In Which I Get My Life Back
George Hincapie: I lost a bit of respect for George when he blamed the riders on the other teams for his failure to borrow the yellow jersey for a day. George, this is a competitive sport. You may be a great guy, but the other teams don't owe you anything. If you had ridden a bit faster, encouraged your breakaway to work together better, or stayed with the eventual stage winner, you might have gotten that jersey. It is poor sportsmanship to blame this on the other teams.
And then I gained back a bit of respect for George seeing him continue the race after injuring his collarbone, and race as hard as anybody and help get his team two more stage victories.
Jens Voight: Another very popular rider and elder spokesman of the sport. It was scary to see him go down so hard, and good to see his injuries were not nearly as bad as they could have been. The press reports said Jens crashed when he hit a bump in the road. However, I watched the crash in slow motion and I don't believe that. First, Jens had worked incredibly hard in the breakaway and then even more to help his team leader Andy Schleck. Then, on the descent, perhaps with just a tiny loss of concentration from exhaustion, he hit the center line paint and his tire lost its traction. He went down so hard there were sparks.
Alberto Contador: Clearly, Alberto deserved to win the Tour. Ho was faster than anybody else and climbed better as well. But his youthful exuberance caused him to ignore the goals of his team that didn't directly benefit him. It was so clear when he attacked and dropped Kloden, his own teammate, that he knew he'd made a bad mistake. He kept looking back hoping Andreas would get back on, and had a look in his eyes that said, "my bad". At least he seemed to learn, and on the climb to Mont Ventoux he was the best teammate he could be.
Something about Alberto reminds me of his teammate Lance Armstrong when he was that age. Lance wasn't successful until he had an entire team dedicated to his winning, and it looks like Alberto is likely to get the same thing next year.
Lance: He has finally proven he is human.