An even smaller USA presence this year than last contributed to the 2019 Tour de France– four riders to start and three of them to finish. It’s no longer the American experience it once was, but this is probably not what anyone in France is pondering right about now.
Much of the excitement over these past three weeks grew with the possibility this might finally prove once again to be a truly French sporting event– this is to say, that a Frenchman would win Le Tour. For more that half of this year’s 21 stages, the host country was in position for a GC victory. France had its very own “winner du jour” as Julian Alaphilippe wore le maillot jaune for the majority of days– in addition to his two stage wins no less. After 34 years, could this really be France’s time? The end was nearing as questions were mounting yet hope was building.
There’s long been talk of the French curse in professional cycling’s grandest three weeks. Alas, the curse appears to remain in play. We all know what happened, via physical skill, mother nature and all else– I needn’t retell it all here and now. Helmets off to Columbia, of course, where pride and celebration will no doubt make its mark. Still, I, an American, would really love to see France have its year. And with that, there will certainly be three weeks in July encore. Vive Le Tour!