The Tour de France, one of the most grueling events in sports. Three weeks of biking through wine country, Alps, three countries and crowds. The Tour de France has seen the highs and lows in recent years. But does America care about the Tour de France? Why shouldn't we? The Tour features crazy fans that line the streets, some wearing costumes that belong on Bourbon Street in February. All for watching a blur of men go by with skin tight clothes on. Americans love the to dress up and goes to sports events, the NFL does it and is very successful.
There is the Black Cloud of the Tour de France, doping. Can you trust the fact that these athletes are clean? Some of the top cyclist have been suspended in recent years for doping. The French officials went after Lance after his record setting wins. They came after him hard and accused him of everything. Do they just hate Americans that much? Every time a great story comes out about the Tour, three stories come out about doping.
If the costumes are not crazy enough then the story lines are even crazier. Motorcades causing riders to crash. A woman died and others seriously injured this year when a police motorcycle crashed into the crowd. Two riders were hit with a pellet gun. You can't make this stuff up. Yet Americans still don't care about the Tour de France.
Maybe the Americans are just too fickle. It is the same as if Tiger is not in the running on Sunday, TV ratings go down. America tunes off. The British Open got a nice shot in the arm with the great run Tom Watson had. Even with this Tour billed as the "Lance Comeback" America still didn't tune into it. Lance is a hero, an American icon, a role model. But it seem American wants to see him on the red carpet and in People instead of doing his actual job. Lance did the unthinkable on a bike for seven years and America embraced him. This year Lance had the comeback in mind he was going to do it, why wouldn't he? America tuned out while Lance was on the sidelines for years, no one knows who won in those "dark years" or which American was in contention. So is it the Tour we wanted or just Lance?
Lance Armstrong, Live Strong. He has done more for Cancer research and awareness than anyone in the last ten years. He is defiantly a role model, and icon and a great person. But is this the same Lance today that we love. He came back this year to great fan fare. He was in contention the whole race. He was in second place going into the Alps, this is where he makes his move. But this time he gave up. He beat cancer, he won the Tour de France seven consecutive times but this year in his comeback he gave up. Lance conceded the Tour with a quarter of the race left. This is not the real Lance. Where is he? This just in.....The baseball season is in the final two months and the Boston Red Sox have conceded the A.L. East to the New York Yankees. This would never happen So why did our icon do it? Our hero? He just gave up and wasn't going for the win. This is not the American way....but I guess it is the French way.
I have all respect for Lance but if this guy can't make cycling a popular sport then soccer is screwed here in America.