Yes, yes, an Aussie took home the Yellow Jersey, but if you persevered long enough through the presentations, then you will have seen Julian Dean and his Garmin-Cervelo squad collect the team prize – bloody well done, that man. For the record, joking aside etc, I am breaking the habit of a lifetime and cheering that Aussie victory – it’s just this once though, ok.
It’s a been a fascinating and exciting last week of the race, the Schlecks threw everything they had at putting Andy on the top step but had to settle for being the first brothers ever to share the podium. Andy Schleck’s escape on the Col d’Izoard for victory at Galibier will go down as one of the tour’s great exploits but Evans taking his own destiny in his hands and pulling the younger Schleck back to a mere 2 minute gain as he chased his tiring opponent up the final climb will have its own place in legend. Cadel has well and truly put the jibes about “never attacking” and being a “wheel-sucker” to rest this year.
Contador’s never-say-die defence of his crown turned the boos of derision at the pre-race presentation of the teams , into cheers of admiration on the slopes of Alp d’Huez – how fickle we sports tragic are. France as a nation will be cheered as they have followed the efforts of Voeckler to retain the lead with the unearthing of a new talent in his team mate Rolland who took home the white Young Riders jersey. The French have a similar relationship with the Tour as the Brits do with Wimbledon…although their drought only extends from 1985, their search goes on.
Another, less official, record set was George Hincapie’s “greatest domestique” effort of aiding his 9th team-mate to yellow (Armstrong’s 7 wins, Contador and now Evans) although to most, his varicose veins will be more familiar than his face. He also equaled the record number of tour starts of 16 this year, and will surely be back next year to take that record outright.
Finally a first Green Jersey for Mark Cavendish and Great Britain. Racking up his 20th stage win in four starts on the Champs this morning ensures his place in history as well. By comparison the great Robbie McEwan only managed 12 wins in his career. Cav’s Highroad team are without a sponsor for next year but with the way he racks up the wins, I’m doubting that situation will continue for long, rumours of a move to Sky are probably just Pommie wishful –thinking.
So that’s it for another year, the only question that remains to be answered is: Will Julia Gillard announce a public holiday to
attempt to distract from her Carbon Tax troubles celebrate Cadel’s win?