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Posted on: 18th July 2015

& Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong at the 2015 Tour de France  

Lance can’t stay away, but neither can I and it was always going to happen, Lance returning to the scene of one of the greatest dupes in sporting history.

I always believed in Lance, I wanted to believe.

Lance is intriguing, he was always dynamic and always talented.  His talent was always evident, he did not just appear at the middle or end of a career.  He was the first of the nurtured athletes where teams are built and financed around them, appearing rarely.

History repeats, how often have we heard this, perhaps now surfacing on a British front are the beginnings of a cycling legacy that should be questioned.  Is the legacy being left by the “Sirs” that ride and manage Team Sky going to a positive one. Do we accept that Froomes incredible performance is a consequence of the consummate professionalism of team Sky.

We see so little of the Stars now except at le Tour.  The tour de France is imploding in its own magnificence.  What Lance started, team Sky have perfected.

The press have found Lance and he has allowed them to question him, of course he would, the one thing I know and remember about Lance is he loved the media.

Lance has responded extremely diplomatically about Froomes performance on stage 9 of this years Tour de France, a performance that is nothing short of superb.

I have written previously on the Roar and Lee Rodgers has written a fair article.  But to be honest we have all seen Chris Froome ride like this, but not often, once or twice, so why the questioning now?  Probably because of the media machine that surrounds Le tour France and only Le Tour de France.

The questions will always be asked and should be.  The Tour de France is an incredible event. To finish is a huge achievement, to win, to even come close is about surviving in peak form for the longest.  The fatigue is indescribable.

Should Lance be asked for expert comments? Yes I think he should. We are all entitled to comment.

While we were enjoying lunch and a couple of cold ales on the terrace of the L’etape du Berger on Col du Tourmalet waiting for the next stage to arrive I asked the local herdsmen who gather apparently once a week for a natter and beer, what did they think about it all.  I guess the conversation went on a bit long as their cattle started to range over the road a little higher up.

Their response; ah “le tour”.  What can you say! I told them my own tale of training a few years ago (many) on the Aubisque pre-tour. Descending in wet and foggy conditions I was about to enter a tunnel and slowed to allow the team car to catch and lead the way with some extra lights.  In the pitch black I stopped and when the car caught up saw eyes all around me. I was surrounded by a mob of sheltering cattle, at 1700 metres.

The French cattlemen huffed and sagely puffed, you need to pay attention once you are above the tree-line and they reminded me that the cattle were sheltering, only a tour de France rider would be out in that weather!

We are tough, Froome, Porte, Lance but I, like everyone else suffer the disbelief of the spectator at the moment and like the cattlemen perhaps I should shrug with indifference and put it all down to Le Tour.

Written by Phil Anderson


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