As I listened to the rain falling into the gutters this morning, meaning I missed my planned ride, I started to put my highlights and lowlights of this years Tour de France together in my head. For such a dull race, I thought it was going to be a lot tougher. I have actually chatted to a few people about it online on FaceBook and Twitter. There are a surprising array of suggestions made, some reflecting my thoughts, others I hadn’t even considered.
I will start with the lowlights. From the 5th placed to 1st, in this post and then do the highlights, again from 5th to 1st in part 2 later today.
#5 The parcours.
I applaud Christian Prudhomme for trying something different. I imagine it must be a very difficult job trying to create a route that will provide an exciting race as well as a spectacle. Looking at the course, it seems like Prudhomme was hoping the climbers would have to attack the ITT specialists in the mountains and build up a buffer before the final long ITT. Sadly for Prudhomme and his team, Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck, the two most people would expect to be able to animate a race in the mountains were both missing from the start. With Wiggins dominating the first ITT, all was left was for Team Sky control the race in the mountains and the race was over. To say they managed that is a slight understatement. We will never know what sort of race it would have been, but I am sure a lot of people would agree, it was a pretty dull affair.
#4 The normal Rest day drug busts/news
I know it is usual for the rest day to be dominated by scandal, but it doesn’t make it any easier to stomach. The first rest day was dominated by USADA vs Armstrong and his buddies. Rest day 2 and we have Frank Schleck’s A sample testing positive to diuretics.
#3 TackGate and WoofGate
The more I think about this the more annoyed I get. What do they think they are going to achieve? Then again, how do you stop idiots when there are millions of people lining the road? One thing you can do is stop people bringing dogs to the roadside. If the Gendarmerie see a dog, they should frog march, no pun intended, the owner and dog out of the way.
#2 Stage 17 Farce
I have covered this on the blog already, so I won’t rehash it here, but it was huge disappointment to see the maillot juane treated so badly.
#1 Wiggins Tantrums
Again, I have been over this before, here and here. I have said it before, but up until this tour, I was a fan of Wiggins. I loved the fact that he spoke honestly and without fear. But surely there comes a point where you are letting people down. I think even he realises that he went to far.
I can nearly forgive him when you hear him talk like this at the stage 19 press conference.
I expect his outbursts had a lot to do with the pressure he must have been under, something I can never understand, but surely he must know that he is going to be asked the often repetitive and sometimes stupid questions. Sadly, these outbursts were the low point of this years Tour de France for me.
I will collate the highlights and post them this afternoon.
As usual, feel free to comment below.