If le Tour were a book, it would be an epic; a tragedy the French have managed to turn into a comedy as well.
If le Tour were American, they would add seven kilos of lard to each rider, take away the bike, hand the athletes a club, spread it out over nine months and call it baseball.
In American baseball, they dress all the best players that can stomach living in New York in Yankee pin-strips, stuff cash in all their pockets and let every other team in the league take a whack at them.
In le Tour, the best GC rider hens himself in as best as he can; and he and his hand-picked domestics try to fend-off attacks from the rest of the world, including the fans, race officials and the media.
What a fun year to follow le Tour if you are British, or an anglophile. A Brit has never won and today they are winning in spades. Nice work, Wiggins!
It has been a great year for the French, too, picking up what? Five stage wins and that clowny polka-dot jersey.
Jens Voigt has entertained beyond reason, his aggressive yet futile attacks on so many stages would play well in Chicago. (I think there is a Cub in his blood)
Unfortunately, blood is once again the oil spot in this calliope - too many injuries - and the ugly arrests and allegations of doping.
'Gamesmanship' is a nice way of saying 'cheating without getting caught'. If Armstrong was not the best tour rider ever (Eddie Merck) he was the sports best gamesman...until now.
I don't understand - in sport, there is an unwritten statute-of-limitations. Babe Ruth gets to keep the home runs he bounced over the fence. Swimmers who used the now band floatation devices get to keep there records. So do Bonds, Mcguirre and Sosa. Who today doubts that many swimming, riders, track and field and football titles battled for between about 1970 and now were won in a sea of steriods? Not Arnold Swartzitestosterone. Is there any reason to think Armstrong's tricks were limited to only team America? A great Russian wrestler accused of doping shot back - I defy anyone to duplicate my training routine - I won because I worked harder than anyone. That is the way it should be.
It is an ugly fact Armstrong cheated to win. He was the best, but he had to cheat to beat all the other cheats. That is sad, but most good epics do not have happy endings.
Which brings me back to Wiggins. I want to savor this victory as I did Armstrong's early conquests. I knew he was cheating, but I knew his opponents were, too. This year I don't know - the times, the obvious fatigue we have witnessed in the last few tours tell us much of the cheating has been eliminated. How much remains? Who has an inside trick yet to be uncovered? I wish we knew.