This is the first July in over 20 years that I have not either watched the tour de France on TV or before live coverage, followed the tour on the web, AOL the paper or any news outlet that would publish the daily standings in the USA.
In the summer of 1987 as a 20 year old, completely-unrealistically-confident amateur cyclist, I flew with my bike to the Netherlands in hopes of a summer of amateur racing with actual european riders. As it turned out, I instead spent the summer in Parsons Green, London, England with my bike on top of my bunk on the third floor of the White Horse pub where I worked as a barman serving Bass Ale to locals. I was able to watch the tour on TV most days live which I could not do in the states in 87. I think I gained like 15 pounds that summer – blood pooding and all that delicious english pub food.
Anyways…after watching twenty tours I think the past two decades can best be described as this: in the early days (ok from the beginning of the sport possibly) big pharma was smarter then the drug tests, BUT now the drug tests have caught up with big pharma and guess what? There’s a lot of gold in them thar blood banks.
But, for some reason after 20 tours I am not interested in watching a bunch of skinny guys climb mountains when I could be watching a MotoGP race. No these guys are not completely crazy.
There is no way in the world you can ride a super bike at over 210mph high on EPO, Testosterone or other Go-Juice. And in order to ride a super-bike that fast believe it or not, you also have be a tour de France rider underneath. These guys spend 99% of their training time on road bicycles. Superbike racing requires an incredibly still mind, a ton of endurance, skill, bravery and sometimes a bit of luck.