Armstrong & Basso in 2004 -- Better Days
If you've been following the 2010 Tour de France, you know that Lance Armstrong has practically no chance of winning the Tour. At 38, Armstrong claims that this will be his last Tour. I watched part of the mountain stage that finished Lance off, the 8th stage. He was involved in a total of three crashes, one of which left him with bleeding elbows, a bleeding knee, and a bruised hip. For the most part, the crashes were not Armstrong's fault, so I feel a bit sorry for him. I don't think that he could have won the Tour this year, but he deserved to go out with a fighting chance. To add insult to injury, after his worst crash, the other riders did not slow down to allow him to catch up, a questionable breach of one of the unwritten rules of etiquette in the race. Of course, Armstrong was not in the lead or near the lead at the point that he crashed, but the continuation of the high pace resulted in him ending the stage so far behind in the overall race that he could not realistically catch up. Now comes the test of Armstrong’s character. I’m curious to see what approach Team Radio Shack takes to the rest of the race. Will they try to keep the next-best rider, Levi Leipheimer, near the top of the chart? Will they try to win the overall team competition? Will they try to take numerous stages and showcase new talent? I hope to see Armstrong pulling his weight in the team and allowing others to share the limelight. He’s had an incredible string of victories and luck. Sooner or later the luck runs out, as it did for Lance. The Tour de Lance is over. Long live the Tour.