have lived up to the craziness that made up so many of the stages. Sadly, it was not to be. It was an interesting stage, no one wanted to race and I was sad that, even though I didn't like Evans, he didn't make an attempt to take the jersey from Contador. It would have at least spiced things up a bit.

Overall, I liked the tour. Yes, drama and all. There's nothing quite like the excitement that comes with doping and people being kicked out. If nothing else, this shows the world that cycling at least cares that people dope, while so many other sports just don't give a shit. Maybe this year's TDF won't change anything, but at least it's a start.

Who knows what will happen next year -- but I hope that my boys race and finish and we keep plucking the dopers out. Until next year!

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