I would guess that most of you reading this story do not share my love of the Tour de France. (Except Tom Fox.) The race can be a confusing mix of skinny guys, tarted up with sponsors like a NASCAR racer, with hard to pronounce names, following tactics unusual outside of cycling. But I since I became a fan a decade ago, I continue to be enthralled by drama and athletic heroism on display.
This year, Bradley Wiggins and his Team Sky dominated the race in a way that has not been seen for several years. In a act of selfless teamwork, the yellow jersey was the second to last lead out man for his sprinter Mark Cavendish as he wheeled across the finish line on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
George Hincapie led the peloton into Paris Sunday, a celebration of the American’s 17th Tour de France — the most ever, by any rider — and his last. He completed 16 of the 17 Tours. (Just for perspective of the 198 riders that stared the race, 47 dropped out or crashed out of the race.) The big American was part of nine Tour de France wins: seven with Lance Armstrong; one with Alberto Contador; and the final with Cadel Evans, in 2011.
The race was not without its incidents. A spectator threw tacks in the road a top a mountain pass causing dozens of flat tires. An owner let his enormous dog off his leash causing a high speed crash. Frank Schleck was kicked out of the Tour for a possible doping violation.