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September 9, 2008 4:04 PM   Subscribe

Thirty-seven year old Lance Armstrong has announced that he will end his 3-year retirement from professional racing to try for a record eighth victory in the Tour de France.
posted by Bluecoat93 (70 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is a publicity stunt. There is no way he can be ready for the TdF.
posted by flippant at 4:07 PM on September 9, 2008


I was gonna post this...but let me go on record as saying I call BS. I'll believe it when I see it. Johan Bruyneel said 'it's news to me' and unless he's being super cagey, no. Levi Leipheimer said 'that son of a bitch again?!' Anyway, who races for free? Iit's an interesting business model. Sure, he doesn't need the money, but, no.
posted by fixedgear at 4:09 PM on September 9, 2008


Perhaps, but given Lance's commitment to cancer research and awareness, a publicity stunt is not necessarily a bad thing in this case. That being said, I can't imagine someone with his healthy ego making a go at it unless he thinks he can win.
posted by Bluecoat93 at 4:09 PM on September 9, 2008


I thought he said he wanted to race again, but didn't say anything specifically about the TdF.
posted by Class Goat at 4:13 PM on September 9, 2008


Being 37 and competing in the Tour de France really takes ball.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:15 PM on September 9, 2008 [34 favorites]


"Armstrong, who turns 37 this month, will compete in the Amgen Tour of California, Paris-Nice, the Tour de Georgia, the Dauphiné Libéré and the Tour de France — and will race for neither salary nor bonuses, the sources, who asked to remain anonymous, told VeloNews."
posted by dolface at 4:15 PM on September 9, 2008


This is the article Wikipedia links to.

Honestly, I kinda want him to sit down and watch a movie already. IT'S OKAY, LANCE, WE LOVE YOU. YOU'RE STILL OUR CAPTAIN AMERICA.

Like, the one time I thought cracked.com was funny - I swear!
posted by bettafish at 4:19 PM on September 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is it just that I am jaded and bitter or does anyone else feel a certain je ne sais crois in their gut over this? Seriously, why can't athletes, actors, singers and politicians just retire? Must they always be in the spotlight? No one disputes his skill (drug-aided or not) with the pedals, but... *sigh*

Whatever. Livestrong and all that...
posted by FrankBlack at 4:21 PM on September 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah.

How has he not got everything to lose?
posted by Dumsnill at 4:22 PM on September 9, 2008


Vanity Fair has a 5-page interview with Lance discussing his return, expectations, and the ever-present doping thing.
posted by Bluecoat93 at 4:22 PM on September 9, 2008


Making a big deal about doping-rumours?
posted by Dumsnill at 4:23 PM on September 9, 2008


For a minute I thought "TdF" was a steroid. [NOT FRENCH]
posted by DU at 4:28 PM on September 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


He wants to shave two seconds off his Alpe d'Huez time and beat Pantani's record.
posted by conifer at 4:34 PM on September 9, 2008


I admire Armstrong's achievements and how he overcame his cancer.

But then I read this.?
posted by Dumsnill at 4:45 PM on September 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bless him for putting cancer even more in the spotlight and drumming up funds, but, dang, Armstrong's a cheating egomaniac and I just can't care anymore about anything he does (other than to get a foamy whenever his name comes up, I guess).
posted by batmonkey at 4:50 PM on September 9, 2008


“Seriously, why can't athletes, actors, singers and politicians just retire?”

They’re absolutely driven to prove themselves. If only to themselves. It’s what makes them elite athletes in the first place. Push harder, work harder, prove again and again you’re the best there is. That you can go a bit further, push it a bit more. And you’re used to doing that every day. Working to achieve. It gets comfortable and reliable. Part of you.

I remember when I realized I wasn’t going to be an athlete anymore. I cried. It’s something I’d done all my life, every day, as far back as I could remember. And now - well, you’re a spectator, not a participant. You’re not a ‘real’ athlete. You’re at best a hobbyist.

I can’t imagine doing that at 37 after being a professional and achieving that peak.
Those instincts don’t just get turned off. It’s not like going off to do some other job. It’s gotta tear his guts out to watch guys still racing.
It’s like being a junkie - just one more time. Just one more. I can do it. I can reach it, just one more. I’ll train harder. I’ll do anything - just one more.
I still feel it myself, hell I’d give up a testicle to be out there again, and I was never anywhere near his caliber.
And yeah, brains has nothing to do with it.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:50 PM on September 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


He says he'll race for Astana, who was not invited to the 2008 TdF. There is no guarantee that they will be invited in 2009, despite the good performance of the team this year. He and the team will easily be invited to Tour of Cali and Tour of Georgia. However, the ASO can do whatever they want, as they own the TdF and they could just not invite Astana. The French still hate him, they might flick him just for spite.

More importantly, it's a team sport. What would motivate guys to work for him?

I still have a couple of vivid images in my mind. The first is Greg Lemond taking his number off and climbing into a team car, near tears. It was really over. The second was Armstrong's first attempt at racing post-cancer, resulting in a very similar scene.
posted by fixedgear at 4:51 PM on September 9, 2008


a guy with cancer gets better and rides a bike really fast for a very long time. dumps his wife and lays pipe with some serious hotties. goddamn our human spirit thing is the fucking straight up shit dog.
posted by breakfast_yeti at 5:01 PM on September 9, 2008


You know who else might enter the Tour De France?
posted by william_boot at 5:01 PM on September 9, 2008


This could be David Blaine's most dangerous stunt ever.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:04 PM on September 9, 2008


Well, this is what makes cycling so great. It is an adult sport. You don't have to be under 25 to excel. You don't have to be in great shape to be able to do it. No impact = fewer injuries than many other sports. Good for Lance and his causes.

Myself; I'd like to see LeMond in '89 again, final stage. That was a finest hour of recent cycling history. Folks just don't jump off the couch for most cycling moments.
posted by buzzman at 5:07 PM on September 9, 2008


Much as I think he has so much to lose, I fail to see how this is anything but good news for cycling and for sport. Except perhaps for his teammates (at Astana?) who have to play second fiddle to him again.

I mean, come on:

1) A legend from the not-too-distant-past returns to challenge the current generation who, frankly, aren't of the same calibre.

2) An American champion focuses the spotlight again on a traditionally non-American sport, which has languished slightly in the US market since his previous retirement.

3) One of the few top riders of the last decade still untainted by strong evidence of doping returns to demonstrate, once and for all, that he can win cleanly.

Say what you will about how unlikely victory is for Lance Armstrong, but you gotta respect how gutsy and exciting this is. I, for one, welcome it.
posted by randomstriker at 5:08 PM on September 9, 2008


You don't have to be in great shape to be able to do it.

I don't think Tour De France means what you think it means.
posted by everichon at 5:24 PM on September 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Don't be surprised if he actually wins it. I doubt it, but it wouldn't really surprise me either. His strength and tenacity to win are just much higher than any other rider.
posted by caddis at 5:26 PM on September 9, 2008


Lance just sent me a nice email:
Dear Pete fixedgear,
We wanted you to be the first to know – it's true.
There are times in life when the game changes, when you look at the world differently and you know you must do what's right.
So, once again, Lance is changing the game. Today, it's still not about the bike. It's about people, their families and friends fighting the greatest fight of their lives – both in the U.S. and around the world. It's about straight and open talk about cancer, breaking the silence and eliminating the stigma and discrimination survivors experience. It's about a moral obligation to fight this disease no matter who or where it strikes with everything we've got.
The LIVESTRONG Army's commitment and dedication has started a movement to change cancer policy, research funding and access to care – a fight we must all commit to continue. We cannot stop now. We must increase our efforts and work to make cancer not only a national priority, but a global priority as well. Together, we can help inspire and empower the millions of people affected by cancer worldwide.
Now more than ever, we need you to join us. Whether you make a gift, join the LIVESTRONG Army or consider the presidential candidates' cancer plans before you vote, you will make an important impact on the future of cancer.
Read the official statement or watch a video message to the LIVESTRONG Army from Lance in his own words.
Heh. I'm still a skeptic.
posted by fixedgear at 5:32 PM on September 9, 2008


With all due respect to people who actually know and care about his sport, Lance Armstrong is a reptile, with Republican sympathies who wants to be the governor of Texas.
posted by Huplescat at 5:40 PM on September 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Armstrong's a cheating egomaniac

I'm not sure it's egotism if you really are that good, and 7 TdF trophies pretty much eliminates any doubt about his ability. I also have to think that if he really was cheating/doping, someone would have caught him by now given the hundreds or thousands of blood tests he's taken since returning to the sport in 1998.
posted by Bluecoat93 at 5:45 PM on September 9, 2008


Ex-Friends Say Armstrong Admitted Drug Use

My take: He's been given a devastating diagnosis. The doctors say - more or less - "for the sake of your health you'd better tell us if you ever doped. It might make a difference in whether you live or die."

He fesses up. Betsy Andreau? What axe does she possibly have to grind?
posted by fixedgear at 5:52 PM on September 9, 2008


I'm convinced that Armstrong won his Tours while he was doping. Everyone I can think of who stood on the podium with Armstrong was busted, eventually. Doping in cycling gives such a massive advantage that no clean racer could compete with someone doped to the gills. Furthermore, the science of catching dopers inherently lags behind the science of doping. Either surviving cancer turned Armstrong into a superhuman, or through skill and care he managed to avoid getting busted as a doper, which would not be difficult.
posted by exogenous at 5:57 PM on September 9, 2008


Like Michael Jordan or Brett Favre, it just seems like top athletes can't call it quits until they're absolutely certain that they're not on the top of their game anymore. My bet would be that this ends badly for Lance (like I think it will for Favre too), but I would love to be wrong.
posted by drezdn at 6:04 PM on September 9, 2008


He took second in the Leadville 100 mountain bike race a few weeks ago... a pretty remarkable performance on a tough course.
posted by ph00dz at 6:07 PM on September 9, 2008


He says he'll race for Astana, who was not invited to the 2008 TdF.

Hmm, I wonder if Astana has joined on to the Agency for Cycling Ethics program ala Garmin-Chipotle and Columbia.

It seems the answer is no..
posted by Chuckles at 6:09 PM on September 9, 2008


George Carlin opened his last HBO special with the words "Fuck Lance Armstrong". That's good enough for me.
posted by wendell at 6:12 PM on September 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


You know, everitchon; you don't have to read a lot to put sentences together into phrases, or paragraphs. And in the context that I wrote it; you don't have to be in great shape to enjoy cycling. It can be a monosyllabillic version of having good Shakespeare rammed into, ah; how about. Your ear.

Cycling is a great sport for families. I remember back in the late 80's having a personnel director chew my ear because I had bought a mountain bike; and somebody had seen me riding it. Oh the potential claims to the company health insurance policy. For me, seeing the sport grow so well; and company emphasis on employee fitness grow in recent times, is nothing but positive regards for me essentially getting fired for having cycling as a hobby/sport/fitness program.

Lance is going to do what Lance wants to do. He went from cycling to running marathons. Physiologically; he is a unique individual and I expect him to do just fine should he choose to do the 2009 Tour.
posted by buzzman at 6:24 PM on September 9, 2008


Everyone I can think of who stood on the podium with Armstrong was busted, eventually.

I did a chart a couple of years ago, and updated it a year later. It is pretty striking.. Both Armstrong and Pereiro have benefited by a retroactive therapeutic use exemption.
My thoughts on TUEs
posted by Chuckles at 6:37 PM on September 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Even with all the doping and even without Lance Armstrong, I absolutely love the Tour de France, so this is just wonderful news for me. I can't wait for July.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 7:20 PM on September 9, 2008


Bluecoat93:
"I'm not sure it's egotism if you really are that good"

But he's not that good, and that's the thing. He's that organised, that connected, that focused on getting in every time. I don't think it means he's qualified as a super athlete, unless we come up with a new class for him, Canseco, Bonds, and their ilk to compete in.

That's really the sticking point for me, really. So many athletes work their asses off, protecting their bodies, improving their technique, and here they're suddenly thrown in with narcissists who, instead of admitting they've hit their peak and should concede, start pouring enhancers into their systems and then lie about it. Repeatedly.

The pressure on those who aren't doping must be incredible. "Stay clean and protect my system, or do what the big dogs are doing and have a chance of winning?" Terrible question to have to ask yourself in an already difficult level of sport that you've given your life to.

Break off a league of athletes who want to play at any cost, I say. Give them their own sandbox. I want to see how human beings at peak fitness and technique handle a given sport, not how much extra squirt some drama queen can get from a package of chemicals. I'm sure there are those who want to see that stuff, so give 'em their own forum to rage around in.

Here's the thing: I used to be an Armstrong fan. I've loved the Tour since the '80s and I thought he was a worthy addition to the legion of amazing athletes in the cycling sport as a whole. For me, it's about fairness. Something I readily admit I get a bit heated over ;]

Also, yes, Armstrong degraded my opinion further by choosing some insane positions to suddenly become a face for and then made it clear he has political intentions to boot. I believe he's just doing what he needs to pump the Republican Brand and make sure it's well-seared into his own flank. I do not want him as a politician in my home state, but it's starting to look inevitable.
posted by batmonkey at 7:38 PM on September 9, 2008


Legalize all doping. It's the only fair way.
posted by telstar at 8:20 PM on September 9, 2008


Get a life, Lance. I want my Tour de France back.

The top 23 fastest times for the Alpe d'Huez ascent all date from the dawn of the EPO era. Many of these names are confessed dopers and frankly, they should be way up there on that list because a strict regimen of EPO/insulin/HGH/etc really does work. But like the UCI says, whatever.
posted by grounded at 8:30 PM on September 9, 2008


Being 37 and competing in the Tour de France really takes ball.

I don't care about cycling or Lance Armstrong at all, but I clicked here for the sole purpose of seeing what the first comment about Armstrong's nut was going to be.

You didn't disappoint.
posted by jayder at 8:49 PM on September 9, 2008


A friend recently told me a joke about retiring athletes. The punchline was, vaguely, Bret Favre convinces a bunch of aging super-pros (of various sports) to give it one more go while they played a game of poker. Armstrong wasn't included in the list (Though a Zombie Baseball Player was), I'm starting to think he should have been.

He's got about 10 months to get ready, its theoretically possible that he could be competitive and not get dropped off the back of the peloton after the first time trial. I wouldn't lay money on it. Or on him being invited by the ASO.

Personally I'd be interested in seeing some of the riders who compete in the Tour of Lagos to get invited to some big pro tours in the States and EU. That would really get me excited. But... they're mostly black and cycling is definitely a white sport. sadly.
posted by Sam.Burdick at 9:25 PM on September 9, 2008


First, regarding Team Astana, back in the June timeframe a representative of ASO, the organization that owns the Tour, plainly stated that if Astana wasn't involved in any doping issues this year that they could expect an invitation to the 2009 Tour.

Second, it is clear from reading the article in Vanity Fair that Armstrong has been in training for quite some time. He is not, as one might get the impression from reading some of these comments, starting from scratch today. It is also worth noting his finishing position at the recent Leadville 100. (Without looking it up, I believe he placed second.)

Third, if he does ride for Astana, the person most likely to be unhappy will be Alberto Contador (2007 GC winner) who will likely not be the team leader.

Fourth, he was (and probably still is) an absolutely superb bike racer but, as has been pointed out numerous times, that is only part of how he was able to win the GC seven times. The more subtle parts include a highly disciplined team riding only for him and not stage victories or other competitions such as the green jersey, the best equipment, and immensely focused preparation.

Fifth, Lance Armstrong never doped or cheated. Aside from the endless drug testing he underwent, I have no actual evidence of this fact but that makes it as least as valid an assertion as insisting that he is a "cheating egomanic" or whatever. You're welcome to think that he cheated, but given the lack of evidence it would be more honest to state it as a hunch or opinion rather than as some indisputable fact.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 9:55 PM on September 9, 2008


All right, I'll concede that it's not a provable fact (yet) and that, perhaps, his friends and colleagues could have some reason for wanting the idea out there. I've certainly had people go behind my back and start crap for unexplainable reasons, so fair enough.

BUT!

Isn't it someone else's turn? I mean, speaking of Alberto Contador, doesn't he deserve the opportunity to shine at this point? Don't the other team members deserve a non-Lance turn in the spotlight for a while?
posted by batmonkey at 10:26 PM on September 9, 2008


Who knows.. maybe Lance plans to ride as super-domestique for Contador ala Hinot and Lemond :)
posted by Chuckles at 10:32 PM on September 9, 2008


Hinault. DUH!
posted by Chuckles at 10:32 PM on September 9, 2008


Chuckles:
"maybe Lance plans to ride as super-domestique for Contador"

"Your towel, sir? Oh, sorry, water! How stupid of me. Here, let me pre-chew this protein bar for you." All delivered with Armstrong's trademark smirk.*

That would be fantastique.

*I know, he's performed this for a colleague doing One Days before. I'm just amused by the image.
posted by batmonkey at 10:37 PM on September 9, 2008


But he's not that good, and that's the thing.

Oh fuck off. You don't win the world's most gruelling event seven years in a row by being "not that good".
posted by randomstriker at 11:23 PM on September 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


randomstriker:
"You don't win the world's most gruelling event seven years in a row by being "not that good"."
If you're using performance enhancing drugs and/or have an entire team of elite athletes backing you up, you do. Which is my contention based on my opinion and I've got a right to both.

And how about a bit more politesse? I've not brought that kind of attitude into the discussion, no one else has either, and that's how it should stay. You don't know me well enough to claim it as friendly banter, so let's keep it at water cooler convo levels of courtesy, eh?
posted by batmonkey at 12:01 AM on September 10, 2008


No one disputes his skill (drug-aided or not)...

Now that's quality snark!
posted by fairmettle at 2:31 AM on September 10, 2008


The most frightening thing about Lance Armstrong in the Tour is his fans.
posted by fullerine at 2:47 AM on September 10, 2008


Maybe Rock Racing will get invited! Michael Ball, first black TdF racer Raahsan Bahati, 37 yo served-two-year-suspension-and-won-USPRO Tyler Hamilton, Operation Peurto veteran Oscar Sevilla, Santiago Botero...
posted by fixedgear at 2:55 AM on September 10, 2008


fixedgear: Maybe Rock Racing will get invited! Michael Ball, first black TdF racer Raahsan Bahati, 37 yo served-two-year-suspension-and-won-USPRO Tyler Hamilton, Operation Peurto veteran Oscar Sevilla, Santiago Botero...

Hey, don't forget Floyd Landis as directeur sportif (as was rumoured recently).

Some people are not happy.
posted by afx237vi at 4:14 AM on September 10, 2008


And how about a bit more politesse? I've not brought that kind of attitude into the discussion, no one else has either, and that's how it should stay. You don't know me well enough to claim it as friendly banter, so let's keep it at water cooler convo levels of courtesy, eh?
posted by batmonkey at 12:01 AM on September 10


I don't have a dog in this fight, but what you are claiming is frankly a little retarded. I'm pretty sure Armstrong has been dope-tested like, what, a few hundred times over the last seven years? And they don't have anything on him. Maybe he is a genetic freak, genuinely better through his natural physiology and training schedule than any other cyclist. Your claim to special knowledge in the absence of, you know, evidence is embarrassing.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:22 AM on September 10, 2008


If you were a driven egotistical cheating athlete, and you came down with metastisized cancer del cojones, and got sick enough to see the biggest finish line fo them all, but beat back that cancer, would your egotism permit you to go right back on the sauce?

I've always thought that to be quite a stretch of the imagination, and a demonstraton about how people genuinely love tearing champions off of podiums for reasons of human nature.

/$.02
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:08 AM on September 10, 2008


If you were a driven egotistical cheating athlete, and you came down with metastisized cancer del cojones, and got sick enough to see the biggest finish line fo them all, but beat back that cancer, would your egotism permit you to go right back on the sauce?

Sure, it could happen. Not all sick people become living saints. And someone who has the kind of ego to be both a competitive athlete and a budding politician seems even less likely to be a saint.

I don't know enough about pro cycling to have a solid opinion about Armstrong's doping status, but I don't think he's somehow immune from temptation just because he had some awesome physical advantages to start with. If he's surrounded by dopers as he competes and ages, do you really think he's self-sacrificing enough to deliberately hobble himself?
posted by maudlin at 7:19 AM on September 10, 2008


Oh, and let's toss in the breakdown of his marriage as another indicator that Lance Armstrong is a real, complicated person who is as likely to fuck up as any of the rest of us. His private business, no one really knows what happens in someone else's relationship, yadda, but the fact that after a near death experience he wound up leaving the family that was there for him through the worst doesn't prep him for beatification, either.

That said: he may be a prick, but he could be a clean prick. Or a doped to the gills prick. I really don't know.
posted by maudlin at 7:23 AM on September 10, 2008


Aye, the thing that bugs me about the guilt by association assertion (that everyone else on the podium has been subsequently been nailed for doping) is that:

A) It doesn't mean they were doping in their podium finish race, they might have started doping in subsequent years to get that win again. Yes, some of them have been plucked right off the podium as Floyd Landis was, but some of them had the bad luck to be on a team disqualification, and

B) I'm uncomfortable labeling everyone on a team based disqualification as a known doper. Some of the major disqualifications and self-eliminations have also come from the team losing their team leader and the team organizer deciding it isn't worth spending millions to keep a bunch of no hopers going this year. Or the team doctor being busted with big ol' bags of epo. I dunno, it seems like a lot of those cases seem to have been based on rumor and hearsay, and that doesn't seem like enough to condemn someone, compared to a no-foolin' positive A and B test.

Of course, I'd be willing to have my hand held through why that's wrong - aside from the high profile cases, I honestly have a hard time remembering second and third place from year to year, and whether their DQ was in the same year or subsequent years.

Now the argument that the acceptable use exception is dodgy, that I can get behind. On the one hand, caffeine is a performance enhancing drug of a certain effect, as are the effects of decongestants, but where's the line there? Do we ban coffee and zyrtec-D? And if someone is racing with a baseline physiological problem that is satisfactorily treated with something that's frowned upon, where does the line get drawn? (vis a vis Floyd's argument that it was the cortisone shots he received for his degenerate hip that caused him to test positive, if memory serves.) It's a great area for discussion, anyway.

I think denying that doping occurs is naive, sure, but dismissing the whole event (and professional sports as a whole, in some extreme cases) because "they're all dopers" is similarly overstating the case. Besides, it's an excuse for several dozens of hours of beautiful road footage of rural France, which I'd be happy to watch most days anyway.
posted by Kyol at 9:28 AM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


From everyone but Lance's (and maybe Johan Bruyneel's) perspective, he wouldn't be a good fit for Astana. Leipheimer, Contador, Kloeden and Chris Horner sure wouldn't want him around. However, he *might* be a good fit for Team Columbia: strong team with no super duper TdF GC guy, already has Hincapie, has superlative drug testing regimen and anti-doping reputation and a TdF 2009 invite. Of course they might have to dump Cavendish and his leadout men to make Lance happy, but it's so crazy it just might work.

With or without him, Astana is the team to beat in 2009 so they might choose the sans Lance route.
posted by turbodog at 12:16 PM on September 10, 2008


I’ve got buddies who think he’s doping. I myself have no idea. All things being equal, absent evidence, I’m willing hand him the benefit of the doubt.

If he did though, yeah, screw him. I’ve got no tolerance for that.

As to this nice guy business - Ty Cobb was a great ball player. One of the all time greats. If we were contemporaries however and I ever got within arms length of the man I’d probably beat him silly. Not even on general principals, he’s probably say something stupid. He was that much of an ass.

So talent doesn’t equal nice guy. In fact, that level of competition and the amount of focus required breeds a sort of callousness. Cobb doesn’t even get that concession as just a human being.
But as a ball player? He was great.

And people routinely hand great men of athletic talent all kinds of turd, even as they (may) hand them money. Look at Jim Thorpe. Was he on the juice? So all of the greats were doped out? Howabout DiMaggio? Ruth?

There are guys who have set records that may never be equaled because of the unique time and place and training and genetic quirks and so forth.

Rocky Marciano’s training regimine was insane. And he was a great boxer, but he was never defeated because of the way things happened to go. It’s a unique occurance. I mean, he was not as skilled as Sugar Ray Robinson, or as bad ass as Sam Langford. Robinson was easily the greatest boxer of all time. But Marciano was undefeated. And they weren’t.

Same deal with Armstrong. You can argue who’s better or who might have won what, or how, but those things ain’t what happened. What happened was Armstrong has seven wins. And no one else does.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:29 PM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


"start pouring enhancers into their systems and then lie about it. Repeatedly."[citation needed]

"If you're using performance enhancing drugs and/or have an entire team of elite athletes backing you up, you do."[citation needed]

Which is my contention based on my opinion and I've got a right to both.

Well yes. But when your opinion is based on anything other than reality, we have the right to call bullshit on, well, bullshit.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:34 PM on September 10, 2008


but the fact that after a near death experience he wound up leaving the family that was there for him through the worst doesn't prep him for beatification, either.

That happens a lot. I've started wondering whether it happens because there were already issues, and being smacked in the face with your own mortality makes many people say "Life is too short to deal with the crap I was dealing with."
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:38 PM on September 10, 2008


With respect to his breakup - from everything I've read on the subject, his ex-wife wanted him to attribute his survival to divine intervention. He wanted to thank Bristol Myers Squib and the clinical trials he participated in, being a man of science and all.

As far as what team he will go with, now that this is looking more and more likely to happen, we need to look at who the bike and equipment sponsors are. He'll be riding a Trek or maybe an Armstrong. From what I've been reading, he may even form a new team.
posted by fixedgear at 1:49 PM on September 10, 2008


A new team of Lance Armstrong clones! Lances One through Eight are Super-Duper Domestiques, ready for anything.

That's why he took the last 3 years off, y'know. Forced maturation still takes time.
posted by Kyol at 2:51 PM on September 10, 2008


Like I said above, I conceded that I could have taken to believing inaccuracies, potentially made more plausible to me by his having so many other traits I disagree with and can't admire.

Why continue beating the concessionary and unconscious horse?
posted by batmonkey at 3:01 PM on September 10, 2008


Legalize all doping. It's the only fair way.

The All-Drug Olympics!
posted by Skot at 3:07 PM on September 10, 2008


I didn't see Optimus Chyme's screed earlier, or I would have gone to this trouble, before:

This is why I'm willing to believe Armstrong cheated. Sworn testimony by best friends is often used as evidence in actual legal cases, so I'm comfortable considering things like that in forming my own opinions.

Again, though, as I said above: I'm also willing to consider that his friends have an axe to grind for some reason and keep my mind open on that point. He's still a jerk.
posted by batmonkey at 3:45 PM on September 10, 2008


He's racing this weekend. Scroll down.
posted by fixedgear at 3:52 PM on September 10, 2008


Wow. The man's got serious ball.
posted by rokusan at 1:22 PM on September 11, 2008


Sorry, sorry, sorry.
posted by rokusan at 1:23 PM on September 11, 2008


It's been done, rokusan.
posted by fixedgear at 6:55 PM on September 11, 2008


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