A 24 year old Italian called Riccardo Ricco won today's stage of the Tour de France. He put in what appeared to be a superhuman effort to speed past some of the best riders in the world going up a mountain. As Ian said "he went up that mountain faster that you would go down it". (This is a reference to my dislike of going fast downhill!). Ricco also won a stage on Thursday and when interviewed about the win he said that he had a brother who was killed in a motorbike accident and now he dedicates every success to him and his other brother, who is a footballer dedicates every goal. He said that he likes to think that he is there with him and enjoying his success. For me it sums up the motivation and determination that you need to succeed in the Tour. The other thing you need is a good team and Mark Cavendish certainly had that when they led him to within 100 metres of the finish line yesterday and he repaid them by out-sprinting everyone else to the line. He is only 23 and it is good to see such talent in the next generation. I only hope we don't learn later that it is drug fuelled.
I have to add a post-script here. Ricco has just been sent home after testing positive for EPO. I had my suspicions but am very disappointed. It does make me feel less inclined to watch it.