An Alphabet for the best Tour in Years

Here are a few of my favorite things from this years wondrous Tour de France.
It was the most entertaining race in years for many many reasons. More than these.
I was just scribbling during the Champs and this came out. We had number 5 before now we are on to the alphabet.

A for Andy Schleck
He lost because of his known weaknesses, but may have found the way to win.
He redeemed himself in my eyes with a huge, lay it on the line attack that made the Galibier Anniversary worth it. I think to win he’ll need to be even more exciting. He’ll blow some more but I think once or twice he might pull it off. I thought he wore out a little. A few more years and races under his belt for toughness and look out.
Please race a few more races hard. I like to see you when you go. And I don’t think we  are too hard on Andy, or rather that it matters. He is a big boy and plenty talented enough to take  our  comments  for what they  are really worth ... especially mine.

B for Bert
Yeah Yeah the drug accusation. (The clen I halfway believe him with it being detected all over the place now, the other stuff maybe not)  Contador was a champion this year.  Hurt with little chance, he doesn’t pack it in but just tries to blow everyone up. He made this year over the top wonderful in the Alps. And he gets extra points for popping that fool runner.

C for Cadel!  and Champion!
He attacked early and won a stage. He attacked downhill, and made it exciting on an intermediate stage. He just rode himself back when he needed to on the big climb. He had the toughness this year. And an awesome time trial - he went for the TT stage win, a good move. He was just implacable, always looked like he was ready for what came:  Attacks, no help, a bike problem, whatever it was he just dealt with it. He was going to win.

D  for Danielson
Tommy showed way better than I thought at the biggest race he’s ever ridden. Maybe he’s matured. I’d love to see him do it again.

E for Europecar
What a great sponsor, making Tommy V stay! They are getting their moneys worth with him and Rolland and the rest of the team. I was amazed by seeing all those guys at the front on all those stages. That will give a lot of good experience to a bunch of strong young riders. Yeah, I also hope they don’t have a rider contesting the green jersey.

F for FdJ
Home of Roy and the attackers. If that’s what you can do then do what you can and go for it!

G for Garmin
They knew they had made it when Johann Bruyneel complained he had to congratulate them too much. Stage wins, Team wins, yet another different person in the top 10. Keep it going. Finally a Team Time Trial too. And David Millar and JV tweets.

H for Hincapie
Another year, another team, another championship. I guess he does know what he is doing.
Ride next year and finish big guy to tie the record for finishes along with your record for starts.

I for Ivan Basso
Thanks for not being extra-terrestrial. A not so hot tour as he couldn’t train well because of accident is bad for him, but yet another sign that the PED enhancements aren’t what they used to be. Those guys need to work on a new style helmet built into a nice blue hat for those high mountains.

J for Johnny Hoogerland
I want to be in “Hoogerland” in my mind when I need to be tough. Don’t know if want to chase off all by myself like he seems to enjoy.

K is for Katusha
Those guys were there right? I think so! Wait I remember: The only drug positive of the Tour.
They all might want to forget this Tour.

L is for Limits - Time Limits that is.
Some of us like the rules as they are,  and some want no mercy, but I think all should think the rules need adjusting, if only to change the late 1990‘s assumptions. One more different line of evidence indicating doping is not as effective as it once was.

M for Mark Cavendish
The best Tour sprinter of all time in my book. Just another batch of stages this year. He’s won with a train and without. A great champ in his prime is sometimes boring in his wins, but I still think awesome. I hope HTC stays together. The silence is ominous.

N is for Norway
Four Stages? Thor’s were so cool. I hope he stays with Garmin. I think they would both benefit if they can afford him. Eddy’s are a scarey sign of things to come. Plus our thoughts are with the victims of that stupid attack. There are idiots everywhere. Hopefully we can keep from being too much a fool or an idiot ourselves as a good memorial.

O for Ochiewicz
Jim! A hometown Milwaukee guy! Was this better than your 7-11 days with Eric and company?
Brought into BMC and president and general manager of the  Pro Team since 2007.
Great architecture job on this team. Your plan was to bring the "bulldozers" Hincapie, Burghardt and Quinziato and get Cadel to the base of the climbs and then depend on him. Seemed to be the right plan!

P for Philippe Gilbert
A nice Tour. He doesn’t need to skip any more! A beautiful  stage win and nice attacking of the Green. With a little more planning I think he can win that.

Q for Quickstep slow stepping
Tom, I can feel it. Your bad luck is over. The cards say come back  and start dealing some pain instead of receiving it! Chava was up against a young Norwegian in his try and that was the wrong place in this tour.

R for Rolland
The Badger said Pierre needed to do something this year and my goodness! He’s got the mountain legs. He looks like he’s got potential in the TT of improving. Whether he can take the pressure we’ll see. Would be nice to see a French contender and see all the homerisms that would happen. Could be 20K time trials or another up the Alp instead of flat?

S for Sammy Sanchez
A real Mountain Jersey worthy winner. Wins the big stage in the Pyrenees For Euskatel and the fans. Second on the Alp. Right there on Galibier. These new rules for the polka dots are great! Sammy you can attack Alberto too!

T for Time Trial
It decided the tour. The Team one was fun to watch. The lengths were ok. The final one was just long enough to matter but short enough for good TV. I don’t see real big ones coming soon since all the young promising French aren’t that great on the Time Trial bike.

V for Tommy Voeckler
I don’t know him personally, and what he is like, but I love his bike personality! I think he surprised himself. (Tommy, please don’t try to hold back to compete!) He is too great as a guy who just lays it to the limit. I do think he is in his prime right now, so keep attacking!

W for Wilier
Why? Because it is great to see a Bike maker from Italy as a sponsor for US TV. Thank You!
I live in the State of Trek, but I like good bikes and manufacturers that support the sport. Lampre and Wilier are a notch up in my book! Cunego rode a pretty good race too! Think hard about another Giro next year!

X is for X-Factor or rather lack thereof
I am sure some riders used “enhancements" this Tour but the wattage numbers, the times, and the demeanors of the riders are showing me a much less effective use of PED’s. I think biopassports and the new tests are for now catching up to the new drugs. This Tour is definitely some evidence that biopassports are the way to go and they should be enhanced continuously. Of course there will be more busts and such (or rather there should be), but the two level racing is as pronounced.

Y is for Yellow Jersey Holder
Gilbert, Thor, Tommy V, Andy and Cadel. A truly worthy bunch of representatives!

Z - the end
Specifically for Vino. Yes the doper, but one of my favorite riders ever. He was always exciting. I remember his charge on the Champs for a surprise victory. When Beloki fell it was a big chase after Vino that he and Armstrong were doing. He took a position away from Levi on the last day to Paris by taking an intermediate sprint bonus. He was one of the riders when something happened, his natural thought seemed to be, can I attack now?

oh wait z is for JaiZkebel too. Cycling never stops.

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