What a Tour it’s been. I don’t think a better script could have been written for a more dramatic finish. I’ve never been so emotionally invested in a sporting event in my entire life and it’s completely consumed me for the past 500 hours.
Contador and the Schlecks handled themselves with pure class today. All of them rode the final stage with smiles on their faces and had nothing but praise for Cadel’s win. All of them came to ‘Bay 13‘ on the Champs-Élysées and shared a few laughs with all the Aussies who were well on their way to a big night out. Actually, it didn’t seem to matter who came by. The the Aussie fans got rowdy with any vagrant who got caught up with them.
I suspect the flow-on effect of Cadel winning the Tour de France will be enormous in Australia. People will be inspired to take up cycling, mainstream media has been jumped on the bandwagon, ratings on SBS have skyrocketed (which hopefully means more televised bike races), raffle ticket sales for Cadel’s BMC World Champs bike have gone bananas (not many left!), traffic on this site is going through the roof. I wonder if Cadel even realizes the impact he’s had on Australian cycling which filters down into so many other areas.
Veeral and I have had an unforgettable experience and were so lucky to be here to witness such an significant moment in Australian sporting history. I have to admit, I had a lump in my throat seeing Cadel up there on the podium today while Advance Australia Fair was playing. And I’m not even Australian!
Thanks for reading and following the Tour along with me. I hope Veeral and I gave you a glimpse inside of the world’s largest traveling sporting arena and perhaps inspired you to visit it yourself one day.
I’m going to be taking the rest of the week off while I get caught up with my day job and travel back to Australia. I might try to slip the odd post in, but don’t expect anything until next Monday. I need a rest just as much as Cadel does!
Viva la Tour, and Viva Cadel!