June 22, 2005

No chance for Armstrong:: Richard Williams argues that the game is probably up for Lance Armstrong and that he is about to embark upon a tour too many. He may or may not have a point, but his query as to whether Armsrong will battle on behalf of his team if he struggles, or hot foot it to Texas is interesting; he reckons a true patron would always help a better placed team mate out and I agree. Viva Basso! No British riders! Would we notice if there had been any? I doubt it.

posted by Fat Buddha to extreme at 04:18 PM - 18 comments

I would be a little less hasty to rule Armstrong out. The man has defied odds so many times that he's going to get the benefit of the doubt until he loses. Great champions need not records or money to drive them; it's the thought of losing that does it. Armstrong has that and I'd say, until he loses it, he's going to keep winning.

posted by dfleming at 04:29 PM on June 22, 2005

I think he's doing it just to piss Greg LeMond off...

posted by smithnyiu at 04:40 PM on June 22, 2005

I agree, I can't see Armstrong getting beat. Didn't Le Mond have an almighty and unpleasant rivalry with Hinault, which would disprove Williams point about "great patrons"?

posted by Fat Buddha at 04:51 PM on June 22, 2005

His time trails are down... ok that make it a even race for once.. but count out a guy that is like superman... the guy knows pain and beats it! Don't bet against him! He was in worse shape this time last year and still won. Besides a winner likes to go out that way... A winner!

posted by Rob at 05:11 PM on June 22, 2005

With Lance himself on the downturn, winning depends more on his supporting cast than anything....which is much depleted, is it not?

posted by garfield at 05:21 PM on June 22, 2005

I think he's doing it just to piss Greg LeMond off... Seconded.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:47 PM on June 22, 2005

Never bet against a streak. Fact.

posted by JJ at 03:50 AM on June 23, 2005

It's difficult to say whether the jig is up for Armstrong or not. The season's results are not impressive, but just what to read into that, I'm not sure. I agree with the final paragraph in the article. I hope that if Armstrong finds himself overmatched, he will still find the will to continue.

posted by Amateur at 09:25 AM on June 23, 2005

>>>The season's results are not impressive What are the season's results!?? He's only raced in Georgia and the Dauphine where he again showed his explosive accelerations in the mtns dropping Landis and practically everyone else. He's also, no doubt, saving some for the Tour & playing his usual mind games. I'm not a big Lance fan and am actually looking forward to next year's Lance-less Tour, but at this point can see no one beating him this year.

posted by JohnSFO at 02:37 PM on June 23, 2005

Iban Mayo has been in good form, but has probably peaked too early.

posted by Fat Buddha at 03:13 PM on June 23, 2005

Yeah I like Mayo and would love to see his Euskatel team continue their great season. Would also love to see Beloki finally return to his peak form before that horrible accident. I don't think Ulrich will be much of a factor as he was dropped pretty easily in the mtns during last week's Tour de Suisse.

posted by JohnSFO at 03:17 PM on June 23, 2005

I had forgotten about Beloki.... that accident was horrific and I still can't work out whether Armstrongs actions following it make me admire him as a professional or abhor him as a man.

posted by Fat Buddha at 05:04 PM on June 23, 2005

>>>admire him as a professional or abhor him as a man. Interesting Fat Buddha. I always thought it was weird that Tour officials didn't penalize Armstrong for cutting across that field and essentially not riding the entire stage. And I still get a bit freaked when I think of Beloki's wreck. Having one's brakes lock up while going so fast must be an incredibly scary thing and I *hope* it never happens to me...

posted by JohnSFO at 05:19 PM on June 23, 2005

I always thought it was weird that Tour officials didn't penalize Armstrong for cutting across that field and essentially not riding the entire stage. Are you talking about the pileup where he cut that tiny switchback to avoid becoming part of the pig-pile, or do you have some other incident in mind? If the former, I guess by European standards that might be called a "field", but here in the Colonies it wouldn't even qualify as a decent-sized front-yard garden plot.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:25 AM on June 24, 2005

Perhaps it was a "tiny switchback" but here in the compressed Colony of San Francisco it would constitute a city park :) Regardless of it's size I was surprised that Tour officials, who never hesistated to penalize Cipo for wearing some crazyass leopard skin body suit during a stage, didn't even raise a finger to Lance and his "mad" offroad "skillz". Maybe Jean-Marie Leblanc had his eye on a new Subaru? :)

posted by JohnSFO at 08:38 AM on June 24, 2005

JohnSFO, I'm not sure that we're talking about the same incident; however, as best I can recall from the one that I saw, I dunno what else he could have done except head straight into the pileup. Dunno how they'd DQ someone for not volunteering for road rash. And it really was small; I mean, for chrissake, you really can't ride a Tour de France road bike across a "field", can you? I don't think it was a factor, which is why I'm guessing they didn't ding him for it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:43 PM on June 24, 2005

>> John SFO wrote: What are the season's results!?? I know I'm late responding but ... if you have to assume that Armstrong's "saving some for the Tour" and "playing mind games" then aren't you admitting that the results, by themselves, have been unimpressive? Also, he did race in Flanders and at least one other (Paris-Camembert??). I know these are not his strength but he had middling results as I recall. I should admit that I have only recently become a cycling fan, largely due to Armstrong's feats, and I can't hold my own in a debate with a real fan.

posted by Amateur at 09:15 AM on June 27, 2005

Every year Armstrong is out of shape.. too old.. to down on time.. ever make you wonder? It should! The pre-race hype is never Armstrong is in the best shape of his life! Course why would it be. Cycling is a game of the mind as well as the race. Last year, the same questions circled him. I am not making a call on this yet. Give me 5 days into it and let the head games go away that is when you will know. The Prolog is Saturday. The real quest is in the first week this year with the route. If Lance is really not up to it you will know then but if he is close it is over after week one. Lance will know and everyone else will too! Just don't bet on it.... It is far to close to call with the same rumors floating this year as last.

posted by Rob at 11:02 AM on June 29, 2005

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