Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Amazing Races

It's July, and that means only one thing for cycling fans: Tour de France time! Thank god for live Internet feeds, so that I don't have to shell out good money for another tier of cable stations simply to get a month of the most exciting sporting event in the world (tight Spandex edition).

This year's TdF has been well worth the early wake-ups, thanks to Lance Armstrong's un-retirement and a variety of related and unrelated storylines:
  • Lance vs. his aging body
  • Lance vs. his heir apparent and Astana teammate, Alberto Contador
  • Lance vs. his good friend and former teammate, George Hincapie
  • Lance vs. the skeptical French media
  • sprint demon Mark Cavendish
  • stage wins for French cyclists (and long-suffering French fans) on daring breakaways
  • plus, the best broadcast tandem in sports, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen.
The Tour hasn't been the only race worth watching, though. On the last Saturday in June, in the heat of an Iowa summer, Victoria triathlete and Olympic gold and silver medallist Simon Whitfield pulled out another amazing come-from-behind and close-as-it-comes sprint finish to win the $200,000 grand prize at the richest race on the triathlon circuit. You can check out highlights here and get a signed edition of the says-it-all finish-line photo here. Yet another memorable performance from one of Canada's most inspiring athletes.

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