Le Tour

This time of year is great for many reasons, but the Tour de France is my personal favorite. I love the idea that there is an event that demands such rigour consistently for hours at a stretch. It is hard to throw a ball past a team of guys with bats, and it is hard to hit a ball thrown by a professional. But baseball has only a few bursts, and the rest is standing around (and me watching, drinking much beer). Cycling is consistent demanding action, and the Tour de France is three weeks of ballbusting endurance tests with a few time trials thrown in.

The Ancient Greeks would object, no doubt, to such dedication to one single specific thing, but at least we know that the winner has muscles of crazy steel and lungs to breathe a storm. Rasmussen is a great rider and looks excellent this year, but even if someone beats him, we'll know he didn't do it relying on the chance that the ball fell three inches on this side of the line. The winner has to be a furious machine, more than all the others.

If I ever do anything half as well as Eddy Merckx rode a single race that he doesn't even remember, I'll be a proud, proud man.

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Scandals

When I think "Tour de France", I think scandals. Today's examples:

Cofidis cycling team's future looks in jeopardy after Cristian Moreni's positive test for testosterone prompted the French outfit to pull out of the Tour de France on Wednesday.

and

Michael Rasmussen was removed from the race by his Rabobank team after winning Wednesday's stage

Pretty much fits my image of the race. I started paying attention last year. Floyd Landis won. Or not. I'm having trouble finding the joy in it.

 

 

Rasmussen must have been

Rasmussen must have been withdrawn right after I posted this. Damnation.
Let's think of it this way: Barry Bonds is about to break the home-run record after obviously being on steroids for a few years. Sosa and McGwire...well, you know. The guys that dope in cycling are getting cracked down on.
For what it's worth, I believe Floyd was innocent. Something stinks in that case.

Consistent Randall? Except

Consistent Randall? Except for that stretch of English Channel whereupon they rest on their laurels for a spell, eh? Bah!