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Tour de France: Experience Trumphs Youthful Vigor

Thus far the results in this year's Tour go to show that often experience will take you further than youthful vigor. The nearly 37 year old Alessandro Petacchi having won stages 1 and 4 over his much younger rivals such as Mark Cavendish show that it is possible to be the best in the world in endurance sports at nearly 40 years old.

More than ever this year in the tour, I'm seeing the more experienced riders dominating and also topping the lists of favorites to win nearly every competition in the race. Heck, look at stage 4 where you had Petacchi, McEwen, Hushovd, and Freire all in the mix for the win.

Highlights of the 2010 Tour, Stage 4, found on YouTube and dominated by riders in their mid 30's and older.

In addition to the Sprinters mentioned above, consider the competition for the Malliot Jaune - the Yellow Jersey. Topping the lists of most people's favorites for the GC win include Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong, Cadel Evans, Alexander Vinokourov, Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Klöden, Ivan Basso, and others - all of whom are over 30. The only twenty something I can think of who has a real shot of wearing the Yellow Jersey in Paris is Andy Schleck.

Bringing this back to the Midwest scene, it's amazing to watch people like Gordy Paulson, Dave Landgraf, Marva Sahs, Diane Ostenso, Jan Guenther, David Christopherson, and others dominating the local scenes in their respective sports against competitors that are sometimes decades younger that they are. The active and healthy lifestyle that folks like this live is put to the test every time they race and they never fail to impress and inspire!

For those of us whom aren't kids anymore, we can take comfort in the fact that perhaps when we "grow up" we will one day win a stage of the Tour de France (or maybe a sprint for a stop ahead sign on the next Cyclova XC team ride)!

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