Of the tens of thousands of sporting events held worldwide each year, for me the most grueling and painful is the Tour de France. Having pedaled the heights of Busay on dozens of occasions, I can’t imagine how strenuous it is biking for 21 straight days (with only two days-off in between) the total mileage of 3,445 kms.
This Saturday, while the sporting eyes will focus on Wimbledon, the 96th staging of “Le Tour” starts. What’s most intriguing this season are two names who happen to be members of the same team: Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong.
One is Spaniard; the other, American. One won the TdF in 2007; the other, from 1999 until 2005. Both are members of Team Astana. Usually, in cycling teams, there is only one leader. In this case, who’ll it be? The Strongest or The Legend? Well, possibly both. Because while manager Johan Bruyneel has proclaimed Contador as his No. 1 pick, do you think Mr. Armstrong will settle for 2nd place? Won’t he attempt to wear that yellow jersey? Overtake Alberto if the opportunity is presented at the Alpe d’Huez? Oftentimes, we see rival opponents from rival teams. This time, it’s unprecedented.
And so, like Boying Rodriguez, Eugene Sanchez, Chris Aldeguer, Mike Flores, JV Araneta, Jong Sepulveda and the hundreds of others into cycling and who are self-confessed LA fanatics, I can’t wait for Le Tour.