Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Can Lance win again?

(I don't follow competitive cycling much. But when Lance Armstrong says he's back in the game, his countrymen sit up and pay attention, even if they're not close followers of the sport.)

Just in case you've been in the woods for a few months, Cycling Great Lance Armstrong says he will race in the 2009 Tour de France, and pursue his eighth win.

Can he do it? I guess we'll find out.

He's older than his competitors, but he has a proven record of being prepared, and more significantly, of overcoming incredible odds. I hope he wins.

Unfortunately, the entire sport (professional road cycling) has had its reputation tarnished by the ongoing doping allegations. The problem has been so pervasive that in many people's minds, the winner is guilty until proven innocent. Which is a shame, because frankly, I can't think of any human endeavor that's a better test of physical endurance, than a weeks-long bicycle stage race. (I get sore just thinking about riding 120 miles... and then getting up the next day and riding another 130 miles, 95 miles the next day, etc., etc.)

Armstong is concerned about the possibility of a hostile spectator ambushing him.

And he's got a point. Spectators line the route; they don't need a ticket or a screening to get in. And there are some wack-jobs among us. Eddy Merckx (who I consider to be the all-time greatest road cycling champion) was ambushed by a disturbed spectator, and was injured after being shoved. He couldn't finish the race.

An interesting interview with Armstrong can be read HERE.

1 comment:

Clancy said...

It sounds like he is going to play it straight. Multiply blood test and all. It would be nice to prove the rest of the cycling world wrong.