Tour de Lance
It is finally over, Lance finished his bike ride faster than any of the other racers out there. It was quite an accomplishment. Now all of the armchair quarterbacks are doing a little lazy-boy-cycling and trying to figure if Lance is the greatest cyclist that every raced. Yes, this feat of 6 Tour victories has never been accomplished before, but there are those that have won more stages (yellow jerseys) as well as won more non-Tour races over all. So the debate begins. A difficult debate to even start....just as in deciding the greatest heavy weight boxer of all time by comparing Ali with Tyson. It just does not work. Tyson grew up with the example of Ali before him, not to mention the more highly evolved training techniques of the modern times. So when comparing Lance Armstrong to lets say, Eddie Merckx....well it can not so easily be done. The equipment has developed as well as the nutrition. The science of sport is at a much more developed stage than it was 30+ years ago. Then again....Lance is racing against a field of athletes that are also prosporing from the same advances in technology of sport, science, and engineering (yes, the bike has changed, weight, geometry, aerodynamices...etc.) So, if nothing else we can say that Lance Armstrong is clearly one of the greatest, if not the greatest, cyclists of our times.
It will be exciting to see Lance put the challenge of the Tour de France behind him and broaden his scope to the other races around the world. It will be good for Lance and it will be good for the sport of cycling, but no...it will not be good for the Tour de France. I would like to see how Lance does in other races like Paris Roubaix or some of the other lesser known tours, ie The Tour of Italy/Tour de Giro/Giro de Italia/Tour Whatever....I don't even know. Or even the Hour Record, where in Mexico City cyclist race the clock to see who can ride the greatest distance.
(History of the Hour Record)
This weekend without THE OUTDOOR LIFE NETWORK (OLN) I had to get my tour fix fullfilled by internet updates, newspapers, watching a few classic road racing films on DVD. These movies are pure art. They unfold like an opera. Le Course en Tete; The Eddie Merckx Story, is a beautiful epic. A must see for any cyclist, documentary film lover, or person who loves entertainment with a Euro Flare! Then there was the viewing of A SUNDAY In HELL, which is also very beautiful. Read the Reviews and the synopsis...then find a copy. You will thank me.
And I must thank my old friend Bennet. Big Wheel Bennet! The founder of the Mishi's ride, an all around nice guy, yet a very complex character. It was Bennet that introduced me to these classic films. More on Bennet another time....he is a full time BLOG on his own. He is sort of like a cross between CLERKS, Sesame Street, and Crumb. Well, it is not Bennet that is freaky, he surrounds himself with a strange cast of Characters......Blog on this later....look above for it.