My apologies to the Big Man, his post below was high end, but I can’t sleep right now, and I had some thoughts regarding what happened yesterday at the Tour floating around my head, I just felt like throwing out there. From everything I’ve seen it seems like Schleck and Evans are the two who made out the best, one got the win, the other got some yellow, and both have time on Contador, who most had picked to win the Tour this year. Lance had a rough day, full of bad luck, crashes, and large efforts just to try and get back to the leaders. As things stand he is sitting in 61st place down on Evans by 11 minutes and 45 seconds. Now let me preface what I am about to write with this, Lance could ride me off his wheel using just his left leg and pulling a boat anchor. He is much more intelligent than I am when it comes to knowing how to win bike races. I am well aware of all this, and know that I will probably come off like some asshole up on a high horse, I am okay with that.
Here is what confuses me:
“It’s definitely the end of the Tour de France, the end of Lance’s objective to win this Tour,” Bruyneel said in the finish in Avoriaz. (quote from cyclingnews.com article).
“When it rains it pours I guess.. Today was not my day needless to say. Quite banged but gonna hang in here and enjoy my last 2 weeks” (quote from Lance’s twitter account)
Now, I’m not sure if the injuries that Lance sustained from his crash are enough to force him to drop out of the Tour, or if they are that bad and he will be no where near full strength in the near future. If that is the case, many could understand that, we’ve already seen it happen this year with guys like Vande Velde and Frank Schleck who took gnarly spills and have had to abandon due to the injuries they sustained. So here is what I am confused about, if the injuries that Lance has sustained from his crashes in Stage 8 aren’t enough to force him to abandon the Tour, why are him and Bruyneel acting like his Tour is over? Didn’t Lance come to the Tour to race against the best in the world, and try to win the Tour, not simply “enjoy” the Tour?
11 minutes and change isn’t necessarily an eternity, and there are two weeks left, and wasn’t Lance supposed to be the guy that never quit. So he had a shitty day in the saddle, and lost some time, why not still try to win a stage, or attack to try and fuck over someone high on the GC that he may loathe for one reason or another? Granted I was all of 5 years old when it happened, but what about back in 1989 on the final day, when everyone said LeMond had no chance to make up the 50 seconds that Fignon had on him. LeMond ate a solid breakfast of nails and broken glass, then cranked a 55×12 gear to take the win. And even though Landis was aided by all sorts of doping products back in 2006, after he had his shitty day, he didn’t roll over, he went out and made a batshit crazy attack on the entire peleton.
So yeah I am confused about what is going on with Lance right now. Maybe this is his big tactical play, like in 2001 on the stage to Alpe D’Huez, getting T-Mobile to do all the work, then ripping their nuts off. Maybe Lance and the RadioShack crew aren’t sure how bad his injuries are right now. Maybe Lance had some sort of epiphany and realized that it would be nice to see what it is like to just ride the Tour without any objectives. I’m not sure, but what I do know is that it would be shame to see Lance throw his hands up an quit after one bad day. Feel free to share your thoughts…by