Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 22, Stage 17: Pau - Col du Tourmalet 174km

In the end, this stage was a huge disappointment. I mean, I know it was exciting and the break had people I liked it in. But seriously. It was the fucking Col du Tourmalet and basically nothing happened. I think my expectations are consistently too high. I can't even say I was spoiled by past Tours, because I've been victim of the damn Tour de Lance for so long. I mean, I know he was there and not winning, but come on. I wanted drama, I wanted fireworks, I wanted ... well, basically I didn't want what happened. Don't get me wrong, I really liked the climb up the Col du Tourmalet -- including the break and then the attacks, but the finish was just ... It was seriously a let down.

I don't quite know how to explain what I want. Well, okay no. That's a lie. I know exactly what I want. I want an old school type Tour where the winner isn't determined until the last day. I want time bonuses back. I want a KOM jersey that's won by someone who goes out day after day and pushes until he's got nothing left. I want Robbie McEwen in the green jersey. I want Cav to stop winning stages (that's another topic for another day). I want something that I don't think exists any more, if it existed at all. I get that people are excited that Contador and Andy Schleck are going to be a rivalry for a long time, but I don't want that. I want a wide open Tour, I want the promise of what things could've (should've) been like without Armstrong. I want so much more than the TDF is ever going to give me.

And now you see why I find the GC to be the worst part of the whole Tour. I talk about it because I have to and I get a bit pulled into the hype. But, like, it's always a disappointment. I know we say it's the Tour and anything can happen -- but it never does, not really. I really did expect too much. I thought, maybe Schleck can pull this off. Maybe, just maybe we're gong to get something spectacular. And then that happened. Which was ... not really awesome. I mean, them eying each other all the way up the mountain, the first attack by Schleck, the second by Contador. The fact that they couldn't shake the other, that was pretty cool. But the race for the line wasn't really a race. I know people keep trying to say it was a sprint type thing, but come on. Who in their right might thinks that's what happened. It was fucking ridiculous. Contador all but let Andy win. As if he deserved it. Whatever. We all know how I feel about it.

I don't know what else I'm supposed to say about this stage, you know? I was really excited for it. And a lot of it was pretty awesome. I was even awake at 6:30, so I saw stuff close to the start. I also don't think Carlos Sastre should have been punished for, you know, attacking. This is the Tour, not a leisure. But what do I know, right? I'm just a fan. I don't ride up the mountains, I barely get on my bike. I just get annoyed when these grown men who do what they love for a living bitch about things. I mean, come on. Suck it up and deal. If Robbie McEwen can do it, so can you.

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