Tour de France '07 – And Now We Can Sleep

Jul 30 2007

Yes, after 24 hours of on-and-off 503 errors, I am finally able to make my last post on the 2007 Tour. The finish, despite the cagey “maybe I will, maybe I won’t” attitude of Cadel Evans, and rumors of a mass protest, was a confirmation win for Danielle Bennati. His Lampre team hadn’t been having the best race, but they dug hard on the final circuits to bring back the obligatory escape attempt, and the Italian turned a botched Quick.Step lead out (Sebastien Rosseler going hell for leather at 400m, while Tom Boonen launching his own sprint about 6 wheels back) into victory.

For GC considerations, yesterday was mostly about “what ifs” – what if Levi hadn’t gotten that 10 second penalty? What if Michael Rogers hadn’t crashed out in Stage 8? For me, the biggest question was what if Contador didn’t have Rasmussen to work with on the stages where he put time into Evans? Could the Australian possibly have bled 23 fewer seconds on one of those long, Pyrenian ascents if Contador hadn’t had the questionable performances of The Chicken to assist him?

That’s the tricky thing with cycling – one doped rider can have a myriad of cascading effects on the entire results sheet. Kind of like how when one moronically oversimplified doping story breaks in the mainstream press, dozens more are sure to follow. While I was pleasantly surprised and even entertained by the Versus coverage this year, especially by a very much improved Al Trautwig, the steady burble of uninformed “cyclists are dopers” stories from the nether regions of the popular press – even from allegedly reputable publications – really rubbed me the wrong way. But as Dirk Demol once said, I will have my sporting revenge.

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