Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Word on the Tour de France
Here are the current standings, stolen directly from "Bicycling" magazine's site:
1. Lance Armstrong (USA/DIS) 55h58min 17sec
2. Michael Rasmussen (DEN/RAB) at 1:41
3. Ivan Basso (ITA/CSC) 2:46
4. Jan Ullrich (GER/MOB) 4:34
5. Levi Leipheimer (USA/GRL) 4:45
6. Floyd Landis (USA/PHO) 5:03
7. Francisco Mancebo (ESP/BAL) 5:03
8. Andreas Kloden (GER/MOB) 5:38
9. Alexander Vinokourov (KAZ/MOB) 7:09
10. Christophe Moreau (FRA/C.A) 8:37
I am unfamiliar with Francisco Mancebo and Christophe Moreau but those riders aside, this group is probably as close to a full-on cream-of-the-crop of modern riders as you will see. Any one of them is fully capable of winning the TdF if Lance were not dead set on taking his final maillot jaune home with him. Both American riders Levi Leipheimer and Floyd Landis (Gerolsteiner and Phonak teams respectively) have the ability to be TdF winners in the very near future. But there are a lot of superb riders who are eager to take the TdF out of American hands. As you can see, there are three T-Mobile riders in the top ten. That's a powerful team. It will be interesting to see what the Discovery Channel team will look like after Lance retires.
Bicycle racing is one hell of a sport.

UPDATE: George Hincapie, a Discovery Channel team member, has taken the latest stage. Add him to my praise of the riders above. I harbor the no-longer secret hope that Hincapie will be the next Discovery Channel winner of the TdF.

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