The 2010 Tour de France has been over for a few days now. Seeing Mark Cavendish charge across the finish line in Paris was exciting – that guy has power and top-end speed that is obviously unmatched.
It’s taken me a few days to sort out my thoughts about this year’s Tour. Here are a few…
Like many other sports, once great icons reach a time in their careers when they are no longer the big dog. Tour number 13 was certainly not a lucky one for Lance Armstrong, as your local psychic or card reader may have predicted. Pre-Tour distractions with the Federal investigation, early Tour crashes, a failed attempt for a stage win and denial by race organizers to use the Tour to promote his foundation all added up to a less than spectacular Tour career end for Lance.
Lance was to go on and support Levi Leipheimer as the Radio Shack second-in-line; however, as it turns out Chris Horner had a great race and ended up finishing tenth overall and ahead of Levi in the final overall standings.
There wasn’t much media coverage of George Hincappi during this Tour. I wonder how many more he will attempt to ride? He has been arguably one of the best, if not the best, domestics in the Tour peloton during his peak years.
As fast as the Tour ended (even before the Tour started) negotiations began for teams and individuals for the 2011 race.
Looking further ahead to the next five to 10 years, the USA does have some up and coming stars like Tejay Van Garderen. With many accomplishments on his young resume, certainly riding sub-two hours at the prestigious Mount Evans Hill Climb in Colorado – at the age of 14 – is a good indicator of his ability.
Of course there is the track rocket, Taylor Phinney who has already been to the 2008 Olympic Games at 18 years old.
So what about the future for USA cyclists in the Tour? I think it’s possible that a future Tour de France winner might live in your neighborhood. With some help, encouragement, patience and direction someone you know might one day stand on the podium in Paris.
See the USA Cycling website for more information on racing, coaching and special programs.