The Tour de France is enjoying a rest day, but bloggers never sleep. Bloggers never sleep because, as mainstream media constantly remind us, we work in our pajamas. Until someone comes up with a new form of sleepwear, bloggers can consequently have no rest.
Neither will Andy Schleck, my man in this year’s Tour and the one guy willing to try to hunt down The Pistol. Schleck’s great new slogan: “Try till we die.” Keep that figurative, Andy, but go, bro, go!
One thing can be put to rest, though: Incessant babble about Lance’s chances for another Tour title. Finally, after today’s respectable but flagging finish in the first real test of the 2009 Tour, we will no longer have to hear about how strong Lance is looking and what an amazing comeback he has accomplished and blah blah. Yes, his reappearance has been great for cycling, for his foundation, and for his Texas-sized ego. It will pay dividends in years to come for American participation in the sport. But hype from Bicycling magazine, The New York Times and just about every paid common tater that Lance could get an 8th was pipe-dreaming from the get-go. Only we, as Lance’s unofficial hype degreaser, were willing to call it from the start: No Giro, no Tour, no kidding.
Now we can turn our collective attention to the Leadville 100, where Lance has vowed to avenge his butt-kicking at the hands of perennial winner Dave Wiens, a humble, charming guy who is everything in character Lance is not. With Armstrong as fit as could be expected from a season of racing, it should be a fantastic showdown.
Biking Bis: Ragbrai, the venerable ride across Iowa, has launched again.
Seattle’s Jan Heine’s bike books get reviewed by Michael Upchurch in The Seattle Times: “While Heine and Pradères are clearly aiming these volumes at ardent bicycling enthusiasts, amateur riders should find them informative, too. They may even be prompted to go down to the basement — as I just did — to see what kind of bicycle they have … and whether, perhaps, they should give it to the pope.”