The First Shall be Last: Reflections on the 2006 Tour de France
The French kept saying during the Tour that it was fou, crazy.
The French kept saying during the Tour that it was fou, crazy. They hit it right on this time. And the craziness continues. Not surprisingly, the sample B test of the Landis blood sample came back positive. This helps dissipate a bit of the limbo for many Tour de France fans. But, if the Landis matter moves inexorably forward, always getting more and more grim, where does that leave cycling and good hearted cyclists all over the world? Probably just where we were before all this craziness started in July when the 93 rd Tour de France rolled out of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Now with the victor?s glory grabbed from Floyd Landis and the dark cloud hanging over and around him, it is truly biblical. The first is now last. No cup, no yellow jersey, no record. Now he just heads out into deep limbo and tries to prove his innocence. Not very likely to happen. It is likely a career ending blow to Floyd, a final blow to the Phonak team, which is now dropping their cycling sponsorship, a historic blow to the Tour de France(this is the first time a yellow jersey winner has been disqualified in 93 years) and a blow to all cycling. It appears that the emphasis on super-human cycling feats has pushed all cycling into a dark corner from which it will not emerge in any manner resembling what we have witnessed these last two decades. We will not have heroes that achieve cycling efforts beyond all reason. Maybe we never did have them, but we did often believe whole-heartedly in a Greg, Lemond, a Miguel Indurain, or a Lance Armstrong.
Now, who knows what to believe or who to follow? It seems that cycling has gone the way of big league baseball. We no longer have