The last day of the Tour is always sad. It's so much fun to watch and we get so caught up in the drama, both on the road and off, that it's hard to make the quick transition back to the real world - for most of us a world largely oblivious to the sport we so dearly love.
The last stage is always fun to watch though. I love getting to see the riders chatting to one another during the first hour, wondering what they're saying and whether it's about gear ratios or juicy gossip. And what a great final sprint! Once again, Columbia did a fabulous job getting Cavendish in place. Garmin tried their best with the new tactic of trying to control the lead out train but despite having a potentially broken collarbone George Hincapie gladly took the pain and pulled his guys around in the end to set up Cavo. Bob Roll predicted that after Garmin rode hard that day and kept George out of the yellow by five seconds that he would seek revenge and today, well, payback's a bitch.
When it was all over I thought that Lance looked incredibly uncomfortable up there on that podium standing below Alberto. After the photo was done he looked like he couldn't get off that thing fast enough. Maybe he was afraid the stupid hat would rub off. Seriously AC, guys showing up to the race with yellow gear or green gear or even polka dotted gear when they're serious contenders for a jersey is one thing, but bringing a hat with your appallingly unoriginal two finger salute is just weird.
I had grown to love Cavendish before the Tour began but he just impressed me more and more as I watched him in this race. This year my new crush was Andy Schleck. His energy and confidence combined with his talent and his love for his brother totally won me over and I hope that if Lance can't win next year, Andy can.
Can't wait for 2010! The Radio Shack team is going to be stellar and Lance and Contador head to head for real is going to be the battle of the century. My dream is to see Lance come to France next year with Levi, George, Horner and Popo by his side and Johan in his ear.
Thanks to everyone for visiting again. It was great to have the IA back together (more or less) for the Tour this year!