The Tour de France is over, and there is nothing left to do apart from watch videos of Froome running up Mont Ventoux. Which even on repeat viewings always make me laugh.
It seems within the Tour de France, there are several races in one. And because it is a three week long sporting race, we tend to place a great value on how entertaining the race is. For various reasons, the GC battle in the Tour de France never seems to get the same level of drama and unpredictability of the Giro and especially the Vuelta.
If you look at all the past editions of the Tour de France it is quite rare to have a see-saw battle between the top contenders. Often, we get a period of time, where one rider seems to be better than the rest, and it becomes more a procession than a battle. – Anquetil, Hinault, Merckx, Coppi, Indurain, Armstrong and now the Froome era. Often during their period of dominance, the popularity of these grand tour winners is quite low, because the public can resent the lack of drama and competition. Usually it is retirement or the final defeat and proof of a fallibility, which brings a change in popularity. (though there is a notable exception to this rule, you shouldn’t have too much trouble working out.) I can’t think of many sports where the gallant loser is often more popular than the greatest winner of the age. In football, for example, we don’t admire the failings and human fallibility of the English football team, with the same aplomb of an eternal second like Raymond Poulidor. Continue Reading →