Sunday, July 24, 2011
July 24, Stage 21: Créteil - Paris Champs-Élysées 160 km
So, where to begin. I guess the stage first. I don't like the ceremonial start up to the final stage. I really want the final stage to be an actual race and I'd really prefer that the TDF folks would bring back the ITT as the final stage. I want to see a real race, but I know that'll never happy. I should just suck it up and deal, but I find it hard.
My biggest complaint about the race was the fact that it's been ridiculously predictable and this stage was no different. The worst part, though, was that the racing seemed to start too late and no one attacked hard enough to make a dent. Ben Swift tried, but in the end it was the HTC train that ruled the day. Like I said on twitter, I'd like to see Cavendish consistently win some stages without the train helping him out. None of the other sprinters have the luxury of bring cyclists to the tour for the sole purpose of being a lead out train. I know that people really like, but I'm totally over it. Maybe if HTC disappears, we'll find out just how good Cavendish is when his team gets split apart.
Moving on. Predictable stage was predictable with Cavendish winning the final sprint without having to put forth any effort. It was definitely an anti-climatic finish to a rather crappy race. Perhaps if I liked the GC folks, my feelings would be different. Or maybe if Sylvain (or other riders I actually liked) won stages, I wouldn't be so bitter, but that's not the case. I muted all of the formalities at the finish (including interviews, because I just don't care what Cadel or the Schlecks have to say). I did unmute for Jeremy Roy's presentation of the most combative rider. I like him and FDJ, for the most part, and it was nice to see them finally rewarded.
As for the race as a whole? Not very impressive. I'm not talking about individual performances or stage results (though those weren't too interesting, depending on the stage). I'm talking about the race as a whole. I was really excited for this tour, which surprised me, but I should've realized what it meant -- that this tour would suck for me. I know people are happy (especially Australian fans) but it's hard when the people you're cheering for never seem to win and everyone you don't like wins.
I don't know if I can do this again next year. It takes a lot out of me to care so much only to have everything I like/support destroyed right in front of me (twitter, I'm looking at you). It used to be easier to ignore the GC, but now because of twitter, everyone's crazy and nasty about all sorts of crap and it sucks. Hopefully all of this BS will die down now that the race is over. And, honestly, maybe next year will be better. Perhaps Cadel, the Schlecks and Contador won't be there and then we can have an actual race.
Until next year (maybe), I suppose. I hope you enjoyed the TDF better than I did.
Posted by Sarah at 12:51 PM