Contador wins, Schleck comes within 39 seconds, and Armstrong retires, again. A summary of Stage 20, and the Tour, is available at Cyclingnews.com and Bicycling.com. See, July 25, Stage 20: Longjumeau – Paris 102.5km (Tres victorias de Francia para Contador!) and Contador Wins 2010 Tour de France.
Versus offered the Tour in HD, and like so many other viewers, it was the first time I saw it that way. These were twenty interesting stages, televised in a compelling, beautiful format.
Contador’s won the TdF three times, and may have other victories yet ahead.
Cycling, too, has other events ahead, in competition and (perhaps) in the courtroom. For American fans of Lance Armstrong, as for the fans who once stood by Floyd Landis, these are likely to be frustrating months. Armstrong has had, to be sure, a high-flying and controversial career. See, Armstrong Could Never Leave Well Enough Alone.
Allegations have been leveled against Armstrong many times, but the standard of review will be more exacting than previous claims against him. I’ve read David Walsh’s book, From Lance to Landis: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France, and it offers suspicions, but nothing like the sort of case that federal investigation would have to craft. By comparison with a federal investigation, Walsh’s book is just a piker.
(I’d guess that it will a hard to make a case against Armstrong, but that Jeff Novitzky of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will do all he can, and a judge will likely have to remind him of those things he can’t).
I’m opposed to doping in sports, because I think it excessively unnatural, but also because athletes agree not to dope, and so to do so is dishonest. I’d dislike a sport that allowed doping, but at least it would be a candid competition — athletes would simply admit what they took.
Cycling doesn’t, so athletes should refrain. To do otherwise is to cheat and lie.
By the way, although cycling has long been a European sport, I’m not the sort of fan who favors European athletes because it seem more ‘sophisticated’ or ‘genuine.’ I love America, and I know that we’re capable of producing great athletes who triumph without illegal drugs. (I’d also like to note that many of the worst doping scandals have been European ones.)
America is so capable, that we have a great cyclist who won the Tour de France three times.
He won honestly; we can win that way again.