• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds

Thoughts

    from Twitter

    News

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Americans Dominate French Tour

    As you know, I love the Tour de France. I like cycling, but I'm not good at it, and I love watching the tour. Dunno why. This year, with the moving and all, I haven't posted about it, but hopefully AnonCyclist will stop worrying about my great Texas/Vietnam logo or med school applications and fill us in on the state of cycling (since he is a cyclist).

    Floyd Landis was not the race favorite in May. He wasn't the race favorite in June. Only after Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, and some other big names were barred from competing because of the blood doping scandal, and some bad accidents at the beginning of the race dashed the hopes of one or two others, did Landis move from a potential top 10 finisher to a potential winner--and he didn't disappoint.
    That makes 11 in 21 years ... They're probably sick to death of the Star Spangled Banner

    In fact, there's a theme here. Americans don't like cycling nearly as much as europeans, but we can kick their trash IF we are NOT healthy. There have been three winners of the tour--Greg LeMond, Lance Armstrong, and Floyd Landis. Greg was shot and nearly killed right after winning his first Tour de France.
    Over forty shotgun pellets ripped through Greg's body, lodging not only in his back and legs, but more critically in his small intestine, liver, diaphragm, and heart lining. While waiting for rescue, his right lung collapsed and he lost three quarters of his blood supply. A cell phone, a police helicopter and nearby hospital that specialized in gun shot wounds saved his life. Because of the dangerous locations, surgeons were forced to leave over thirty of the pellets imbedded in his body.
    He came back from this adversity to win the Tour in 1989 and 1990 before retiring.

    Armstrong's saga is well-known, and provides a great springboard for politics which many people predict he will get into. Maybe we will see a Governor Armstrong in Texas. Anyway, his fight and victory over cancer, return to cycling, and domination of the world's toughest race and most talented racers, turned into seven consequtive yellow jerseys and an explosion of cycling interest in America.

    But then he retired and the French breathed a sigh of relief that an uncouth American would not win their tour again. Boy were they wrong. Out pops Landis, who rides on an arthritic hip that will be replaced in the next month or two. He bonks, is in 11th place and 8:08 back entering the final mountain stage, and proceeds to go for broke--ending up third, 30 seconds behind Oscar Pereio, who he beat during the time trial to win the Tour de France.

    That makes 11 in 21 years. Those Frenchies have gotta hate us. They're probably sick to death of the Star Spangled Banner.


    [+/-] read/hide the rest of this post


    1 comment:

    AnonCyclist said...

    Fine. I will get to the good ole' cycling stuff.