We’re just two days away from the official start of the 2007 Tour de France, and as I indicated in a post a few days back, it looks like it’s going to be a wide open race this year. While looking for some commentary on the upcoming race, I came across a two part preview over at Dummocrats.com (I don’t name ’em folks!).
Part 1 of their preview starts off by asking the question “Does anyone still care?” Here in the states, that’s a legitimate question, as now that Lance is out of the picture, interest seems to have waned. Even last year, when another American, Floyd Landis, as on his way to the Yellow Jersey, few in the States seemed to care. And that was BEFORE he test positive for testosterone. The first few opening paragraphs of the article are actually a good commentary on the sport, and a reminder that “Le Tour” is still wildly popular in other parts of the World, and Europe in particular.
The rest of the article goes on to look at each individual team, with some good insights into their chemistry and make-up and the star riders on each team. They especially spotlight particular racers in this years race who are expected to contend for the Yellow Jersey.
Part 2 of the preview looks at each individual stage of the tour, going through each day of the race and examining what we can expect for the riders. Some of the stages are flat and fast, and so there is little to examine, but others, such as the mountain stages, get deeper examination, and you can almost feel the pressure on your legs while just reading about them.
The whole article ends with a bit more commentary on the state of the Tour and the sport itself, with the problems of doping and other scandals. The author notes that the tour could be a complete mess this year, but could also be a turning point for the sport. Let’s hope we see a great event.