Tour de France 2012: Americans to Root for In Historic Race
Every torch must be passed eventually, and it was Armstrong's time to depart from cycling's greatest race.
Luckily for the U.S., there are multiple Americans in the race that are worth routing for.
Here they are.
There's not a better choice in the entire field for American cycling fans to cheer for than Washington's own Tyler Farrar.
Also, there's not a better day to rout for Farrar than July 4. Last year on Independence Day, Farrar became the first American to cross the finish line first in a field sprint in nearly two decades. He was also the first American to win a stage on the fourth of July.
Cycling isn't exactly a sport that is dominated by Americans, but Farrar gives the nation a chance to see one of their own finish atop the field in at least one stage.
So while you're grilling up some burgers and hot dogs and setting off fireworks, make sure to check in and see how Farrar did in Wednesday's Stage 4.
Tejay Van Garderen
Van Garderen, of Tacoma, Washington, is just 23 years old. He's one of the brightest spots in American cycling today and will be looking to continue to make a name for himself on the sport's biggest stage.
He's one of the early surprises in this year's race, currently sitting in fourth place. At just 10 seconds behind the leader, it's not out of the question that he could make a run to the top in the later stages.
Although it's still early, and fans should be cautiously optimistic, there's no reason to not get excited about Garderen's chances to at least stay competitive throughout.
Levi Leipheimer is the veteran of the three American's on this list, which is exactly why fans should revel in his participation in this competition.
Which of these three cyclists has the best chance to win?
His ability to compete in this year's Tour is rather remarkable seeing as he sustained a fractured fibula less than three months ago when he was struck from behind by a car prior to a race.
Another reason to rout for him is that he was the third-place finisher in the 2007 Tour, behind winner Alberto Contador and defending champion Cadel Evans.
Leipheimer is the best chance that the Americans have to win this race, and those chances should not be taken lightly.
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