July 24, 2005

Lance Armstrong wins seventh straight Tour de France:

posted by dusted to other at 10:58 AM - 51 comments

Good for him. Now he can take his ball and go home.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:38 PM on July 24, 2005

Good for him. There are other good riders in the Tour who'll now have a chance, but the sporting world (let alone the cycling world) doesn't see many like him. Congratulations, Lance. Hope your new career as motivational speaker/Sheryl Crow's guitar tech fills your days well.

posted by chicobangs at 01:23 PM on July 24, 2005

I hope he was just waving our flag in the big french city. Of course those would be the people yelling "cheat, and "doper". To bad they forgot that Patton rode the BIG iron bike on those streets first. He did'nt even get a jersey.What a bummer. Good for Lance Amrstrong!

posted by volfire at 01:30 PM on July 24, 2005

YEAH! They're lucky they ain't speaking German!

posted by crank at 01:33 PM on July 24, 2005

Well, some of them are speaking German. My goodness, there's even a filthy Kraut on the podium! People there were speaking Italian, and Portuguese, and Estonian and lots of other languages too. How dare they show off cycling as an international sport that transcends politics from over a half-century ago! The nerve!

posted by chicobangs at 01:47 PM on July 24, 2005

This is not FreeRepublic, volfire. Please keep that kind of nonsense off of SpoFi.

posted by psmealey at 01:49 PM on July 24, 2005

You know it is my turn.... Where were you people! NO ONE believed... I heard you! He is out of shape... his time-trial speed was down. He would go out on top. Many people on this very form before the race started counted him out. The yellow for you is the eggs you need to wipe off your face. I said don't believe the rumor! It will happen! He will win! He will go out on top! Yeah his time-trial time was down just ask Jan Ullrich in the beginning as he caught him. Of course there was yesterday winning the TT. Sure it was his only stage win but hmmm... didn't George win one... and Popo... He went out with the style of a champion paying back his team makes letting then go for the glory. He could have slipped by Basso easy in one stage to win. Lance was there to win the race but in total could have take as many stages if not more than any other time before. A champion is a gracious winner! Now it is the people turn to be gracious to him! He changed a sport! Training hard fighting back what was less pain the cancer he had faced. So what he is an American and it is a race out of his country! Those that wrote the nasty things should sit back and retract the nasty things they wrote. It's time to salute a hero and let him ride his bike off into the sunset respected for what, who and how he managed his character under the BS stories of Jan hating him, steriods and stupid idea like implants in his kidney to filter out steriods. Point to this! He looked like a man that had ridden three weeks on a bike again the best. Tired, hollow cheeked and satisfied! Lance, There are people who believed! There are people impressed! There are people who think this world could use a few more atheletes like you who go out on their terms! A winner! A champion! A man of character! A man who loves his children enough to say it their turn now! A man who fights for the inflected with cancer when so many walk away from that experience bitter and self pitied for life... you gave back stood tall.... A hero!

posted by Rob at 01:50 PM on July 24, 2005

Rob, I agree with all of what you said, except for one thing: I doubt you'd have found many Lance doubters in SpoFi (or outside of it, for that matter) at any time before the race. "NO ONE BELIEVED..." isn't accurate. I don't know anyone who didn't believe. The last of his doubters died off in 2001 when he left Ullrich gasping on Alpe D'Huez.

posted by chicobangs at 02:04 PM on July 24, 2005

This tour was basically won on the tenth stage, when Armstrong put 1-5 minutes on his main rivals. One big climb and the race for first place was pretty much over. Here's to hoping that the competition is a little more interesting next year. Rob sounds like he needs the Ahmad Rashad surgery to extract himself from Lance's ass.

posted by dusted at 02:26 PM on July 24, 2005

Hey SMEALY! It is because for A free Republic that this type of forum even exists. Thank You. I also SALUTE my Brothers and Sisters, now serving inthe military. As a volunteer and veteran of The U.S. Military, I Thank you for your comment. I will now keep my patriotic nonsense to myself and reply only to sports oriented materials. GOOD FOR LANCE ARMSTRONG!!!!!!!!!

posted by volfire at 02:40 PM on July 24, 2005

Goin back to the weeks before the race. Their were more people saying he was not going to win on here.... course likely the mouthy minority Chicobangs. Those are the people who need the egg wiped off their face. As for the Lance extracting my face from his ass comment... I think that applies to the bandwagoners and Sheryl can do that surgery for them. However, I do think a bit of amazement and respect is due Dusted. Yeah it was over early it seemed. However, in the life of road cycling finishing is always at risk. An accident is always around the corner. Would it have been funny to see him pile into the Discovery Team fall in todays final stage and be out and unable to finish? NO! So saying it was over early is the luxury we have of saving Lance rode safely the rest of the way. It was and always is never over until it was over! I do wonder and am sure tucked away archived here why those who said NO WAY.... or he had "implants in his kidney's," to filter out steriods for the testing.... don't come out and say we were wrong and shame on us! I said then don't bet against him people and don't believe the rumors because he is always the first to play down his conditioning and he did leaving people look like the fools they always are to believe and beat against him.

posted by Rob at 03:16 PM on July 24, 2005

Have you tried talking to the French? (Oops I promised not to do this anymore). I really don't belive support for Lance A rmstrong was that weak in the U.S. anyway. Just look at the popularity of the yellow rubber band bracelet. It has become a fashion statment, but statred as a fund rasier for a good cause. What are your anti-Lance sentiments based on?

posted by volfire at 03:27 PM on July 24, 2005

Okay. Two things. No one here said it was an absolutely done deal before the end. Crashes absolutely happen, and the near-miss on the last day only served to bring that point home. But the Spofi consensus seems to have always been (see 1, 2, 3, 4; I figured I'd do the research to make sure) that Lance was the guy to beat, even after all this time. Secondly: Sheryl Crow is a surgeon too? I knew she was a decent songwriter, but I had no idea. I'm impressed. And eggs are Nature's Perfect Food.

posted by chicobangs at 04:21 PM on July 24, 2005

Next year's podium: 1. Basso . . . . . 2. Ullrich 3. Valverde

posted by afx237vi at 04:36 PM on July 24, 2005

But, despite all the testing ( including the yet to be released results,Ref#4) HE HAS BEEN CLEAN. Lance has been tested above and beyond, what any French athlete would be for the Olympics. What must he do ? #8, I'm thinking. He's not that old, so what are all the doping scandals based on??

posted by volfire at 04:51 PM on July 24, 2005

If you are unbeatable then you are going to have a target on your back. Bringing Franco-American in-your-faceness politics into this seems like a bit of a stretch. Congratulations to him.

posted by gspm at 05:14 PM on July 24, 2005

volfire: Ask David Millar, Marc Lotz or Dario Frigo if they ever failed a drugs test. Not that I'm suggesting Armstrong is a cheat, personally I don't think so...

posted by afx237vi at 05:36 PM on July 24, 2005

So your point would be? Lance was obviously tested above and beyond what other riders were. That was MY point. And he still came up clean. With the 2 exceptions that the French are withholding, pending what? They were all taken at the same time what would one show that others don't?

posted by volfire at 06:10 PM on July 24, 2005

Even with all the testing and other finger pointing, Lance still won by 4 minutes. Lets face it. Lance is the man. Congrats Lance.

posted by dbt302 at 06:33 PM on July 24, 2005


posted by volfire at 07:14 PM on July 24, 2005

volfire, you're not exactly up on current events if you believe that the French hate Lance Armstrong. You big ol' been-tuned-into-OLN-every-day-of-the-Tour bike racing enthusiast you.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:52 PM on July 24, 2005

lance is awesome. he's certainly one of the greatest athletes of all time, right up there with ali, jordan, gretzky, and pele. seven tour de france victories ... for an AMERICAN ... after having CANCER. if it were fiction, i wouldn't believe it. sometimes reality is better than fiction. congrats to lance ... and screw the french press for trying to undermine lance for the past few years with ludicrous accusations. damn 'em. vive armstrong!

posted by ramon at 09:44 PM on July 24, 2005

It has been pointed out here before, in another post, that Lance typically doesn't do a lot of racing outside the Tour de France, and that that could possibly effect his stature as one of the greatest cycllists ever. Just curious as to what yo think of this...? You have to page down, since I don't know how to make the link go directly to chicobangs' comment. Sorry.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:42 PM on July 24, 2005

Here you go, Black Hand. FWIW, the little speech bubble looking thing to the left of the 'posted by' is the permalink for comments. Admittedly, it's a bit weird for recent ensigns. Stick around, though, I like your jib.

posted by Ufez Jones at 01:04 AM on July 25, 2005

Well, I doubted him, I admit it. Winning 6 I thought was impossible, winning 7 I thought was beyond human capabilites, but he's proved me wrong again. Considering the Tour de France is probably the most gruelling sporting event on the planet (random fact: each rider burns up to 9000 calories during a mountain stage), it's quite unbelievable that someone has won it 7 times. I'm amazed, and I'm sure it won't happen again in my lifetime. I've really enjoyed watching this tour, it's a shame they didn't go up Col du Tourmalet, but Ax de trois-domains was a great alternative. My hat is off to one of the greatest cyclists of all time, the only one I think could even stand next to him is Eddy Meckx. Can we stop the French hate-mongering here? The French don't hate Lance, why do you insist on hating the French?

posted by BigCalm at 03:06 AM on July 25, 2005

Well done to Armstrong and to the plucky French for staging the Tour.

posted by squealy at 05:00 AM on July 25, 2005

If it wasn't for the French, you'd all be speaking... English. Well done, Lance. Greatest of all time, without question, and an inspiration to millions (many of whom are French). Rob - "A champion is a gracious winner!" - learn from him then and stop gloating that you (almost unbelievably) managed to predict that the person who had won the race the last six years in a row would win it again.

posted by JJ at 06:03 AM on July 25, 2005

In a way, I'm glad to see him go. I want to see a more open competition where there is no out-and-out favourite. Next year's tour will be great! I can't see Basso doing it - he seems at his physical peak now and I he's too slight to really challenge next year. Ullrich is getting a little old, and though he is one of the best atheletes on the tour, that extra 10kg of muscles really hurts his chances in the mountains. I think we could be looking at an outsider for next year - maybe Rasmussen, but he'll have to train harder, and get his time trialling a lot better. Maybe Vinokourov, he certainly has the aggression to win it, he just needs to improve his mountain climbing, maybe that promising Ukranian who had to pull out half way through (I forget his name, apologies). Perhaps even a complete outsider like Axel Merckx might come through and challenge.

posted by BigCalm at 06:24 AM on July 25, 2005

Basso is only 28 years old, and most cyclists hit their peak around 30. His time trialling has improved incredibly over the past year, and will surely be even better by next year. His climbing is top-notch, and he's pretty much been the only guy to stay with Lance over the last 2 years (apart from the stage to Courchevel this year). He was also hampered this year by riding the Giro. He won't be doing that next year. Unless Valverde or Cunego can do something incredible next July, no-one is going to beat Basso.

posted by afx237vi at 07:48 AM on July 25, 2005

Hi. I'm new here. I watched about a week's worth of the Tour with my brother-in-law, who used to be a competitive bike racer, and his comments made it clear just how much strategy goes into it all. Now that Armstrong's done, how much more wide open will it be next year and going forward? BigCalm lays out some likely front-runners, but will it be a case of seven or eight likely winners, as opposed to one, or can a relative unknown really make an impact next year and beyond?

posted by ajaffe at 07:51 AM on July 25, 2005

and afx237vi posted right before mine hit, so there's some more insight.

posted by ajaffe at 07:57 AM on July 25, 2005

As Tiger Woods said yesterday, "...he's iconic." Comparbale to Ali and what his feats meant to so many. Having witnessed his dominance is a privledge of this generation. At least I feel lucky. And about the drug testing: Lance paid for it himself this year. That's right, he paid to be the most drug tested athlete in the Tour. I was pretty uninformed before the Tour, believing team Disco was weaker than previous years. Obviously that wasn't the case. So if Rob is ranting about me, please let me bow down before your unwavering faith. But I'll be cheering for Vinokourov at next year's tour, assuming it'll be televised during watchable hours over here.

posted by garfield at 08:06 AM on July 25, 2005

Welcome to SpoFi ajaffe. Here's to an interesting Tour next year, and for one of the British terrestial tv stations to get the coverage, so I can actually watch the bloody thing for a change.

posted by squealy at 08:08 AM on July 25, 2005

How many cable subscribers are there to OLN in the U.S.? It's not on my cruddy cable package.

posted by ajaffe at 08:21 AM on July 25, 2005

I was pretty uninformed before the Tour, believing team Disco was weaker than previous years. They were pretty weak this year (at least compared with past years), but Lance was as strong as ever. There were several mountain stages where Lance was left for most of the stage without a domestique to power him up the mountains, but he still managed it. Guardian has a list of the next generation who may challenge, and an interview-like thing with Eddy Merckx talking about Armstrong. Squealy - it's on ITV2, and Eurosport. Just get yourself a digital-set top box for fifty quid next year.

posted by BigCalm at 08:34 AM on July 25, 2005

NO ONE believed... You gotta be kidding. He's been the presumptive winner here and everywhere else. Hats off to Armstrong, but as a not-even-casual Tour fan, I'm kinda looking forward to a competitive post-Armstrong era as a chance to learn the sport. I didn't jump on the bandwagon this year because it seemed like a foregone conclusion he'd go seven and out.

posted by rcade at 08:51 AM on July 25, 2005

right on, BC. I thought I had read a pundit before the start of the tour going on about the team being weaker this time out.

posted by garfield at 09:30 AM on July 25, 2005

A Class Act. The Money Awaits. Work at Home Paid Online Surveys Online Payday Loans

posted by andheresjohnny at 09:30 AM on July 25, 2005

privilege. geez. need another cup o' joe.

posted by garfield at 09:37 AM on July 25, 2005

What squealy said (to ajaffe and ITV).

posted by JJ at 09:49 AM on July 25, 2005

I'm a little late to this thread but will add my congrats to Lance for his seventh win. While I don't think he's the best cyclist ever, I do think he's the best Tour de France cyclist ever. He owns that race. He has transformed the way it's raced and be sure that other teams (see CSC) will follow suit next year. As for future contenders - the pressure will be on Ullrich to win in a Lance-less Tour. Basso has many good years ahead of him (it'll be interesting to see whether he races in the Giro next year or devotes himself to just the Tour as Lance has done), Valverde is also a very strong rider as is Rasmussen (could he have had a worse TT??) though he's not a young chicken anymore. I don't think anyone really doubted Team Disco or Lance this year. The safe money was on a seventh win and the team was just as strong as ever even without Eki. The French-bashing is silly but probably here to stay. If it makes you feel better, go for it :)

posted by JohnSFO at 10:55 AM on July 25, 2005

I like this quote from the first article BigCalm linked: As France's former points and mountains winner Laurent Jalabert said this week: "It would be unwise to assume that the guy who finishes second this year will be first next year. Just by being there Armstrong sorts out who finishes in what position without anyone really being aware of it." I really think we'll see some new faces at the front. I agree that Basso is the favorite at this point, but it will be much more wide-open.

posted by dusted at 11:03 AM on July 25, 2005

so nobody like hockey....what? wrong sport? dang!!!!!

posted by david at 11:19 AM on July 25, 2005

I'll admit that I doubted him, too. And I was very wrong (which was obvious after the first stage). I am actually a very big fan, believe it or not, but I don't feel I need to prove it to anybody. Does my doubt about a seventh victory make me less of an Armstrong fan than you, Rob? Does a "real" fan always have to believe that his favourite is the best? That sounds too much like religion for me. Anyway, Lance is solely responsible for making me a fan of the Tour de France and I enjoyed watching him dominate his competition this year. And yet ... I found myself wishing that he wouldn't play it so safe! He played a purely defensive game, which is obviously the best way for him to win the G.C., but I found it frustrating to watch at times. Given that he is already a six-time champion, I was hoping that he would take more chances to go after stage wins. And can I take this chance to express my awe at Vino's win on Sunday? Absolutely jaw-dropping.

posted by Amateur at 11:30 AM on July 25, 2005

I couldn't agree more. Tactically, it was the smart thing to play the waiting game, but I wanted to see him take a non-mountain stage by the short and curlies; just attack and not look back.

posted by garfield at 11:44 AM on July 25, 2005

Thirded. Next year, my money's on Basso, but I'll be pulling for Vino.

posted by chicobangs at 11:52 AM on July 25, 2005

>>>And can I take this chance to express my awe at Vino's win on Sunday? Absolutely jaw-dropping. Vino's something else. His pure power and excellent tactical skills caught the sprinters by surprise yesterday. Who would have thought he could beat O'Grady, McEwen and Thor in what has always been a sprinters stage? He surely increased his bargaining power in finding a new team to join next year.

posted by JohnSFO at 12:16 PM on July 25, 2005

Squealy - it's on ITV2, and Eurosport. Just get yourself a digital-set top box for fifty quid next year. I wish I could. "No coverage" in this street or I'd have got one years ago. Bloody public sector shambles.

posted by squealy at 05:35 PM on July 25, 2005

Armstrong is an amazing athlete and an impressive person who's done a lot both for his own sport and to help others survive cancer. A pity so many of his Johnny-come-lately "fans" are nothing more than a bunch of bigoted morons looking for an excuse for French bashing and mornic "You Ess Eh, You Ess Eh", thereby doing their best to shit on his accomplishments. It will be a struggle for any of those he's so thoroughly beaten this year to get real respect for a win next year, which is sad. I guess they'll just have to chase his record!

posted by rodgerd at 09:07 PM on July 25, 2005

Does a "real" fan always have to believe that his favourite is the best? I think there are enough Liverpool FC fans in this community to answer that question beyond equivocation.

posted by JJ at 04:17 AM on July 26, 2005

From the teams I root for, I can most assuredly say that my favorites are anywhere near the best.

posted by ajaffe at 11:11 AM on July 26, 2005

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