Friday, July 08, 2005

Tour de Lance

I'm going to catch some flak for this, I'm sure. However, I want to be clear that I'm not criticizing Lance Armstrong alone. Rather, I'm criticizing his team and all the other teams in the Tour de France.
"Lance Armstrong kept his overall lead in the Tour de France on Friday, cruising safely to the finish of a rainy seventh stage won in a sprint by Australia's Robbie McEwen."

I have no beef with Lance Armstrong. I think he's a good rider, and I'm impressed with how well he's done since his bout with Cancer way back when. My problem is that his victories seem less like traditional victories, inasmuch as his teammates play defense and try to slow down the pack and slow down the competition so he can keep his lead. That doesn't seem like real sportsmanship to me. A race should be about the person who gets there the fastest. I don't understand how a race won by a guy whose teammates are there primarily to make sure nobody beats him can count it as a victory. Perhaps the Tour should get rid of teams and turn this into an individual event. Last I checked, there was only on seat on any Tour bike; that should be a hint.

50 years from now, do you want to be the guy who says "I could have won the Tour de France, but my job was to slow down this guy from Finland?" Or do you want to be the guy who says "I tried my best to win the Tour de France, I just fell short."

2 comments:! said...

i don't know much about cycling, nor do i care. after living in austin for so long, i'm sick to death of lance and the legions of lance wannabes. but from what i understand (and by "understand" i mean the one article i read in outside magazine while stuck in a doctor's office), there is some individual strategy involved aside from the team strategy. but yeah, i don't get the whole team thing. i'm sure those dudes get paid quite handsomely for their role in helping lance win (again - boooring!), but i'd be kinda irked if i were them. i mean, it's a long freakin' race, through mountains & stuff. i wouldn't want to be the guy who was guaranteed not to win because some other dude with one testicle was already chosen to be the winner.

Michelle said...

Totally agree Steve, it doesn't seem very sportsman like to me.