The First Shall be Last: Reflections on the 2006 Tour de France

News & Results

09/29/2006| 0 comments
by Paul Rogen
Ferdinand the Bull's family grazing in the wild flowers. Picture by Thomson Bike Tours.
Ferdinand the Bull's family grazing in the wild flowers. Picture by Thomson Bike Tours.

The First Shall be Last: Reflections on the 2006 Tour de France

The French kept saying during the Tour that it was fou, crazy.

The French kept saying during the Tour that it was fou, crazy.   They hit it right on this time.   And the craziness continues.   Not surprisingly, the sample B test of the Landis blood sample came back positive.  This helps dissipate a bit of the limbo for many Tour de France fans.   But, if the Landis matter moves inexorably forward, always getting more and more grim, where does that leave cycling and good hearted cyclists all over the world?   Probably just where we were before all this craziness started in July when the 93 rd Tour de France rolled out of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Strasbourg
.  It leaves them back on their bikes relying on their own heads, hearts and legs to get them down the road and over the next hill.  It also leaves me with a bewildering bad taste in my mouth, but still I am motivated in getting out on my bike for quiet early morning rides.  It is kind of like Ferdinand the Bull who just wanted to retreat from all the noise and color of the bull fight ring and go back to his field in the mountains and smell the flowers under the cork tree.   I have ridden by bike a lot in
Spain
and I love the ground under the cork trees.  I love the flowers, the smell of the sun baked fields and the olive groves.   It is enough to stay with me all winter. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

 

 

Now with the victor?s glory grabbed from Floyd Landis and the dark cloud hanging over and around him, it is truly biblical.   The first is now last.   No cup, no yellow jersey, no record.   Now he just heads out into deep limbo and tries to prove his innocence.   Not very likely to happen.   It is likely a career ending blow to Floyd, a final blow to the Phonak team, which is now dropping their cycling sponsorship, a historic blow to the Tour de France(this is the first time a yellow jersey winner has been disqualified in 93 years) and a blow to all cycling.   It appears that the emphasis on super-human cycling feats has pushed all cycling into a dark corner from which it will not emerge in any manner resembling what we have witnessed these last two decades.   We will not have heroes that achieve cycling efforts beyond all reason.   Maybe we never did have them, but we did often believe whole-heartedly in a Greg, Lemond, a Miguel Indurain, or a Lance Armstrong.  

 


Now, who knows what to believe or who to follow?   It seems that cycling has gone the way of big league baseball.   We no longer have 180 lb right fielders like Tony Oliva or Ernie Banks with whippet quick wrists who hit for great percentage and some power. Now we have, well, you know better than I do.   We have new beomoths every year who hit over 50 HR?s and then

Pages

Your comments
Your comments
sign up or login to post a comment