Monday, July 27, 2009
My back is decidedly hit or miss. Some days it’s great; others not so much. Since a year was the projected recovery time (two for 100% without any missteps) I have to be happy with that and not too impatient about my athletic endeavors, so most of this year’s goals have been rolled over to next. On that note, how about that Tour?
So the Texan got smoked by the young guns. To those in the know it was no surprise. He did, however, look pretty good. He also seems 100% committed to trying again next year. This ensures us of another year of great coverage of bike racing. This short interview sets things up pretty well:
When I say great coverage, I mean that as in a lot of coverage. I don’t think the quality of coverage in this year’s Tour can be called great. I like Phil, Paul, and Bob Roll but, Christ, what a load of hyperbole they dish out. All this “Contador is a selfish rider” BS is ridiculous. He’s paid by his team to win the race. When was the last time a Tour leader sacrificed his chances of winning to help a cracked teammate try and hang on to a podium place?
Imagine asking any past Tour champion to do this. LeMond would laugh. Armstrong would sue. Hinault would punch you in the face. Yet Contador, Versus would like us to know, is selfish because he attacked his teammates (never mind that he was trying to put time into his rivals and actually attacking them.) Um, aren’t his teammates there to support him and isn’t their first and foremost goal to win the entire Tour? If someone finds me a sponsor who says they’d rather have the second and third spots on the podium than the first, I’ll give you my R3. Speaking of Cervelo, these guys don’t look particularly happy with second and third (those are not tears of joy, methinks).
If you were Contador would you want to roll the dice on your Tour chances in a time trial against Bradley Wiggins? Okay, so he bested Wiggins on that day but not many would have bet on that one, including Alberto himself.
Anyway, it all makes for great drama. Never mind that in the points of the race that showed strength Armstrong finished 6th. Versus says that if he hadn’t played the role of unselfish teammate he might have won. Never mind that Armstrong himself questioned Schleck’s superiority even though Andy pulled, in a headwind, up the entire Ventoux and still dropped Lance at the line. Versus says that if AC hadn’t attacked Astana would have swept the podium. Never mind that Contador is 26, Schleck 24, and that Lance will be surrounding himself with a group of dudes pushing 40. Versus tells us Radio Shack is already the team to beat next year.
And I’m down with all of it. Bring on the hype machine. Lance Chronicles: The Return, “It’s Not About The Bike, well, Okay, Maybe It Is A Little Bit,” “Lance Armstrong’s Revenge”… et al. I’m psyched. Let’s not split hairs; more bike racing coverage = good. And next year is going to be great.