Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bob Roll on the Champs-Elysees

by Bob Roll
Reporting from Paris between television takes, right after the Tour concluded

The 2007 Tour Day France will go down as one addition that bounced back the highest from the lowest ebb of the sport. In the end, the yellow jersey eventually found its rightful owner, Alberto Contador of Discovery Channel Cycling Team. The young Spaniard inherited the jersey because of the disgraceful exit of the Dane Michael Rssmussen.

Michael Rasmussen, while leading the Tour and looking to be the dominant player in the event, was asked to go home because he lied about his whereabouts prior to this year’s Tour. In this day and age in the sport of cycling with all of the debilitating scenarios that have transpired no pro, let alone the leader of the Tour, can have any irregularities whatsoever associated with the anti-doping protocols. He followed in the footsteps of Cristian Moreni, Patrick Sinkewitz, and even Serhiy Honchar, who was not even allowed to start by his team. But most compelling for the sport, and ultimately who might prove to be the most damaging, was Alexander Vinokourov.

Vino began the tour as the sentimental favorite worldwide and left the tour as a disgraced sportsman who tried in vain to defraud the race, the yellow jersey, his sponsors and especially the millions of fans who stand for hours at the side of the road to catch a momentary glimpse of their heroes.

The sport descended to as low as it could go before rising back to the firmament where it belongs underneath the wheels of Alberto Contador. Let’s hope that the post Tour revelations about Contador are only positive and do not include any of the negative elements that have plagued last year’s Tour results.

When you look at the bright eyes and beautiful pedaling motion so raptor-like in the mountains of Alberto Contador you can not find a better ambassador as we look towards the future of cycling.


Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

Amen brother Bob. Here's to next year's Tour being one with fewer (none) scandals and more attention on the racing and the riders. What a glorious sport we love!

Donna T. said...

I'm with you both! Let's hope that Contador and the rest of the young riders are ushering in a new era in cycling!