Monday, 25 July 2011

le tour etc

so, that'll be the tour over for another year. and evans won so i'm happy. but it was so much more than that. thor hushovd may not have gone for green but what a week he had in yellow and that second victory was pure class. i'd love to see him getting a couple of classics victories off the back of that.

and then voeckler. somewhat of the flavour was taken off that because of the inevitable eyebrow raising at the performance but even so the last ditch defense on galibier and the alpe was pure class. deep in the suitcase of courage indeed. and pierre rolland, now there's someone to look out for in the future.

and i think looking forward to the future was kind of what this tour was all about. not only new names in the frame (and that's without the likes of john degenkolb) but seemingly a different approach. andy schleck attacks from 60k, contador from 90!!! not in the epo days they wouldn't! and there was no inhumanly quick climbing of the alpe either. i feel a bit sorry for contador as whatever the truth around the clenbuterol affair he'll be tainted by it (and the schlecks are far from clouds hanging over their particular horizon) but that last vain attack was something else.

the only marginal disappointment was the king of the mountains competition which. for me, has been devalued since the richard virenque days and, like they did for the sprint competition this year, must surely be due for an overall. not that that's to take anything away from samuel sanchez but it'd be nice to see less points on the minor hills forcing pure climbers to compete in their natural environment.

cavendish's victory had something of the inevitable about it even if he had to work proper hard for it. unlike the schlecks cavendish showed proper respect for his team and, in the surprising shape of andrei greipel, those around him. even tears on the podium!

and the schlecks. aside form andy's breakaway they were as unimaginative as i predicted. what's most frustrating is that they're better than that, andy at least as franck sems to have gone a bit off the boil. as a solo effort i severely doubt if he'd have made it to the podium. there was too much looking over the shoulder, too much expecting others to work and, even allowing for the stresses and strains, they did themselves no favours with the media. andy schleck's breakaway should be the stuff of legend. instead i think it'll be contador the following day and evans' fightback that people will remember.

that, and of course johnny hoogerland's torn up backside! not forgetting juan antonio flecha who, arguably, lost the most over that incident.

so, drama all round, thoroughly entertaining and lovely france as usual. i'm totally looking forward to the next one.


Dominic Rivron said...

What a fantastic theee weeks! It's the only sport I watch on TV all year.

As for who won, I must say I was rooting for Andy Schleck - I don't think I'll forget his breakaway in a hurry. However, when it came to it, I was simply left feeling what a shame it was that either of the top two had to lose.

swiss said...

i commented the same to t come the time trial. that said schleck knows it's not his strong point and had he not been fannying about in the pyrenees things may have been different.

never a boring day tho! am intrigued to see what wiggins does in the vuelta

swiss said...

or, put another way