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July 27, 2009

Tour De France Closeout : drugs and diversity

Another Tour de France concludes. I think they sold a lot of newspapers and put a lot of logos in front of the audience, which is what the Tour De France is all about.

In August and September you'll see drug scandals in the same papers that own the Tour De France, as they try to extend the circulation bump across the trailing months.

Lance took third. That's a great outcome. His mission was to avoid scandal and make the introduction of Team RadioShack in the 2010 Tour De France more credible. He's certainly done both. He's going to be the Mario Lemieux of cycling, the champ that becomes the owner, owner/player, owner.

Two-Point-Five things to mention:

Point 1. Alberto Contador is winner of the Tour De France. (they said that about Floyd Landis, too). Here's what Greg Lemond, American three-time winner of the Tour De France, wrote in Le Monde:
"Alberto Contador established a speed record: he went up the 8.5 km climb in 20:55. How to explain such a performance?" wrote LeMond. "He would have required a VO2 max [maximal oxygen consumption] of 99.5 ml / min / kg to produce the effort. To my knowledge, this is a figure that has never been achieved by any athlete in any sport.

"It is like a Mercedes sedan winning a on a Formula 1 circuit. There is something wrong. It would be interesting to know what's under the hood."

Point 2. Here's an excellent picture from a team and a sponsor that "gets it". Notice Fumy Beppu. (His folks aren't Norwegian.) Notice Fumy Beppu's wheelie. Look at his rear wheel - not even on the ground. Catch the two Americans taking pictures for Mom with the Arch de Triomphe in the background. Logos all around, including the car. Skil gets this.

Point 2.5 The Skil corporation. Family owned. Who's the heir to the Skil corporation, this company that obviously understands some things? Why, none other than Jenny Sanford, who used her money to put trophy hubby Mark Sanford in the South Carolina governor's office. Just saying.


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