Sunday, July 24, 2005
TdF Stage 21
HE SPENT HIMSELF. Vino, always an aggressive rider, won my respect during this edition of the Tour de France for his readiness to repeatedly attack the best of the best on the hardest days in the toughest conditions. He earns my first Annual "Guts" Award. He was willing to attack when no one else would. He shook things up in the mountains, taking Lance Armstrong to the limit. While I am sure every rider who crosses the finish line in Paris has given himself extensively, it appears to me that the Kazakh has literally spent himself to the very end. Vinokourov, who will leave T-Mobile at the end of this season to be leader of his own team, should be a top contender in the 2006 Tour, one of a handful of riders who will have the dubious honor of being the first post-Armstrong era TdF champ.
WRAP-UP IN PROCESS. I am working on a Tour de France wrap-up; coming soon. I am never quite ready for the TdF to be over when it's over. I guess that comes with the mania of the event. And this is a double-whammy. It's also the end of the Lance Armstrong era. Many questions and conjectures to come...