For someone who has been so enthused over the tour for the last several years, it took an email announcing this year’s winner to remind me that it had happened. To be fair, I had looked at some of the standing in the early days, even managing to see some highlights when staying at the hotel before going to the concert last weekend.
But my attention was unfocused, like a fan whose favorite team missed the playoffs. Postal/Discovery doesn’t exist anymore. Astana, the team where most of the key players from Dicovery went to (including the 2007 Tour winner), was unable to compete this year, due to issues from the team’s former staff.
There was Team Columbia, based out of the US, sponsored by the outdoor company, but I didn’t register to much with them. There was very little name recognition for me to follow this year, since cycling is not as ardently followed as it is around the rest of the world. And the publicity seemed to be very slight (not that I was in a position to be seeing a lot of it), but it just seemed like this was an off year to try and follow it.
I’m happy that the 2008 Tour has concluded, and my congratulations go out to the jersey winners. I just hope that a lot of the circling issues (the various governing bodies, “conference”/league issues, etc.) can be resolved to make next year’s tour better…