Tour de France: Armstrong in second, teammate in first


It seems like those Lance Armstrong commercials for Nike are no joke. Dude is a competitor. This is Armstrong’s first Tour de France since his comeback and, at age 37, the young man still has it. Armstrong has since moved up to second place after completing the race’s 15th stage. Only problem is, his teammate Alberto Contador is 1 minute and 37 seconds ahead.

The Spaniard dominated the first stage in the Alps to take the overall lead on Sunday — his first chance to wear the yellow jersey since winning the 2007 Tour de France. Armstrong, who started the 15th stage in fourth, moved up to second overall but is 1 minute, 37 seconds behind his teammate and rival.

“The differences now are pretty big, and the team’s bet should now be me, no?” he said. “I’m sure my teammates are going to put in great work to back me up just like they did today.”

“I think when Alberto went, he showed he’s the best rider in the race, certainly the best climber. … Hats off to him,” Armstrong said.

The American vowed that he would not go against team orders and attack Contador later in the race.

“That’s not going to happen,” he said. “There’s been a lot of drama between Alberto and me … but at the end of the day we sit as a team.”

The 26-year-old Spaniard broke away from other pre-race favorites with 3.5 miles left in the 128.9-mile ride from Pontarlier, France, to the Swiss ski resort of Verbier — and he kept extending his lead to the end to finish in 5 hours, 3 minutes, 58 seconds.

I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t completely understand how the Tour de France works. Apparently, you ride for a sponsor who puts together an entire team. This character Alberto Contador is on the same team as Lance Armstrong. The cycling legend is showing true sportsmanship in promising not to try and pass Contador. However, Contador rubs me the wrong way, at least judging by his quotes. For the sake of comedy, I’d love Armstrong to throw something in his spokes and dash ahead during the last leg of the race. For the sake of comedy, of course. For the sake of sports, I guess that’d be bad.

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Lance Armstrong doing well in Tour de France


Since returning from retirement, Lance Armstrong hasn’t been able to reach the level of dominance he displayed during his entire career. That’s expected, obviously, but he’s currently showing signs of his past ability at this favorite race, the Tour de France. Earlier today, Armstrong jumped from 10th to third place.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish won his second straight stage. He and Armstrong and overall leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland kept up with a breakaway group that bolted from the pack with 18 miles left in the 122-mile third stage.

Armstrong, a seven-time champion coming out of retirement, is 40 seconds behind. He was able to make his big jump because riders in front of him at the start of the day got trapped in the main pack.

The race is set for a shakeout featuring Cancellara, Armstrong and Germany’s Tony Martin in Tuesday’s team time trial. Each team is strong in the 24-mile event, which starts and finishes in Montpellier. If Astana wins, Armstrong could take the yellow jersey. The race ends July 26 in Paris.

Like Roger Federer, Lance Armstrong is an institution in his sport. It’s nice to watch the “old guys” succeed, though neither is old in general by any means. As far as spectator sports are concerned in America, cycling is about as popular rugby. Nevertheless, Armstrong’s story is both interesting an inspiring. The fact that he’s won 7 times is proof enough that he’s both a phenomenal athlete and the greatest cyclist of all time. That he’s come back is a product of his determination and frustration with the minutia of everyday life. There’s only so much one can do before they need to partake in the things they love.

Lance Armstrong doing his best Brett Favre impression? has the scoop on Lance Armstrong admitting that he might not compete now in next summer’s Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong/Brett FavreIt appears the ante has been upped in the Attention-Hounding Semi-Retired Waffling Athletic Idol competition between geezers Lance Armstrong and Brett Favre.


“There are still doubts for the Tour. Everyone knows its importance, but the problems that I have with the organizers, journalists and fans could distract me from my mission — focusing the world’s attention on the battle against cancer,” Armstrong said.

This almost certainly is a parry to the thrust of Brett Favre’s latest PR move, calling Tony Romo about his broken finger, and then telling the world about the phone call, reminding us what an iron man he has been over the years. Favre, who spent the last several NFL offseasons wavering about his retirement status before finally retiring in 2008, then finally finally unretiring and then finally finally finally forcing a trade to the Jets, must now consider his response to the seven-time TdF champion.

Some possible strategies for Favre to increase his media exposure:
· Reality show, “Favrer of Love“
· Game show, “Are You Havin’ More Fun Than a 5th Grader?“
· Insprirational book, “Chicken Soup For the Gunslinger’s Soul“
· Sitcom, “Madden ’bout You“

I’m setting the over/under on Lance Armstrong backing in and out of next summer’s Tour de France at 487. Just to be clear, you’re wagering on how many times Armstrong tells the media that he’s either in or out of the Tour. I’m going with the over.

Is anybody really surprised?

So the dude who won this year’s Tour de France tested positive for high testosterone levels…?

Big deal.

Okay, so it is a big deal that American Floyd Landis, the first person other than Lance Armstrong to win the Tour de France in the last eight years, appears to have cheated his way to a victory, but that doesn’t mean that I nor anyone else should be surprised by the news. I mean, come on, haven’t we been paying attention? No matter the sport, no matter the venue, no matter the stakes, no matter the potential backlash, athletes are doping, and they’ve been doing it for some time. Bill Romanowski, Marion Jones, German triathlete Nina Kraft, punter Todd Sauerbrun and, of course, everyone’s favorite cheater, Barry Bonds. And that’s just the short list, folks. The very short list.

So the fact that Landis may have used performance enhancers (they’re still awaiting the results of the “backup B sample” test) shouldn’t really shock anyone, especially anyone who’s paid any attention to competitive cycling. The ESPN article I linked to above includes a sidebar that details doping scandals involving Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso, Francisco Mancebo, Roberto Heras, David Millar, Richard Virenque and, in some cases, entire teams.

This is nothing new, nothing out of the ordinary, “Nothing to see here,” as South Park’s Sheriff Barbrady would say. Not anymore, it’s not. That’s unfortunate, for sure, but short of someone uncovering hard proof that Lance Armstrong used, we’re past the “shock value” stage. And, hell, even then, would anybody really be all the surprised to learn that Armstrong doped? ESPN’s Pat Forde says that, if Landis is indeed found guilty of cheating, we won’t be able to trust anyone else in sports again.

Sorry Pat, but that boat sailed long ago.

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