More good news for Joe…tomorrow, unless something incredible happens (and that’s not likely) Lance Armstrong will win his 5th consecutive Tour de France, and Tyler Hamilton will finish 4th, having ridden for three weeks on a broken collarbone.
In the penultimate time trial (an individual race against the clock), his only potential challenger, German Jan Ullrich, crashed on a rainslick roundabout. Reading the live Internet feed as they started, it was obvious that at the starting ramp, Ullrich was anxious and Armstrong collected. Both raced at record-breaking speeds; they covered 49km in well under an hour.
This has been a Tour full of crashes, drama, and exciting events, as well as magnificent athletic performances by all the participants. Lance said: “We’re very lucky to be in a position like that. It was an eerie Tour. The mixture of physical problems, tactical errors and just bad luck, having crashes and near-crashes, it gives you mental stress and physical stress.”
Lance joins Miguel “Big Mig” Indurain as the only winner of five in a row, and no one – not even the great Merckx – has won more than five, period. See you all next year…