Sunday, July 04, 2004

Weekend Edition: TdF

This year perhaps the Olympics relegate it to second place, but otherwise the Tour de France is the greatest sporting event going. It's an unbeatable combination of athleticism and strategy, over three dramatic weeks. Thank God for Lance Armstrong, without whom we'd get no coverage of this event in the US.

Lance is a contender to win his sixth straight tour. No one has ever won more than five (consecutively or otherwise). At thirty-two, Lance is older than any previous winner of the Tour. He's also dogged by the French press, who are not big fans of his.

I am as inspired as anyone by Lance's battle back from cancer, but his arrogance is too over the top for me to go that crazy rooting for him. I'm ready for some up-and-comers to spice things up.

Still, I respect Lance for starting this year's tour strongly. With his second place finish in the Prologue today, he has put crucial seconds between him and all his main rivals for the grand prize.

To get the faintest glimmer of what the world's best cyclists are capable of, check out the profile of the 13th stage of this year's Tour.

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