I’m pitting the 2004 Tour de France for myriad reasons.
First, Lance Armstrong will probably win it. Yes, he survived cancer, yes he is a uniquely dedicated individual, and yes, he may deserve it, but it still sucks. It just isn’t exciting to see him win the sixth tour in a row. The way that he attacks is simply having every other member of his team drive himself into the ground until the entire peleton except for Basso has been thrown off. It’s boring and uninspiring, especially compared to someone like Petacchi or Cunengo in this spring’s Giro. He’s a dick. “It was great to let Basso win,” on Stage 12. He’s also probably doped; consider his legalistic responses to accusations like, “I’ve never failed a drug test.” Well, neither did David Millar.
So, a boring, obnoxious cheater that is almost more organization than individual will probably win.
Second, Tyler Hamilton has yet again been screwed over by a crash caused by poor planning and design on the part of Tour organizers in the say they set up sprint finishes.
Third, every one else of importance has inexplicably and suddenly had some sort of string of bad luck or just put out craptastic performances. Ullrich, Mayo, etc. Why, why, why?
The lone redeming points of this tour have been watching Thomas Voeckler’s courageous defense of the maillot jaune and CSC’s Ivan Basso. Voeckler: getting dropped twice on Stage 13 and catching on back on again, then working balls-out up the climb to hang on by his nails to the yellow. It’s beautiful to watch.
Finally, at least Basso was there to accompany Armstrong to the line on both Stage 12 and 13, preventing this tour from being a complete rout for Armstrong. Let’s hope that we see him continue to do well and possibly even attack Armstrong in the Alps.
If Basso had more focus on the individual time trials, if CSC had more emphasis on the TTT, etc. I just have this sinking feeling that if CSC had organized themselves around Basso the same manner in which Postal is organized around Armstrong, we’d be seeing more similar results.
In conclusion, this Tour sucks. That is all.