There is something about the Tour that mesmerizes me. The athletes are one; they consume upwards of 10 000 calories a day riding their shiny machines through the beautiful French countryside. Today's team time trial had the US Postal Service at one point pushing 45 miles an hour (roughly 75 kph). The scenery is another; 185 or so riders flying through tiny villages, climbing the Pyrenees and the Alps, riding through sunflower fields and green farmland - truly spectacular. Observing cultural differences is also fun. The French with their haughty attitudes (who are always surprised, deflated and maybe even a little angry that they don't win this race much anymore), the Italian prima donna crybabies, the Aussies with their nose to the grindstone work ethic and of course, the Americans, epitomized by Lance Armstrong; 3 time TdF winner and cancer survivor.
It gives me a not-so-secret pleasure to know it drives the Frogs insane to see yet another American win the Tour - their race, the event that defines their country and their "culture." Just as Greg Lemond showed the Euro-Socialists how to ride a bike, make breakthroughs in cycling technology that the rest of the peloton merely copied and used to less effect and basically pull off the greatest Tour win of all time in 1989, Lance is showing them that rolling over for the enemy (whether it's Nazi Germany in the 1930's and 1940's or cancer in the 1990's) is no way to live one's life.
And that is the greatest victory of all.