Monday, July 28, 2003

WORLD'S BEST ATHLETE -- LANCE ARMSTRONG

I'll forgive you if you didn't follow every stage of le Tour. Only we hardcore bike guys do that, but there's one thing that cannot be denied -- Lance Armstrong stands out amongst other superb athletes as someone truly superhuman.

If you're not familiar with the Tour de France, this should put it in perspective -- it takes over 80 hours of racing, over three weeks, in all types of weather, on the flat hot plains and through cold mountain passes, and on the longest days it's almost the equivalent of running a marathon that day. If you screw up on one race (as Armstrong's closest competitor did on the penultimate stage -- he fell, and only lost about 30 seconds), you're done, it's over.

Winning one Tour de France is amazing. Winning five in a row is astounding.

And remember, having an American winning the Tour de France is probably comparable to the Cherbourg Seagulls (a French baseball team) beating the New York Yankees in a best of seven series.


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