This was tough. There were plenty of “A” moments but on the whole, I think I’ll stick to the B+. Here is my quick breakdown.
Course. This year showed some inspiration on behalf of the ASO. Flat stages were never really flat, mountains were challenging and given the exhausted state of the peloton, I think the course tested everyone from sprinters to climbers. Grade A
Competitiveness. At a late stage, having six riders within a minute of the lead was very exciting. The only improvement I could wish for is to have the final time trial go to the wire. Picky, Picky. Grade A-
Doping. This was handled appropriately. Cases were handled in a way that demonstrated the importance of a clean race without overwhelming the race itself. The withdrawal of two sponsors (BarloWorld, Saunier Duval) created some distraction however. Grade C-
I am encouraged by the next generation of cyclists who are poised to take this sport into the future. Looking at the list of White Jersey contenders in addition to Alberto Contador leaves me with a good feeling regarding the future.