Vive Le Tour

The Tour de France is over, and this year’s tour was a great success. It finally looks like professional cycling is starting to clean up.

The US media seems to be covering the tour in a negative light, by focusing on the positive drug tests. For me, and people who follow cycling, the positive tests were a good sign.

Perhaps the most refreshing trend in this year’s tour were teams with independent testing programs. Team Garmin Chipotle is the big innovator in clean cycling, and Team Columbia has signed on for the same program.

Carlos Sastre was the winner of this year’s tour, and it looks like he did it cleanly. Want proof? Look no further than the time he recorded on his breakaway climb up the famous Alp d’Huez. Here are the top 10 times in history.

1 Marco Pantani 37’35 (1997)
2 Lance Armstrong 37’36 (2004)
3 Marco Pantani 38’00 (1994)
4 Lance Armstrong 38’01 (2001)
5 Marco Pantani 38’04 (1995)
6 Jan Ullrich 38’23 (1997)
7 Floyd Landis 38’34 (2006)
8 Andreas Klöden 38’35 (2006)
9 Jan Ullrich 38’37 (2004)
10 Richard Virenque 39’02 (1997)

All of the people in the top 10 are basically confirmed dopers. (I still think Landis was clean) Carlos Sastre won the Tour this year by climbing up the Alp d’Huez faster than anyone else, but he only managed to place 17th on the all time list.

The 2008 Tour De France was clean. A big congratulations to American Christian Vande Velde, who managed to take 5th in the overall standings. The fact that Christian could do so well on the clean Garmin Chipotle team speaks volumes for the future of cycling.