Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sad Day for Lance Fans

Well the elder statesman of cycling, Lance Armstrong, does not appear invincible. He has fallen far enough behind in the overall standings at the 2010 Tour de France that the comentators have formally declared him no longer in the running.

At 6 km he had to veer into the grass to avoid a crash. At the bottom of the first really big climb he was the center of a crash that saw him fall off his bike and do a complete roll and at the top of one of the last climbs of the day he didn't technically crash but someone in front of him did, so he had to get off his bike. After the roll crash he fought to get back into the race by making up a whole minute, but alas after the last incident he knew all he could do was finish the day. He came in 10 minutes after the leaders. At this stage (8 of 21) this is almost insurmountable, even for Lance.

It was sad to see him struggle to the finish line knowing he had all but lost his chance at Tour victory number 8. He truly is a fierce competitor and I believe he will not drop out, but will work through the rest of the race either helping his teammates or working to get himself a stage win or points advantages. He hasn't won the Tour de France 7 times because he was just lucky.

So to Lance Armstrong I say thank you for bringing cycling to us. Thank you for the heart pounding stages where you showed courage, finesse and athletic ability beyond what we as mere mortals could imagine. You have helped us all feel proud to be Americans in a sport dominated by Europeans. We salute you and all you have done for the sport.

I'm still going to get up at 6:30 am each morning to see what the next day brings, and who knows, maybe a miracle for the elder statesman of the Tour de France.

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