T Nation

Tour de Lance

Have you people been watching the tour? I just got back from watching our 9pm-11pm EST coverage of the tour (I dont have cable TV) and am going to bang out a few Zs before I head to my buddy’s for the 9:30am coverage of the individual time trial tomorrow (my birthday). All I can say is that Lance is a freakin stud. For a gaunt little man (physically) he’s got some GIANT nuggets attacking like that during one hell of a climb. Makes me wanna attack the weights even harder tomorrow!

Get this, I am so swamped that I couldn’t even watch it yesterday and I had been waiting all week for it. It’s nice to see that he is evolving and maturing tactically though. From what I read he put in quite a performance earlier in the stage playing the proverbial possum.

When he was younger he was a real “in your face” kind of person, and that doesn’t work when you have someone like Ullrich marking you.

I think you will find though that the real fireworks are going to happen in a couple of days. There is another stage with a similar profile, 5 cat 1 climbs I think, and if Lance wants to win the overall, he is going to have to take some serious time out of Kivilev. That means he will probably have to put the hurt on early and not worry if Ullrich, Beloki and Moreu come along for the ride. I don't think he can wait to do it all on Luz Ardiden. We shall see.

Happy Birthday. The big question is: will you have your cake and eat it too? Come to think of it, you probably designed an anabolic cake mix that tastes just like the real thing. Sell that stuff to Betty Crocker and make a fortune! As for the Tour … I haven’t checked it out yet. I generally like watching all types of competition especially ones that showcase an ahtlete’s will and discipline. A BMXer myself, my “laps” only last for about 30-40 seconds, but are all out aggression.

Enjoy your day!

Yeah, I wish I could see it also, as I don’t have cable. But what I do is check the minute-by-minute coverage on the Velonews site. Man, I was hitting the refresh button every 5 minutes yesterday morning. Guy’s got huge huevos. Or I guess it would be more appropriately huevo, as the cancer took one.

“For a gaunt little man”? I guess cancer treatment can do that to you. I used to look like that just a few years ago. Actually, if you look at pictures of Lance from the earlier Olympics, he looks absolutely buff compared to now. Not having to carry around that upper body mass has made a huge difference in his climbing ability. His background is triathlon. Funny story is that when he and Chuck Vuylupeck (sp?) first got on the national cycling team, they would sneak out after the team workouts to run and swim. Lance stayed with the team and Chuck went back to tri’s. Also, Lance’s wife Kristen is pregnant with twins. Good on ya, man.

Okay, so maybe I need to revise my, only recently, previous statement. As of the third checkpoint today, Armstrong doesn’t need to take a whole lot of time out of Kivilev anymore. Oh well, I guess the third week is going to be another boring one. It certainly is going to be up to Postal to keep this thing under control from here on out though. Having lost one rider already and having two others with physical problems, it might be interesting after all.

Lance did it again! 6:07 on Kivilev and 1:00 on Uhlrich! What a stud!

Watching it? Man, I’m glued to my videotape every night, and am so thankful that our cable carrier added Outdoor Life Network this spring. Yesterday’s four hours of coverage was awesome; when I left home in the morning Phil and Paul (the announcers) were talking about how they thought Lance was cracking under the pressure, then when I checked in with the VeloNews site late in the afternoon it turned out Lance was just acting. He kicked ass when he turned it on; Steve, how did you like it when Lance turned back and looked Ullrich right in the eyes, then hit it at 100 rpm and accelerated away? Damn, I almost cried!
From a physique standpoint pro bike racers are legs and lungs hung on a skeleton, but there’s no question they’re among the phenomenal athletes in the world. Talk about working through and with pain.

Yea John, that was a sweet scene, the look. LA is certainly etching his name in the mythos of pro cycling. To win on the L’Alpe that way. To beat the man who is the most gifted cyclist since at least Mercx, who has been focusing everything on the tour, who has been training like never before, and who is fixated on beating LA. Also, to overcome the gap he is going to have to overcome. It’s going to be another great story.

Some interesting quotes out today. First on the Velonews site, comments by the Telekom Asst. DS, with regard to how Ullrich is at his best now, Armstrong is just better. Also, Armstrong made the comment that there is “another level of Lance”. Meaning, I guess, the best is yet to come. Six tours? In a row? Mercx and Hinault seem to think so.

I read those comments on VeloNews today, and found that quite insightful and interesting. Today’s time trail was ideal terrain for the big German, and losing another full minute to Lance had to be a big pike through his heart. His own people are basically tossing in the towel in public!
We can’t know how much anger Lance is channeling into his riding, due to the crazy pressures and mob mentality the Euro press, notably the French, are pouring onto him about drug use. His power of concentration and ability to transfer that to athletic performance is out of this world.

Thanks for the b-day wishes. It was a good day. I watched Lance rock the time trial on the outdoor network, helped my good buddy move, and am about to go buy some protein powder. No brain work for me today though!

As far as the tour, today’s stage was awesome in that Lance essentially all but caught Kivelev and distanced himself from Ulrich. Although anything can happen, I think Lance’s performances have shown that he is the hardest man out there! My fav moments of L’Alpe were when Lance looked back to “read” Ulrich (does he posess the knack for drama or what?) and when Roux was asked about Lance passing him and he replied “I had to look twice because I thought he was on a motorcycle!” Simply beautiful!

Tuesday and Wednesday’s stages of the tour were definitely awesome. Sir Lance a’lots breakaway from Ullrich along with the capturing and passing of Roux was one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in sports for quite some time. Then to follow it up with a second stage win was great to see. Roger Neilson (Ottawa Senators assistant coach) and Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins owner and star player) have had great comebacks after battling cancer. Lance is another athlete to add to that list. The fact that he is at his best after dealing with cancer is surreal. Lets hope he can ‘throw caution to the wind’ and attack towards the yellow jersey. Have fun watching everyone.