Monday, 17 August 2009

Now the Dust has settled

It has been a few weeks since the Tour de France has finished. I have had time to take stock of it and here are my ramblings.

This year I have enjoyed the Tour more than any other since 2003. Of course other Tours will always have a favoured status but looking back this years Tour was great for one reason alone. The battle for the Green Jersey. So often called the "Sprinters Jersey', it really is the jersey that rewards consistency, courage and great tactics.

As an Englishman many would be expecting me to be waving the flag for Cav. Don't get me wrong, he is truly an awesome athlete (and I expect him to win it next year), my heart was yearning for a Thor win. As both athletes are great proponents of 'clean cycling', this for me was the battle that I could sit back and enjoy without those nagging questions that sometimes surrounds the GC riders.

Stage 17 produced a day that will go down in Green Jersey history. The words that a impassioned and frustrated Cavendish spoke fueled Hushovd's fire to create an epic day in the saddle. I bet that Cav wishes that he hadn't said that the 'Green jersey was tarnished'. Those words mixed with equal doses of pride helped create one of the most memorable sights at this years Tour.

A footnote has to go to Wiggin's, another great proponent of 'clean' cycling. He finished fourth which was as an amazing feat as Armstrong's first win. He has transformed himself from one of the world's greatest Track riders to a genuine Tour contender. I've met him once and he strikes me as a nice guy and I do hope he take's one of cyclings greatest prizes.

This Tour has shown that riding clean can produce the most exciting racing, be that in the sprints or the mountains. It gives this jaded fan hope for the future. I am sure PED's will always be there, but lets hope that it's use is in a smaller minority and our sport can hold it's head high.

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