The 2009 Tour de France is finished. A return to the Tour by Lance Armstrong has brought the television crowds back as well as the people to the side of the roads in France. They estimate approx 750,000 people along the route to Mont Ventout on Saturday. The television viewership worldwide increased 50 to 60% over last year. The impact one man has had on the sport of professional cycling and his very personal and public battle to eradicate cancer.
This year’s Tour was great to watch. There was some infighting among the Astana Team however their best rider this year won the race – Alberto Contador. Their most awesome rider took third place, Lance Armstrong! Not bad after three years away from competitive racing.
What will next year and the new Radio Shack Team bring? George Hincapie and Lance Armstrong back on the same team. With the Director Sportif extraordinaire lead Radio Shack to victory in Paris? Will some of the best riders in the world stick with Lance on his quest for the “mellow johnny” – Andreas Kloden, Levi Leipheimer, Yaroslav Popivich – how awesome would that be? Maybe I need to make a reservation in Paris from now! How cool would that be?
Anyhow, I shall miss watching the Tour de France so maybe a trip to Santa Rosa CA is in order for February – Tour of California might be on the travel itinerary – get a fix of cycle racing without waiting a whole year.
Looking ahead to next year!!