Monday, July 26, 2010

Let Tour 2010 - Stage 20 - The (sadly so predictable) End. It's the journey, not the destination they say

After all of the crashes, the cobbles and the boring yadda-yadda-yadda over a s0-called "mechanical" we finally get to Paris and see Armstrong and his team playing silly games with the rules. Yawn. In a nutshell - whilst it was compelling viewing simply because it's so damn hard to string so many stages and individual performances into one long race and keep everything hanging together - it was also probably the best example yet of how much better the Giro is as a Grand Tour.

Now whilst this year's Giro was possibly flawed by a lack of some key players - like Contador and Armstrong to name but 2 - the organisers still pulled off a magnificent race as well as a spectacle. It's the racing that has deteriorated in France whilst it has prospered in Italy. Yeah, OK, I didn't ride Le Tour this year - or any year for that matter - but I know what I like. And the racing was effectively a fizzer, outside of the points and climbers classifications at least.

Of course even a fizzer of a Grand Tour beats just about anything else in sport. But it was still a dud in comparison with past glories. (I'm sure those who raced it and suffered have a different opinion but there you go. I'm one of the customers and we - all of us - are always right, eh?

Petacchi Emotional About Green Jersey Success |
Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) finished second behind Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) but had plenty to celebrate as he looked up to the Arc du Triomphe after crossing the finish line on the Champs-Élysées. With Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) only finishing seventh, Petacchi was confirmed as the winner of the points competition.
Tour De France: Stage 20, Route Maps & Results |
"This victory cost me a lot," he said, "and I'm very moved. I suffered a lot, but that's what you have to do to win the Tour."

And when the fat lady was warming up her vocal chords, readying her wide-berthed-self to sing to the tune of the Spanish national anthem, with all his might and power, down came HTC-Columbia's Mark Cavendish on the Champs-Élysées, proving for a fifth time this race, he still is the world's best sprinter.
Reactions From The Tour's 20th Stage |
Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) - 89th on stage, 126th overall @ 3:23:31: It's the 13th time I enter Paris after a long and tiring Tour de France and I have the exact same feeling every single time: goose bumps. It's a goose bump situation.

Last year I wasn't able to go all the way with the guys but this year, I would have done the final stage on a three-wheeled bike to cross the finish line with my friends.
PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling
Alberto Contador has now won the Tour de France three times. In two of those victories, he’s won by fewer than 40 seconds (23 seconds in 2007 and 39 seconds in 2010), and in 2009 he beat Andy Schleck by 4:11. Winning is what matters most, but especially this year, Contador never had a secure lead in the yellow jersey until the final 10 kilometers of the Stage 19 time trial. That’s a stressful way to win the Tour, and a risky one.