This year the tour lived up to is ability to produce shocking “results” and newsworthy stories on top of some incredible racing, both on the flats and in the mountains. It was the closest GC finish in history, and the top three cyclists in the points competition were each just one win away from taking the maillot vert.
Alberto Contador has been pegged as the next great hope, a 24 year-old phenom who can both climb and time trial, but perhaps the new hope lies with cycling itself. Finally the administrators appear to be taking a long-range view of the doping situation, showing courage and fearlessness in expelling two top riders. Will this hurt cycling? In the short term, yes, the sport will likely take a knock, but this bodes well for the future of the sport.
In additon, one of the tour officials expressed his hope at the riders’ silent protest at the start of Stage 16. In the past, this official said, the riders would protest the doping controls, opposing their invasive nature and in fact their even existence. Now the peleton is protesting against the dopers, and surely this must be a sign of hope for anyone.
Thanks for tuning in to our tour analysis. Come back for a bit more post-tour wrap up and analysis before we leave cycling behind and shift to ultra-endurance exercise and, of course, the IAAF World Champs which start in Osaka on 25 August.