Saturday, July 14, 2007


NOW'S THE TIME TO PICK A WINNER. Since the eventual winner of this Tour de France seems wide open at this point, and since that perception will likely change over the next three stages, now's the time to pick a winner. After Tuesday, it will likely be too easy or obvious, and what's the fun in that? So, here's my take. It's not based on much more than sentimentality and a wish.

WHAT FRANCE REALLY WANTS. What has France been wanting for years? What's been fueling the French press's journalistic stretches to try to discredit Lance Armstrong and invalidate Floyd Landis' victory? Here's what I think: The French need a local champion. They deeply believe and desire that the Yellow Jersey should return to French soil. Maybe that would be a good thing. Maybe that would curb some of the mud slinging. Maybe that would restore order in the cycling universe. So, I say let's have a French champion. Let there be an heir to Bernard Hinault, France's last Tour de France champion.

BASTILLE DAY GLORY? And there's real potential for a French champion in Christophe Moreau. He's currently lurking among the top contenders, trailing Fabian Cancellara by just over one minute. He does well in time trials. He performs even better in the mountains. Moreau is the current national champion and he's having the best year of his professional career, having won the Dauphine Libere this spring. And now the Tour is heading into his backyard--the Alps of southeastern France. So, I'll cheer for Moreau. Saturday is Bastille Day, so let's see Christophe and company shine. Viva la France!

Who's your pick to be wearing the Yellow Jersey in Paris...and why?

No comments: