THE BEST OF 2009: Lance Armstrong's comeback
BREAKTHROUGH: Bradley Wiggins - after so much success on the track - finished fourth at this year's Tour de France, the joint best ever performance by a British cyclist (Getty Images)
Not far from the summit of Mont Ventoux there is a shrine dedicated to the memory of British cyclist Tommy Simpson, who lost his battle with the Giant of Provence in 1967.
Simpson, his body ravaged by a fatal cocktail of amphetamines, alcohol and heat exhaustion, collapsed just a few hundred metres from the summit and did not get up.
In homage to Simpson, Wiggins attached a photograph of Mr Tom - as Simpson was affectionately known in the French press - to his bike for his climb.
Mark Cavendish, whose superior sprinting, saw him claim another six remarkable stage wins, took his helmet off and rode slowly past the shrine, while David Millar threw down a cap with RIP TOM emblazoned across it.
Cavendish's flawless sprinting performance produced another great sub-plot to a beguiling Tour but it was Armstrong, not necessarily for reasons we have come to expect, who gets my nod as the leading man.
Usain Bolt is a phenomenal athlete and Michael Phelps a freak of nature and both surpassed their own super-human standards in 2009.
Neither has climbed the Ventoux however and until they do they will always play second fiddle to the pied piper of the peleton.
Read more 2009 memories from the Sportsbeat reporters who witnessed them: