From my twitter feed today. Literally within seconds of each other:
I didn’t see even a second of footage from after today’s stage got interesting, and from what I can tell, neither did anyone watching Versus. My frustration at this is countered only by my anticipation of the awesome spectacle as Astana continues to spin apart under the bulk of its own talent, like a shoddy carnival ride, unevenly loaded with fat kids.
Eurosport’s live audio commented that both Armstrong and longtime bro Yaroslav Popovych were exhorting the breakaway echelon to ride with full force in the closing kilometers. Normally, that’d be standard behavior, but the careful observer will note that other riders with GC teammates behind—like Fabian Cancellara—weren’t really working so hard.
Today’s stage is also interesting because it has left the Tour with enough fried thighs to open a KFC franchise on the eve of a grueling team time trial. Armstrong could be back in Yellow, but if my name were Alberto or Andreas, I could see not wanting to work all that hard. Conversely, Garmin-Slipstream, who’ve been known to rock a TTT, ended up losing time but saving legs back in the bunch, while their likely rivals, Columbia Highroad HTC, went solidly a bloc in today’s finale.
So much for the traditionally boring first week.
thoughts on “Great Minds Think Alike”
I’m sure Lance is happy to ruin your expectations of a cohesive Astana unit. If someone wants to win the tour, they have to take it.
That being said, I understand the contention that a split Astana team marginally decreases the GC overall probability for Contador and Leipheimer…Maybe Armstrong is The Joker, as per Michael Caine’s Alfred: “Maybe he just wants to watch Astana burn.” (Except Lance’s endgame isn’t pure nihilism, just PR for Livestrong)
I liked Cycling Weekly’s description of Armstrong’s “propensity for tactical skulduggery”. In other words, he’s fond of sticking a shiv in his opponents’ (or his team mates) back.
Do we really have to worship this guy who time and time again has demonstrated his poor character? Sastre nailed him perfectly when responding to the section taken from Armstrong’s humbly entitled book, “Lance Armstrong: The Greatest Champion Ever” in which he characterized the 2008 Tour de France and Sastre winning it as “a joke”:
“It’s his point of view, his words, his life – I’m not interested in anything about that. I think he’s a great champion – he won seven Tours de France, the world [road] championship… he’s a great rider. But just behind every rider must be a person, and in that respect, maybe he needs to learn something more.”
My main interest in Armstrong is when he will go away and the hope when he does it’s in a ball of ego-fueled flames. Good riddance.
Contador, Klodie, and Leipheimer would have done the same thing if he were in the same circumstances. It would have been uncool for the Astana escape artists to not help out Columbia (who ultimately did most of the work anyway).
All 4 Astana horsemen will work hard in the TTT, to get more distance on Sastre, Evans, Menchov, and the other GC contenders.
Good to have to fun in a flat stage…what happens in the mountains will make today’s gain feel small.
4 out of 5 fat kids agree!
Burn, Baby Burn!
Has anyone asked the question about whether Armstrong was tipped off (intentionally or not) by Hincapie or others on C-HTC that the acceleration was coming?
Today’s TTT was classic in the slow unraveling of Armstrong’s ego. Secure in the knowledge that he would make up the 40 seconds on Cancellera on the back of his teammates, it was all arranged for that other member of dickipedia, Ben Stiller, to put the yellow jersey on the leader today. Only one problem, Armstrong didn’t win the yellow jersey despite all the hugs and congratulations he received from his minions. Beautiful. I am really going to love Friday when Sastre and Tony Martin go off the front and Bruyneel will be forced to allow Contador to go after them while Armstrong labors away at his “incredible cadence” and hopes to stay within the top 10.
Wow Sophrosune, while I am no Armstrong fan I can appreciate his tactical savy. And more importantly when he wins he puts his hands in the air and does not do that stupid “pistol shot”. That has got to be the worst winning solute ever. Really Alberto you got to drop that!!
Yes, I appreciate his tactical savvy the way I’m sure you respect the way the executives at Goldman Sachs swindle people out of their money time and time again on manipulated market bubbles.
It’s odd, for a country that loves to claim victimhood at the drop of a hat, we do so seem to hold the agents of our destruction in the highest regard. In this case, Armstrong so distorts the definition of teammate that we actually believe his “tactical skulduggery” constitutes savvy. Priceless. I’m sure when Contador offends your fragile sensibility with his “pistol shot”, you won’t be characterizing his stage win as tactical savvy, but something more along the lines of “backstabbing”.
It all depends on your point of view, I suppose.
People can hate on Lance Armstrong all they want. One truth that can never be argued is …Lance Armstrong in 2009, made the Tour De France a big deal again. I don’t think anyone can argue that. All professional athletes are egomaniacs on the field-of-competition. It’s there actions away from sport that give you a true look at the person …Lance’s contributions off the bike can’t be argued.