Tour de France Round Up
The pavement of the Champs-Élysées didn't get a chance to cool down before the rumors and revelations started.
Let’s forget for a second all the doping allegations and rumors aimed at Team Sky’s Chris Froome. By far he’s been a better Tour de France winner than last year’s Bradley Wiggins.
Last year Wiggins was unable to deal with the press and media spotlight that comes with the burden of wearing the yellow jersey. As people say, the yellow jersey can give you the strength of ten men, but so does the weight of it when off the bike. The result of wearing yellow was Wiggo became standoffish, rude, and just plain douchie.
Froome, on the other hand, has attended press conferences and has portrayed himself in a professional manner answering questions. Even the uncomfortable ones.
Before stepping onto the final 2013 Tour de France podium he told the press, “I’m glad I’ve had to face those questions after all the revelations of the last year. I’m glad that’s been channeled towards me. I’ve been able to deal with it. Cycling has changed. The peloton is standing together.”
On the podium Froome said, “This is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time,” an obvious reference to Lance Armstrong and his seven wins that were scrubbed from the record books.
The centennial winner of the Tour de France, barring a disaster, has been determined and a new king has been crowned. But part of being the new king means dealing with the pressure. Froome acts like he can wear the crown. He has shown leadership qualities on the road – not afraid to rein in Ritchie Porte when needed, but also giving praise to his Australian right-hand man.
Where Wiggins falls into the new Froome/Sky dynasty I don’t know. Will the moody Englishman resign himself to the Giro and smaller stage races as Froome becomes the new Tour de France dominator? Are two chiefs one too many in the new Sky empire?
My personal prediction is Wiggins and Froome will both remain with Team Sky. Wiggins has realized he’s not cut out to be a multiple Tour de France winner, and Froome has shown he is. Sky can assign Wiggins the Giro, various small stage races and one of the bigger North American stage races. That said, rumor has it that Froome might make an appearance at the Tour of Colorado ... err ... USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
Professional sport is all about what have you done for me lately. Look at Andy and Frank Schleck. In the last possible moment Frank was flicked from RadioShack – a squad that he was ready to resume racing with.
In a twist – team owner Flavio Becca did an about-face and offered a contract to Frank, ostensibly to ride the upcoming Vuelta a Espana. However, there are apparently not enough “My Little Pony” plushies in the world to get Frank to rejoin RadioShack-Leopard as he told Becca to pound sand. The older Schleck is gambling that another team is looking to pick up a Schleck whose best-by date is several years old.
Trek is taking over the title sponsorship of the