Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TdF recap

via The Big Picture, Part 1, Part 2

"More than any other sport, bicycling has been linked to drugs. Podium finishers in nearly every Tour over at least the last two decades have failed drug tests, admitted to doping or been linked to high-profile investigations.

Viewers have tended to regard the winners with a bit of disbelief.

But the sport appears to have turned the corner and is regaining some credibility, thanks to the antidoping efforts of a new generation of riders, managers and fans. There is, as yet, no conclusive proof of this, as one cannot prove a negative. Still, we now believe that cycling is cleaner than it has been at any time since 1990.

Most telling has been the noticeable slowing down in performances in the crucial mountain stages."

"Wasn't this supposed to be a Tour to Ignore?

Who had the stomach for another gut punch? Professional cycling had tormented its fan base. Repeated performance-enhancing scandals, apologies, accusations, investigations and denials had cast too many long, inexcusable shadows over a beautiful sport. It was hard to compartmentalize, to rationalize, to believe. And forget about defending a cycling habit to baffled friends.

The 2011 Tour de France appeared skippable. Alberto Contador was returning as defending champion and a heavy favorite, even though in early August, he would face a hearing on doping charges lingering from last year.

But the 2011 Tour proved to be refreshing and unpredictable, and utterly worth it."

1 comment:

David L. said...

Great tour, great photos, great post!