SPORTS ILLUSTRASIAN: Bike-Curious

July 28th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

In 106 years of racing, no Japanese rider has ever completed the Tour De France. This year, however, two Japanese riders crossed the finish line at the Champs-Élysées, irrefutably putting Japanese cycling on the world map: Yukiya Arashiro (from Team BBOX Bouygues Telecom) and Fumiyuki Beppu (from Team Skil-Shimano).

Arashiro and Beppu looking good at Stage 10

I still don’t quite understand how the hell any human rider managed to get through the entire tour of 2009–one of the hardest courses in years–especially with the second-to-last stage a grueling, windy, super-gnarly climb up Mont Ventoux. A person has to be a machine to charge up that incline at the end of three weeks–any dude that can sack up at that level on the 22nd day is seriously A-OK in my book.

Speaking of sacks! Yellow jersey winner Alberto Contador must have some serious balls.

“Teammates”

He wins the highest honor of the Gentleman’s team sport, aided by legendary teammate and rival Lance Armstrong (who, fresh out of retirement, stood on the podium at 3rd and helped grab the overall victory for their team, Astana) and says:

“My relationship with Armstrong is nil.”

Dayum. I don’t know these two personally, but I do understand teamwork and its role in cycling–and I’m pretty sure that’s not the best way to say, “Thank you for my yellow jersey and team win.”

Contador’s sure got a scrote of steel, but what a dick!

[CNN: Armstrong hits back at Contador criticism]

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