Friday, June 30, 2006

"No, Dude, You Should Watch. It Will Still Be Really Interestin... Oh, Never Mind"

The 2006 Tour de France, which starts tomorrow, was always going to be a tough sell to the non-hardcore cycling fan because of the retirement of one Lance Armstrong. For whatever reason I have always geeked out on the TDF since I was a wee lad, and although it won't be nearly as compelling this year as it was the last 7 (the last 4 especially), I was still interested in the top two storylines heading into this year's event. Namely, will perennial bridesmaid Jan Ullrich finally step up and win cycling's biggest event now that Lance is no longer around to beat him? Will last year's main challenger Ivan Basso step up to the vacant throne and announce himself as the new King Of The Hill? I was starting to get interested in following OLN's outstanding coverage again this year to find out.

Who will be getting kisses and giant stuffed bears
from the beautiful Credit Lyonnais girls this year?

Ugggghh, nevermind.

I'll still watch, but not rabidly and not daily, since this is a giant anticlimax cherry on top of an already large natural letdown sundae.

That being said, the race is absolutely wide open now, and an excellent opportunity exists for some really talented Americans (Hincapie, Landis, Hamilton, others) to step onto the world stage and keep the all time high American interest in cycling going.

Can't wait to see that old dude dressed as Le Diable running through the windy roads of the Alps...

There are cycling "enthusiasts", and then there is this guy.

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