Tour de France '07 – A Hopefully Truthful Race

Jul 28 2007

So that was a pretty good TT. Leipheimer riding like a man possessed, Cadel Evans looking like a wounded beast, and Contador feeding Evans slack the whole way, knowing all along that he had plenty to give. In the end, the Top 3 remained unchanged, but the tight time gaps (:31 between first and third) made for some dramatic finishes.

I thought Levi might just have been on form to slip by both Evans and Contador, but the post-race interviews revealed the same old Leipheimer, with quotes along the lines of “yeah, I was going fast so I could ease up in the corners”; “you know, I really just got to relax and enjoy it”; and “Cadel won’t have to worry. I won’t try to get those last 9 seconds tomorrow”. Now you know why Armstrong choose to ride behind Contador instead.

Anyway, pre-race, there were the usual tech stories, checking out a few of the badass TT bikes, or critiquing chrono positions in the least aerodynamic prose ever (I realize Zinn literally wrote the book on bike tech, but please, someone get him an editor). But I was sad to see that no one wrote anything on the tech topics I want to hear about, like Millar’s sweet disintegrating disc wheel, or how the Tour was able to determine they should slap three seconds onto Contador’s finish time yesterday.

Maybe the journos who were supposed to write those stories up got a little sidetracked yesterday. Can you just see some overly-jovial Danish newspaperman being like “another positive? Police raids? Hell no! Only story here is you jokers got Punk’d!”. You think the Danish press would have learned their lesson after that whole Mohammed thing. Of course, even if those reporters hadn’t been otherwise occupied, they’d probably write it up with some pathtically ambiguous title; was the Tour marred by doping? Or was it the time trial?

Not that the press cares about such matters. They don’t even take the time to correct Dick Pound by pointing out that ineffective drug testing wouldn’t result in any positive tests. Or to mention to Christian Prudhomme that if the UCI really didn’t want a clean Tour, they could have saved themselves time and money by simply not doing any drug tests. Am I the only one out here who’s bothered by the fact that the only organization actually catching cheats is getting a lot of flack for actually catching cheats?

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