A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Alpe d’Huez

As I sat on the edge of the couch watching the Tour this morning, trying to hear Phil over the sound of the hammer drill, something incredible happened. I was struck by the realization I was actually rooting for Alberto Contador.

The Dirty Rotten Spaniard has had a remarkably dreadful Tour. He’s crashed (as I’ve mentioned a million times) a million times. He is hurt. And yet, here he was – just 24 hours after cracking like a egg on yesterday’s stage – doing his famous tango on the pedals up Alpe d’Huez, leaving the other leaders in his dust.

Mind you, it didn’t last long, but long enough to show this guy has some pretty big cojones to go with his equally disproportionate teeth.

And that is something I have loved about this Tour. It has been a gritty, crashy and hurt-filled bar room brawl with amazing shows of courage and tenacity. We’ve seen Voekler and ThorSMASH ride outside of their abilities to achieve the seemingly impossible. We’ve seen a no-name French kid win the most famous and prestigious mountain stage in all of bike racing. We’ve seen Hoogerland and Wiggins perform feats of athletic greatness in spite of horrible injuries. And all of that has been enormously entertaining.

Everyone is fighting so hard I’m having trouble deciding who I want to win.