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July 24, 2011

2011 Tour de France, Contador's Dive, True Heroes

It is difficult to comment on the Tour de France because of the cognitive tension: we would like to be able to believe in the concept, but we have seen too much of the real.

There are statistical indications of improvement:
the fastest riders on three of the last climbs in the Tour, including the famed Alpe d’Huez, were still three minutes slower — a lifetime in cycling — than many of the fastest riders on the same climbs during the 1990s and 2000s.

The following gems seem to be legitimate:

Lest we be too upbeat, we suspect that Alberto Contador took a dive in the 2011 Tour. He simultaneously kept the cameras on his sponsor's logo and made himself a much more sympathetic character when his 2010 doping hearing begins in August. Paradoxically his status is better after losing the Tour de France; I think Occam's Razor applies.

If you prefer legitimate heroes and clean competition, Pittsburgh is hosting the National Veteran's Wheelchair Games August 1-6, 2011.


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