The 2010 Tour was great, one of the best in a few years. The “Lance Factor” – his last Tour, 3rd in the Prologue (possible #8?), the flat, then the crashes. I actually have more respect for Lance since Version 2. His “post retirement” era wasn’t easy – broken collarbone with surgery, the crashes and bad luck, not being the hands down force of the race – yet he raced on. The dude obviously loves the sport, otherwise why come back and suffer like that? He could be lounging in Texas counting his dough. So, dig Lance or not – you gotta give him props for that.
You also gotta give Chris Horner major kudos for his 10th place finish. The guy is one of the hardest working pros ever.
The Schleck/Contador battle was fantastic. The thrown chain incident adding to the drama. The painful chess game on the climbs. The final time trial was awesome. The first half of the TT – can Schleck pull it off? Shades of the ’89 Tour, win by a few seconds? Not to be, but it forced Contador some stress and he rode hard for the win – taking some heat off the tossed chain attack “win”.
Besides reading a bit about Schleck, I didn’t know much about him. I’m now a fan and I was pulling for him to win the Tour. His announcement that he was over the attack by Contador during his mechanical issue, and for the fans to stop booing Contador was pure class. I got a kick out of his interviews on Verses – the accent, the laid back but postive attitude, his jokes. When asked if he will watch the Tour for review – “No, I am not in love with myself”. Great stuff.
With any luck, we’ll see a repeat of the battle in 2011. Should be even more interesting with brother Frank Schleck along for support.
Oh yeah, I'll also miss this commercial. After seeing it 75,000 times during the Tour coverage, it's become a running gag with my kids.
"They're raising French babies and throwing soft cheeses, as is the custom"......