I am already missing the tour. It has been over for 3 days and there is a huge void in my days. After all, this was maybe the most exciting Tour de France – Ever!
Yep, I said it. If you are wondering where I am going with that, then hang on. It will all be apparent toward the bottom, or as your tshirt goes inside out. A base layer of a story here.
This was the TDF that was not going to amount to anything more than controversy. Would Alberto be allowed to race, would the race really just be for 2nd, and maybe that was really for 1st, would Andy be awarded last years win before we even got started etc…? If your like me, you got so tired of all of that that you stopped paying attention.
Trek did not win the race, yet it was certainly the best Tour de France that I have ever seen. My readers digest goes something like this for now. (I might change it later)
- The first week there were an abnormal amount of crashes.
- It rained, a lot more days than normal
- A whole gaggle of riders abandoned early in the race
- Oodles of favorites were on the ground early
- Was it the cleanest tour ever? I have not heard of any positives
- Alberto (I like to call him Bert as it is just one syllable) proved to be fallible
- Cadel (we will call him Cuddles from here forward, although I think it is a stretch thinking that he is Cuddly) looked horrible on his bike as usual, but he was a man possessed.
- Andy made the most spectacular breakaway – maybe ever. People stopped suggesting he was riding for Ponies after that.
- Bert can descend like a madman. Full drifts and the Alberto grimace included on the descents. Fabulous.
- Andy and Frank (called Frandy in the press) made the race in the last week. It would have been boring if it were all left to Cadel.
- Cadel looked like he was taken over by a fire breathing demon on the TT day. This was not 2008 for sure.
- Voeckler looked really good in yellow. Almost sexy. It was fun seeing him throw a temper tantrum on the day he lost yellow.
- Everyone loved the Tour this year. People had bad days, people cracked, someone attacked each day, the unexpected happened.
- As always, the final day in Paris is magical. It is beautiful and romantic. It is beyond a spectacle. It is the pinnacle experience in all of cycling.
- Hoogerland = badass. Look it up.
- The Norweigans rode the race. Thor, Bosan Hagen etc…
- Who is that Rolland kid? - wow.
- The Fabianese was incredibly fun to follow.
I guess that was a little more than just a readers digest version. That pretty much summarizes it all.
Professional cyclists are tough as nails. Think about it. Day after day. Climb after climb. Almost 30miles per hour average speed for the 3 weeks of racing. Crashing. Cold, rain, hot… And, all of these guys will be racing a week from now as well. I just cannot imagine it.
I went to the Leopard party after the race. It was held in a very nice place near the foreign embassy’s in Paris. The entire team was there, along with about 50 guests. The team was introduced like rockstars. There was a light show, smoke machines, thumping music etc… It was all a bit campy, but really effective at building up the team.
Talking to Andy, Frank and Fabian at the party was a treat. They are the greatest group of athletes in the world right now. We are honored to be associated with them. They are all super humble about their accomplishment. They know that Trek really cares about them, and they care about us. It is fun.
Andy said to me, “I have 3 goals in life”
2. Winning the Tour de France
3. Being on the podium with my brother Frank.
He has one of them down. He then went on to say. “I’ll be back, and we will win this race, Joe.” I believe him. They will be visiting Trek soon, and that will be a party. I wish that everyone could be there. Hopefully some of you reading this will be able to.
For us, this was incredible. The first ever brothers on the podium together. Both on Trek bikes. Both part of our growing family of Trek people. That is why I am excited for the future.
Cadel was by far the strongest in the race. Chapeau. He deserved to win.
Now, can we just hit the fast forward button to get to next years races? I cannot wait until April for the spring classics and for next July to come around again.