I watched approximately zero of the tour this year. I don’t really know why, for the past 2-3 years I’d say I watched almost all of it. Before that I at least paid some attention and watched the end of the 2004 tour in person.
I think it’s like baseball, all the doping stuff has finally gotten to me and I just can’t make myself care. All the LA crap beforehand, then hearing about Frank Schleck took away my desire to even watch the end stages… blah.
@ salty in person as in Paris? I think thats pretty cool. The Frank Schleck think took me by surprise also, I really enjoy watching the tour and probably will continue to watch but I agree the doping part takes away some of the excitement.
Doping aside, I miss the Armstrong / Ullrich sort of unscripted attacking on the climbs rivalry. Watching mountain stages used to be pretty exciting, just waiting for one of the leaders to crack and utterly fail. A winning overall strategy for the tour these days makes for a really boring and controlled event.
Course selection by the organizers could be a bit more harsh. Enough with the sprinter stages already. 9 stages of this tour were flat compared with 5 real mountain stages. There is no shortage of hills to climb in France… make these guys suffer a little bit.
when all the teams started to figure out how to play the percentages and got all defensive the tour got real damn dull. it seriously looks like the fastest group ride ever now. plus there was way too much c-douche and not nearly enough bobke. he’s like the mike lange of cycling.
the doping doesn’t bother me so much, its always been there and always will be. just like in every other top level sport. they’ll just keep moving on to the next thing as testers play catch up.
none of these guys could touch merckx in his prime anyway. buncha sissies these days.
Yes, I lost interest in the Tour this year, too. Sky completely controlled the race, and with so many miles against the clock, no one was going to overtake Wiggins (Inrng had an interesting stat–take away the chrono times, and Wiggins “won” by 23 seconds). Evans was probably the only person that could challenge Wiggins, and he had issues.
As for the days of yore, I dunno–Sky did a great impression of LA’s Disco and Postal Service teams–absolutely controlling the race, and knowing exactly how much to exert themselves. Yeah, unlike Lance, Wiggins had no interest in truly twisting the knife in the mountains, but…he really didn’t have to.
Sky will have their hands full next year. Froome is clearly capable of winning a grand tour, and Cavendish isn’t likely to be a water carrier (particularly if he wins gold in London). If Brailsford and Yates can figure out how to make everyone happy, I’ll be impressed.