I thought that this year's edition of Le Tour was fabulous.
I did have a bit of trouble with the commentators for a number of reasons, most particularly their chronic anointing of the "next great generation of cycling." I guess this makes sense given they probably had at least two directives from Versus this year, one being the pay-by-play and commentary and the other to reinforce the "remaining good things in the sport." In the case of the latter, given the recent doping scenarios from years past, I guess this strategy makes sense; but I kept wanting to hear at least one of the commentators, with some degree of consistency, offer some semblance of a caveat that many of these outcomes might have been different this year given a couple of critical factors.
Yes, Cavendish is a real bad @$$, but Boonen is still rather young. I assume (hope) that he finds his way and is able to come back as strong. No doubt it has the making of a great rivalry for years to come... but again, I think its a bit premature to hand over the proverbial torch to the sprinter from the "Isle of Man" just yet.
I was impressed with Sastre and I don't want to depreciate his stunning Tour, but I cannot help but think that Contador (or to a lesser degree Levi) would have altered the outcome significantly. Given his performance (supposedly without much preparation) at the Giro d"Italia this year, its really difficult to conjecture that he wouldn't have been a monster with the season to prepare for the Tour.
And while the Schleck brothers will certainly be a force, again Contador is rather young and could conceivably stifle the commentator's prophetical future for cycling. Much like Lance, I can really see a guy like Contador keep a whole generation of great riders "riding for second".
All in all, a great race and I guess its trite of me to ponder the "what ifs". Also, I can be naive. Whatever, I enjoyed waking up every morning and turn the tube on for a couple of hours while I worked. July is Christmas for me.