Once again, the Tour de France has held my attention for the month of July. I must admit that I didn’t give it the full attention of previous years, but I did keep up with the results and watched the majority of the racing.
This year’s racing was dominated by Team Sky, who wrapped up 1st and 2nd place in the General Classification early in the final week. The Points Classification was finished even earlier with no one challenging Peter Sagan of Team Liquigas as Mark Cavendish, “the fastest man on two wheels”, decided to save himself for the Olympic Games and not defend his 2011 title. Although he did not defend, he did manage to win three stages including the final stage on the Champs-Elysees, which he has won four times now, in fact every time he has ridden that stage.
The King of the Mountains competition was won by a Frenchman, Thomas Voeckler. His nickname is Hollywood because if he sees a camera while riding he will make all sorts of facial expressions. The Young Rider competition was won by an American riding for BMC Racing, Tejay van Garderen. Look for him in future races to be a favorite. Also a favorite for the future has to be the 2nd place finisher of the GC riding for Team Sky, Chris Froome. If he wasn’t supporting Bradley Wiggins, he probably would have easily beat him.
All in all, this year’s race was full of crashes and more crashes. Very few of the cyclists were left unscathed, and yet the continued to race to Paris. This has to be one the most physical sports in the world and those who compete should be commended.
Part of the allure of watching the Tour is getting to see the beauty of France. If you watch the live broadcast, Phil Leggett and Paul Sherwin are like travel guides and give you all the details of the towns rode through and the buildings surrounding them. One of our favorite shots is when the cyclists pass through the fields of sunflowers. Just gorgeous!
I look forward to the Olympic Games to see who will come out on top. Some good racing should be seen as well as the sights of London. Go Cavendish!!!!