Tour de France '07 – Boonen Wins, Dopers Lose

Jul 13 2007

You know why cycling has a doping problem? Because the French fans can’t make up their minds. Go fast, you’re a doper. Turn in something other than an inhuman performance, you’re a slacker. Such passive-aggressiveness. No wonder they get into (and then lose) so many wars. At least the rest of the world seems has reached consensus that “slow” is preferable to “on drugs”; Matthias Kessler – fired. Michele Scarponi – mandatory vacation. Mazzoleni – pulling a Harriet Miers, but you know he’s gonna get it soon. And while some riders have been treated a bit unfairly, the fact that others are being cleared would seem to suggest that the baby-with-the-bathwaterism of last July has subsided deeply.

Anyway, today’s stage was only the second “stock” sprinters’ day in this year’s Tour. Brad Wiggins got in a little workout, while Tom Boonen finally snapped his two-year winless streak in cycling’s greatest race – and retook the lead in the Points Competition to boot. As much as I applaud Boonen’s hardnosed approach, if your bike does this in the final KM of a race I’m in, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t contest the sprint. It might also be worth noting that this is the second incident perpetrated by Boonen’s rear wheel in this year’s race.

Boonen’s win is something of an afterthought, though, as the eyes of the media have shifted to the hills. Well, at least partially. Me, I’m ready for a Bastille Day showdown. Not only is every Frenchman born with the innate desire to win a Tour stage on July 14th, but Vino’ is peeved that the pace exploded after his crash, and that the commisaires got in his way. Forget what pottymouth Kim Anderson says – CSC put time into him like it was their job. In fact, just ignore everything said by a DS from here until the end of the Tour; Valverde is too young to win? Kloden remounted his bike and rode over a two categorized climbs after brekaing his tailbone? If anyone out there thinks they can capitalize on those weaknesses, I’ve got $12 MILLIONS US DOLLAR in a Nigerian Bank account for them to transfer, too.

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