Guys used to come into the bike shop in Fayetteville. It was always the same story: the time was early August; in walked a late-twenties/early thirties GI; fit looking and he would say, "I'd like to get a road bike. I just watched the Tour de France and I'm thinking about racing that next year." That crap never ceased to kill at the shop. I mean how ridiculous?
Well, fast forward fifteen years and now, that seems like an almost reasonable proposition given the huge swath that Operacion Puerto II: Electric Boogaloo is cutting through the peloton. Poor, alien Ivan Basso: we hardly knew ye. Yep, ol' Ivan has "voluntarily" left his contract with Disco'. Tyler and Jorg Jaksche are being further besmirched. Who will be left to actually start the Grand Tours?
I'm gonna start researching all of the domestiques to make my picks for the overall! Could this be Thomas Voeckler's year? Jimmy Caspar? Sebastien Hinault? Suddenly, the french riders are starting to look positively resurgent in their chances to win their home tour for the first time in 22 years! Maybe the peloton will become so decimated that riders will have to come out of retirement in a sort of glory days Tour! Imagine if Merckx, Lemond, Fignon, Hampsten, Poulidor, and every other hero of the past pulled on his kit or squeezed into in the case of some (yes, I'm calling you out Lemond, you puffy bastard...) and belly up to the line! This could be the most exciting Tour ever!