'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

30 June 2012

Tour De France

It's time for the Tour De France again. Ok, I admit it. I'm a fan. I'll spend way more time over the next three weeks watching skinny men ride bicycles up ginormous mountains than I should. Lu and I have been following the Tour for a decade now. We've seen it go from a doping contest to something where any good rider can hope to win. 2173 miles divided up into flat, mountainous and time trial stages. It's the biggest race of the season and the one all the professional riders want to show well in.

Last year Cadel Evans, a good man and a great rider, captured the top spot. This year? I think the field is as wide open as it's ever been. The sports efforts to weed out the cheating has paid off in races that are actually races as opposed to showcases for those willing to bend the rules farthest.

My pick this year? I'm going with Cadel again. He seems to be in about the same place, conditioning and preparation wise, as he was last year. I also think he's got the strongest team and the best support staff. He's a man who can do it all and he has a great heart. Besides, I just like him. His biggest competition will probably come from Bradley Wiggins who dominated while winning the Tour De Suisse  Criterium Du Dauphine just a few weeks ago. Frank Schleck finds himself without his brother Andy to help and on a team that is in the process of destroying itself. I'm picking Sagan over Cavendish in the green jersey points competition and I'm even picking him to spank the Manx Missile in the sprints.

The best Americans should be Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner. Neither will win but either could find themselves on the podium which would be a fine showing this year. Look for TJ Van Garderen to take the white jersey as the best young rider (under 26 years old) which would be a fantastic result for this very young and coming rider. TJ will eventually be a contender in this race.

As I write this the Prologue is done and both Evans and Wiggins are perfectly placed for Stage 1. Fabulous Fabian Cancellara won as expected but both Leipheimer and Horner didn't do too well. Van Garderen is in white (I'm a genius!). We'll just have to see. It's a very long race.

Ok, enough bicycle geekery for now.



Sarge said...

I think I'll just have another bowl of ice cream.

The DO said...

Costa won the Suisse, and Wiggin's the Dauphine, right? Still, I'm with you, especially on Cavendish. Dropping 9 pounds before the sprints? Stating he's not looking to win the green? Sounds like maybe he isn't sure he can take Sagan. I will admit that Sagan won points with me when he did that blistering TT in the Suisse. He looks to be a guy that actually gives a crap about being a good cycler. I'm hoping that Levi or Chris will do well, but not overly optimistic the way they've been riding so far this year. But it's a long race, guess we will see! I'm just happy that Andy is out. Is that mean??

Six said...

Dauphine. Right. I knew that.

It's not mean at all. Andy can bite me.