CONGRATULATIONS LANCE ARMSTRONG: CONGRATULATIONS U.S.A.
Congrats to Lance and Team Discovery as he notched his 7th straight (and final) Tour De France victory. Before Lance's 7 in a row; the longest win streak was 5 in a row.
Tidbit: Lance is now the oldest competitor to ever win the Tour at the ripe old age of 33. (Just found out this is incorrect. Previous to WW II a 35 year old won the Tour.)
Thank You's to U.S. Postal for actually making the dominance of Lance's teams possible. To have a winning team requires money; a lot of it. While there can be serious debate whether or not the U.S. Post Office should put money into sponsoring a team in the Tour De France; they did and the results were spectacular.
Thank you Discovery Channel for picking up where U.S. Postal left off and for exhibiting a willingness to support the American Team for some years to come. We'd love to see a native son standing number one on the platform next year. I'm not sure it will happen but you never know.
Thank You George Hincapie. You poured yourself out over the last 7 years to enable Lance to win. This year you showed us what a great rider you are in your own right. You won THE TOUGHEST STAGE all on your own. May yours be a fabled name in Biking History in the years to come.
To Kris Armstrong: Kudos. We don't know the details of the marriage/divorce but we know the 3 children you had with Lance were in Paris today for their father's victory. That was important for them though the taste of Lance's victory may have been bitter for you. I assume some graciousness and generosity on your part for the children to be present. They are very young, you are their Mom and you were probably nearby.
I'll take class and grace over country-singer stardom any day! You may well have exhibited class and grace.
To OLN TV! You guys put yourself on the TV cable map with your willingness to cover from start to finish the magnificence that is the Tour De France. May you prosper and be quite financially profitable with the Tour coverage.
To the country of France! Can I blow you a big RASBERRY? Ah, how you've hated Lance and his American teams. French pride has been deeply ( but deservedly) wounded. It couldn't happen to a nicer country as far as I'm concerned. It's not JUST that you didn't recognize and support the U.S.A. as we began the battle against Islamic Terrorism. You actually attempted to use your influence to keep other country's from supporting us.
Jonah Goldberg said it so well when referring to your country; "Cheese eating surrender monkeys from Hell."
May France NEVER win another of their own race.
Jan Ullrich! You're an extraordinary rider. If there wouldn't have been Lance you might have won 5 or 6 yourself. Did you complain? NO. Were you always a man about your losses?
YES! Best to you next year Jan!
Finally, to the injured who had to drop out of the race. Our own David Zabriskie who threatened to give Lance the competition of his life but was felled by an accident. To Josef Beloki who took a terrible fall 2 years ago while in second place; your courage in coming back and being competitive until the aftermath of your injuries forced you to quit. And then the young rider (unluckily I can't remember his name) who beat Lance up the first of the mountain climbs but then had to drop out due to tendonitis. You scared us to death. It looked like you had what it takes to beat Lance. But the "Tour gods" were against you.
Manual "Triki" Beltran - Lance's teammate. Your fall was bad enough that when you got up off the asphalt you didn't even know what direction to take. But you grabbed your bike; hopped on and pedaled down the road 'til the doctors, realizing you suffered a concussion, forced you to abandon the race. You'll be back Triki!
All you soldiers; you were amazing.
To Levi Leipheimer, Floyd Landis, Bobby Julick and Chris Horner. You're ours. May one of you win the Tour next year. JB