Tour de France 2012: Stage 20 live updates, blog
Tour de France 2012 (Poster by Chungkong)
Join us for live blogging from 10pm AEST for Stage 20 from Rambouillet to Paris Champs-Élysées, a 130 km roll finishing in circuits on the Champs-Élysées.
Congratulations, we’ve made it to the processional stage.
The stage where Bradley Wiggins will click plastic champagne flutes with his gifted and talented team mates and have his picture taken with just about everyone along the route.
We’ll see the other jersey winners Peter Sagan (Green), Thomas Voeckler (Polka Dot) and Tejay Van Garderen (Young Rider) savour it all too.
For us fans it’s yet another opportunity to ponder and reflect on this year’s Tour.
Dour? Efficient? Exciting? History making? Many column inches and podcasts have been created utilising these words and phrases such as “did the best man win” and “Sky neutralised the Tour.”
If these are your questions and answers, put the blame directly at the feet of ASO Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme who dreamt up 100kms of time trialling which created time gaps between general classification riders only seen in the notorious doping years.
It is hardly Wiggins and Sky’s fault. Sky took advantage of the course presented to them on a platter. Nor is it Wiggins’ role to postulate about what could make for a more exciting tour. As far as he and history is concerned, Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France, no one else.
What I will say is any discussion or contemplation of what should make for a better Tour must consider the exciting 2012 Giro d’Italia, this year’s parcours, other teams’ compositions, but most of all Wiggins’ comments in his post Time Trial press conference yesterday.
He effectively said ardently vocal anti-doping fans and journalists wistfully lust after past tours filled with sustained and long attacks over many kilometres and many stages but these can no longer happen without doping assistance.
Wiggins may be boring but I understand he is just the third rider to win Paris-Nice, the Dauphine Librere and the Tour de France in the same year. One Tour de France win does not a rider, or indeed a man make.
The same goes with Australian fans considering the fortunes of its riders based purely on Tour de France performances, especially those of Cadel Evans and Orica GreenEDGE. While management and the team at the new Australian team may be a little disappointed at not meeting Tour de France objectives, they have more than made up for it with performances throughout the year.
Also consider the stellar performances from riders such as Adam Hansen (Lotto Bellisol), Michael Rogers and Richie Porte (Sky). As for Cadel, he is still the current defending champion until Wiggins’ pulls on the jersey and holds the trophy aloft in Paris tomorrow. And Evans never gave up, despite sickness.
But today’s stage itself is about the sprint finish on the Champs. Just like the Olympics Road Race in London, would you bet against Cavendish? It is tradition for the yellow jersey to lead his team and the peloton to the first lap on the cobbles, but expect Wiggins to do this job towards the end for Cavendish too.
Join us tonight at The Roar and share with me in the comments section your favourite moments of this year’s tour and who you will think will take the sprint.