How Difficult is the Tour de France?

With the end of the Tour it seems like the people who don't think cycling is a sport always seem to come out of the woodwork. We've all heard how difficult it really is, but what does that mean to your average recreational cyclist? Well, here's a story about an experiment to provide a quantitative analysis of the effort Floyd Landis required to complete the Tour.
The statistics for each stage are published here. Lots of detail, but it's worth it just to examine the amazing numbers for the Time Trials and mountain stages.

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