Last weekend, Alberto Contador of Spain won his third Tour de France in the last four years. Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, last year's runner-up, finished second again, only 39 seconds behind the winner. Lance Armstrong, in what appears to be his final Tour, finished a disappointing 23rd. Despite the announcement of a federal probe of allegations about past drug use by Armstrong, this year's edition of the storied bicycle race around France was regarded as perhaps the cleanest in years. No participant tested positive for any illicit substance during the race.
Certainly, the 2,263-mile course was one of the most challenging in recent history. Cyclists had to contend with brutal mountain stages and rain-slickened cobblestone roads. A number of riders were forced out of contention as a result. Still, the race yielded a dramatic finish — Contador's victory over Schleck was secured during Saturday's penultimate stage. Because of their respective ages —Contador is 27 and Schleck is 25 — both are expected to be Tour de France competitors for years to come.