The other day, I was banging on about how it may be a good thing for the TDF not to be dominated by a rider the way it was from 1999 to 2005, and how the doping scandals and the pullout of high-profile sponsors like Festina and T-Mobile and US Postal might neutralize the race a little bit. The TDF will always be cycling's big event, but hopefully not the "Superbowl of cycling," if that means an American-sized event that's all money and no competition.
But here's a contrarian point of view, that I also feel strongly about: You can't have a bunch of little Italian guys winning every mountain stage, some rangey mittel-European winning the time trials, big nordic types winning the sprints, and then some mid-pack stranger in yellow.
Put more simply: It's inelegant to have someone in yellow who is not capable of winning a single stage. Maybe that speaks to the specialists canceling each other out, or maybe it speaks to an anyone-can-win-it drama.
But the fact that two dudes from Saunier Duval won today's stage is great for Saunier Duval, but it sucks for everyone else. (Actually, the real story today is who got dispatched by the remarkable performance of Jens Voigt: Cunego and Valverde. See ya at the Vuelta, boys.)
There's some monster stages coming next week though, so perhaps I should keep it zipped and watch the guys with the little white
weenies widows' peaks go limp after all the early efforts.
An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.