Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tour de France Geekery

One of the top riders in the world was tossed out of the Tour today for blood doping. If it's true, then I say good riddance. Unfortunately, here in this country, the only way the Tour can get coverage is if there is a doping scandal. People seem to like to point their fingers at the sport and talk about how dirty it is, but at least cycling is doing something to clean itself up. What other sport would throw one of its top participants out because of doping? Certainly not football or baseball. This rider, Alexander Vinoukorov, if found guilty will face an automatic two year suspension, plus he won't be allowed to rider for a top team for another two years after that. In addition, he will be fined his entire 2007 salary. Given that the guy is 33, his career is over if he really did blood dope.

Now, back to the stupid American sports casters who keep saying that the sport, and especially the Tour have died. To them, I say watch this video...

The guy in the white jersey that keeps attacking is Alberto Contador of Spain. He's 24 years old, and he's beating up on one of the best climbers in the world, Michael Rasmussen. Not only is Contador young, but a few years ago he crashed heavily, causing a massive brain hemorhage that almost killed him. He now rides with a steel plate in his head, and he's amazing to watch.

I would like to ask those sports casters, if the Tour has died, why are there so many fans at the top of this mountain...and they sure as hell seem passionate about the sport. Attendance hasn't dropped off in the Tour, and some even estimate that it's now higher than it was during the days of Lance Armstrong...and that's because the race is a lot more exciting.

You also have to love the commentators on the video...you can certainly tell who they're cheering for...even if you don't speak Spanish...

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