Did ya bring some wood screws?

‘Cause I’m about to blow your door clean off.

Today was not the first time Lance Armstrong got his door blown off at the Tour de France. All you folks that never heard of cycling until Boy Wonder was on the cover of a Wheaties box need to pay attention.

It was the 1994 Tour de France, the stage 9 individual time trail from Périgueux to Bergerac. Miguel Indurain started two minutes behind Lance Armstrong and beat him by a whooping 6’23″. (results here.)

Just an absolutely crushing defeat. Armstrong had no GC aspirations, he was too young. He wan’t even planning on finishing the event. But he was the World Champion. In the U.S., he beat people. He won. In Europe, he wasn’t even on the same level. In 1994, teams were systematically doping their riders. EPO was the new product of choice. You want to go fast, you take EPO and you’ll go fast. Gewiss led the charge. In ’94 they won Milan-Sanremo, Tirreno-Adriatico, La Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Giro di Lombardia, Giro d’Italia, and took second overall in the Tour de France. The writing was on the wall. You want to win? You play ball.

Watch the video. Indurain might as well have been driving a car.

YouTube Preview Image

And there is, of course, more. Somehow, just a few years later, in 1999 Tour prolouge, “Armstrong blew Miguel Indurain’s 8:12 course record out of the water, beating it by 10 seconds.”

We now know what was in L.A.’s blood during the ’99 Tour: EP0. (see So there is no doubt in my mind he (Lance Armstrong) took EPO during the ’99 Tour.)

It has now gone full circle.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

18 thoughts on “Did ya bring some wood screws?

  1. LA’s wearing the maglia rainbow in a TT? I looked it up, they started the TT competition at the worlds in ’94, about 3 months after that race, so he wore it all ’94 no matter what the competition. Scratch that, he caught hell for showing up at a local mtb race in the rainbow jersey. I can finally feel bad for him, he’s finally shown he’s human.

  2. Why all the hate? Dude has inspired more people to ride bikes than anyone on the planet. More people riding bikes = less people running you over. Also, since when does hating Lance make you a real fan? That’s exponetially lame. I’ll be rocking my Postal kit for the rest of the tour. If you see me rollin’ and would like to pop off, a word to the wise, I don’t swing like those buffys from the other day.

  3. Ike.
    “Inspired more people to ride bikes than anyone on the planet.”

    really? (and those people are no longer driving cars?)

    You think he’s inspired more people than Ullrich? Pantani? Hineault? Bauer? Kelly? Lemond? etc etc.. (and apologies to so many other exciting riders)
    I don’t think so. ..of course neither of us could prove our positions with real numbers, but from my seat I think at best he can be credited with a spike in interest within one country only.
    (where that spike and the assoc. interest will soon be swept aside by media’s next plaything)
    My experience leads me to believe that elsewhere he is a person of interest but only among those that were already interested in the sport and had/have their own heros (or whatever you want to call it) already.

  4. This is the most open race for years, with jolly shit bucket of talent in the top ten: three known knows, seven known unknows and probably a couple unknow unknows dark horses all sharpening their blades and dreaming of a bloodbath.

    And what does the US media talk about “Lance lance Lance fall Lance Lance etc”.

    Booorrrrinnnng.

  5. It is nice to see Lance get knocked down and suffer more than we had seen before, but that doesn’t make one a real fan to revel in it. That is just weak.

    As for inspiring people, who knows. I do know that, if you go to China, people know who he is, and that cannot be said for any other rider out there. Being known as a celeb may not inspire people to ride, but that is one step above the influence the rest of the peloton has.

  6. Is a bath of blood doping? Maybe just a shower and WADA can’t detect it…

    Heee,

    Imagine WADA bursting into Lance’s bedroom during the restday: there is blood all over the place, handmarks on the wall, splurts on the ceiling, the carpet is soggy with it, the sheets look like a butcher’s bad dream, a thin mist of he stuff is in suspension in the air… And Lance is in the middle, oblivious to the inspector, beating with his fists at a tangled, broken bloodied mass straight out of a Old Testament horror story…

    The WADA inspector jumps in and skips throu the mess, staining his shoes and lilly white socks… And starts crazy jibber jabbering:

    “BLOOD DOPIN’, AHA BLOOD DOPIN, finally, we catch you very very red handed!!!”

    The inspector looks around hands on hips, with the intense satisfaction of a 11 year old having touched his first pair of breasts. His presence is finally noted by Lance who reduces the speed of his beating, and finally stops.

    “Huh” He tweets.

    “You are caught, it’s over, the meat is in the falafel.” The inpector beams.

    “Nah, no blood a dopin’ here… And the falafel is empty. I’m just reminding Mr Leipheimer to never, ever fucking upstage me.” With that he lands a new blow.

    The WADA inspector, looks around, as slightly embarrased, shifting his weight from one leg to another.

    “Just a sample then” he finally blurts out.

    “Ok”

    “I’ll be waiting by the café machine, Mr Armstrong, as always.”

    “You do that.” And Amstrong restarts his beating as if nothing happened. Because with Mr Armstrong, nothing ever happened.

  7. Is it possible that these crashes are not all accidental? What if making people crash is the new old tactic. I think the Europeans are tired of Lance. They want their race back. They are sick of “Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France… will he make the podium??” Like some Lance brand soap opera for Americans. I am certain he inspired more people to watch the tour, but to ride? That’s gotta come from within. I never heard anyone say: “Lance Armstrong rides a bike, so I need one too. Give me a break. Bike racing is only one small part of CYCLING. Lance is who he is. I got nothing against the guy. I respect his accomplishments for sure, and agree with some of the things he says. He even has a right to be a little bit arrogant. Hell, if I crashed once in a stage race I’d be saying “Fuck this” and dropping out, more than likely. My favorite Lance quote is from when he was long haired and a young triathlete, and told a reporter:
    “College? I don’t have time for college. I’m too busy training.”

  8. Yes. Really.

    We can’t quantify his direct involvement in creating cyclists but here are some things we can quantify:

    Approximately $400m in combined sales for Trek and Specialized. A disproportionately large amount of people decided to start riding their bikes in the last 10 years that coincidentally coincided with LA’s TDF streak.

    OLN (Versus) decided to televise the TDF in its entirety when, previously, CBS or ESPN managed to air (at most) three hour-long recaps. Coincidence, I’m sure.

    Directv (a $2.5b company with 18m subscribers) decided not to negotiate the rights for the Versus Network with its owner Comcast claiming that the rights to the channel were exorbitant until… you guessed it cycling season began.

    17m LIVESTRONG bands sold.

    Perhaps I should’ve used the word catalyst? Nonetheless, yes, more than anyone else on the planet. Unless you know another dude who rides bikes and is a household name.

    My main point is that, since I started riding 10yrs ago, there seems to be two types of bike riders. Generous stewards of the sport who offer all kinds of advice and encouragement to people obviously starting out and self-righteous jerks who act like riding bikes is the last cool click in school. Most of the LA haters I’ve met are in the latter group.

    To me it’s simple math:

    More people riding bikes = less people to run you over. No, we don’t all stop driving when we start riding but we do tend to pay more attention to the folks in spandex. My father, for example, used to be one who was quite intolerant of cyclists. Both he and my mom now ride, get to close to my mom in your car – I dare you.

    Did he dope? Don’t know.

    Is he a jerk? Never met him.

    Is he Jesus on a bike? Definitely not.

    Do more people ride because of him? Dude, it doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar.

    Riding bikes is awesome so he’s square with me.

  9. …ike taylor…very cool…

    …nice to see someone throw some ‘lance stuff’ at the wall that’s based on reality…

    …one needs to have friends outside the sport & activity of cycling to know how deep his influence runs…not everyone rides but unfortunately most folks are affected by cancer one way or another through family or friends…

    …i’ll see people today who never ride bikes & i guarantee you i’ll hear “so, what’s up w/ lance, dude ???…i hear he crashed a buncha times yesterday” or “wow, dude…diya think lance can still win the tour ???…i heard he hadda buncha problems”

    …yes, they can hear about it in the “mainstream media” these days but they wouldn’t even bother to comment if it didn’t mean something to them, one way or another…

  10. Big Jonny, Thanks for posting an excellent summary of just one example of THE TRUTH.

    Maybe those that are still either naïve, ill-informed or mis-informed* will finally read the mass of books & (valid) news articles that clearly indicate what really occurred – cheating, lies & denial, oh my!

    Or, those people can wait a few years for the US Feds and Interpol to perform the due diligence which will produce the same conclusion.

    By the way, I was a big-time admirer and very motivated by LA from 1998 – 2002, until I started reading things that were not spoon-fed to me via Lance Incorporated’s PR machine. I was quite depressed for some time because I learned that someone that inspired me was certainly a fraud. Worse, I was (and somewhat still am) a minority, so my dissapointment was almost solo – little support. I feel better now that Floyd has opened the door wide open to THE TRUTH**.
    (and yes, when Floyd won the Tour in 2006, I knew he was doped – not just w/ testosterone but blood-doped too – you cannot win GC at a grand tour w/o BLOOD doping since ~1993/1994)

    *the Lance Incorporated public relations machine was superb at their craft and had many long tentacles

    **most importantly, the truth is NOT just that LA cheated via doping, BUT that the large, intertwined SYSTEM of pro road racing is fucked up. Cheating, lies & denial all over the place.

  11. Lance doped vs. Lance didn’t dope. Think that may have to go on the list of things that are as polarizing as religion and politics. and maybe good bourbon vs. good scotch?

    Everyone seems to have an opinion on it, it is strong, they are sure they are right…

  12. I do remember Lance quoting Indurain as man amongst boys after the 94 TDF time trial when Indurain went flying past Armstrong and everyone else. And if I remember correctly, Indurain attacked on the previous flat stage and only Bruyneel was able to stay on his wheel.

  13. Ike,
    ok.
    You’ve offered some real valid info.

    I think the line that prompted my initial reply was;
    “More people riding bikes = less people running you over”
    because I don’t think people actually trade in their car, *however* your response r/e the increased sensitivities of a driver who rides is solid.
    I failed to consider that fairly obvious point.

    On the other point I guess your experience is such that you’ve witnessed an increase in ridership that parallels his involvement, celebrity etc.
    My experience however hasn’t been the same. (apart from enjoying the versus coverage when I had a tv) By which I mean that;
    I’ve been turning pedals and involved with cycling and assoc. “communities” to some degree since the late eighties and I haven’t noticed the same increase in ridership that you speak to.
    Now, there could be a bunch of reasons for that; Location**, age, pre-existing cycling community, various types of riding I’ve focused on, even myopia on my part or other demographic aspects that don’t jump to mind.
    Bottom line is, my observations haven’t been the same, However; You did bring real info to the table so well done. That info affects my position somewhat.

    **I’m outside the US where his media status is, I think, substantially lessened relatively. Yes, folks know the name, but not much more. ..Like they know the name Frank Lloyd Wright but couldn’t identify any of his work. So, it’s a recognized name, but not an influence. (bit of an ‘out there’ example but it’s for point making purposes only)

    Anyway, That was the lesser point because you nailed it with “No, we don’t all stop driving when we start riding but we do tend to pay more attention to the folks in spandex” and even small numbers are valuble there.

  14. @Art, thats interesting too, I didn’t see your post until mine refreshed the screen. As mentioned; There could be a few reasons why I’ve not *seen* that but I should make it clear that my first post was not about defending the ‘haters’ or picking sides. Just calling to question his influence.
    A question, thats been ably answered by Ike and yourself.

    r/e the hater thing. I don’t think I’ve offered too much opinion on him myself. ..at least not here or in recent memory so we don’t have to explore that.
    fwiw though, you can just consider me to have been an Ullrich fan. That guy was fun to watch.

  15. Littlejar,

    Did he dope? Like you say, It does not take a Rhode Scholar. Do the fucking math

    “Is he a jerk? “I have met him and ridden with him. Trust me, he is. So are all his friends or I should say “coattailer’s” who either understand that it is all about him and are ok with living off his table scraps.

    “Is he Jesus on a bike? Definitely not.” You do have a point there…

    Do more people ride because of him? “Dude, it doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar.

    More people ride b/c of him now.”

    ..I may concede there, but did you think about what will happen when the truth comes out, and it will believe me. When he is caught, think about the many kids that will NEVER aspire to race a bike b/c of what he has done. Think about all the cancer patients that believed in a total fraud….

    “Riding bikes is awesome so he’s square with me.”

    I agree with you there, but I started riding after he won the worlds and I will ride whether he or any other pro does or does not ride or race. In fact I have more respect for the Cat 2 with a family and a full time job that races than any Pro…It should take more than turning pedals to be square with you man, how about some ethics or values?

  16. It wasn’t me that said he’s square with me. I don’t know Lance. I’ve heard some of the shit he’s said and agreed, I’ve heard some of the shit he’s said and not agreed. I think my response to the other post says it best. But he is a champion, he has a long and outstanding career, and I know it’s due to his unrelenting hammerhead attitude towards things – I could be wrong of my impression of the man but he grew up in Plano, TX. He’d probably been pushed around by football players in pickup trucks. You KNOW he did. Now every one of those hobbling fat kids is running on the thin coolness of being able to say he went to High School with “”their winner”"