Our long international nightmare is finally over.
Tomorrow I can get back to something approximating normalcy, which means sleeping until 7 a.m., dawdling over a cup or two of java while tut-tutting at the news, enjoying a leisurely breakfast starring the chicken, the pig and the spud, and finally riding a goddamned bicycle before the roads catch fire.
I warmed up to ‘Is Lordship a bit over the past few days, watching him do a spot of work for teammates once The Big Shirt was safely in his closet. And I appreciated his brevity on the final podium: “Cheers, have a safe journey home, don’t get too drunk.” Plus the look he gave the Union Jackoff singing his national anthem mirrored the one I gave her through my iMac.
That said, this Tour will not be one upon which I look fondly from my smelly bed in the nursing home. Miguel Indurain was Wiggo’s model, and damme if his Tour wasn’t as dull as the five Big Mig won.
I met Indurain once, and he was a gent who forgave me my retarded Spanish, but watching him win Tours was like watching a steamroller smooth out the wrinkles in fresh asphalt. Win the time trials, defend in the mountains, repeat until no longer possible.
Likewise the Tours won by He Who Shall Not Be Named. That shit got to be like watching the sun rise. You just knew it was going to happen, and at some point the miraculous becomes routine, and therefore unremarkable.
I like watching the no-hopers who look around, mutter, “Doesn’t anybody want to win this race?” and take off. Claudio Chiappucci, Jacky Durand, Jens Voigt, Thomas Voeckler. Fuck a bunch of watts on the power meter, just stick your snoot in the wind and see what happens.
My model is Randle Patrick McMurphy trying a breakaway in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” It not only didn’t work, it ended badly.
“But I tried, didn’t I, goddamnit? At least I did that.”