True drama includes the hero touching the whiskers of defeat and having to climb a mountain to overcome adversity to achieve victory. He should slay the toughest dragon. The outcome of the contest should not be decided until the end to hold the audience in suspense and to pull for the hero in his travails.
The tour had all of this. 11 different changes in the lead, a TDF record. Floyd Landis had the tour in hand in the most celebrated stage – L’Alpe-D’uez only to suffer total defeat falling an unsurmountable amount of time behind with a total collapse in stage 16 and the Col du Galibier. His mountain to climb was himself and the doubts of failure where some would give up and the Stage 17 the very next day with 5 climbs including the Cole des Saisies. He slew the dragons and pulled himself from 11th place, virtually out of the race to only 30 seconds behind in the final time trial. It was described by as possibly the greatest stage ever at the TDF. All this after he disclosed the fact that his right hip was dead and he will have hip replacement surgery after the tour.
On this final competition day, he rode the solo time trial like a champion and took the yellow jersey, with the race being decided on indiviual talent. So the Maillot Jeune goes to the man with the biggest heart and will to win. It was a great story with a hero, a mountain to climb, a dragon to slay and suspense to the end.
Now 19 of 25 leaders who have led after the L’alpe-Duez have won the tour, they rode over 89 hours over 3800 KM from speeds of 8 to 90 KPH. And it was the Star Spangled Banner that played in Paris for the 8th year in a row and the 11th time in 21 years.