Adriano Malori, we salute the hell out of you.
The Italian rider for the Lampre-Farnese-Vini squad was the last man, number 170, to finish this year’s epic Tour de France.
Witnessing the race in person, seeing the impossible climbs day after day, looking down from summits to endless switchbacks, walking the brutal cobblestones they rode over, feeling the oppressive heat they raced in followed by wind and rain and fog — I learned up close the inhuman challenges of the tour.
Driving the death defying descents in my car where there were no barriers and thousand foot drops just inches off the road, I finally understood what an astounding athletic feat it is for any rider to finish the Tour de France, first, last, anywhere in between.
To win is glory but simply to arrive in Paris in one piece is something for which I have much greater appreciation. Television doesn’t begin to do it justice. To me there’s no greater physical challenge than the Tour de France. They say to finish a three week grand tour changes your physiology forever and now I firmly believe that.
Adriano Malori might have come in dead last, almost four and a half hours behind Alberto Contador, but in my book Malori is one bad-ass rider.
To all these riders who finished the tour, including 38 year olds Lance Armstrong, Chris Horner, Robbie McEwan and Jens Voigt and 39 year old Christophe Moreau, my congratulations and deep respect.
|161||Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team||4:00:47|
|162||Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo||4:01:02|
|163||Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Cervelo Test Team||4:02:21|
|164||Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Cervelo Test Team||4:02:59|
|165||Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha||4:08:28|
|166||Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini||4:09:12|
|167||Anthony Roux (Fra) Française des Jeux||4:13:37|
|168||Andreas Klier (Ger) Cervelo Test Team||4:17:16|
|169||Bert Grabsch (Ger) Team HTC – Columbia||4:23:01|
|170||Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini||4:27:03|